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Epic Slant Press is a small publishing company based in North Carolina that currently focuses on books and games. Positivity is the driving force that guides each and every project that the company takes on. The team strongly believes that with a positive outlook anyone can achieve great things. Epic Slant Press strives to support small and local businesses, aid fellow entrepreneurs, and donate a portion of all profits to charities and good causes.


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Think of a time when you went back to a store or restaurant and an employee there remembered your name. That simple act probably gave you warm feelings (and might help retain your business!). How about a day when all of your customers were angry or just apathetic, and then you had that one customer that was cheerful and grateful for your help? Positive encounters like these make lasting impressions and it is our mission to better serve the community by creating as many of them as possible.

What motivates guild membership?

MMO Design GoatI know some of my fellow blogger have tried this in the past and it is something that I have been wanting to do. Essentially I will occasionally ask a question and, with any luck, my readers will answer!

This week I am curious about something important to me as a player, writer and guild leader. What motivates you to join and/or remain in a guild? What are the aspects that keep you logging in and, if you feel inclined, the aspects that don’t?

I am a product of the old guild regime. In the ancient days before MMOs became a regular staple in the average person’s entertainment diet you pretty much had to be in a guild to achieve great things. Finding groups without a guild was hard. Raiding without a guild was near impossible. If you were on a PvP server they were pretty much a necessity of survival. This is how things were done and I’ve never been able to move on from that. To be unguilded to me is to be naked.

It also helps that I happen to be the leader of a guild and feel responsible to my members. They are kind enough to let a retired has-been like me remain as their commander and chief so I feel obligated (in a positive way) to offer my services. The basic idea of leaving the group is so alien to me that it is more likely that I’d quit a real life commitment than my guild. After all, the average Sodality member has been with me in the nature of four to five years! We are a family. We play together, disagree sometimes, fight with each other on occasion, game together and win together. We are not just some loose association of people who barely know each other. We’re a team and if I have my way will remain so for years to come and continue to bring new, great people into the fold.

My experience is different from yours, however, and most certainly not the average. I’d love to hear about why others choose to join or not join guilds.

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13 Responses to What motivates guild membership?

  1. Ysharros says:

    Great subject, and great question!

    As a primarily explory/social player (SEA with not much K, Bartle-wise), I join guilds to be with like-minded people. As my playstyle has hardened, over the years, I’m much less likely to seek out (or remain with) a guild that’s too achievement-oriented for my personal tastes, but I will stick to the death with a guild that’s “home”. For instance, I’ve been with “The Knights Who Say Ni” (the original ones!) for close on ten years now, ever since we all played in Asheron’s Call. We’ve moved to many new games since and I don’t actually *play* any of the same games most of them do now, but they’re still one of my guilds and always will be. Call it a tribe, if you like — I’ve made friends through them, seen drama come and go, and visit the forums almost daily.

    Not being much of an achiever, I also don’t have the common achiever problem of not understanding how one could possibly be loyal to more than one guild at a time. In EQ2, for instance, the characters on my 2 accounts belong to 2 different guilds — my “mains” are in Halasian Empire (lovely lovely guild run by twitter’s @g33kg0ddess ) while the rest are in the guild hubby and I started back in 2005, which I can’t quite bring myself to let die. Halasian Empire is pretty much what our guild would be like if we’d ever recruited — friendly, laid back, and quite crafting oriented.

    I suspect my reply won’t be the norm, however. :D

    • Ferrel says:

      Thank you for the tweet!

      You’re absolutely right about the “one guild per person” thing. That really seems to be something us achiever types are all about. I guess we’re territorial? It is an odd phenomena. I know it shouldn’t matter and yet it still does somewhat offend me.

      I’m also like you in the sense that most of my old guilds I am still quite friendly with. I was in Silent Redemption in EQ1 and still chat with those members who are still there but in other games. My loyalty runs very deep with them. The same is true for my EQ2 guild. I keep in touch with as many members as possible.

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  3. Thallian says:

    Necessity? Friendship? Greed? Those are prolly the top three things. I wish guilds gave contribution exp or something for contribution levels that gave access to special rewards. That’d be sheer genius.

  4. Ysharros says:

    @ferrel Achievers are put out by multiple guild memberships because the things achievers go after are best pursued by single-focus membership. Raiding is a prime example. Very focused achiever types can also have problems with alts, since that appears to dilute the focus on gearing and improving the main char. I can understand that, I just don’t share the view.

    My main gripe with the monomaniacal achiever outlook is that it sees no alternative to itself. This holds true outside MMOs as well, of course, but intolerance and narrow-mindedness gets me everywhere. (Not aiming this at you at all, btw — I have no idea what kind of an achiever you are. :D I meant more generic “achiever types,” especially the ones who take it to extremes.)

    • Ferrel says:

      @Ysharros

      You could very easily have aimed that at me during EQ1 and EQ2. You’d have been pretty close to dead on. I was never the rabid hate you sort but I would certainly feel upset and might mention it to you. Generally I’d be nice and say things like, “I’m glad you have fun with your alt. Just remember though that we need your main for raids and we need it on par with everyone else.” Being in another guild was simply against our rules. Especially in the days where strategies were secret.

      These days I am a lazy achiever. I want and enjoy achieving but not at the expense of other things. I’m simply unwilling to lose a great person because they don’t want to raid. Sodality is about awesome people who win together. Not about taking whoever is necessary just to win.

