7 Types of MMO Forum Posts
by Tyler Edwards, November 9, 2013
The official forums for MMOs are almost a minigame unto themselves. They're the last refuge for those who have run out of new content to play, who use the forums either to vent their frustration or as an alternate source of entertainment. Forums are a way for the community to organize for events, and a place for players to provide feedback to the developers. Forum debates put the most epic PvP battles to shame, and some people even spend more time on forums than in games. But mostly, forums are a hotbed of nerd rage, trolling, and general ass-hattery akin to Road Warrior with fewer shoulder pads and more pimples.
7: Maintenance rage:
It's like clockwork. You could almost set your watch by it. Every week, servers go down for a few hours of maintenance, and legions of irate players storm the forums to protest this travesty. You would think that they had never experienced such an interruption in their play before, so great is the depth of their shock and fury.
Invariably, there will be heartfelt personal tales from players with unusual schedules or from obscure time zones who had planned raids, roleplaying meetings, or nude flamenco contests for the specific period of time wiped out by maintenance. They plead for maintenance to take place at a more convenient time, apparently not realizing that there is no time of day that won't inconvenience at least a few people.
Pray you never experience the unbridled horror of an MMO forum during unexpectedly extended maintenance. Post-apocalyptic food riots have nothing on the utter chaos on MMO forums that comes when maintenance goes beyond its normally allotted time.
The bizarre thing about maintenance rage is that it completely evaporates once servers come back up. In moments, forums can go from verbal bloodbaths to tranquil calm.
6: Miscellaneous trolling, memes, and nonsense:
Some threads on MMO forums just serve no rational purpose at all. Produced by the most bored, eccentric, and neurotic of players, these are even more confusing and nonproductive than the endless threads of nerd rage.
You will get dozens of pages of people rating the attractiveness of each race's female models. You'll see half-hearted trolls Rick rolling people with links to "leaked expansion footage." You'll wade through post after post of people sending cyber hugs at each other for no reason at all. You'll suffer through the most inane and repetitious of memes.
Such threads numb the mind and sap at one's patience. It's best to just avoid them altogether - which is not bad advice for the entirety of MMO forums, to be honest.
And remember: Never click a link until you've read the responses to it. Unless you like Rick Astley.
5: Balance whining:
Some people take player versus player very seriously. And that means they also take class balance seriously. They'll be quick to inform the developers of any perceived imbalances in a game's class design. Usually while making liberal use of caps lock, exclamation points, and profanity so that the severity of the situation is made clear.
Of course, PvE players have balance complaints too, though those tend to be a bit fewer and less intense than those from the PvP crowd.
In either case, any accusations of imbalance are met with cries of "learn to play" and heated rebuttals by players of the "overpowered" class. In fact, they're not overpowered at all. Ask anyone who plays one, and they'll tell you how weak they are!
It rapidly devolves into a contest to see which class is most hated by the developers, and the end result is akin to what happens when you lock three rabid badgers in a suitcase.*
*(Do not try this at home. Or anywhere else.)
4: This game is dying:
Some players fancy themselves industry analysts. They've got their fingers on the pulse of their MMO of choice, and they're ready to sound the alarm when they feel the game begins a downward spiral. And sound the alarm they will. Loudly.
So begin the many "this game is dying" threads that can be found on the forums of absolutely every MMO. These virtual prognosticators will cite incontrovertible evidence, like the fact that several of their guild members haven't logged in this week or the fact it took them five minutes longer than usual to find a group last night.
This is then usually followed by mention of some upcoming MMO that is utterly perfect and will certainly kill all other games, backed up by a listing of all the people they know who are planning to jump ship once said MMO launches. After all, anecdotal evidence is the best evidence.
Most such threads are merely thinly veiled complaint threads trying to draw attention to a player's pet peeves, but a few are made out of genuine concern for the health of the game - mostly by overly trusting players who have put too much stock in the former type.
3: I quit:
For some people, simply complaining is not enough. They've become so fed up with a game that they have decided to leave it behind for good, and what better way to exit than in a final blaze of angst and anger?
Most "I quit" posts begin with a lengthy description of how long the person has been playing the game - amazingly, all people who quit MMOs seem have played their game since beta or launch - and how much they once loved the game.
This then serves as a springboard into several paragraphs of exposition on how the game has slowly been ruined by catering to the unwashed masses of casuals, failing to balance the PvP, homogenizing the classes, ruining the lore, or all of the above. Their comments often overlap with those in "the game is dying" threads, and they may also cite another MMO that they believe is vastly superior.
The only things less useful than these kinds of threads are the responses they receive from other players. "Can I have your stuff?" "You'll be back." "QQ moar."
2: We want content and we want it now!
Everyone wants more content. It's only natural to want more to do in your favorite game. And if it's been a while since the last patch, people are bound to get pretty impatient. Running the same old dungeons gets boring after a while.
So it's not hard to understand why certain players might start the occasional thread lightly prodding the developers to hurry up on the next update. However, this master strategy to goad the developers into releasing the next patch more quickly does have a few crippling flaws.
For one thing, any developer worth its salt will already be working on the next update as hard as they can. If they're not already giving 100%, your game is probably going to have worse problems than slow content updates, and an irate post on the forum is definitely not going to get them off their behinds - or onto them, since most game design takes place sitting down.
It doesn't seem likely that some developer is scanning the forums and thinking, "Hmm, Elfslayyer13 is bored. We'd better get serious about putting out that next raid!"
It's essentially akin to children in the backseat of a car asking, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" No matter how many times you ask, the car isn't going any faster.
1: Raging over rage:
But perhaps the most bizarre phenomenon on MMO forums is that sometimes people will get so sick of all the complaint threads that they'll make a thread complaining about the complaint threads.
It is of course understandable that people might get put out by all the constant negativity. Such frustration fueled this very article. But making a thread to rant about all the other rants just seems rather counter-productive. Trying to hold back the endless waves of whining on MMO forums is like trying to stop a tsunami with your bare hands.
Plus, forums do exist for feedback, including negative feedback. Even if a lot of it is unproductive, to discourage feedback is to misunderstand the whole purpose of a forum. And does anyone really think telling people to shut up and stop complaining will convince anyone?
These complaints about complaints get especially surreal when people start responding to disagree with the original post, creating a self-sustaining feedback loop. You then have people raging at the people raging at the people raging for raging over people raging. Rageception.