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The popularity of Discords worries me regarding future preservation of fan knowledge, mods, & guides

Jul 18, 2019
257
Praha, CZ
So Discords are really big these days and I know that it's not a new phenomenon as such, since we basically used to use irc as a form of chatrooms/channels. In that sense, I'm totally fine with it existing and being a popular thing outside of conventional social media.

However, with so many game developers, publishers, and especially communities moving to their own special Discord channel, it means that a lot of information gets put away into (1) an exclusive channel you need access to and (2) that is also an unorganized chat stream that is difficult to peruse and search within, and (3) is not future-proof.

Usually fans of certain games will work together to create certain guides, certain mods, certain configurations, and all other sorts of useful information and knowledge that helps others. Usually such type of information would be in a dedicated forum where you could search for a certain keyword and get a thread or a topic that could more easily help you, as it basically collected all of the respondents into one single thread. With older games and older sites, this has been really useful if, a couple of years later, you need to find some certain information on how to launch a game, or how to troubleshoot a bug, or improve performance, or defeat a difficult boss or mission, and so on. Especially if it's an old game that people no longer talk about. But with so many communities moving to Discord, it is incredibly difficult to get that knowledge and you would have to go into that discord (if it even still exists) and ask the same question again - who knows if someone is even there to help out several years later?

My experience with Discords so far is that a lot of the same questions get asked again and again and again, and the fans / expert users who know the answer has to constantly reformulate the answer to every new user. Same thing in terms of community managers, where they also have to repeat the same information over and over again, because there is not a central information hub like a forum with stickied threads or a central website with the particular information. Not only that but the overall discussion is not categorized by topic but instead is more like a chat-stream without any real red thread (but I guess that's the nature of chatrooms)

TL:DR; Devs and communities are more and more replacing their forum style of community building with Discords, but this means that community-created knowledge and information gets lost and chaotic with little to no chance of future access to that same type of knowledge. It also puts a lot more stress on expert users who now has to repeat their expertise everytime a user asks the same question or needs help. It is not a very future-proof way of knowledge-building & archiving at all. Do you agree or am I just an old and archaic dinosaur who prefers asynchronous, categorized style of communication like forums?
 

Stygr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,412
Steam forums and reddit won't disappear because of discord, don't worry.
 

Gegz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,793
You're just an "old and archaic dinosaur" (your quote :p)

Discord is way, way too useful for a lot of stuff. And you can pin stuff on Discord, which means you don't have to always answer the same questions over and over.

Forums are also useful (Gamefaqs, Reddit), but except these ones and ResetEra, i just see them as some prehistoric stuff. Just good for reading an old guide, or to find something really specific.
 
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RiteMana

Member
Oct 25, 2017
137
I miss old forums too, but there are also alternatives to discord such as riot.im (matrix) that has decentralized chat logs and rocket.chat for self hosted messengers.
 
OP
OP
Natasha Kerensky
Jul 18, 2019
257
Praha, CZ
You're just an old and archaic dinosaur.

Discord is way, way too useful for a lot of stuff. And you can pin stuff on Discord, which means you don't have to always answer the same questions over and over.
Pins are not comparable to forum style overview & search function of threads at all.

Also, what is it that Discord is way way too useful for beyond being a chatroom and IM tool?
 

Acquila

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,038
You're just an old and archaic dinosaur.

Discord is way, way too useful for a lot of stuff. And you can pin stuff on Discord, which means you don't have to always answer the same questions over and over.
Nah, the issue is that Discord is only useful when there is an active community around the subject.

In contrast to wikis and FAQs, information is written down. The community can move on, but info is right there. Pick a niche PS2 JRPG. You'll find a high quality FAQ for it, maybe a wiki with loads of missing info, but you'll like not find quality help from Discord, Reddit, etc.
 

Giever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,130
This is a good point that I hadn't considered, but I also don't know that there's anything to be done about it.
 

