Love And Hate In Guild Wars 2

September 19, 2011 at 8:05 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 37 Comments
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I have yet to see this movie.

I don’t like facebook.

It’s an extremely successful, wide reaching, generation spanning, advertisement delivery/private information collection platform that comes in the form of a social network. Personally I don’t want to talk to my elementary school chums, my co-workers from several years ago, or my mom online.

And that is my intellectual problem with the guilds of Guild Wars 2.

Let me explain. Facebook gives you every chance in the world to connect to people. It’s at your fingertips to add people, find people, talk to people you barely know. There are no barriers to who you can socially network with.

In Guild Wars 2, guilds are essentially based on this. You can join multiple (perhaps as many as you like) guilds so you have no reason to say no to a guild invite. This creates several social problems.

What if you don’t really want to join a billion guilds? How do you say no to an old friend who is inviting you to join their really annoying guild? How do you explain that you’re leaving a guild when you can belong to so many? How do you not get offended when someone leaves even though there is no reason to leave? What if the same irritating guy is in all your guilds? What if you get kicked out of one guild because of what you said in another? What about loyalty? What about a sense of belonging?

There are about a billion new and interesting and awkward problems that come out of this small innovation. It’s true, I calculated. A billion.

For a game that caters to anti-social malcontents sitting behind computer screens, this could be problematic.

Certainly on an intellectual level I kind of hate the Guild Wars 2 guilds, but on a practical level I’m loving it. In your head you should have read that not like Justin Timberlake saying “I’m loving it” but more like a regular “I’m” and then a really high pitched and drawn out “loving iiitttt”.

Honestly it seems just right for me.

I have RO, which I’ve enjoyed, but it’s been dead and I want to try out other guilds in Guild Wars 2. Not a problem with this guild system.

I had a guild I really enjoyed in Runes of Magic and they’re old school GW fans and I’ll probably hook up with them as well. Then there is one of my first guilds in Guild Wars, great people, so I’ll be in their guild. I’ll also be on the look out for some form of Cliff Jumping Society. Izari is going to be a guild leader, so maybe I’ll check into that. Plus hamstorm. Can’t forget the hamstorm.

I have several social groups I’d like to associate with in Guild Wars 2.

I guess you would call this a love/hate relationship. Intellectually I don’t want to be forced into unnatural and awkward social situations that upset the traditional guild. Practically I’ve been kind of calling for this sort of system all along and have a lot of use for it.

The reality is we don’t even know that much about Guild Wars 2 guilds yet or how this small innovation will effect things. Perhaps it will regulate itself, people who want an exclusive guild will join guilds that require exclusivity. Or perhaps it will be a disaster. Never quite being able to escape that one person you really don’t want to have any contact with whatsoever.

I hate facebook and I don’t use it. Doesn’t seem like I’ll have that option in Guild Wars 2. I’d better learn to love it, or I’ll end up hating it.



  1. My main concern is that every guild will have 10 tonnes of dead weight to carry. People will be joining guilds left, right and center and you’ll end up with a guild of 150 ppl and only 10 members who participate. If the guild membership is limitless, no problem, but if it’s limited to 200 ppl or something (can’t remember the gw limit) then the onus will be on the guild leader to start kicking people.

    • Well they have said the roster limit will be a lot higher than in gw, so I’m imagining at least something like 250. I agree with your concerns though, dead weight is going to be a real problem here.

  2. I’m sharing this link on facebook, just for you 😉 j/k
    Anyway, I definitely do see some of what you’re saying. Before, single guild membership made it easy to simply let people down easy by telling them you are already in a guild. Similarly it kept some annoying people from joining your guild because, well, they were already in another guild maybe? Annoying people can proliferate their guild presence. I guess that’s just more motivation for guild leaders to kick people that they don’t want; after all it probably isn’t their only guild anyway.

    • The old social norms won’t be the same, so people are going to have to learn their way around and at first thats going to be a problem. Hopefully you’re right and GLs will be more selective.

  3. I don’t quite grasp why people are making such a big deal about this. We had multiple guilds back in FFXI too and it never really caused any issues for me. On the contrary, it let me participate in endgame events while still maintaining contact with various social guilds that I enjoyed.

    Since this reply thus far lacks the prerequisite amount of snark let me answer you ball of questions from early on in the article.

    In order:
    Then don’t.
    Say it like this, “No,” or if you wish to be more verbose “No, your guildmates blathering is akin to the braying of a hundred thousand mules as they are sent through the giant blender of an abattoir. Piss off.”
    See the above, but replace “No,” with “$%^& you %^&#$*s!”
    Evolve a thicker skin. It comes in handy in real life too.
    Ignore lists exist for a reason. Or you can heckle them until they leave.
    There exist two possibilities, either you or the person kicking you is a [insert expletive of choice]. If the former is true, then you should expect retribution eventually. If the later is true then you are better off without them in your life anyways.
    Loyalty and belonging can exist even with multiple options to choose from, just ask any successful swinger couple.

