The Daily Grind: Are modern console MMO communities worthwhile?

    
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This morning’s Daily Grind hurtles through space and time to us from Kickstarter donor Kenneth “Fizwocket” Gonsalves, who wonders about the console community potential in MMORPGs.

Is there a community on console MMOs? With the upcoming console release of Elder Scrolls Online, I’ve been thinking about how players socially interact sans keyboard in a world where MMOs all seem to have some sort of auto-queue everything and actually typing to other players seems almost extinct. I stayed away from console MMOs because of an assumption that there can’t be any sort of community existence. But am I right to do so? Is the community on a console be any different than what we see on the PC nowadays? How do console veterans rate the social interaction of past established MMOs on their consoles?

I’ve always had this concern myself, but console MMOs have come a long way since the days of keeping a wireless keyboard on your lap as you play. Online games like Destiny — not exactly an MMORPG, but on the fringes — get by with voice chat, but it wasn’t always an option; in fact, the game was criticized heavily early on in its life because chat was so limited and yet seemed necessary for group content. Communities seem to form around games regardless, even if those communities wind up using external tools to form those bonds, and that’s true on PC too when chat options are limited, whether we’re talking Ultima Online or Hearthstone. And as Fizwocket himself notes, even modern PC multiplayer games are trending away from gameplay that requires detailed chat conversations.

But that’s my take — what do you think? What are your console MMO communities like nowadays?

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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alutra311
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alutra311

seemsthatway98 One of the most intelligent and worthy comments on Massively ever.

MesaSage
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MesaSage

NoYou Thanks!

seemsthatway98
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seemsthatway98

I’m not sure why people think there’s no community on consoles. This article, as well as most of the responses here, are ridiculous. Most of them are from people who haven’t even attempted a console MMO, but spout off diarrhea from their fingers about it because of this “PC master race” garbage. I’ll say this, i’ve played console games/MMO’s just as much as I have PC. A majority of my gaming these days is on the PC, so this isn’t bias. This is coming from someone who’s actually qualified to have an opinion on it by way of experience.

One of the things that really bothers me is that I always see people bring up the point of, “How can they talk? There’s no keyboard?”. I’ve never played a console MMO/lobby game where this has been a problem. It’s always been rare that I run across someone without a keyboard. And you know what? For every one of those i’ve run across without a keyboard, i’ve run across probably 2+ on PC that refuse to chat at all, even though their PC comes with a keyboard. I’ve found most console players to be more enthusiastic about communication and forming bonds. However, that is being lost more and more these days. And not JUST console people. PC people are just as guilty. And it’s not a matter of PC/console in this case, it’s a matter of the games themselves giving players less and less reason to for communities and socialize. Everyone is becoming automated, and at the same time, making players disposable. Why be nice and attempt to make friends to do content with later when every player in cross server group finders is a disposable faceless?
I actually think console gamers have an advantage over PC players in terms of what platform they play on. What advantage is that? No UI / mods. I found people to be much friendlier on games like Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast), Monster Hunter (Playstation 2), Everquest Online Adventures (Playstation 2), and Final Fantasy XI (Playstation 2), because there were no mods. There was no excluding people from content because of some garbage DPS meter. Or angering other guilds by altering the graphics files so the only thing you’d see load at a rare spawn camp was the rare spawn itself. The console gamers played the game the way it was meant to be played. And not try and turn it into ‘Spreadsheet: the Game” by adding unnecessary mods (yes, most mods are unnecessary. You can completely play without them just fine).

And yes, I can use FFXI in the last paragraph. Someone below said it doesn’t count because it’s cross platform. Sorry, but it was out on PS2 first originally in Japan, then US ‘beta’ on PS2, THEN the PC crowd came in. I didn’t really notice a shift in player attitude till the PC version became playable here. PC version did officially come out first in the US, but the game was a PS2 first and foremost.

I tend to see PC players in MMO’s be the first to exclude players for silly reasons. And it always comes down to mods giving them attitude. Make all the excuses you want, it doesn’t change anything. How are players supposed to get the chance to form communities when they get excluded for some silly reason? (Already awaiting the hyperbole comebacks to this paragraph)
Trying to say communities might not work ‘because consoles’ is just ridiculous. I’ve seen just as much (and as little) communication from the PC end that I have the console end. Sometimes even less on the PC end, and that’s because of things like Ventrillo, Mumble, etc (Not using that last sentence as a negative).

NoYou
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NoYou
NoYou
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NoYou

MesaSage Uh, kay. This was constructive.

NoYou
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NoYou

dirtyklingon melissamcdon Don’t give up hope yet! It could still be implemented in some form.

vanquenton
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vanquenton

Ekphrasis  “Additionally, those of us who played MMOs in high school / university / college had the time to do so. There wasn’t as much pressure to be as efficient as possible with play time. Nowadays, by the time I get home from work/gym, eat etc. do some more work, then finally get a chance to breathe I probably have half an hour on a weeknight. I frequently skip MMOs through the week because I don’t see the point if I feel like I have to ‘rush’ in my half hour block and feel like I’ve achieved something – which is a personal viewpoint, granted.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. It’s tough getting old(er)!

vanquenton
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vanquenton

SallyBowls1 That’s probably because general chat in most games seems to have devolved into a forum for negativity. Non-stop complaining and trolling.

Rain_Creations
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Rain_Creations

Having played every mmo for playstations before switching to pc over the last couple years. I have not noticed any difference in community. Almost any usb keyboard will plug into a PS, and most console mmo players have one.  Why wouldnt you, especially if you play a lot.  And is there anyone reading this that doesnt have a extra usb keyboard lying around.  In addition many people nowadays use ipads and what not for voice chat support.  The only reason I switched to pc mmo gaming is the lack ot titles currently on console.  I play in my living room and very much prefer use of a controller while playing games. I am very much looking forward to the steam controller so I can better bring controller gaming to the pc.

MrPoolaty
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MrPoolaty

Well my mmo experience is a few hours on archeage and several years on ffxi and a year or so on ffxiv. Xi to me was so much more about community than xiv is imo. Because on 11 you would run a dungeon our and event and then later run past someone and be like oh hey what’s up we did so and so together. On 14 though because of the whiners there is now cross sever match making for runs. Yea it’s cool because you can do it quicker but I think that ruins the comradery you get when you do it strictly from your server only. You’re only going to see these people for the run and then never again. Just an overall bad idea imo. I’m still friends with the prime I met on ffxi btw… I was on the xbox360…