Bethesda is shuttering its official forums and moving to Discord, Elder Scrolls Online’s forums will remain

    
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Whether you like them for communication, commiseration, and news, or despise them because they almost never seem like happy places, the point stands that official game forums are something of a legacy method for game devs to communicate with their playerbase, crafted at a time where things like Discord, Twitter, and Reddit weren’t so widespread. The times they are a-changin’, however, and so the folks at Bethesda announced this past Monday that their official game forums are being sunsetted and community discussions will be moved to official Discord servers.

The process will begin this coming Monday, May 24th, when categories will be made read-only. After that, smaller and less populated categories will be archived starting on July 6th. Conversations from the Bethesda.net forums will be moved to their game-appropriate Discord servers, while members of the community team will continue to be active on social media and Reddit and the support team can still be reached from their usual help portal.

It’s important to point out that these changes affect the Bethesda.net forums — Elder Scrolls Online’s forums are operated separately and will remain where they are.

Readers will note this isn’t the only time game forums have been closed in favor of other communication platforms, including some past Daybreak games> and Hi-Rez Studios. It’s also been a topic of conversation here at MOP.

As for Bethesda’s forums, the post simply explains that it’s pure evolution. “The forums have seen many changes over the years, and we’ve enjoyed seeing our community grow and evolve alongside Bethesda and all of our games. Now, though, with the numerous ways people are communicating, we feel the time is right to move away from the forums and chat with you where you prefer to be,” reasons the post. And so it goes.

source: Bethesda.net via Kotaku
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McGuffn

Microsoft is really pinching the pennies on this one.

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Castagere Shaikura

MMO forums used to be a place where people talked about what they have discovered in-game and how much they like the game. Now it’s just filled ass wipes crying about everything and most of it stupid. And I’m not a big discord fan either. They are worse than official forums.

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, Discord isn’t much better.

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Chaos Engine

It isn’t, but it basically moves all the crying to the backyard where it no longer gets indexed by Google and shown to a much wider audience.

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Bruno Brito

It also moves all the information to the backyard because it gets lost on a ocean of irrelevancy. Good luck trying to scroll through hundreds of opinionated crap to find a guide two days old.

Discord doesn’t fill the function of a forum well. A forum does that.

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Chaos Engine

I couldn’t agree more.

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Bruno Brito

Considering the ESO forums, i’m surprised they don’t just nuke it into the stratosphere.

EDIT: Adding some meat to my comment.

So, Discord is the main app of use for Pservers and emulation. It’s really, really bad. Feedback gets lost in a ocean of irrelevancy, announcements tab are not enough to spread info, patchers do that better. It’s good for informal community stuff, but it’s not an improvement. Devs won’t start being more active on certain channels if they don’t desire so.

Also, good luck scrolling up to find good info days old. It’s terrible. This is an awful trend, imo.

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Franklin Adams

Yeah, I’m really surprised that ZOS is keeping the ESO forums. The only thing IMO that they’re useful for is for seeing when maintenance is going to be. Otherwise its pissing and moaning, ragequit posts, half-baked mechanics and build confusion masked as advice, and other noise.

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, it’s one of my favourite forums because ZOS takes a different approach than Anet. Anet forums are known for being on tight leashes and it’s a goddamn temple for zealotry and empty compliments. Almost nothing of value.

At least in the middle of all the ESO forums chaos, you can find some good stuff.

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Rndomuser

That’s a smart decision. Many people already using Discord anyway (just about every popular game has various Discord communities, same goes for popular streamers which have their own communities or fans of various nongaming hobbies or fandoms such as anime fans or people from furry fandom), it’s easy to organize information in Discord (just as easy as in forums – you create channels for specific discussions, including “sticky” posts by either using dedicated channel only for important messages or using pinned messages) and the Discord servers allow higher degree of interaction between players (people joining in a voice rooms to play together, or some people streaming their gameplay through Discord instead of Twitch). Hopefully more companies will adopt this.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Hopefully they do not. If a company has their own website and forum, then there’s a single, central location players can go for updates. (Assuming the company bothers to update it.) If they do what the Ark devs do, and scattershot anything across whatever social media they happen to be looking at then players have to keep track of Reddit and Twitter and Discord and Facebook, and whatever else. If the info is on a central forum, then I can at least read it without needing to make yet another account. Personally, I do not (and will not) use Discord, which means I can’t even SEE info posted there.

