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Reichmar's Rant: Guilds, Communities and PvP
by Reichmar12, Member — Category: Editorials
Post #18572

Reichmar's Rant: Guilds, Community and PvP

In my previous rants about the glories of PvP and my personal love of awesome gear, I talked about the Player vs Player experience on an individual level. I talked about the importance of fluid and responsive gameplay, the need for a reward structure and vertical vs horizontal gear progression. One topic which I left for last is the role that community plays in PvP. How important are guilds? Do communities matter in PvP? Do developers care about their development? Since I have a lot to say about this issue, and in order to stay on topic, I'm going to save the gear issue I mentioned in last week's rant for a different day.

Since the dawn of time, human beings have congregated to form small groups or communities in order to accomplish the mutual goals of land cultivation, hunting, gathering and survival in general. Early humans realized that life is much more difficult when alone. As a result, they came together around common goals. Spare us the history lesson, Reichmar -- I know, I know. But although I'm discussing virtual guilds in an online game today, these natural tendancies towards forming bonds between like-minded people hold true today just as they did in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.

Guilds have been foundational aspects of MMO gameplay for two reasons: 1) variety and difficulty of content, 2) requirement of other people to consume said content. Dungeons and raids are designed with the specific intent that players will be forced to create teams to tackle the bosses. Why get 9, 24, or even 39 other random people when you can build a team of people you know? If you can find others with the same desire to succeed (assuming a basic level of player skill), your odds of clearing the most difficult PvE content, as well as your odds of being a capable PvP team, get pretty good.



But guilds aren't just about killing bosses and getting loot. They also aren't only about competition. There is a larger community aspect at play. By being in a guild, players have the ability to talk to other people in a friendly (hopefully) setting; you can buy and sell merchandise to your guildmates, you can help them with quests, you can contribute towards guild projects (if your game has such a thing) and you can just simply hang out. Each time you log on and interact with those people, you start building a relationship. Before you know it, you've made friends; friends that you might play other games with, and friends that you'll spend hours talking to.

By forming guilds, you suddenly place yourself in another tier of gameplay. You aren't just killing bosses or stomping pugs -- now you're competing against other guilds in PvP ladders and raid clearing times. Ideally, the more your play together with your guildmates, the better the group as a whole will get. You'll learn the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues and you'll work to complement their needs. Niche roles will be filled, weaker players will slowly be replaced and new blood will be thrown into the fold until you find a solid team composition. Well.... hopefully you will.

With respect to the faction-based world PvP in Elder Scrolls Online, communities are even more pivotal. Multiple guilds on all sides now fight both against and alongside each other. What matters more is not the skill of an individual group of players, but rather the collective ability for players of different guilds to apply their skills, on the fly, to adapting situations. In fact, your awesome set of +10 Pwn Star Plate is insignificant when hundreds of players are slaughtering each other for control of an objective. Your faction either wins or loses on the backs of all of its members regardless of your individual character's gear or rank.

This isn't to say that very good PvPers can't and won't distinguish themselves, of course. Certain players will always excel; they'll always be the first ones to that rank and the first ones to get that gear. Those of us who've played faction-based world PvP games know that there's always that group of infamous players that win, and win often -- the guys that you remember by name. You watch for them and smile when they show up to aid you, or frown when they're attacking you. Players strive to make their guilds just as organized and capable, or try to join those guilds themselves. Guild leaders take note...



The beauty of this type of PvP is that individual infamy doesn't win the war all by itself. Even if you're a member of the metaphorical "1337 guild", you need other guilds. You want more people to show up. You want them to get better and learn their class as much as you have. You want them to succeed where others would fail. You rely on them to bolster your lines, or to guard a spawn point, or to distract the enemy by assaulting another key point. So yes, you can be awesome, wear the best gear, and have the best title, but you always need your faction-mates -- always. With two factions to face, as in Elder Scrolls Online, you'll need them even more.

The aftermath of battle is always shared between you, your guild, and your faction. If you win, everyone revels in it; stories are told in vent, faction teammates extend virtual fist-bumps, and rewards are had. If you lose, you all lament it; everyone will know the one flaw that cost them victory and you'll remember the people responsible (if applicable). It doesn't matter if you're in multiple guilds (like in ESO) either -- you'll always cling to success and distance yourself from failure. In a guild that dominated the campaign? You'll be sure let people know in some way, shape or fashion. Part of the failure squad? You'll likely act like you were never a part of it -- no matter how much you think you won't.

