Not playing WoW, but with its gadgets and community

As you know, I just got forums going. That took quite some time to implement, and a lot of planning and thinking beforehand. I wasn’t playing WoW then but was doing stuff for it, or about it. How much time do you think Tekkub, Shadowed, Shazear, ‘Kahorie‘ or Ciderhelm spend with their addons, Rawr, simulator or official fan site? How about the time Whitetooth invested in calculating the diminishing returns and cap on miss?

A remarkable thing about WoW is how we can find pleasure in the technology or community around the game itself.

I don’t know how much time it is for the other guys, yet expect Shazear will answer this in forums, so let me just say I spent nearly all day and half the evening on Friday just implementing the forums here. So about 12 hours. I don’t think I logged onto the game on the day for my daily, don’t remember.

Any active blogger does a similar thing. To name just a few Veneretio, Rhidach, Hinenuitepo, Karatheya or Khaas spend a fair bit of time blogging instead of gaming. Which reminds me, I’ll update my blogroll in a forum post later today. That’s a sample of those I follow.

Guild leaders and officers also invest time in the logistics of raiding, rather than raiding itself, out of hours. My guild’s GM is going to write up a strat overview for Sindragosa, for example. Multiply that by the thousands of guilds who care about progression enough to have their own threads, on each boss, for each raid.

Personally, having been a programmer and analyst about 15 years ago, I still like doing technical and fiddly things. The forums presented me with tasks both technical and of information architecture, plus a little politics. That’s intrinsically rewarding for me, or I’d not do it, or I’d not even blog.

I know many GMs and Officers get tired of the guild management though. It’s generally not rewarding in and of itself. Raid leadership can be enjoyable, though, it can lead to burnout.

Curiously, you could argue that WoW’s “stickiness” or player-retention is also magnified by its community (we all know what ) but also its technical pursuits like addon development. That is a competitive advantage in that new MMOs need to build a complete API and development infrastructure into their games to truly compete with WoW. Many have zero UI customisation. Remember also that disabled players use the excellent keybinding flexibility and addons to allow them to play too, whilst in marketing-terms that’s a small additional market, it helps. Mac users can play WoW too, which really should be a best-practice model for other game developers. Why don’t they all invest in porting? It’s not actually that hard, and Apple will even help you if you’re a famous house.

To finish, I need to explain that some posts I’ll do herein will have comments disabled on the blog-side of pwnwear, so you need to use the forums to comment. This will be one such. I haven’t yet worked out the exact policy I’ll use to determine when I move comments to the forums, or when they remain with a dual-conversation of being in both places. It was one policy item I hadn’t thought through enough! :)

I made forum registration very easy, not requiring email verification, instead using a little Q&A game to prove you’re not a spambot.

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