"I Can Go it Alone, Can’t I?"
by Feind Folio
After reading and talking with many of my online friends that over the years have become real life ones, I thought that I would write up a snippet of thought and experiences for those new to MMO’s (Massive Multiplayer Online) and for those that have the feelings that they have been let down by their guilds in the games that they play. Basically what I am trying to do is inspire my fellow MMO players with words of thought, insight, and hopefulness that there are those Guilds out there that make a MMO much more than what the average player get out of it. In my comments I will only be posting the pleasant and good side of things because after all, that is really what we are looking for in the end, a great guild!
Let me start this off by saying what guilds do for a player in my opinion. A Guild can offer brotherhood (or sisterhood), the feeling of belonging to something bigger and more profound that that of ones self. In saying that, being in a Guild of 100+ people one would think that you might become a number or be forgotten about, truth be told, it can happen but it is the great Guild that makes it not that way. So, how do I prevent this from happening or find that Great Guild one would ask? It is no easy task and in some cases a closely guarded secret that strong long lasting Guilds/ Guild members cherish as such.
I have had the pleasure of being in two such Guilds in my MMO history. Both of which were completely different structures, different personalities in charge and totally different types of games. The one thing they both have had that set them apart from the other Guilds I have been in is, from what I can tell, loyalty to the idea of what a great guild is.
What is loyalty to an idea you say? The best and easiest way I can describe it is belief in your fellow guild mates/ leaders/ officers that they will do the right thing and look out for the guild and your rights as a player and as a member of their guild. This can come in different forms, and different levels, but to be a great guild it must be there. Now that is not to say that all, some or even any other guilds have not had loyalty, they have. I am saying that the greatest majority of people believe in the idea of what the guild is, what it can be, and what it really is!
Once you have found a guild that you feel has the great guild sense to it, how does that help you? Very simply it increases the “Fun Factor” of the game. “Fun Factor”, what is that? To me the “Fun Factor” is the part a part of a game that draws you in, holds you down in your seat while you say to yourself, “I will go to sleep in 5 minutes”. The 5 hours later with no sleep at all you trudge off to work tired as heck with a smile of your face only thinking about what you will do once you get home from work! How does a guild do that for me? Well I do not have to tell you that when you are in a great group, people that know how to play, are fun to be around and are like minded as you are, the time and the game content just fly by. Hours turn into days, into weeks, into years that you have been in a game with your guild mates having enjoyed the whole time even if the game was not the best one out there!
Now that we have the basics under wraps, let’s talk about the internal dynamics of a great guild. What are those and how do they work? There are so many I am only going to touch on a few, and they can be very complex to say the least.
Some internal dynamics to start with would be adventuring, crafting, diplomacy (internal and external), and interdependency of those just to name a few.
Let’s start off with adventuring on your chosen game. This can be as simple as a first person shooter where you wander around with a group and look for other groups to kill or try to capture a flag (or anything similar). For this I am going to concentrate on MMORPG’s (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) where their pinnacle to date can mean PvP (Player vs Player), grinding levels, raiding for experience, equipment, the ability to go to a new areas and so on. It all takes good leadership, meaning command and control of the game, players, events and so much more. In a great guild it can seem easy, almost effortless, but trust a man that knows from being there, it is so very much is not.
The dynamics of keeping the adventures plundering away from day to day, ever advancing from the beginning of a game to the ever expanding “end game” is the trick that a great guild offers that a game can not. By this I mean that as players work together, learning more about the game, assisting each other in getting newer better equipment it creates a bond that keeps players playing long after they would have normally moved on to a new game. The common theme that adventures seem to have is the ever wanting and needing of “loot”. You can never have enough of it, and being around people that share those views, the same desire, and the effortless hours in that pursuit is what it is all about for the adventurers.
Crafting seems to be one of the most social of all parts of a MMORPG. Working with adventures (normally) to get the raw materials to craft items of power/ use/ or even for looks, takes team work cooperation and the basic salesman attitude of getting out there and showing the product that you have to offer anyone or everyone. While crafting in most MMORPG’s you will need a great guild to get to the best items, the best recipes, to have the most renowned name in crafting. Besides who better to talk good about you and your wears then people that you make them for and use them most often. That being said there is always the debate of who/ what/ how much/ or if even to charge for crafted goods inside a guild. From experience if the question is asked, who’s interests is being served? There maybe a need to get a little something from all the effort/ time invested, but as a great guild knows it normally is like the Golden Rule or the idea of “Pay it Forward”. What you give up now will come back to you because that person will remember you and will help you when you need it! After all, in a great guild you are all friends, and why would you charge a friend?
Diplomacy is as complex as anything out there. Talking with other guilds, or just keeping the peace can demand great amounts of time and effort if you are not in a guild or not the kind of person that gets along with people easily. After all, playing on line is forcing you to be around people that can treat you anyway that they want with little or no consequence to their actions. This in itself can cause griefing or even real life issues as some have experienced. Being in a great guild you put yourself around some of the best people in the online community helping to remove the threat of being mistreated and there for raising the enjoyment of the game. After all that is why we play to enjoy the game and our friends!
So how do all these things tie in with the up coming game Vanguard: Saga of Hero’s? Well to put it simply and in my opinion, there will be a lot of content and enjoyment that can be had by having a great guild to spend the time with, adventure with, craft and build cities/towns/ships with, to engage in diplomatic missions with. Where your party members can simply make an encounter yield vast things that a average pick up group just can not grant you with. Not to mention all the conversation that can be had during such times. No, if you ask me, the only way to go is to join a guild pre-release, get a feel for the people and the guild. Find one you fit in, one that allows you to be you. After all, we enjoy things so much more when we do not have to alter things and can just be accepted for who we are, the way we are!
So in closing I hope that I have helped refresh and renew the feelings of those that have been in great guilds, and given new hope and guidance of things to look for in the guilds so that you, like I, can truly enjoy the time/money that we put forth in the online experience.
I would to thank Silly Venom for making the online community even better by offering people to share their ideas and thoughts with others. I would also like to put out an offer out to those that feel they can handle a laid back, not so serious, no drama, and all about the fun guild, to look up The Old Timers at http://www.oldtimersguild.com/vb/
tell them that Feind Folio sent you!
Thank you Silly Venom and Staff!
P.S. A big shout out to Pax Imperius and The Old Timers Guild!