Game Over. The age old screen we see when we lose all our lives in Space Invaders, or run out of coins at the arcade, in a game you have played for 15 minutes or 3 hours, it is disheartening as it marks the end of something you play to enjoy. What happens when a Guild dies? Or at least, loses significance.
I am talking about MMO guilds, and specifically guilds within World of WarCraft. There is no Game Over screen in a MMO, in WoW, but there are events that alter our gameplay or enjoyment of the game itself; such as when your guild loses its main healer or tank, or people just lose interest in the game itself. I recently had this happen.
It was June 9th, 2006 when the North American server, Aman’thul launched for WoW, and there was a guild accepting applications for newer players and so I joined TSC as a founding member alongside 14 others. Within 4 months we were raiding. It was a fun, social, entertaining guild that wanted to experience everything the game had to offer. However, elements within wanted more, they wanted more raid nights, they wanted more loot, they wanted to be hardcore.
So in the later stages of 2007, early parts of 2008 there was a split and TSC dissolved, removed the waste and became Gnomeland Security. Focusing more and more on the dungeons, the loot, there were some that wished to bring back to the old days of casual, relaxing gameplay and thus Gnomeland itself splintered, it lived on as a hardcore raiding guild to this day, but a new guild was created; Dyslexics Untie.
Dyslexics Untie did not live long on Aman’thul, the minute a new server arose everybody in Dyslexics Untie moved to it, that server was Saurfang. On this new server Dyslexics Untie continued to prosper, accepting new members, raiding, even seeing endgame content through the first WoW expansion, The Burning Crusade, and then Wrath of the Lich King was released. People once again grew tired, even the founders of the guild grew tired as real life commitments began to intrude.
So, in 2010, the founders of Dyslexics Untie left, several major members; two from the TSC guild foundation, left for greener pastures that suited their social play style and Dyslexics Untie took new leadership. It was a struggle, and slowly but surely the Dyslexics Untie guild is dying... an agonising death, even when the founders returned. Members of Dyslexics Untie have since founded two new guilds, Sánctuary and Devastation, the last two who formed TSC joined Three Thousand and all three of these guilds seem to be creating new social groups and game-goals to achieve.
That is the unique thing about MMOs, the guild structure evolves over time, like a family history, one can trace their guild history over the course of years. From TSC to Gnomeland Security to Dyslexics Untie to Devastation, Three Thousand and Sánctuary, in the coming years this will surely evolve as players desire more commitment, or more casual behaviour. Still I mourn for Dyslexics Untie, it was fun while it lasted.