Guilds are very useful aspect of playing an MMO. They can be invaluable for progressing through the game content and for obtaining better quality gear. They also provide a nice social focal point, if you desire such interaction. Of course you can quite happily play your game of choice, without being part of one. For me (and many others), the real trick is to find one that’s suits your personality and gaming aspirations. When you find the right one, it can greatly enhance your gaming experience. However, the wrong one can be a real thorn in your flesh and really spoil a particular MMO for you in some instances.
I’m not going to write about what makes a good guild nor what are the best ways to run one, as these are subjects that have been covered many time before. What I would like to do is detail what has made me to form one in SWTOR and what it is that we hope to achieve. I don’t feel the need to justify my stance on certain issues, as I don’t believe there is a universal right or wrong way to play an MMO, unlike some players. What I would say to those who may differ from my mindset, is that you always have the option to form your own guild and run it in a fashion to your and your members liking.
So, less than a month since the launch of SWTOR and my primary alt (Smuggler Gunslinger) is at level 36. As you may know I tend not to have multiple alts, preferring to simply develop one character. Anyway, my various friends and colleagues have a mixture of alts at different levels, so we thought that a guild would make grouping and mutual help a lot easier to sort out. Furthermore, as we all broadly know each other, we can get along and know exactly what we want from our group activities. So last night, four of us grouped and I took a trip to the Galactic Market on Coruscant, where the guild vendor is located. As I was the group leader, by default I became the guild founder. There was a nominal charge of 5000 credits. A few minutes later the guild “Shaved Wookies” was born.
Now the name is a giveway that we don’t take things too seriously. We are a group of mature players (both in experience and age) who play for simple pleasure. We are happy to try all content that the game has to offer, but we are not stat monkeys, title chasers or in anyway hardcore raiders. If we group and wipe, we laugh about it. If we wipe repeatedly, we’ll walk away, still laughing. We stay at home every night, never quarrel or fight (sorry I appear to have drifted in to Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch) and just meander through the game. There are no obligations, raiding roster, website to maintain or official roles to be undertaken. If people want to talk, then fine, but if somebody’s had a busy day and just wants to be left alone, then that’s cool. No one going to weep because you came online and didn’t enquire about Berts lumbago.
I’m sure this sounds like an anathema to some players, but this is really just a case of horses for courses. This laid back approach is what we as a guild enjoy. Now are we going to throw the door open to anyone? Of course not. Firstly, as we have such limited goals and a rather excessively casual nature this is not going to be agreeable to all. Secondly, you need to spend some time with someone and get the measure of them before inviting them to join your guild. Even that can be insufficient sometimes. I’ve been in guild before when one persons behaviour, attitude and demeanour caused immense upset. I am not a social worker nor do I want anyone upsetting the apple cart. However, that is not to say that “Shaved Wookies” won’t help others, join in events or participate in wider server based activities. It just a case that we’ll do it our own way.
So that is the guild philosophy. It suits us. If you can’t find a guild that offer’s you what you want, then why not form one yourself? There are so many people out there who want to group, you’ll probably find that recruiting and filling positions a lot easier than you imagine. Especially with a new game like SWTOR. Remember you pay for your gaming pastime and therefore have every right to enhance that by spending time with like minded people. All MMOs have their percentage of idiots, griefers and the dysfunctional. Guilds are a great way to minimise your exposure to this. Is this an elitist attitude? Of course not. Life works this way. We do exactly the same when we choose who our friends are, where we live and where we work. Why should gaming be any different?