I wonder why guild topics seem to be so underrepresented in the blogging community- is it because it’s a taboo topic, is everyone content in their guild, has everything been said on the topic or is it something you just don’t talk/write about?
See, the thing with me and guilds is this: i find them to be an interesting and very important part of MMORPG gameplay. It’s metagaming, alright, but it is important. As games and player mentality move away from a design where you would meet other interesting players in the respective game worlds, interact, socialize, add to friendlists, chat and so on, the importance of guilds as a social background to the games we play only rose in importance. Sure, guilds are there to achieve ingame goals, as well, but that’s secondary to me.
To weave such a social network, i think that guilds, or better yet- multigaming communities, need to put a framework out- some kind of structure within the community- to make it work. Yes, that means rules. And players willing to take a leadership role and responsibility. I have been in three multigaming guilds, all german, all “laissez-faire”, and found the experience to be lacking everytime. Sure, the people are nice, but in my opinion most people are and to me it just isn’t enough that players “are willing to help you if you ask for company in a dungeon”. With LFG-tools, i don’t need help with that.
So i’ve made a decision regarding my current multigaming guild (namely, for now i’ll just stick to my little project within that community and see how it goes, but will look out for a better fit, as well). Also, i kind of want to make “great guilds / communities” a topic here.
Remnants of Hope
So when researching communities – and i think it might be a good idea to turn this “bad” topic in a positive one- i came across the multigaming community Remnants of Hope. They’re active in Star Wars: the old republic, Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar. So they’re all games i don’t play, which is unfortunate, because i think, structurally, they’re great. I don’t know if they would be a good fit on a personal level, but there are lots of things i like about this community- on paper.
They do forum applications. And while i don’t like this way of doing things very much, i understand it is one of the better ways to go if you aren’t a small guild of friends who recruit personally but a community that also recruits “strangers”. But they take it one step further- if you’re accepted, you’ll have to pass some Trial membership goals- namely, there’s a number of forum posts expected, joining the guild in ingame activities (and they do those) and other stuff. If you fail to deliver, your application is going to be declined, but you may apply again after a short period.
The remnants of hope make use of ranks- there are officers for diverse playstyles within the respective games- it seems the minimum for officers is: PvE, PvP, social and recruitment. I like how they divided recruitment and social- then there’s the PvE officer for progression and the pvp officer for, well, pvp. In some games, they additionally appoint RP and crafting officers. This is the setup a guild should go for- and if every officer does his or her job, there will be many offerings of in-guild activities, ranging from PvE stuff to RP/social events- while not putting a large burden on a single officer. See, if every department puts out one event a month, there’s something for every week. Officers can also appoint Assistants (members willing to contribute would have to apply for that role), so that they can get help from other players.
A plan for opening and closing chapters
With all the guilds i joined so far, there’s been the “let them do what they want” attitude. So when a new game released and it was clear that a handful of members would want to play it, a chapter was opened up- if someone was willing to take the role of guild leader. The guild leader was appointed by doing a forum thread: “Hey, we want to play this game, but we need a guild leader. Who wants to do it?” and…. a lot of silence.
The Remnants of Hope have a process to open new chapters- members interested in forming one need to write a proposal to the community elders, who’ll then make a decision whether this new chapter has a chance to succeed. I imagine you’ll also have to name your guild leadership with the minimum of officers. This makes sure that there’s not only enough interest in a new game, but also enough interest and investment in a guild within this game.
They also have what they call “casual games”- now, i have limited forum access (of course, i’m not registered and don’t do interviews yet), so i don’t know for sure, but what i’d do with these “casual games” is found a guild without need for leadership (because it only consists of members of the community) and without recruitment. If someone wants to elevate the guild in that game to elevate to a real division, again, there needs to be a plan.
For closing chapters, it seems easy: the community elders question chapters when more than 50% of the officer roles are vacant for more than two weeks. If they think the chapter has run its course, they’ll ask the leadership of the chapter for their opinion. If this leadership thinks it is able to turn things around, there’s going to be a probation.
Easy enough, right? I think this is a good way of doing a great multigaming community- providing a framework for members to participate in forming the community, a process of recruitment that isn’t so easy and makes use of one simple thing: if a player invested time and energy to succeed in his or her “trial membership goals”, he or she also invested in the guild and community. You’ll want those players, because “let’s just recruit nice people and let them do whatever they like” ends in….inactivity.
