I know what you’re thinking: “Omali, forums are for casuals. Hardcore developers prefer to use social networking sites who risk suddenly becoming irrelevant and unpopular.” I know this because that message is tied to a rock and thrown through my bedroom window once or twice a week (email is for casuals). Luckily, Hi-Rez has a close connection to the needs of their community, and not just because their software apparently watches everything you do. Giving twenty four hours notice, Hi-Rez deleted its official forums, directing players toward Hi-Rez’s multiple Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit pages in order to discuss everything from suggestions, show their videos, ask for tech support, shoot the breeze, and more.
And why? I don’t know, Hi-Rez is claiming that this will allow them to better connect with the community and listen to feedback on a level that is impossible with traditional forums. In one post, HiRezDuke states that there is more freedom on Reddit than the T-Rated official forums, begging the question as to why Hi-Rez didn’t simply alter their rules instead of burning the house down. You can check out the Reddit pages for Tribes, SMITE, and Global Agenda. Unless you are reporting bugs in which case you head here. Unless you need tech support in which case you need to contact Hi-Rez directly. Unless you’re reporting hackers on Tribes in which case you have to do it here. And you can find patch notes now hosted on Google Docs.
See? Neat and orderly. Who is to say that this will make Hi-Rez look unprofessional and disorganized, or that it makes the company unappealing to new players, or that it isn’t conducive to maintaining a long term community?