Guild Chat: How to have fun as an MMORPG guild

    
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Welcome along to another instalment of Guild Chat, my cozy wee corner of Massively OP in which we break down the issues and questions presented to help readers improve the guilds of MMO enthusiasts everywhere. In this edition, I’m going to look at the fun side of things because I received an email from a reader who thinks that we’ve been a little heavy on the guild drama front recently and wanted to brighten up the mood. There’s no name attached to this one, but thanks very much for the submission, mystery reader, and I hope you enjoy my ramblings on the topic. See below for both my solution and the many opinions offered by the commentariat.

Hey Tina, Guild Chat has been a little drama filled and serious recently so why not do an article on how you can have fun as a guild? Things to do, places to see etc.

Short, sweet, and to the point: I love it! In all seriousness, this is actually a great question that lies at the heart of why I adore guilds and MMOs so much: The fun that can be had as a group, for me, outweighs what I can usually come up with myself. The whole point of the massively multiplayer thing is that I have a massive amount of people to engage with, which absolutely elevates the player experience. Often, though, guilds can get stuck in a grindy rut: How familiar is the ‘eat, sleep, raid’ scenario to any of us who are or who have been part of a raiding guild, for example? I know I’ve been there with my own guilds, so perhaps a reminder of how to keep things fun is needed from time to time.

Guild Chat optional light

Explore everything the game has to offer

MMOs are amazing little gems when it comes to diverse content. I don’t want to make this MMO-specific, so you can apply this to absolutely any MMO ever. Try out a different kind of PvP, start doing your dailies together, revisit old content on alts, grab friends together for a grand old achievement run, start a spontaneous war with rivals… the virtual world is your oyster, friends! If you’re really stuck and can’t find anything to do in your MMO of choice, drop me a line and I’ll create a challenge for you, or perhaps get some guildies together and explore a new game together. Whatever you decide to do, I recommend using your usual VOIP weapons of choice to have a giggle while you do it. It’s amazing how refreshing just having a simple laugh while exploring basic content together can be.

An old World of Warcraft guild of mine is a fabulous example of how to keep the fun alive: We had a riot running all sorts of content together, but some of the best laughs were had during downtime or prep time. People dying to “the elevator boss,” my phobia of wasps meaning that my toons walked backwards every time we encountered them, random bear-mounted assaults on the Alliance… we made our own fun. Of all the guilds I am and have been part of, I think that one was the best at keeping things fun because we actively sought it out on a regular basis without having a specific aim or target. You and your guildies will have your own stories to tell and little things that set you all off in a wrinkle of laughter, your own little in-jokes that are just yours. That’s the thing: You don’t need me to tell you how to make your own fun, but you might perhaps need the reminder to go and seek it out from time to time.

Guild Chat love

Make it optional, keep it light

Remember that you don’t need your Guild Leader or Officers to organise the fun all the time, or even any of the time. If things are winding down and you’re not getting the best out of your game time, take up the fun mantle for yourself and organise something. If more people within guilds would use some initiative and offer fun downtime content, I wouldn’t have an article to write every month! Someone just has to mention what they’re thinking to me and I’ll volunteer to join in, so you’ll be surprised at how many people leap on a suggestion once it’s been made. Whatever you decide to do, always maintain that attendance isn’t mandatory and that it’s OK to mess it up repeatedly, especially if your guild usually requires a dedicated focus on the content at hand and is known for a no-nonsense approach. Not everyone will have time to join you for more mandatory sessions, and you can’t just order people to have fun, after all!

If your guildmates won’t run content that isn’t serious, you can still make it more fun by keeping the banter up on chat during downtime. Some of my best moments in my MMO history have come from throwaway comments in the face of failure. Guildmates are excellent at reminding me that, no matter what happens, it’s still just a game and should be enjoyed. I can recall so many heavy moments when I sighed in frustration at yet another wipe and tersely recited the tactics once more, only for someone to come off with a clever quip or have a dig at my squeaky, animated voice and accent to make all right with the world again. No matter what content you run and how hardcore you feel you are, you should never forget how to laugh at both your guildies and yourself.

Guild Chat third

Reevaluate often to ensure satisfaction

Most guild dissatisfaction stems from a lack of communication and reevaluation of the state of the guild. Remember that your guildmates are very human and their real-life commitments can change drastically in even a short space of time. Sometimes you might need to modify the goals of your guild to suit the changing requirements of your playerbase: That’s not a soft way of saying back down from the challenging stuff but rather a suggestion that you switch up the goals to suit you better and keep things fun. Matching your content to the players is the only way to keep everyone engaged and happy, so don’t dawdle on this front if your guild members are overworked or stressed. Likewise, never be afraid to up the challenge to keep things fresh if you’re cake-rolling everything in your path, and look beyond the current endgame content if things have gone stale. Ungeared ICC run, anyone?

