Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Guilds Work

There are lots of things wrong with guilds right now, not the least of which is that they're mostly devoid of any kind of subdivision. Other than the the guild leader and his lieutenants, there are no way to differentiate one guild member from another. This often leads to a practical limit to the size of guilds, above which people start not knowing each other and the guild ceases to function as a guild.

I think a better guild system would be one that allows subdivisions, both in hierarchy and classification. You could have sub-guilds within a guild, for whatever purpose you might require. For example, a merchant's guild could have a division for cooks, another for blacksmiths, woodworkers, engineers and maybe golem crafters, with a superdivision for those who have a large number of trades. Or you could have a guild divided by rank, with less privilege given to lower members, including perhaps restricted access to the guild house.

But perhaps more importantly, this would allow guild members to have access to a smaller group of guildmates, so that, while help is available outside of the small group which shares the player's interests, the number of people one has to know is not overwhelming. This way, a guild does not implode from its own gravitational force, and perhaps guild leaders could save some time deferring the management of subdivisions to local leaders.

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