The decline of WoW server communities

General Discussion
Our former guild leader, and good friend of mine, posted an article ( on how a lot of the social ties in WoW have been broken recently by new game features. He uses the phrase "dismantling of the server community", and I think he's absolutely right. I encourage everyone to read it and make up their own mind.

Well, I can only agree with some of his points. This is from the perspective of a player who started out during BC

Death Of PVP Rivalry

This I do sort've agree with, I remember the feeling of seeing a certain horde player and thinking "i should avoid them at all costs cuase they kick butt" when I was leveling up my first character (mage). It wasn't often, but it wasn't rare either. At end game BC pvp, this "avoiding certain players i know by name, or ganking ones I know I could beat" went way down but it still happened. It turned more into grouping with other players from my faction cause we ALL were sitting around in the pvp area waiting for a Q to pop. Even in BC there were still TM/SS wars, I would often go there and gank a couple people and like magic, 70s would come and a epic battle would ensue.

Death of Communication
(pugging on your server)

This I really dont agree with, It was always a nightmare trying to find a group for a dungeon, ALWAYS. In BC, I had a solid group of friends in a raid guild (some i still talk with over aim, not WoW) that I could sometimes rely on to go play dungeons with, but usually I was left up to my own devices with another dps friend of mine. It took hours to form groups and usually someone would drop, then you'd find someone else, then someone else would drop.

On the bright side this caused people to stick with the group for more than one wipe because it was such a PITA to find a group. In my opinion, LFD was the best damn thing to ever happen to the game. I too have had many experiences with rude or bad players in dungeons, and G.I.F.T. as the author calls it but Ive had an equal amount of amazing experiences with it. My favorite being when me (a healer) and my undergeared tank friend run a dungeon with some undergeared dps, and we wiped like 30 times and we had a blast with these people we didn't know cause they all stayed were very nice players.

Death of the Forums

I half agree with him here. I think some realm forums were active and some weren't I know mine sure wasn't. During BC they were, you would recognize people in trade chat and you knew who had glaves usually off the top of your head. I remember my old server had a mass exodus because the top raiding guilds left. That was probably the biggest amount of server community I ever felt, and it wasn't much. After that the only since of forum community I got was from the OT forums.

Basically I think the realm forums have been in decline since Wrath, since even when I used the forums the most, I hardly visited my realm forums.

Last, Best Hope… Dashed

I dont really agree here, I think guild achievements were actually a good thing. While they certainly shoot small guilds in the kneecap (im apart of a small guild between friends) the guild my main is in, I think they're a good thing. Its a wonderful sense of achievement being apart of that heroic run that got your guild to level 10 or whatnot. Instead of "we hope to raid soon, please join!" and then never raiding, your guild as a whole has something to work towards that rewards the whole guild.

This is probably just me but I dont remember ever guild leaders talking with other guild leaders much. Infact In BC, the only time I raided, we often filled our pug spots with members from another guild and we eventually merged but that was it.

The Final Nail – The Point

I agree completely here, especially with the apparent money grab on blizards part. My heart sank lower and lower when name changes, faction changes came out. I remember ghostcrawler making a long post about why they didn't want to make race changes, only to have them come out litterally 3 days later. I was very dissapointed when the blizzard store came out. And while I realize its only vanity items, it just feels wrong.

My only dissagrement here is the throwing around of the word "recycled content". Its new content, from what ive seen on the PTR, it offers new challenges, with just the same faces and names on it.

Time for a Change?

Im with him here, Ive been a big fan of blizzards for a while. I spent the day playing starcraft on my 10th birthday with my friends and it was the best thing ever. More and more Ive been kinda losing the fanboyism. I know my days of WoW are coming to a close becuase my breaks are getting longer and longer even though I do like cataclysm. I will be buying diablo 3 no matter what and maybe titan if it looks good. But if titan is anything like WoW, i probably wont be playing it since the WoW forumla is very old by now.

No one can dissagree that the community has really gone to hell, especially in the forums. Your best bet is to find a group of friends and just stick with them, maybe a good guild. The age of being able to play with anyone and have them contain a sliver of polite-ness is gone (battlenet 1.0) imo.
03/27/2011 2:59 PMPosted by Aedeus
I can agree that server pops are down, I've a lot of characters across a bunch of medium to high, to often full servers, and it's very noticeable especially in the medium servers.

I'm in a medium server, and my server is even more populated than it was in wrath.
All of this happened the minute they made BGs cross server, and then Dungeons. This is nothing new.

