Guilds vs. Friends Scenario

Here’s a scenario from the Pantheon Twitter.

You’re in a guild that can see when you’re online, they ask you to help with something boring like grinding for mats or guild finances but your friends are waiting to play with you, what do you do?

I’m viewing this one from multiple angles.

  1. Friends vs. Guild
  2. Fun Tasks vs. Boring Tasks
  3. Why not both?

Friends vs. Guild

I think it’s a matter of loyalties and communication. If you commit to being in a guild, I feel like you commit to helping that organization in activities that are meant to be done as a guild. If you’re not ready to make that commitment and join a guild that asks its members to participate together, then you probably shouldn’t join.

I also think that with my friends I’m comfortable communicating with them that when it’s time to do a guild activity then that means I won’t be available. Planning times when there isn’t a schedule conflict is probably better. If the guild request was extremely impromptu, then again it’s about deciding those priorities.

Fun Tasks vs Boring Tasks

I’ll keep this one short. Why does getting mats and working on guild finances have to be boring? To me those are areas where MMORPG — virtual worlds — can really shine and evolve the gameplay to be more than rapid mob grinding. Those types of activities are sorely under-developed in modern MMOs. Rephrase that to “they ask you to help with something really fun and rewarding like obtaining defensive supplies and growing the guild coffers.”

Why not both?

I’ve always tried to guild up with my friends. If I enjoy playing with certain people, then to me it makes sense that we’re in the same guild so that when activities arise we do them together.

  • This question very neatly sums up my longstanding and strong dislike of the entire existence and concept of “guilds” in MMORPGs. I don’t join organizations in real life and I find it bizarre in the extreme that video games should have evolved a structure whereby joining organizations is de facto required to play them.

    The only reason I join guilds is to have access to chat channels and various facilities, mainly storage. I don’t see why those things need to be attached to a named organization, far less one with actual entrance requirements and qualifications. I hoped that, when MMOs developed the mechanics for sharing participation in content via proximity, guilds would wither and die but sadly that hasn’t happened.

    In direct answer to the question, I would always, without hesitation play with my friends. I would feel neither the need nor the desire to apologize for or explain that choice to my guild. I wouldn’t join any guild that placed any form of requirements on my behavior beyond the kind of expectations already expected by the game rules themselves.

    Any guild that expected me to put guild matters before either friends or my own whims of the moment, when it came to gameplay, would find itself on the short end of the /guild quit command.

    • A few years ago I wrote about how I felt games were giving guilds entirely too much power and importance. I wholeheartedly agree that guilds have become some bizarre extreme in MMOs, and that there ought to be an alternative or completely different social construct.

      • I agree with bhagpuss regarding the absurdity of joining an organization within a game if they dictate how I will spend my time playing.

        I once joined a “hardcore progression” guild with a military philosophy just to see how they achieved their progression goals, and not surprisingly it was full of abusive behaviors that one would find if emotionally maladjusted people had control of your fate in real life.

        I like guilds that schedule events and guild resource collections, and even reward the latter assuming that they are too heavily indirectly punitive if one chooses to participate less.

        I like a guild to offer voluntary social organizational opportunities, but as soon as the word “hardcore” or “progression” are associated, then then the focus becomes less about the individual enjoying the game and more about supporting the guild at their expense.

  • I remember in Wow a few years back there was a guild called The Goon Squad, that charged you I think ten dollars a month to be in the guild. That seemed to be a good way to make sure you got serious members. Not sure what you got for the money.

    • Yep, and I remember how so many people paid it too. There are dues for most real life organizations as well. I think about these things like this… they’re obviously worth it or no one would pay. They’re not worth it to me, but obviously there’s a demand.

  • As a massive supporter of guilds who think they should be in every multiplayer game, and guild leader of a rather big and long lasting one in wow, I would chose to do something with friends.

    I do not think the boring activity should ever be chosen, and I think that guildmembers should never be forced to participate in any activity that is not fun for them. The last time we had guild activities we turned it into a scavenger hunt/competition with rewards. The only requirement we have for guild members is to stay reasonably polite in guild chat.

    I don’t understand how guilds in wow have too much power. Joining them is obviously not required, you have ingame group finders for all content, with fully automated ones for easier content. The only thing the guilds in wow are, are an easier way to communicate on a consistent way with the same group of people, which you can also do through chat channels (since time eternal), or communities (since bfa).

  • I guess it’s telling that my first reaction was, “But aren’t my friends also in the same guild?” and my second was, “if they aren’t, they need to be invited, so that we can all have the same goal then.” ie. the Why Not Both? scenario.

    As for playing games allow for guilds that demand 110% of your online time and contribution, or which restrict players from joining more than one guild, or have boring necessary guild maintenance chores rather than fun gameplay activities which contribute to the same purpose… that’s another thing altogether.

  • Back in vanilla I was on a RP server and all guilds were themed and heavy role play. Instead people raided via server wide raid teams organized by a chat channel
    And a website.

    You had the noob squad, and you could move up to fox trot then the elite team.

    But no one raiding was in a the same guild