World of Warcraft’s communities will bring players closer together than ever before (unless they’re in different factions)

The common consensus in the World of Warcraft community is that Patch 8.0 — the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch — is due to arrive next Tuesday. And speaking of community, one of the features that will arrive with that update is Blizzard’s own take on Discord.

The Communities tool will allow players to “create, manage, and join multiple groups of friends and family.” This feature works across realms and even Blizzard games, although apparently we’re still not allowed to talk across factions because reasons.

Blizzard notes that while players are encouraged to use the Communities tool for voice and text chat, the feature can also be used to pull quick join groups together among friends and like-minded souls.


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

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.


Raptr is shutting down on September 30th

Do you remember Raptr? You can see a screenshot from our own memories of it right there in the header. Yes, there was a time when Raptr provided us plenty of information about which games were most popular among Raptr users. But no longer; the service is officially shutting down on September 30th, with the option for existing users to download their user data and overall usage history for the past decade of tracking.

The stated rationale for the shutdown is simply that the world is a different place from when it launched, and at this point there’s just no need to keep it around any longer. There are several first-party optimization clients for game settings already available, which does render the original purpose of the Raptr service fairly redundant. Our condolences go out to those affected by the shutdown.


Massively Opinionated: EVE vs SWTOR vs The Plunderbund

A large part of the appeal of MMOs is the communities that can be built around a persistent online presence. In fact, much of MMO debate stems from how games handle their communities. And that’s exactly what we’re discussing on this week’s Massively Opinionated vidcast.

We’ve brought on three different online content creators to discuss community as it relates to content creation: YouTube games reviewer and Brit living in Georgia Cosmic Engine; game designer, Massively OP writer, and man with magnificent hair Brendan Drain; and Twitch streamer and super Star Wars fan Redna. Each of these panelists has come to debate which content platform is the best for reaching the MMO community, what is the perfect guild size, what MMO guilds really ought to be called, and of course, how best to build a community-focused MMO.

The rules of the game are simple: Our arbitrator, Larry Everett, asks the panelist four questions before the show starts so that they can formulate the best defense strategy. When the tomfoolery begins, the panelist with the best argument wins one point per question. The panelist with the most points at the end of the show wins the internet. Let the debate begin.

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Perfect World Entertainment combining all forums into one setting

There are a lot of games under the publishing banner of Perfect World Entertainment, and the vast majority of them are getting mashed together. In forum terms, anyway – you will not be able to make your Champions Online character pilot a Star Trek Online ship through Jade Dynasty even if you ask nicely. This change will affect the forums of all the aforementioned games, though, as well as several others listed in the official announcement.

Players can look forward to a new forum with more extensive customization and greater ease of access compared to the existing vBulletin software running on the old forums. The change will not affect those games already running on the new forum setup, such as Swordsman. There’s no word on which old forums will be archived specifically, so if you have some threads you want to save it, would be astute to do so now.

[Source: Arc Games via MMO Fallout]


Trion snaps up Linda ‘Brasse’ Carlson

Nothing tells your player community that the transition to a new corporate structure will be totally fine like firing a pillar of community interaction, right? That was the collective reaction when beloved community manager Linda “Brasse” Carlson was hit by the layoffs at Daybreak Games back in February. But there’s good news for Brasse, as she’s been snapped up by Trion Worlds to serve as the new director of community relations at the company.

Trion CEO Scott Hartsman stated that the company couldn’t be happier to have her on board, a sentiment most EverQuest fans would be hard-pressed to disagree with. It’s good to see people affected by the changes landing back on their feet, especially when the person in question was well-loved by her communities; we can only hope and expect that the communities for RIFT, Defiance, ArcheAge, and Trove will be as welcoming.