Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Guild Wars Guild Drama

I haven't played Guild Wars in a while but I still peep in on my old alliance's Website every so often to catch up. It was a pretty good website too. It had news, a forum, polls, competitions and a shout box. Not any more I am afraid. The link for the website now leads to an abusive message about the alliance.

This is not really my business any more but natural curiosity has prompted me to try to figure out what happened. Of course the whole thing could be the work of disgruntled pvp opponent who posesses leet haxxor skillz but I think not. I am pretty sure this is the unfortunate outcome of a genuine case of Guild Wars guild drama.

Let us start with some history. This particular group is one of the largest communities in Guild wars with over 800 active members last time I looked. Since this number exceeds the individual guild limit they formed an alliance of guilds who for all intensive purposes act as a single guild. The reason for the large membership is simple enough - the alliance has but one entry requirement: Membership is open to every player over the age of thirty.

In terms of ambition and playing style this is the ultimate casual guild and I loved it. There is no compulsory attendance at anything and it caters for players of every level and every playing style. This casual style meshes perfectly with Guild Wars casual PVE game. As an indication of just how casual the Alliance is consider that despite having over 800 members we never could put together a decent PVP team. It is basically a big talking shop with the added advantage that whenever you needed help with something you were bound to find somebody out of those 800 players who would help you out.

I mentioned before that the alliance had a pretty good website too. I am a sucker for Guild Chat and Guild Forums. I guess I just love to read myself talking. The vandalised website was actually a replacement for an older cruder Alliance website and it was put together (and hosted I believe) by a talented Guild member. I remember how impressed we all were with the new site and the many compliments that individual received.

Where is the drama you ask? Well surprisingly in my time there was very little. Despite the large number of players there really was very few arguments. I suppose the mature age profile combined with the casual nature of the alliance let people take it or leave it as they saw fit. A few players got miffed over rudeness every so often but it always blew over.

Recently however I noticed an increase in the number of disputes on the Guild Forums. This has been particularly noticeable since I left but I can assure it was not due to any calming influence of mine that things used to be more peaceful. If I were to look for a pattern I would have to say that the only thing that stands out is that a number of the disputes relate to the forming of groups for Guild Wars high end content. Some of the disputes were about people joining or not joining groups. One memorable dispute was about whether or not players should be forced to adjust their character build in order to play a particular role in a tough mission.


These are fairly common disputes in any casual guild that is beginning to tackle tough end game content but I am not sure why they surfaced so recently in this Alliance. Many members have indulged in Guild Wars end game for years. It could have something to do with a new "Hard Mode" that was recently introduced but not having played this I cannot say.

Anyway about a week ago I logged into the Alliance forums and noticed that a new dispute had occurred involving none other than the administrator of the web forum. This culminated in that individual announcing that they were leaving the alliance.

My memory of the "I am leaving" post was that they were going to keep the website going but it didn't augur well. I visited the site today to discover an insulting message about the alliance and an accusation of backstabbing. Could it be that somebody was foolish enough to pass comment on this individual after they had left - forgetting who controlled the website? I don't know, I can only surmise.

I am sure the alliance are still going strong but they are temporarily without a web presence. I might just log into the game to find out more. Nothing like a bit of guild drama to liven up things.

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