[DGN] Multiple Guild Membership

8 messages in this thread from mud-dev2 in 2008-06

  1.   Jon Wright <jon@wr...org> 06-12 15:06
  2.   cruise <cruise@ca...net> 06-12 15:03
  3.   Tom Hudson <hudson@al...edu> 07-08 20:01
  4.   Matt Chatterley <matt.chatterley@gm...com> 06-12 15:57
  5.   John Arras <johnarras@gm...com> 06-18 12:54
  6.   Eric Lee (GAMES) <elee@mi...com> 06-24 17:37
  7.   Lachek Butalek <lachek@gm...com> 07-09 17:13
  8.   cruise <cruise@ca...net> 07-18 17:05 [DGN] In-Game Social Networks [was: Multiple Guild Membership]

Jon Wright <jon@wr...org>

2008-06-12 15:06:24
Just a quick introduction:  I've been a long-time lurker on the
MUD-Dev forums (since about 2002 - ok, so not _that_ long) but this is
my first post.  I've searched through the old archives and can't find
this topic discussed in any depth so figured I would punt it out there
and see if anyone is interested...

Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to more than one
guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than group with
it's own invitation only chat-room?

I'm considering the benefits:
Players are not forced to choose between social networks and therefore
potentially lose touch with friends in old guild.
Players can have more than form of social grouping (the raid guild,
the pvp guild, the roleplay guild).
Guilds can be more specialized and only exist to serve one of the
goals above (is that a good thing?)


However, I'm sure there must be disadvantages, for example:
You don't feel like you really BELONG somewhere
The bonds between members of the guilds are weaker
If the bonds are weaker, then there is a reduced sense of duty between
guild members (less assured reciprocation of aid)


I'm sure there are other advantages and disadvantages that I've not
mentioned, any ideas?  Why don't any of the current MMOs offer this?


Thanks in advance,
Jon

P.S.   If you answer to this post we may get to argue about something
other than specialization!

cruise <cruise@ca...net>

2008-06-12 15:03:35
Thus spake Jon Wright...
> I'm considering the benefits:
> Players are not forced to choose between social networks and therefore
> potentially lose touch with friends in old guild.
> Players can have more than form of social grouping (the raid guild,
> the pvp guild, the roleplay guild).
> Guilds can be more specialized and only exist to serve one of the
> goals above (is that a good thing?)
I've wondered this myself - it seems to have a lot of potential.

My play with the concept revolved around having membership be either 
secret or public, depending on the aims and methods of the organisation 
- so that a player can be publically a member of "The Guild of Truly 
Holy and Pious Knights", but secretly part of "The Evil Nasty 
Necromancer's Society".

Coupled with rewards for organisations based on quest completetion, 
there's the potential for conflicting mission requirements, and thus 
some interesting social interaction ("Did Bob accidentally screw up in 
that boss fight, or does he have some other motive?").

> However, I'm sure there must be disadvantages, for example:
> You don't feel like you really BELONG somewhere
> The bonds between members of the guilds are weaker
> If the bonds are weaker, then there is a reduced sense of duty between
> guild members (less assured reciprocation of aid)
It depends on the purpose of the group - and what you gain from being 
part of a group.
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Tom Hudson <hudson@al...edu>

2008-07-08 20:01:24
On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 7:48 AM, Jon Wright <jon@wr...org> wrote:

> Just a quick introduction:  I've been a long-time lurker on the MUD-Dev
> forums (since about 2002 - ok, so not _that_ long) but this is my first
> post.  I've searched through the old archives and can't find this topic
> discussed in any depth so figured I would punt it out there and see if
> anyone is interested...
> 
> Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to
> more than one guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than
> group with it's own invitation only chat-room?
> 
> I'm considering the benefits: Players are not forced to
> choose between social networks and therefore potentially lose touch with
> friends in old guild. Players can have more than form of social grouping
> (the raid guild, the pvp guild, the roleplay guild). Guilds can be more
> specialized and only exist to serve one of the goals above (is that a
> good thing?)
> 
>  However, I'm sure there must be disadvantages, for example:
> You don't feel like you really BELONG somewhere The bonds between
> members of the guilds are weaker If the bonds are weaker, then there is
> a reduced sense of duty between guild members (less assured
> reciprocation of aid)
> 
>  I'm sure there are other advantages and disadvantages that I've
> not mentioned, any ideas?  Why don't any of the current MMOs offer this?
> 
>  Thanks in advance, Jon
> 
> P.S.   If you answer to this post we may get to argue about
> something other than specialization!  
A Tale in the Desert is built around multiple guild membership.

