monarchy

The Daily Grind: What’s the best old-school MMORPG feature that has never made a comeback?

A couple of weeks ago, Justin and I fielded an epic podcast question from a listener (heya Josh!) about guild systems, specifically about the Asheron’s Call monarchy system. As far as we know, that specific system — a pyramid-like system of patrons and vassals whose social interactions created experience and benefits for everyone without the formal hierarchical structure of a stock guild — has never been fully duplicated. It’s a damn shame because it was amazing. Turbine solved the guild problem in 1999: Instead of dumping people into military-style guilds to be just another worker bee for the queen, it incentivized individual, personal relationships, upward and downward.

That got me wondering what else hasn’t ever been duplicated. It seems like it could be a pretty short list, as so many retro MMORPGs have popped up in the last few years promising to resurrect a ton of old-school features, good and bad. So you help me fill in the gaps: What’s the best old-school MMORPG feature that has never made a comeback?

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The Daily Grind: Does multi-guilding hurt MMORPGs?

Massively OP reader Josh wrote into the podcast recently — in fact, we’re answering his whole email on this afternoon’s show — about the state of guilds in MMORPGs. A fan of Asheron’s Call’s monarchy system, he posited that far from creating tight bonds in MMOs, modern guilds seemed designed to encourage “flitting around” as you can very often join multiple guilds at a time.

“But this seems to also result in far less expectation of investment in a particular guild,”  he observed.

I wanted to use that part of his question as a springboard about multi-guilding in today’s Daily Grind. I personally think that multi-guilding has helped a lot of social and roleplay guilds stay alive in an era when game developers are hell-bent on gamifying guild systems with achievements and perks that drive so many players into the arms of power-centric guilds. But I also see the investment issues Josh does, which inarguably affects the communities, just in a different way.

What do you think — does multi-guilding hurt MMORPGs?

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