Had an interesting conversation today regarding The old Republic launch and how some of us have way too many guild offers on the table and ultimately it sucks. Right now, I have no less than 6 guild offers for The Old Republic launch, 3 are friends and family types, 2 are people I know over the Internet and relations and the last one would be a more serious type thing with raiding and some planning involved where I’ll probably end up spending most of my time.
What sucks so much about the whole situation is not so much that I have so many options but rather that I will be forced to make some hard choices about them. I know from experience that while at the beginning everything will be fine and dandy, over time and levels, people playstyles start to emerge and gamers being gamers, we’ll all start to drift away. Guilds will split over casual/hardcore debates, time schedule or just basic gaming interests and real life. Of the six guilds I’m being offered to be a part of, I don’t expect more than one or two to last.
Playing in silos
A big part of the problem comes from the fact that most MMOs force me to choose. For example, I cannot join the more serious guild and then take my character to help out once in a while when the friends guild needs it because they’re on a different server or faction. Right now in WoW I’m faced with this problem. My geared DK is Alliance and I would like to help my coworkers in their Horde guild who are just starting raiding this week. Eff doesn’t do T11 anymore and I’d be a perfect fit to help out but because of faction difference I have to level another character entirely just to play with friends.
If the goal of a MMO company is to keep me playing for as long as possible. Removing barriers to play with friends should be removed. It’s simply more fun to play with friends. Right now, leveling a mage just to help out my coworkers once in a while is not great fun.
I understand the need for servers/factions/whathaveyou but like many other gamers I cannot be defined by a simple tag. I am not Morehnai, Raider of Eff the Ineffable all the time. Sometimes I’m Lhono, the casual horde mage, others I can be Mohr and play a few hours with my brother and other times I just want to do a few dungeons with my old Mug’thol buddies from back in BC. I’d like it if Morehnai could help in all those situations and not have to start anew just to play with my friends.
Let’s open it up some
This is what I’d really like, that game companies would open up some to allow for this kind of gameplay. No matter how much we’ll try we’re always going to end up with scattered friendships all over the place. It’s impossible to have all our relations, all our friends on the same place in the same faction.
I’d like it if I’d have more options to overcome these barriers and play with friends. For example, if I team up with my brother to do some quests, let me cross over to his server, switch my race around and let me play with him for a few hours. I understand that for old games like WoW this can be complicated but I’d really like it if the new games could allow for this kind of temporary transfer to take place.
We all have our main way of playing these games but for those odd nights where we just want to be with the old friend coming back on that old server, give us tools to make it happen please. Chances are that if I’m allowed to play with my friends when I want to, I’ll play your game longer too.