Once upon a time, there was a distant land called Eyrda in a Forsaken World. In this land lived a young elven bard called Asterixion, who upon joining the Lionhearts, ended up also joining a small guild called Aes Sedai.
This was the first time he ever joined a guild, and the main reason he selected that guild over other bigger guilds was that he recognized and liked the name Aes Seda. He never regretted that decision; while Aster no longer lives in the world of Eyrda, he made friends out of some of the guildies he used to play it on an almost daily basis. Being part of a good, close community made the long waits with no updates bearable, and while many people started searching new lands and worlds to explore, we felt that we could squeeze some fun times out of good old Eyrda.
The guild wasn’t perfect, and Aster realized that as the guild grew and developed, it was harder for newer guildies to truly feel part of a group of people that pretty much built the foundation of the guild. It was a shame, but he felt proud of knowing he was a contributing factor to the growth of the community.
Guilds, companies, or clans (or however they are called in whichever MMO you might be playing) are without a doubt the biggest factor in how long I am willing to play an MMO. I might not have a long list of MMOs played under my belt; but if there is something I can think of that made me keep playing, it has to be the group of people I played with.
Phantasy Star Online was my first taste of an MMO, even if it was a lite version. Back then I wasn’t even aware of what an MMO was, and I didn’t care. The game pretty much consisted of several lobbies where you could meet other players, and where people created their game. There were no proper clans or guilds, but my brother and I met a lot of cool people that became our small circle of friends really quick. We used to help each other with weapons and doing low level runs to level up our newer characters. Sometimes we didn’t even need to ask for a game’s password, since we usually agreed on a universal password for our games.
Other times we just joked around in the lobbies, if more than 4 of us were online. That was more than 10 years ago, and I still keep in touch with some of those players.
Phantasy Star Universe was vastly different from PSO, but there weren’t any formal guilds either. I somehow ended up joining a clan, and just like in PSO, we gamed together as much as we spent time on lobbies just chatting.
Forsaken World was my first “real” MMO, and I was introduced to a lot of terms I didn’t know by name, like DPS, CC, and PvP. It was also my first time playing an actual PC game. The game wasn’t too graphically fancy and it had a lot of flaws and bad direction decisions with each update, and at moments, what kept most of us playing was our small community of dorky misfits with the weirdest sense of humor and a willingness to help each other. It took a really bad move from Perfect World Entertainment for me to decide I didn’t want to support that company in any way and therefore stopping playing it.
Before ending in Guild Wars 2, I tried games like Aion. While I didn’t find it too bad, I never found a friendly place or community to call home, so my stay in that game was very short. So, when I say guilds are an important factor to determine if I want to keep playing that game, I really mean it.
Now, this brings me to Guild Wars 2. I joined a pretty cool guild, following and old friend of mine. Guild Wars 2 was a vast improvement over Forsaken World, which was a big plus for me, and having people around, chatting with them and doing missions with them was fun. I didn’t feel as home as I did in our FW guild, but I was one of the newbies in a well-established guild. I was aware this would happen. Sadly, as the game evolved, many felt dissatisfied, or found other MMO that caught their attention and left. Guild Wars 2 is now facing one of those update hiatus, and while I have been trying different things to keep me interested in the game, the lack of a solid, friendly guild to pull me back in is make me lose interest rapidly. This is a shame, because I truly like this game.
Now, I can’t say I am an authority in guild related things (far from it) and my opinions will surely contrast with a lot of other players, but I have been thinking about what exactly I think a guild need to keep people need. I came up with 8 points. These points, however are not only what I look for in a guild, but also what I think I need to do as a guildie. After all, a guild shouldn’t revolve around yourself, but around everyone. (Hey! I should make that point #9!)
- Help your guild!
Many people join guilds because they have questions, and want guidance, and that’s a fine reason. But you don’t need to be an expert or a veteran be helpful too. If the guild is actively recruiting, there will be someone newer than you with probably the same questions as you. Help them out if you can. Maybe you don’t have the time, but you can answer some of their questions. You can maybe guide them to whichever place they are looking for.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Personally, I prefer playing with guildmates. It makes me feel safer, since usually guild members are more tolerable and forgiving of any mistake you make, and can guide you. It’s also funner to play with people you know.
- Asking questions is fine, but don’t overdo it!
I believe guild mates should be ready to answer questions, even the stupid ones, but I also think that one of the joys of MMOs should be exploring a little bit. Try to figure some things playing for a bit, if there’s something that you still don’t understand or decipher, then ask away. Your guild mates will thank you for not flooding guild chat with questions every 2 minutes.
- Say Hello!
I understand not everyone is a chatty person, but I think it’s nice to at least acknowledge your fellow guildies. You won’t die by saying “Hello” or Hey” when you log in. Personally, one of my pet peeves is seeing a lot of guild members on, and not get a “Hey” back when I say “Hello”. Don’t make people feel left out!
- You can say No too.
Helping people is fine, but I understand you have your own needs and goals. Let’s call it some “me time.” You don’t need to feel obligated to help EVERYONE, but please, if you can’t or don’t want to help someone, just say so. It sucks when you ask if someone wants to run a dungeon with you, and you don’t even get a reply. By saying you can’t, or you’re busy, or that you’d rather not do that, you at least are acknowledging the other player.
- Be polite!
You don’t need to agree with everything your guild mates say, but please, be respectful. People can disagree without causing drama in the guild. This of course, encompasses everything that has to do with religion, politics, sexual orientation and the optimal class builds for pvp.
- Bring ideas!
Even the best of MMOS can get stale at moments (ok, so I haven’t played that many to say this with such confidence, but let’s assume it’s true), but guilds can survive these dead zones. Suggest events; agree on doing something as a guild: boss hunts, dungeon runs, pvp, whatever!
- Don’t ignore the new guildies!
This pretty much ties with #5 and #4’ s point about acknowledging people. From experience, the newer guides are the ones that suffer this the most. People are more likely to say Hi or reply to a person they have playing with for a while now than they would to random newbie #4, but of your guild is willing to recruit nee people, they should be ready to at least make them feel welcome enough.
9. The guild doesn’t revolve around yourself!
Just because I said I should add it and then got confused when making the awesome header. There.