Poll: I need some opinions on the Blizzard Community.

Jmp_man

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Ok, so I need some help. More specifically help on determining the "Health" of the Blizzard community.

As you know Blizzard is in the process of developing a game called Overwatch (It's a team based FPS for those of you who have been in a coma). Now the concerning thing is that games like Overwatch rely heavily on interaction between players perhaps even more so then MMOs due to the fact that you aren't forced to team up all the time in most MMOs, nor are you forced to fight other players. I also know FPS's tend bring out the worst in people (second only to MOBAs). It's also in closed beta, and closed betas tend to keep people on their best behavior so it's kind of hard to judge just by the beta alone.

Basically here's the kicker and the concern: This game can live or die by it's community, and changing a community takes a long time. Even more so for Blizzard in my opinion because of the sheer size of the community. There seems to be almost no time left to turn the community in any direction (for the good or the bad).

I just need some more opinions on the Blizzard community as a whole. It does look like a fun game and I really want to get Blizzard back into my good graces, but if I wind up playing with assholes 50% of the time. Well... let's just say I won't be picking it up again.

I also think I'm just gonna put in a poll for those of you who don't want to reply (I kind of had fun with the poll... sorry). I would really appreciate it if you replied to keep the discussion going, and to possibly provide examples.

TL;DR: What do you think about the Blizzard community?
 

Mezahmay

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Dec 11, 2013
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While I actually think the Blizzard community is generally fine based on years of WoW experience and some Diablo 3 and Hearthstone experience, I also feel that is entirely moot. They're very different games with very different definitions of competition. In fact, I'd bet real money that if Hearthstone actually allowed in-game chat during a match it would probably be the worst Blizzard game community by far. But since it doesn't, it's more difficult to lash out at specific players directly.

However, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm do not have that luxury. As far as I've heard Heroes of the Storm is working its way toward standard MOBA community. As often as I hear people disliking this comparison for some reason, Overwatch appears at least superficially similar to TF2. I don't often hear about the awfulness of the TF2 community since everyone is too wrapped up in the hat economy. I hope Blizzard moderates their communities carefully enough to keep competition up while minimizing harassment. They've certainly got their work out for them.
 

LetalisK

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Jmp_man said:
Basically here's the kicker and the concern: This game can live or die by it's community,
Why's that? As you point out, MOBAs in general have a reputation for having some of the most toxic communities. CoD has a similar reputation for having a bad community and it was also one of the hallmarks of Counterstrike(as tame as it may seem in retrospect). Yet they're very profitable and popular despite their communities. Why is this game any different? That said, I don't think the community is particularly good or bad either way.
 

Fishyash

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They're okay. That's all I can say really.

There are lots of assholes around though. It depends on the game though. My experiences have been with WoW, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2. I also play Hearthstone but there's pretty much no player interaction in-game, so the "community" is pretty much reduced to whining on the Hearthstone forums (note: I know the WoW forums is also a cesspit of whining too). So as far as I'm concerned, Hearthstone has no community.

WoW has a pretty varied community from what I've played. Generally, if you join a guild you will find a fairly good set of people to be with, although there are exceptions, mainly the guilds who just invite anyone in without getting to know them yet. 1-to-1 conversations tend to go well, too.

On the other hand, in PvP (in general) and to a lesser extent Random Dungeons (I never played enough to do LFR), you will probably find more assholes.

Warcraft 3 I had the least experience with. I'm pretty bad at RTSs and to be honest the people I matched up with weren't very welcoming to newcomers, either in 1v1 or teams... especially teams.

Diablo 2, I joined in pretty late in its lifespan, it was a pretty small community, mainly filled with adults, and also teengaers with the ego matching the FGC. It was a small community though, I didn't try to get into it but I duelled some people and traded on d2jsp every now and then.

What do I think of the community as a whole? It depends on the game I think: different genres attract different mindsets, in my opinion. And since Overwatch is in a genre Blizzard hasn't made a game for, I'd instead turn to other games in that genre and what THEIR communities are like, rather than Blizzard's. The only thing I know is consistent about Blizzard games and their communities, is that their forums consist of 90% reactive whining, and that barely represents the community in the game.
 

Little Gray

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The best way to describe Blizzard fans is to compare them to a four year old throwing a temper tantrum. They are never happy and even if you give them exactly what they want they still complain about it.

Like any community though there is always going to be more then enough mature and intelligent people to play with.
 

VanQ

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Oct 23, 2009
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The WoW community seems healthier than ever on Horde side, and worse than ever on Alliance side. Horde side mostly has progression focused players that know how to act mature, no matter their age, and put in the effort to get things done or get out of your way so you can get things done. The very worst I've seen since I started playing Horde was some anal spam in trade chat and the occasional asshole here and there.

