Social Architectures in MMOs
From Adventure to Task Completion
Third-party databases also tend to remove a sense of adventure by revealing every possible aspect of the world in the form of well-documented tables and guides.
You'd be hard-pressed to find any aspect of WoW that isn't well-documented online somewhere, complete with video footage and everything. [F, 33]
Maps, databases, etc. have taken the mystery out of playing. While it saves time and minimizes frustration, I think in doing so, they've also killed a big part of what makes the games exciting. Yes, it's nice to see what the quest reward is going to be, but it removes any surprises you might have had. Adventuring, finding things out for yourself, discovering things, etc. is a huge part of what makes games fun and interesting. It saddens me that to really enjoy a game, you have to make a conscious effort to avoid or ignore all the tips and info available. [F, 40]
As several players noted, there is no such thing as an adventure when everything is already well-documented. Gaming becomes more simply about task completion, without a need to interact with other players or adventuring into the unknown. Not asking for help and not stopping to chat becomes a cultural norm.
Nobody ever will stop for a chat outside of a Roleplaying server. If you met someone in a mid-level zone while questing, chances are you'd pass them by. You're on a quest and your mission is to get it done, probably ASAP. They're probably thinking the same thing and you'll pass right by. Who knows what interesting conversations you could've had. If you happen to meet doing the same quest, you'll probably join up for a while, slaughter a few minions together then part ways. I could swear that about 75% of people you meet randomly like this will be so intent on completing a quest and moving on to get the next quest are so incredibly focused on it, barely a word will be exchanged between you. There's such an incredibly selfish behaviour when it comes to questing to GET IT DONE that it becomes bigger than anything else. [M, 20]
I think thottbott has created more of a Task-oriented game world. I have a quest, look up where to go and what to do, complete, get a new quest. As a result the 'discovery' aspect of the game has lessened significantly. [M, 42]
Creates Elitist Subculture
The centralization of information on game mechanics and class builds also provides the foundation for min-maxers and hard-core players to create the "best" builds, whether in terms of class spec or gear setups. In such an environment, players become aware of and can regulate the "right" and "wrong" ways to play a character.
Also, players are encouraged to run only certain builds, and attempts at innovation are highly discouraged. A build database, PvX Wiki, is often referenced when telling people what to run. Granted, not all skills in the game are created (or kept) equal, but build databases like PvX Wiki do their part to ensure that players in the game run only 3-4 different builds per profession at a time. [M, 23]
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