Updated Thursdays... and sometimes more!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The End of Guilds?

Patch 3.3 dropped Tuesday, and this pally squealed like a little girl when I heard the news. I was straight up giddy with excitement all day and couldn’t wait to bring the Light to Arthas!

Along with pretty much every other level 80 WoW-addict out there, I ran the new stuff as soon as I got home. Most of my fellow guildies were already there, so I ran the Forge of Souls with two guildies and some pugs, and then the Pit of Saron with just one other guildy. I did bash my head against the Halls of Reflection for an hour or so, but it was getting late, and Girly Pally has to get her beauty sleep – or at least enough sleep to keep from losing her job ;)

First impressions – I freaking loved it! Running with my girl Lady Jaina Proudmoor (we’ve been tight since all that grinding I did in Dustwallow Marsh), the floating skulls in the Forge of Soul, the snow in the Pit of Saron, freeing the Alliance slaves (love those “do some good” quests), getting over 20g for turning in a quest – thank you Jaina! - and the loot…. oh, the loot! I got a shiny new necklace with a super cool name: Love’s Prisoner. (Girly pally is big on loot names – I’m still holding on to Twig of the World Tree and War Mace of Unrequited Love, mostly for the names)

And I got what has to be the most wicked-looking healing sword in the game: Seethe. Girly Pally has been lifting a lot of weights to heft that puppy around one-handed! /love to the gear, and /congratulate to Blizzard for the beautiful new content.

I also used the new Dungeon Group finder feature, which was smooth smooth smooth. When one of our guildies pulled some spouse aggro and had to leave group (I told him to use Feign Death, but apparently he’d already Tauted one too many times) we were able to replace him with a polite and totally kick butt mage from another realm. We pulled another trans-realm DPS for the Pit and our few repair-bill-inducing attempts at Halls of Reflection.

So easy! So easy that I think it’s going to change the entire game.

I’ve been in three guilds so far, and leaving each of my previous guilds was a difficult and, like a lot of things in WoW, surprisingly emotional decision. I left friends behind, I felt that I had disappointed the people who counted on me – and I did it all for one main reason: new content. I was a founding member of my first guild, but when the GM decided to leave the game most of the 80s left for greener pastures. I wanted to run heroics; I followed them (and yes, Girly Pally cried as she typed /gquit).

My second guild was pretty much the same story. I joined as a fresh 80, loved the people, made some good friends and fantastic memories, and ran with them for about six months. The GM, again, decided to leave the game (Girly Pally suspects that GM burnout rates are pretty high) and the guild, which like all human organizations had its weaknesses, fell apart in his absence. And Girly Pally wanted to see new end-game content – so I /gquit (no tears this time, at least!) and joined a hard core raiding guild. Not as much laughter, and no more in-depth beer discussions, but I cleared ToC that first week.

People join guilds, in part, because it is so difficult to get a good group together as a PUG. Guilds offer a set calendar, and a group of people (dare I say friends?) who you can count on, and whose abilities you can trust. I know my tank isn’t going to let me get one-shotted, because I’ve run with him for months… or, I know that if my tank does let me get one-shotted, we’ll at least be able to laugh about it later.

3.3 changes all that. Now it’s a piece of cake to get a group together – we joked last night that we might never leave Dalaran, since the Dungeon Finder teleports you as soon as your group is together. And I noticed that guild chat – usually full of “who wants to run a heroic?” – was pretty damn quiet. My guild friends were all in Icecrown or various heroics. Different heroics – part of what must have been trans-realm PUGs.

So what will happen to guilds now that it’s easy to get a group together?

Girly Pally is admittedly a little more focused on the social aspect than other players – I love running with the same group every night, and I want to hear how your job/spouse/kids/dogs are doing. My guildies are my friends – the bonds were forged in the pits of Azjol-Nerub and the heights of the Occulus, but they are still real interpersonal connections, no less valuable than the bonds forged over beer and coffee with my RL friends. Considering the amount of time I spend with my guildies, I actually feel closer to some of my friends living in Florida and Michigan than some of my friends living a few miles away.

Now that it’s easy to find a group without a guild – now that you could run all the heroics every night without seeing the same people, or even without seeing anyone from your realm – what’s going to happen to those friendships? Why be a part of a guild at all?

Maybe I’m being a little ridiculous here. Humans tend to interpret all change, even good change, as a negative… am I just living in the past here? Wishing 3.3 hadn’t dropped to rock my world?

Nah, no way I would take back 3.3, no matter what it does to guilds…. I’ve got Seethe. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment