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General: Feature Editorial: Guilds & Game Content



  • RemianenRemianen Member UncommonPosts: 38
    Originally posted by healz4u

    Originally posted by heimdallr

    I find the ending too dramatic, really.

    Thank God it is not just me.  In 8 years of gaming, I never heard of a casual guild called "grow-up" guild.

    Having played EQ1, you might be more familiar with the term 'feeder guild'. These were casual/family/social guilds that often found their highest level members leaving to join progression based guilds. While often this wouldn't be a problem (because former members would often return with their "uber" gear and help the guild accomplish certain feats - saw this a lot with Ragefire and Chardok Royals, way back before they were soloable), it did give the appearance of being 'minor league'.

    What I really don't understand is all of the folks who claim to dislike to disagree with the traditional MMO guild model....but still continue to play games that follow that line of thinking. Change is not going to occur without a major impetus. If you want a paradigm shift, you have to send the message to the people in charge of making these decisions that a new day needs to dawn. The reason these mechanisms appear to be recycled from game to game is because, it's the tried and true. No one's going to risk their $30 million dollar investment on a game system or design philosophy that they have no reason to believe will succeed.

    I guess I'm just not seeing the logic of decrying a line of design thinking and then repeatedly falling for the okey-doke. Personally, I'm pretty much ambivalent about guilds in general. I've been in cutting edge guilds with steep requirements ("If you're on dialup, don't even bother applying....", "If your computer is more than 18 months old, it's not likely you'll be accepted", etc) as well as 'come as you are' casual guilds and pretty much everything in between. So the status quo doesn't bother me any. While I agree with much of what Neanderthal said, I don't think it's likely that a game is going to come out that abandons the guild mechanism totally. At least not a mainstream kinda title (so A Tale in the Desert doesn't really count IMO). Guilds (no matter what name they're given) are considered a keystone feature of MMOs, by and large, so scrapping them altogether, even if it's for the best, most likely isn't in the cards.

    At least not right now...
  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,413

    What is it about the 'guild' that makes it essential in an MMO?  I mean, if all the guild tags in all the MMOs disappeared tomorrow, we'd still group, we'd still have friends, and we'd still have fun.

    Want proof?  The next time a GM spawns a spontaneous live event, observe what happens.  You automatically have players from all sorts of guilds, from all sorts of classes, spontaneously working together and having fun without needing guildchat, TS, vent, or this "trust" business I hear so much from the gilderburgers.  Now the players who participate don't need some gimmick like tags, or "social bonds," or "trust" to know what to do.  They simply do it, and they find out that "My goodness!  We all know how to play!"

    So why do we have guilds?  I'm afraid this is something that we just had as a neat cosmetic function back in UO, that we just kept on keeping as a relic.  However, we have much more sophisticated ways of organizing players.  Factions are something that could solve a lot of accessability issues, immersion issues, and metagaming issues that guilds cause, and function in all the ways that guilds do currently.  Realm versus realm is another way of organizing players.  Perhaps common areas can be creatively used, like in SWG before it got nerfed.

    See, guilds are a way of organizing players that cause as many problems as they solve.  Whats more is that the problems guilds cause are beyond the scope of the developers to correct, since they rely upon organizational tools independent of the game.

    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • AmberaAmbera Member Posts: 2

    What problems do guilds cause that would not occur in any case, regardless of how players organise themselves in-game? And all but the most casual players will organise themselves; people are instinctively tribal.

    I found the article terribly narrow in it's approach. As several others have said, it ignores many of the reasons for the success or otherwise of guilds, and focusses on WoW alone, which results in a picture that bears no relation to my own experience. I am an officer of a medium sized DaoC guild, and my guild hangs together simply because it's full of people who get along.

    It's easy to join or leave a guild in DaoC just as it is in WoW. There are no built-in barriers to joining or penalties for leaving. Guilds are easy to create, too. But whilst I get the impression that guild-churn is high in WoW, it's not in DaoC, at least not on the two servers I've played on. Why? I think it comes down to the fact that guild memership is not forced. It's non-essential, but nevertheless can convery huge advantages, and not just the benefits of a group of people ready to assist with tasks/kit/money. Because it's not forced, there is always an expectation that guild members will be loyal to the guild. This expectation benefits the community as well as the individual.

    There are major social implications associated with guild membership. Established guilds have reputations to uphold; they will not welcome players who will tarnish that reputation, conversely players who join a guild will benefit from the positive image that guild has built up; joining a top-flight guild has kudos. A guild is usually also a strong social network, and upsetting a member of your guild will often make you a pariah within the guild. Being kicked out of a guild may make it very difficult for you to be accepted into a new guild. So guilds act as the enforcers of behavioural standards within the community. Obviously, guilds do not all agree on behavioural standards, but even where a guild is known to allow playstyles that the general community disapproves of, the fact that people who enjoy that playstyle are gathered in one place and readily identifiable makes them easier to deal with.

    The tribal instinct does of course have its downside - rivalries develop. But as long as those rivalries do not become too bitter and vicious, surely those are also good for the game? Most games are designed to be competetive, after all.

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