Despite some players' objections that the Dungeon and Raid Finder tools have made dungeon- and raid-running too impersonal, Blizzard has responded that it has a commitment to keeping a sense of community. Nethaera took to the official boards
to discuss the tough job of balancing the sense of community against meeting the needs of the community while making sure players feel connected to people around them.
Nethaera echoes a very important point, one that just doesn't get enough play in the MMO genre and its contenders -- people play whatever MMO their friends are playing. People go where the people are. The ingenious part is that while players are deriding the Dungeon and Raid Finder tools for destroying community and tearing people apart, the new Real ID instancing is making grouping and playing with new people I had never imagined I would play with a possibility. New communities are being formed. Just because the community doesn't look or feel like it did seven years ago does not mean that a sense of community is gone. It's just in different places.
Hit the jump for Nethaera's full post. Sound off in the comments about how you think Blizzard should go about fostering its community.
Nethaera discusses the "sense of community."
This isn't the first nor the last time we will see a discussion about community and the sense of community, I'm sure, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's important though that we keep these discussions constructive however.I'm going to channel some Ghostcrawler for you this morning and see if we can open up the discussion a bit.
/puts on her hat and robe
Keeping a sense of community while still meeting the needs of the community as a whole is a huge challenge for us. We fundamentally believe that having a sense of community is an important thing for the long-term health of the game. However, we don't think the way to foster that community is to force players to spam global channels trying to find groups. Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder have enabled a lot more players to run dungeons and raids regularly and we'd be very reluctant to ever go back to a world without them.
The trick for us is trying to grow a stronger sense of community despite having global queuing features that will likely pair you with strangers you may never play with again. We believe players generally have more fun and stick with the game longer when they play with friends. The queue systems are a substitute for when you don't have enough friends (or even enough friends online at the moment) to participate in that content. We aren't trying to, and wouldn't want to, turn WoW into a solo game. These systems are merely to facilitate a need to connect more easily with players interested in tackling this content.
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