NBI – To All The Guilds I’ve Loved Before…

Doone’s Permanent Floating New Blogger Initiative II has been up and running for a while now.  It has forums and goals and things to do and participants and all that.

Not the official logo

Not the official logo

And while I signed up as some sort of sponsor, I have so far completely failed to anything very sponsorly.

Of course, I was a bit glib the first time around as well.  In part that is because I have trouble swallowing some of the advice people throw out for bloggers.  And, also, because I have trouble taking myself seriously in this regard.  So while I came up with some bits and pieces of things that worked for me, my only real advice is to be the blog you want to read.  If you look at your blog and cannot answer the question, “Would I read this if it was written by some stranger?” then you might be doing it wrong.

Anyway, I thought it was about time to earn my so-called keep as a sponsor .  Doone has a couple of blogging activities for the month, including something called a “Talk Back Challenge” that appears to be an attempt get a few people tackling the same subject.  One of them happens to be about Guilds in MMOs.

Guilds: What For? What functions to guilds serve in games and what kind do you prefer? You can talk about your experiences in guilds, what attracts you to them, and their role in the games you play.

A broad enough topic, which has been taken on over at Casual Aggro, The Cynic Dialogs, and Away From Game.  And now at Inventory Full.

Rather than going about this by describing what I think guilds should be about and such, I thought I would do a bit of research to see what guilds I am still in (or which still influence me since I have left) and try, from that, to derive some indication as to what a guild appears to actually mean to me.

Because this is just a list of guilds with a few comments, I will hide this after a cut so as not to make the front page a mile long.

The guilds… or what passes for guilds in various games.

This is broken out by game.  I note the server, when founded (if I have that data), status (active or not and any level information I can recall), which of the usual suspects and/or notables in my gaming world might have been involved, and some notes about how the guild came about.

EVE Online

Corp: Twilight Cadre

  • Server: Tranquility
  • Founded: August 2007
  • Status: Empty, held by a placeholder character.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Potshot, Darren, and a few others
  • Note: Our little high sec sandbox corp from back in the day.  Everything old has value in EVE, so holding onto it for now.

Corp: British Space Corporation Legion (BSCL)

  • Server: Tranquility
  • Founded: Some point far back in the mists of time
  • Status: Semi-active high sec corp at this time.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff
  • Note: My first null sec corp.  Very low key with not a lot of people in my time zone.

Corp: Black Sheep Down

  • Server: Tranquility
  • Founded: September 2013
  • Status: Live null sec corp in the TNT alliance
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Potshot, Toldain
  • Note: Came about when BSCL was foundering with inactives.  Inverted way to clean house.

Corporations are not just the guilds of EVE Online, they tend to be the life’s blood.  Even if you don’t join a player corp, you are assigned to an NPC corp.

EverQuest

I am pretty sure there were no guilds when EverQuest launched, though I could be wrong.  They might have just been annoyingly difficult to create.  But they came about at some point and the whole thing was automated and now any two stooges can form a guild. See below.

Guild: Helvetica Bold

  • Server: Vox
  • Founded: When EQ went free to play, March 2012
  • Status: A dozen low level characters who haven’t logged in like 18 months
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Ula
  • Note: Our free to play enthusiasm spree.  It didn’t last all that long.

Guild: Quenosian Scouts

  • Server: Fippy Darkpaw
  • Founded: April 2011
  • Status: Inactive, since you have to subscribe to play.
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot
  • Note: Our run at the progression server idea, killed by the great Sony hacking outage of 2011.

Guild: Nostalgia the Guild

  • Server: Luclin
  • Founded: By Tipa in 2008
  • Status: A lot of people haven’t logged in since 2008, but a few have been on recently.
  • Usual Suspects: Tipa… some others I am sure.
  • Note: An attempt to relive EverQuest nostalgia via a guild of like minded individuals.

I am pretty sure there is one more guild out there made up of people from our EverQuest II guild when we had a sudden nostalgia attack in 2005.  Couldn’t find it.

