11/11/2014

Community Love

As a blogger I'm probably more involved with the community of my game of choice than most players, but sometimes I still feel that it would be nice to stay on top of things more efficiently than I currently do. Sadly I'm a bit old school in terms of my social networking. I like blogs, but they are not as popular as they used to be. I never watch livestreams, just the occasional recording of a highlight. I use Twitter, but only very sporadically. And while I like podcasts, I find it frustrating how hard it is to keep up with them. (Compare the time investment of reading ten blogs to that of listening to ten podcasts!)

The one thing I have been trying to do is to always keep my blogroll and link list updated, removing sites that have gone dead and adding new ones as I find them, even if I don't actually visit them consistently. The power of simply being connected is not to be underestimated. I'm happy to say that these link lists have seen some serious growth this year. I even had to split the podcasts off into their own section, since having everything in one place was starting to get unwieldy.

I think back to around mid-2012 and how frustrating it was to see the game I loved shrink as much as it did, which meant that at least one fan site closed up shop pretty much every other week. I see something similar happening to Wildstar right now, except that (at least from the outside) it looks like what they are going through is even worse. Either way the remaining fans have my sympathy. Word of mouth is important, and seeing others lose faith in your game or even badmouthing it can be very demotivating.

I felt that 2013 was a fairly quiet year for the SWTOR community. The game stabilised and the people bashing it moved on to greener pastures and newer games, but there wasn't exactly a huge amount of good news to report either.

But this year... I've been feeling really good about the game and what I've been seeing in the community. Revenue is apparently down, but EA actually dared to talk about the game in a positive way again earlier this year, and I felt that this surge of interest was reflected in community activity as well. New podcasts cropped up left and right, and they banded together for co-operative projects to share the love. New fan sites appeared to cover new demands - when Galactic Strongholds came out for example, TOR Decorating immediately provided an amazing go-to resource for this new part of the game.

My favourite new addition is more recent: SWTOR Network, a moderated aggregate site for game and community related news and opinion pieces. No more having to click through all the links in my side bar when I'm looking for what's new; I can just go to SWTOR Network and see it all neatly condensed in one place.

If you haven't been that involved with the community outside of the game yourself recently, I can only recommend giving it (another) look. There are a lot of dedicated content creators out there now, and it's a pleasure to read or listen to them. (And if you're a content creator yourself, why not share your stuff on SWTOR Network for all to see?)

3 comments :

  1. There's still a lot of SWTOR fanishness over on Tumblr. Mostly fanfic, fanart, and roleplay but the enthusiasm is definitely still there.

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  2. I believe that SWTOR is now finally getting to be the game that people hoped it would be on launch: engaging class stories, end game content, PvP starfighter combat, player housing.

    In a way, I'm glad it's where it is, because the people who would stir up crap on chat channels (or in pugs) are back to WoW raising hell.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think it will ever be the game that people wanted it to be at launch, but it's definitely getting there. I mean, we are even getting class stories back! (Even if they only come in small chunks...)

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