Ask Mo: The absurd advantages of MMO guilds

A Massively OP reader named Ohnix recently sent us a question just perfect for Ask Mo. Let's debate guilds!

I play EverQuest II quite a bit (and EverQuest before that) and have come to ponder if guilds are unintentionally dividing the membership base by making guild-specific achievements for raid-level content. This mechanic appears to focus a select few players from a single guild into a specific goal and that does not allow for mixed guild raids to form and perform the same raid to gain the same achievement. In the long term this mechanic isolates the members of each guild from each other and therefore diminishes the opportunities for individuals or smaller groups to participate. There are not always exactly enough players to fill each raid for the folks who would like to raid.

I'll go a step further: I'll say that guilds and guild achievements divide MMO communities and playerbases period.

You might think it's crazy for me to say this, as I've been leading a guild almost as long as there have been MMORPGs. I love the idea of guilds, and my long-time guild is a large part of why I still care about and play MMOs. Simply put, those guys are my dearest friends.

But then, we aren't a typical 2015 MMO guild. Our guild exists because it's old, because our friendships were formed back in old games. I don't think many guilds like ours start from scratch nowadays. MMO communities have simply changed too much, and part of the reason is found in what MMO designers have done to formalize the large guild as the unit of social organization -- at the expense of MMO communities.

A few years back, I wrote an article called The Guilded Age in which I argued that MMOs treat unguilded players like crap. Organized groups seem to be natural impulses in multiplayer games as they are in real-life; Ultima Online, for example, didn't launch with guilds (or clans, as the FPS crowd more often called them), but people formed up in teams with uniforms and name suffixes anyway. It's almost always better to be a part of a group that can help you survive than to go it alone. The benefit to simply being part of a guild, any guild, is intrinsic.

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But MMO developers have since turned guilds into one of many feature bullet points they can rattle off in press releases, and now "The MMO Guild" has been uncomfortably codified in MMO design. As I put it,

Since those early days, guilds have become overdefined and bloated from a mechanics standpoint. Somehow, our calls for community management tools like alliance chat and calendars and signups were translated into powerful perks that make being unguilded intolerable, such that a new game is far more likely to include an overpowered achievement system than adequate management tools. I imagine game designers through the years saw guilds as they see player-generated content on the whole: as just another something they could harness to increase retention through social compulsion and necessity instead of designing, you know, actual social gameplay like much-harder-to-design PvP, housing, and economy systems. Simple frameworks through which players could devise any sort of custom club they wanted were replaced with fixed ranks and top-down hierarchies and factional restrictions created by the game designers, not the players.

Rightly believing sticky, social components to be the glue that keeps games alive, MMO designers veered away from server community-oriented design and began piling overwhelming rewards on guilds specifically to keep them loyal. Personal achievement tracks were duplicated as guild achievement tracks; as if guilds weren't powerful enough, in some MMOs they become the de facto gatekeepers for territory, PvP participation, dungeon experience, progression, perk trees, special skills, housing, auction systems, special quests, and even cosmetics. In a lot of modern MMOs, you're going to miss out on far more than just endgame raids if you try to stay solo or run with a small crew. It's just easier for devs to design for big guilds than to support multiguilding, alliance formation, server-wide communication, and scaling PvE and PvP content -- even if most people don't actually want to be in those faceless conglomerates.

"It was bad enough when being in a huge guild was the only way to survive ganks and get phats," I argued back in 2013, with WildStar and Elder Scrolls Online still on the horizon and Guild Wars 2 and SWTOR in the rear-view mirror, "but now the guild mechanics penalize you for failure to socialize in whatever arbitrarily guild-oriented way the game designers command." Unguilded and small-guild players are ultimately heavily disadvantaged in "an MMO industry that is obsessed with massive raids and social-media oversharing and a dated, hierarchical, achievement-based vision of what it should mean to be in a guild" -- and a community.

Ohnix's questions home in on all of the problems that modern gamers face in guild-centric rather than community-centric MMOs. Formal, reward-based guild achievements separate the guilded from the unguilded and the big guilds from the little guilds, usually pitting them against each other; in this specific case, they also isolate guilds from each other and divide guilds right down the middle. I think it's cheap game design in 2015 for new games and old games alike. It might buy a little stickiness in the short-run, but in the long-run, it forces gaming communities to devour themselves and drives away too many good gamers who cannot or do not want to participate in a competitive social scene layered on top of an actual game. And that collateral damage is something modern MMOs simply can no longer afford.

