The other day I decided to rant about the 5 worst gaming communities that I'd had personal experiences with. This time I'm down at the other end of the spectrum, if you'll pardon the cliché, looking at the 5 best, friendliest and most helpful communities in gaming.
Like last time this is based on my own first hand experiences and you may agree with my assertions or you may not. Either way let me know in the comments below. Let's begin!
5) Rocket League
I have very recently got into Rocket League, after it was released for the Xbox One, which is perhaps partly why it has made this list (it's still fresh in my memory). I was immediately impressed with the friendliness of the player base and how the idea of fair play is not yet dead. The whole point of the game is co-operation and team work with an entire mode made separate for those who wish to go it alone. Players very often congratulate each other for good plays and goals, even when it's the opposing team who has scored. It's always nice to see 3 or 4 'Nice shot!' or 'What a save!' messages pop up when you score a goal or prevent your team from losing.
I was also involved in one particularly chivalrous moment. I had just started a 1v1 game when my internet decided to have a nervous breakdown and I suddenly started lagging all over the place. My opponent easily scored his first goal before asking in the chat if I had lag as my car randomly slid around the arena. I said yes and he said he wouldn't play until my ping was back to normal. Moments later when it sorted itself out, he allowed me to score a free goal so we were back to level scores and continued the match.
Even though I went on to lose the game, this kind act resonated with me as a prime example of how gamers should behave toward each other.
4) Total War
I am proud that one of my most beloved franchises has such a fantastic community of like-minded individuals. The forums are always awash with strategy guides and opening moves guides and battle tactics, and the community is always keen and willing to help each other improve in any of the available games.
The Total War modders are seriously talented people and produce a wide range of mods for people to enjoy for free, that usually massively improve upon the vanilla games. Many people will only play certain TW games with mods, such as DarthMod, installed as they claim this is the only way to make the game challenging enough- *cough* Empire *cough*.
No matter your opinion on some of the TW games, many are considered to be quite underwhelming, you will never cease to find enthusiastic gamers and history buffs playing this renowned RTS series and 99% of them are lovely.
3) Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls is a long standing franchise that over the years has attracted a huge number of players to its fantasy realms. Said players have formed an equally huge community and all get on extremely well with each other.
The most popular titles: Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, each contain tonnes of content which promotes friendly discussion between players particularly when someone finds something new and interesting or funny in the game. Modding is another huge part of the Scrolls series with players creating and adding everything from graphical enhancements, to futuristic weapons and even nude mods...
I think it is also worth pointing out how fantastic the wiki guides are. My most used site is probably the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Page (UESP), which continues to add pages to a huge archive of in-game information as well as lore. These wikis would not be possible without a dedicated and loyal fan-base such as that of the Elder Scrolls.
2) Guild Wars 2
In my opinion this exceptional MMORPG perfected the idea of a world-wide, co-operative, PvE experience. It is because of this that the Guild Wars 2 community has become so friendly and accommodating, particularly for new players.
In PvE, helping another player is almost always worth your while as without a strong group of fighters you will be unable to kill the toughest bosses which net the best loot. The game rewards your co-operation, during the various community events, with an individual loot sharing system that gives all players a reward based on how much they helped during the fight. This means that everyone gets something, not just the one guy who delivered the killing blow to the boss or mini boss. New players and veterans end up fighting together with very few whining and moaning if certain people play badly.
You can also find a huge number of character build guides online, where GW2 gamers attempt to help others out with their ideas of where to allocate skill points, the best weapons and armour and which skills to use. If you join a guild, your guildmates will always be keen to help you level up, provide you with some equipment, crafting items, trade commodities or even just a friendly monetary donation.
It is always awesome and gratifying to play with a bunch of random people to take down a champion boss and I have rarely seen anyone be attacked for making a mistake. The community is half of the reason why I am still playing the game today.
1) Darks Souls
The Souls community is as unique as the games it worships. I feel the bond is so strong due to the reputation of the series we play and die in over and over again (note how I said we, yes I definitely consider myself part of the community). There is something compelling about being part of a group that takes pride in beating some of the most technically challenging games ever made.
Like other communities, Souls has several branches that make up its fan base. The most influential two, in my opinion, are the speedrunners and the lore content creators.
The speedrunners utilise the streaming capabilities of Twitch to broadcast their insane runs to the world. Elajjaz is one of the most high profile personalities who blitzes through the Souls games and has a large following on Twitch and YouTube. The insane feats they can accomplish attract more gamers to the franchise which helps boost its popularity.
The lore content creators are arguably even more incredible. They have the painstaking job of sifting through item descriptions and character dialogue to uncover the secrets of each game's wider and deeper story. The work of people like VaatiVidya, EpicNameBro and SunlightBlade helps you to understand and immerse yourself in the extremely intricate and complicated worlds of each game.
When considering the games themselves, co-op is clearly an integral part of the series. There are entire covenants that are devoted to jolly co-operation. The Sunbros, i.e. Warriors of Sunlight (Dark Souls) or Heirs of the Sun (Dark Souls 2), are the most obvious and well renowned, but you also have the Princess Guard (DS) and Blue Sentinels (DS2) too. The challenging nature of the boss fights encourages co-operative play with others to overcome mutual obstacles together, rewarding players for doing so.
There is of course a notorious PvP element as well and fights between players are generally hard fought. The vast majority enjoy it as part of the game and don't whine when killed by an invader. There is always the option to play in offline mode, to prevent online invasions as well as friendly co-operation, for those who want to experience a purely solo, PvE playthrough.
I could easily go on about the fantastic temperament of the Souls community, but for the sake of your sanity I will not. Just know that it always welcomes players with open arms. Whining about the difficulty is not accepted, however, and doing so will simply result in our motto being shouted aloud..."GIT GUD AND PRAISE THE SUN!"