You might blame that one guild for not showing up when they were supposed to, or that other guild for failing to hold their ground when they needed to. You tell yourself, "if my guild were there, things could have been different. Things would have been different. We would have never let this happen." Maybe you were to blame -- maybe the criticisms from the other guilds are true. Maybe your raid leader sent you to the wrong spot, or maybe you failed to hold your section of the ranks. If any of that is true, you'll certainly work to avoid that shameful display next time, won't you?


What are your thoughts about communities in MMOs? What do you think about the role of communities in Elder Scrolls Online's faction-based PvP?



The views expressed in this blog are those of Reichmar12 and do not represent the views of TESOF, Zenimax Online Studios or any of its subsidiaries.
The following 14 users Like Reichmar12's post:
Acrowe, Archmage Rythis, Beor of Skyrim, Blackvein, Cotillion, Ewan, Hentmereb, Idriar, Lakthazer, Lobsel_vith, Mcshmitty, Qa Dar, Stenjar, Tecca


Comments on Reichmar's Rant: Guilds, Communities and PvP
Post #18741
Member

115
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
I believe there should be in game events for guilds, and not just social hub or list of people you raid with, there should be clear objective that can be shared between all guild members, defending a fort or raiding a dungeon and many more that can be provided by Devs. Like building guild house, were every players has to contribute to it or crafting special guild armor, and it dose not mater if its only cosmetic, the proud feeling of wearing your guild crest when you accomplish something great. Guild are as strong as there weakest link, so more successful players should always guild and help other guide members, and not only to be there for greed of self improvement and then just leave for another guild.
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Reichmar12
Post #18754
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Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
I for one enjoyed that Rant quite a bit. It's really true how you mention the fact that this has been going on since really the dawn of time. Men weren't created to withstand the harshness of well.. life, really.. by themselves of course. We spend time creating societies, whether good or bad, with economies, traditions, relationships etc. So that perhaps when we rise it can benefit us all, and when we fall, we can hopefully rise another day. This holds true in real life and in guild settings. I truly believe as a guild, and especially in TESO that this will play a huge role in the taking of Cyrodiil and whatever else is thrown in front of us in game. I've started looking for guilds to ally with in TESO to make the AD a more enjoyable place, and hopefully we can become a real force to be reckoned with.

All in all, we really do depend on one-another. Though we may play solo at times, most likely we're contributing to conversations in guild chat, or at least taking away the messages and mauling them over in our heads. In turn sapping ideas and emotions from one another. Telepathic relationships. I just invented them. +1

Also. You used the word Lament. I like that word. +1


I enjoyed that a lot, and appreciate the high level of quality you put in your "Rant's" evident through historical examples, excellent wording and readibility, and the level of enthusiasm, keep up the good work mate! +1!
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Reichmar12
Post #18803
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Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)
A community in any online game is pivotal and making new friends is a pleasant bonus. Certainly the factions within factions aspect of TESO will create interesting dynamics ~ collectives are made up of friends, "guilds", race, alliance, etc then factor in npc, pan collectives (Morag Tong, Dark Brotherhood, Crimson Hand, etc who have their own agendas outside the struggle for the throne) ~ to the point where by an allied guild may let you down in a strategic battle on purpose because their grip on the throne would be compromised by your group's victory...I speculate but the variables are interesting, and that is before you consider "collectives" who have members in opposing factions.

Wars have a habit of bringing out the worst as well as the best in people. At least in computer games the "stage" is simply just that on which players will act. Win or lose, it is the taking part that counts most of all.

I agree with your point that excellent players will no doubt be the ones that shape the outcome but you are right to say every one has a part to play. One last point. What history teaches us is that we never learn from history!
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Reichmar12
Post #18848
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Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(December 17th 2012 10:15 PM)Endemondia Wrote:  A community in any online game is pivotal and making new friends is a pleasant bonus. Certainly the factions within factions aspect of TESO will create interesting dynamics ~ collectives are made up of friends, "guilds", race, alliance, etc then factor in npc, pan collectives (Morag Tong, Dark Brotherhood, Crimson Hand, etc who have their own agendas outside the struggle for the throne) ~ to the point where by an allied guild may let you down in a strategic battle on purpose because their grip on the throne would be compromised by your group's victory...I speculate but the variables are interesting, and that is before you consider "collectives" who have members in opposing factions.