    • I’m not sure which parts of your post are sarcastic and which aren’t since you swing between the two. I will say this, you have heard the term rhetorical right?

      Most people would like to go through life without making a ton of enemies, even if it is just in an online game.

      Successful swinger couples. Right. So common too and probably so common because they’re so successful.

      • #1. The answer is that none of it is sarcastic. I even helpfully labeled the bit where all the snark starts to creep in. Though admittedly it doesn’t help that your comment section refuses to acknowledge all the empty lines I inserted to try to format things. I’ll attempt another method of separating my thoughts in this reply.

        #2. I’m not quite sure what topic you’ve veered off to with this “enemies” business. You’ve completely lost me there.

        #3. As for swinging, it was just a comparison. Perhaps a more apt comparison, or at least one with less drama, would be how people switch between social groups depending on the activities they do. Does everyone work, game, perform volunteer work, play sports, etc with the exact same group of people?

        • Personally, I think it’s going to work like Google+. Except for the guild tag, nobody has any clue what guilds you belong to, or how many, unless you tell them. Assuming someone does “follow you” across guilds, you CAN tell the GL or officers about them; you can “post,” too.
          I mean, I’m assuming there’s a way to track your own Favor contribution to the guild, dunno about the ability to see others’, whether it’s a ranking or a graph or whatever. If someone is just “leeching” or “spying,” I’m sure the GL can tell, or we can request the feature.

          • Difficult to say just how it will work. Definitely a lot of unknown so far.

        • My point is that you can’t just say no, with or without insults, if you want to maintain friendships when joining their guild would be effortless and easy. Most of us try to go through life without making enemies.

          A lot of people do in fact play, work, etc with the exact same group of people, but I think its a bad idea to compare how you play online games to the rest of your life.

          • It seems Attic Lion was…. kinda idiotic, especially at reading comprehension. Since the second part of the article was explaining the complexities of both loving and hating the same system. And the questions were obviously rhetorical, meant to provoke thought… not limit it.

            Attic Lion is just the type of problem I’d hope would guild hop and not come back, since he’d only cause drama until he was kicked.

            • A lot of people just saw one paragraph and focused in without reading much else. Annoying but that’s life.

  4. This is why I hope its invite only or form review based so people atleast have to think a little before doing somehing.

    • That’s the thing, even if it is invite based, there are no real barriers to joining as many guilds as you want. What reason would you really have for saying no to an invite or no you can’t have an invite if you have plenty of room and tons of people in your guild who are in a ton of other guilds.

      • At best I’m hopeing things are not so free-range, I plan to start a guild of IRL friends, Mainly to show What it lets you do on youtube, I don’t really care about what guild you show at what time but I’ve made it a point to keep it this to prevent confusion(We play MTG once every week at a store) and to help people focus what they want to do when, This will be the first time I do something like this but I will be blunt and to the point on what I am trying to do, at the end of the day a guild,club,group is something that divides people which is something I think people have to understand.(no desrespect is entended I just want to make things clear)

        • I understand what you’re saying, and agree to an extent. I just think its going to be pretty free range.

      • What reason? Maybe you don’t like them. Does there need to be anything else?

        • I prefer to go through life being as nice to people as possible, even if I don’t like them.

          • Sure, but that doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everyone. You can decline requests without sounding like a jerk, and you aren’t obliged to explain why.

            • It’s kind of besides the point anyway, my point was that there are a lot of unknown social situations created by a relatively flimsy social construct called facebook.

  5. Sure, it might be harder than usual to reject invites, and might create some awkward situations, but my solution to it, or at least the solution I intend on using, is to set your guild standards beforehand, and stick to them no matter what.

    I have a bunch of real life friends that will probably play GW2, friends with which I already have a guild of sorts (okay, it’s just a game-related mailing list), so that will be guild #1. But these are all older people with real jobs, so their play time might get a little limited, which leads to the next one.

    Guild #2 will be my “raiding” guild. If there is any need for more structured groups for playing on PvE instances, I’ll have this group, which my guess will be the one I’ll be most active with.

    Guild #3 will be my WvWvW PvP guild. I’ll get active on this guild (keeping in mind that you can only have one active guild at a time) when I want to engage on some fun massive PvP.

    Finally, I might also join Guild #4, a small guild with 5 people only that will be my preset party for structured PvP, at first just for fun, but eventually maybe for ranked PvP.