I haven't played the current telling, but in the first couple of
tellings some expectations evolved around having a "primary" guild that
you gave access to your buildings and coordinated with. But then guilds
popped up for social networks, to unify particular interests across the
server, to organize for particular regional projects. I can't recall my
list from the first telling, where I played significantly more, but in
less than a month in the second telling I think I joined:
- 2 regional shared production facility guilds
- regional cooperative research guild
- 2 regional social guilds
- worldwide banking/commodities exchange guild
- regional banking/commodities exchange guild
- alternate-region shared-production-facility/newbie-training guild
(probably 2 or 3 guilds, since they were structured as an
assembly-of-guilds with different interests and facilities)
- guilds pertaining to two or three particular tests (think
quest-chain-specific or class-specific guilds) that I was working on.

...and in that telling I was a solo player; none of those were a
"primary" for me. Contrast this with the first telling, where I was part
of a two-man primary that held 99% of our possessions in common.

Guilds required a nonlinearly-increasing amount of resources per member,
but these were pretty low on the tech tree, and so by the time you were
three months into a telling these were widely available resources;
senior players would often gift their guilds huge stashes of resources
to expand the guildhouse and admit more newbie members who couldn't meet
the ever-steeper requirements.

There were fairly elaborate systems in place for ranks, access control,
communication, and succession.

Tom

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Matt Chatterley <matt.chatterley@gm...com>

2008-06-12 15:57:48
2008/5/22 Jon Wright <jon@wr...org>:

> Just a quick introduction:  I've been a long-time lurker on the
> MUD-Dev forums (since about 2002 - ok, so not _that_ long) but this is
> my first post.  I've searched through the old archives and can't find
> this topic discussed in any depth so figured I would punt it out there
> and see if anyone is interested...
Happy de-lurkage! :)

> Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to more than one
> guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than group with
> it's own invitation only chat-room?
I don't really know of one, but then, I don't actively play the things at
present - curse you, real life!

> I'm considering the benefits:
> Players are not forced to choose between social networks and therefore
> potentially lose touch with friends in old guild.
> Players can have more than form of social grouping (the raid guild,
> the pvp guild, the roleplay guild).
> Guilds can be more specialized and only exist to serve one of the
> goals above (is that a good thing?)
>
>
> However, I'm sure there must be disadvantages, for example:
> You don't feel like you really BELONG somewhere
> The bonds between members of the guilds are weaker
> If the bonds are weaker, then there is a reduced sense of duty between
> guild members (less assured reciprocation of aid)
[Snip]

I'm going to tackle this from my personal opinion - in those games I have
worked on, I have always wanted the guilds to resemble groupings of
craftsmen - hence making membership essentially exclusive (no carpenters in
the blacksmiths guild - and noone with time to do both).

However, I don't see why you couldn't approach this another way which might
seem less jarring - through inter-guild alliances - essentially trying to
introduce some crude politics into matters.

Permit guilds to form overlying political groups, for instance:

The Organization of Master Craftsmen might have as its members the
Carpenters and Blacksmiths.
The Tradespersons Alliance might incorporate Shopkeeps, Merchants and
Farriers.

Or to mix it up a bit more, you could permit membership to one Guild and any
number of political organisations (so rival carpenters might join rival
associations).

However, this takes us back to a point I always stumble over with guilds.

This sort of "enforcement" is daft. If we use a different example - Bubba.
He's a right old sort and likes hitting stuff with his sword, but quite
enjoys robbing grannies too. Should we constraint him to being a warrior OR
a thief by his association?

Of course not, he should be able to ally himself with both. There might be
downsides to that (the rest of the folks in the Warriors Guild might not
like it very much if they found out about it, and the thieves might consider
him a spy in their midst), but, why not?

So, assuming we keep guilds separate from classes (or don't have the latter
- don't really want to go into that territory too deeply), lets say that
guilds are purely political/social associations.

As you say, they give you a bunch of people to chat with and hang out with.
So why not make them a far more open playing field.

Allow any player to start a guild. Attach a cost to this - they must have
somewhere to use as a headquarters, and enough money to pay some sort of
tithe to start things off. Come up with some mechanism to get rid of unused
ones too.

Permit the game world to allow some benefits (or disadvantages) to guild
membership - for instance, if a player owns a shop, and belongs to the
"Black Eyed Badgers", their hired muscle might throw out any known members
of the "Slightly Purple Pygmy Monkies" guild who wander in.

Or a player might start his shop within the guild headquarters - keeping it
exclusive to members.

Those who start a guild should be able to set up their own membership
constraints/requirements (and then either manage admissions themselves - or
via a mob).

Of course, this will probably cause cliques to form, if it works - but to my
mind at least, that's kinda the point!


