I've been thinking over this since the incident I blogged. Especially I paid attention to the situation as I was pruning the guild roster. Sure, The Order, has over 30 toons in it, but only about 10 are active and played regularily. And even some of those I have met only when I invited them to the guild.
So why would anyone want to be in a guild, if we take off the chit-chat of Guild Channel?
In EQ2 you feel you're contributing to the guild, as the guilds have levels as the players, and the guilds really give you the additional feeling of belonging in the game. The guild means something in there, it's not just a tag to drag along and hope that someone in the guild has done something so remarkable that the tag gets recognised.
Why has WoW failed so miserably in creating the similar situation? The guilds are a laughing stock if you think of the 'benefits' you get from them as player. This is exactly like Crucifer commented in my earlier post: "Guilds mostly have degenerated from focal points of the community with strong reputation links to other focal points to, well, just a chat channel."
And most players are thinking of just that: benefits for themselves. As the soloability of WoW increases, the self-gratification becomes the norm in the game: it becomes more and more a single player levelling game, where you can do whatever you please, regardless of anything. It's beginning to feel that the other player characters are as meaningless as the NPC's.
At least that's what I felt when I logged in shortly yesterday: I got begged for buffs, cursed because I don't buff people begging for it and challenged to duel three times while I was grinding for a quest. This only shows to me, at least, that people are not playing the game as an RPG (or even the way they would play single player RPG, even), but are playing the game as min-maxing and winning the content.
To me it sucks.
Maybe I'm old, too much standing still in the pen and paper RPG world and too much interested in the real content, so I don't really appreciate the current way of playing the game.
Back to the topic: what good are guilds anyway? I've read a couple of blog posts already stating that people are leaving guilds even at level cap to be able to run heroics more. Raiding isn't anymore only for the co-operative effort of the guilds and honestly speakin, the leetness is gone. Especially in the way that this post describes. Great guest post in World of Matticus, which I agree completely: that is what guilds should seek to be, the springboard for leetness!
As the meaning of guilds has gone down the drain, so has the communication and respect between the guilds. Only a minority of the guilds on the servers have the decency to join the official server forum and state their information to the Guild Information thread. The communication is mostly on the level of "we're more 1337 than yoo" and derogatory in terms of communication.
I wish every guildleader and officer would do as Megan from Out of Mana and make a resolution like this:
Playing the game with friends and strangers alike equally is also important. Just because they aren't in your guild, aren't in your pool of gaming buddies, doesn't mean tact and sincerity go out the window. It's easy to remember that story of those crap PUGs with lewlDPS and bash on them in a forum, a post, a whisper.That would make the game itself more enjoyable to all of us, and perhaps, maybe, the dumbtwat effect would reside a bit.
Blizzard, it's high time you did something for the social tools in the game and introduced the guild housing, guilding benefits and guild levels to the game!!! MAKE THE SOCIAL EFFORTS WORTH SOMETHING, darn it!