Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guilds for New Players

Syncaine of Hardcore Casual asks, "what excuse do [new] people have for not joining EVE University?"

That echos a lot of advice that Eve Online players have been giving me. In many ways, Syncaine's question is aimed squarely at me, as I'm in the exact position he's asking about. So here is my attempt to give a serious answer to that question.

The thing is that I don't like leaving guilds. I will leave if it becomes necessary. But ideally, it would never become necessary. And so I really don't like joining a guild that I know I will leave. And that's the case for newbie guilds like Eve University.

This even extends into all the themepark/leveling games I've played recently (hence the reason this post is not tagged with Eve Online). My experience in WoW has led me to believe that endgame guilds are structured the way they are for a reason, because that is the structure that is most conducive to success.

As a result, I really don't like joining all these leveling guilds that dream of one day raiding. I've seen guilds that tread that path, and it never seems to work out. I just don't have faith that a random guild will navigate the transition successfully. So to me there are three choices:

1. Join a leveling guild and try to raid - almost never works out, getting that critical mass of players willing to commit to raiding is hard for an adhoc group.

2. Join a leveling guild and then leave for a raiding guild at max level - I think this is unfair to the leaders of the leveling guild. They're trying to raid, and that's hard enough to learn, without people abandoning them

3. Level unguilded and then join a raiding guild - The least-worst option. But leveling is very lonely.

The other aspect is that I think it's important that I contribute to the guild's goals. Joining a guild should be a two-way street. The guild helps me, and I help the guild.

Guilds which are explicitly aimed at new players are all one-sided relationships. It's all take and no give on the part of the new player. And that feels less like a guild and more like charity. It may not be fashionable anymore, but I do have my pride.

These the two aspects of a newbie guild that give me pause: the fact that I know I will have to leave; and the fact that I think the guild-player relationship is overly one-sided. These are the reasons that I prefer not to join guilds like Eve University or even those random guilds which whisper you in Elwynn Forest.

12 comments:

Azuriel said...

I, too, have a latent discomfort for what amounts to "guild-hopping." And it doesn't even really come down to me necessarily caring how others feel about my inevitable exit - it comes down to how it makes me feel, as a person.

It's a rough Catch-22. Leveling alone may be the antithesis to MMO-ness, but I would argue using people for your own gain is probably worse, community-wise. Then again, how else does one make friends in a new place?

Anonymous said...

I think you are misrepresenting Eve University by comparing it to the guilds that "hope to raid soon."

Eve University's leaders have no intention of ever becoming an endgame corporation/guild. You are expected to eventually leave the university, after you have learned enough to be successful.

This is quite different from corporations/guilds that are created with the intention to change focus from leveling/learning the game to endgame. Those corporations/guilds are often subject to the problems you described.

spinksville said...

You seem to have really internalised WoW as your model for guilds/ endgame. And as anon says (above) that's not going to do you any favours when you play a game which isn't all about the 'royalty' guilds.

Clockwork said...

I tend to feel the same way; I generally do not want to feel like I am just "using" a guild to level up only to leave them. Back in Vanilla and TBC I was involved in a mid-level raiding guild...we ended up being a "leveling guild" for raiders...had one too many times when someone would join, get gear, then join a more progressed raid.

That said, I would try not to think of EVE Corporations like guilds in other MMO's...EVE University EXPECTS people to come and go; you're probably the weird one if you stick around.

At the same time, my answer to Syncaine would be something along the lines of, "What kind of game expects me to jump through a ton of extra hoops to play?" EVE University is a bandaid because CCP cannot design a comprehensive or effective tutorial. I personally am getting tired of every game I play requiring I go to ElitistJerks or some variation thereof in order to do well...to me that is failure of the developer.

Rohan said...

Anon, Spinks, it's not the same as a WoW guild. I know that Eve University expects me to leave, that I must leave at some point.

But because it expects that, I don't see it as worth joining.

A type of guild that I want to join must have some ambition, some purpose to grow towards. And the purpose has to be something that I can contribute to.

Like I could--assuming I had enough experience one day--join Eve University as an instructor, in a way that I just cannot countenance as a student.

I feel the same way about work. I'm just not the type of person who can join a company, gain some experience, and then leverage that into a better-paying job somewhere else. I might end up having to do something like that, but I don't expect or wish it to happen. I'd much prefer that my company become a success and my work contribute to that success.

Ardent Defender said...

As Annonymous said above: "I think you are misrepresenting Eve University by comparing it to the guilds that "hope to raid soon."

Eve University's leaders have no intention of ever becoming an endgame corporation/guild. You are expected to eventually leave the university, after you have learned enough to be successful".

I too really think your misrepresenting EVE University as well as EVE Corps. EVE doesn't have "Guilds" like other MMO's they have "Corps"!

As a EVE player i've never been in EVE University, though back in the beginning exactly 2 years ago it was recommended. However i had enough personal motivation to actually spend what maybe a hour or so looking thru the guild recruitment list at the time and found a Corp. Stayed in that Corp for a few months and learned quite a few things as well as found a person that today thats become my best friend in EVE.

Though I did eventually move on to a different corp reluctantly and same corp today it was a evolution of part of life to in EVE to me. Now i'm completely neutral to how i view EVE Uni in what they do and on the scale they do it as a Corp educating new players. But they do a very good job of taking lost and misguided newbies unsure of where to start in EVE being new to the game and teaching them how to understand and play EVE to make it easier to get up the "Learning Cliff" of EVE to succeed in the Universe.