The only quibble I have with Ohnix's question is the word "unintentionally." I know, I know, Hanlon's razor and all, but take a hard look at the people building modern MMOs: Many of today's top themepark MMOs were designed by hardcore, uberguild players from the first gen of MMOs, people who genuinely believe games should revolve around hardcore, uberguild players, never mind that casuals pay the same fee (if not more). No, I'm not convinced mechnical gameplay that incentivizes the guilded above all others is unintentional at all. The only unintentional part is that it doesn't work forever.

Are video games doomed? What do MMORPGs look like from space? Did free-to-play ruin everything? Will people ever stop talking about Star Wars Galaxies? Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and mascot Mo every month as they answer your letters to the editor right here in Ask Mo.
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55 Comments on "Ask Mo: The absurd advantages of MMO guilds"

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DamnDirtyApe
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DamnDirtyApe

Ironwu In a way, I actually preferred how EQ handled factions.  Let the world and NPCs be defined by the lore but let the players ultimately decide what they want to do.  I never understood in WoW how there are thousands of neutral NPCs for most every race but every PC is perma locked into Horde or Alliance.  It's been a long time, but I liked that EQ2 let you change sides if you did a quest of some sort.

DamnDirtyApe
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DamnDirtyApe

Gottphoenix I think you're throwing the blame for Cata heroics at the wrong people.  Lots of people had been playing Wrath for a long time and were quite used to 'how the game was', and then Cata came along and changed everything.  People who could sleepwalk through Wrath dungeons wiped constantly on trash in Cata.

Were Wrath dungeons too easy?  I believe so, but then again I played heavily through BC where the heroics were very hard for quite a while.  Still, it's not the casuals fault that the dungeons changed almost overnight from 'sprint to the end AE nuking everything down in seconds' to 'someone didn't CC that trash mob so its a wipe on the first pull of the dungeon'.

So basically, overnight Blizzard completely changed a game that many people were quite happy with.  Sort of sounds familiar with what is happening now.

Zardoz1972
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Zardoz1972

There is a lot of anti-guild talk in this thread. I'm glad to see a positive experience. As I have said before not every game offers overpowered guild perks. Creating a Community on the other hand should be encouraged.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

I'm not a fan of too many guild-related perks. Some, yes, but not so many that if you don't have a Guild Tag over your head you're a total liability to whatever group you're in, and that small guilds don't have a hope in hell of grinding out allt he advantages to put them on any kind of equal footing.

What I like is games that have systems which allow people to be part of more than one guild in some way - everything from being able to actually join more than one as a full member, to just being able to link up chat channels easily and automatically. That's a rather nice way of having your cake and eating it too becasue you can still run small guilds of your close friends as a fun, safe place to kick back and do your own thing with your own little guild house and whatever, while at the same time still being a part of something bigger that can get togther to tackle the content that requires larger groups.

Necromonger
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Necromonger

I joined a mmo community many many years ago and we played tons of mmo's together.

We are a hardcore high end pvp guild and evil gits in every mmo we play.

Before i became part of FUtilez i joined many diffrent guilds and alot of them had bad leaders / officers and no unity whatsoever.

We have all kinds of players from the no life 18 hours a day to players with busy jobs and family's yet our rank on mmo's is always being in the top.

Its awesome to find similar minded community's / guilds and duke it out specialy if you seen and fought against them in other mmo's :)

DoctorOverlord
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DoctorOverlord

"Many of today’s top themepark MMOs were designed by hardcore, uberguild players from the first gen of MMOs, people who genuinely believe games should revolve around hardcore, uberguild players, never mind that casuals pay the same fee (if not more)"

THANK YOU for this article.   It is heartening to see MMO evolving to the point where this kind of discussion can even be printed by an MMO news site.  If this idea was posted a decade ago, the writer would have been looking for another job.   But the issues would still have been there, they were simply being ignored.

