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They’re a critical part of community building in MMORPGs, but to my knowledge there hasn’t been much effort put into them over the decades. There have been a few games that made adjustments, but I think WoW and ESO, sadly, are the only ones to build on the idea of guilds with achievements, perks, guild trading, and other content related additions, at least in the sense of potentially making those features core.
It surprises me, because I think guilds provide staying power for players, yet the same fundamental problems exist, such as single points of failure with absent guild leaders, limited configuration in how they can operate, lack of tools that help set, manage, and achieve goals. Guilds are essentially just a tag and a chat channel with a few permission flags, and it doesn’t help attract the growing amount of players wanting to solo an entire multi-player online game instead of actually finding people to play with. It’s something that I personally think should have had a lot more attention devoted to over the years.
One aspect that I think needs to change are guild charters. There should be options to create a democratic system where the guild votes on every aspect of the guild, or a democratic republic where players elect leaders . It should be possible to create everything from a tribe to a corporate structure. There should be an ever growing list of options for how a guild is structured to accommodate the like-minded players within that guild. I think these types of ideals at conception would better help players come together, and stay together.
What do you think, have guilds evolved the way you thought they would? Do you think their implementation are a key factor in a game’s player loss?