Quite recently I sat down and spoke with the founders of two very promising Guilds preparing themselves for the upcoming title, Guild Wars 2: Colfy of RAGE Coalition and Rorek of Infamy Gaming. The reason why I spoke with them in recent interviews is because I was approached by them after my more recent article, “What’s Wrong with Guilds Today?” They expressed mutual concern for the way guilds were being managed these days, and I couldn’t help but appreciate their dedication to upholding a competitive spirit while at the same time creating an easy going atmosphere. At that moment I couldn’t help but feel that perhaps there may be hope for guilds that still follow the Old Ways.
In entries before, I spoke of my remorse for the loss of the Old Ways. As of ten years ago, much of the beliefs and philosophies of running fun and cooperative guilds has begun to fizzle out. The idea of playing with a group of friends, a fellowship, and a band of brothers – started to die out in favor of more structured and determined guilds. The guild name became precious, became the key focus of all things. The world must know the guild’s name, and all must take notice that there is only one guild that is greater than the rest. These ideals came into being with EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI, EVE Online, and later World of Warcraft. People became a resource, something that was faceless and easily replaced. This was the mindset of a business, and that model was steadily being applied to guilds.
I mourned the loss of guilds which held the individual higher than the name, believed in friendship and fun, and the same time remembered that there is life beyond the game. There is a purpose to life beyond the guild’s name and recognition of other in-game players. My call to action sounded out, and believe it or not some people heard the call and decided it was time to bring back the Old Ways. The Ways in which guilds were a unified and cooperative group of growing individuals. Quite recently I was contacted by some of these guilds. They told me of how they understand the problem of guilds today, and that it is a shame that some of the more friendly community driven guilds are fewer in number than ever before.
After some conversation and discussions with the members of these groups, I decided that the only right thing to do was to share my findings with the rest of the world. I felt I just had to take the time to spotlight them. I feel that perhaps there are readers out there who truly desire to find guilds that are far separated from that of the business structure and works as a whole unit to achieve a goal as friends – not co-workers.
Perhaps some of you don’t even know what it it like to be in such a guild, and can’t even imagine what it is like within them either. Long now have the raiding structures of Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft held dominion over how guilds should be run. Thanks to World of Warcraft, the gaming world has seen a large influx of gamers who are interested in MMORPGs, but since WoW was their first undertaking they have little experience outside of that mold. We shouldn’t forget that even the console market has grown a great deal as well, and that there are players out there who wish to finally expand into PC Gaming and experience MMORPGs for the first time too.
For many people Guild Wars 2 is their very first real MMORPG beyond World of Warcraft and console games. For them, the Guild experience is also something new and foreign. For these reasons I felt it was dire to inform my readers that yes – there are guilds out there that have risen up to take pride in following the Old Ways. Guilds that really want to treat people with kindness, respect, and friendship. I want to climb the highest peaks and shout out the names of these guilds, and point the way to the beacon of light and hope to show that all is not lost. There are sane people in this world after all!
For those of you who have followed my entries, you may know that I'm not exactly a big fan of the needlessly hardcore. There is no point to scheduling hours for your guild member’s to work, there is no need to apply penalties to your members if they have to excuse themselves for their daughter’s birthday. There is no reason to lord a person’s mistakes over their head, and keep a list of each time they’ve stepped out of line. Let's face it, we all have real lives, there is no need to turn your favorite form of recreation into a job too.
Playing a game can be a real struggle for starters, and what's worse is that sometimes so can being in a Guild too. Let's be honest with ourselves, not everyone is going to be perfect: always smiles, always a good attitude, always polite, always informative, and never-ever one to offend anyone. These people are few and far between, and even those who seem to wear that appearance aren't as genuine as they seem. Yet still, many guilds expect everyone to be just like this no matter what their personal backgrounds really are. On top of that, many guilds expect you to be somewhere and do something when you may not want to or do not have time to. If you don't show, then you will lose out on precious guild points and lose your overall standing in the guild.
That can be a massive headache to anyone who is really just trying to have fun and have a good time. Nobody is perfect, and a lot of people have forgotten that in their pursuit of perfection and complete domination of all things guild. I'm not a big fan of those guilds who want their name to be to be known throughout the world, as that only inflates the egos of just a handful of people --- namely the guild's founders. In guilds like that, it is those founders who will benefit the most from the hard work of the guild-mates they consider expendable underlings. I think it's time someone put the spotlight on guilds who are taking things in the right direction.
