Uplink Analysis: What is a Guild?

Written by David "Scooter" Bass on March 29, 2013

WildStar Uplink is a bi-weekly conversation we hold with our fans about MMO design, philosophy, and news. The main goal of these conversations is to gauge how important certain issues are to the WildStar community. More than just a simple conversation, we ask questions about topics that are important, and we share your responses with the development team directly. Want to participate? Follow @Team_WildStar on Twitter for the weekly question, participate using #WSuplink, and keep an eye on the community team (CRB_Atreid, CRB_Aether, and CRB_Scooter) to interact with us throughout the discussions.

This week, it was back to basics with a seemingly simple question for the community:

What is the purpose of a guild in MMOs?

After the shock of such a simple question wore off, you all provided tons of great answers from guilds of all preferences and experiences:

Wildstar_Nexus: The point of a guild is to co-operate and help each other no matter the level. Having activities, in-game and player run events help achieve this goal. It helps having big events that everyone can be invovled in, low or high levels

Yakzan: A social construct within MMOs where groups of similar makeup can organize and associate with. Facilitated by chat channels, etc.

CVSpence: To provide formal structure to friends and likeminded players in order to maximize their time together

Bramhendriks: Several reasons I guess, but the biggest for me is creating a small social community to play the game with.

Jar_Nod: 1) To enable a group of players to achieve greater success through the sum of their parts. 2) To provide sanctuary from PuGs...

OniOnidra: Guilds in MMO are a feature to group players with same affinity and to give them content to make together.

qn2Quid: Hang out with friends, meet new people, socialize, play together, help eachother out, organize groups, raids and other events

malagaj: It's community. Getting friends and like minded people to play the same place. Having fun and share it. A pilar of the game.

real_lethality: Primarily, guilds should facilitate the means for a group to progress as a unit through various game systems.  (1/3)

BlackBigBang: Guilds are great places to share same goals and points of views. We also can play together in the best ambience !

KatarynaWS: make friends,guidance for newbies,work together to kill stuff, a group of like-minded people working towards a goal

Cefyru: the purpose of a guild is to link people who want to play together, share their game time and give them various common goals.

Guideborn: Guilds are about networking with players with similar goals and interests. It's a much wider circle of friendship and teamwork.

Gazimoff: Guilds are there to be the greatest source of joy in a game. Unfortunately, they also cause the most upset.

Threethumbed: To me guilds were never really about being social, as most guild chats are generally pretty silent. Instead I've always seen guilds as teams competing for renown. People striving to be a team that makes players say: “Wow, I want to be one of them!”

coatsy35: A place to create friendships with like minded people and have fun achieving common goals.

cecilandblues: Guilds should serve as a social staging point for acomplishing greater goals in the game.

WSRoleplay: To help evolve the game and its world therein, to push its limits and expand them beyond the code and system.

burch_adam: to provide a pool of "trustworthy" and "reliable" people to help complete the MMO mandated group content.

Scottbetweeting: Guilds give players their own customized reputation to send into the game's many conflicts. The more guild mechanics the merrier.

WildStarfanatic: To unify players and make a community were it's easy to find good groups instead of PUGs. Yay guilds!

MasonTMatchak: To ensure that a group of people who want to play together, for whatever reason, can play together. Simple as that.

It's pretty clear that players see guilds as the central social hub for what you care most about, whether that's raiding, PvP, roleplaying, or anything else you can think of! We agree that guilds are a great way to form a group of like-minded people to engage with the content you most prefer in an MMO. But we all know that no player is entirely single-minded in terms of the content they want to engage in, or the types of people they want to socialize with. In addition to guilds, we're designing additional features that allow people to form guild-like social connections within a game.

These days, gamers are in so many various circles of friends, but guilds aren't necessarily the right place to support all of those different types of people at once. And while guilds always have been the main type of social group in MMOs, we also think we can better support your various social circles in WildStar, with a feature we call "Circles". Circles are separate from guilds, but include similar features, such as private chat channels, group rosters, name tags, and so on. So you can be a part of your hardcore raiding guild, while still keeping in touch with the Esper Mad Healz Circle, Roleplaying Circle, and "Arrested Development" Circle, all at the same time. Currently, players can be members of one guild and five circles at the same time, though of course this may change as we get feedback during beta.

It is this kind of feedback that will help us evolve our guild tools throughout the feedback process as well. In fact, we’re so committed to the importance of guilds, we’re going to have a dedicated phase of our beta testing devoted to bringing guilds in to help us evaluate and improve our guild tools. Our approach to focusing on a feature, bringing you in to put it through its paces, and then iterating on that feature based on your feedback is the cornerstone of our beta and development efforts.

We're really excited about being able to provide meaningful ways for our community to build deep social connections in our game world, and features like Guilds and Circles are crucial to that effort. It's really important to us that we remove all those barriers to being able to find and join the social groups you want to interact with (and protection from those you want to avoid), allowing you to engage more easily. We're looking forward to hearing feedback on these systems as we add more of you to beta over the coming months, but feel free to share your thoughts via Twitter/Facebook/Fansites as well.


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