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Guilds

The Daily Grind: Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild?

Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Image courtesy of Joystiq
A recent Gamasutra piece chronicled a monetization design consultant's journey into what he calls a "social elder game." Author Ethan Levy participated in multiple high-end, time-limited guild-vs.-guild events in an unnamed online game to see just how much guild members would need to pay out to keep their guild competitive. Hundreds of dollars later, he was able to push his guild into the top 100 to receive what he called "B tier" gear. In fact, he estimated that the top 100 guilds spent between $85,000 and $100,000 -- just on that one event.

I'm willing to give my guildies a lot of things -- Steam games, a spot on my couch, my old video card, thesis proofreading -- but I wouldn't drop that kind of money just to make us competitive in a video game, especially if I felt a studio was being exploitative with its "social elder game." Would you? Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild? How much?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

EVE Vegas 2014: Region Commander turns EVE into a huge spreadsheet

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

It's often said that sci-fi MMO EVE Online isn't so much a game as a giant online spreadsheet and that people pay a subscription fee in order to have a second job they don't get paid for. While that's little more than a joke to the majority of EVE players, there are those for whom EVE is genuinely played on a massive spreadsheet. In a guest talk at EVE Vegas 2014 earlier today, players Javajunky and Gossamer DT from the logistics division of one of the game's largest coalitions discussed the monumental amount of work that goes into the industrial and organisation side of running a nullsec alliance or coalition.

During the talk, Gossamer DT discussed an interesting piece of custom software he develops called Region Commander that was designed specifically for organising player empires. The tool keeps track of starbase tower fuel, maintains a blacklist of players who have been kicked out of the coalition, and allows organisers to create and assign tasks to players in their command. Players who want to contribute to their alliance's industrial backbone can log into the system to take on work tasks due for completion, and the tool updates in realtime. The only thing missing is a punch card and a paycheck.

Using this tool, players have managed to combat the logistical and organisational challenges that would naturally make coalitions of thousands of players infeasible. Many third party tools have been criticised in the past for providing gameplay advantages to those who use them and increasing the gulf between new and experienced players. Players already have tools to help with mining and trading, and even ones that parse data from your ship scanner into useful information for your Fleet Commander. It's clear that whether CCP or the playerbase approves of these tools, this djinn won't be going back into its bottle.

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Xsyon opens guilds, housing to F2P players

Business Models, Game Mechanics, Guilds, News Items, Free-to-Play, Xsyon, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Housing

Xsyon
Hardcore indie sandbox Xsyon introduced a free-to-play option almost two years ago, but the restrictions were brutal. Free players couldn't build in or terraform the world, and they couldn't lead guilds, which the game calls tribes. (Originally, they couldn't even join guilds at all!)

But as of this week, Notorious Games has lifted some of those restrictions. In a press release issued today, the studio explained,
Starting this week, new players can join the Xsyon community and start their own tribe for free. Creating their own homesteads, new free players can shape the land explore the game's extensive architecture system on their own, without the aid of other game citizens!
If you're a free player chafing at ArcheAge's housing restrictions, well, here's a sandbox willing to accommodate you.

Working As Intended: But I already have that game

Culture, Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, Miscellaneous, Working As Intended

Back in 2001, I desperately wanted out of EverQuest. I hated the gameplay. I hated the community. I loved my guildies, but I hated what our guild was becoming, consumed by a grindy rat race so different from our roots in Ultima Online. When Dark Age of Camelot offered a way out, I took it, dragging as many guildies as I could along with me to a game where PvP and territory control, not camp checks and plane raids, ruled the day.

Some of them didn't come with us, and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't jump at the chance to start fresh, to be rid of a self-destructive community and gear grind. What was wrong with them, I wondered, that they'd stay in some old thing rather than play the new shiny?

Dozens upon dozens of MMOs later, I finally understand: They already had that game.

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Skyforge teases retro skycar, seeks tester guilds

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Guilds, Previews, News Items, Skyforge

Skyforge
If you had any fear that Skyforge is just a pure fantasy title -- and judging by our past comment discussions, I know this is a common assumption -- then you can put that fear to rest. Obsidian and My.com have released new vehicle concept art for the game, including these teasers of an almost-steampunk souped-up classic car with retro styling.

In other Skyforge news, if you're part of a guild that might be interested in playtesting, the team wants to hear from you. "We're looking for everything from small groups of friends to big clans," says the post.

Hyperspace Beacon: Five tips for making SWTOR conquests work for smaller guilds

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Guilds, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Five tips for making SWTOR conquests work for smaller guilds
In my last column, I explained the shortcomings of the conquest system in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite the issues I have with the system, I still think it's a great way to encourage players to revisit older content, and most importantly, to build guild unity. I know there are some guilds on my server in which members don't even have to participate at all in conquests for that guild to appear on the top ten. But what about those guilds who don't have hundreds of members? What about those guilds who have maybe 20 or so members? Can they even compete?

My guild has about 20 people who log in on raid nights; when the raid is done, maybe five or six will stick around. Now, I'm not saying that this is a healthy state for a guild (we are looking for more members!), but the few dedicated members pulled us ahead. For the last two weeks, our guild was in the top 10, and not barely in the top 10 either. This week we hit number seven, and the week before we were six.

Here are my tips for how your small guild can get ahead in conquests, too.

