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There can be only one – the outdated guild/clan interfaces

March 17, 2008

In almost every MMORPG one finds on the market today there is one thing they have in common – each character in the game can only be part of one guild/clan/super group. Why? What is the defined purpose of the guild in game? This includes games with very basic interfaces (e.g. Tabula Rasa) to games with quite elaborate interfaces (e.g. Everquest 2).

In real life we have many groups of people which we interact with; family and relatives, collegues at work, friends from university or school, friends from childhood, from various clubs and associations. In short, we exist within a number of different communities, some which may partially be overlapping.

In most cases these communities have a reasonably defined purpose or context. The guilds in the MMORPGs have seldom a clearly defined purpose by the game designers, that is up to its members. Which makes it even more strange that one can only be member of a single of these communities in game.

I would rather see games opening up for many guilds and many types of guilds – perhaps also with different functionality depending on the purpose the members chooses for it. A raid guild perhaps want to have some built-in DKP functionality, some categorization based on character builds. A more mission/quest oriented guild perhaps wants some features to schedule and organize collaboration on various missions/quests. There can be a lot of different functions that are interesting depending on the type of guild the members set up.

Some might argue that building a lot of these interfaces into the game client will be a lot of work and that there still would be an issue with it working together with web sites and external functions that guilds/clans have on their web sites.

So why not skip building any of these interfaces into the game clients entirely? Just provide some web tools for people to access and manage this type of data and then provide a built-in browser to access it.

The community interfaces can be refined and adjusted without updating the game client itself. And more importantly, the tools can be used whether in-game or out of game. They can (hopefully) be reskinned and integrated with any guild web sites.

A rethinking of the purpose of guilds and how to manage and interact with them would be a welcome change from the game companies. Right now there not many ideas there as far as I can tell.

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Categories: MMO Games
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