Daily Archives: June 28, 2007

Lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet

(Part three of “teams, friends, guilds, other players and stuff”)

(As a quick semantic diversion, I’m using “guild” in these posts as a shorthand for guild/supergroup/kinship/other game-specific term, and the general ideas carry over to other groupings too; players with common in-game chat channels, voice comms, message boards, instant messaging etc. There’s possibly the nub of another deep social treatise in there, “What is a guild?” (or “When is a guild not a guild? When it’s ajar” *badum tish*), but I’ll spare you that for now.)

The conclusion of Part Two was that guilds are a Good Thing(TM), on somewhat nebulous philosophical grounds involving dilemmas and ethics, and wombats and hatstands were in there somewhere for no adequately explained reason. So! How to find one? One option, of course, is to start your own. This, frankly, involves such an awful lot of work it makes me feel faint just contemplating it. I just plugged “How to start a guild” into Google, on the off chance there was some pithy advice I could nick, I mean, er, be inspired by, and within the first couple of pages was “the Psychotherapists’ Guild can help you find a therapist”, which sounds about right to me. Good, successful guild leaders truly have my utmost respect (and a high burn-out rate).

Another option is to boldly adventure away, strike up conversations with those you meet on your travels, and band together with like-minded types. A while back in World of Warcraft, I was running around Westfall. I’d teamed up with someone for some quest, the Defias traitor probably, they were a decent player, we chatted a bit between ambushes, they asked if I wanted to join their guild. I figured “why not”, what’s the worst that could happen? (You can see where this is going, can’t you?) So the next day, I log back in, I’m at the Sentinel Hill inn, and I see a message on guild chat, “NEED HELP 4 QEST“, or something equally literate. Normally I’d run a mile from requests like that (or possibly run a mile towards them, to really build up momentum for a decent charge, but then you remember you can’t actually hit them so it’s all a bit of waste), but the guild log showed the chap was in Westfall, and I was in Westfall, we’re similar levels, heck, why not show what a fine and helpful guildmate I was. “I’ll help!” I pipe up, “pop me an invite”. No invite is forthcoming. “NEED HELP 4 QEST“, goes the guild chat. At this point, I see the chap running down the hill. I wander over, stick a buff on him, and send a whisper (in case he hadn’t spotted guild chat) indicating my willingness to assist. Off he runs down the road. “NEED HELP 4 QEST“, goes the guild chat. With a sigh, I set off after him, preparing to once again offer help when he stops, turns around (slowly) and yells “STOP FOLLOWING ME ZOSO” (I can’t actually remember if that was a whisper, in guild chat, or maybe even shouted zone-wide. I might as well make it the latter, for comedy anecdote purposes.) Strangely enough, I didn’t stick around in that guild…

Now, I’m not saying it *never* works, but it’s bit of a lottery, depending on bumping into like-minded players. An alternative is to hit up the ol‘ game forums/fansites, and have a browse of recruitment threads. Weighing those up isn’t always easy; pretty much every guild recruitment post says their aim is to “have fun”. And I’d always thought, yeah, sounds good! Having fun, that’s what I’m after as well, sign me up! But then, having fun means different things to different people, which seems pretty staggeringly obvious, but I only really twigged when someone pointed it out. I mean, nobody’s going to start up a guild, and proclaim that their objective is to endure several months of grinding misery, detesting every moment, then quit the game, smash their PC up with a hammer and become a hermit. Least, I’ve never seen that guild advert… No, everyone’s out to “have fun”. But fun for Geoff is the achievement of getting a server-first kill of a certain boss, and the associated dedication that would require, whereas fun for Steve is logging on and having a good old natter in guild chat while killing a few goblins, and fun for Kev is taking all his clothes off (his character’s clothes, that is. Well, maybe his clothes too, but until they integrate webcams with MMOs (or “The Doom Apocalypse Time Of Hideous Doom Imagery Of Doom” as it would be known in hindsight) we thankfully don’t know) and /dancing on the bridge outside Ironforge bank. Geoff and Steve aren’t going to have much fun unless the rest of their guild are of a broadly similar mindset (Kev doesn’t care, he’s busy /dancing); Geoff’s too focused on damage, threat and healing to reminisce about 80s kid’s TV shows with Steve, and Kev’s vocabulary is pretty much limited to /saying “LOOOOOOLLL” anyway.

Still, so long as the recruitment post doesn’t solely consist of “Join us and have the fun, oh yeah!”, you should at least find a few potential matches to your play style that you can investigate in game, or on the guild’s website (if they have one).

Course, there’s plenty of other ways of finding guilds too; real life friends already in guilds (or starting new guilds with them), work colleagues, people who read the same web comic

So, you found a guild and got an invite. What now? Find out next time on… teams, friends, guilds, other players and stuff!

