Ryan Shwayder, a game designer for 38 Studios, recently put in his two cents on the official vs. unofficial forums argument. He originally called official forums a necessary evil but when prompted by Warhammer Alliance forum administrator, Garthilk, to name three things official forums could do that unofficial forums couldn't, he changed his tune a bit.
In a response post, Blackguard (aka Ryan Shwayder), commented that both forum-types were necessary and neither actually evil. He then listed off three things official forums could do that unofficial forums couldn't. To bring some balance, he also listed three pros of unofficial forums. Ryan believes official forums have a leg up on developer-to-player communication, ownership (the forums won't close if admins lose interest), and integration with official web tools and in-game features. Alternatively, unofficial forums have a leg up with less restrictive codes of conduct, a stronger focus on micro-communities, and feature innovation through creativity. Some of the commenters on his post shared a sentiment that they would like to see official forums focus more on developer-to-player communication and technical support, while the unofficial forums focus more on class forums and creative discussion. What are your thoughts?
We recently had a chance to interview both WHA and IGN regarding Mythic's official forum announcement and we will share that with you early next week.