The Daily Grind: What do you want out of your MMO guild?

    
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One of the best questions that I’ve seen MMO guilds ask upon interviews with new recruits is, ‘What do you want to get out of this guild?” It’s a great question because it gets to the heart of whether or not the player and the guild is compatible. If a player is looking for one thing but the guild’s focus is in a completely different area, it’s best not to form that relationship in the first place.

If I’m being honest, what I look for in a guild is primarily social bonds and chat, with actual guild events trailing behind at number two. I love it when a guild seems genuinely happy to see me and when we can all engage in encouraging and interesting discussions as we play. I also love being part of guilds that practice selfless giving and assistance as a two-way street.

What do you want out of your MMO guild?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Robert Mann

Good people.

Of course, given that the MMO I want isn’t here, that’s somewhat variable right now. However, if the people aren’t decent I’ll be gone again shortly after getting in.

As to if the MMO I want comes around, it’s a solid must, since that would be a very community involved game (and tbh it wouldn’t just be a guild issue with my ideal design, but rather that the area in which I was… held some sort of respect and decency toward others as a standard).

cambruin
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cambruin

A friendly hello upon login, a kind ‘good evening friends’ upon logging out. Feedback by vets to questions asked by newbies and random chit chat. That and group content.

Every MMO I played the last few years, with the exception of my kin in LotRO, had 30-40+ people online, people continuously logging in and out, yet never saying a word. With the exception of ‘anyone got some spare mats’ or ‘need help with boss’ that is.
Even my LotRO kin, which is the best I had in years, while having 2 pages of online members pretty much 24/7 only has a handful of people bothering with hellos, goodbyes and assistance. The vast majority won’t even stop to greet you in landscape. A necessary ‘evil’, inviting a ton of leeches and other random ‘useless’ folk in the hopes that 1 out of 10 ends up being a quality member and welcome addition to the team.

I honestly don’t quite understand why people bother applying to guilds and kinships when group content and social interaction are clearly of no interest to them.

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Utakata

Hassle and harassment free.

Nephele
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Nephele

This is something I’ve had a lot of time to think about in the past year. I have led guilds for a long time, but about a year ago, I handed over leadership and then walked away from my FFXIV guild because I just felt like a stranger there every time I logged in – even though I had led it for years. It made me start to really think critically about what I want out of guilds these days.

For starters, I think what I want is for the members of the guild to be really invested in each other’s success. The best times I’ve had in any guild, in any game, were the times when we all needed each other – whether it was grouping to do something in the game, or helping each other out with crafting, or working together to get a guild hall or build something, or even just pulling together to beat a raid for the first time. There is a huge power in feeling like you’re part of a group where people really care about and want to help each other, and in a lot of games, that seems to fade very fast these days.

Beyond that, I really want to see my guilds be active. That doesn’t mean required participation, and it doesn’t mean raiding 3 nights a week or anything like that. But I like being able to log in and see people doing things together – more than just saying hi in guildchat and queuing up for your dailies anyway. I want to see people collaborating on which dungeon to hit next or which quests to do this week, and I want to see them including their guildmates as much as possible, and not just cliquing with the same 3 people they always do.

I’ve given a lot of thought to how I would set up my next guild to try to achieve these goals, and a lot will depend on the game, but I think these are the things I really want to see out of guilds these days.

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Rndomuser

It’s not that hard to make your guild members more active, even without forcing them to participate in something, and not different than running something like successful Discord community. You just select a few dedicated members, an event organizers, who will run events with voluntary participation while the guild leader cannot do it, like doing some dungeons or specific group quests, whenever majority of people will need to do them – for example one of those event organizers may post something like “we are doing Dungeon X this week, who wants to be in?” and do it on the day where majority of people can, and if nobody wants to do it – do other dungeon instead. Same goes for organizing other things, like a drive to collect money for guild house, or social events like fashion contest or RP events or even instanced PvP events.

Pretty easy to do in a large or a medium guild. And if the guild is too small where there are never enough people to participate in such things without forcing them to participate – well, you just let them silently do whatever they want to or just merge it with other guild with similar interests if you want more active participation from members.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

” or just merge it with other guild with similar interests if you want more active participation from members.”