MMOs are quite unique in that the time commitment and longevity associated with the genre can make fun finding more of a challenge than you might firstly imagine it to be. It’s OK to get bored from time to time, especially when we’re waiting for an expansion or content drop, but do bear in mind that the average MMO player explores only a fraction of the content offered in the game. Push your comfort zone and try your hand at something unfamiliar while you wait: Your guildmates are all in the same boat and you could surprise yourself at how much fun you have.

Over to you!

I’m hoping that I’ll read loads of great guild stories in the comments on this one! Offer up some inspiration for our fun-seeking reader in need and tell me your top tips for keeping the fun alive in MMOs.

MOP’s Tina Lauro is on-hand to deal with all of your guild-related questions, queries, and drama in Guild Chat. Whatever your guild issue, she’s sure to have a witty yet sympathetic response. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to see dissected, drop Tina a comment or send an email to tina@massivelyop.com.
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BritoBruno
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Tina Lauro BritoBruno Ty!

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Tina Lauro

BritoBruno Tina Lauro I’ll do it in the morning – thanks for resending! ^.^

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ichi plays BritoBruno Freestyle Haiku! ( sry for bad englando, not first l0nguage )
Leveling my ranger,
That was tiresome. Level 80! Endgame!
Mastery farming.

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blast tyrant from your preface remarks it seems you already know the answer; watch carefully to see how things are going.  For example, if they recruit exclusively and don’t try to develop in-house, then you’ll have to decide, as did The Clash, should I stay or should I go?

The landscape changed on you, and you may need to adjust.  Give them an honest chance but if you’re not happy where you are then remember that there are other good guilds, you just might have to find one that is looking for folks like you.  The one thing I wouldn’t do is fight to preserve what your guild ‘used to be’ before the GM and officers left.

blast tyrant
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blast tyrant

Requesting advice from some of the more seasoned folks:

I don’t usually join guilds, but a few months ago I did and really enjoyed the experience.  The GM and officers were a rare breed of online persons, and were very friendly and helpful.  They saw the role of the guild as bringing in new people (mostly solo types like me) and getting them to try more group content via encouragement, training runs, guild events to avoid PUGs, and the like.  Fantastic experience. Then, to fill out the raiding portion of the guild we absorbed a smaller but more progression focused guild.  No problem, new people are good BUT then event X happened in the life of the guild leader, causing the GM and almost all the old officers to leave the game.  A month later and now the smaller guild we absorbed is running the show; nice enough people but far more focused on progression than outreach/education.  

My fear is that the guild will devolve into what I’ve seen in almost every other guild ever: core group of raiders running the show and everyone else is ignored, and any openings in the core raid team are filled w/ various connections the raiders have in the larger raiding community rather than bringing in/up guildies in the more social/casual circles of the guild.  My instincts tell the wind is blowing this way, but I’ve invested quite a bit in transferring characters to be with the now defunct older crew, and, like I said, the newer folks aren’t in any way mean spirited. They’re just raiders and, well, raiders gonna raid.  

What do you do when the way you have fun and the way your guild has fun seems to be going in two separate directions?

BritoBruno
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Tina Lauro yaaaay o/
Shadowpeixera.2918, hit me up.
I don’t have hot tho, but i can deal with it =P

Tina Lauro
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Tina Lauro

So sorry if I missed you! Reply with your details and I can add you when I get home tonight. ^.^

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ichi plays BritoBruno   Rez me, pretty please perhaps?

Denngar
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Denngar

I used to run some weekly “fun” event in whatever game we were playing, though sometimes it would shift to doing something new (like trying a new free to play/open beta together). It actually could end up being a lot of work for me (like coordinating judges or getting other guilds to at least help focus a defense when we might attack a town), but it helped us build up in multiple games. Raiding always rose and fell, but as long as we had our fun events, people generally stuck together.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

some things my guild does or used to do and may some day do again:

have a few pick up games to play outside of the current mmo: stuff like chivalry or orcs must die or  guns of icarus online w/e that you guys can play together and keep light.

google hangouts is a fun thing to do now and then, especially with drinks and dancing and music/singing.- throw in karaoke here as well.

movie nights – mst3k shared viewings can be hella fun. the point isn’t to so much watch the movie as make fun of it. bad movies are preferable.

dungeons and dragons – dnd isn’t necessarily the must have for this, but there’s anumber of apps both client and web based for playing pnp rpg’s out there, i suggest roll20 personally.

random world pvp nights – sometimes it’s fun to just go roaming around flagging it up if you’re on a pve server adn see what happens. sometimes nothing happens. sometimes you have an epic battle.