By the same token, we don’t like to talk about it, but friendships and groups of friendships do have a lifespan.
They like it because it means MMOs are easier to design: It’s far easier to make “big” content for huge groups than “challenging” content for small groups, full stop, and as I’ve written before, it’s fed into the “guilds as content” achievement systems that this generation of designers has sold us.Speaking for my guild, which has endured all the phases of guild evolution since 1997 as well, I think that we became disgruntled with the genre’s shift from sandbox to themepark design in the post- era, and that, combined with our members growing up behind the scenes, changed our guild from being one that obssessed over a single game for several years to one that lives in a chatroom and plays whatever the members feel like playing from month to month.We were always sad to see any of our friends leave the game, but a steady trickle of new people looking for raid spots kept the guild growing.When Blizzard released the raid finder mechanic, our guild lost its trickle of new recruits, and there were fewer PUGs ready to quickly fill spots in raids.Do other people see the change in the way guilds are today and how the developers are treating small guilds? Do games like have any designs for accomodating old, small guilds, or will we all just be cogs in the wheels for the self-aggrandizement of those guild leaders with more time than sense who can put these things together? And boy did they really want to talk about this one!
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): For me, one of the most important factors in an MMO is whether it allows small, committed groups to build something or achieve things together., being in a guild was a must for effective play for anyone but Necros and Druids, who were the only effective solo players at the time.Requirements for getting in some guilds were extremely stringent, yet the real-world rewards were unlike much we see today.They’re no longer virtual worlds and are instead designed to provide bite-sized accessibility and infinite progression highs for people whose imagination begins and ends with combat.Maybe or some other indie will be something of a throwback, who knows.I’m not the same person I was back in college; I don’t have the same time or priorities. The best any developer can do is make sure that guild features don’t lock out smaller guilds from taking part in whatever makes guilds distinct.