Massively OP Kickstarter donor DPandaren wants to talk about something every MMO player likely uses but most of us take for granted: forums and wikis.
“Do lore forums actually matter when there are first- and third-party lore wikis?”
I suspect DPandaren is referring to Daybreak’s unpopular March decision to close down a ton of its forums, including its lore forum, and tell people to just go post on Reddit. But I think the question can apply to all forums and wikis — how much do we really need them? Who should host them? Is it really that important for studios to do it themselves?
Interestingly, I don’t have nearly as much experience with studios shutting down official forums and wikis as I do the reverse. The classic Guild Wars community maintained its own wiki (several of them, actually) for many years until ArenaNet stepped in and created an official one, effectively neutering the originals as everyone flocked to what was perceived to be a more permanent database. And I’ve got my toe in Ultima Online this month, which hasn’t had an official forum since the turn of the millennium (hah!), and yet just recently, Broadsword kicked off an official wiki, which will no doubt one day replace the existing fan-supported ones, further centralizing a dwindling playerbase.
This is probably why it seemed so bizarre when Daybreak — and Hi-Rez before it — decentralized their communities and eliminated online spaces for some of their most ardent supporters.
What do you think? Should MMO studios host their own forums and wikis? Is it too much to ask players to host essential game resources themselves, on their own dime? And do we really miss out on much when something like an official lore forum is locked up overnight?