On the Subject of Guild Loyalty

My initial reaction to the multi-guild news from PAX-Prime was pretty harsh, I admit. Anybody who’s run a guild knows how stressful and consuming it is, and we know how players can be. So for many past and hopeful future leaders, they’ve met this news with mixed emotions, and most of us initially against it are in the vast minority. I feel a lot of it has to do with statistics; a very small number of gamers have been guild leaders in comparison to those who are simply guild members or guild-less to boot. A smaller number still have lead competitive / progressive functioning guilds, so it might be hard to understand why we feel the way we do.

I know how it is to be on both sides, as a member and a leader, and so I understand the relief that the majority of players feel. The multi-guild system is an interesting shift in power from leaders to members, perhaps humbling, but is it necessarily a good thing? Like it or not, guilds within games are a system of politics, and politics have proven that a true democracy, one in which the people are all equal in power, rarely works out well. Imagine a military in which all ranking officers have equal jurisdiction. Imagine a school where the students have the same say as teachers.

When it comes to things like this, hierarchy & bureaucracy are needed and more often than not the ‘citizens’ either don’t understand or resent the system by proxy, without realizing why and how it works. Of the games I’ve played, the most successful guilds always have a strict system of leaders and members. Some even borderline tyrannical (not that I agree with that sort of system). Strong leadership and loyalty to a cause is needed for success. And that kind of brings me to the central point:

Guild Loyalty – What & Why?
A lot of people (mostly opponents) have been throwing around the term “guild loyalty” as an argument. But what, exactly, is it and why does this system affect it?

Guild loyalty, to me, is the unspoken (or sometimes spoken) contract between members and the guild[s] they choose to represent, in which in turn for the community and services offered by the guild and its leadership, the members agree to stay ‘loyal’. By that, I mean they spend the majority of their time and contribution to that guild alone. More organized & progressed guilds will often offer services like materials, consumables, repairs, and the like on top of whatever guild perk system is natively implemented into the game. They may also provide a large community for world pvp, help through content, and a source of people to always have at hand when needed. This makes them attractive to join. In some cases, a guild’s reputation among their community may also be a draw for members.

In a traditional guild system where a person is bound to a single guild, either through their main character or account, their loyalty is in a way contracted. Forced loyalty may seem a negative thing at first, but when you think about it, it’s necessary to foster true loyalty in the long run. A player’s attention cannot be divided, and because of this he or she will get to know their fellows faster. They will suffer through progression and learning curves together, taking the bad with the good, which eventually creates the trust and bonds that helps guilds last.

The issue with a multi-guild system that allows on the fly switching is that it’s easy for a player’s attention to be divided. Everybody gets frustrated at times in a game and with fellow players. Being bound to a guild forces one to eventually shrug it off and move on. But being able to just say “screw you guys, I’m gonna go talk to my other guild” creates an imbalance.

Imagine the scenario where one guild does a dungeon run and it goes horribly wrong. Frustrated, the next night some of the players may go to do a run with another guild that goes wonderfully right. Which guild, then, do you think that player will opt to go with more often? One bad run doesn’t a terrible guild make, but when we think of the start of GW2 with hundreds of guilds per server starting on the same level and scrambling to get members, such a thing can really make a difference.

Commitment – Taking the Good with the Bad
Perhaps it’s my cynicism but my experience as a guild leader and a player has shown that gamers can be inherently selfish, vastly impatient, and even lazy at times. The former is not necessarily a bad thing; players want a good experience, and having a competent guild is part of that. I cannot blame them for favoring the guilds that offer more, and can promise a good experience. I would not jump to the assumption that this form of selfishness is a bad trait, either. Players that have a lot to offer expect a return. Trust and faith has to be earned on both ends. I have no issue with that; the best guilds have always offered a good environment for their members. But I worry that multi-guild system basically takes all the responsibility from the members away.

The point, in the long run, is commitment. If we compare a guild to relationships, it becomes easier to understand. A couple bound by marriage and common shared properties is more likely to work through problems and issues and come out stronger than a couple that is simply dating or not even living together who have the option to “opt out” pretty much whenever they want.

