Massively Multiplayer. They’re the two cool buzzwords that some marketing bloke probably thought up to make a new style of gaming appear more cool. Multiplayer was fine for a couple of clans hitting each other repeatedly in a First Person Shooter, but this was a few thousand geeks hitting a continent… “Massively” fit the bill.
Yet for all the Massively, Guild support has been pretty low. A name that goes above your head, and a chat channel. The very basic of what’s needed to stop you having to *shudder* find Pick Up Groups. Dark Age of Camelot introduced cloaks, which really did look flash when you’ve formed Rabble (most modern armies may not use the Rabble formation, but it works for gamers). World of Warcraft brought tabards to the table. Lord of the Rings brought… Guildhouses, to put tables in. And the decaying parts of mobs and bosses.
But those are fripperies. It was still a chat channel, and a name.
If we wanted more organisation, it was up to us to sort it out, and to do it outside the game. Egroups, websites, forums, whatever floats your boat, really.
And then Mythic come along, and throw everything in the air. I’ve been following the guild highlights series of articles, and I’ve really been enthused. Which is a rare feeling for me. I’m not an easily enthused person. But by making the guild more of an entity within the game, they’ve opened up something for people to work towards, that isn’t just their own character. A guild is now a group project, something that grows with the guild members into something you can have pride about.
It’s also an organisational dream. Just the addition of a calendar makes life so much easier it’s unbelievable. I know a lot of people that don’t like going on forums. They want to get on and play, without the hassle of having to log into a forum, to then wade through post after post, to find out what’s going on. The calendar will just cut through that like a knife through a hot buttered goblin.
And then there’s the latest preview – Standards. I think it’s fabulous that we can have Standard Bearers. Not only are they a wonderful way of projecting your guild into the game, so that your guild makes a difference in game, but they are a fitting part of the whole Warhammer “thing”. Little units of figures have standards. And now little units of avatars can have Standards. When someone shouts “Form Rabble!”, you’ll know what to form around. Fantastic!
But there is a little part of me that has “the fear”. And I quote:
There are over 600 Emblem choices, over 45 color choices, and over 750 Pattern/Shape combinations, for an astounding selection of over 46 million combinations to choose from! And don’t forget that you can also choose from 4 poles to hold your banner up!
I commend you, Mythic. Giving players that amount of choice is staggering, really it is. The last thing I’d want is for a choice of 5 banners, because that would mean me constantly “rabbling up” to the wrong standard (I’m easily confused by pretty pictures). But the part of me that has the fear is the bit that wonders if by having “over 46 million combinations”, you’re opening us up to “over 46 million tiny little hells”…
Guilds may be a place for like-minded individuals to get together and play an online game, but if everyone was like-minded to that extent, we’d be clones. And guilds would be extra-ordinarily boring places to play. So, because cloning is generally frowned up when applied to human beings (It said so on the news, somewhere. Ruined my day, it did), everyone is going to have their own idea as to what makes a “good” standard, and what they can’t live with. So, what are we left with? From good experience, I know that when a committee makes a decision, it’s generally the most bland, most boring, and most offensive to everyone, equally.
And it generally takes 2 months of pain…