I very much like the term 'community-centric' vs 'guild-centric'.   I hope the next generation of MMO developers, the ones who got tired of the MMOs created by the uberguild players. will pick up this concept and develop games that foster online communities rather than deliberately divide them.

enamelizer
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enamelizer

Since I have been doing this whole adult life thing, I have been finding guilds themselves to segregate the community. I play from 9pm-midnight Pacific time, and finding a guild that is active during this time is a real challenge. However there are thousands of guilds that have a few players active during this time. Basically my opportunities to socialize is spread out across small segments of the game's population called "guilds".

I have often thought about starting my own "late night" guild, but I am old enough to know better than to GM (I have done it in the past). Really tho, I simply lack the time it takes to properly admin a group, 3 hours a day just doesn't cut it.

mosselyn
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mosselyn

As someone who has only ever had positive guild experiences, I am never going to get on board a "guilds, bad" bandwagon. People will always segment themselves. It's what humans do. However, I agree completely about guild rewards. 
If you need a bribe or cookie to motivate you to be in my guild, I don't really want you there, and you don't really want to be there, either. Guilds are all about community and social contact to me, so I really dislike it when games try to force people into guilds with incentives. You should be neither punished nor rewarded by the game for your guilding choice or lack thereof.

mrnastybutler
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mrnastybutler

Not much good comes from guilds is something I've learned over the years.

Grimmtooth
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Grimmtooth

Spot on Bree 100%. Adding leveling & achievements mechanics to guilds ends up being nothing but a hot mess as time goes on.

SemillanZ
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SemillanZ

I catch this opportunity to quote the epic comment Geminosity made on Massively almost exactly four years ago (11/10/2011) for The Guild Counsel: The problem with guilds (Karen Bryan). Since I spread the word.Geminosity:Rather than solo vs. guild it's quite possible to approach the game socially without guilds at all. Using myself as an example, I'm actually a very social player; however, I do not like limiting my associations to a guild. I've always loved the "massive" part of massively multiplayer games, and tying myself down to just a few people always seemed like an odd expectation to me.
I appreciate that for some people, the sense of identity or common goal a guild might lend might make it easier to meet new people within the confines of their guild or give them a solid base of people they can rely on, but it's never been something I've needed, and constantly meeting new people is one of the great joys of these games for me.
I don't join MMOs just to experience new worlds but also to hopefully meet equally as strange and unknown people in these unfamiliar backdrops. It really helps round out the sense of adventure when I walk into these worlds initially not knowing a soul, and unless I actively keep a low profile, I know I'll hit the friend cap in the first day or two, so there's no need to rely on existing connections.
I know that's not everyone's thing, but I bring it up to illustrate that not everyone outside of a guild is necessarily alone.Edit: Rubi Bayer quoted Geminosity too in Global Chat: November 6-12, 2011http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/13/global-chat-november-6-12-2011/

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

My personal take on guilds is that, if they are effectively optional, I will be around the game long enough to stumble upon a nice guild I want to join; but if I feel like I need to join a guild in order to enjoy the game, I will instead leave the game due to not enjoying it.

Or, in other words: make it possible to have fun without a guild and I will end joining a guild, try to force me to join a guild and I will never do so.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Gottphoenix annoyedbadger I don't think people who label themselves casuals are knowingly excusing performance problems, though I do think people who don't play much probably aren't playing as well as people who live in a game.
I do think people who label other people casuals pejoratively are knowingly implying performance problems.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Gylnne Honestly, I don't think it happened with F2P at all, nope. I think it was sort of an accident of EQ's fairly empty/minimalist original design that WoW picked up on. All the pre-WoW games had intrinsic benefits for being in an uberguild -- even UO, though I never heard the word uberguild used until EQ came out. Then AC1 kinda made guilds more like social networks with monarchies, not guilds exactly. Camelot supported alliances so well that small guilds easily meshed with the zerg. AO and SWG, their combat was minimalist and didn't support the traditional raid, and at least in SWG (though I think AO's cities were similar) the real unit of a social community was the player city, not the guild (our city, for example, had many guilds supporting it). CoH didn't have competitive raiding early on and had scaling group content to boot. And so on.
So I think WoW built on EQ's raid-centric design and reinvented the uber-guild as the social unit and then locked it in place with 40-man raiding. The next crop of games took that and ran with it in a bunch of directions, one of which came from outside of MMOs (the achievement systems of consoles and various platforms). All of that started long before F2P became popular in the west, for better or worse.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Samizdat Esoteric Coyote You can! You're just a lot more limited in the games you can play and what you can do in them. :x

breetoplay
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breetoplay

schlag sweetleaf kgptzac That's cheating... I didn't do many this year. :P I need more hours in a day!

