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MMORPG Gamers Handbook - Part Two

Musse Dolk is a 2nd year game student from Sweden. As a part of his studies, Musse created the MMORPG Gamers Handbook, a fantastic basic resource that introduces new players to some of the terms, concepts and etiquette of MMORPG gaming. Today, we present part two of the guide.

MMORPG Gamers Handbook - Part Two

5 Guilds

A guild is an organization whose players share the same goals and decides to work together in a larger scale. Upon creation of a guild it is wise to have a clear set of goals, which the members will strive to achieve. Look at the guild as its own entity following a vision instead of personal opinions. With a clear vision, members of the guild are less likely to have misunderstandings about it.

5.1 Recruitment

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Be open with your guilds intentions and try to recruit likeminded people that share the vision of the guild. Try to have active discussions every now and then about where the guild is going and its future plans.

Keep in mind that not every guild is suitable for everyone. This is often a matter of play style. It’s not as easy as it sounds to throw someone out. Many guilds are torn apart because someone got thrown out who had friends, who in turn had more friends and suddenly a big chunk of the guild left.

5.2 Leading and delegation

As a leader of the guild it’s important not to take too much responsibility to yourself. Delegate this job to a few officers, how many depends on the size of the guild. It’s important that all of the officers know the rules and goals by heart, so these can be explained to the members. It’s also preferable if each of the officers has their area of responsibility. If their areas overlap too much, there is a higher risk for contradicting decisions.

A leader who takes too much responsibility makes the guild stand and fall with her. This is not very good, because if she wants to go on vacation the guild might break up or take a pause for that period of time. It’s also very easy to get burned out of it all. It’s also important not to have too many officers. An officer needs to take responsibility and commitment for her tasks. Not everyone is suitable for this role in a guild.

5.3 Planning events

Getting your guild members to show up at guild events may be tricky at start, especially if you are a small guild just getting started. It’s a good idea to have a set time once or twice per week when guild events are happening. As leaders and officers responsible for the planning you need to remind your members when the events are and ask them personally if they can show up. Many members may miss messages given or even forget about them.

When the guild has a few events under their belt this will go a lot easier, people will take notice that the guild makes events together and keep looking for it. If things go well, less time will go to making people show up and instead be focused on development and evaluation of the events.

5.4 Loot systems

One of the main reasons for teamwork is to obtain treasure from your enemies. This is commonly known as loot. It’s a good idea to have a system thought of how to divide these items in a way that seems fair for everyone involved.

5.4.1 Need before greed

This system means a piece of equipment is randomised to players that can use the item if it is better than what they are currently using. If no one can use, it is randomised between all players to sell for cash. This is suitable for most small to medium sized guilds since every well-equipped player strengthens the guild as a whole.

5.4.2 Total randomness

If items can be traded between players it can be argued that anyone can use an item for selling, thereby being able to buy something for themselves. This may seem like a more fair system in places where there are only items for specific classes. If you team with players you haven’t been with before, it’s wise to talk about which loot system to use beforehand.

5.4.3 Point based loot systems

In heavy raiding guilds, players often feel the need for a more advanced system to handle the loot. One of the main reasons for this is that total randomised loot is purely based on luck. A player raiding only once per month have the same chance of getting something as someone who plays every day. It can be reasoned that the more active players; spending more time helping the guilds progress with their raiding should have a higher chance of getting better equipped than those who are rarely participating. One way to solve this is to give out points to each player for the events they have been attending to. These points can then be used to buy equipment and items using some form of selling or auctioning system.

5.4.4 Common problems

There are a few problems that may need to be taken in to consideration before choosing a point based loot system. The first is that points sometimes are earned faster than they can be spent. This means a new or less active participant can never hope to catch up to those with the highest points. Another problem is to handle unwanted items. Some items might be good, but not good enough for people wanting to spend their hard earned points on.

6 Raiding

Basically a raid has the same basics as fighting in a group, except that it normally takes longer time and requires more people.

6.1 Leading a raid

6.1.1 Communication is the key

As a raid leader it is extremely important that every member of the raid knows what to do. If there is any confusion among your members this may lead to everyone’s death. This means a good raid leader has a bit of insight in each of the different roles and classes of the game. It doesn’t mean she needs to learn them all by heart, but it’s good to have a general idea what everyone is about.

If someone asks, “what am I supposed to do, I never raided before?”. A good leader will have a short but easily understandable reply. Keep in mind that a raid is not everyone to herself; a leader needs to see the groups as a whole. Even if someone is super good at soloing, doesn’t mean she will do a good job in a raid.

6.1.2 Planning ahead

As a leader you should know as much as you can about the place you are raiding. A common mistake is to let several members who believe they know more run ahead and start trying to lead everyone else. This most often turns in to chaos. The normal member will have no idea who to follow. It’s better to follow one leader to a dead end, than to be split and cause confusion in the entire team. You can always go back and take another turn, but you cannot make up for a wipeout of the team.

Some games also have raid areas where several raiding parties can be at once. If so, be sure to check that there are no other guilds currently fighting the place you are going for. If so, a backup plan may be in order.

It’s also a good idea to find out quests and information about the place you are about to raid. If you have time, also go in to class specific quests, or have a few of your group leaders do this. There are always people who do not know everything about their class and what they need to get.

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