Guild Preparations for Guild Wars 2

So this most recent week has been a drought as far as Engineer news.  However, G-Star has began and there are a few bits of footage to sift through to see what I can dig up.  But, as with the drought, it is time to talk about some guild related stuff.  In my first post about the guild system, I mentioned that guilds will have to do more work in the beginning process than actually maintaining it.  The primary issue with the guild system is that it is extremely unpredictable as to how it will work out.  Granted, while it did work in Final Fantasy XI does not mean it will work in Guild Wars 2.  But, that is a whole other story that you can check out here http://wp.me/p1TJRj-5.  The focus of this post is to go over with everyone what my guild (formerly known as Steel Dawn, currently known as Crimson Steel) is doing to prepare for Guild Wars 2.

The first big thing to cover is figuring out what type of guild we want to become.  My guild is comprised of primarily PvEers who dabble in PvP.  As of now, I am the only hardcore PvP player in our group of people, in fact I am the opposite of them as I primarily PvP and dabble in PvE.  Am I any good at PvP?  Well, no, but without any type of ranking system in RIFT, it is hard to say for sure.  So the initial challenge was to figure out if we wanted to be a PvP guild or a PvE guild.  Since most of our player base is steeped in PvE, that was the logical solution.  But the question came up that if we were a PvE centered guild, we couldn’t PvP.  No matter what type of guild you become, you can still do other activities.  Just like if you plan on playing a healer in any MMO type game, you are not limited to only playing that role.  So in the end, we decided that since most of our player base is not interested in PvP, we chose to sharpen our focus on the PvE content.

This brought up a nice question though.  Should Crimson Steel have a sister guild to focus on PvP?  With a system like this where you can join any number of guilds and choose to represent any of them at any given moment, managing multiple guilds will be very easy.  Rather than switching characters, you just switch guilds.  However, this would mean you would have to recruit for 2 different guilds at the same time and that is where it can get messy, especially if one person is doing all the recruiting and guild managing.  So we nixed the idea of running multiple guilds and instead are allowing (because we are a free traffic guild) our membership to join a PvP guild or concentrate their efforts in PvP to raise more influence for our guild.  Also since I really enjoy playing with these guys and do enjoy PvE content, I chose to stay with these guys and do a PvP team idea that will be covered in another post (next one unless there is some more stuff about the engineer or decide to do a giant Q&A about Guild Wars 2).

The second really big thing to figure out what niche we wanted to fill.  Because of the free flowing nature of the guild system, the primary responsibility of any guild leader is to keep membership active in the guild.  Because anyone can join and choose to not represent your guild at any given moment, keeping members representing your guild is going to be the hardest thing to accomplish.  The best way to do this, as I figure to be the case, is by fulfilling some type of niche in which players want to participate in.  No doubt that players will always prefer their group of friends in this system, but if you want to join a raiding guild that only raids on weekends, you can without any worry of abandoning your friends back in their guilds.  So we had to decide what role we wanted to fulfill in their gaming activities.  General conceptions is that there are 3 types of guilds: casual, semi-casual and hardcore.

Casual type guilds are based around the premise that it is more about social interactions then completion of game content.  These types of guilds tend to raid occasionally but only when it actually appeals to them and the content itself isn’t too hard.  casual guilds are never at the bleeding edge of content and are also referred to as social guilds.

Semi-casual guilds are more social oriented guilds but enjoy doing end game content and typically will schedule their own raids.  However, the difference between semi-causal and casual is that semi-casual are significantly more organized.  If you join a Semi-Casual you can always expect that there will be scheduled raids and other PvP events.  But none of it is required.

Hardcore guilds tend to be on the bleeding edge of content.  The primary conception of hardcore guilds is that you join it under the assumption that it will be a second job.  While this can sometimes be the case, not all guilds run this way.  There is always people running content and attendance is almost always mandatory.  These are the guilds types that are for the most devoted players and also have the worst rep of any other type of guild for being serious in a video game.

