Thursday, May 14, 2015

Guilds of One

MMO - "Massively Multi-player Online".  The very name indicates that you are not alone in whatever game-world you choose to play in.  But just because there are (a lot of) other players, does that mean you are not allowed to play the game by yourself?

Most MMOs do not force you to play with others.  I'm sure there are some that do, but I cannot think of any off-hand.  Certainly, none of the ones I play do.  Oh sure, there are aspects of most MMOs that provide incentives for playing with others (raids, for instance, which are designed to be much harder than regular quests, especially if attempted solo), but generally speaking, much of the basic game can be played without anyone else.  And I have no problem with encouraging team play, but when certain mechanics force you to play with others...

All of the MMOs I currently play allow for playing solo, with a Pick-Up Group (PUG), and/or guilds.  And none of them require joining a guild (again, there may be others that do) - guilds are (almost always) optional.  Now, I understand that the concept of a guild is to bring like-minded players together so they don't have to rely on PUGs when wanting to play as a team (not that there's anything wrong with a PUG...).  And there are often incentives for being in a guild, such as certain items (be it loot, 'housing', ships, etc.) that are only available if one is in a guild.  And I don't have a problem with any of that, either - that would certainly fall under the category of "encouraging" team play.

But, the unfortunate reality is that more often than not, if one does not belong to a guild, one is often spammed with requests to join a guild.  So how can one stop being spammed about joining a guild?  One obvious solution is to join a guild...or start one yourself.  In fact, many times those are the only real solution.  Now, if you have friends that you enjoy playing with, that play the same games, this is a great solution.  But suppose you want to start a guild with only one member - you?  Should you be allowed to have a one-man* guild?

I say, "Why not?"

LotRO used to have a mechanic where you were required to have a minimum of 6 characters in a "kinship" (guild).  But, it didn't matter if all (6) characters were on the same account**, so it could still be comprised of "just you".  But that has since changed - you can now actually have a guild of one (character).  I have no idea if DDO ever had such a requirement.

ESO allows you to have a guild of one (character), but there are limitations.  For instance, you cannot have access to a guild bank, unless you have a minimum of (10) guild members†.  I dislike limitations like this.  Suppose I don't have (9) other people (or characters) that I want to be in my guild?  Yes, it is a form of "encouragement", so I do understand the concept of the requirement, I just disagree with its implementation.  The interesting thing about ESO guilds, though, is that while many (dare I say, "most"?) games limit you to being in only one guild (at a time), ESO allows you to be in up to (5) different guilds, at the same time.  In fact, they purposefully designed the game around supporting different types of guilds, such as crafting guilds, "marketing" (buying/selling stuffs) guilds, 'teaming' guilds, etc.

NWO and STO have what I think is the most stupid guild requirement of all.  In order to start a guild (or "fleet" in the case of STO), you must be in a (full) group of (5) players.  However, once your guild is created, you can kick everyone else out and still end up with a guild of one.  In fact, you will often see in general/zone chat players asking for "help" creating their own guild/fleet (with the understanding that you will be kicked from it, once it is created).  So why not just let a single player start a guild/fleet, on their own, in the first place?  What does it hurt?

Other than ESO, none of the other MMOs mentioned have any limitations imposed on one-man‡ far as I know.  So, in DDO, LotRO, NWO, and STO, one can have full access to guild banks, 'housing', airships, fleet starbases, etc.  Which is nice.  {And the way it should be, if you ask me...but no one has.}

Now, there are those who would point out that a "guild of one" is an oxymoron.  They're right, of course, but it's better than being an actual moron.

* All you overly politically correct people can just hush.  It's not a sexist term - some just like trying to turn it into one.  "Man" encompasses both men and women; used in this (and similar) context(s), it is short for "man-kind" (or "human", if you prefer).  And we only ever seem to run into this "gender problem" with English.  Do you not know that many languages (like Spanish, for example) have only masculine and feminine (no gender-neutral) articles, pronouns, and/or nouns?  Get over it.  {Besides, no one (as far as I know) has ever come up with a good, 'gender-neutral' alternative term for "manhole", so if one term can endure, what's wrong with using others?}

** OK, you may have been required to have at least (2) different accounts, but since going F2P, they could both be your accounts, so what did it matter?  Maybe that's why they changed things.

† I have no idea if all the "members" can be from the same account, or not.

‡ Why, yes, I did indeed include this one for the sole purpose of pushing the buttons of overly PC people.  Bwahahaha!!!


  1. Why does the way you used "Manhole " look ... dirty?

  2. Comic Relief15 May, 2015 11:32

    Heh - well, I guess you shouldn't ask about certain other common electrical terms used in the construction industry, then (specifically things like short pieces of conduit connected between enclosures and/or boxes and the connection point of a motor).