Death Penalty

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,719
All of this stuff also gets posted to actual sites too, more or less, so I don't know if I get the hand-wringing. As long as Googling things is people's first instinct for problem-solving, you've got nothing to worry about.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
8,460
I don't think wikis are in danger of going up in smoke. People still need answers to things that are a google click away. That's too much of a community-based convenience, there will always be someone to help run a wiki.

Message boards, though... yeah, outside of ResetERA, dedicated forums (not subreddits) are a dying breed. Generally speaking it's super rare I see someone post on a message board that is like, younger than 20-25. It's too slow compared to social media.
 
OP
OP
Natasha Kerensky
Jul 18, 2019
257
Praha, CZ
Wikis will never die. Hell, the best Resident Evil 4 guide I’ve found is still on gamefaqs.
All of this stuff also gets posted to actual sites too, more or less, so I don't know if I get the hand-wringing. As long as Googling things is people's first instinct for problem-solving, you've got nothing to worry about.
Like I said, A lot of the information, mods, knowledge, tools, guides I have seen on many discords never manage to get out of the channel and so never make it into a forum like Steam or Reddit or other types of forums. Or Wikis in this regard.

The problem is that the transparency and archiving of the knowledge is not automatic and that we have to rely on individual users taking what goes on in the Discord and uploading it and transcribing it into a Wiki or a dedicated website. This means that a lot of information and knowledge actually never make it out of an exclusive Discord channel.
 

Madao

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,255
Panama
discord is like a jack-of-all-trades that it does the function of guide, forum, IM, etc. into one app but it's not the best at any of them.

i feel that a lot of knwoledge gets lost this way but in a way old sites die too and the knowledge goes with them too. the only way to preserve this information for real is for someone to write it down on paper irl and you know how people feel about that these days.
 

Death Penalty

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,719
Like I said, A lot of the information, mods, knowledge, tools, guides I have seen on many discords never manage to get out of the channel and so never make it into a forum like Steam or Reddit or other types of forums. Or Wikis in this regard.

The problem is that the transparency and archiving of the knowledge is not automatic and that we have to rely on individual users taking what goes on in the Discord and uploading it and transcribing it into a Wiki or a dedicated website. This means that a lot of information and knowledge actually never make it out of an exclusive Discord channel.
I have not run into this problem in a meaningful way, myself, and any issue I have had even with modern games has some sort of easily searchable guide on the internet. Even in heavily Discorded communities like FFXIV you'd be hard pressed not to be linked to a guide hosted on an actual website or Google doc for learning things like item locations, rotations, etc. Subreddits in particular are still one of the most prevalent resources out there.

I just don't think you actually have anything to worry about as the current environment is right now.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,574
I don't know if the issue is that it's not properly maintained, but any time I've visited a Discord channel, it just looks like a chat room with a permanent history log.
There doesn't seem to be a way to actually have meaningful discussions focused on a single topic, or an easy way to refer back to a specific discussion.
Is there a hierarchical view that I'm missing, or is it really just a linear chat log? It seems completely unsuitable for the task; unless that is the point.

If anything, I think Reddit's nested structure works better because that allows discussions to branch off from the main topic without interfering - though the voting system can be problematic (as can the community in many subreddits).
 

Raoh

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,712
Yeeeaaaah don't like it, especially whenever you ask something here on Era or reddit and they answer with "join the discord".
 

Deltadan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,108
Discord really just needs to develop good archival tools for relevant information.

Though, in general, I do prefer reading forums/wikis.
 
OP
OP
Natasha Kerensky
Jul 18, 2019
257
Praha, CZ
I have not run into this problem in a meaningful way, myself, and any issue I have had even with modern games has some sort of easily searchable guide on the internet. Even in heavily Discorded communities like FFXIV you'd be hard pressed not to be linked to a guide hosted on an actual website or Google doc for learning things like item locations, rotations, etc. Subreddits in particular are still one of the most prevalent resources out there.

