Keen was rummaging through some of his older posts and discussing how he feels about those posts now (a year later in this case) – guilds were a recent topic. That got me thinking with trying to follow his thoughts. For me a guild was always a grouping of people that share an interest in playing the game as I wish to play it.
If I am into dungeons then I join a guild that is focused on grouping and hitting up dungeons. If I want raiding, I join a guild that is focused on that. If I want to PVP, I go with a guild that focuses on that. And if I just want to have people to chat to while puttering around, I go with a more social and casual guild.
That got me thinking, what if the game released with pre-made guilds? Organizations that work somewhat like you’d see in Elder Scrolls games. Organizations that could be a source of quests, adventures or benefits and advancement. These would also allow for politics and player advancement through the ranks and even short term leadership via some means specific to that guild (i.e. election, duel or monetary success).
Taking this a step further, what if these were vehicles for aspects of the game that are currently just fire and forget dialogs. Imagine an adventurer’s guild that worked like the Dungeon Finder only it ranked you based on your dungeon experience allowing you into the higher ranks on completion of specific dungeons.
Similar mechanics could be used for auctions, looking for group, arena groupings, battlegrounds and class benefits.
It could add some community and a whole other aspect of gameplay (politics) back into games where there is little community at all.
EDIT: This goes far beyond simply some faction you have to grind rep with – there can be advancement through those means and Quartermaster-type rewards, but also advancement of the organization as a whole, much like you level your guild. Imagine a benefits tree (much like in Rift) which could mean your Mages’ guild may have different perks than you’d find on another server.