EverQuest II

Gaff got me to start playing EverQuest II at launch.  He missed EverQuest and didn’t want to miss out again.  As such, he is a big part of the story here.

Guild: Knights of the Cataclysm

  • Server: Crushbone
  • Founded: November 2004
  • Status: Pretty quiet, most players have gone off to other guilds.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Chandigar, Lenefir
  • Note: Our launch day guild, made up of a mix of our TorilMUD guild and an EverQuest guild called the Knights of Force.  I think.  I clashed with the guild leader, as he decided we needed to become a raiding guild at some point.  I was only kicked out once, then let back in later.  A hotbed of Vanguard love and WoW hate in 2004-2005, everybody ended up playing WoW.

Guild: Shades of Twilight

  • Server: Crushbone
  • Founded: March 2005
  • Status: Level 58.  Somebody is still logging in once in a while.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Chandigar, Lenefir, Potshot at a later date
  • Note: Our alt guild, from back in the day when guild leveling slowed with too many players.  Named for our old TorilMUD guild.

Guild: Revelry and Honor

  • Server: Guk
  • Founded: December 2007
  • Status: Max level I am sure.  Lots of people online and playing.  An actual active guild.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Darren, Karen Bryan, some others I am sure.
  • Note: Karen Bryan’s guild from before she went to Massively.  Surprised I haven’t been kicked, being only level 52.

Guild: Credence Qeynos Revival

  • Server: Freeport
  • Founded: April 2011
  • Status: Level 42.  Just me around for months.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note: Our guild from the instance group’s attempt to play EQII.

There were at least two other guilds I was in during the time of exile from KotC, though I cannot remember anything about that other than they were guilds that Gaff scoped out, joined, and then I followed along.

Guilds were important in EQII.  There were benefits from being in them and ways that individuals could help them level up which, in turn, made the membership feel invested in the guild.

At this point EQII is on the banned list for the instance group and frankly feels so awkward to play every time I log in that I doubt I will return to the game seriously.

Lord of the Rings Online

I have had the restart blues in LOTRO for ages.  Whenever we go back to play… we generally being either Potshot and I or Gaff and I… we seem to have to start on yet another new server.  I need to expand my post on our story so far in LOTRO, as it has had a couple of new chapters.  In reverse chronological order.

Kinship: Black Sheep Down

  • Server: Brandywine
  • Founded: May 2013
  • Status: Pretty quiet these days.
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff
  • Note:  Our EVE corp Kinship. Named changed from BSCL when I usurped the leadership.  There is actually a button that says “Usurp” when your guild leader has been away too long.

Kinship: Nazgun

  • Server: Silverlode
  • Founded: March 2007
  • Status: Still active
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff
  • Note:  The Something Awful LOTRO kinship.  ~750 characters.  My one attempt at a “no alts” run through LOTRO.

Kinship: Murder for Shire

  • Server: Firefoot
  • Founded: July 2010
  • Status: Nobody home
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Potshot, Ula, Earl
  • Note:  The remains of the instance group’s second great run at Middle-earth

Kinship: Podcasters of Bree

  • Server: Nimrodel
  • Founded: December 2008
  • Status: Hey, a couple people seem to be logging in.
  • Usual Suspects: Darren, Brent, Zonk
  • Note:  The great MMO podcast conclave kinship.  Brent hasn’t logged in almost 4 years.

Kinship: Fianna

  • Server: Windfola
  • Founded: April 2007
  • Status: Desolate. All my bag slots are full.
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note:  The instance group’s first run at Middle-Earth.  Earl hasn’t logged in 2,375 days.

Five guilds, only one still really active.  My hope is that I won’t end up on a 6th server at some future date.

Rift

Rift was the home of the instance group for a while.  Technically I suppose that it still is.  If all five of us showed up at once on a Saturday night, we could carry on with the next instance.

