Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guilds and members.

Yesterday I asked few questions about guild related things. As a matter of fact that has been in my mind since Oakstout wrote about his raiding guild explosion last week.I commented about that about a topic idea I had been tossing around in my head, without getting a solid grasp on how to approach the issue.I have also listened to Kreeoni's excellent podcast Guild-Chat over a few days and found it interesting to notice how different the attitudes in guild leading and guild system are. In fact, the question I posed in the yesterday's post about the training of new members to raid was almost direct rip off from Kreeoni's and David's first episode...

The idea I've been pondering on comes simply from the upcoming change in WoW guild system, in which they introduce the levels and benefits for guild, which the guild gives to it's members. This change is thought to strengthen the social bindings of the guilds and within the members, making it really 'hurt' the people if they leave a good, high level guild. They would lose the benefits this guild has and thus would really have to think over the implications this causes on their own playing. Gevlon has done his autopsy of the system sometime ago, and while I agree with some points of it, I see the situation in a bit different light.

The system works in EQ2, and it's been in there almost from the beginning. The real problem at first will be the fact that the system is kind of plastered over the existing frame and social system, which favors the selfish approach of the individuals: the game teaches you to be selfish to gain better gear, better party and better recognition.Like Oakstout cites Banstick Podcast:
"I don't think that there will be any loyalties until Blizzard encourages guild teamwork and goals with a system."
The game is very, very top heavy in it's player base, and the player base has very much learned to play the selfish way. It's pretty easy -I would suspect at least- to start working for the guild to gain some benefits, but what will be the guilds' interest in keeping the members in? What will be the guilds' incentive -other than experience- to work for the members rather than expecting the members to work for the guilds?

It may seem easy, and as a matter of fact, nothing much should change: the guilds (at least the ones I've heard and learned about) rely on members donations and deposits already, are lead by a single leader with devotion and determination, and are more or less self contained. The ones which are not, are not very long lived ones. But it's way too easy at the moment to a) kick unwanted members and b) leave the guild if you're not contended with it.

The leaving will become painful if you get used to the benefits the guild offers. But will it be as painful for the guild to kick a player?

A thought popped into my mind today as I was driving to work, that what if the achievement points of the individual members would be part of the guild experience count: thus kicking a player with a load of achievement points could cause the guild lose some benefits...

To me it is a dilemma. I'm not stating or saying that there weren't guilds which were interested in their members of anything. Nor am I saying that it isn't the guild's best interest to keep the players happy and along. It's just something I see as potentially faulty in the upcoming system and as something that may cause problems in some less established guilds, leading to frustration, venting and bad behaviour on the behalf of the wronged party.

And I'm not speaking on my own experience either. Just speculating, that's all.