Likewise, if you’re bound to a guild, you’re more likely to work through issues and suffer the bad with the good rather than skip out when things are tough for a more favorable situation. If the match is not going to work, that will become obvious with time. But how can someone truly figure that out if they never have to really try to figure it out?

Being in a guild also means there is some responsibility on the members to make it the best it can be. If your guild is lagging or lacking in an area, it takes the whole to work at it to make it better. Why bother when you can just opt for the other guild who isn’t having issues?

Being given the option to take the best of guild A) and the best of guilds B) and C) without consequence is giving them the option to never commit and not have any responsibility.

And what about split opinions? Guild leaders and officers often have to make tough calls; in some cases, a guild may be entirely split down the middle on a subject, meaning no matter what someone’s gonna get pissed. And again, we may find that players unhappy with a decision can opt to switch easily instead of handling  and dealing with a situation.

Represent!
My last concern is that of inherent perks and reputation, and how that will be split. We’ve got very little information on that system, but, if it’s anything like what we’ve seen from WoW and Rift, then there’s another problem to be had. I’d assume that you’d need to choose which guild to represent at a given time and that guild’s bonus’ will apply to you only when you represent them. And so a player naturally will choose to represent the guild with the best perks. By doing so, all their contributions will go to that guild which creates a snow-ball effect that will increase the gaps between guilds. A fear I have is that this system will favor populated, large guilds and hinder the small ones who can’t “level” as fast (although I have faith Anet will avoid such traps.)

 In Conclusion:
Ultimately, in my mind system favors the individual, which very well may be the idea, but perhaps a little too much. It allows them to avoid responsibility & accountability for their part in making a guild a good place to be. But it also takes power away from the leaders while piling on the extra work to be appealing enough for recruitment.

I don’t argue that there is a LOT of positive aspects to it. The ability to have my main guild and a one with friends who perhaps don’t play as often is a great thing. Or the ability to have a PvP guild and a PvE guild separate from one another but easy to navigate.

But I feel guilds are not clubs; not if you want to to be cutting edge, which very well may be a moot point in GW2 since there’s no large raiding to be had. Still, they require a bit more commitment and loyalty than just a circle of friends. There could be other ways to implement social groups (or, hell, even alliances) allowing people to still easily connect with friends with other play styles and interests without encouraging flakiness.

I’ll have to see for myself. Other games have used this system without fail, so I could simply be overreacting.
Until then, the best I can do as a guild leader is what I planned to do from the start;  provide enough incentive and a good community that will naturally encourage loyalty and hope for the best otherwise.

Further reading:

  • Vonkrek

    Accountability and responsibility?!?

    It is a game not a job.

    Attitudes like this were why I spent 80% of my 6 years of GW2 unguilded.

    I don’t understand how you think that like minded people would not find each other and create a dictatorship of a guild together, and leave the rest of us to play the game as a game rather than a job.

    And, if it turns out that the only people who enjoy strict guilds are the guild leaders, and we end up with a bunch of one person guilds trying to enforce order over empty rosters… well… ’nuff said.

    So, either you’re concerns are unwarranted, or they are irrelevant.

    • Vonkrek

      Oops.

      6 years in GW1 and that final you’re should obviously be a your.

    • Anonymous

      I never said anything about dictatorship being OK, in any way. It’s obvious you’ve never lead a guild, otherwise you’d at least understand the points I’m making here.

      And yes, accountability & responsibility among all members is important. The success of the guild varies dependent on it’s goals and surely, not all manner of guilds actually require hierarchy. I’m speaking from the PoV of guilds that require effort to reach their goals; not purely social but progressive (either in PvE or PvP.) Sure, it’s a game, not a job, but some people like to actually put time into the game and have something to show for it. 

      If you wanna get harder content done, then you  need teammates who are willing to put effort into the group and not just themselves. A guild full of selfish players looking out for no-one but themselves is going to have issues and stall out before they manage to get ANYTHING done.

      As a guild leader (not a nazi), if I’m going to be putting the work and effort into creating a system that ensures success, spending the time to keep my members supplied with what they need, etc, then I think it’s fair to expect a little dedication to that effort in return. 

      Clearly being unguided suits your play style, because it would seem YOUR attitude and mentality would suggest you’d have no desire to put any effort into a guild but expect all the perks anyway. That’s the impression that I get. 