I just don't think you actually have anything to worry about as the current environment is right now.
i guess that just comes back to what I wrote - that archiving and organizing and indexing and making it public/transparent are not automatic features of the platforms, and that we have to rely on individuals to do the extra work. So it's a bit of a bad decision by game devs and publishers to simply exile themselves into a closed exclusive discord that will have the flaws that I listed.
 

rochellepaws

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,839
Ireland
It's an issue I've noticed with WoW especially where all theorycrafting, rotation, best in slot type information is buried in separate class discords while public facing guides on sites like Icy Veins or forums like MMO-Champion quickly become out of date and useless.

It's a bit of a nuisance and a hurdle to jump especially when looking for information on a new class or alt since the helpfulness of stickies differs on each discord and you need a level of insight to know the reliable voices on each one. It all seems like a bit of a step back for accessibility, especially for a new player unfamiliar with how or where the different communities operate.
 
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Gelf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,802
Only time I ever used it was in the transition to this place and I hated it. Just felt like a chat room.

I also don't like info being held in a place that isn't easily reachable by search engines. There are times I've only found something thanks to an obscure forum post from years ago, the kind of thing that would certainly be buried on discord.
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,950
You're just an "old and archaic dinosaur" (your quote :p)

Discord is way, way too useful for a lot of stuff. And you can pin stuff on Discord, which means you don't have to always answer the same questions over and over.

Forums are also useful (Gamefaqs, Reddit), but except these ones and ResetEra, i just see them as some prehistoric stuff. Just good for reading an old guide, or to find something really specific.
I never, ever found a discord solution for an issue with a game or a guide while searching for it on google. What should I do for a 1 to 10-year-old game? going to a dead discord channel?
 

dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,465
The guides are everywhere else too?
I am just saying that Discord is useless for fast searching. In most cases you need to find Discord server for a game first then you need to find invite link and then you need to search that Discord. Or you can just search on Google and find answer in 30 seconds.
 

Mikebison

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,941
Tbf any time I have a question about a really specific part of a game, even when brand new, I google it and there’s a gamefaqs thread about it with the answer. So I doubt it’s anything to be worried about.
 

empressdonna

Member
Oct 25, 2017
770
Scotland, United Kingdom
I have never run across this issue so far, at least not in the game-specific discords I'm apart of.

Usually, the guides are linked from somewhere else like a forum, website or wiki and then I just click on the link from the discord and done.
 

Death Penalty

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,719
Because that guide was probably written years ago, before Discord was a thing. The worry of OP is that you will only find that good guide to Resident Evil 9 on Discord, meaning it will not be easily accessible or easy to find.
The thing is with gaming being such a big hobby, if a good guide is not easy to find some gaming website, youtuber, redditor, etc. eager for clicks/internet props will fill that void. This is actually even how it currently works, quality content not locked behind a Discord is still readily available.
 

Edward

Avenger
Oct 30, 2017
1,533
A lot of the information, mods, knowledge, tools, guides I have seen on many discords never manage to get out of the channel and so never make it into a forum like Steam or Reddit or other types of forums.
Curious to what info? Over the past year in terms of mods/tools/guides i have found them way easier to both find and digest through reddit than any fan/official discord channel. I stopped reading guides to games when Youtube became a thing. I don't think information is going anywhere i think people like to just have more personal experiences with each other.

Like, maybe over the course of the last 1.5 years i spend some time on a daily basis looking up modding/tools/info on both VR games, developing etc. and all the useful information i have ever found was on Reddit over official/unofficial channels on Discord. That information isn't secret and locked away in discord. There are like specific websites that are designed for guides for games that aren't going anywhere and if anything was going to take over guides it would have been video years ago. Matter a fact most guides i consume are in video format.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,426
I feel like if the game is even remotely successful it's gonna get at least a reddit (or gamefaqs, or even here) repository, or a very organized discord, like the Final Fantasy XIV Balance discord. It kind of sounds like you don't know how to use discord all that much (or whoever runs the specific discord you're talking about doesn't).

It's certainly possibly going to be an issue for smaller and more niche games though, and forums / dedicated sites are always going to be a lot more useful to me personally. But I think you're overstating things, or at least, we could probably use some examples to show what you mean.
 

