One might argue that the whole point of massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft
is to avoid social interaction. Or at least, that's what the friends and relatives of most MMORPG gamers claim. But most WoW players know that one of the best features of the game is the in-game socializing with people from all over the world. From forming small 5-man parties to large 40-man raids, social interaction plays a key role in World of Warcraft. But the problem with interacting with a bunch of strangers is that you often run into annoying losers, and kind and nice players can be hard to find. Finding people you're compatible with can be harder still.
Enter Warcraft Social Network
, a MySpace-like social-networking site made especially for World of Warcraft gamers. Warcraft Social is not affiliated in any way with Blizzard Entertainment or the official World of Warcraft game, and is instead the brainchild of a couple of passionate WoW gamers. Warcraft Social claims that players can use the site to share information with online friends and guild members, find people to play with on their server, or simply find out more about the person behind the character. Much like MySpace, you can enter a profile with your name, location, and interests. However, Warcraft Social also incorporates your WoW character information, such as the realm you play in and your character's name, race, class, professions, and chosen guild. As you can see from the screenshot, I entered a profile of my level 60 Night Elf priest into the network, and I can say that the process was very smooth and without much hassle. You can add Friends and guild members to your profile page, and people can leave comments for you on your page as well. The layout is definitely reminiscent of MySpace, and existing MySpace users will feel like they're in familiar territory. One of the nicer features about Warcraft Social is that you can't see a member's private information unless you log in, which could help stave off potential stalkers.
I was skeptical about the service at first, but now that I've played around with it, I can definitely see its potential value. This could be a way to finally avoid the annoying pickup group full of people who are simply incompatible with your play style. Warcraft Social also has a couple of upcoming features such as Guild Pages (so that your guild can easily create its own Web page without too much HTML know-how) and ALT support (for players who have multiple WoW characters). Of course, like most social-networking sites, this site will only be beneficial if more people use it. And whether that will happen anytime soon remains to be seen.