idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I can't help but feel that the WoWhead (and other) sites are killing these forums, though. [:sad:]
I hope the "wowhead effect" is largely over by this point. If anything I'd point to Official game forums being the norm now, and how that takes away from general MMO sites. Hard to get a new game forum started when most of the discussion is now on the company's site. Edited, Mar 3rd 2013 9:31am by someproteinguy
Thing is, Allakhazam started as a guide site for everquest, which grew into a database site, and the forums really grew as an extension of these systems. They weren't really the main allure. With FFXI, the number of users accessing the zone maps, recipes, and mob information was pretty huge. The number of people reading the forums, and particularly the number posting, were far lower. WoW's own site was definitely primarily a database when it launched, though by that point the forums had definitely become a big part of the standard package.
But there are plenty of Zam sites that primarily function as databases. LOTRO doesn't even have forums anymore. And, for the most part, all big games have their databases stored on separate sites within the network (Guildhead, WoWhead, Rifthead, Torhead, LoLking, etc.) Most of these have at least general forums, and in general those forums are far more active than the zam equivalent.
Honestly, I think Zam's place within the network now is to provide forums for games that aren't large enough to warrant a separate site, not really to stand on its own anymore. And sometimes, not even then.
And I'm not blaming them--they need to do what is best for the business, and rebranding is part of that. But it's still a shame. I don't see Zam forums in general being a big part of the site identity. The only exception I've seen, really, is for FFXIV. And that's because the database is still primarily set there (probably because the game didn't take off), plus the fact that it was likely easier from a marketing perspective to work off the popularity of the FFXI forums.