Roles Per Guild.

Welcome to your first guild, friend! To get you started, here’s a brief list of potential members and how to identify them:

The Guild Leader
Quote: "Holy crap, is this guild still going?"

Most likely to: Turn up when it'll interfere with guild operation most.
Least likely to: Be a leader.

The Raid Leader
Quote: "No, I don't care that Tony has contributed five copper
less to the guild funds. <takes swig of vodka> No you can't start a
raid, we're in the middle helping this guy with his attunement. <drags
on a cigarette> No, I don't care that Tina is wearing the guild tabard
as a thong again. <drinks vodka from bottle> No, I will not tell the
healer group to 'Heal Better' in raids <drags on two cigarettes at the
same time> No, I will not tell the DPS group to 'Go crit themselves'."

Most likely to: Go postal.
Least likely to: Have fond memories of their last five years in MMOs.

The Suckup
Quote: "What do you think we should do, Raid Leader?
Yes, that's what I was going to say too, you're so right.
Raid Leader! Raid Leader! Tina wore my guild tabard as a thong again, and
then gave it back without washing it!"

Most likely to: Be ganked by their own guild.
Least likely to: Take any action without approval in triplicate.

The Mouth

Most likely to: Have only just reached teen age.
Least likely to: Breathe between sentences.

The Loot-linker
Quote: "Hey look at these everyone! [Sword] [Shield] [Armour] [Bow] [Dildo] Shit.
loot-linker has disconnected from the game"

Most likely to: Link to a kitchen sink in guild chat.
Least likely to: Have an item that other people don't know about in every
excruciating and tedious detail.

The Psycho
Quote: "Oh, so you like the Assassin class do you?! So you're some kind of racist
then are you? Nazi lover. Of course you all love Nazis, it's not like
anyone loves me!"

Most likely to: Take Tom Clancy novels too seriously.
Least likely to: Be a florist in real life.

The Internet Lovers
Quote: smooch slurp giggle sigh hug

Most likely to: Sit in public areas and force their deep emotional connection
down everyone else's throats through the medium of emotes.
Least likely to: Be together once they meet in real life and realise that
they're of the same sex and neither one of them is gay.

The Silent One
Quote: "Night all."

Most likely to: Say "Night all" in the same room as the Internet Lovers when
they're in the middle of a cybersex session, scaring them
witless because they had no idea that anyone else was there.
Least likely to: Be remembered by anyone.

The Attention Seeker
Quote: "Look at me I'm doing something crazy! Look how crazy I am!

Most likely to: Be run over by a dragon whilst wearing their underpants on their head.
Least likely to: Be mistaken for the Silent One.

The Drama Major
Quote: "Myn gentil fellowes, in feyth ich haue had a joly tyme!
Verily and forsooth!"

Most likely to: Stay in character at the most inappropriate moments.
Least likely to: Be understood.

The Drama Llama
Quote: "I quit, you all suck! I am back, love me! You all hate me, I quit!
I'm baaaaack!"

Most likely to: Quit the guild.
Least likely to: Resist rejoining the guild five minutes later.

The Clique
Quote: "... do we know you?"

Most likely to: Quit the guild and form their own. With a latin name.
Least likely to: Like you.

The Real Life Champion
Quote: "Hey look at the new car I bought. My new computer has seven graphics cards.
I'd love to stay and play, but I have to go and pick up my new computer
in my new car whilst having sex with five attractive members of the
appropriate sex."

Most likely to: Work at McDonalds.
Least likely to: Wash.

The Levelling Machine
Quote: "Hrm, I have twelve raid-worthy characters, which would you like me
to bring?"

Most likely to: Wake-up one morning with the sickening realisation of what a
horrid waste of time and energy it all was.
Least likely to: Recognise the big glowing ball of fire in the sky.

The Alt King
Quote: "Hi! What? It's meeee. Oh, yeah, I re-rolled.
This new character is way better, I just wasn't getting on with the
last one."

Most likely to: Have rolled three new characters by the time you finish reading this.
Least likely to: Reach the next level on their current character.

The Knowledge Font
Quote: "You are quite wrong. As can be seen by the four spreadsheets I have
produced with special information that only I know because I'm the dev's
favourite and they whisper to me in my dreams."

Most likely to: Talk over someone else to prove that they know the answer too.
Least likely to: Avoid being sickeningly smug in any situation.

The Good Guy
Quote: "Hey! Are you guys groovy? We're all groovy! Let's all be groovy
and just get along. Groovy."

Most likely to: Not cause guild drama, and to play calmly and happily to the
best of their ability.
Least likely to: Exist in any guild. Alas.