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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: Guild Functionality

Posted by Paragus1 Monday June 18 2007 at 7:38PM
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Rant: Guild Functionality

This is a topic that is somewhat near and dear to my heart because I am the leader of a guild.  In most MMO's we play, we see guilds playing a major role in our gaming experience.   Guilds often tend to be the deciding factor of who we spend most of our time socializing with, and in many cases transcends to be more of a club, but a family of people who roam from game to game.

So with all of this in mind, is it too much to ask for a game to give us some real guild functionality?  What is guild functionality?    As a guild leader, when I take my guild into a new world and a new game, I expect there to be certain tools and features that cater to us.   These tools and features which target guilds and guild management can very often be a legitimate feature to lure me into a game as much as graphics.

As a developer, it would be very wise to target people like me because I have the influence to sway upwards of 50-60 people in my case on whether or not we are going to purchase your product and subscribe.   At the same time, I am not the type of person you don't want to drop a deuce on, because I can also influence the opposite direction and cost a developer those same 50-60 accounts.

What am I looking for?

First of all, I expect there to be a banner of some kind.   A banner to distinguish us from any other crew of people.   In a game with PvP, this is even more important to me.   Our symbol is often times how our enemies will distinguish us from others, and it may be something related to the name of the guild.  The problem with this is in a lot of games, the banner are absolutely retarded!  I mean let's cut the crap here, what self-respecting PvP guild looks over the choices of symbols to burn their legacy into history, and decides that a god damn teddy bear, heart, acorn, flower, or bunny rabbit is the symbol to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.  Furthermore, who in their right minds wants to join a guild that is going to slap a giant pink heart on your chest?!   Unless your guild is called <The Carebears>, I think I would have to check my balls before accepting the invite.  When so many of the banner options are horrible, we all end up picking the same 1 or 2 that are acceptable.



The second thing I expect to find is some form of housing.   Now I know it can be a major pain in the ass for a developer to code in housing of some kind, but at the same time as a guild leader I like to have a place that I can call everyone together and to hang out during downtime without interruption from tile-hopping 12-year olds.  DAOC had a pretty good housing layout.   They had a side area you could go to, and search all the houses and even visit some of them.  Inside the houses you could put in merchants, decorations, trophies, and other useful crafting tools and storage.  EQ2 had a probably an even better housing layout.   Real buildings right in the town you could zone into.   I don't even mind if its instanced, as long as I can decide who can come and go, this is one area where Devs are allowed to cheat with instancing.  Decorating the house with trophies and the like also gives guild members something to do and talk about.   It is a form of content and amusement that probably gets overlooked in the design meeting.



The third thing that really makes a guild leader's life a lot easier the a really good guild interface.  Back in the day, all we had was the same chatbox we typed in to try to set our ranks, see our ranks, see our members, and see who was online.  FFXI gave us a little linkshell menu to see everyone who was online in our guild.   WoW came along and totally redefined the tools a guild leader has at their disposal by adding a nice window where I can add notes and even sort the list by parameters, and see who hasn't been playing as much.   EQ2 came along and took what WoW did, and took it miles and miles beyond anything I have ever seen.   This UI has anything I could ever want in a game.  Tabs upon Tabs of easily manageable data, I can make notes, name the ranks, set permissions for every rank, sort it, splice it, rename it, and my personal favorite the "Event Log".  The event log was a window that tells me everything of interest that has happened in the guild.   If I log on, I can check the tab and see what happened while I as gone.  This is the guild user interface every MMO Dev should be looking at.  Outstanding!



Finally, probably one of the most often overlooked and yet most important features I want.....the guild bank!  This one really shocked me in WoW.   WoW is such a gear and guild oriented game.  A lot of the raids often time require the guild to stockpile certain supplies and quest items which are used to obtain epic armor.   Yet every guild leader is forced to roll up an alt, and mule everything over.  DAOC had a nice treasure box I could put in my guilds house and fill it with items.   EQ2 had a separate storage at the bank in town with the same thing.  Both games gave the ability to decide who gets to out in items, who can take them out, and who is even allowed to open the box and look inside to see if there is anything of use in there.   This needs to be standard issue in every game.  It is a major hassle and pain in the ass to have to not only mule items to another character, but to have to go back onto that character to tell people if there is anything of use in there.   As long as gear and guilds are a major staple in MMOs, this needs to be there.



