Guild Recruitment Pre-Launch

I was recently looking at the guild recruitment forums in SWTOR. Considering the game isn’t launching any time this year, it’s a surprisingly active forum. The first recruitment thread I clicked on had a link to a website which just dropped my jaw. The leader of the guild has invested in custom art for his slick website and a Ventrilo server. There was so much effort expended on this recruitment effort that I actually had to take a step back and wonder. Why do guilds recruit pre-launch at all?

They claim to be a Roleplaying PVP guild, but none of the people in this guild can actually say they like the PVP in SWTOR or even claim to know if PVP will be arena-based or out in the open. Most baffling of all, this is ultimately a group of people who don’t know each other. They don’t know if they like playing with each other and they don’t know if they like talking with each other.

With my own guilds, we have always focused on inviting people we have already played with and grown to like. We want to see them in our chat channels and we want to help them get geared up because of how we’ve come to feel about them. We’re already friends by the time the invitation is given.

A guild which is formed entirely off of blind-invite recruitment on a forum seems too much like a pick-up-group on launch day. Except it’s more risky than a pick-up-group, it’s a pick-up-guild.

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Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

8 thoughts on “Guild Recruitment Pre-Launch”

  1. Those pre-launch guild recruitments are just one example of the many flavors of oddball that are unfortunately drawn in to each new MMO like moths to the proverbial flame.

  2. Starting before the launch date is even announced is a bit … keen.

    But I remember you saying that you started LOTRO with a bunch of people you knew from other games, Suzina? When was the last time you went into a game knowing no one?

    Because in that case, why not take a shot at a forum pre-guild? (Although I’d wait until open beta before joining one.) The worst that happens is that you hate them and leave and if not, you’ve got a bunch of people to do low level group content with who you’ve already chatted with a bit via forum, and might make some friends.

    I’ve joined guilds before a game went live in a couple of games and it really wasn’t awful.

  3. We did the big pre-launch recruitment thing for WAR with Casualties of WAR. It helped balloon our numbers greatly, fill us with a lot of pride, but in the end a lot of players didn’t stick with the game and we were left holding the bill for a guild infrastructure built for hundreds of members.

    Our best members were late comers that were dedicated to WAR and found in-game. Most of the pre-launch crowd disappeared quickly and to this day we haven’t sorted out the infrastructure to fit our much smaller membership.

    I think the most valuable lesson learned was that pre-launch, hyped-up members should be taken with a grain of salt. The members that are going to matter are those that will be around in six months. So, recruiting on Guild Recruitment Boards should occur AFTER the game has established itself. Then, your guild has a chance of actually recruiting members that will stick.

  4. Spinks: “But I remember you saying that you started LOTRO with a bunch of people you knew from other games, Suzina? When was the last time you went into a game knowing no one?”

    That’s a good point. However the people I came to lotro with are all people I’ve actually played with. I suppose my barrier is that I find the idea of committing to a PUG where I might meet someone I like to be a rather small commitment, but I find the idea of committing to a guild before knowing if I’ll like playing with anyone in it to be a rather large commitment.

  5. This has become a common practice for MMO’s with official forums. While I would never join one personally, there is sometimes a benefit to listing your guild in the form of getting guild invites to Beta.

  6. Heartless_ pretty much told the story above, but it’s true that fervor pre-launch rarely translates into anything long term. Casualties was a relative success because people liked to play together and were mostly a self-selecting group. After all, the membership came from a circle of bloggers that mostly shared the same ethic. In the case of Casualties, we share the Ethic too, but that is another story.

    I still think of Casualties as a success though, as it’s still got active WAR members in addition to the newer LotRO and EVE factions. I’m actually hopeful that the guild infrastructure might support a SWTOR guild as well.

    At the end of the day, most guilds started like this fail not because they lack noble intent, quite the contrary. They fail because they don’t have cohesion, a singularity of purpose, or just plain strong enough friendships to make the succeed.

  7. At least the people pre-recruiting for SWTOR aren’t half as bad as those poor saps who waited 3 years for SWGemu to come out.

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