I speak of course of RAGE Coalition and Infamy Gaming. As no person is perfect, nor are guilds. But there are always certainly different flavors among them which help them stand out from the rest. With these two in-particular, I've taken time to speak with their guild leaders in conversation, in interviews, and I've even played with them in game in several occasions. They do stand out as groups which have come from a different time period, a time before World of Warcraft – where the individual was more important than the guild name. These guilds are not always seeking the best, this is because they believe the best can only shine when they are playing with people they know, love, and have learned with since the very beginning.
People who feel themselves to be elite, who feel themselves to be better than everyone else – will carry that with them wherever they go. They will join guilds, thinking themselves an asset that has to be pampered and pleased because of their 'skills'. But let's be honest here, skills are learned, and can be learned by anybody. These guilds believe it's best to take time to teach those skills to new players and treat them to a friendly, fun environment where everyone can have a good time and become hardcore at the same time.
At present, popular guilds are really only popular because of their mass number. They have no real special key assets over any other guild, or what any other guild could have with some dedicated players behind the helm. It would be wise not to fall down into the trap of following behind those big named guilds, just to be part of the crowd and bask in the glory of your guild-mate's hard work. Perhaps you may find it more personally satisfying to challenge yourself and venture into a smaller guild, where your skills will really shine as you are now part of the quality --- not the quantity.
One thing I've noticed from RAGE and Infamy is that they really do appreciate what it means to play and get to know people on a very personal level. The concept of friendship is not lost beyond the anonymity of the internet. From what I've discovered, as long as you are mature and want to give it your all --- it doesn't matter if you can't hit the broad side of a barn; you are still very welcome to join in with these people. Games are about having a good time and achieving things together, and if you are going to run with them you are not going to be a friend one day and forgotten the next. If you are honest, you're going to find some real friends in guilds like these.
I suppose the reason why these guilds are run by such a mature crowd, is because they’ve come along in age. Many of the people who I’ve found within these guilds are well over their mid-30s, and have actually come from a time well before World of Warcraft even existed in the minds of its creators. Back then, guilds were run very differently. People had to utilize a lot of imagination and devote a lot of time to make sure that people were happy and had a lot of fun things to do. This doesn’t mean that it was a fantasy land where everything was perfect, no.
There are always people out there who are determined to give everyone in the guild a hard time, and just really want to be annoying, immature asses no matter their age. These old fashioned guilds believed that everyone had a say, and since people were very active and very friendly – this also meant they were very connected outside of the game. So when someone was causing a problem, it was easy to get in touch with the bulk of the member base to make a judgment call on someone who was really trying to cause great harm in a guild. It’s easy to tell someone who has personality issues apart from a troublemaker, and often these guilds are very understanding to those who have a tough time socializing.
People inevitably rub people the wrong way. That is just how personalities work. But these guilds do not believe in keeping records of problems. They will try their best to work it out with the people to secure and hold onto strong friendships they want to see grow and flourish. To forgive and forget, that is their philosophy. These days, that is very, very hard to find. Like it or not, most guilds these days will not think twice about throwing out a person who may be mildly disruptive because they really want to put on a good face. Anyone who threatens the guild’s name and face is considered toxic and a potential hazard. I for one don’t like being considered a toxic hazard, so I like guilds which not only give me a chance but take the time to understand my personality and help me when I stumble.
Only friends will help you when you stumble, they’ll be there to pick you up and brush you off and give you a hand. Friends do not see you as dead weight or a potential liability. These days, it’s easy to forget that there are people playing games with you. It’s very, very hard to find people out there who are truly willing to listen and help out the people that are willing to not only show guild pride but also build friendships. I am proud to say I’ve found a pair of guilds who really want to push this philosophy, and I look forward to seeing them blossom in Guild Wars 2. I can only hope many will follow in their footsteps, making Guild Wars 2 the game that not only changes the face of the MMORPG genre, but the guilds that play them as well.
If you feel your guild fits these positive philosophies and you’d like them featured in future articles, contact me via Private Message or email: Temperhoof ( at ) g m a i l . c o m – and I will share them in future blog entries.
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