5 thoughts on “Interesting guild: Remnants of hope”
I’ve been in a couple of multi-game communities over the years but they’ve generally broken up as the core active people have become more and more spread out among the explosion of new MMORPGs. It was perhaps easier to maintain such a community when there was only half a dozen games to choose from.
The guild sounds good that you’re investigating, rules for new ‘chapters’ are important as often I’ve seen them startup and vanish just as quickly as the more flighty members flit from game to game.
I’ve just joined a free company in FFXIV for the first time and I’ll see how that works. I’m stuck on a North American server due to the legacy of v1.0. Perhaps I should have restarted on an EU server to have more choice of CET-active guilds but I actually prefer to be involved in mixed Europe/American guilds as I find the blend of characters interesting and having players active at all different hours can be useful when I’m playing different hours.
Guilds are an integral part of enjoying MMORPGs, so i hope it’ll work out for you. I found it difficult to find a NA based guild/community that also has some activity in other (EU) timezones, but i’m pretty sure they are to be found, because often the NA servers are where the RP/community events take place (i.e. Landroval for Lotro), so there’s bound to be quite a few players based in the EU.
The thing i find most telling about this guild is their application process- while they still don’t narrow down very much, basically recruiting all “nice” players, they also ask for investment on the recruit’s part- and if they fail to deliver, they’ll be declined. In my opinion, looking for declined applications, the reasons stated and the way it’s communicated, is a good way to get an impression whether a guild/community has some kind of vision for what they want to be. Guilds/communities accepting just about everyone tend to be a chat channel, at best (there are exceptions, of course).
And those “chat channel” guild/communities often- again, in my experience- aren’t very good in forming social bonds- the members don’t feel attached to the community because they didn’t invest anything and don’t (get to) know other members. So in the end, if this guild, for instance, stops being helpful in ingame progression, activity in a game declines or if there’s any obstacle at all (server queues), their members leave.
Another thing- sometimes you’ll find leadership telling their members that it’s not the leaderships place to “handhold” their members and provide activities for them. This is also wrong, in my opinion. Sure, leadership can’t smell if someone needs to run a dungeon- some activity by members is required- but the least leadership can do is provide social backgrounds- by scheduling events that aren’t based on ingame progression and/or levels. Leadership should help their members to form social bonds- in social guilds, at least. I don’t care much for progression-oriented guilds, they’ll work in a very different way.
Anyway, i hope you found a good fit!
The same goes for really basic games that have built in guild systems. People dont normally want to go through with planning out a lot of things and they just say “do whatever”.
I found this article after trying to find something and googling our guild name while trying to find something else 🙂 Neat that you decided to review it! Our guild’s been around a long time, and leadership over the years has put a lot of care into the “structure” of the guild.
I especially like our recruitment process. The trials are NOT hard (read the rules, explore the forums, do a few events with members, do an interview), but between the written application and the trials it weeds out people who are just looking for a random guild to join, and the tone of both weeds out those who are trolls or won’t be a good fit with us.
Adding new Divisions (games) to our guild has always been a big deal in our guild, and we do it very deliberately, so it doesn’t end up a mess or a ghost town at the start. You’re right – casual games are just games anyone can start a chapter in and invite friends in, no rules or official leadership.
No, the trials are not hard and i think even the term “trial” doesn’t fit what you’re doing entirely, because those trials help the recruits, as well. In the past years, i’ve joined multiple multigaming guilds and i’ve found integrating myself into those structures to be quite difficult. There are many reasons for that, possibly my play-time and fickle nature in selecting an MMO being the most important, but also stuff that the respective guild could do better. For instance, i really dislike the combination of “social guild” and kicking inactive members when they fail to log in for some time. Another thing, the current multigaming community i’m in follows this practice but also shuts down guild-related subforums to members of the community who aren’t playing that particular game. I think this goes against building a coherent community, because the divisions are basically separated from each other. So those “trials” help recruits to get out there and come to form bonds with the rest of the community. Of course, they also help your guild because in a good social guild you wouldn’t want a member nobody really knows.
I’ve looked really hard at the games you play because i so wanted to apply, but while i’m dabbling in SWTOR and GW2 from time to time, i don’t really play either of them. Combine that with possible time-zone issues and it just wouldn’t be a good fit, after all. And what you’re calling “casual games” is what other multigaming guilds often call divisions- and often it doesn’t work out for them. Anyways, i think you’ve got a great guild going there and wish you all the best!