The Daily Grind: What makes a really great MMO community manager?

When Funcom hired new community managers a few weeks ago, some readers questioned why we’d cover it. Big whoop, community managers are glorified retweeters, right? Yeah, not so much. A talented community manager can work a playerbase and keep everyone happy even in dark times. “Sinking, panicking games dump their CMs overboard first, not realizing their CMs are the best at bailing,” I argued at the time. “Hiring good CMs is a good sign in a lot of ways.”

But as I think more on it, I have a hard time pinpointing a single common-denominator quality for the CMs I think are particularly wonderful. Some of them win affection by seemingly responding to queries around the clock. Others “tell it like it is” or climb down into the trenches of the game with the players themselves. Some will buddy up to vocal gamers, while others stay professional and honest. Personality clearly has a lot to do with it — and so does the nature of the game’s playerbase. I suspect that the community team for LOTRO has it a bit easier than the team for EVE Online (although maybe not much!).

What do you think makes a really great MMO community manager? And whom would you hold up as the ideal CM in the MMO genre?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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99 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What makes a really great MMO community manager?"

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Remianen
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Remianen

Gylnne Preach! Sanya was awesome!

DJPsywarrior
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DJPsywarrior

From playing MMOs for a long time, I think what makes a great CM is actually interacting with the player base. We have had some excellent CMs at The Secret World, and they were really there for the players whether there was a community event or actually logging in game to hang out with us and this is on top of their regular duties, but I think maintaining contact with players ultimately makes the CM better.

We just got a new CM, Andy Bennet, and he is replacing two of the best CMs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Tell you what, he is getting in there. He is reaching out to players to get a handle of what is going on with the player base and he is already being that important bridge between players and devs. I feel good about Andy.

Odonoptera
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Odonoptera

MrSlow Sometimes we pop in from time to time, simply to say “hi”.  :)

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

ZenDadaist BritoBruno Sorenthaz IIRC, she’s the CM for ArcheAge. It’s why I cringe so hard every time I see Trion bung up something in that game. Those idiots don’t deserve her. (Though they definitely *need* her.)

Zardoz1972
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Zardoz1972

Looking at your name and avatar your probably a white male…making believe he is an Asian female. Homo much?

Zardoz1972
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Zardoz1972

I’m a PVP’er in my game. I take that to forums as well as the Battlegrounds. CM’s job is to keep the majority happy. My job is to be a villian. I have played spoiler in matches that my team could not win. I have singled some people out. I’ve singled others out knowing they were someone’s GF, etc. I’m far more than your silly assesments. CM’s are my enemy.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

BritoBruno Zardoz1972 
I am not sure the ad hom was necessary here, as his asinine tu quoque wasn’t helping him much. Better to not feed this one further.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

BritoBruno ZenDadaist Sorenthaz Celestrata appears to be exclusive top another game. I’ve certainly never seen her anywhere near Rift.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

Armsbend Eliandal Probably because Blizz forums are so insane that the CM’s themselves can’t develop a immunity to this, so they avoid contact like the plague.
There wasn’t an CM on blizz forums that had a meltdown? Old stuff.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

ZenDadaist Sorenthaz We got Celestrata response here in this topic. I would like a comment on that.