Alliance has this incredible divide between much older and extremely young players that creates this atmosphere of clash between its own players. I tried raiding with Alliance on an alt for some time, the players were lazy, uninvested in the game and prone to rage quitting and arguing with each other. In PvP, Alli has a very XBox Live feel to the community, where I see the most profane shit in chat whether you're winning or losing. While I experienced a bad player from time to time on Horde, on Alliance I experience them daily and in large numbers.

As a note, I've been playing Horde and Alliance for about 10 years now and my experience of the factions come from US-Thrall Horde and US-Frostmourne Alliance.


Hearthstone's community exists only in the forums, and mostly consists of players that argue that X card is/is not OP, Blizzards nerf of Y card was great/the end of the world and that the new cards are awesome/dildos.


StarCraft's community is highly competitive but actually quite friendly when you manage to find yourself in it. Have a few good matches and you'll likely end up with a couple of friend requests with players around your level to play with. It's extremely rare that I've ever seen anything halfway negative in game. The forums are the usual metagame stuff, discussion of strats, patches and nerfs.


Now the most recent and most relevant one would be Heroes of the Storm community. Which is not worth judging at the moment because while it's still in alpha, the community is nothing more than a bunch of players lucky enough to have gotten an invite. The community is small but at the moment it's one of the best I've been a part of. The HotS forums are full of people giving Blizzard feedback and ideas for current and possible new Heroes, the game is stil new so people are still enjoying sharing builds and strats with each other and the communit is all around quite helpful.

I have rarely seen a game end and NOT seen the good ol' "GG" pop up in chat from several of the players. That is such a refreshing sight. In a game as competitive as MOBAs, the communities are usually quite toxic, I quit LoL/HoN/DOTA2 because I was sick of Russians and Brazilians spamming me with hate in game and reporting me after the game for not speaking their language on the US/Oceanic servers. I wish I was joking. In HotS, it could just be the small community and open beta might change this radically, but the community is currently wonderful.
 

Falling_v1legacy

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Nov 3, 2009
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"I just need some more opinions on the Blizzard community as a whole. It does look like a fun game and I really want to get Blizzard back into my good graces, but if I wind up playing with assholes 50% of the time. Well... let's just say I won't be picking it up again."

What do you mean by Blizzard community? Some of their games are pretty disparate and therefore there are multiple hubs of communities. For instance, I'm a part of the Starcraft community and therefore mostly hang out on Team Liquid. But while there is a thread on WoW, Team Liquid is certainly not where the majority of WoW players exist. Similarily, Team Liquid has a subforum for Diablo 3, but while we are Starcraft central for English speaking websites, we are by no means the centre of the Diablo 3 community. Furthermore, parts of the the community will exist on different parts of the internet- Blizzard forums, sub Reddits, etc. Each one has their own culture and therefore the quality of communities varies substantially.

tldr: I don't think there is a "Blizzard community" but there are multiple and VERY different communities based around all their games.
 

Mezahmay

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Fishyash said:
It depends on the game though. My experiences have been with WoW, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2. I also play Hearthstone but there's pretty much no player interaction in-game, so the "community" is pretty much reduced to whining on the Hearthstone forums (note: I know the WoW forums is also a cesspit of whining too). So as far as I'm concerned, Hearthstone has no community.
While I agree with you 100% on the WoW forums (especially realm forums: whining as far as the eye can see,) I find your definition of the Hearthstone community too reductive. It has a huge community, it just interacts through fan sites like HearthPwn, subreddits, and Twitch streams instead of in-game clans or actual match communication. While I feel this was done for the sake of accessibility, Hearthstone's format lends itself better to that than any other Blizzard game.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Genre tends to be a far greater determinant of "community quality" than developer or game, as people can and do hop from game to game freely. I've played dozens of MMOs, and the community was pretty much the same every time out. Some good people, a smattering of assholes, and a wide swath of largely silent players who are like bots with good AI.

If Overwatch trends more towards a shooter, it'll have more of a shooter community. If it trends more towards a MOBA, it'll get some of the MOBA community. As delightful as they are known to be.
 

The Madman

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In my experience with Hearthstone and WOW recently there tends to be a lot of complaining but that's about it, compared to a good deal other online community there's not too much toxicity. Cynicism and whining aplenty, but little outright anger or hostility.
 

babinro

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Overall Assholes

This opinion comes from someone whose main experience with Blizzard games ONLINE is Diablo 2, Diablo 3, and Hearthstone.