One of the few times I ever joined a guild that’s what happened. I didn’t even bother to argue against it, I just quit. I thought I was joining a small group of people who liked to spend time together (but not be *forced* to do so.) The fact that they merged to boost participation numbers told me that I’d already seriously misunderstood what the group was for.

And then of course I ended up having to block two people when they realized that I was online but not in the guild, and tried to harass me into joining back up. Because yeah, heckling and insulting me via /tell is *totally* going to convince me that I made the wrong call in leaving.

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Jon Wax

LSGH for life!!

ah those were the days…

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Rndomuser

A group of people to socialize with, without reading any cringe racist/sexist jokes or any discussions about politics (I don’t enjoy those). Just talk about other real life stuff not involving these things, talk about in-game stuff, talk about favorite streamers, favorite games, do RP, do eRP, play mini-games together or listen to in-game concerts, sometimes help people do dungeons or help them do other tasks if I feel like doing these. The more people to talk with – the better (I don’t join any small guilds anymore because most of them have rarely any people online at late night especially if most of them are done with most of the content in game), especially if they have active Discord community. And preferably the kind of people who don’t allow children into the guild or in Discord community so I won’t have to hear all the “you can’t say these lewd things or share these lewd screenshots because we have children in our community who may be reading this”.

All the actual socialization, without ever being forced to participate in activities like these for multiple hours at specific schedule:

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LITF

I guess I can be called picky when it comes to guilds.

1) I don’t like massive guilds, I prefer smaller and tighter knit guilds where you get to know and play with most people and rarely have this “who is that person?” moment. Massive guilds just make one feel like they are an insignificant part of a financial pyramid…

2) Guilds that are a financial pyramid of sorts for their GM and co are a big no. Talking about those guilds that tax their members to be in them, or otherwise benefit from people being active (and so have activity requirements) to make money “for the guild bank”. Only nobody but the GM and their friends get to see that money ever. Best case scenario a small part of it actually gets used for the guild, but the rest goes towards leaderships next shiny personal purchase.

3) Guilds dominated by cliques are a big no. Ever joined a guild where you only get to hang out with other newcomers like you, and the rest of the guild just plays within their clique and doesn’t even talk in the guild chat? Yeah, fuck those guilds too. If I can’t casually chat with the rest of the guild, and more importantly if the GM is distant and unapproachable I’m out. I don’t like the guilds with defined “vertical structure” where peasants only get to talk to low rank officers, low rank officers get to talk to high rank officers, and then high rank officers talk to GM. I prefer more horizontal hierarchy in guilds where everybody just hangs out together, like a guild should (also this is rarely possible in massive guilds, hence my dislike for them).

4) Guilds with made up rules regarding PvP if there’s free PvP. If the game gives me an option to solve my disputes with forced pvp I will. It’s great, it’s satisfying, after years of having to put up with random people stealing quest mobs from under your nose or messing with your farm I welcome the opportunity to force PvP on them. If the guild has “rules” such as to never force PvP on others I’m out. Not a fan of the whiny fedora tipping that usually accompanies such mindset.

5) Care bear guilds. I think that “positive vibes only” is not healthy for any community as it denies a whole plain of socializing. Guilds that actively promote groupthink as a policy are probably among the worst as they also may be impacting how likely are people to engage in groupthink IRL, which is known to be dangerous and have negative impact on everything it touches.

That probably summa it up.
For the most part I run guildless, if guilds are *required* for some major aspect of the game (like selling items on the market in ESO) then I join a random trading guild that doesn’t have any requirements or taxes and generally mute the guild chat since I’m there to sell my stuff and nothing else (also screw ESOs market system by the way). I generally avoid guilds that just spam out invitations or shout in the chat their ads day and night. I only consider invitations that come with a non-copypasted conversation and doesn’t raise any of the red flags. This generally results in a long-ish spells of being guildless, and sometimes short stays in some of the guilds (typically cliques are the reason for me leaving more than anything, since other nuh-uhs can be screened for fairly easy from the outside). But sometimes I do find something that checks all the boxes and end up staying in those for years, also making some good IRL (or at least cross-game) friends in the process.

