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?
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The Asura Aesthetic: Playful Functionality

One of the really nice things about the asuran race is the way that they have not fallen back on “intelligence” meaning “modernist”. Being so blessed with intellect, the asura could have easily fallen prey to the overtly functional style of design and only been concerned with creating structures which served a purpose and nothing more. Rata Sum could so easily have been a city of blank grey cubes; flat and faceless entities which, whilst perfectly serving their purpose, offered up no example of imagination or life.

The plants and magic provide mystical light sources

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The Prime Strikes Back: A (literal) discussion on PAX Prime 2011

Guest article written by Guido Sarducci

Guild Wars is over six years old. Wow! Has it been that long? Has it really been that long since I first answered Adelbern’s call? I joined 2 months after the game was released, but early enough to remember refund points that were needed when changing stats. After joining/leaving/being kicked from a few guilds, I joined DRGN, a guild that included my sons and my wife, and I dragged along a co-worker as well. I made online friends and watched as they graduated high school, attended college, and graduated from there as well. I have been part of the same guild that lost an officer to a tragic ‘real-world’ accident in 2008. I was involved with the first “Pink Day in LA” in support of breast cancer awareness, where DRGN gave out red and silver dyes (trying to approximate pink dye) and we filled 3 international districts.

Pink Day was started by a couple of officers in our guild, one of whom writes for TalkTyria; my son, Connor, The Lazy Geek. Yep, I’m proud to say we are related. This idea, where, if only for a brief moment, gaming stops and as a community we focus on something larger than the virtual world where we play, is pretty unique in the gaming world. Pink Day has grown to something utterly amazing, especially when the never ending ball of energy, M A L I B U Barbie and GW-EN, together with TalkTyria and many other guilds and alliances, raised over $10,000 in 2010. And, for the first time, ANET did something unheard of in support of a community event; they produced a Pink Dye for Breast Cancer awareness. It was the entire Guild Wars community that made last year’s Pink Day such a success; I am very honored to be a small part of this active and interesting community!

PAX 2011

PAX Prime 2011 has come and gone. What a whirlwind of activity; unplanned stays at a gracious host’s home, an ANET Party held at their HQ, the playable GW2 demo, a sheep named ‘Sheila,’ and many interesting panels. So, what was learned about GW2?
What follows will be a, “conversation,” between father (Guido) and son The Lazy Geek. Continue reading

GuildWars2 Machinima: Thoughts and Suggestions

A game’s community consists of a wide variety of aspects. Today I want to talk about a part of the extended experience offered by a game’s community: player-made videos. Otherwise known as Machinima. For years now YouTube and other video sites have been swarmed by videos of gaming footage, music video’s, series and even South Park episodes entirely created in-game. It allows players to enjoy the game in new ways as a self-sustaining part of community plus it offers free promotion to get your game out there.

Now the current development of GuildWars2 had me worried for a bit. There’s no way to unlock the camera angle at the moment and even other features such as spectator mode are still early in development or just under discussion. Wouldn’t it be cool to receive some freedom with the camera so you can really enjoy the environments around you, or get that perfect angle for your scene? Or maybe you want to show off a great kill you scored in a recent PvP match.

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Thoughts on the Multi-Guild System:

During PAX Prime, among all of the demo and PvP playing there was also a myriad of panels from the ANet team. Most of the information wasn’t strictly news, but we did manage to snag some tidbits about the upcoming guild system. Although it is far from complete, the biggest announcement was the structuring of guilds and their relation to accounts.

Here’s the set of relevant information:

– Account belongs to a guild
– One Character can represent multiple guilds
– Can choose to not represent a guild
– Earn influence with guild
– Perks: storage, ect… bought with influence.
– Use influence to make keeps harder to take in WvWvW

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My oh my.. the New, New Guild Wars 2

Those were pretty much the words I had in my mind as I read through the blog post by Jon Peters on what the new demo at Gamescom/PAX will encompass.

Instantly, he starts off with:  As a company, we like to say that we iterate on our game—a lot.

And I was thinking of 2 things. First, this is going to be exciting. Little did I know how right I would be on so many levels. And second, ArenaNet, I love you guys, I really do, but you have to stop telling us in every single blog post that you guys “iterate and reiterate”. Seriously, it’s in almost every blog post. And frankly, I’m getting slightly annoyed.

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Guild System: One Guild Too Many

This has been a hot topic among friends and I. How do you feel about what has been said about joining guilds in Guild Wars 2?

Ideally, I want guilds to be much harder to create and for loyalty to not punish guild leaders. In GW1, leaders and officers had to pay for invites to the guild. That in my mind ultimately makes the new recruit more valuable than the guild itself. Continuous recruiting adds up in costs. Of course, if you’re one of those guilds who makes others pay (you jerk!) then this doesn’t apply to you. If I could have it my way, no one pays anything. If the recruit leaves, he has to wait a few days before he can join another guild again. If he gets kicked from the guild, then he can immediately join another. The reverse may be preferable depending on how you look at it, but this is not what this topic is about.

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