Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Social tool candy for a change, please!

I just read a couple of posts about player housing and guild housing. While these posts are more on the actual implementation of the housing system, I'd like to approach the housing -and the inadequate social tool- issue from another point of view.

As it has been stated earlier in my posts and comments, the social surroundings -or the community- of the servers is more or less a very shattered and incoherrent whole. The lacking social tools -both guild tools and lfg system- have resulted a situation in which the players are playing a solo game in social environment: much like the business world today. Everyone is trying their best to maximize their personal gain from the grind, so to speak.

The main aspect which I think is lacking is the communality: people are separated from each other, only looking for their own benefit. The guilds provide the smaller community to all who want to participate, but they imply their own rules. In PUG's the rules are even more ambiguous, resulting the PUG from Hell status to many of them. Guilds are considered stepping stones on the way to the much famed End Game, where the fight is over the few minutes of fame in the current top guild one is able to get access to.

People are not really asking the right question from their guild. Nor are they willing to answer the right question posed to them.

There is no achievement for being in a guild and making it to prosper. 

If we compare the fantasy RPG MMO to the actual 'fantasy', the difference becomes apparent: in fantasy the hero -or the antihero- groups to overcome the opposition. Guilds are ways to gain more power and esteem, as belonging to the right guild can be considered as a career move. Currently the guild tag doesn't mean a thing ingame. Belonging in a guild is more a habit than actual need.

You can PUG easier than get an impromptu guild run set up, even in a larger guild.

What could guild housing and/or player housing solve?

First of all, it would promote the feeling of belonging: I am part of this guild which has this guild house. My house is in this city, neighbouring these people.

Feeling of belonging is a powerfull motivator.

After applying this simple way of making the Guild meaningfull, the rest of the Guild status strenghtening stuff would be easy. Guild totem giving a buff to members according to levels, guild store for additional buffs only for this guild and so on. Something to make the Guild mean something to the player.

I loved EQ2 guild experience system. Guilds have levels to which all the experience the members gain contributes to. The first time you dinged the guild gave you an enormous boost, and the scarcer the dings get, the more meaningfull the mention in the guild log gets.

I contribute, I'm valuable.

Well, that's what the achievements do already, don't they?

How hard is it, Blizzard, to work on the social tools for a change?

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