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NeoWolf

Friendliness – I want a guild to be freindly, zero hassles, need a hand? no worries we got you just ask and as soon as we can, we will. Want to be left alone and do your own thing? not a problem, you do you boo.. that kind of thing..

Inclusion – I don’t want a guild making demands of my time, or dictating to me how I play or throwing commitment requirements at me in order to stay a member. I want them to be if you want to be involved we give you opportunities and you can if you want. If, not no worries there is always next time. A guild should be there for its members not for itself or for the small circle of people who tend to be the movers and shakers in a guild but ALL its members.

Fun – Lighthearted, not overly serious a guild needs to be about enjoying and enriching your gaming experience, not making it seem like work or aggravation.

Sociable – I like to talk, even if I do not always like to group a guild where you can always have a friendly chat about fun or interesting things either by chat, forums, discords, voip’s or whatever while I play. Usually, when I play people are telling me I’m overly quiet, this isn’t actually true, but I only chat when I’m comfortable and more importantly comfortable around the people I’m with and I also do not like to fill the silence with noise simply for the sake of breaking the silence much better to actually have something fun, or interesting to speak about.

Maturity – May just be an age thing, but there comes a point in life where your tolerance for drama is pretty much nil. If a guild is giving me headaches from people being dramatic, or backstabbing, name-calling, arguing over pointless sh** like hormonal teenagers angsting over every perceived slight I’m out, don’t want ANY part of it. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and don’t want any more of it tyvm.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I mostly look for the chance to NOT be in a guild. In two games where a guild/clan is essentially required, I went to the considerable effort of finding people who were willing to help me found one and then leave so i could have a solo clan. Those two games are a massive exception – in one the prices of clan projects scale with the tier of the clan (essentially the max population) and projects in the lowest tier aren’t that much worst than personal crafting.

In the other, there are a considerable number of features that are only available to max-tier fleets, and the prices are set based on the assumption that every clan is completely full of people who are constantly active – some of the upgrade projects cost tens of millions of resources… for a single project at that tier. In that game there’s no chance I’ll ever get to the max tier. I made a solo clan for the primary purpose of blocking random blind clan invites, although the shared bank space is somewhat useful. (Only somewhat, because that’s a game with a hard red/blue faction barrier, so only about half of my characters can access either bank. Yes, I made a red solo fleet, and a blue solo fleet.)

Generally speaking though, those two games are a massive aberration for me. Normally if I realize that clans/guilds are basically required, I’ll simply quit the game. I’ve tried guilds before. I can definitively say that as a game mechanic, they offer exactly NOTHING that I want in a game, and come with a lot of stuff I actively avoid.

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Anstalt

I’ve spent more time running my own guild than I have being a part of other peoples guilds, so I got to create exactly what I wanted, rather than needing to search for it’s existence elsewhere. So, what I wanted to create:

* Like-minded approach to gaming but a divserse background range

I thought of myself as “semi-hardcore”, meaning I had a hardcore approach to content and wanted to clear everything and be really good, but I did it on a more casual timescale and with a relaxed, light hearted approach. Managed to recruit a lot of people like this, from a wide range of backgrounds and ages across Europe.

* Regular guild events

We would raid 2 or 3 times a week, depending on what content was available, but we’d also have PvP nights, alt-leveling nights, guild sparring competitions and other more relaxed nights.

* Clear rules and organisation

Endgame content can be stressful, so I wanted clear rules to everyone knew exactly what was happening. This meant rules for raiding and progression groups. It meant DKP / Suicide Kings for loot rules wherever appropriate. It meant having officers with clear areas for engagement (recruitment, alts, raid leading, social events, newbie training etc).

* Out of game communication

We had our own website for posting news and raid signups, as well as an active forum. Also had our own ventrilo server. This really helped increase engagement with guild members, the forum in particular was very active and great for posting raid strategies, discussing builds and playstyles, and chat about upcoming games and where we wanted to take the guild.

* Maturity

Whilst we had an age range of about 8 – 65, maturity was a common theme amoungst members. Swearing was kept to a minimum, arguments were rare, off-topic discussions were usually quite intelligent and interesting.