    “Hey Kem, will you join my guild?”
    “Sorry buddy, I only join guilds I intend to be active on, and I already have guilds for all my needs on the game. Maybe some time in the future.”

    Will some people think I’m being snobby? Sure. Do I care? Nope.

    • I’m sure that solution will work for you, I’m just not sure everyone will want to do things that way, or if that will even work for them if they try it. Whats true for you isn’t going to be true for others.

      • Perhaps it won’t. But the reason it won’t work for some is that those will be trying to control the reaction of others, and that’s not something you can do. You can be the nicest, most polite man alive, and that will still bother some people, so the best you can do is be honest and consistent. If someone decides to take issue with that, that’s their prerogative, but it’s out of your hands.

        I’m not saying everyone just need to join 4 guilds at the most, that was my personal example. But find out what works for you, and stick to it. If you try to please everyone you’ll end up not pleasing anyone, specially and most importantly yourself.

        It’s actually not different at all than deciding on your *one* guild on WoW. Some friends might want you on their guild, but their gameplay goals might be different from yours. Do you stick with your friends just to avoid annoying them, or go to another guild where you can actually have fun in the game playing how you want? GW2 solves that allowing you to be on both the for-fun friend guild, and the hardcore one simultaneously.

      • I think it’ll work for the vast majority of people. I hadn’t even considered guild polyamory as a potential negative before reading this blog post, I guess because I was thinking along the same lines as kemwer.

        Back to the body of the blog post, you say “you have no reason to say no to a guild invite” and then give a bunch of reasons to say no to guild invites ;).

        • The petty jealousy I’ve seen with people over the years leads me to believe the “vast majority” won’t be quite as big as you think but I do agree to an extent.
          I don’t agree that I did that.

          • Ok, not a bunch. Just “you don’t really want to join a billion guilds” and “the same irritating guy […]”. However, I was being a bit disingenuous, since I kinda figured that when you said “you have no reason to say no to a guild invite” you meant “you have no refusal reasons that you can provide the inviter without hurting his/her feelings”.

  6. I think Nancy Reagan had it right when she said, “Just say no.”

    • Yeah, look how that whole just say no to drugs thing worked out. Nobody does drugs anymore.

  7. I was planning on making a guild. It was going to be an extension of the kinship (guild) I am in for Lord of the Rings Online. We are a casual mostly PvE over age 25 group. It has been great fun, and some of the members will be going to GW2. I was going to recruit down those same lines. However, now I am not certain I want to be a guild leader in a game that allows multiple guild membership.

    Some will say that it is better for the casual guilds. Now your members can join hardcore guilds for raids/end game, but still be a member of your casual guild. I doubt it will work that way though. Most people will only have time and energy for one guild. Will the hardcore end game guild want people to put their energy into another group? Or will they require primary allegiance to the hardcore guild?

    • If people only have the time and energy for one guild then I think it’s more likely that the whole thing will regulate itself. The whole thing is kind of up in the air until we see how things settle.

  8. I would like to join your Cliff Jumping Society Guild…. but only if you also jump off of buildings. Otherwise I’ll have to form the Cliff and Building Jumping Society [THUD]. I plan to have my asuran partake of this activity, although Norn might also be fun. 🙂

    • I believe it was Tashas idea, from Split Infinity Radio/RO podcast. Pretty sure she’s putting one together.

  9. The multi-guild system goes against everything that is Guild Wars. Just look at the title! How can guilds be at war with eachother if everybody from one guild is also a member of every other guild. It’s like Gang Wars only everybody from the bloods was also a member of the crips and instead of fighting eachother for territory, they went to book clubs and ate cucumber sandwiches.

    OK, maybe it’s absolutely nothing like that but I still think the mutli-guild system is bad. This post was completely unsubstantive. Bye!

    • It wasn’t really meant to be substantive. It was supposed to just be a short look at what I like about it and what I don’t. On the intellectual side its a guild system based on a social network fad that creates unknown amounts of awkward social situations, just like facebook, and on the other hand it seems fairly practical.

  10. Grow a nut and just say no. It will be up to the leaders of guilds to manage their recruitment policies. And it will be ENTIRELY up to you weather you say yes or no. If the asked is a true friend…join up. If their guild mates are morons, you two form ANOTHER guild for just the cool kids. Because you can join billions of guilds does not mean that you need to do so. Dance with who brung ya, join with those that you will…

    • So tired of this response. Some people like to go through life being polite, I’m sure there are polite ways to say no, but for me, there are a lot of unknown and unfamiliar social situations. Look the whole point of that paragraph is that, since this is all based on an open social network where the whole point is for you to NOT say no, saying no is actually kind of stupid.

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