      • ArcherAvatar

        You don’t know what types of guilds he has been a member of, and in what capacity (officer, leader, or otherwise.)

        Making that assumption in order to dismiss the validity of his viewpoint is wrong.  His opinions stand on their own merit regardless of his past experience and you should at least attempt to address them as such.

        • Acp115

          The fact that he states that he spent the majority of his 6+ years playing guildless does indeed give a pretty good idea of whether or not he held a leadership position.  Aside from that, his general tone shows disdain for guilds in general, so her assumption that he didn’t serve in a dedicated leadership position is far from crazy.  I’m not saying that I agree with her reasoning for disliking the new system, but it is very easy to see where she would reach her conclusion from his comment.

  • Saline

    i think the skewed number with leaders and members is that, it takes a certain kind of person to be able to really lead a guild. and your right that people who don’t have what it takes or never have tried it just don’t get the work that goes into it.
    that’s why a lot of leaders end up quitting games or not lasting very long.

    i know a few instances (like my brother) where people have left games because so much was expected of them as leaders or even officers, they’re expected to kind of do everything and take care of all the problems but get hounded the second things go wrong. people take it very personally too, they go to leaders for a lot of stuff but rarely do things in return.

    so yeah, being a guild leader is already a pretty thankless job unless you’ve got real friends or a really lucky crop of players. i can sorta see what you mean about players just flip flopping between guilds when they feel they want to.

    but even then. i don’t think you need to worry about it really, gw2 isn’t going to have raids or anything so you don’t really need to be hardcore about organizing huge groups of people, cept if you plan on doing hardcore WvWvW.

    but even then.

    your probably better off just recruiting people you can trust and see where it goes from there, you know?

  • Anonymous

    Well, I disagree, but that’s because I never have seen guilds as anything more than just a social club. They can be more, if that’s the choice of the individual guild and guild leader, but they don’t have to be and at their base they aren’t. And at any rate, people who want a more structured guild are going to gravitate towards that sort of thing, and those of us that don’t won’t bother. I certainly don’t think it’ll encourage people to be any flakier than they already are.

    I also disagree on the idea of accountability and responsibility within a guild, but I don’t treat games as anything more than just games. I play them at my own pace and I’d be put off if I joined a guild and was expected to do certain things which I may not be interested in actually doing. I’m not a casual player at all, but I do take a very casual mindset about it; the moment it stops being fun and I feel obligated to do something is the moment I stop playing.

    I think the new system will fit GW2 fine. The game isn’t really going to require much grouping and really organized teamwork, unless you’re into WvW or want to do explorable dungeons. For most of what we’ll be doing in the game, though, dedicated groups (and hence dedicated/loyal guild) is less necessary.

  • REALLY Awesome points here. I have had my own guild for close to 4 years myself, and I could relate to just about ever point you stated. With the exclusion of one.

    The Guilds I’ve spent the most time in are with those who I’ve been able to keep in touch with out of game, those who have made the game a social interaction and something of an enjoyment of one’s friend’s time. And with a closed guild system, this can hamper this in some fashions as people have various loyalties to other friends, and not everybody always gets along.

    I feel an open guild system would help keep people “diplomatically” together, though I understand that some people demand more time than others depending on what relationships people foster in a game.

    The fact of the mater is, people are going to be lazy, they are going to be flaky, and they are going to be greedy. People only have to deal with “them” when they are trying to achieve a specific goal that can only be done with large player content. Fact of the mater is, Guild Wars has eliminated that problem in a way that still gives larger guilds something to do, so the need for this is eliminated.

    It is my hope that with the smaller group sizes for both PvE and PvP, that guilds will be far more structured, as people will invest time and strategies around their teammates. Are people going to want to keep hoping from place to place, or are they going to want to learn about their comrades and play styles?

    I’ve read so many reviews on the dungeon content and the PvP, and already the game is fluid. People who are going to be randomly hoping from place to place won’t amount to anything, where as those who build relationships and learn as a team will succeed, if the experiences from the PvP tourneys and the Fan Day dungeon crawls were any example of this. To me, that sounds really promising, and VERY exciting!

