I've got to say, I really paused before writing this post. You know that phrase your mom always said, that if you're not going to say something nice, don't say anything at all? When it comes to the WAR community (and larger MMO community), I try to stick to that as much as possible. And the WAR community's certainly made it easy -- we're not all the same, and there's a wild variety of bloggers and forum owners and site runners with vastly different opinions and tones, but I've experienced a huge sense of mutual support and respect within this circle. It's a great thing.
So great, in fact, that in over a year of blogging at WAAAGH!, I can count on two fingers the number of times that I've taken a link off my blogroll due to reasons other than a blog/site going dead or changing the topic to discuss another game entirely. And one of those fingers had to do with a site that wanted absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the WAR community. That's their choice, of course, but when they told another WAR news site/forum that they should just pack up and shut down their site because they weren't advertising properly and would never "make it", that's when I withdrew any support from my end.
Thus, I kind of found it amusing that Only-WAR.com wrote a fairly petulant post today about how they were being ignored and how the official forums had devastated their own, to the point where they were going to shut down their own forums. (Check out the little snarky "watching random blogs that have popped up overnight" mention too.) It amused me because (a) other WAR forum sites, such as Warhammer Conflict, VN Boards, Warhammer Alliance and more are doing just fine post-official forums, and (b) how can they complain they didn't get any attention when they made zero effort to give attention to others?
The idea behind Age of Blogging, WCPI and individual efforts to cross-link and -promote is that the larger WAR community shouldn't exist of exclusive cliques that are suspicious and territorial around others. What makes us a strong community is that we can take the focus off ourselves from time to time to uplift others and praise their efforts. Yeah, we love it when you read our blogs, write on our forums or visit our sites, but we know that the greater good (that oh-so-ominous phrase) is served when we happily introduce you around and let you get to know the whole crew. I know that if you're only reading WAAAGH!, you are missing out, my friend, on some incredibly talented, funny and smart folks that have a lot more to say about this game than anything you might find here -- and you should check them out too.
I don't mean to attack Only-WAR, but just to use their post and history as an example of what not to do when you want to belong to a gaming community and not to ostracize or limit your own potential growth. Even though we might play on opposite sides in game, out of game we're all on the same team, and it's great to act that way.