As far as the community is concerned with these games...it's straight up embarrassing. Diablo as a franchise is all about people trying to take advantage of you, scam you, hack your account and just make your life miserable in order for them to get ahead. My experience with Diablo 2's online game was so consistently negative for the time that I ultimately choose to play the game's offline single player for the last several years I stuck with it.

This isn't saying that 100% of the people you meet are horrible. Of course not. But it was enough for me to take action where I never felt the need to do so with any other online game.

Enter Diablo 3.

Same general experience but less invasive due to the AH. You quickly learned that you could NEVER trade or trust anyone in game thanks to D2's community. TONS of scams existed in the in game trade of D3. You could quickly and conveniently ignore them thanks to the AH. That said...the experience was still rather negative. The chat channels were filled with hate speech. Several times a day you'd have an innocent comment followed by a negative reply that would lead to anti-homosexual remarks and then racist remarks. You also had people flipping in the AH and abusing exploits to directly impact the experience of those who played the game 'fair'. Even if you ignored the online experience entirely you'd get flooded with spam friend invites from sellers. Reaper of Souls has made a HUGE push to remove the toxic community from the franchise through BOA. It's trying to force people to co-operative rather than competitive.

Enter Hearthstone.

Here's a game that Blizzard takes steps to minimize human interaction because of the realities of it's toxic community. Yet people continue to try and ruin your experience as much as they can. Either through emote spamming, waiting out turn timers, or sending friend requests just to curse you out and unfriend you.

Enter forums.

I've followed the forums for years now in Diablo 3 and for a long time in Hearthstone. Anything you experience in game is dialed up 10x worse in the forums. Blizzard forums are entertaining in their absurdity but the toxic community within them is readily visible. These people are awful.

I don't play many games online so my experiences may seem tame to others out there. But based on my experiences it's easy to say that Blizzard has THE worst community in all of gaming. If they were just angry that would be fine. If they were just disappointed that would be fine. Blizzard community goes soo much further though. They actively want to hurt your fun even if it they gain nothing from it.
 

Eddie the head

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When I played wow. Mostly ok. There where some assholes, but for every person who was a total dick there was another who was really nice. Hell I met one of my friends by killing him in pvp a few times. I just hoped over to an alt and was like "dude that was fun." And he had a really grate attitude about it.
 

Fishyash

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Mezahmay said:
Fishyash said:
It depends on the game though. My experiences have been with WoW, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2. I also play Hearthstone but there's pretty much no player interaction in-game, so the "community" is pretty much reduced to whining on the Hearthstone forums (note: I know the WoW forums is also a cesspit of whining too). So as far as I'm concerned, Hearthstone has no community.
While I agree with you 100% on the WoW forums (especially realm forums: whining as far as the eye can see,) I find your definition of the Hearthstone community too reductive. It has a huge community, it just interacts through fan sites like HearthPwn, subreddits, and Twitch streams instead of in-game clans or actual match communication. While I feel this was done for the sake of accessibility, Hearthstone's format lends itself better to that than any other Blizzard game.
You bring up a fair point. Fan sites also represent the community of a game. In that respect, Hearthstone has a fairly nice community from what I've seen. Although I still am not a big fan of the lack of player interaction in-game, and that means even with the fan sites, youtube channels, subreddits and twitch streams, it won't paint as accurate a picture of the game's community as other Blizzard games.

Those fansites are more accurate and productive than the Blizzard forums will ever be though. Every time I see those forums I can't help but think they need to bring in some really agressive moderation just to make the overall post quality higher.
 

Ranorak

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Feb 17, 2010
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How can anyone judge this fairly?

I mean, last I checked the game has more then a million players, ranging from teens to adults, mom's to businessmen.
You can't judge a million or more people by what you encounter.

I have been playing WoW for 10 years, and yes, there is always an asshole in Ogrimmar shouting childish stuff, but what you don't realize is that there are hundreds op people standing around you just minding their own business. How are you judging them?

The forums are only a step above Youtube comments, but again, most people never even visit them.
Even if you have 5000 angry man-childs posting on the forum, that's still only 0.05%.
 

Gali

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Meh, I think it is nearly impossible to determine the quality of a community when it reaches a certain size - especially when we talk about all Blizzard games. Too many games, too many people, too many different languages/countries involved.

Thing is, assholes are always the most striking - often times also vocal - parts of a community. The more people you have, the more likely you encounter them. Plus, many people are very quiet when playing their game online.

So one could say when people ***** about Shooter, Moba, MMO communities and XBL being bad, they complain about a vocal minority in the end. I mean think about it, those genres are the most popular/played ones in gaming. When it comes to XBL, it is one of the oldest console online services and the most popular games played through it are... Shooters.

