Emphasize Community Content
My last post was all about de-emphasizing the role of guilds in content and gameplay. I think in order for that dynamic to work, server communities must be given enormous power over how the content on the server is completed. The best examples I can think of are from my past experiences with EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot. In both of those games, early on before they were essentially ruined, content was completed by a group of people getting together and spreading the word that it would be fun to throw as many people as we can at a mob.
I remember when a handful of people — maybe 5 at most — were trusted leaders. When Joe was leading a dragon run on Saturday night, everyone signed up because Joe was a well-known and talented leader. The attendees represented dozens of guilds, and usually there were dozens to hundreds of players present. Content was hard, required a lot of people, but it wasn’t instanced. Dungeons were open, and anyone who entered could participate. Heck, most of us weren’t even technically grouped at times. We trusted the leader of our ‘raid’ (that term has lost all original meaning and become associated with contemporary raiding) leader to fairly hold a loot roll session after the raid was over.
These types of raids built server unity, created a community of players who worked together, and strengthened our bonds together when we weren’t even doing these PvE raid events. In a game like DAoC, this made answering the call to battle more personal. We were working alongside all of these players when our realm came under siege, and if Joe asked for help in RvR we were more than eager to jump out there.
I want devs to remove the emphasis on guilds and place it on the community instead. Bring back open-world dungeons. Let the players once again have control and be able to create a more meaningful experience while at the same time reclaiming the original meaning and role of a guild.