There’s a reason why massive online games can remain popular and relevant for years, while other games fall into obscurity: their communities.
Games like Minecraft or World of Warcraft stand a good chance of surviving for another decade or more, thanks to the devoted fan-base that continues to provide them with support and enthusiasm. Whether your game of choice offers communities in the form of parties, guilds or entire servers, you probably already know that the people you game with can become closer to you than the people you see every day in person.
Their close-knit groups are typically the result of one or two individuals working hard to keep everything cohesive. If you would like to manage an online gaming community, there are a few simple rules to follow to make sure that your group thrives.
First, you will need to bring in a reasonable number of people to get your community off the ground. Some people already have friends in mind when they start, making this step an easy one. If not, however, your best bet will be to advertise on web forums based around the game. When making your thread, consider what benefits your community has to offer. Are you a guild of legendary warriors ready to take on the most dangerous of foes, or are you oriented toward helping newbies get off to a good start? Hardware performance should also be mentioned. For example, if you are involved in Minecraft hosting or run another type of server, how fast is your host? Are you up 99% of the time? You need to pique players’ interest so that you can close the deal in-game.
Once you have some prospective members, it’s time to show them why they should join you. If you run a server, show off any mods you’ve installed or let players enjoy a “vanilla” game without them. Guild-masters should have interested individuals meet some of the more important members, and perhaps invite them to join a trial raid on a dungeon. Once you are established and have a good reputation, you should have players lining up to beg you for admission!
Maintaining Your Community
After your community is running strong and growing, the most difficult phase of all kicks in. Keeping members happy and satisfied isn’t always easy, particularly within the competitive atmosphere of a game. There will be squabbles, arguments and bored players who leave for something new. By keeping a moderator active at all times and coming up with regular events, however, you can avoid some of these pitfalls. Hold raffles for coveted items, lead missions or projects and stay active to keep your members loyal and appeal to newcomers. You will inevitably lose a few players, so work on keeping up a positive turnover rate to prevent a long decline. As the leader of your online gaming community, success or failure depends entirely on you. Remember that fairness and reliability are the first steps to establishing trust within any game’s fan-base, so be polite, be honest and remember to have fun while you’re at it!
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