Guild: Batsmen of the Calamari

  • Server: Shatterbone, but we’re being movedagain
  • Founded: November 2011
  • Status: Level 6 guild, nobody has really played since June.
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note: The instance group comes to Telara… and then sort of falls apart.

TorilMUD

Forming a guild was painful in TorilMUD.  You needed a charter and bylaws and there was a price in currency to pay every month and a limit on the number of characters that were allowed in the guild.  And you had to live up to your charter, which had to have role play aspects to it and not be just “dudes who want to raid together.”  So things like “must be of good alignment” were often part of the charter, since it was an easy check, but that also meant that as a druid… required to be neutral alignment… I couldn’t join some guilds I might have otherwise been a part of.

And for all of that I don’t think we ever got guild halls.  Just a chat channel and a tag with a title.  But it was a bonding experience.

Guild: Shades of Twilight

  • Server: There is only one server
  • Founded: Early 2001
  • Status:  Gone, but not forgotten
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Chandigar, Lenefir, Wuva
  • Note: The guild high point of my MUD career.  Had the usual mid-life coup when the original leaders stopped playing.  Ended up playing online games with people from this guild for years afterwards.

Warhammer Online

WAR was the great combined effort of our little corner of the blogesphere back in 2008.

Guild: Twilight Dandies

  • Server: Volkmar, I think…
  • Founded: October 2008
  • Status:  Still there, so far as I know.
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note: Created because Casualties of WAR was full up.  Not one of us has logged in since December 2008.

Guild: Casualties of WAR

  • Server: Volkmar, maybe…
  • Founded: September 2008
  • Status:  Could still be a thing
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Tobold, Heartless_, Genda, and a cast of dozens
  • Note: The grand plan to round up the blogesphere into a single guild.  Because of other friends, I was half in/half out of the guild.  CoW went on to be reformed in other games, but always on a different server from where I was already established.  Such is the way of sharded worlds.

A pity the game ended up being so much less than we had all hoped.

World of Tanks

Clan:  Les Chars de Combustion

  • Server: US
  • Founded: January 2013
  • Status: Quiet
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Earl, Mike
  • Note: I am not sure we needed to make a clan in WoT, but Earl was offering.  We have a cool logo.

World of Warcraft

WoW guilds went from being a title and a chat channel to actually influencing your game play.  Back in the day people would jump guilds for the people/groups who were playing or raiding.  Now with all the perks and guild bank slots and what not, the guild itself matters.

Guild: Rainy Night Society

  • Server: Hyjal
  • Founded: Mid 2005
  • Status: Alliance, Level 1, very quiet
  • Usual Suspects: Piacenza
  • Note: Guild with some friends, formed during my first peek into WoW.  They all left in a server split.

Guild: Twilight Cadre

  • Server: Eldre’Thalas
  • Founded: Late 2005
  • Status: Alliance, Level 3, very quiet
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Chandigar, Wuva, Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note: Our original guild, created when we defected from EQII. Formed by TorilMUD people, it was the closest name we could find to Shades of Twilight.  Later became the home of the instance group.

Guild: Tumult

  • Server: Eldre’Thalas
  • Founded: Mid 2006
  • Status: Horde, Level 1, very very quiet
  • Usual Suspects: Gaff, Chandigar, Potshot, Ula
  • Note: At some point we made a horde guild on the same server.  Was a brief spark at one point when we thought we might try to create a naked Horde guild.

Guild: Dawn of Anarchy

  • Server: Lightninghoof
  • Founded: October 2009
  • Status: Missing, stolen from us at some point.
  • Usual Suspects: Potshot, Ula, Earl, Mike
  • Note: The instance group Horde RP-PvP server guild.  We let in some friends and some friends of friends.  One of the latter took over the guild and kicked everybody else out.

Guild: Khaotica

  • Server: Garona
  • Founded: No idea
  • Status: Level 25, strangers on at all hours
  • Usual Suspects: Piacenza
  • Note: Our temp guild for the benefits, because we never got the five people to make our own guild.