Wars have a habit of bringing out the worst as well as the best in people. At least in computer games the "stage" is simply just that on which players will act. Win or lose, it is the taking part that counts most of all.

I agree with your point that excellent players will no doubt be the ones that shape the outcome but you are right to say every one has a part to play. One last point. What history teaches us is that we never learn from history!

I'm pretty optimistic for political intrigue along these lines.

I'm glad that you guys enjoyed the article as well! If you have anything else to say about this article, or if you have an idea for next week's release, let me know!
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Post #18874
Member

28
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)
Hi Reichnar12 ~ A subject I am currently interested in relates to a thread entitled ~ level cap & end game ~ where by a section of the future TESO population expect to see the cliches recurring in mmorpg. What excites me about the online Elder Scrolls is its potential to be ground breaking and change the face of massive multi-player online role play gaming. In other words the unique selling points (USP). for example I am only aware of Dungeons&Dragons online using a similar combat system proposed for TESO. The influence of console gaming coming to mmorpg (e.g. better AI technology, first person friendly, minimal interface on screen, etc) will also be a big aspect. There are many more for example the end game being not just for elaborating the story line but impacting the pvp (pve raiders will effect the pvp zone when fighting the npc fourth faction).

In other words, and I am sure it has been addressed before but your eloquent synopsis would be a good one to read, what has TESO got that nobody else has got?

Perhaps the biggest USP is that the players will determine the outcome because the story line is defined by the players' actions and not by Zenimax/Bethesda story line. That to me is the most exciting prospect. Tameriel's history will be shaped by which faction wins (or is currently winning) and who gets to keep the throne warm (until the next emperor sits on it). An open world!
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Reichmar12
Post #18924
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115
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Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
I don't know if you can make it for next week's release, but i wish we could discuses monsters variety, i know we don't haw a lot of info at the moment, but maybe we could look at old TES tittles. As much i loved to play Oblivion and Skyrim it got to a point were there where no new enemy's i could encounter, and since most of monsters in ES are limited to "zones/areas" every faction will haw its own monster selection, how can they make it so that at the end game we wont get bored from facing same monsters? can they creat difrent "skins" for same monster or invent new enemy's that lived only at 2E.
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Post #18947
Member

110
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Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
(December 18th 2012 06:00 PM)Ewan Wrote:  I don't know if you can make it for next week's release, but i wish we could discuses monsters variety, i know we don't haw a lot of info at the moment, but maybe we could look at old TES tittles. As much i loved to play Oblivion and Skyrim it got to a point were there where no new enemy's i could encounter, and since most of monsters in ES are limited to "zones/areas" every faction will haw its own monster selection, how can they make it so that at the end game we wont get bored from facing same monsters? can they creat difrent "skins" for same monster or invent new enemy's that lived only at 2E.

I second this topic. It would be interesting to see that.

I also want to throw in dungeons (when info is released), simply because I'm assuming a system where we can queue into dungeons of any region, or we're restricted to our own factions dungeons, that are perhaps just re skinned but very similar to faction counterparts.
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Post #20353
Member

4
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)
I personally would like to see PvP gear discussed in the next rant. I play a lot of WoW, and am constantly having to fight in PvP to get gear that is on a level with that of others. It is a hassle, and it does detract from gaming experience when you are stuck in a queue for the majority of the day. Perhaps a gear system somewhat like there was in the arena in Oblivion, except with more tiers of armor.
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Post #20392
Member

536
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Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(December 27th 2012 10:13 PM)ifghar Wrote:  I personally would like to see PvP gear discussed in the next rant. I play a lot of WoW, and am constantly having to fight in PvP to get gear that is on a level with that of others. It is a hassle, and it does detract from gaming experience when you are stuck in a queue for the majority of the day. Perhaps a gear system somewhat like there was in the arena in Oblivion, except with more tiers of armor.

That problem is made moot for several reasons. Here's two:

1) Gear is gear - no critical statistical difference between PvE and PvP gear. This doesn't mean that the gear has identical stats, but it does mean that you won't see PvP stat BS on gear. Raider? Wear your PvE gear.

2) Open world PvP - when you're wearing your awesome armor, you really aren't affecting the outcome of a battle between 200 people. That and you aren't stuck waiting in a queue to maybe get currency after a fight.
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