  • ArcherAvatar

    First, allow me to define some terms as I intend to use them in this comment.

    Old Paradigm:  Trinity-based class system that forces characters (and players) into narrowly defined group roles.  Larger scale raids, requiring multiple groups to coordinate their efforts through narrowly defined encounter mechanics in order to achieve the highest levels of success possible in the game.  These raid encounters are not open to, or impacted by, the general player population but are instead treated as “instances” for each specific raid group.  Guilds of players are formed to create lasting partnerships which are necessary to develop the coordination and shared understanding of the encounter mechanics.  Guilds not seeking the highest levels of achievement in game are referred to (often derogatorily) as being “merely” social groups, or “family & friends” guilds.  (This old paradigm includes most MMORPGs that currently exist but, especially ones like EQ, EQ2, WOW, Vanguard, FFXI, etc. where “raiding” is considered the main focus of “end game.”)

    New Paradigm:  A more “open” class system that allows each character to fluidly shift to and from group roles.  Combat that is more mobility-based placing an emphasis on movement for success.  Larger scale encounters where individual players, as well as groups, join their efforts to the overall success of the encounter in an ad-hoc fashion.  The most challenging content that is “gated” in instances away from the rest of the game is limited to small groups (in the case of GW2 these are 5 man dungeons or PVP matches.)  No emphasis is placed on guilds of players requiring highly organized and controlled structures in order to see, much less be successful at, any content of the game, with the possible exception being the WvW PvP where coordination of the efforts of the entire server are needed for success.

    For the past decade or more, the only types of MMORPGs available have been of the Old Paradigm type, and the formation of guilds by players were a natural reaction to the demands of the systems and mechanics prevalent in those games.  I say again for emphasis; ALL MMOs required larger groups of organized players in order to see all of the content they offered, and the more regimented, structured, and organized guilds were rewarded for those attributes with greater degrees of success in that content.

    Complete information on GW2 is not yet available, however, what we have seen so far to date has shown; faster paced combat with an emphasis on movement, paired with a general ease in working together with other players, and a really interesting mix of greater self-reliance combined with an emphasis on working with others in the area to accomplish shared goals.

    Before my viewpoint is dismissed out of hand as the ramblings of some fool who has never lead a guild and therefore has no clue as to what he’s talking about (which seems to be the default fall back position of everyone arguing against the new guild system when they don’t like what they hear from a proponent of the system.) let me just state for the record; I played EQ for 5 years, and Vanguard and WOW for another 5 years, and I served at various times as an officer in raiding guilds, and as a leader in a more socially oriented guild.  I have been a member (in one form or another) of a number of different types of guilds, and I am able to speak from personal experience about those.  If you don’t like what I have to say, fine… but please do not dismiss it simply because you think I haven’t done what you have done.  BTDT and I’ve got the F***ing T-shirt too.

    Obviously, Izari and I are of different opinions on this topic.  Personally, I believe the viewpoints expressed in Izari’s article represent Old Paradigm thinking.  What is stated as “fact” in the article is not necessarily wrong – provided you’re talking about one of the games that belongs to the Old Paradigm.  It is completely without merit however, if you’re talking about GW2. 

    The types of regimented, highly organized, and rigidly structured guilds that have been the norm for the last decade of MMO gaming existed because of the systems and mechanics in those games required them to exist, and rewarded those attributes with greater degrees of success.  Those systems and mechanics are absent from GW2, and I believe so is the need for those types of guilds.  We won’t know for a fact which opinion is correct on this issue until the game is actually released but, based on what we’ve seen thus far; no raids, gated content limited to small 5 man groups, ease in joining efforts with other players, greater self-reliance and significant emphasis placed on overall fluidity and movement… I see those Old Paradigm types of guilds as being a hinderance to play, rather than enabling access to it as they have done in the past.

    Consider; there are NO raids… when you show up at a large scale dynamic event so did 5 to 12 other guilds, along with a smattering of organized groups, and who knows how many individual players who aren’t in any type of group, organized or otherwise… “Control” over the situation by one, large guild, raid leader is not only impractical, it’s freakin impossible… it’s also completely uneccessary for the success of everyone present.  No schedule is needed… players don’t need to worry about showing up early to get organized… the event is happening on the fly… either respond to it on the fly or you don’t respond to it at all.  Everyone at the event (whether they are in “organized” groups or not) can see what everyone else is doing to contribute to the fight, and can decide for themselves where they can and should pitch in to help.  I personally feel that this will be the case in large part for the WvW PvP areas as well but, I will at least concede that it is possible that a greater degree of organization will be prevalent there.