As with some of the other games, I am sure there was another guild or two in here somewhere.  At least they are easier to find in the server list than LOTRO.

Everything Else

I am sure I am missing a few guilds along the way, and what passed for guilds along the way.

There we things than pre-dated official guild/clan structures.  There was the Arcturan Empire back in Stellar Emperor, a group of players who always joined together for each campaign.  In Air Warrior there was the infamous 4Q Squadron that I flew with a few times, along with the Pacific Pirates, a group of west coast players that tried to cooperate.  I was in the Old Gaming Veterans, a shooter focused gaming clan, with Gaff back before the launch of EverQuest II.

Then there are games where I cannot recall if we got as far as making a guild or not.  Did we form something in Star Trek Online or Runes of Magic?  I do not care enough to actually get back into the games and look.  And there were other MUDs and online games and such that I am sure I have forgotten.

And then there are the guilds yet to be formed.  I am pretty sure we would have formed one in Neverwinter had we gotten enough people in game at one time.  And a squadron in War Thunder is no doubt in the offing.  And whatever game we end up playing next… The Elder Scrolls Online, WildStar, EverQuest Next… will end up with us forming a guild of some sort.

Patterns

So, looking at that, what do guilds mean to me?

When asked to speak in general, I could go on about community and teamwork and a sense of belonging.  But in the end, after looking at that list, guilds clearly have a much more specific meaning for me.  They are about small groups, usually focused around a couple of friends I have known and played with for a long time.

While there are some outliers, the above tends to fall into one of two formats.

  • Gaff finds a guild in a game and I follow along.
  • We start a brand new game and Potshot and I form some sort of guild.

So I can write all I want, but the evidence seems to point to a very specific meaning for me when it comes to guilds in their various forms in online games.

I clearly do not go out and join random groups of strangers and make new friends.  But that sounds a lot like me in real life as well.

Oh, and our guilds, being so focused on small groups, tend to fade when just a few people move on.

6 thoughts on “NBI – To All The Guilds I’ve Loved Before…

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    In response to an email, I will point out that our TorilMUD guild name, Shades of Twilight, predated the ruination of vampires by Stephenie Meyer by several years. And yes, that association basically killed off the name as a viable option for new guilds.

    And, a follow up thought on the patterns section: Guilds that are successful in the long term generally do not have me in any sort of leadership role. I forgot to note how many of those guilds I am now the leader of by mere virtue of logging months after everybody else has stopped.

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  2. Carty

    I’m struck by your pattern of joining and leaving guilds — clearly you haven’t found something worth sticking with. While I think that the world of guilds is very full of the small, fragile “bands of friends” model, there are also larger guilds people stick with or come back to. Some are game-specific and fall into the helpful/social category that tag folks as they fall out of the roller or the achievement/content chasing bent that sets minimum requirements for entry. And then there are guilds that have transcended their game of origin or the loss of their first founder and live on based on a consistent theme/purpose/approach to gaming. I joined SSB in 1996 or so and have played in a dozen worlds under that banner. I’ve also gone into other games that SSB didn’t establish outposts in and did the guild bouncing thing….like the stable home much better.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Caty – Actually, I haven’t left most of the guilds listed above. In fact, I am potentially still in all but three of them. And of those three, one was essentially a reformation, one ceased to exist altogether, and one was stolen from our group by somebody.

    But yes, I tend not to join large guilds unless I already know somebody in the guild and I tend to be quiet and rather focused on my corner of the world and the people I play with regularly rather than the guild as a whole. I am basically that guild member who you see online but who never says anything in guild chat unless spoken to directly.

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  4. Whorhay

    I don’t know if Ever Quest had guilds at release but I do remember that they were still a PITA to form by the time Velious was released and I got to start playing. To form a guild you had to submit a petition to a GM and have ten players all gathered in one place when the GM finally responded.

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