So these are the three types of guilds out there.  However, none of these models fit with the ideology that we had in mind.  We wanted to be a social oriented guild because all of our player base have families (almost all of them have children or married) and thus have outside commitments that need to be fulfilled.  However, we also want to be involved in endgame content that is bleeding edge, but not really bleeding edge that we are top 10 guilds competing for the number 1 slot or world first.  Endgame yes, number 1s, no.  We also wanted mandatory attendance in such a way that so long as you inform us that you are there or not was enough.  So we came up with our own model called semi-hardcore.

Our model of semi-hardcore borrows from both the semi-casual and the hardcore models.  We all enjoy endgame content and plan on doing it but not competitively.  We also are a close knit guild of friends who enjoy each others company and the company of others.  So as such, we chose to keep those social aspects while having mandatory attendance requirements that are very loose.  So you are required to say if you are or are not coming to a raid, and as long as you inform someone, you are counted for that weeks requirements.  We have a website and most of us have each other’s facebook, phone number and email that it is next to impossible to not inform someone if something has came up and you wont be there.  So that is what we have going on.

The third major obstacle was deciding if we wanted to stay with our old name (as i write this, we already made the name change) or change it to a new one.  With a guild name, it is important that you like your name as that name is your identity.  Just as you may take pride in creating your character’s names (Morithin, Vondahl, Feral and Karamine are mine in RIFT) as those names identify who you are in the game world.  Guild names are very much the same thing but rather than who you are as a person, it is who you are as a community.  In RIFT, the top two guilds are Voodoo and Maximation.  If you are a part of those guilds, you already have a reputation because of what those guilds accomplished.  It is kind of like saying you are a union member for video games or a member of a particular gang or company like Microsoft.  Least to say, the name really does mean quite a bit.

Our original name was Steel Dawn, which to me says quite a bit about the characteristics of its memberships.  However, because of the recent guild merging drama (note to the readers, guild mergers never go well and always end in splitting up due to some type of internal power struggle) and left a bad taste in our mouth.  Even moving servers and being forced to change our name to something else, we still felt like some of that drama carried over with us.  So to everyone outside of it, it was a name that had no value.  But to the core of the officers, it carried with it foul memories about betrayal from close friends over power.  So we were prompted with a name change.  This is where most of the debate came from.  Ultimately, this comes down to taste and we settled on Crimson Steel.  But for everyone else, this is a major point of debate.  Choosing the name is a very serious matter that can really change the way others react to your guild and if they even join it.

The last little bit is recruitment.  Typically this is not much of a debate point or even a discussion point, but because we are currently playing RIFT and Guild Wars 2 is still a ways off without a single word as to when it will be released, we have to recruit.  Currently, the only people we are recruiting are people who plan on coming with us to Guild Wars 2, so we are forging those bonds and understanding the play styles of member so that we can be more successful in the long run.  For example, my guild leader and I have very different play styles.  I am a tank and love to tank super fast and chain pull.  My guild leader is very much a slow and steady type who takes pride in doing her absolute best in every situation (even trash pulls where most do not even really worry about their dps).  So least to say, when we get into dungeons, our play styles tend to conflict a tad bit.  Not to say that she is a bad player by any means, but she just likes to take her time and there is nothing wrong with that.  But as a mage, she has to constantly drink mana, and I get terribly impatient because I like to chain pull like a coke fiend whose next fix is at the final boss.   As we both play together, we both learn how to alter our play styles to accommodate each other.  I slow down a bit and she speeds up a bit.  So least to say, as we have played together, we both have grown stronger and we understand those little nuances that allow us to communicate without actually saying anything, we just understand each other.

So that is all that we went over as far as preparing for Guild Wars 2.  After doing all the evaluation of the guild system, we all feel like we are setting ourselves up for success.  If you guys have any stories of how you are preparing for Guild Wars 2, leave a comment below!  I would love to read your stories.

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