That doesn't mean those assholes are no prolem. But it is wrong to paint the whole community with the same brush because of the ones you meet. And it's not like developers don't provide tools for you to deal with them. If ignore/report & moving on doesn't do it for you, there are plenty of fansites and their communities out there to enhance your online experience. As someone already mentioned, TeamLiquid.net is a good example when it comes to Dota, Starcraft and Hearthstone.

I don't believe online games are that much dependend on their online community reputation. Otherwise those with the most "vile" communities wouldn't also be the most successfull ones. Being considered a fun/good game and effective marketing is the key.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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It's a matter of perspective; different servers tend to have different types of population. I played on a smaller server (Dragonblight), and I'd call the community about half-and-half. I'm not sure how much better or worse larger servers would be, though.

Still, even the worst WoW server isn't nearly as bad as most MOBA communities.
 

iLikeHippos

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It varies from game to game, because of how important the players are to each other. For instance...

- In SC II or WC III team-based games, there is a very high chance you will be called names if you are even below-average to the average player. Want to just have a fun time even if you aren't particularly good? There is no such thing; only victory, apparently.

- In Diablo II or III, people are generally nice. They revive you sometimes, can strike up a conversation about how fun it was that you all wiped, and some people even help you out by giving free legendary items. A quiet and reserved community I find.

- In WoW, it has gotten better over the years, and the players have started to mature a bit, but fucking hell if I haven't met some massively immature people on there, from age 8 to 80. I still have scars from accidentially needing on an item in a group the other players wanted, so they harassed me for a good hour and reported me to Blizzard and sent a tell to my Guild Master to kick me, just because of a fucking item that serves little purpose in the long run. And don't get me started on asking people when you are doing something wrong; I find it's an invitation to either a kick or an insult.

- Hearthstone community doesn't exist, there is only meta and youtube videos. Forums doesn't count.

So in summary, as long as you aren't directly affecting others, they won't put a finger on you. If Overwatch turns out to be highly co-op based, where if even a single player failing makes all the difference, then expect a shitstorm. And nothing less.
 

Hawki

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In all honesty, I don't think there's really any one "Blizzard community," and this is from someone who's played many of their games and interacts with said communities. Under the premise that a community forms around its games, Blizzard's games occupy a variety of genres, and your average user is not necessarily going to follow all of them. That said, from what I've seen:

-D3: More or less okay. While very aggravated after the initial D3 launch (to put it mildly...), with RoS, the community's mellowed out.

-WoW: Pretty much similar. WoW's chugging along, and I'd say that most WoW players are content to enjoy the ride while it lasts.

-SC2: By far the most aggressive IMO. I'd say that it's by virtue of SC2's competitive nature. With LotV revealed, there's already a raging storm about nerfs, OPness, etc.

-HotS: Mixed bag. Mostly positive, but there's still some antagonism. HotS may be intended as a casual game, but rest assured there's ever symptom of competitiveness in the community, in a manner similar to SC2.

-Hearthstone: Can't comment.

So yeah. That might help, but in all honesty, I think Overwatch will attract newcomers far more than pre-existing Blizzard fans (again with the whole genre thing).
 

someonehairy-ish

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I dunno if there's such thing as 'the Blizzard community'. There's a WoW community, and a Diablo community, and so on. Based on my time in WoW, it's generally pretty easy to find a friendly guild but randoms in dungeons and such are usually just quiet, assuming everything goes ok. If it doesn't, flame time, noob healer, noob tank, etc.

I have no idea what it's like in any other Blizzard game.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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Mezahmay said:
While I actually think the Blizzard community is generally fine based on years of WoW experience and some Diablo 3 and Hearthstone experience, I also feel that is entirely moot. They're very different games with very different definitions of competition. In fact, I'd bet real money that if Hearthstone actually allowed in-game chat during a match it would probably be the worst Blizzard game community by far. But since it doesn't, it's more difficult to lash out at specific players directly.

However, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm do not have that luxury. As far as I've heard Heroes of the Storm is working its way toward standard MOBA community. As often as I hear people disliking this comparison for some reason, Overwatch appears at least superficially similar to TF2. I don't often hear about the awfulness of the TF2 community since everyone is too wrapped up in the hat economy. I hope Blizzard moderates their communities carefully enough to keep competition up while minimizing harassment. They've certainly got their work out for them.
My experience with the Heroes of the Storm alpha has been much much better than the standard MOBA community. There are some toxic players but the majority of my matches have been really well rounded. Don't know if it is just due to the alpha being a small community or if Blizzard has fostered a generally accepting community with its games.