Friday, February 1, 2008

Why are the WoW forums such a horrible place?

I had an interesting mail exchange with a reader who suggested that I post my proposals on how to improve grouping on the official WoW suggestion forums. I replied that I'd never do that, because the official WoW forums are such a horrible place, where no intelligent discussion takes place. No reasonable person even visits them without wearing an asbestos suit. Any suggestion to change anything in World of Warcraft is shouted down by whatever small vocal minority is currently profiting from the existing imbalances, or by the religious types who think that any change to the sacrosanct entity that is WoW is a blasphemy. And the other forum posters are just trying to derail any thread to become a discussion of their pet peeve instead, or just plain post without wanting to say anything, just to increase their post count.

So that reader wrote me back and asked me *why* the WoW forums where that way, and how they had become such a horrible place. And I don't really know. I assume it has to do with the small chance to get attention from developers or an official "blue name" response. As these are rare, forum posters fight for attention the way a pack of hungry wolves would fight if they were given just a single rabbit. They verbally kick other posters to hold them down, so they can get to the top themselves.

What is your opinion about the official World of Warcraft forums? Are they a good place to discuss ideas, and if not, why, and how did they become that way?

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