|7 posts found|
OP 3/03/14 8:31:37 AM#1
Lately MMOs have really been burning me out, and by lately I mean the past decade’s worth. Now I’ve taken a great interest in ESO, mainly because I admire the setting, the graphics, the combat, PVP, the list goes on. People have said it before though, it’s not all that different from what we have seen, but it is new but many games were new and once that wears off is when we discover the true test of time.
One aspect about it I do not admire however and actually resent is the allegiance system. I don’t even think you can call it an allegiance system. It’s a cloned Guild system that uses the same innovation which has been around for over a decade. You have a Guild Master, Officers, Members and Recruits basically. The guild is in one big sea of little to no organization other than the specified titles. Can ESO not do better than this? It seems almost all games come out with a tag of “innovation” on them yet they really don’t change much from the last title before it.
Now, let’s go back 15 years to November, 1999. Asheron’s Call launched, a game which would be overshadowed by the success of Everquest and never really hit the masses, though I can almost guarantee we will see a couple comments pop up below from fellow AC players who know exactly what I’m getting at. The Monarchy system in that game has dominated the MMO world for 15 years. You had an actual hierarchy, a chain of command, and to top it off, a double incentive for recruiting and joining. The system started with a Monarch who would take on vassals who swore allegiance, the vassals would then recruit and become Patrons, and there vassals would recruit and do the same. It created a tree, sometimes hundreds of thousands of players deep. You knew what branch you fell under, and who the top dogs were. If alliance issues broke out, you could lose an entire tree consisting of hundreds of players, making a greater incentive to keep certain individuals around.
But the key wasn’t just the great pyramid design, it was the rewards. Vassals could pass up a certain % of XP to their patrons, and patrons in return would have to support them to ensure their loyalty. Support could be money, gear, or even knowledge. I’m telling you some of the loyalty built in that game has lasted all 15 years it’s been around and it’s kept players playing long after the games life has expired.
This is not the design in ESO I want to see, but what I want to see is something else other than what we have seen established already by games so long ago. If I had it my way…I’d have taxation, contracts, and again, a chain of command. Nothing in life is free, guilds shouldn’t be either. The incentives for being a member are really none existent other than the masses to play with. But honestly, this can be accomplished without being in any guild, making guilds lack the fundamentals which are so critical in the success of a social environment.
Taxation – Guilds will establish a contract which has the preset figures on it for a specific rank. Regular members will see an initial starting fee, or possible sign on bonus when joining which they would have to accept on the terms of the contract. A weekly pay system can be established, and for regular guild members, a certain percentage will be deducted, or possible set amount per week (Example, maybe 100g a week or 1% fee which would be 100g if the member had 10k).
Now on terms of the contract, ranking individuals will play a role in this too. Hiring on an officer could mean there is still a tax to be paid, but also a paycheck to be had for strong support of the guild and loyalty to it. If you had a system with 60 regular members, let’s say Corporals, 6 Sergeants to have over sight of recruitment and each having 10 corporals under them, 3 officers or Lieutenants who have 2 sergeants under each of them for leadership and oversight of enlisted matters and 1 guild master or General to run it all, it could look like this:
60 Corporals @ 100g= 6000g
6 Sergeants @ 100g= 600g
3 Lieutenants @ 100g = 300g
1 General @100g = 100g
Total = 7000g per week
Now the contract would also divvy up not just the taxes, but the income. Which again could be set on either set amounts or percentages, but I’m using set amounts for an easier illustration. The pay scale could look like this:
6 Sergeants = 2500g (400g each)
3 Lieutenants = 2500g (800g each)
1 General = 1000g
This is based off a weekly pay scale and this not only gives the ranking individuals a reward for a very selfless job, but also the larger guilds with higher income could also be incentives for people to want to join versus a guild with low pay or an unrealistic contract.
The hierarchy system also establishes longevity, seeing as a Corporal would have to work towards Sergeant, and Sergeant towards LTs, knowing if you’ve worked hard through the ranks, you’re probably going to stick around. This will also encourage recruitment, for the more members, the higher the paychecks. You could also set it up so a set amount each week does not go to anyone, but instead goes to the guild banks for savings to help fund crafting or helping other members. These are low figures and 100g is basically 1 completed quest so any fluctuations could have serious benefits to a taxation system if you could imagine.
