World of Warcraft’s new communities system aims to bring players together in Battle for Azeroth

    
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Among the various features and additions coming with World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this summer, communities has gotten buried in all of the excitement. Yet this tool may generate some excitement when players experience it in action.

Blizzard Watch has a preview up of how communities work now that an early version is up on the alpha server. Communities will allow players to create cross-realm groups in addition to regular guilds (guilds will automatically become their own communities as well). The idea is that players can fashion specific types of communities and keep everyone in touch across the game.

There is also an option to create groups based on Blizzard’s BattleTags, in case you want a community that spans multiple Blizzard titles.

The article notes that many of the community features have yet to be activated, so there is a lot that we have yet to learn about the flexibility and function of this system.

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Robert Mann

AKA, here’s a communication tool that only works for our games and is better done elsewhere anyway. Some people will use it, because they dislike third party programs, but it will have minimal impact on actual communication and instead more likely replace guild systems in effect.

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Ben Stone

Seems a bit late, I don’t see anyone migrating their groups from Discord for what is on offer here.

I’m sure they will put in some incentive that will force everyone to join one, but its still totally unnecessary at this point.

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Danny Smith

Man, i will still enjoy the odd stint in Azeroth now and then but honestly there is not a greater cesspool in terms of mmorpg communities i have no desire to interact with at all. Like not even hyperbole here the overwhelming majority of my experiences with randos in WoW since late vanilla has been “YOU are here to facilitate MY fun” tier assholes. This kind of thing is like saying “hey good news, we made the seats on the bus smaller so those people that reek of piss and belch and fart for the whole of a 40 minute trip are now harder to avoid, ISN’T THAT AWESOME?!?”.

I’ll give a mild “nah”.

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Arcanum Zero

Ha ha! All of this, and it’s still faction-locked! Never change, Blizzard.

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Dug From The Earth

I know… all those combined horde and alliance raid groups that dont get to use this functionality are really gonna be upset.

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Bruno Brito

Well, given that two-faction system is quite…bad, and that they been going away from the HxA for a while now, would make sense.

They could create a three faction system with player choice as you game, that allowed all races to join, given the player’s background of choice.

I mean, it’s pretty much a common acceptance now that BfA, while beautiful, is a forced war narrative. I mean, Jaina is clearly insane, we all know that, Ally and Horde alike, and makes no sense for the Alliance to actually follow her desires without scrutiny.

Sylvanas tho, is a huge issue, so i am interested in seeing how stuff will happen. What i DON’T like, is her being completely cunt-ish after she was classy as hell with Varian. They actually saw opportunity to make ammends between their factions, yet, Blizz tossed all that in the fire.

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Dug From The Earth

I think the problem most have with Sylvanas stems from how much players simply didnt know about her. She has always had so many hidden aspects to her. Now that we are finally seeing some of them, many peoples delusions are being shattered. She was classy with Varian because it put her where she wanted to be for her goals to be achieved.

When a character is written in a way that makes you both love and hate them at various points, I just chalk that up to good writing, especially if the plot ends up supporting it (dont know if it will yet, not gonna spoil it for myself)

As for 3 faction systems, ive played plenty, and honestly, they dont feel any different than 2 faction systems. You are still always against some one else.

I feel like Blizzard has done a fairly decent job showing players story that goes in many directions, from the horde and alliance being best chums, to them being at each others throats. I dont think its realistic to think that EITHER of those situations would be a long term thing.

I think that many players let their desire for game mechanics (ie: I want to play my tauren with my friends dwarf character) influence their critique of the games story/lore setting, especially when the two conflict.

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Bruno Brito

She was classy with Varian because it put her where she wanted to be for her goals to be achieved.

I call that the “Garrosh Factor”. I didn’t see Sylvanas as a hidden dagger bitch in that specific scene, because she actually tried to relate with Varian. She WAS made into that however, and that what Blizzard does: They rewrite a character from their point of redemption back to what they were before if they end up being in need of a villain. Illidan had the same treatment but in reverse. His Outland story makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A defeat wouldn’t shatter someone as cunning as Illidan. He would never give up on his quest to stop Arthas, save Azeroth and make a shitload of powertrips in the process.

I don’t have a problem with Blizzard giving us the possibility of characters changing. I DO have a problem with them changing too quickly in a way it makes no sense. Garrosh’s Cataclysm quest is entirely about his redemption. He’s becoming a hero of old. He would never bow down to the slavemasters that chained Thrall, but he would display a modicum of mercy, specially against children and civilians. Then you get the manabomb, and all shit went to hell, and he becomes a decent villain, but he wasn’t as good a character as he was when he becomes a good warchief for a while.

