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Where art thee, MMORPG?

The ongoing quest for the ideal persistent virtual world.

Author: Lodeclaw

Guilds: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Posted by Lodeclaw Monday April 28 2008 at 4:35AM
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I want to let you know that I hate the current guild system we see in MMORPGs.

Guilds these days have little meaning. They are silly clubs and more often than not, they have no clubhouse. No clubhouse, because there are too bloody many guilds!

I don't understand why a single game requires so many guilds. What is their purpose? What do they bring to the game? Not a whole hell of a lot. If I wanted to, I could easily in most games make my own one-man guild just so I could have some stupid title under my name and look important even though I'm just another shlubb.

Back in the day, I played a little game some of you may be familiar with: Nexus TK. Now, Nexus sucks a lot of expletive now, but in it's prime I loved it. What made Nexus great was it's community, 'cause let's face it, the combat system was terrible. Nexus' community was largely player-run with GMs there to guide the players through the processes of it all. Many subpaths (secondary classes) were operated by players and had their own lore, ideals, history and bases of operation. Even each kingdom in the game had an army operated largely by players, though led by GMs.

Guilds were large and prestigious; they were few (about half a dozen when I stopped playing) and contained hundreds of members each as well as their own guild hall which had a static entrance within the game world. Joining these guilds meant speaking to a ranking member of the guild and sitting through an interview. This kept a strong quality of members within the guild.

In case you haven't figured it out, these were all good things that promoted a strong community within the game.

Am I the only person who feels that guilds should have some sort of meaning besides an extra chat group? Honestly, I want your opinions! Tell me I'm right, tell me I'm wrong! Tell me something! Do you like having crappy little meaningless guilds? I want to know.

LondonMagus writes:

I agree, many guilds are just about an extra chat channel & a fancy title. However, they can also be a great way to make friends & also make the game more enjoyable, especially for older casual players like myself whose gametime is restricted by real life.

Maybe Guilds should be about more than just this, but not if the cost is to make them less fun. MMOs are just games after all.

So in summary then, I love my guild even if it doesn't decide the fate of the world.

Mon Apr 28 2008 4:51AM Report
mattic65 writes:

I agree as well, the word guild has lost it's meaning in most games on the market these days. Nothing is more annoying than someone spamming a chat channel with "plzz sign mah guild charter, you don't have to stay!!", or worse yet, getting that random drive-by guild invitation.


Mon Apr 28 2008 5:25AM Report
grimfall writes:

It depends on the game, but I think the best definition of a guild is a group of like-minded indviduals.  The term 'guild' would probabaly be better replaced by 'fellowship', since a guild is generally a trade guild, even if that trade is thievery or assanation.

Mon Apr 28 2008 7:11AM Report
ShrikeValeo writes:

Many people follow the idea that "more is better", that works from game developers trying to attract as much of the market, however childish, arrogant, and outright annoying, as possible, to many guilds and groups always looking to expand

I know exactly what you mean though. In Guild Wars, for one, many large guilds either have 'expectations', that mean you have little life outside the game, with no link to you as a person, to guilds that will take on anyone, anywhere. Everyone is treated like a tool, be it for pure guild numbers and bragging rights, or expansion of the guild.

Maybe because actually looking at people and taking time to get to know them isn't material gain for a lot of the "leaders" of today

Mon Apr 28 2008 7:21AM Report
Beatnik59 writes:

I think MMOs rely too heavily on the guild system to facilitate play.  The problem one of accessability: what do you do with players who expect to find fun when they aren't willing or able to join a guild?

See, publishers have a responsibility to all the players, even ones who aren't in guilds.  Guilds, by contrast, neither want nor have any responsibility to anyone but their membership.  In order for the guild to be responsible to its members, it needs the ability to accept and dismiss guild members as it sees fit.

When guild membership dictates accessability to content, a lot of a player's enjoyment hinges on things that are beyond the developer's ability to correct.  In a sense, developers who cede a lot of the gameplay functions to guilds and guild leaders are more or less putting the success of the game in the hands of people who have no substantial obligation to make the game successful.

I think there are better ways to facilitate community within the games than guilds.  Factions are things that have a lot of potential to bring people together.  They share a lot of the same features as guilds, administered by the game mechanics rather than the arbitrary whim of some private subscriber.

Mon Apr 28 2008 6:03PM Report
mmorpgdude10 writes:

I absolutley agree. Guilds should have a meaning to them, and not shoud be just some stupid club like that. Ive seen in most guilds you just chat to each other. You can obviously do that with regular games. I think that a lot of games are going to crash because of their crap guild systems

Mon Apr 28 2008 6:12PM Report writes:
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