From World of Warcraft to DC Universe Online, MMORPGs have changed a lot in recent years, but clans and guilds aren’t going anywhere. Here’s why.
Casual Is Good
There’s no denying that MMO games are getting more casual, but that’s actually a good thing, not least because there’s simply more ways of playing these days. Functions like matchmaking and dungeon groupings are definitely geared towards single players, which takes some of the impetus away from guilds and clans, but that doesn’t mean that they’re on their way out.
In fact, these kinds of casual changes mean that old-school guilds and clans are often more tightknit than ever before. Yeah, there might be an issue with getting new members, but clans aren’t totally reliant on newbies for their fun and what makes a guild worthwhile is the experience you have with other members. That’s to say, you still get out of the clan experience what you put into it.
The casual changes definitely work both ways. For instance, although diehard RPGers might hate it, starting a clan has never been easier. Increasingly, there are useful tools out there to help players start clans. Back in the day, starting a clan required a serious time commitment, organizational grind, and plenty of caffeine. Now, it’s easier than ever.
You Play, You Choose
Gamers are spoilt for choice these days. Whether it’s from the indie scene or major players, there’s more games, more content, and more clans than ever before. There’s always new loot to be had, dungeons to raid, and quests to complete. Despite being older than some gamers, World of Warcraft and EVE are still getting updates and new content, much of it directed at clans, guilds, and corporations.
What’s more, however hardcore your role-playing or casual your gaming, you can always find the right clan. Of course, a lot depends on the game, but it’s a safe bet that if someone’s joined a clan they’re looking to do more than just slay virtual monsters and farm XP; they want the social side of online gaming.
The devs behind Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars 2 took a lot of flak when they changed their guild structures, but being in multiple guilds actually gives players even more opportunity to mix up how they play. There’s no good reason to stick with functions or structures that give players fewer options.
Gamers don’t need incentives from studios to form guilds, they just need the right tools and functionality. After that, the studios should get out of the way; that’s how it works. Because when you get down to it, we’re talking about communities of people sharing their experience of changing and developing worlds online and gamers are always going to want to do that.
It’s fair to say that guilds aren’t what they used to be, but the old school purists who grumble about the glory days of WoW or Guild Wars don’t realize that MMORPGs have largely changed for the better. There’s no denying that the massively multiplayer market is growing, but there’s no need to worry, clans and guilds are going to be around for a long time yet.