Ira

Member
Oct 27, 2017
177
I agree, I think it's a problem that a lot of valuable info is only getting posted to Discord.

I have not run into this problem in a meaningful way, myself, and any issue I have had even with modern games has some sort of easily searchable guide on the internet. Even in heavily Discorded communities like FFXIV you'd be hard pressed not to be linked to a guide hosted on an actual website or Google doc for learning things like item locations, rotations, etc. Subreddits in particular are still one of the most prevalent resources out there.

I just don't think you actually have anything to worry about as the current environment is right now.
I find it funny that you mention XIV specifically because that's one game where I personally have this problem. Most job guides are posted exclusively to Discord unless they happen to get posted to Reddit because someone was specifically asking after a guide or something. The Balance pretty much doesn't update their site anymore even though they do have one.
 

Merc

Member
Jun 10, 2018
174
What. Discord is a chat channel similar to Teamspeak, AOL Messenger, IRC, etc., but much improved. Not meant for guides or storing information. People join a Discord to chat about something, a topic, or with their friends.
 

Delphine

Stat Sua Cuique Dies
Moderator
Mar 30, 2018
1,242
France
Discords are nice and all, and I treat them like I treat chat-based communication device since I started using IRC, but forums will forever remain my tool of choice for communicating on the internet. Sadly those are kinda going out of fashion, but maybe it's just a cycle and people will come back to it eventually.
 

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
8,756
What. Discord is a chat channel similar to Teamspeak, AOL Messenger, IRC, etc., but much improved. Not meant for guides or storing information. People join a Discord to chat about something, a topic, or with their friends.
The problem is Discord is probably going to replace forums altogether outside of a few big ones. Most are already dead compared to what they were even 5 years ago.
 

RvinP

Member
Oct 28, 2017
235
I am not in any Discord game channel nor in any Discord communities, does it mean I am missing out a lot?

Example: I want to look out for any conversations about the recently released WRC 8 game and there is hardly any conversation about it outside discord.
 

Nocturnowl

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,103
Add me to the chorus of dinos who don't click with this discord business.

Like I'm supposed to seek out special discords for individual fighting game characters and comb through the endless chat? Why back in my day we had these newfangled web guides on central hubs and we were damn grateful!
 

Kouriozan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,480
I use Discord from time to time, but personally I feel like they’re just improved IRC, it’s nice for quick conversation but if you want to talk about more serious or in depth topics, it’s completely useless, you can’t follow the conversation at all or you repeat what people previously said.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,445
Wisconsin
Yeah discords suck for everything that aren't live conversations. A lot of people are using them for things they shouldn't be used for
 

jon bones

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,936
NYC
Discord is 100% a young people thing. If you're old & busy, it's practically useless as you can't keep up with 1 long conversation.

I can't even find text guides anymore because everyone thinks I want to watch some dudes on YouTube.
 

Cordelia

Member
Jan 25, 2019
617
Just make it like this.



Tank Resources is FAQ and guides. Lounge is for general discussion and Questions is for Q&A. Guides that posted on Resources have a google docs backup.

For organized community, Discord is really good, sometimes even better than forum or Reddit. But if you are not in the community, it's a huge pain in the ass. Especially if you need to troubleshoot or looking for guides because you can't google Discord chat.

Same thing with mods. Organized and there is off-Discord backup aggregate website.

 

SixelAlexiS

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,854
Italy
I get you what you say about preservation, but Discord is SUPER useful about specific issues, you find a game/device channel and you already know that there are dedicated ppl in that channel that can help you with the matter, instead of asking on general forums hoping that someone who know the issue will read and answer you.

On Reddit you rarely get anything helpful and no one check specific forums anymore so yeah, Discord is really useful despite its "volatility".
 

Gbraga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,236
I see where you're coming from, but as someone who doesn't use Discord, I never had any issue finding things like that whenever I need them elsewhere.

The issue I have is that too often video is replacing text, and it's really a pain in the ass when they take 10 minutes to tell you something you could understand in 8 seconds.