Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Too little community?

Fellow blogger and all-around witty person Klepsacovic has a post up on the topic of too much community, citing Wowhead as an example. While he admits to using (and loving) the site, he also hates it for what it does to the game. No longer do you have to find out things by yourself, you just look them up on the net and are done with them. He’s right, of course. Obscurity is no longer a legitimate form of challenge in games, especially in MMOs. Most information is at your fingertips and there is no need to explore anything. In World of Warcraft.

Once you move on to other MMOs, things are quite different. ZAM, the owners of Wowhead, have what is probably the most-used item and quest database for Rift as well. It is very closely modelled to Wowhead and awfully devoid of comments of any type. No comparisons of item X to item Y, no hints on how to complete odd quests, not even an odd “first” or whine.  (Sure there are about 30 comments a day, on a database that contains 40.000 items and 2500 quests. That’s nothing.)

Whenever I try to look something up that requires more than pure data, I fail. Quest NPC not where I expected it to be? Better run some circles. Quest item not spawning? Why didn’t I figure out for myself that I’d have to re-activate some stone half a map away? (Which is mentioned nowhere in the quest and makes no sense either.) Interested in data on the efficiency of block rating? Go parse your own damn combat logs.

Maybe I’m just spoiled from the wealth of information I’m used to from WoW, but I really really miss this in Rift. I would quite enjoy doing some theorycrafting, but I don’t really feel like doing all the ground work myself. I’m also much less inclined to do so if I feel as if my information will be read by pretty much exactly me.

You could say that a game is better off without theorycrafting anyway and I might even be inclined to agree. There is a huge difference though between a game like Dragon Age (in which I don’t care for theorycraft at all and just pick whatever feels best and/or most interesting to me) and a game like WoW or Rift. Performing optimally is a huge part of those games for me and exchange of information goes a long way towards that goal. I dearly wish I had a Wowhead and an Elitist Jerks to go to for Rift. Bosskillers and Tankspot… maybe not so much.

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