Remember Devs, guild leaders are probably the most important members of your target audience.   Whenever a new game comes out, it is my job to take a look at it and decide if this MMO is even worth mentioning.   If you win me over, I become a salesman for your product, one with the power to influence many other people.   It's probably not a good idea to ban me from your game for having too much gold because you didn't have the foresight to add a guild bank! *cough* Vanguard *Cough*.  If your making a PvP game, these things are even more so important as every PvP game will ultimately be guild oriented.  Give us guild leaders what we want, and we will give you want you want.....subscribers!

Paragus
Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.com

eroxzor writes: Your very right, guild banks, event logs, banners, and housing, are a good start to forming a guild. What you haven't mentioned is something that most guilds need to pioneer on there own. A web interface. Most guilds I join, have some type of web registration system, a basic forum, and a place to store some type of 'guild currency' (dkps and such). As you see, I'm not a guild leader - but when joining a guild I expect certain things, a voice chat server usually comes to mind. Mon Jun 18 2007 9:45PM Report
Paragus1 writes: AH I forgot about the DKP thing. Me and my Co-Leader were actually discussing the fact that a raid oriented game should have a DKP tracker. One of my guildies wrote a program for us in WoW in about a day, I'm sure these high payed devs. Mon Jun 18 2007 9:48PM Report
juv95hrn writes: I totally agree developpers should focus more on social interaction content lite this rather than single player gear grinding factors. Imo you should be able to play a guild leader and nothing else and still beable to be an important character in the MMO. Call them officers, diplomats, merchants, mercenary captains, capitalists, whatever but give teh MMOs some resemblance to what the real world looks like and do not just fill it with different combat classes. Use some creativity for Pete's sake... Tue Jun 19 2007 8:45AM Report
Panossian writes: All good points. Tue Jun 19 2007 10:47AM Report
FatGamer writes: I completely agree. Iv'e been so bothered by the lack guild assets in LOTRO. So much in fact that iv'e most likely lost a few pounds venting about it. Tue Jun 19 2007 11:18AM Report
BaronJuJu writes: Great post. I agree completely about EQ2 guild tools, it is the best set I have ever used by far. I wish more MMO's would adopt them into their games. Tue Jun 19 2007 1:24PM Report
neschria writes: It took EQ1 a while, and while their guild manager UI (added with Legacy of Ykesha expansion) still kind of stinks, the guild hall (added with Dragons of Norrath expansion) is pretty good. It is instanced, and all guilds share the same door in guild lobby. The centralized services of guild lobby (corpse summoning, guild recruitment boards, teleport magus, and even bankers now) plus the functionality of guild hall (banker, guild banker, basic supply vendor, guild tribute NPC, portals, regen pool, and tradeskill area) are a good thing. Tue Jun 19 2007 1:38PM Report
Paragus1 writes: That reminds me, EQ2 had a service where you could be in your guildchat from your web browser. It made for a fun distraction at work. I think this might have been a pay service though? Tue Jun 19 2007 1:54PM Report
BaronJuJu writes: Yeah it is part of the extras off the Station Pass. For about $3 more you can have the guild website and functions plus the chat capability to talk to ingame friends through the web browser. Wed Jun 20 2007 4:03PM Report
quaiky writes: i have to fully agree, as a guildleader myself in a few games i found out that all these small little things make your life so much easier. I still can remember how horrible it was to administer guilds with console commands in some of the old games. I personally think that most of these things are rather easy to implement (housing is probably more complex) so i cannot understand why any guild based mmo comes out without a good Guild UI and a Guild Bank. Thu Jun 21 2007 3:40AM Report
Sykomyke writes:

Would you like a side of God-Complex to go along with your "I can influence 50-60 people" rant?  Get off your high horse.  If I was in your guild I wouldn't follow you to another game just cause you said it was fun. As long as this game is fufilling all my objectives reached in terms of fun and time I will stay there.  Contrary to popular belief unless I'm playing with Real Life Friends of which the only game i did that for was Guild Wars. 

As for guild features in game? I do agree with that though.  EQ2 did have some very nice and concise guild features that should be present in any future MMO's. 

Honestly though, before you go posting rants like these, take a deep breath and just go "It's just a game..it's just a game" and you'll find you don't need the comments of 10 strangers to reply and give you those warm fuzzy feelings of  justificiation that you think you need.

Sat Sep 08 2007 1:24PM Report
Agathu writes:

I have to agree with you about EQ2's guild management features. I wish more games would use it as a template for theirs.

Wed Mar 23 2011 2:33PM Report
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