April 10, 2012
Closer to the Stars Banner

[GW2] Social Networking? In *MY* MMO?!

This post is going to be polarising, I can tell you that in advance. But that’s fine. Controversy is my middle name.

(This is a lie. My middle name is FAR worse than ‘controversy’. In fact, ‘controversy’ would be kind of a cool middle name. Errrr… I’m digressing aren’t I!)

Social Networking Sites

Some people love them. Some people hate them. twitterThe latter are generally very vocal about their hatred. MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and a whole host of sites I’ve never heard of all operate on the premise of allowing you to be social with people without actually having to socialise physically with people. There’s a lot of argument and discussion about how social networking actually harms social interaction, but that’s a topic I’m not touching without the aid of an Asuran HyperExtendable Flame-retardant MagiPole.

I’m generally quite happy with my internet presence. I have a Facebook account (with max privacy options, naturally — don’t want the kids from schools seeing anything from my private life) and two twitter accounts: one for random everyday crap (which this blog links to) and one for more professional stuff (which barely gets used — Note that this doesn’t imply I’m unprofessional :P). I also have a G+ account but since that hasn’t taken off as much as Google might have liked, I don’t use it all that much.

tumblrFor someone whose friends are all very busy people, social networking and IM clients like Steam and FB chat allow me to snatch the odd moment of their time when they aren’t writing their next thesis, planning their next seminar, or looking after their kids.

I use Twitter much like I use this blog: to post random thoughts and/or crap that I think people should know about. I also use it as a soapbox and ranting platform, though I’m sure to point out that people don’t have to listen or agree with me, unlike a lot of people on the internet who believe that their opinion is Law™.

A thought occurred to me this evening when I was playing RIFT of all things. In fact, I’ve been playing a fair whack of RIFT over the last few days: started leveling a Defiant character to see how the “other side” levels, and have really been enjoying my time and renewed interest in the game after playing a few closed betas as of late.

For as much as people may attack RIFT as being a WoW-clone, it is my belief that (for the stuff that I’ve seen and done) it remains the most polished MMORPG on the market. Now, before you shout and say stuff about PvP balance and raid content bugs etc, bear in mind that I don’t PvP in RIFT, nor do I even do dungeons, let alone raid, so what I’m really talking about is the general PvE leveling experience and max level (not endgame) content.

I could talk for a while about the features RIFT has put in since launch that I really like (cross faction mailing is awesome), but what I really want to highlight is their ‘RIFTCONNECT‘


Pretty much right from the start of service, RIFTCONNECT has been an integral part of the game, allowing you to link your RIFT account to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube. It allows you to post text, images, and video directly to these four social networking/media sites through the use of the ‘/blast’ slash command to send media to all sites linked at once, or a series of different slash commands for individual services.

Recording video and uploading straight to YouTube is a great feature, though I’ve personally never used it. In fact, I’ve only really used the Twitter connection, since my tweets are linked to FB anyways — didn’t want to double dip on the updates.

In fact, I was playing RIFT earlier and reading Martin Kerstein’s GW2 tweets while taking my cleric through the opening quests in Scarlet Gorge. I could have set up Twitter, or a Twitter client, on my second monitor and kept up to date with the run-up to the pre-purchase site opening, but I didn’t need to take that extra step. I could get all my info in-game.

RIFTCONNECT also allows you to automatically post Achievements and Discoveries you gain — which admittedly can get a bit spammy if you just log in after a major content patch. I remember when Ember Isle was just released and I was up after not being able to sleep, so I got about fifteen server firsts for item Discoveries and being the first person on the server to finish this or that quest chain. Nevertheless, it’s a really cool feature, as long as you don’t mind everyone knowing you’re playing a certain game.

What I’m trying to get at is that it’s a nice OPTION to have.

And, thus, I’d really like it if Guild Wars 2 had a similar feature.


…. waits some more ….

Okay, now those of you who are swearing at your monitor that this is an awful suggestion, or raging that social networking is destroying our societies… now that you’ve calmed down… I refer you back to the word “option”.

facebookI personally would love to be able to read my Twitter feed in-game, as well as tweet out. I’d love to have all the features that RIFT has, in fact, including YouTube recording, if ANet could make it work. RIFTCONNECT is optional. MISTCONNECT (work in progress name) could work exactly the same way. It’d be even more awesome if you could pick and choose from a list of things that the game could automatically post about (which I don’t think RIFT actually has currently — it’s all or nothing afaik).

I don’t know how difficult RIFT’s version was to implement, but it’s a convenience that I’d really like to see migrate into GW2. I don’t mind the “real world” breaking into my chat log in RIFT, and I see no reason why it would harm my GW2 experience, assuming it was entirely optional and can be signed into and out of at will. Considering GW2’s emphasis on being social, as well as its rather robust achievements system, I can only see wins in this scenario.

I appreciate that not everyone is going to see this idea as a good one, however, so sound off in the comments below if you’re for or against social networking inclusion in Guild Wars 2.


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Written by: demajen
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About the Author

Jon Burrage, aka Demajen. Urban Sci-Fantasy writer, digital artist, supply teacher, evil genius. One of these things is not like the others...



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  1. […] Demajen: Social networking? In *MY* MMO? An interesting take on the possibility of in-game Twitter readers etc. […]

  2. […] Demajen — Social Networking? In *MY* MMO?! “This post is going to be polarising, I can tell you that in advance. But that’s fine. Controversy is my middle name. (This is a lie. My middle name is FAR worse than ‘controversy’. In fact, ‘controversy’ would be kind of a cool middle name. Errrr… I’m digressing aren’t I!)” […]

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