  5. Spinks says:

    I enjoy being part of a community, so that’s really what I look for from a guild. I like working together on shared goals, whether it means actually grouping/ raiding or just all building a solid guild community together. I find I can’t really relate to a large group of people (like a whole server) so easily.

    I’m with Ysh that I don’t find it hard to be loyal to more than one guild but there may come a point where you feel that your time is promised to both so it works better if one of them is either much more casual or only needs you for specific in game events.

    When I was a guild master I had a very different perspective – obv I wanted guildies to be happy but you’re always very aware that they’ll be off as soon as something more fun comes along.

  6. Ysharros says:

    @Ferrel — but if you’re running a guild whose primary focus is raiding, you’re perfectly within your rights to limit the kind of stuff that can be done on alts within that guild. You can *try* to limit what people do with alts outside the guild, but that’s harder to police — and then you’re entering that thorny territory of how much control a guild (or its leader) should have over another person’s playtime.

    From what I’ve read here and there over the years, that’s the sort of thing that causes lots of drama in raiding guilds. Then again, people coming and going (either revolving-dooring or absconding with a chunk of the membership) can cause drama in all types of guilds, even ultra-casual ones. Been there, done that. I’m very careful now how I manage my guild memberships, because I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression OR make commitments I can’t manage. I’ll admit, that stuff gets a lot easier as you get older (and more accustomed to managing multiple calls on your time/loyalty in RL).

  7. Khronos says:

    Originally I would have said that I joined guilds out of necessity, but as far as I remember I always joined one when someone asked me directly. Granted, that meant that I would go through large portions of the game without getting involved with a guild, or that the guild I joined would be full of inactive members or members that were at different stages of the gameplay. The latter condition tends to happen with some significant frequency, and significantly dampened any interest of mine to actively seek a guild.

    • Ferrel says:

      @khronos

      That seems to be a major occurrence with guilds these days. A lot of what I call micro-guilds exist. You’ll find four to six players who don’t want to join another guild but also don’t really want to recruit . Sometimes they just throw out random invites and sometimes they don’t. You never know. It can be really difficult to find a quality guild.

      @Ysharros

      Indeed! I like the @name in Champions because you can’t hide from your rep!

  8. Devilicus says:

    It starts out by wanting to be able to do bigger stuff than you can solo, pug or duo (in my case). A sense of belinging to a group of friends that you can joke with and help each other out when needed. Then it turns into loyalty for some. Sometimes the loyalty is so great that you may miss out on other opputunities to stick by the “family”. A truely great guild will always be the mark to which your following guild(s) are measured to. You probably will never find an equivalent, but hopefully you at least find a place when you can hang out and chit chat while in game. Other than the raiding aspect, it’s more or less a social hub for alot of people or a pool to draw from when you find out you aren’t superman afterall and cannot solo a mob that is 10 levels higher than you and has 100k hit points =)

  9. Zeli says:

    I’ve been with the same group since 2002 and what keeps me there is the guild-personality that has evolved. Sometimes our desire to game together lasts beyond our desire for a game. It’s rather unique when a person can find a group of people where gaming goals and personalities both line up.

  10. Tesh says:

    Hmm… let me give an example from Puzzle Pirates. On the oldest server, Midnight, I joined a crew (guild) that had some vocal forum members that I’d happened to befriend. I’m just a scrubling on that server, but it’s nice to keep in touch with some cool people. I don’t play often, but when I do pop in, it’s like Cheers; people know me and I know them, so we say hello, exchange a few jokes, and do whatever we were doing. Occasionally, I’ll pop in and help someone on their ship or shop, if they need a hand, but usually, I just chat and do my own *gameplay*.

    On a different server, I joined a crew that I was “dockpressed” into (a random invite, and I figured “sure, why not?”), and made a few friends, but eventually left due to some drama that I just didn’t care to witness and some personality conflicts. (I like it quiet and profanity free, but don’t see it as my place to tell others to shut up.) I then joined a crew of another forum friend with a similar mindset, and have been much happier.

    It’s a small crew, mostly soloers and explorers, so we mostly just use the crew structure as another chat channel to banter and ask for help on occasion, and do our own thing wherever we are. There are a few other perks to the crew, like ship access and fast travel shortcuts and such, but I’d say that 90%+ of the time, we really are just a crew of soloists, at least as far as “playing the game” is concerned.

    I’ve never joined a guild in any of the other MMOs that I’ve played. I’ve made my own crew on yet another PP server, and made my own guild in Guild Wars (just me, my wife and my RL friend), but that’s it. The GW guild I made is just to make playing with my wife or friend easier (it’s easier to get together when you’re in the same guild), and I use my PP crew for event planning for forum events. (The captain is Silveransom, my usual pirate, but every other pirate is either my alt or a friend’s alt, and all of them are dragon themed.)

    I’ve toyed with joining BBB’s guild in WoW, just because he’s a good guy that I’d like to toss a joke at once in a while, but then, I’m not really playing WoW, either. So maybe you could say that I’ve joined his “blog guild” by linking to him and checking in now and then. That’s purely a social function, though. It would be in-game, too, since they are raiding endgame content, and I’d still just be puttering around doing my explorer thing, totally uninterested in visiting a raid more than once or twice for screenshots. I would contribute to crafting or harvesting raiding mats for those in the guild who *do* want to raid, if I were feeling generous (rather than selling them at the AH, I’d throw them at the guild to see if there were an internal use first), but really, the only reason I’d be in a WoW guild is because I like the people. I’d almost certainly not share the *gameplay* with them, just the game community. I play so differently, there’s really not any other reason for me to be in a guild.

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