Friday, August 3, 2012

Guildwars 2 - Multiple Guild Memberships one major Feature- Read to know more

This fairly low-key, not widely discussed feature of Guild Wars 2 could have a big impact on my longevity in the game. Back in 2007 my MMO life was simple: I played WoW and all of my gaming friends, whether in real life or virtual, also played WoW. Now I know people playing half a dozen games, often I get requests to “give this game a try” or “come play game X with me”.

The whole situation is complicated by being party of a wonderful, virtual family style guild that happens to have chapters in multiple games. So now I have social ties to many games, but thusfar LoTRO (with the free to play relaunch), Rift and SWTOR have failed to reunite these disparate social groups in one game. Game companies do not make this any easier – even if everyone were miraculously to start playing the same game I’d then have multiple guild invites which would mean playing multiple characters.

Enter Guild Wars 2, wherein your account can belong to as many guilds as you wish. From the guild window you can select which guild you currently represent and thereby gain access to guild chat, gain access to that guild bank and contribute to guild ‘influence’ gain: wiki link.

This may well complicate the role of guild leaders, with members having potentially divided loyalty. But in a sense I see it as a net benefit to the game. It means I can join my multi-game guild’s chapter in GW2 from the start. It means that my partner can either join my guild or his WoW raiding guild (if they do play GW2) or even both! It even means my old WoW guild can setup a guild if they want to and I can join that as well to show support.

Sure this may cause some friction about ‘loyalty’ for some guilds, but I doubt that’ll be a problem for my casual gaming circles. We’ve lived through an improvised version of this for years in WoW. We had our friends & family small guild, but we also had a much wider network of friends (before the days of Real ID and cross server instances) which we could invite for raids or heroics – this covered the whole gamut of hard core role-players, progression raiders, PVP fanatics and crafters. If people were busy with their own guild no problem, we could ask someone else. Likewise we sometimes got invites to join a raid and would accept if free.

I feel this issue has certainly contributed to the failure of previous games to be ‘the one’. I’m not talking, of course, about a perfect game that does everything you could ever want. I am talking about a game that just makes it easy to play with people and treats the playerbase like adults. Social networks are generally not exclusive, so why should guilds be so? A player might want to be able to join a leveling guild, a second guild for RP and a third for PVP for example. This way players looking for you by name to see if you are online will see which guild you are representing, and know that “oh he’s with the Lion’s Arch Killerz tonight so he’s busy doing PVP”.

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