In Shadowbane, player guilds were actually tethered to in-game cities.
So we weren't actually Out-Of-Game guilds like you have in WoW and EQ and stuff, where your guild actually serves as a mechanism to seclude and isolate yourself, both socially and economically, from the rest of the players on your server, like some kinda player-controlled instancing or sharding effect.
Don't even try to tell me that's not how it is, I'm not new, shit, some of you dudes were even in guilds that I started ahaha.
So anyways, in Shadowbane, you could tell where I was from in-the-game just by looking at me, and if you wanted to join our suicidal army, you could walk out to our city and knock on the door.
And regardless of how we reacted to that, good or bad, you knew we wouldn't just ignore you.
And if you wanted to, you could even try to burn our city to the ground, it wasn't just some laggy piece of shit that you had to steer your bike around and ignore on your way to somewhere else, it was something you had to think about.
And more importantly, you didn't have to go on some guild forums somewhere out-of-game and chit-chat with folks about real life drama and politics and Chuck Norris and shit to get to know us, you didn't have to pass any out-of-game invisibility shield to see what we were like.
I think its strange that nobody usually seems to be thinking about the negative effect of player guilds that are completely untethered to anything in-game.
Actually I think its frickin' tiresome 'cause it makes me feel like I always have to be the one to say something about it, and I ain't no goddam expert, but whatever heh.
And I ain't saying Shadowbane was perfect or even good or anything, but it makes a good example to start off with, 'cause hardly any of you played EQ back in the days before there were any guilds around except for the in-game Necromancer Guild and those three guys in Ruby Armor, back in the days when everybody huddled together and helped each other 'cause there was safety in numbers.
When I played AO, I was kinda bummed that you couldn't join NPC corporations full of other players.
And when I played EVE Online, I was even more bummed that you couldn't join NPC corporations, 'cause they really had some cool ones, like TV channels and pirates and shit ahaha.
And I knew right away that that would have been better, 'cause that would've dropped Joe Shmoe Off the Street right into a social mix of like-minded people, flavored to his particular entertainment interests, where he would actually become a part of the game, or invest himself in a part of the game that'd foster a sense of belonging and ownership, and at the same time provided a handy mechanism for the guys who run the game to balance shit from the top side, as long as everything that happened to the corporation was never completely under the control of the players.
There's a problem if you imagine just having two or three corporations, instead of five hundred (that are all basically identical except for the players inside them), or five hundred subdivisions and departments within a corporation, 'cause then people still need to be able to sub-divide into more manageable groups (like we did in DAoC), but there's easy ways to allow folks to move around until they find a nice equilibrium on their own, just by providing the empty containers, and then we can use the machines to keep track of us and manage all the boring shit, like the ever changing in-game relationships between us as we each move around through different organizations, and that's what the goddam machines are for.
And then you'd have the means to do cool inter-twisted quest stuff like the thing where you get an email from your boss telling you to kill the guy sitting next to you on the airplane 'cause he's a corporate mole from another company, or more important stuff that everybody else in your guild actually cares about, like stopping somebody from trying to kidnap the princess and poison the king, if you were really high-up in your in-game guild.
Of course, on the negative side, you might end up in a corporation with some attention-whore college boy drama queen that never shuts the hell up and drives everyone absolutely batshit.
But how is that any different from the shit we're doing now?
At least you can ask for a transfer to another department or something.
"Yah, sign me up for the CIA, I changed my mind, I'm totally cool with taking a bullet for the senator or whatever, just get me the HELL outta here, that frickin' kid is driving me apeshit!"
I dunno, I just think games should generally try to remove more of the bits where yer stuck tabbing out of the game and looking shit up on the internet and chatting with doinks to get past something, and this player guild shit is just frickin' lazy, making us do all the work, I mean, wtf.
And its not just infernally lazy and charismatic guys like me that would be better off with something with more in-game structure and less baby-kissing and hand-shaking maintenance, its roleplayers, too.
Do it for the roleplayers! AHAHA.
Aw shut up, most of you are roleplayers, you've just been stuck with sucky roles.
Oh, okay, you're actually a cool internet-jock toughguy that just happens to play purple mushroom games about pixies and elves as a term of your parole or something ahaha.