Believe it or not, the MMO community used to be very friendly and helpful. You can even go back and play some of the original MMOs and still find a friendly and helpful community.
While I won't point fingers at a specific game because it really isn't that game's fault, a specific game did take MMO gaming mainstream, and the current community is the result of that.
Rose-colored glasses aside, the MMO community has always had nice people, and there have always been jerks. Back when UO came out, there was free-for-all world PvP. Which meant that someone that didn't have Mining could wait for you to get the ore, then kill you and loot your corpse. And it happened. A lot.
FFXI, I can't for the life of me see why people brag about the community in that game. It had it's good points, but there was also some pretty rabid nationalism (JP only, Engrish onry, etc). NM camping, HELM (Harvesting, Excavating, Lumberjack, Mining) node stealing, etc, plus since mobs weren't leashed, it was easy to train a large group of mobs right to where someone else was camped. I think what contributes to the rose-colored-glasses syndrome is that, because it was a smaller community, it was easier to get to know the friendly people. Also, leveling was much slower, so you saw the same people over and over again as you progressed toward the level cap.