I spend most of my evenings perusing the North American and European WoW Foums for interesting topics for our Forum Post of the Day feature. I've come across all kinds of threads from the uplifting, to the whiney, to the popular discussion. They are a great resource for tips and strategies.
Blizzard welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions from the WoW community. You are welcome to be a part of it as well. There are a few things you should know about the forums.
Blues and Greens
The content on the forums is largely player driver, the text of there is usually white. There are, however, several times that official posts come through from Blizzard staff. These appear in blue text rather than the standard white. Game Masters and Community managers do occasionally respond to individual concerns, but more often make announcements via the forums.
Any post that has an official replay has a Blizz logo on it. The threads that originated from Blizzard Staff have Author names in Blue. You can skip right to official responses by clicking on the Blizz logo. If there are further "blue posts" in the thread there will be a Blizz icon to the left of the word "Quote" that has a green arrow. You can click that icon to move to the next official response. In many cases it makes sense to read all of the responses for context. Some officials posters, like Borknakk, Eyonix, Drysc, and Nathaera, are well known throughout the community.
Blizzard MVPs have their text appear in green. These Most Valuable Posters have consistently given correct responses to player questions in the past in order to achieve this status. They tend to have a considerable knowledge of the game and tend to be polite in their responses. You can get good information from many members of the community, but MVPS usually have some good insight.
Rules, Rules Rules
Blizzard has set guidelines for appropriate use of the forums:
- Racist and Ethnic slurs or references to sexual preference are not allowed on the forums.
- Posters may not negatively portray religions, religious figures, or nations.
- Both clear and allusive references to illegal drugs or illegal activities are taboo on the forums.
- References to sexual acts, pornography, and extreme violence are not permitted
- Threats of violence, harassment and defamatory language may be met with a Ban from the forums.
- Obscene, vulgar, and otherwise inappropriate language will not be tolerated in this milieu.
- Spamming by posting the same phrase or gibberish are disallowed from the forums, this rule also applies to over use of the "report thread" feature.
- Posts that exist only to cause unrest among the forums, known as trolling may be the cause of a ban.
- Duplicating threads or creating links only to post to other threads is right out.
- Players may not share information about their identities, the identities of other players, or of Blizzard staff.
- Players cannot advertise for services that violate the EULA, such as account trading and game hacks.
- Is not acceptable to advertise for non-WoW related businesses or websites on the forums.
- Posting links to malware such as Trojan viruses and keyloggers are forbidden.
- Guild Recruitment may only happen in the Guild Recruitment and specific Realm Forums.
- Many people have suffered bans recently for posting information regarding Wrath of the Lich King. If it's not Official published by Blizzard, discussion on the forums is off limits.
- Players may not impersonate Blizzard Employees on the forums.
- Finally, players who have received disciplinary action may not post about them in the forums and circumventing a suspension or ban from the forums may result in a permanent ban.
Disciplinary action on the forums may come in a temporary or a permanent suspension from the forums. I have to admit, people violate these rules and get away with it, but I'd recommend it. Overall I think we could take a page from Hello Kitty on appropriate forum behavior. If you do chose to post on the official forums, try not to take anything too personally. It's better for your stress level that way.
Making yourself heard
In order to create a post on the official forums, click the "New Topic" button at the top of your desired forum genre. If you're not already logged in to worldofwarcraft.com you'll need to log in using the same account name and password you use for the game servers. You'll need to select an avatar from your character list. You can select another avatar later if your main changes.
Readers can click a on your character portrait to access your character sheet in the armory. They may get a glimpse on the gear you have currently equipped, your guild, and your specialization. For this reason, many people chose to make unflattering posts on their lower level alternate characters.
Before you create a new post, do a search to see if anyone has already had the same question or comment. The forums have a search field near the top, and advance search allows you to narrow your search by specialty forum, time, and character names. You can refine your search to only Blizzard posts. I have to admit, the forum search leaves a lot to be desired, but it's often helpful.
You may also respond to existing posts. To do this you'll either click on reply or quote within the thread. Quoting inserts the original text of the post in your response, so that players know exactly what you are responding to. Replying to a post also requires logging in. Responses like "first" or "1/10" are pretty unhelpful, but happen all the time.
Unfortunately the forums are not always benign. Be careful to avoid keyloggers when clicking links or visiting outside websites referenced in the forums. In a permanent blue posts Eyonix warned of potential problems:
The scam comes in many forms, including URLs advertised as links to class guides, gameplay videos, and in many cases user-interface (UI) modifications. As a general rule, be extremely wary of URLs ending in ".jpg.html" and ".scr," as in many cases the harmful software is being hidden at locations that end with these extensions.
Since posting on the forums requires the entry of your user name and password, only log in using computers that you are sure are clean from keyloggers. If you're using a public or friend's computer and you don't know where it's been, just don't go there.
Go out and take a look at the forums. You can access general forums such as PvP or Guild Relations. Each class, realm, and battlegroup also has an their own boards. Why are you still reading? Go!