"Looks like the oldies still control the server's forums, nothing to complain about I suppose."
Server forums are now littered with recruitment threads even though there is a separate forum for that. I am not 100% against that as you want to use whatever avenues are available to advertise your guild, but back in the "day," the forums were not controlled by the "oldies." The forums were controlled by individuals who cared about the COMMUNITY of Silvermoon, people who actually enjoy(ed) the concept of knowing that each player was a different PERSON. We liked sharing a part of ourselves, a part you can't share while mashing buttons in a dungeon. Now if you consider those people "oldies," that's fine, but the majority of those "oldies" (by the way I am 27, hardly old) are a dying breed of gamers.
The forums were a nice break from the game itself. Whether we talked about the game or whale genitalia (true story), it was open to everyone. Sure some spoke more often than others and may have been more controversial than others, but most of us didn't come here to be eCelebrities. We just wanted to get involved and get the server as a whole involved.
It's a shame that it feels like the mentality of gamers (not the game like many others like to complain is the case) has become nothing more than "log on, get loot, log off." MMOs have always been more than that. Hell, I could log on, sit on a rock in Orgimmar, and do nothing but socialize for hours and I still enjoy myself. Ventrilo servers used to be packed with people, not players, who would joke and banter on about anything and everything, oh and maybe we would do a dungeon if we felt like it. But the emergence and ultimate dominance of the FPS has created a new gamer...a gamer that is too busy beating people instead of actually enjoy PLAYING with people. You queue up, you do your thing, maybe talk some smack, then leave. No hellos, no goodbyes, it's like playing with robots. We all love playing the game to its core, but many of us got turned off by the gradual shift of the FPS mentality in an MMO environment. The ones that stayed are now called "oldies."
People stop playing the game and move on...that's inevitable. But for a while, the new guys that came in had the same mindset and new friendships and bonds were created. But as times change, so did the landscape. New players emerged who felt they needed more instant satisfaction within the game, and Blizzard, being the smart business they are, evolved with the times...so it's not Blizzard's fault we have Dungeon Finder, LFR, player farms, reputation tabards, justice/valor points, etc. The key to success for any professional, no matter what you do, is the ability to adapt and evolve.
The playerbase evolved, WoW evolved with it in order to keep up. Do I miss the way it was from a community perspective? By far more than anything. Do I appreciate Blizzard putting forth the effort to incorporate ways for more players to experience everything they have tirelessly spent hours to create for us? For sure.
Do I feel like we could have been able to have all these things and yet manage to hold onto the one true thing that makes MMOs different from all other genres, genuine player interaction? That was all up to us, the players, to preserve. The majority spoke and said they could do without it, as if it was getting in the way of being the best, as if there was no time, and it was min-max or bust, and min-maxers had no time to be people in a game full of people, and instead be avatars in a game full of avatars.
And that, my friends, is a crying shame.
Apologies for the lengthiness, I get carried away sometimes.