Mark Jacobs made a post on the Warhammer alliance forums yesterday making his position on Official Forums for Warhammer Online once again very clear. We’re never going to see Warhammer Online official forums. Here is his reasoning:
An unofficial timeline for official MMORPG forums:
What follows (for clarity’s sake) is the kind of stuff said by players/non-players on these forums.
T minus 180 days till launch
Life is beautiful, the devs are great, the birds are merrily chirping away, oh look, there’s a heretic who thinks that the game will suck, stone him, drive him off! The birds are merrily chirping away.
T minus 90 days till launch
Oh man, this game can’t launch, it’s not ready yet. Yes it is, no, it’s not. This game is gonna tank big time. The devs suck! No they don’t, things are still fine, the birds are still singing! Yeah, but they’re vultures you moron!
That’s why I don’t want to have official forums. Whether it was SOE, Blizzard or us, official or semi-official forums are exactly like I described above for every successful MMORPG that I have played or watched from afar (and that is *most* of them). The unsuccessful ones were even worse. The problem is that most people who read the boards are looking for information and a reasonable number of people want to cause trouble, “grief” the forums or simply get their jollies by saying and doing things that they wouldn’t do in real life. As usual, a small percentage of people make life more difficult for everyone else…” – Mark Jacobs
I understand his reasons perfectly but I’m on the fence right now. A few point-counter points: Official boards are a great way for devs to communicate with the community –but Mythic has the Herald. Official boards are a spawning pit of trolls/hate mongers/and all other forms of low life – but some legitimate discussions, ideas, questions, and dev to community discourse occur.
Right now my only real concern that I feel hasn’t been addressed is the dev to community communication in a form other than the Herald’s feedback system (which was discussed many months ago). Right now the Mythic peeps are very active on message boards. Classic Case A with most games: Devs stop posting soon after launch. Classic Case B: Devs pay attention to some boards but not others. Looking at Warhammer Alliance vs. Other boards it’s very clear the latter has already begun.
So, whether we like it or not, WAR will have no official boards.