Gottphoenix
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Gottphoenix

annoyedbadger Gottphoenix They cata heroics were easy after they nerfed them no doubt.
You did not comprehend my post, as I said that many players describe themselves as casual to excuse being bad. Casual primarily means a lesser amount of time invested, but many label themselves as casual to simply excuse their poor performance ergo they are bad and not necessarily casual, get it now?

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf

Second that motion..

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Gottphoenix your use of the term "casual" as a pejorative is absurd. I am casual, I found the cata heroics easy and led many a pub group through them with few issues.
In fact, your entire post makes no sense whatsoever, I don't know what I should be more appalled by, your inability to make a coherent point or the fact that others "liked" your comment seemingly just because you went off on some rant about some fictional cohesive "casual" group of players.

I've known many "hardcore" players who quite frankly suck, and many "casual" players who are extremely skilled. Dont make the absurd mistake of conflating playtime/habits with ability.

snotgurgle
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snotgurgle
Ironwu
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Ironwu

breetoplay
Let's say a current server instance (shard, whatever), can handle 3,000 players simultaneously logged in.  In a one faction system that is 3,000 players available to interact with each other in meaningful ways (outside of PvP).  In a two faction system, that number of players is cut down to 1,500.  And in a three faction system, such as ESO, that number of players is down to 1,000; the other 2,000 players might as well not even exist.
Even in WoW or SWTOR or Wildstar, with just two factions, you can see the impact on the community as half the players you see in the open world might as well be just non-interactive NPCs.
And, as populations online in a game dwindle, the problem becomes even more acute.  So called 'Megaservers' really don't resolve this issue as there is still a limit on the number of players that can be present in any local instance.
No matter how you cut it, there will ALWAYS be more folks to play with in a game with no hard factions than there would be in the same game with factions that lock players away from each other.

Ironwu
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Ironwu

Serrenity
Just for your information, guild levels in WoW now mean squat.  In WoD guild levels were removed as any sort of gating factor for the really useful perks.
My latest experience in WoW guilds has shown that most WoW 'Guild Masters' have no clue as to what makes a real community of players work; they are just quasi-social hang out groups.  
As I said before, not until you get to end-game raiding does guild membership become useful, or required.  At least in WoW.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Nominating this article best of 2015 Ask Mo column.

MrSlow
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MrSlow

Personally I don't see the value in guilds or the so called benefits offered by membership but I am a casual and often don't even make max level in the MMO I am playing. I guess I am not the target market as I don't want to level faster I just want to experience all the quest content and enjoy the story.

Jadefox
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Jadefox

Good Article

Guilds of today are a totally different beast from the days of Ultima and Everquest. Back then all you needed was a guild specific chat. Now you have guilds get tons of perks based on how many members they have. Guilds have become about quantity rather than quality.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Well another XP gain problem....thank you developers for going for easiest route in developing multiplayer (guild) content.

The root of the problem here is XP gain quota, this time for guilds. There's got to be a better way of guild progression than using that damn leveling mechanic! If multiplayer/guild content was achievable by direct accomplishment of scalable tasks, as opposed to xp grinding then mega guilds would not have such a huge advantage.

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf

MO(Bree)! In the zone!

Samizdat
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Samizdat

tobascodagama crackfox Esoteric Coyote Considering how much I dislike GW2's no-trinity system, I'd rather take the burden of having to find a tank.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

crackfox Esoteric Coyote Game devs have a role to play in this. They're the ones really driving the "he's a dick, but where else can we find a good tank?" problem by designing content that's literally impossible to complete without the mythical "good tank".

crackfox
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crackfox

Esoteric Coyote " You end up prioritizing the needs of the valuable over the needs of others" 
You determine what's valuable. If you value efficiency over decency..well that's the choice you make and you have to suck up the consequences.

TomTurtle
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TomTurtle

I find myself less and less concerned with the idea of faceless mega-guilds existing. If that's what people want, so be it. Taking away the official in-game tools that let those types of guilds form isn't going to suddenly change those players' preferences. In fact, they'll probably still find a way to form them like they have in the past. The option to create a tight-knit guild is still there if you want it. It's just harder now because so many people don't feel quite so forced to join one when there are more options available to them that may fit them better. Options are a good thing.
So in that sense, I agree with Bree that guild/group creation could stand to be more free-form giving more power to those who don't fit in the standard design.