On the positive side, WoW has always had the worst community of any MMO in history so it isn't really a huge deal!
All of this happened the minute they made BGs cross server, and then Dungeons. This is nothing new.

On the positive side, WoW has always had the worst community of any MMO in history so it isn't really a huge deal!

Im inclined to disagree, while there are always rude players, I feel like the community was decent in BC and early wrath, and possibly vanilla but I didn't play during vanilla.
All of this happened the minute they made BGs cross server, and then Dungeons. This is nothing new.

On the positive side, WoW has always had the worst community of any MMO in history so it isn't really a huge deal!

I tend to disagree. I remember if you asked for some help in General back in the day it was a quick 5-6 (correct) answers as if people were falling over themselves to either show their knowledge, help or both.

Now it is L2WOWHEAD or something to that effect, or several rude remarks though you still may get the correct answer via whisper to people who seem not to care for their answers being in General.
He's right about the shared lockout hurting PUGs.

He's a bit wrong about 3.3 being the beginning of the end. I met more people pugging ICC than I ever did doing the daily heroic quests. You spent more time with them and got a chance to evaluate them more thoroughly. People were much more polite in LFD groups throughout the entirety of Wrath. The truly poor behavior started with predictable regularity in Cataclysm when the content demanded a reasonable performance from each member of the group. When people can't get carried easily in an anonymous group, people will start to lash out, and the results have been sad.

Rather than worrying about throttling gear progression, Blizzard would do well to make it easier for people to form PUGs. They're the only reason one ever meets other people on his server any more. Instead, Blizzard seems content to push people into more isolation by rewarding guild only activity.

It's sad but funny that people are more burned out after almost four months of this new expansion than they were after a year of ICC. Blizzard could look at that lesson and learn, but they're content with their current design vision.
I agree with the overall premise here - WoW has lost its community and there is no world to it, and its been a long time coming, this hasn't happened overnight. I didn't care for the easy pug raiding in LK, but I can see how some liked it. It wasn't my social setting, but I get that it was yours. What I didn't like was that casual raiding guilds were hurt by it. Clearly, that was why Blizzard went the way they did, to try and mend raiding guilds. They made progression harder to pug, so that there's a point to joining a guild even if you only get a few bosses, and made the guild achievement system. This last part is the perfect example of what they're doing wrong. Instead of a guild being a natural progression of things you want to do or get in game, they make up this artificial numbers game to "achieve" instead.
One of the most surprising things I have noticed is that my friends list keeps getting smaller and smaller. It used to be full of raid leaders and people who ran alt runs on the weekends. I suppose the new mega-guild concept is the replacement for an active friends list.
this place used to be like working at disney land. now? not so much.

Actually, working at Disney land is a very strict and tough job. It's not easy at all to maintain the "magic of Disney" for the consumers.

As for the decline in community, it's because the players have become too "casual" to care or form one

I gotta form a guild with my community to raid? Pffft f that, I'm casual
I gotta socialize with people? Screw that, I'm casual. Just want to log in for 30 minutes and get my stuff done
I gotta be courteous to others and form a happy community? WTH man this is a game. If I want to socialize I'd go outside!
It is hard to quantify what has happened with WoW. In some way I love the convenience of things that have been implemented on the other hand something one of the posters above mentioned about friends lists made me really think about the down side of this convenience. I can remember complaining that the friends list needed to be expanded because I had so many people I added that I liked to group with.

I have zero, repeat zero people on my friends list anymore. This is not because it is impossible to find decent people you would want to add as a friend, it is because there just is no need. You really did have to forge friendships in the past (I have been playing since mid vanilla) to get things done, whether it was to help with attunments, do rep runs, complete heroics etc. You needed the community at large to make this happen.

This is no longer needed with LFG and other tools available. And while at times I truly love being able to get a group together fast for a heroic, I can see how this had decimated the forging of friendships. Sure you can still play with RL friends and guildies, but the whole experience of wow was meeting these new folks and finding new friends to get the content done. That does not feel like it exists anymore, and I don't really believe I realized how much it had gone away till I realized no longer had one person on my friends list.

I am not sure how to get that back into wow. I do not know if it is even possible. I will continue to play as I still enjoy raiding (and no I don't think the content is to hard) but I do now feel a sense of loss for that community atmosphere that no longer seems to exist or at least not to the extent it did.

I hope some day I have a reason to add more people back to my friends list.

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