Another flawed area, is guild banks like I mentioned above. The Guild Master can be a mobile guild bank, there is very little to no reason to store money in a bank when it can easily be mailed or traded from the GM. I think interest rates should be established to give more incentives to storing it, or ESO could get creative and have guild banks in the keeps in Cyrodiil and the closer to the center, the higher the interest rates. Could also make the guild stores charge a 1-3% fee on all transactions which automatically go to the guild banks as well.
The whole point is, it doesn’t take much effort to come up with a better system, but all we have seen is the exact same system. The games content comes and goes, and in my 15 years of experience with MMOs, it’s not the game that keeps people playing, it’s the players. Players in a well-established guild who all receive benefits up and down the chain in one fashion or another could promote good longevity in a game like this, instead of allowing the same run down system to plague us once more, which we have seen fail in so many games before this.
3/03/14 9:02:17 AM#2
Some problems with guilds are that games are being made more solo orientated.
That makes it harder for guild leaders to hold guilds together because people can jump ship easily with few consequences.
Guilds are most successful if they have strong raid/pvp leader or core team that know they wont find greener grass on the other side.
That isn't easy to achieve.
Trying to get MMORPG players to focus on objectives is difficult.
There are not many benefits for being a guild leader but they need to make sure there are some and that there are mechanisms to enable consequences to accumulate for players/characters so that you can't just be a complete dick in the game and wipe the slate clean by renaming your character for example.
OP 3/03/14 11:19:18 AM#3
I definitely agree with you. I feel that if there are more incentives for ranking individuals and a structure for people to fall under, then it will establish a more personal environment since one ranking individual will only have a few fall under him and make socializing far easier as well as communication, and incentives like getting paid for ranks means you have a greater reason to keep active with the people underneath you and reach out to them more often to help.
3/03/14 11:22:47 AM#4
Originally posted by DrDwarf
Most people don't want to play in guilds unless they are with people they know because let's be honest gamers are douchebags.
3/03/14 11:41:53 AM#5
I dont know the details or the mechanics of the Guild system in this game, but I do know its tied into the economy and the ability to sell. Which in itself is a bit of innovation. I agree that largely guilds are the same regardless of game, but it appears in this sense they are changing things up some, just because its not the changes you wouldve made doesnt mean its more of the same.
3/03/14 11:44:58 AM#6
The majority of MMO players nowadays tend to "game-hop", seldom staying anywhere for more than a month or two.
The games themselves are designed to facilitate solo play all the way to level-cap. Nobody needs anyone for anything. Grouping is usually entirely optional, and green gear gets you to level-cap without breaking a sweat.
Joining a guild is just a hassle under these circumstances. Why would anyone spend time "building a guild community" if they're unlikely to be around to enjoy the benefits of their effort ? Besides, in most games there are no material benefits to belonging to a guild. You don't get faster XP, more gold or better quest rewards, so the average modern MMO'er won't make the effort.
OP 3/03/14 11:54:24 AM#7
With a good allegiance system, that can be dealt with at a very low level. :)
Let's see, some of the issues I've had to deal with running a legion,
Griefing, scamming, theft, arguments, people reporting bad officers, people angry over promotions, general complaints over anything under the sun, spies from other factions, racism, people feeling they aren't being helped enough.
I've ran them over the years and that's just a few things I remember. And the scamming and theft I say was different because the scammers made characters who posed as alts of regular guild members and tried to steal from them, but the theft I recall (was a huge issue) was someone crafting for someone else and stating the item failed when it didn't and it was 2 actual guild members.
At the end of the day, it is a game. But when people have real issues within that game, they want them resolved. Maybe if another guild leader would put in there two cents to get another opinion, because they more and likely know exactly what I'm talking about.
Some games I don't make guilds at all, and don't join them. I take a break and do the solo thing for the fun of it because some of us like to just log in sometimes and have care free gaming. But when guilds are made, we should be equipped with the resources to organize them better to make greater playing experiences for everyone. And the purpose of the original post was to show that nothing has really changed in ten years, whereas it should be a bit more complex and innovative these days.