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Previewing Guild Wars 2's September feature pack

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Friend of Massively Richie "Bogotter" Procopio is back with a new video helpfully summarizing all of the features coming in Guild Wars 2's September feature pack. It's... kind of a lot of stuff: PvP standard enemy models, new PvP armor sets, an improved combat log, a new golem-themed WvW siege ability line, new consumables, improved commander tags, a new WvW season, guild megaserver prioritization and other megaserver tweaks, a revamped crafting UI, new crafted backpack skins, leveling-friendly loot tweaks, minimap directional arrows, a new level-up screen, a regorganized achievement panel with new collections, and a revamp of the outfit wardrobe, finisher, and minipet UIs. There's also a balance pass for every class and -- drumroll -- a complete do-over for the auction house. Hallelujah.

Check out Richie's preview video below and get caught up.

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The Daily Grind: Do you have an ArcheAge guild yet?

Fantasy, Guilds, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge has a launch date. And a founder's launch date. And an open beta date. I'm ready to go, but for the fact that I'm going it alone. I don't have an AA guild, and I've been purposefully steering clear of my alpha and beta access over the last few months so as not to spoil more of the game and instead savor the experience when it counts.

So I've missed the usual pre-launch guild recruitment opportunities, basically.

What about you, ArcheAge fans? Do you have a guild yet, or are you just going to play it by ear?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Tamriel Infinium: Five reasons to return to Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, Tamriel Infinium

Today seems as good a time as any to mention returning to Elder Scrolls Online. I'm not talking personally, mind you, as I've been playing pretty consistently since early access. The winds of MMO change are doing their thing, though, and I'm seeing a bunch of thinking-about-returning-but-have-some-questions threads at my usual ESO forum hangouts.

Maybe this is due to all the fail trolls glomping onto WildStar while eyeing the fast-approaching North American version of ArcheAge. Or maybe it's because ZeniMax has added quite a bit of post-launch tastiness to its ESO recipe.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Guilds, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, Crafting, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet
I'm writing this late on Sunday night, and I have some disappointing news: My Star Wars: The Old Republic guild did not make the top 10 on the planet we were attempting to conquer. It's partly my fault; I happened to choose the planet that would be the most hotly contested. Who knew that other guilds would flock to Makeb when conquests went live?

It wasn't all bad. In fact, I'd say that SWTOR kind of pulled our guild together a bit. We participated in content we hadn't done in a long time. It was a rallying cry for us: "Hey, look, this stuff is fun, and you can still have fun doing it." On top of that, it's reintroduced the idea that open-world PvP is possible. But with all the good that it's done -- player housing, guild housing, and open-world PvP -- there are somethings that have fallen short of what it could be.

I think the best way to explain is to tell you about my week.

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Guild Wars 2 improving megaserver guilds in September

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

You'll have to come up with a whole new set of excuses for not joining guilds now.
Another feature pack is rolling out for Guild Wars 2 in September, and it's bringing improvements to guild functions along with it. It's starting with the rollout of global guilds, allowing the resources earned by a given guild on all worlds to feed into the same central group, rather than creating small-scale copies of the guild on every individual world. That includes guild vaults, guild merits, and guild influence, all of which will be pooled with the feature pack update.

Guild missions and finding allies on different maps will also receive improvements, making it easier to take care of objectives with your friends across the globe. The official post also discusses the language divisions found on European servers, with the team electing not to split players based upon language at this time to bolster population. Read the full update for more details on how the changes will affect guilds and players when the patch goes live in September.

TERA Korea is getting guild fortresses that float

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

Let's all take a moment to lament that what I'm about to share is currently specific to the Korean version of TERA. There. Now that that's out of our system, we can appreciate the fact that Bluehole's new guild sky fortresses are pretty dang impressive, even if we won't see them in the En Masse version of the game for a while.

MMO Culture reports that TERA Korea is also removing side quests from the fantasy MMO's quest log and placing them in a new interface nugget called Scouting Command, ostensibly to allow for more focus on the game's main story. But you really wanted to see the guild fortresses, right? Click past the cut for the vid.

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EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

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Landmark: Guilds are a go!

Betas, Fantasy, Guilds, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

landmark
It's a very special day for Landmark's community, as after a brief delay yesterday and today, SOE has finally activated guilds in the game. The new system interface allows for guild creation, news, roster, and administration options. The studio says that it deliberately kept the UI simple for this first draft and that it will be refining and adding onto the guild system in the future.

Today's patch wasn't just about guilds, however. The team added in glass voxels, ice materials, multi-screenshot functionality for claims, dozens of new party-themed props, and PlanetSide 2 outfit tints. The patch also increased the claim upkeep advance payment to 15 days and synced up friends lists with Steam friends.

Elder Scrolls Online's third update has deployed

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
The Elder Scrolls Online's third major patch officially arrives today, bringing with it a vast new dye system, customizable guild ranks, guild heraldry, and bid contracts for public guild merchants. Patch notes have been published to coincide with the launch.

Get caught up on our coverage of everything planned for this patch and the ongoing rollout of the endgame overhaul:
Elder Scrolls' ginormous post-50 update plan
Elder Scrolls Online plans massive revamp of veteran rank content
Elder Scrolls 1.3.3 tweaks weapon-swapping and guild management
Elder Scrolls Online publishes video of its QuakeCon panel reveals
Let's all dye our armor black in The Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online shows new zones, active world PvP at Quakecon
Elder Scrolls' Sage explains new Champion alternate advancement
Elder Scrolls Online offers new guild heraldry

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