    How big and organized does your guild need to be for dungeons?  You need 5 people working together well… any combination of classes could do well… Do you really think you need a massive, highly structured guild to pull that off?  *shakes his head*

    Even if you don’t agree with my viewpoint on the topic of guilds, I would strongly encourage you to take a second look at the terms you use in expressing your own viewpoint… they are disturbingly worrying to say the least.

    You said, “Forced loyalty may seem a negative thing at first,…” and second, and third, and fourth, and infinitely…  True loyalty cannot be forced.  The history of the world is repleat with examples of attempts to force loyalty… they are referred to as fascist… it’s NOT a good thing… that’s not just my opinion btw, millions have fought and died just to say “NO” to that type of thinking (bless their souls.)

    I will say it again, and however many times it seems to be needed; The only folks who are worried about the new, multiple guild, system proposed for GW2 are those who want to exercise control over others.  I personally have the same attitude towards them as I do towards players who were upset that the game didn’t have “open world” PvP so they could continue their practices of ganking and griefing other players.  There are plenty of Old Paradigm games available for those types of antagonistic, unpleasant activities… it’s just not available in GW2.

    • ArcherAvatar

      There is a wonderfully intelligent, and FAR LESS argumentative article expressing what I believe is an accurate assessment of the guild system to be found here;
      http://www.tashadarke.co.uk/2011/09/guilds-in-guild-wars-2-if-you-make-it-they-will-come/#comment-289

      I highly recommend giving it a read whether you are for or against the guild system of GW2.

    • Anonymous

      I never stated things as fact. This is clearly my opinion as spoken from my personal experiences in gaming and I’m pretty confident that much is obvious.

      “Forced loyalty” was probably a very unwise choice of words, but either way. My point was that in the “old paradigm” as you say, not being able to switch around meant you kind of had to get to know your guild on a whole and really give them a trial run before dismissing them. All guilds start somewhere, mostly small, and it’s always a struggle to get that lift-off. My worry is that the multi-guild system will make that a lot more difficult, which again I suppose is not necessarily a bad thing or the apocalypse.

      Also don’t get me wrong, I’m far from fascist in the way I run guilds.  The system I’ve used and plan to use in GW2 has always been very diplomatic. I have no less than 2 co-gms, officers, advisors, and a rotation of regular members who are given periods of council-ship and it’s worked swimmingly for years. It gives everybody a say in how things have gone at some point should they desire, and promotions to aspire to. 

      I’m also a very dedicated leader, and will spend a lot of my time / in-game money making sure everybody has what they need. 

      So, no, just because I’d like some dedication from my members doesn’t make me a nazi leader. I’ve just seen how leaders and officers get crapped on a lot, and though I”ve been lucky enough to not be the target of most of that sort of drama, I have seen close friends get really hurt because of it. 

      I agree with your points, as I already said in the article, that it’s both old thinking & too early to really nay-say the system. It’s more likely than not going to turn out fine. I just think that initial push to start guilds & recruit is gonna be a bit hellish and it might make things tougher in the long-run for fledgling guilds once some are already established (which is nothing new).

  • Players have different approaches towards a video game like Guild Wars 2. Where the guild systems in most MMORPGs like WoW or Rift provide only one form of guild membership, GW 2 offers a flexible guild system that can be adapted to the needs of all players. For players like Izzy for example, a guild philosophy of full-commitment sounds right. Advertise the guild as such(along with other things the guild stands for) and accept only those players who are a good fit. Some applicants may lie but that is a common problem in guilds of any MMORPG; GW2 is going to allow only one additional thing to lie about.