Tangentially, I find it annoying whenever I see someone's idea of what constitutes "real" or "acceptable" social interaction as some obvious truth. No, I have to disagree as it tends to be their preference.

Samizdat
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Samizdat

Esoteric Coyote "You end up prioritizing the needs of the valuable over the needs of others."

As great as games are for escapism, you unfortunately can't escape every aspect of reality.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

My issues with guilds is a little hard to pinpoint or at least articulate.  There are dozens of guilds that have risen and fallen in my history of play, I don't even remember names at this point, even of the guilds I greatly enjoyed.  Investing in guilds just becomes a tedious requirement in games these days, when you know eventually the guild will get ripped apart by drama.  It seems these days instead of guilds being a group of friends, it's many different groups of friends threaded together with weak relationships and often because of forced necessity.  Your main tank might be a bit of a jerk constantly making crude comments at the cute sounding mage in voice chat, but you'll tolerate it because replacing him is difficult.  You end up prioritizing the needs of the valuable over the needs of others.  And that's another thing that gets me, if this behavior isn't acceptable in a real life situation, why do we tolerate it in video games just because "it's the internet"?  At this point, I'm too old and lazy to tolerate it, so I just drop group/guild.

Estranged
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Estranged

Hmmm, good point. The mega guild I started off with in SWTOR got major preferences in server choice and merges.

Estranged
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Estranged

Just the simple XP bonus for guild membership is wrong, IMHO. In SWTOR, the benefit is huge, up to 10%, based on active members.
Makes me feel nerfed on my one private character.
The achievements and perks are a failure in so many ways. However, the worst is basically promoting megaguilds.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

Great guilds full of people you knew personally haven't been a reality for me since... Wrath of the Lich King.

Personally I blame 'quality of life improvements' such as LFR where you no longer need to seek out and join an organized guild to tackle raid content.  And good luck to you if you're GM of a smaller or new guild and are trying to find players to join and actually stick around.
Also cross realm zones and dungeons. 
Great for casuals who play in a very limited fashion and largely terribad for those seeking a deeper MMO community experience.

MMOs that offer the multi-guild experience ala GW2. Worst idea ever. 

There's little to no commitment, sense of guild pride or personal accountability anymore in MMOs anymore.

Zardoz1972
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Zardoz1972

There has to be a middle ground. I'm a TSW player and a PVP Cabal leader. I can not offer my membership ANY perk or reason to sign up. Other than the TS which our friends have as well and our under used website. We would love Cabal/Guild achievements that rewarded titles and cosmetic items. There is no power-creep there. There is nothing wrong with creating incentives for social interaction and group cooperation.

Gylnne
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Gylnne

Great article Bree. You bring up some area's I have wondered about for years.

"MMO designers veered away from server community-oriented design and
began piling overwhelming rewards on guilds specifically to keep them
loyal."
Do you think when f2p came about the veering away happened because they became more focused on making a profit since they could not rely on monthly subs?

Serrenity
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Serrenity

breetoplay Ironwu my faction choice *wasn't permanent and immutable."  Why do I always forget those tiny but very important key words <.<

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Gottphoenix Yeah, I wasn't so much thinking of WoW with that line as other games that are happy to sell people powerups/buffs/etc. of various types to make gameplay easier. WoW doesn't really do that, though I suppose you could say the $60 advanced characters are a version of it.

Samizdat
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Samizdat

frzn I grew up on these hard PUG streets. Needing on every drop. Leaving group after the first wipe. Tanking in DPS gear. Going AFK unannounced.

Gottphoenix
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Gottphoenix

I partially agree and disagree with this article. 

I agree that guilds should not feel mandatory in a mmorpg. Worst example I experienced was Skyforge, where character-stat progression and certain endgame activity is simply locked unless you are in a heavily-invested guild (quasi zerg-like amount of members that poured many millions in guild advancement)

I however disagree with the "never mind that casuals pay the same fee (if not more)" sentiment. Let's take the difficulty of heroic dungeons in Cataclysm for instance. They were challenging, hard even yet fun and satisfactory, but the outcry of "casuals" was immense, who used the "we pay the same sub fee so we should have access to the same content" excuse. There is no http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/bureaucratic barrier stopping them from engaging the content like raiding would. It's not hard finding 4 other skilled players and engaging in challenging 5 man dungeons with them.

