Leaderboard: Should MMO studios be involved in their respective subreddits?

    
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The issue of who controls MMO game subreddits is one that’s just kept recurring over the years, at least as far back as when studios like Daybreak and Funcom began using theirs as a stand-in for official forums. Both studios have ended that practice, for what that’s worth, but others have taken flak for direct and indirect involvement. Given some of the disinfo dumpster fires currently raging on some MMO subs, it’s no wonder that studios try to shape those communities, but it can easily spiral out of control.

Pantheon recently made a bold move along these lines: The Visionary Realms community manager who helmed and grew that game’s subreddit hung up his hat, returning the sub to the community voluntarily: “I handed it back to the mods a few days ago and removed the remaining two VR staff members and then myself after leaving a little message of thanks and encouragement to the remaining mods.” Color me impressed.

What do you think: Should MMO studios be involved in their respective subreddits, and if so, how much?

Leaderboard: Should MMO studios be involved in their respective subreddits?

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Fenrir Wolf

I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a company interact with their community outside of Cryptic, who did so on their own forums. The only exception to this is that a UI designer from ZOS posts on ESOUI sometimes, but that really is about it. For the most part, it’s nothing more than community representatives who have no real power with which to represent the community.

I did love the heydey of Cryptic, though. Tumerboy — a designer — personally apologising to us for not having fleshed out the penthouse more because he spent too much of his time budget working obsessively on the bathroom was a highlight of that forum. Another was him being annoyed at players obsessing over certain inaccuracies of cubemaps and pointing out that, in all honesty, until raytracing becomes a widespread technology that there’s no viable alternative. And yet another was when he explained how the dungeons of Vibora Bay were designed — by hand-guiding procedurally generated interiors.

Great stuff. Tumerboy was the best.

The truth is though that most communities are simply too toxic to interact with. This is why my opinion for interacting with players is to have polls on choices that need to be made which are advertised via the launcher. That way, everyone can have their say without giving the developers PTSD.

My vote was that they should be aware of Reddit, and that’s all I really have to say about it. Frankly, I truly do not envy anyone who has to read those threads. I really don’t. The people making poor decisions are never the ones who have to deal with the repercussions.

Which is why I stopped posting on MMO forums. At this point, if a game ceases to cater to me I just stop playing it. I vote with my wallet. It’s difficult to not say anything as there’s always that passion one might’ve had for an otherwise fantastic experience. Still, as I said, it’s not the ones making the awful decisions who’re earning a lion’s share of grey hairs.

It’s the same reason why we should always try to be polite to any representatives. It’s not their fault. Whether it’s dealing with a shop that made an error, tech help, or what have you. These are people who probably hate their life due to how many genuinely loathsome, horrible people they’re treated like a doormat by on a daily basis.

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Rottenrotny

They should have their own forums where they are very active in their communication with the players.

The move to integrate social media in this regard just fractures the playerbase and dev communication.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

Involved, ya sure, in control, nope.

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styopa

I like when they show up there occasionally but I really hate it as a place for “official announcements”. I haven’t paid attention to them for a while but ANet was the most schizophrenic about this, with “official” announcements sometimes showing up first on reddit, some email blasts, some on TWITTER for Pete’s sake, sigh.

tinnis_
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tinnis_

“Studio reps should visit Reddit to communicate but not mod.”

best example of this i’ve seen is path of exile -active dev posters (and readers!) with proper user and post level flairs for visibility tracking, but no moderation powers (they are just normal users).

this is the model i aim towards personally.

e.g. ‘X dev’ user flairs and then automated ‘X dev post’ or ‘X dev reply’ post flairs, with a ‘dev tracker’ link on sidebar etc too.

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Robert Mann

It’s reddit. IDGAF. Honestly, the last time I visited a reddit was… accidentally, and if there was a time before that it was the same.

I just don’t get the appeal. It just feels like it’s 98% tinfoil hat, they are going to delete anything that isn’t white knight status, and I want to not let them silence us! Where the reality is that behavior from companies, on the rare occasions it does happen, gets noticed and results in a huge amount of dislike. So… I just fail to see the reason why it matters, and use other forms of communication.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Just my opinion here. As a news aggregate and discussion website, because the user base is so large and diverse, it lends itself to be a more neutral in opinion. It provides an almost forum like experience for users to not only create comprehensive content and media, they can also find niche topics and interests that cater to their lifestyle and beliefs. Along with Twitter, it provides a means to organize thought that often calls into action, hence why you hear about it so much. It helps move and influence the world around us.

No matter where you go there is going to be ignorance. It’s identifiable and mostly tolerable when you can easily dismiss it. When you have celebrities, politicians, developers and a plethora of other occupational professionals and enthusiasts using the site to spreads information and opinion, it becomes clear why people are attracted to Reddit. Things rarely disappear on the internet, Reddit included. With websites like ceddit.com that track posts, once it’s on the web, its permenent. So no deleting. Only censoring one portion when another portion of the website will just pick it up again. This is greatest asset and power of the internet. To spread information that can never completely disappear.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, my own opinion is that the entire ‘censoring’ on studio forums is not only overplayed, but essentially non-existent at this point for the exact reason that it doesn’t work.

So… the point of reddit being forums without them moderating feels like a giant bit of nonsense, to be blunt. Always did to me, because the issue never really let the studios off the hook to begin with.

As to that being the greatest asset and power of the internet, I am unsure. I think it is one of the big assets/powers, but I also believe that it is among the easiest to abuse (and sadly that is a constant). Thankfully, very similarly one can fact check using the internet (my own contender, a subset of the information sharing portion, but one which requires more than merely searching for information).

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Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

Studio reps/employees should NEVER be allowed to mod the subreddit about their game(s). The entire point behind having a reddit thread is to be able to discuss the game without the censorship that studios routinely employ on their own forums.

We’ve seen multiple stories, right here on MOP, about clown circus events studio reps (or suck-ups who want to be studio reps) have caused by deleting posts and banning users for revealing TRUTHFUL information about the game and/or the studio.

There’s no point behind having a forum to discuss a subject if you’re not allowed to discuss the truth.

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Toy Clown

Zenimax handles it the best that I’ve seen, in that they stop by and leave communications and that’s all you see of them.

I don’t feel that an MMO should try to manage/moderate a reddit or any other outside forum. The reason being is the gamers (and ex-gamers) who have nothing to do all day but to spew memes, meanness and vitriol need a place of their own and I’m perfectly content to leave reddit to people like that. Just tuck them away in a corner somewhere, leave them alone and forget about them is kind of my motto about it all.

I think gaming companies have enough on their plates and if they keep it to their backyard, so to speak, then I’m perfectly fine with moderation on official forums, the game and discord. It makes me feel safer.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Any time I see staff with moderator privileges I bristle, Reddit is supposed to be for community forums not official ones. If you want to moderate a community, create your own forums for that and call it a day.

But I’m all for Reddit engagement. Reddit communities are often more vibrant than those on the official forums, including a much more healthy/robust avenue for criticism (and shitposting). Community teams that engage there as well as through official channels always get a /thumbsup, because it’s an important channel to be engaged in.

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Bruno Brito

Not as moderators. Yes, as informants.

But most studios neglect their own forums, let alone their reddits.