Raph Koster’s Website has an article up called “Players Who Post, Posters Who Play” that makes the case that gaming companies should have online forums for the user base, even for the user base that is primarily about posting in the forums versus playing the game.
You should take a look at the article, especially if you are someone like me.
I personally hate most gaming forums, but I must admit they do have their place. There are some great nuggets of information in gaming forums. I just have no patience for the horrible signal to noise ratio most forums engender. My most common forum use is, if I am having a problem in game, I go to the forum to see if anybody else is having the same problem.
Some companies, like Blizzard, do cater to this dislike of forums by posting a weekly list of threads worth reading. I do actually check that out once in a while.
But what I really want is Blizzard, SOE, and other gaming companies to do is set up a news page that supports an RSS feed that keeps an update list of good forum threads with an accurate synopsis so that valuable information comes and finds me. Color me lazy, but that would make me very happy.
This, of course, is a complete aside from the linked article.