I am a monogamistic bloke when it comes to joining a guild for an MMO. I dislike playing alts to begin with, but being a member in two guilds for one game seems even more like alting. It seems discordant with my usual MMO goal of making human connections across the electronic ether.
My first MMO, A Tale in the Desert, doesn’t count because my one character could belong to as many guilds as I desired, which to me makes more sense than anything else. Yet, it was a smaller community to begin with. I’ll skip World of Warcraft where I mostly soloed and PUG’d anyway even if I did belong to the guild. (I still feel guilty for taking a gold, way back in the day, to buy a guild tabard I never wore.) Then I played Guild Wars.
In Guild Wars, players get one guild per account. Any new character that is created is automatically joined to the same guild, which is very handy when creating PvP characters on the fly. Now, according to a new interview, Guild Wars 2 is going to be more flexible. According to ArenaNet, it will still be easy to have all characters in one guild, but now players can put different characters [from the same account] in to different guilds.
I definitely see the benefits of this. My current guild in Guild Wars only has some very casual PvP every week or so, and a player wanting to get in to high-end GvG battles might have to decide between the friendship of my guild and the extreme focus of a GvG guild. Yet for all the flexibility it seems ArenaNet still rewards players for concentrating on one guild by having things like a guild calendar, guild achievements, and even access to the guild chat channel when not logged in to the game.
Most MMOs allow for different characters on different accounts to join different guilds, but there are other mechanics added to let players network while still being a single-guild-kind-of-guy. Alliances are a good way to allow for various guild focal points. Joinable chat channels are a good way to emulate this. It can be argued that A Tale in the Desert’s guild system might as well be joinable chat channels. The palpable permanence of the guild (with guild property) versus the vague purpose of the chat channels is evidence of nonequivalence. I just learned Alganon goes a step further and has exclusive chat channels roughly based on the Bartlett gamer types. Like guilds, a character can only join one.
I always wondered about the whispered defectors in my MMO guilds on games allowing multiple guilds per account. I would see what I believed to be the same person, only this time with two R’s in their name and a different guild tag. Could it be that officer in my guild cheating on us? Maybe it was just he and his wife’s personal guild. Maybe he was vetting another guild? I often don’t understand my paranoia.
After all, I never cared whether people in my Guild Wars guild had an unfaithful account. I guess the warm blanket of knowing that one guild per account was enough to comfort me. Why should it be any different with different characters?
Anyway, I am happy for the change in Guild Wars 2. I think that the majority of players will stick to one guild, especially if guild achievements provide more benefits. It took me a long time to find the perfect Guild Wars guild, and I have absolutely no plans to leave it. For others that have not found the perfect home or need to split their time between a guild of friends and a guild of PvP soldiers, I think the new functionality will be a welcome addition.
but cupid got me in a chokehold