For those who might have missed it, the official site for SWTOR unveiled a new feature for their game systems page today: Guilds.
That’s right, ladies and gentleman—shit just got real.
Are you looking for a group of like-minded players to roll with while you attempt to achieve your PvE/PvP/RP/Social Interaction goals? BioWare has just made the task a great deal easier.
Even with SWTOR going to PAX East without a solid release date, BioWare’s move to allow pre-launch guilds a place to gather (minisites within the swtor.com official site) and recruit new members (through a search engine that separates guilds by preferred playstyle, time zones, and many other factors) says to me that they are definitely in the “winding down” phase of development.
Honestly, this news took me completely by surprise. I can’t recall a game doing this kind of a thing before, especially pre-launch—or Hell, pre-confirmed-release-date, even!
As I understand it, BioWare has even taken steps to try and allow guilds and their allies/rivals to set up shop on the same server when SWTOR launches. This aspect of the system is what probably makes me grin the most. While I am not a member of any pre-launch guild, I do recognize that guilds being forced to split up when an MMO launches is an unfortunate, yet common, problem. This system—if it works as planned—could go a long way toward repairing this problem.
This update is an awesome sign that development of SWTOR could very well be in its final stages. Still, this update also has me thinking a little more deeply about guilds, and how I hope to see them implemented in SWTOR. More importantly, it has me wondering where I would fit.
Personally, I don’t see myself jumping head first into this thing. I am very happy for the pre-launch guilds who already know who they will be playing with, and that they now have their own section of swtor.com in which to congregate, but I find I am still undecided.
Most of my indecision comes from not knowing just yet where my particular playstyle fits into the grand scheme of SWTOR’s picture of guilds—that would be the playstyle of the dedicated crafter/economist.
As I said in a previous article, I am typically a person who wants to be comfortable monetarily in whatever MMO I play. I like to craft goods, get the best price for them, and then find a good use for the money (though I am not above blowing it on frivolous things, I’ll be honest). However, as I perused the swanky new guild section of the official site earlier, I felt a tiny sinking feeling when I did not see very much aimed at the dedicated crafter. (The “Earning Credits” part of the systems page did make me feel a bit more at ease.)
I decided awhile back that I am just not a guild leader. My playstyle just doesn’t suit someone whose sole job it is to do the everyday maintenance (and occasional babysitting) required of running a guild. I am not a Lucky Luciano, a Liu Bei, or a Tokugawa Ieyasu; I am a Meyer Lansky, a Zhuge Liang, or a Tadakatsu Honda. I make a better right hand man in life than a leader, and this is no different in an MMO guild. That is why I am hoping that crafters will be able to find a place within this guild framework BioWare is constructing. Then I can be a Meyer Lansky to a Lucky Luciano, using what I know I can do well to help make a guild better.
My hope is, BioWare comes through on their promise to allow dedicated crafters a chance to fit into the MMO guild tapestry without being forced to take too much attention away from their chosen playstyle.
If I had to join a PvE/PvP/RP guild, my choice would be PvP (I have more fun at it). But I would rather PvP be my secondary choice, with my first choice being to remain dedicated to my crafting. I’ve always been a business minded person, in life and in MMOs, and I would love it if SWTOR affords me the opportunity to devote my energy to what I enjoy most. In turn, I will do what I can to try to help further the guild’s financial standing, and resource collecting goals.
No matter what happens, I will find a place for myself. Being a solitaire MMO player has never bothered me in the past. I certainly don’t have any solo questing phobias, and I’ve always been able to find interesting things to do as a solo player in an MMO.
I just hope when this all shakes out, maybe I’ll have a chance to bring what I can bring to a guild—as a hardcore crafter.
How about you? What kind of guilds do you tend to run with in MMOs? Do you prefer to stay a solo player? Are you solo only because your playstyle isn’t as supported as others (PvE, PvP, RP) in the MMOs you play?