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Rndomuser

It’s your choice to not use Discord, however many other people have no issue using it and actually love the convenience of things like getting instant notification by developers when they post announcements in it, and for them the company should absolutely use such modern platforms. As for patch notes the developers can still provide them through the launcher where people who do not want to use Discord can read them.

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McGuffn

Yeah, until you get so many notifications you just turn off the damn thing. Protest all you want but discord isn’t set up to handle this sort of thing well.

It needs support and better display for topic lists and nested conversations. Even the pinned posts feature is a rudimentary afterthought.

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Rndomuser

I agree that there could always be improvements for it. However it is still usable in its current form and can replace forum functionality in most cases. For example I am a member of Ashes of Creation official Discord and I can do everything through it, including getting status updates about alpha, patch notes, finding where to download the game client, submit bug reports with videos and screenshots (they do have in-game tool for bug reporting too), discuss game improvements and other things. I never felt the need to visit official forums for Ashes of Creation even though they also exist.

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Mikey's Bored

You can literally select what you want to get updates and notifications from and what you want to mute, f0r how long, including forever. It’s really convenient in most cases. They could improve navigating to specific things, but otherwise I think it will probably be utilized by a lot more people than forums will

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Worldofwarcraft Mage

Many people also dont like discord

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Worldofwarcraft Mage

It is a stupid decision . Finding info on discord especially old is crap

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

I feel like message board type interactions happen on Reddit for most people and Discord is filling the role of IRC and instant messengers. Not a big difference to me except that these newer versions of long existing internet communication styles are almost certainly more corporate and locked down than before.

Discord is a really great app and there are a lot of opportunities to foster a healthy game community in it, but forums and Discord servers aren’t really comparable experiences.

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Croquantes

A well run discord server with a ton of different specific channels is basically the same experience as a big forum with different boards.

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rk70534

Closing down forums probably saves them some amount of money, but it does harm the communities around games.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I don’t use the Bethesda forums, but I HATE this trend. I don’t use Discord, or Twitter, or Facebook. (The reasons don’t matter, but for me they’re non-negotiable.) So a company that switches to those says, to me as a potential customer, “We don’t think you’re important enough to talk to directly, but join our social media and give us more clicks!”

The fact that the Ark devs have all but officially done the same thing kind of pisses me off, to be honest. They still HAVE forums, but they clearly don’t bother to use them for anything except to post patch notes. They certainly don’t make any attempt to read them, and I’m fairly convinced that even submitting a support ticket is a complete waste of time. But they have all the time in the world to get in pissing contests with trolls on Twitter, so that’s nice.

Leo
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Leo

discord is just a bunch of chatrooms, so not exactly good at finding specific info, also really easy for comments to get lost in the silly randomness people love to post

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Rndomuser

not exactly good at finding specific info

Not true. You can make specific info easily accessible by doing things like creating a channel with specific announcements. For example a channel where patch notes can be posted by moderators, or a channel with rules for specific Discord server or a channel where people are only allowed to post screenshots or a channel for discussion of the class builds. And you can easily search information in specific channel. It’s not different than using forums.

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Croquantes

Discord channel history can stretch back months or years though, so they function just like forum posts. Also, there’s search bar if you need to find specific info…

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Leiloni

This is not a trend I like. Elyon is the first game I think to launch without any forums at all so you can add them to this list of games with no forum. Discord has it’s uses but it’s mostly just a way to have short chats and use voice chat, or as a place to get announcements. It’s not a great way to have long term discussions about topics in the game. Forums are the only way to have those kinds of discussions because you have a permanent place for each discussion to happen where you can type more, where you can read past responses, etc. I really hope this doesn’t catch on and more games decide to do this. Making Discord your only real method of communicating is saying you don’t really care about your community. Hell I’d even take a subreddit over nothing at all.

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Vanquesse V

“while we want you to be engaged in our products, we don’t really care about your feedback” is what I’m hearing

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Harbinger_Kyleran

Well, they never did care about gamers feedback, perhaps it’s just as well they stop pretending.