    But think about the guild leaders, officers, members who do not take the game or the guild that seriously. Or they do take it very seriously but are fully willing to allow multi-guild membership. Other games don’t allow such a notion but GW 2 does. My guild in WoW for example is the oldest guild on the server(~7 years), most reputable one and I have been an officer for around two years. We had a very strict screening process and we most of the time got really good people. Some bad apples were there but they left when they found out the guild philosophy of downplaying the drama. We had one big drama in six years, that’s it. We allowed our members to be part of other guilds, we encouraged it. Some considered our guild as their main guild, others considered our guild as their secondary. We never had a problem with the loyalty or commitment from any of the members. I myself was in a second guild as my raiding guild and I was always there for all the activities including raiding, and spent most time, in my main guild. My second guild in fact did NOT accept more than one character at all, it was purely raiding focused. Alts have to find a different guild for the social/PvP aspect.

    Those who feel guilds are not clubs can make a guild that emphasizes life-partner-like relationships. Guild system does not by itself create many problems for such a guild but some members might(by mis-representing themselves during the application process) and I agree that it will be a cause of headaches for the guild leaders and officers but that is no different from the type of headaches we currently have because of the same mis-representation problem.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’ve got it spot-on. The guild system ultimately allows for choice, and I’ve no doubt that honestly advertising the goals of the guild will attract mostly like-minded people, save the handful of drama llamas you can’t avoid regardless. 

      Thank you, Wyzim. This has been one of the best counter-arguments to what I’ve said and I really appreciate the approach you took. I think you’ve pretty  much convinced me that I’m wrong, lol. XD 
      <3

    • Barca

      What is there about the original Guild Wars that prevents what you want to do?

  • Anon

    I’m going to pick on your democracy analogy, because it simply doesn’t make sense. Anet isn’t turning guilds into direct democracy, or even a representative democracy; as far as we’re aware there will still be guild leaders, guild officers, and regular guild members (perhaps even a more multi-tiered system; we don’t know yet). Anet isn’t stopping any individual guild from being as tyrannical as they like. What’s happening here is a pure and simple example of that ‘holy grail’ of capitalism: the free market.

    The losers here will not be the big, goal-oriented guilds, who will in fact gain players who were unwilling to leave their small, closeknit guild friends, nor will it be the small, closeknit guilds, who will reunite with those of their friends who were a bit too hardcore to pass up a big guild that shared their goals. Even the compromise guilds won’t entirely lose as, though it will likely take awhile to settle out, players will naturally gravitate to people of roughly similar levels of investment. The only losers will be the guilds that quite simply don’t offer anything worthwhile for their members (whether that something is help getting started, or a regular schedule of dungeon crawls, or a top-notch PvP team, or just a sense of positive community). The losers will be the guilds that think they’re entitled to loyalty simply for existing. The free market doesn’t work that way.

    There will always be butterflies who flit from guild to guild. There will always be the super-loyal for whom one particular guild is their life. Someone’s nature is their nature, and trying to restrict that nature, especially in a medium that is ultimately for entertainment, is only going to make them find their own ways around it, possibly making them resentful in the process. Under the new system, no one’s stopping anyone from “marrying” their guild as you put it, but it does give people an -option- other than marry or stay single. The idea of being forced to automatically marry anyone you want to date is nothing short of ludicrous.

    I will speak for myself, even if it is a bit cocky, to say I would be an asset to a large, hardcore guild. The only guilds I have been in have been casual (other than 2 months in a faction-farming guild to make it a bit easier to find groups when I was working on Lux title), and I’ve only left guilds when they disbanded, or they changed sufficiently in both membership and direction to basically be an entirely different guild (or, in the case of the faction-farming guild, when I maxed Lux and thus was done faction-farming). The reason is simple: I’d rather keep tabs on what my friends are doing and either solo or PUG the content they’re too casual to be help with than have a ready pool of like-skilled players but be separated from friends. I would make the exact same choice in GW2, but fortunately I don’t have to, and there’s going to be a big guild that will get a good, dedicated member solely because I don’t have to make the choice.

    • Anonymous

      Ah, so you think that by allowing the choice people feel more like they “want” to be within the guilds they choose that there’s less resentment and such… that’s an interesting PoV (assuming I got it right, haha). 

  • Michael Szuminsky

    what no large raiding? they have already shown the shatterer and the bone boss. just becuase its not an organized 40 man and thats it instance, doesn’t mean its not a raid. they have said that those sort of event bosses will require at 20-30 at least to have a chance to take it out and scales up for far more than 40. They may not be traditional but its there.