As compared to falling off the Cliff somehow not having a clue or guidance in what to do or how to succeed at various things in EVE. Eventually you graduate EVE Uni and you are expected to leave and find your way into the Universe. One can only hope by that point a graduate understand some fundamentals about EVE and how things work that your not so lost you can't figure out how to look or seek out a Corporation to join.

Joining a good decent Corp is one the most important things in EVE. That can provide allot for help, support and growth as their is much to learn in EVE. So will your first few Corps work out, meet or exceed your expectations? Thats part of the journey in EVE as well.

Found my ingame best friend in my first Corp which died a slow death from a directed griefing assault. The second Corp i took a risk and joined worked out absolutely find with a good bunch of folks.

EVE is now WoW and cannot be compared to WoW or anything much in it. Yes i hate joining and leaving Corps/Guilds too just as much as you do and probably more so than you do. But i was willing to get over that idea to find my way to finding a Corp that works for me.

And like Syncaine have said, I came from WoW just like you did after years of WoW. I hate joining and leaving Corps/Guild's! And i absolutely don't buy it why many new players to EVE can't find a Corp, unwilling to take a few minutes/hour to use the UI interface to find one, unwilling to do so, give up before they do so, think its a waste of time or unwilling to try EVE Uni or just clearly unwilling to listen to good advice when they get it.

In the time it took you to probably write this post that was less time than it took for me to find my current EVE Corp and since the UI interface has changed and been improved much since, that was using the old interface when I did that as well searching for a Corp in my part of space.

Gevlon said...

The newbie always give something to the newbie guild. In WoW it's grinding XP. In EVE: The head of EVE-UNI got into CSM

Redbeard said...

Those random guilds will even whisper you in the middle of a BG, which can be pretty annoying.

Anonymous said...

Eve Uni DOES benefit from you benefiting from it.

It benefits because it creates better Eve citizens who act more rationally and more effectively contribute to the economy.
In fact, EVERYONE benefits.

Ironically, WoW is a very anti-social game because the quality of other players beyond your immediate group doesn't affect you at all. There is no benefit to players in a successful raiding guild for players in less successful guilds to become better at raiding. The equivalent is not true in Eve.

Chris Bickofrd said...

" I personally am getting tired of every game I play requiring I go to ElitistJerks or some variation thereof in order to do well...to me that is failure of the developer."

I find this amusing. To me, any game that's not sophisticated enough to need a site like elitest jerks isn't interesting enough to be worth the time to play.


As for leaving guilds. I used to think that guild loyalty meant something, up until the 20th druid epic fight I had to slog through for someone I knew would be leaving the guild just after they got their epic.

After that, I started assessing what I wanted and if they guild didn't have it, I left.

Just like companies today. Loyalty is an excuse for them to screw you out of more pay you could be earning, and they certainly won't hesitate to lay you off, so get what you can and leave when it's not worth it.

Kinzlayer said...

If you think of EvE Uni more like an in-game extra tutorial then you might not have as much an issue with the concept of it being a corp.

EvE players are automatically put into a NPC corp when they are created and you go through a few guided tutorials (maybe a fraction of a fraction of 1% of EvE), then nothing else. And so EvE Uni exits from that nothing else, it's there to take you from the first few steps into the game and teach you the another chunk of the game.

Fn0 said...

"Join a leveling guild and then leave for a raiding guild at max level - I think this is unfair to the leaders of the leveling guild. They're trying to raid, and that's hard enough to learn, without people abandoning them"

Why is this unfair if you make your intentions clear at start? They will never raid, and if they raid it won't be in the quality I like to raid (ie. I don't mind someone making a mistake, but if people make the same mistake as the one we just had I am starting to get annoyed; it is perfectly possible to play with quality players if you play casual).

A leveling guild is where people who level come together; not to raid. Raiding is end content. Instead, they come together for casual play, socialize, help. If you are a leech who asks for boosts, asks questions but never helps others in any way and leave at max level then you were.. well, a leech. But it happens.

In SWTOR I did not join a guild on my IA because I wanted to keep my options open. If you are not in a guild the chance you get invited to one is simple higher. I did get various guild invites, but I could not take guilds with the word "PvP" in them very serious; besides my goal is not merely PvP, I want to casual PvP and casual PvE with quality players who I can call friends (hard to achieve, trust me). It was a conscious decision. The people I learned to meet whilst lvling and I liked I added to friend list. Eventually I managed to achieve my goal, but it happened many weeks after I reached end-game.

PS: In WoW you do not have to feel guilty about joining and/or leaving a lvling guild. 1) You get perks from it 2) The GM gets gold for every active player. I should know, I ran such a guild precisely for the gold.

"Those random guilds will even whisper you in the middle of a BG, which can be pretty annoying."

They run a script which parses /who output of people without a guild to get 1k active members. Once reached, they kick out the inactives. This means more gold/hour due to questing (guild perk), more active /g, and should the GM decide to the guild is worth more in sale due to the earlier mentioned 2 variables.

"The other aspect is that I think it's important that I contribute to the guild's goals. Joining a guild should be a two-way street. The guild helps me, and I help the guild."

Agreed.