The allure of class forums

One of the features of WoW fandom is just how strong the different class communities have become. Even though the game now is much more likely to nudge a player towards multiple alts (if they weren’t already that way inclined), the community formed in an era where most people had a definitive main character. So they picked a class they liked and committed to it, and it pretty much defined the lens through which they saw the game.

Forums are also brilliant resources. They form communities and let people share information, which is handy in a game like an MMO where information changes with every patch so information sources need to change too. I really feel that knowing that there is a strong and welcoming community is a great lure to new players (as long as they can find it.) I also think that players find class based forums to be safe spaces in which to cry on each other’s shoulders about nerfs and admit that maybe they do need some tips.

But I do wonder how many people read every forum for every class of which they have an alt – and that’s even before adding in other in-game interests such as crafting, making gold on the auction house, pets, and so on which also have dedicated forum communities.

And if so, do they switch from the mental model  of “Now I am a paladin and I will cry with my paladin brethren about the upcoming changes” to “I will now put my warlock hat on and bitch about paladins with my warlock mates!”

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5 thoughts on “The allure of class forums

  1. I don’t use the class forums, the EU priest forums contains little that isn’t people asking simple questions. I don’t mind answering questions from new priests, but I have stopped going as there is nothing there for me as a long-standing priest.

    I understand the US priest forums are quite good though. :-(

    But you are right – I am first and foremost a priest, even though I don’t really play her at the moment at all (levelling alts for a tradeskill stable). I do adore my first proper alt (kitty/boomkin druid), but even for beta stuff I don’t pay attention to any other class mechanics but priests.

    People are strange I guess. ;-)

  2. “I will now put my warlock hat on and bitch about paladins with my warlock mates!”

    I’m convinced this is what happens :) Maybe not right at the start but eventually, as a player starts to focus more and more on their alt, they start to think that way. Objectivity and historic reference goes out of the window as one gets more absorbed in their current class.

    Class forums can be a great outlet for this necessary griping and a good means of gathering them into one place. It’s the developer’s job though to shift through it and determine what’s valid and what’s rubbish though :D

  3. I have 12 toons of different classes in EQ2. I’ve got 1 “main” and I do check its forum just about every time I’m on the boards, but the others I only worry about if one of the alts has caught my fancy and I’m actively working on it.

  4. I don’t visit the class forums anymore, they are too depressing. Back then when I still visited them I recognized a pattern: I was totally happy with my class and had no problems at all. Then I visited the class forum and afterwords I was in a “the sky is falling”-mood. So I don’t go there anymore and proceed to be happy with my class.

    People playing different classes could also lead to less crying. At least for me it was the end of “faction x gets all the good stuff”-talk when I started playing both Alliance and Horde.

  5. The class forums (NA at least) always seemed to me to be the best place to go when starting a new alt (whether ‘starting’ for you means at level 1 or at 80 starting to gear up).

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