Sunday, January 6, 2008

Is The BRK Forum Redundant?

Although it's nearly two weeks old now, there was a post here which mentioned in passing the concept that the BRK Forum was "unnecessarily redundant."

While I might agree with the author that my own attempt at a forum apparently was genuinely redundant, I'm going to make a spirited attempt to argue that BRK's isn't redundant. In doing so, I'm possibly going to make a couple of statements which will range from being somewhat controversial to possibly offending at least a few people, for which I apologise in advance. However, this is a rant which, if I'm honest, has actually been building inside me ever since I first visited the official Hunter forum, and as such, it needs to be expressed.

The above-linked blog post also mentions that BRK's forum has a somewhat less "hardcore," feel to it than Elitist Jerks in particular. I'm going to come out and say something which I've felt for a while, here...and that is that at least in terms of that board's representatives that I saw on the official Hunter forum, EJ is or was extremely appropriately named. The irony, of course, is that the name undoubtedly would have been meant as satire, and so from that point of view, it's just too bad for them that in all seriousness it ended up being such a good fit.

For a private forum, of course, that is neither here nor there...the owners of a private board are entirely free to do whatever they want. However, for a public forum, which the official WoW forum inevitably is, to serve as merely being a mutually ego-gratifying circle jerk for a small, select group of people at the level cap, represents an entirely inappropriate hijacking of the forum's legitimate purpose.

I'm also not talking about anything remotely resembling worthwhile theorycrafting here, either. I'm talking about extremely vocal crying about the game's mechanics by such individuals, who prefer to attribute their lack of effectiveness to supposedly broken mechanics rather than their own base incompetence at playing the game, and acts of collaborative terrorism in which blatant (and sadly, at least partly successful) attempts were made to coerce the developers into "adjusting" the mechanics according to said individuals' preferences.

So that then begs the question. Why does this matter? Why is a level cap circle jerk such an inappropriate use of the official forum?

The short answer is because people at the level cap (despite their own view that they are the only group with any valid reason to exist) aren't the only people who use the forum. I wouldn't be able to count the number of times I've seen requests for guidance from new users go entirely unanswered in the official Hunter forum, when the attention of everyone else there has been devoted to yet another crying thread originating from a narcissist at the level cap. Something especially ironic is that on occasion, when I or someone else (such as Wolfstalker in particular) have attenpted to answer one of these requests for help, we've actually been attacked by one of the 70s for doing so.

Hence, the point is that BRK's forum is most definitely NOT redundant. We need someone with readership at BRK's level to host a forum that isn't as "hardcore" (read: full of moronic egotists who think that the two endgame pastimes, raiding or the arena, are the only two justifiable activities within this game) where newer Hunters (and even older ones) can go to give and receive advice in a humble, positive, mature, and sane environment.

That isn't something you're going to find either in the official forum, or (to a lesser extent) Elitist Jerks. This is something which we've needed for years, but which only now do we really have much possibility of actually obtaining. BRK's forum, far from being redundant, is thus potentially far more important than he might realise.

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