Graphics. Gameplay. Loot. Quests.
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones and Elisabeth "Kiara" Grey
All of these things make up a game. But the most important part of a game? The community. So, what makes a community good enough to keep a game afloat when she should crash and burn?
Community starts before launch. Before beta even. It starts way back when the game's official forums go live for the first time. So then, what is it that makes the community strong?
The community representative.
The community manager type is the heart and soul of a game's community. Even the people who never touch the game's forums, still know who the community manager is. Long before beta, this person builds the community. Shapes them. Draws people from all over the world together into a cohesive family. Binds everyone through a common interest.
Other community manager's may come and go, but the first... Ah the first is always special. The first community manager for a game leaves an indelible impression.
In Everquest 2 the first community manager was Moorgard. He was amazing. He shaped the community in ways no one else could have done. And even though we were a good four community managers in, when he left, it was a blow.
Gods and Heroes has just recently lost their first community manager. The man who brought them all together and forged them into a family.
How will the Gods and Heroes community react? They'll go on of course. They'll continue on with their lives and the game they've been waiting for so long. But there will always be a little piece missing from it all. Kind of like the first holiday with someone missing. Launch, a much anticipated day, will have a touch of the bittersweet for the people on whom Deo had the most impact.
The passing of Deo wasn't unnoticed by many of those following the progress of Gods and Heroes. He was the face of the game to many, and his contributions to the community can't be overlooked. It was easy to see the passion in his work, and while everyone has wished him well, the question remains how will this affect the game and it's players?
What is a community manager? A community manager fills a vital role within an organization, and is especially important in a game still in development. A community manager gets involved with the players, passes on critical feedback to the development teams by identifying important concerns, and provides developer responses to such concerns to the joy or anger of the players. In short, they are the eyes and ears of Perpetual, watching what players want, hearing what they don't like, and trying to anticipate issues which will prevent Gods and Heroes from being a successful MMO.
Deo was very familiar with Gods and Heroes, and the transition of putting someone else in those shoes may hurt them in the short run. There is hope though, we still have Binky! Binky has been heavily involved in the community as well and seems to be stepping up to pick up the slack. I'm confident Perpetual will have Binky handle Deo's duties well and we won't miss a beat. It was an exciting week last week with Deo leaving, but it'll be more exciting to see what happens from here.