    Anyway as for guilds, I personally don’t think people are going to join an excessive number of guilds. Yes there may be a few that join all they can but most will likely have one or two guilds three max.

    Reason for this i think will be one will be their main guild. After that they may end up forming a smaller informal guild if they have a decent number of real life friends that play just to have one. This one will likely be for more fun then anything else. The third guild i would see people joining is that if say they have a PVE guild as their main and they love it but it lacks in pvp players they may find a strong pvp guild to join as well.

    as you said in the article people can be lazy and joining more guilds will be more hassle then its worth. Unless you have no life and no job you simply couldn’t put in the time to become well known in more than a couple guilds(beyond real life friend social guilds). the effect will be that people will barely recognize you when you do show up and other than potentially tagging along to what that guilds members are doing few of them will feel the need to come play with you simply because they do not know you.

     the counter balance is the players themselves. Guilds are often about making new friends that play the same times you do. don’t socialize with them often and you will be an outsider. vast majority of the players will likely form traditional guilds and spend most of their time in that one with a possible one or two other guilds more then likely strictly social in nature. I dont see a lot of people with guilds of equal footing to run dungeons as mentioned above. Maybe a rare run with your pvp guild but fully fledged pve?

    Personally i will Likely only have one guild, it will have a strong PVE bent and i would love for it to have a good world pvp group as well but if it doesn’t i would likely form a guild with players i play with in world pvp. simply put the pve in mmos is my main love and i dabble in pvp but the persistence of the world pvp will have me heading there periodically.

    Ok maybe just one more guild that i will make just for myself to have a fun guild name on my character(like a friend in old school wow had a character named pepper that he pvped to rank of sargent and then made the Lonely Hearts Club guild for it) but that would be about it. : P

  • Darien

    The guild wars 1 guild system is broken for me.  I have been fiercely loyal to my guild since I picked up guild wars 1 almost 4 years ago.  We have had a lot of fun and completed a lot of guild wars content in that time.  However, the people in my guild are easily discouraged by challenging content.  After losing a few times to something they are ready to give up instead of figuring it out.  I personally like the challenge, but because my guild has already given up I have never completed the UW, FoW, Urgoz Warren, or the Deep.  Additionally, I have missed out on the chance to play most forms of competitive PVP.  I have tried to work through issues, by finding builds that are supposed to work and watching walkthroughs on youtube, but my guild has generally been unwilling to do the losing that is necessary to learn how to win.
    I want to say again, I love my guild.  We have accomplished most of what there is to accomplish, but at the end of the day I am sad because there is content that is closed to me because I am unwilling to leave my guild. So what do I do? 

    With the Guild Wars 2 guild system, I would be able to join another guild, learn from that guild, and contribute to whatever their specific goals are.  In the process I would have the opportunity to both play and learn about content that is now closed to me.  The best part about it is that as I gain this experience, I can go back to my original guild and lead them through content that they know that I have been able to complete.  I will be able to contribute more to my guild by belonging to two.

    Shame on you for assuming all players are selfish and unfaithful.  It seems like the selfish one in my position would have just left my original guild long ago making the 1 guild systems worse anyway.  You can’t really enforce loyalty and there will always be the social butterflies that don’t stick around one group for very long.  The real benefit of the guild wars 2 system is that is empowers the loyal players, the ones who want to be part of a guild even when that guild is unwilling or unable to satisfy all of the players in-game desires.  When all is said and done, don’t you want your loyal guild members to be satisfied with their experience?

  • Muti

    Not to oversimplify things, but the issue you describe seems to be forced allegiance vs. optional allegiance.  From what I understand, there’s nothing in GW2’s system that would prevent hardcore guilds from setting up more rigid rules for joining and maintaining membership.  It’s just that the GW2 system is more flexible and allows for other variances.  Another way to look at it is, is it really allegiance if it is enforced by the game engine?  This system tests true allegiance, because players actually have an option of leaving…

    Another factor to consider is that often times, guilds are formed and joined by groups of real life friends, and then grown.  So allegiance will be inherent in some cases regardless of rules or game constraints.

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