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An Earthbound Perspective

Practical perspective on MMO play and practice.

Author: Dengar

Guilds: Family, Business, or Militia? Part 4: The Militia Guild

Posted by Dengar Tuesday August 16 2011 at 1:43PM
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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Here we are at our final discussion about guild types. We're talked about the idea that, no matter what a guild is doing, that action will eventually slow down, change, or even stop. Rather, we should look at structure and overall goals. An absence of explicit structure tends to be the family guilds. The guilds with some structure that blast through the game and move on or disband are business guilds. Today, we talk about militia guilds, and no guild best defines this as The Yew Militia. There may be some guilds better known, but Yew has more of the qualities we're going to discuss and have been around longer. World of Warcraft's Paragorn will be referenced a bit since they may be better known to those a bit newer to MMOs, but also to highlight one or two things Yew lacks.

Now, before we jump into things, remember that the militia guild is there for player protection. Something about a particular game made players band together, not just to achieve a goal, but to ensure player quality. Explicit rules are in place to ensure a certain amout of fairness to all who join. This sort of puts the militia between the family and business guilds, since they care about both relationships and an over-arching goal. 

The militia name was chosen because it's formed by average community members to form something that, in some ways, may even resemble a small government. It can be fairly intense. Look at Yew's Information side bar, and check out their rank system for Darkfall. Ranks are explicitly defined, and may take checking a few sections of the guild to fully understand. For some players, this may seem a bit extreme, but Yew (which started in Ultima Online) has it's reasons.

First, it's a roleplay guild. There's lots of different types of roleplay, so spelling out some basics helps make sure people RP on a similar level (i.e. if someone's back story is about how the guild is about protecting the innocent, and another's about conquering the world, you have a disconnect). This is further compounded by the fact that Yew Militia is a pvp guild. 

RP PvP guilds aren't super common. Some people may even view the two as being at war with each other, since RPers are usually viewed as weak targets and ragers. In order to pull this off, Yew ensures that it's members show that they are capable of functioning as a team on a pvp level. This is rather hard to accomplish in most games on its own, but combined with requiring that members RP means that Yew has a very specialized pool of players, so there is a very real need to ensure that members properly fit in and represent the guild. If a player is great at PvP but won't RP, the roleplayers will question the social situation of the guild. If the pvpers keep dealing with RPers who break down during pvp, they question the guild's ability to protect itself. 

Now, RP PVP guilds aren't the only ones who may need some sort of explicit structure. Corporate sponsored guilds like Paragorn are in a similar position. In order to keep a professional image, the guild needs to keep a high quality profile. You can't just walk away from a real business giving you money or gear, so business and family guilds aren't really well equipped to handle something like this. If anyone walks away in this sort of situation, it'll be the sponsor, not the guild members. A sponsor won't be happy with just seeing positive results; there'll be a contract. The guild leaders will be forced to make sure members are able to help keep the guild's side of the contract up, and as anyone who's worked a minimum job knows, your average, everyday Joe isn't always the most dependable co-worker or employee.

By now, it should be obvious that militias are not a common guild type and are not for your average gamer. The amount of work involved or the specialized purpose won't appeal to many people, but it's very much a breath of fresh air to those it aims to help. Because of this, miltia guilds also tend to be able to hop from game to game since they already have a basic structure in place that players agree to. 

In short, the militia guild tends to be rather hardcore in its structure. It's not for everyone, and tends to be rather specialized in its audience, but can give birth to some impressive guilds that are built to last. 

MMORPG.com writes:
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