Same with Jaina: Rexxar, Rokhan, Thrall and Chen KILL her father, and she doesn’t hold against them. She KNEW Thrall’s past, and knew they would never find peace if Daelin didn’t leave them alone. Daelin treats her like a child, lectures her, never let’s her make her own decision, which antagonizes him before Jaina, specially since she was one of the Warcraft characters that had seen the most. Her two romantic ambitions went batshit, her master died at the hand of one of them, she went into a mad quest to save Arthas, and yet lost him, and what kept her going was her dream of a united Azeroth. Thrall NEVER let Jaina down, he actually went strides for that dream to happen, and the way THIS Jaina behaves actually makes her sound like the daddy’s child Daelin thought she was, which is ironic, given how much Blizzard is making her a second Daelin Proudmoore.

That’s my entire issue with all this lore crap from Blizz. Is that their characters have a selective fragility that, even when bent before the harshests horrors of WoW, they still keep going, but when Blizz needs a damn plot twist, they completely break the character, all it’s motivation and in the end you get a hollow shell of what they were.

I get Genn and Sylvanas. They ARE being consistent. But Garrosh, Jaina, Illidan and such weren’t. Hell, look what they did with Grommash in WoD.

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Dug From The Earth

Your interpretation of some events seems… off.

Like seeing a red light when driving and thinking, “Why would they want me, such an excellent driver, to stop?”

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Bruno Brito

Point out what am i seeing off here. Because i played War3, i played WoW, i’ve kept myself close to the story. People said that Garrosh was being controlled by the Sha, but Blizzard itself answered that he was fully in control. He corrupted the elements with his Dark Shaman. He tried to kill his senior on the Horde after it was told he regretted Cairne’s death, hardly a behavior a matured warrior would take. He dropped a manabomb on Theramore AFTER he said on Stonetalon that he would NOT engage in mass murder. Do you see my issue here? Are you going to tell me i’m off again?

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Utakata

What a lovely pair of pigtails on that Gnome…

…wait, what was this article about again? o.O

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Tamanous

Blizzard: “Remaking systems we already had but broke years ago.”

I’m digging their new motto.

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Cosmic Cleric

FYI, the …

Blizzard Watch has a preview up

… link doesn’t go to the preview article.

(Feel free to delete this post after correction.)

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Dug From The Earth

Thats actually standard procedure for MoP. Post hot links for keywords that link to MoP articles, and put the real link at the bottom under “source”

its an atrocious design decision that is VERY anti user experience, but no one at MoP seems to care (and i know im not the only one who has ever griped about it)

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Cosmic Cleric

The MoP crew are the last people I’d want to keep money away from, but damn it, the Web is supposed to work that way, with links going to the thing the link is talking about. :(

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wandrim

It is about bloody time. I could never understand how one of the most successful game companies could be so grossly incompetent. Their complete lack of effort to manage certain things like a healthy PVP realm and updating basic social systems blew my mind. They had this idiotic excuse that because the situation was player created that they couldn’t do anything about it. Players create bullshit situation every day its up to the management to fix it. My only guess is that they let such a thing slide out of pernicious greed from whatever millions they made through server transfers and now that the destruction is complete and the profits they are making have dried up they are finally doing something about it.

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Sally Bowls

I certainly would not want to disagree too strongly with your idea of incompetent and greedy devs. And Bliz probably makes more money on realm transfers than 95% of the MMOs covered on this site.

OTOH, “people are why I can’t have nice things.” Unfortunately, there is this holdover of “realm uniqueness” that a lot or Real (old school) players have about Proper MMOs. So you can’t make it easy to transfer or else people can’t sell items at 400% of the regional average. And RP. And Reputation.

tl;dr: I agree with you but there are a number of people who have their reasons to resist modernity.

P.S. re “healthy PVP realm” a number of issues are being addressed by adding War Mode and eliminating PvP realms.

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wandrim

WoW is a very special case from almost any MMO I have seen and I have seen most of them. That unique realm I was on was around since launch day, and it was once really great community and collection of guilds, but they allowed a bad situation to grow year after year until it drove apart every guild. I honestly do not think even one older guild survived let alone thrived unless they successfully transferred. I lasted until about a year ago, and managed to mass transfer all my chars away for about 1.5 million gold worth of tokens. IF I had actually paid for that with money I would be more than a little pissed right now although the fact that they gave me a way out with WoW tokens somewhat redeemed them. Still it wasn’t Eve, darkfall, or any hardcore PVP game that broke my enjoyment of PVP it was WoW and their insane grief machine.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

So, basically the system EQ was using before WoW launched.

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Kickstarter Donor
Angel

Back when I played LOTRO (2008/2009), which has always supported custom chat channels, I created the SKA channel (Small kinship Alliance) then advertised it as a way for people who had small Kins (Guilds) to meet others and find people for group content. To this day I’m friends with some of the people I met there. I’m looking forward to WOW having this as a way to do the same thing in the game.

My current guild consists of myself and my hubby and while we have no interest in joining another guild, it would be awesome to have a community of like minded people who are interested in making friends with folks for group content without the guild commitment. So I’m hopeful for what this might bring the table.

I know we have discord, but there is something to be said for a system integrated into the game you’re already playing.