The problem is those people use the "casual" term as an excuse for being bad. Your payment of a monthly fee is no excuse for lack of engagement and to have the devs spoonfed you content.

frzn
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frzn

Not everyone has what it takes to live the PUG life.

John Bagnoli
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John Bagnoli

Just my opinion, but the only real functionality I'd like to see in guilds are communication tools. And I mean built into the fabric of the game, very robust, everything and anything a team across multiple time zones, countries, lifestyles... you name it... that can be used to coordinate in whatever the guild wants to do. So that a guild can be any type of guild it choses.
I'm guessing that with the ease of off loading all that to external resources, that fact that it would eat into development and many other reasons there is little impetus to do it. But then the games are left with guilds that more or less have no place in the game so like pretty much all games recently, they go for the lowest common denominator in achievements or their equivalent. As you say, to just check the box and be done. I'm sure internally there is some rationality in terms of using guilds to guide players to specific content but it really isn't about the player social experience anymore.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

breetoplay Ironwu I'm gonna turn into Bree with SWG, but *ahem* In Anarchy Online, I loved the faction system because it wasn't static -- my faction choice was permanent and immutable.  There were consequences to changing factions, especially after you'd invested so much time into them, but it could be done.  
Factions for me as a whole have a different feel and it always bothered me in WoW that we were race locked to faction.  My Worgen really wanted to be in the Horde.  I remember back in the earlier days, there was a lot of pride in being Horde or Alliance for some (not everyone), but I would proudly proclaim that I was Horde4life anyone who ask.  Still will, actually though my SigOther much prefers Alliance.  
I don't think guilds are an anachronism, because we always want ways to group together.  It's kind of like saying any meatspace community is an anachronism because the benefit you get so minuscule. My impression is tat developers have taken something was generally accepted as a qualitative, subjective addition to the game and have to tried to  gamify it and make membership quantitative.  We know what GearScore and DPS Meters did to MMOs, why would we think that being able to quantify guild membership would have any other impact?  If it can be measured, in the current MMO meta, it will be min-maxed.  
People now join guilds primarily because of what it can do them.  In WoW, people brag about their level 25 guild to attract new members.  Applicants require certain guild levels before they'll apply.  
Guilds used to be about playing with other people with similar goals, people you enjoyed logging in every day to talk to.  That's no the case in today's guilds (at least, by-in-large -- I'm sure there are still some like this).

Samizdat
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Samizdat

breetoplay Ironwu I imagine two different factions both still contribute to the maximum possible number of players on a server. Figure your game's technology allows you to fit 5,000 CCU on a server. On the 2+ faction server, for a given player, the average number of other players she can fully interact with is lower than on a 0/1 faction server.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

As well they should.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Ironwu How are factions fundamentally different from shards in this theory? If a server is really big, won't there be roughly as many people on a 'side' as there once were on a 'shard'?
Not a big fan of shards or factions here, so not really disputing, just curious about the thought process.

Ironwu
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Ironwu

I find that guilds are not the major factor in splitting a community, it is Factions.
Every faction that exists in a game that cannot interact with other factions (except through PvP), essentially divides the available playerbase by the inverse of the number of factions.  Two factions . . . half the playerbase.   Three factions . . . one third the playerbase.
It is not such a big deal when games launch as there are hordes of players in all the factions.  But as the player levels spread out, and player numbers dwindle, games with factions become depopulated in a major way.
As for guilds?  In today's current MMOs they are somewhat of an anachronism.  With in-game grouping and communications resources, guilds and their associated websites, chat, etc.  are only needed at the highest levels of content (i.e. end-game raiding).  That being said, the VAST majority of folks will never make it to that content for any number of reasons.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

I don't know, "community" these days seems to mean a bunch of solo players that never talk to anyone else getting everything without having to work directly with other people. This really seems like just more of that.  Zergs and solo turn ins are the extreme examples of what " NO MORE GUILDS!!!" turns the game into. It's hardly going to end up where everyone becomes one big happy server that acts like the best guild ever if they're removed.

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