Most Guilds on the newest games coming out end up being chat lines rather than actual guilds that do much together. A number of people complain about this. They say that the reason is that there isn't enough Group content in a lot of the newer games coming out. But isn't it all Group content? Most everything can be done either alone, or in a group, with benefits of doing it together. So if people are choosing to play it alone, isn't that because they want to play that way? Should we really "force" them to have to group if they don't want to?
There was a time in gaming where Guilds were almost a necessity. They weren't even all that fun.
The first was the "Serious Business" (or "Do your job") type guild. They were there to organize everybody to do their "job". "Show up tonight at 8 p.m., raid for 3 hours so this person can get their single piece of equipment they need. Show up tomorrow at 9 p.m., raid for 4 hours so this other person can get this other piece of equipment. Everybody do their job and do it right and BE THERE. This is serious business." Are we here to work hard on serious business, or to have fun? I HAVE to be there? When people died, a lot of swearing and arguing would happen, people were seriously mad. It wasn't an environment that promoted fun.
Another was the protection guild. Some games were so unforgiving with their PvP systems that you were not able to walk the wilderness by yourself. If you weren't in a guild to find people to play with, you'd be killed and robbed of every single posession you owned.
Last there's the "The entire game is so hard to play, you HAVE to group if you want to gain ANY progress." You'd be lucky to be in the right guild here, otherwise sometimes you will wait online for two hours looking for a group if you were the wrong class, and sometimes the night would end without ever being able to play a single minute of actual gameplay because you spent it all trying to get into a group. So you'd eventually either quit, or be forced into a Guild, which normally would then turn into the aforementioned "Serious Business" guild.
To people who just wanted to really have fun, none of those systems were very great. There was a lot of complaining and backlash, and newer games came out with more and more content that people could do alone. I truly do not know if it is backlash from being forced to be grouped so much that turns people away from it today, or if it's just the way people want to play, but it seems most guilds today guild up in order to sometimes help each other and mostly chat. To me, that is how I like to play, so I am fine with it.
Honestly I am exceptionally shy, I also hate being ordered around, and I hate to be scolded because something thinks I didn't play the game right, so I'd rather just play by myself and chat with people most of the time. Although I do love to help others if I'm guilded with them and they need help on something. I have experienced a number of the types of guilds listed above tho, and so I really don't know if they affected me (it was years ago when I first started gaming and was still much younger).
Is it right to really force people to group tho if they don't want to? Let's say there are 10 people who would rather solo, 1 who wants to group, that 1 will complain that nobody is grouping. Should the other 10 be forced to group for the sake of the 1?
Some people think that high end content should be forced grouping. I admit that it's okay to have some, but how much of the game should I be locked out of because I don't want to group? There are a lot of things I love about interacting with others online, unfortunately 90% of the time grouping isn't one of them. And I seem to be in the majority. Are people like me the death of the online game? I don't think so, since millions upon millions of us pay monthly in order to play games the way that we like to be able to play them.
If you really want a serious guild, you should go looking for them. I realize maybe they are harder to find these days and people are soloing more. Maybe it will just take a while to forget the horror of earlier gaming guilds.
It is a tricky situation. Unfortunately a lot of people get bored soloing and really do enjoy the game more with some forced grouping content. It also keeps people around longer if they have to work together to finish goals, because you can't just run through them all by yourself and then be done with the game.
Why is it that 90% of people want to solo? Do they feel like me? Is it backlash from those old systems? Somehow what you are doing with grouping becomes "too important" and because of that, you lose out on the fun of just playing. I think that also a lot of people playing games like the feeling of being in control of something. Most people are bossed around at work, at school, in most of their lives, but then they go online and are in power, in control. I don't think they want to get in a group and be bossed around some more. Then there is the arguing over items you find, that's not fun either. Even if you have it set to a "roll" system, if someone wins a few good rolls in a row, people start to whine and complain and make you feel guilty.
Many Guilds today really aren't much more than another chat line, a place to look for help, and a place to share resources. To me, that's not so bad. To others, it's a horrible change.
Is it that hard to find the other people that feel like you and group up with them? Sometimes I guess it may be. With the amount of people playing games these days, and the hundreds of "chat line" guilds, I guess it may be hard for those who are more serious to find the guilds that are right for them. But should the rest of us be forced to play in a way we don't want to because of that?
Games can continue to make Guilds worth more, and some do, but most of these are PvP games where the guild means everything. PvE games need to make more for Guilds to do and share. Getting to own and design your own land within the guild, without having to fight over it or lose it in PvP. Grouping that is more fun than tense, but still somehow keeps it's meaning (if it's too easy and no challenge, than there isn't much reason to do it). Make it so you can run your own Gladiator schools in guilds and have some in game game based on it. Make other new changes and upgrades to the Guild system so they become more than just the new chat lines that people are feeling they are. There are ways to change them without just making the game forced grouping.
With every new change there becomes a new thing that people playing solo say "Why should I have to group to do that?" tho, so you do need to be careful with what you add. Giving solo people smaller versions of everything is one way.
Maybe we're just in a temporary slump and the Guild will make a comeback in future games. On most games coming out this year tho, it's mostly true, Guilds are the new Chat Line.