Cheers,

Matt
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John Arras <johnarras@gm...com>

2008-06-18 12:54:47
On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 6:48 AM, Jon Wright <jon@wr...org> wrote:
> Just a quick introduction:  I've been a long-time lurker on the
> MUD-Dev forums (since about 2002 - ok, so not _that_ long) but this is
> my first post.  I've searched through the old archives and can't find
> this topic discussed in any depth so figured I would punt it out there
> and see if anyone is interested...
>
> Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to more than one
> guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than group with
> it's own invitation only chat-room?
This is an interesting idea, and I think it relates to how many different
types of gameplay your game has and whether or not they are variations
on a theme or truly different. For example, we make horse breeding games and
within the games players can make clubs dedicated to certain kinds of breeds so
that they can join the clubs associated with specific breeds.

I think the first step toward making multiple guilds per character
viable is to make
the characters different enough in their goals that it makes sense to
want different
things from different guilds.

Maybe a "character" in a game isn't a specific avatar or person, but a company
or family with a common last name designating which account they belong to, and
a first name for each avatar. The game should allow for dramatically
different types of
advancement for different avatars, so specialization and differences
are the norm.
It should be radical enough that the game has solved "Marian's tailor problem"
meaning if there is combat, it is possible to advance without being
skilled in combat or
having to worry about it. It would also mean you wouldn't need a
"grinding alt" or
a "raiding alt" to get materials and such for tailoring. You could
just be a tailor
if that's what you wanted. Maybe it could be a multiclass system where players
pick a handful of classes or professions on your single character to
advance, but
you could choose to be a generalist between combat and noncombat classes.
The system could be more like a skill-based systems with an allocation
of points across
different areas. There are a lot of ways to do this, but the idea is
to have different
paths of advancement and different sets of goals for each avatar. In
cases like this,
it might make sense to join different guilds on the same avatar or
with linked avatars
have them join different guilds based on the paths that each avatar is
following.

Then, you mentioned guilds just being a private chat room. I would work on this
by giving each guild bonuses to doing certain things. When players set up a
guild, they choose what kind of guild it is and the guild gives bonuses to its
members when they do that thing. Maybe the guilds could advance in some way
and gain greater bonuses or have a chance at getting a special unique bonus
for that guild (like making a specific item cheaper or with more power) as
a reward. Maybe an alchemist's guild could discover a unique recipe or
a blacksmithing guild could discover how to make a stronger form of steel.

This would lead to drama as people would help a guild to advance
and then the guild leader could boot everyone except a few friends to have a
monopoly on the unique bonus. I don't really know how to solve this as people
have always been able to ninja the guild bank alt, but maybe some form of
punishment would be possible, such as removing the advancement gained
from the booted players, or assigning the bonus to a player and if they leave
the guild, the bonus is lost. Or, maybe by let booted players remember
a certain number of these bonuses so if they really like it they could start
their own guild and advance to the point that they would be offered the
chance to use this bonus in their guild. (Instead of one being randomly given
to them as the guild advances.)

At any rate, I would make radically different advancement paths and
then let players set up groups that give bonuses to different parts of the
game and then see what happens.
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Eric Lee (GAMES) <elee@mi...com>

2008-06-24 17:37:55
Jon wrote:
Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to more than one
guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than group with
it's own invitation only chat-room?
A Tale In The Desert allows players to belong to multiple guilds at the same time.  It's a very useful paradigm for that game since there are lots of tasks in that game that require extensive player cooperation.  You might belong to a guild that's building a large compound together; this would be your primary social group.  But you might also belong to another guild that's focused on a mining project in some remote location, and another one that's focused on building some huge monument in order to unlock new technologies.  Each guild has its own chat channel, permission system for chests, and other features.

In practice, I found that I really liked being able to belong to multiple guilds at once.  It seemed to help me create a wider and more robust social network.  However, ATITD had a definite need for multiple guild membership; something like WoW doesn't have that need to the same degree.  I think it probably works best in games where there are lots of orthogonal tasks you can engage in, and you want to join a separate guild dedicated to each task.

Eric
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Lachek Butalek <lachek@gm...com>

2008-07-09 17:13:47
On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 7:48 AM, Jon Wright <jon@wr...org> wrote:

> Does anyone know of a MMO which allows membership to more than one
> guild at a time?  Where the guilds become little more than group with
> it's own invitation only chat-room?
>
> I'm considering the benefits:
> Players are not forced to choose between social networks and therefore
> potentially lose touch with friends in old guild.
> Players can have more than form of social grouping (the raid guild,
> the pvp guild, the roleplay guild).
> Guilds can be more specialized and only exist to serve one of the
> goals above (is that a good thing?)
First off, let me make the statement that the word "guild" is useless, and
confuses the issue. "Guild" is a term used to represent any systematic
grouping of individuals in an MMO, but has a more precise meaning in
English. I've tried, where appropriate, to just use the word "group" below.

What are the typical benefits of guild membership in an MMO?

* Access to a chat channel for social purposes
* Access to a chat channel for utilitarian purposes (trade, etc)
* Membership in a group for prestige purposes
* Membership in a group for utilitarian purposes (mutual protection, etc)

There is some overlap between these categories. For example, one might be
more willing to trade with you if you have had prior social interactions.
One might be kicked out of the group (losing the prestige of belonging) if
one chronically shirks their utilitarian duties (participating in raids, for
example). But by and large, these are separate benefits. There is no need
for a new MMO to stick to the idea of a "guild" as an entity which provides
all of these, and none of them particularly well.

There is a big social component to playing MMOs. Many players, especially
casual ones, use them as chat rooms where you can catch up with your
friends, and also play games together. A group of friends may form a guild
to facilitate this interaction, but it's by no means a good idea to do so:

* Some of the friends might be really into PvP, which will unnecessarily
cause more PvE oriented players to be targeted for retaliation
* Some of the friends might be heavily into raiding, but the majority of the
friends are more casual players who would only be a liability in an
well-organized raid
* Some of the friends might be heavily into crafting, but the guild is not
large or crafting-focused enough to provide the mini-economy of crafting
resources required
* Some of the friends might love to chat about their cats, while the others
roll their eyes and are tempted to /ignore
* and so on

For this group, it would be best if instead of making a guild, they could
just create a user-defined chat channel.

Integrating some social networking components might be an interesting way to
do cater to the social agenda as well - you could have a channel called
"Hardware" where people could brag about their gaming rigs, another called
"Games" focused on chatting about video games in general, "Dogs", "Humour",
"Sports", whatever. Naturally, anyone can partake in any number of chat
channels.

Having just a chat channel for more utilitarian activities, like trading, is
not ideal. If trading is a major part of your design, it should have its own
full-featured system, like an auction house or EVE's Market interface. To
create a more secluded market, such as the mini-economy required for a group
of crafters to increase the standing of their group, allow individuals to
form trade alliances - a market-within-a-market where only those you trust
to serve your economic interests can partake. It could be as simple as
another tab on the Auction House interface. There is no reason you could not
be part of several of these, but you'd have to be invited to join them.

Some people join guilds just to be able to say "I'm in '4s$k1ck3rs of
Azeroth'!". But there are better ways to deal with prestige by association.
For example, you might implement a public Reputation score which is derived
from some stat (level? PvP kills? good deeds done?) of all the people who
have Friended you. This Reputation score means nothing other than "I know
some cool people". It does not increase with you, it increases only as your
friends do - but with a simple glance, another player can check out your
character and say "Oh, he's a nobody" or "Wow, she's quite up there, let me
check the details... oh, she knows LeeeroyJenkins?!?".

Finally, the utilitarian reasons to be a part of a group. There are many
reasons - protection, raiding, crafting, grouping, warfare, etcetera,
depending on the game. Why can you only be a part of more than one of these?
Well, it seems counter-productive to allow membership in two different
raiding teams and four militias. In particular, in a game where guilds
represent opposing factions and wage war on each other, a character should
not be allowed membership in multiple factions.

There is no reason a character could not be a part of one of each of these
types of groups, however. A given group might opt to serve in each category
- for example, a warfare/protection army, or a grouping/raiding force - but
others may wisely opt to be a group dealing in a single activity only,
without having to disappoint those members who also wanted to focus on other
things.

In closing, I think there are many benefits to questioning the idea of a
"guild" and that one may participate in one and one only, and I think that
by reinventing guilds many of the disadvantages could be avoided. The fear
that one's sense of belonging would weaken with membership in multiple - but
still focused - guilds is exaggerated, I think. To the contrary, I believe
it to be common that one's sense of belonging in a (single) guild is
weakened due to chronic personality conflicts with other members with
opposing interests and agendas.
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cruise <cruise@ca...net>

2008-07-18 17:05:54
Thus spake Lachek Butalek...
> Some people join guilds just to be able to say "I'm in '4s$k1ck3rs of
> Azeroth'!". But there are better ways to deal with prestige by association.
> For example, you might implement a public Reputation score which is derived
> from some stat (level? PvP kills? good deeds done?) of all the people who
> have Friended you. This Reputation score means nothing other than "I know
> some cool people". It does not increase with you, it increases only as your
> friends do - but with a simple glance, another player can check out your
> character and say "Oh, he's a nobody" or "Wow, she's quite up there, let me
> check the details... oh, she knows LeeeroyJenkins?!?".
I wanted top pick this suggestion out because a) it's awesome, and b) it 
makes me think about how to make the first the M's of MMOG actual useful.

There's been discussion before about how more players can often make 
things worse from a gameplay point of view - so could we either make up 
for that, or seperate that aspect entirely - by including the strategies 
of the currently popular social netowrking websites?

Friends of friends, multiple groups, quick communication, customisable 
profiles visible to others - all these seem woefully undersupported in 
current online offerings, yet are the basis of the successful networking 
websites.
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8 messages in this thread from mud-dev2 in 2008-06