Welcome along to another instalment of Guild Chat, my own cozy wee corner of Massively OP in which I help readers in need with their guild-related issues by offering my two cents on the dilemma at hand while encouraging you lot to add your opinions in the comments. Between us, we’ve helped out quite a few readers with a plethora of guild drama and issues, and this week’s submission will be no different! This time, the submission asks us to focus on how guilds can support soloers and those with much less time on their hands.
Regular reader and previous submitter Rick has asked for us to help him find, or perhaps even create, a guild for those who cannot commit to a set schedule or minimum amount of playtime, but who still wish to be challenged while playing. In this week’s Guild Chat, I’ll talk about how we can bring soloers together within a suitable guild environment. Check out Rick’s full submission below, and don’t forget to add your own opinions in the comments for him to mull over during his guild search.
I would love to hear your opinion on building a guild for soloers. I am currently playing ArcheAge and don’t have a schedule that I can commit to anything beyond a “Gee I’ve got an hour – anyone else want to group?” I wonder if there are similar people who mostly solo but wouldn’t mind soloing together? How would one approach that? I’ve tried chat – HA! Fried by trolls.–Rick
This is an excellent topic, Rick, and I think that most MMO hoppers and soloers have thought the same thing once or twice. You’re certainly not alone in enjoying the freedom of solo playing your favourite MMOs while craving the social interaction and perks that come with having a guild full of fellow players. I’m going to give you a few pointers for building a guild that should keep soloers happy without causing you too much legwork or costing you much more extra time. The advice here can equally be applied to finding an existing guild that caters well to soloers, though, should you find that building your own guild isn’t feasible within the time you have for gaming. Good luck on the guild hunt and happy gaming!
I have to firstly emphasise that of all the player types to attract, the solo population is perhaps the most challenging for a guild leader to draw in. Many of the perks of guild membership are diluted in scope for those who don’t want to group with others or who don’t have the time to organise group exploits. In order to be successful in creating a solo guild, then, you’ll need to be very patient during the recruitment process while you simultaneously take the work out of grouping for your guild members.
It may take quite some time for you to build up a large enough roster so that there are people you can group with almost every time you log in. Having said that, solo players won’t have built up a dependence on others being online and the guild building period isn’t likely to phase them as much as it would other kinds of player. The key is not becoming too disheartened by the chat trolls and the minority of bad eggs in the hardcore playerbase while you work on populating your guild. The sort of people you’re looking for are arguably more numerous than the hardcore demographic anyway, so don’t feel drowned out and isolated because some people want to start the casual scrub refrain.
Since your time is at a premium, you’ll want to set up some passive recruitment methods to take away some of the legwork and give you more time to engage with your new guildmates. Think about posting ads on forums related to your MMO of choice, and check out the ArcheAge Reddit’s guild listings post for a great place to pop up your own ad. Don’t forget to look for community-led fansites as well as utilising more official sources, and perhaps try some more general MMO communities too. You could consider building a guild website that answers all the usual questions to save your time too: This will give you an easy-to-share spiel that’s always at your fingertips.
When you’re crafting your advertisement, don’t forget to keep it focused on soloing with the option of grabbing more people along on the journey. Many people could confuse your guild with a general casual guild if your ad isn’t specific enough, and the players you wish to attract have already decided at some point that the typical guild experience isn’t for them, otherwise they wouldn’t be guildless solo players in the first place. Offer the chance to group with like-minded people when it is convenient while enjoying the game solo when desired with the added passive perks of a guild.
Once you’ve attracted a solid roster of players, you’ll want to offer them some no-commitment group activities on an ad-hoc basis. It’s important to delegate at this stage in order to adequately stagger drop-in events throughout the week (or month if game time is really lacking; it’s up to you and your members to say when enough is enough). If you’re the only one running events and making groups, some players will inevitably be excluded because of the hours they keep, so leave your calendar open for others to add to.
You might find that some players end up logging in much more often when bonds are forged within your guild. Don’t rule out scheduling some of more challenging content in that case, but do make it known that commitment to more time-intensive activities is not needed or expected from your members. Fun “idle” events such as get-togethers and in-game parties might be nice ways to bond in most guilds, but soloers and those who are pressed for time are the least likely to benefit from that kind of activity. Skip the fluff and keep it simple for best results.
I recommend a drop-in, optional VOIP setup for a soloer guild, one that your members can invite pugs along to with little effort (thus increasing your recruitment pool) and can feel free to join even if they’re playing another one of their games. This will help to quickly forge some connections and will ensure that impromptu opportunities to run certain group content aren’t missed by being offline.
You could perhaps have a quick mailing list or WhatsApp chat that busier people can opt into so members can quickly ask each other for help: Remember that in a solo-friendly guild, many of your members will not sit around idle, ready to catch messages in guild chat, so account for that. A shared calendar can be added to your toolset; draw it up at the start of each week so that members can readily see each other’s availability.
Last but by no means least, ensure that you stay on top of the maintenance! A lack of time commitment is totally okay in a guild that welcomes solo players, but you do need to keep your roster fresh so you can accurately plan events and easily tell if recruitment needs to be ramped up. I recommend removing members who don’t log in for a period of two to three months in a soloer guild; this allows flexibility for busy lifestyles without cluttering up the roster with people who you can’t call upon for events. You might find that a shorterer timeframe is more comfortable for dealing with those who disappear without notice, so feel free to come up with a rule that suits you and your members. Match your expectations to the lifestyles of your playerbase and you’ll not go too far wrong!
Over to you!
I really hope that Rick finds a wonderful home for players who typically fly solo, whether he builds his own new home or decides to find one that ticks the right boxes. If you’re struggling to find your own guild, don’t forget my recipe for a great guild! What would you add on to my tips? Do you think it’s possible to make a solo-friendly guild, and if so, how would you do it? Let Rick know below! Don’t forget to email your submissions for Guild Chat as well.