MOP reader Alex recently wrote to us about MMOs that seem to be built around their wikis – and why that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “Personally, I spend a lot of time on wikis of all types, and am comfortable with the format,” he says. “But there is an underlying assumption amongst many in the MMO crowd that game wikis are a poor supplement to game tutorials: that they’re a lazy way for a game to teach you about how it works. Good examples of this include Warframe’s vast, vast wiki or something a little more refined like EVE University’s wiki.”
“But the truth is, I actually love learning about a game on a wiki. My brain often moves laterally, and I enjoy the rabbit-hole journeys it goes on when learning about associated items that seem totally tangential to what I originally was researching. Is there a case to be made for the game wiki as its own standalone-value thing? Is there some art to it? Complex games often seem to require wikis to supplement what might be impossible to communicate in a tutorial. But is that just an excuse for bad design? I’m honestly undecided.”
I’m rather torn on an answer because it always irritates me when basic (or even granular) game information not only is left to the players to organize but fails to be intrinsic to the game itself. On the other hand, keeping wikis updated – at least when the game is thriving – is itself a pro-community activity, and the truth is wikis are often set up the way I think, and I love them for research and learning about a game as Alex does. I’ve even done some stealth updating on some for games I love!
What do you think about wiki-reliant MMORPGs or MMOs that simply need some sort of external community information repository?