Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Who does that epic belong to? - More on guild hopping

It was my pen & paper roleplaying evening last night, so I didn't have much time to write. Due to current events I want to talk about guilds, loyalty, guild hopping, and related subjects this week. My crazy mini-post certainly got the discussion started. :) But as many people remarked, any solution where bop epics end up in the guild bank and can be picked up by somebody else aren't viable. And as somebody might get kicked out of a guild as easily as leaving it, the guild shouldn't profit from anyone leaving. So lets look at the problem methodically:

Before WoW, people were leaving guilds most often for reasons of not getting along with other people in the guild. Guild drama and people in a guild getting into fights is as old as guild themselves. But World of Warcraft added a new element: guild hopping for epics. This is due to the fact that if you are among the best equipped characters in your guild, your further progression slows down significantly. The guild as a whole progresses not at the speed of the first raider, but at the speed of the 25th. If you have for example full Karazhan gear, but the rest of the guild isn't as well equipped, the guild still needs to do a lot of Karazhan runs, in which you will gain nothing except badges. If you are wearing the same Karazhan gear but the rest of the guild is better equipped than you, the guild will be going to TK/SSC, and you'll have a good chance of getting better gear, plus you'll see new bosses. As a consequence people who raid the most in a guild and get ahead of everyone else get frustrated with progress, and leave the guild to join another guild that is more advanced in the raid circuit. They are guild hopping even if they personally got along very well with everyone else. But while this guild hopping speeds up epic gaining for the guy who left, it slows down the rest of his previous guild. Some guilds took forever to get from Karazhan to SSC, and had several throwbacks back to 10-man raids, because every time they had enough well equipped people, the people with the best gear left, taking that gear with them.

Of course the radical idea that they should leave the gear behind if they left is crazy. But the underlying question isn't that crazy at all: if you gain an epic in a guild raid, does that epic belong 100% to you, or should there be some notion of collective ownership? Most guild have loot rules which are designed to maximize the utility of an epic for the whole of the guild. You couldn't have gained that epic alone, without the guild raid. The guild assigned the loot to you because they thought that by giving it to you instead of somebody else it would do most good for the overall progress of the guild. And now you are free to take it with you to another guild? If you have ever been in a guild which suffered setbacks due to the people with the best gear leaving, you'll be able to understand the feeling that this can't be totally fair.

Of course any system to remedy this has to be much more carefully designed than yesterday's idea. But in the comments there were some good approaches. What if you had some sort of reputation score with your guild, gaining reputation points for every hour in a raid, every wipe, and every boss kill, and the stats of your raid epics would depend on your guild reputation level? To get maximum effect of your gear, you would need to be exalted with your guild, which involves raiding with them a lot. The day you leave the guild and join a new guild, you're back to neutral, and while you keep your gear, it loses a lot of stats due to decreased guild reputation. You can gain everything back by becoming exalted with the new guild again, but that'll take some dedication and work. So if somebody parts from some guild due to personal disagreements, he'll be able to recover. But hopping from one guild to the next every couple of weeks to maximize shiny purples wouldn't be viable any more.

There should be some in-game reward for guild loyalty, and the ability to resolve problems by other means than /gquit. A guild raid is very much a collaborative effort, and the epics you receive are a reward for that collaboration. Willfully ending that collaboration should incur some sort of penalty. In the old days of Everquest, where leveling up a character took much longer, and changing server or character name wasn't supported, people switching guilds often would find themselves blacklisted, with no guild willing to take them any more. Why would a guild invest itself in the personal progress of one of its members, if that member was leaving soon anyway? World of Warcraft has made it far too easy to screw your guild for selfish reasons, by giving you absolute ownership of the epics you only got through your guild. Some system that forces people to select their friends more carefully and encourages them to stick together would do wonders to the social cohesion of WoW.
Though I haven't personally experienced it, I'm sure what you are stating is a problem. I don't think anything Blizzard does to moderate it is going to work. It's restrictions on your social commitments in the game, which I don't think Blizzard is in the business of regulating (on this topic). These are problems with the guild and players, not a problem with Blizzard's design I think.
I have never thougt that a set back would be good for levers.

You forget the fun thing of the game. Why should people who leave for a good reason would be downgraded to avoid bad habits of some other.

Some people leaves guild because they are not happy in it anymore and for good reason.

Imo you always see too much bad in people.

Some incentive for guilds achievements would be a good idea (réputation, guild XP, ...). Like the bank should be based on some guild XP instead of just buying slots.

Guild XP was nicely implemented in EQII for exemple. With a guild level and with stuff (mount for exemple) you can buy only when in a guild and with price decreasing with guild level.
An epic belongs to the person that it's soulbound to. Sure, it's a system that has it's draw backs. You have to watch out for ninjas in PuG's, and you have to watch out for greedy, in-it-for-themselves raiders.

That's why a raid leader should do his homework before accepting an applicant for a raiding position. Check his references! It's no different than hiring a new employee. But if that employee should leave after a few months for greener pastures, I don't think his paychecks should revert back to the "company bank".

I think there will always be asshats trying to abuse the system. Any system! The onus is where it should be, on the raid leaders, to fill their raids with only mature, responsible players.
Punishing players that leave guilds because of Blizzard's game design seems a little perverse to me, especially when there reason for leaving may not necessarily be due to epic chasing.

As long as Blizzard restrict access to content via labourious gear grinds, there will always be people that want to move along faster than the people they are currently playing with. Epics are essentially just keys for accessing content that should really be available to everyone in some form or another.

The great tragedy of WoW is that it ruthlessly exploits and rewards the very worst aspects of human nature in order to maintain its appeal. Greed, envy, self-interest and elitism. More often than not, the game brings out the worst in people, rather than the best.

Finding ways to discourage guild hopping is just going to frustrate those that have had their 'progress' limited, and is unlikely to foster the sense of guild loyalty that many feel is missing in the game.

The solution is scalable content accessible to all, and less reliance on gear as a restriction on progress.

As long as those unhappy with the situation are content to grumble instead of quit, don't expect Blizzard to have an epiphany any time soon.
based on this, you're practically recommending the introduction of a system that pigeon holes people into the first raiding guild they get into ?

i've gone through a considerable amount of guilds, and have progressed to the beginnings of MH. i left my current guild which was struggling on Lurker to join one which can get all the way to Anthereon in MH. that's with no gear changes at all. i'd be majorly unhappy if either all those epics i'd guildrun and pugged for were downgraded.

the reputation idea is practically a rehash of existing DKP solutions already in effect imho.

i still maintain this is a bad idea. i dont see why people should be discouraged from guild hopping to progress their own character, because that's what your playing the game for - your own progression.
because that's what your playing the game for - your own progression.

Jeeez ...
and I always thought is was for fun ... how stupid of me.
I think the guild hopping issue is more of an end game design thing than it is a WoW player issue.

I mean, how many things are there to actually do WITH YOUR GUILD in the game.

There's raiding -- it can get repetitive especially if you keep bringing new people/alts to gear up. When you are running Karazhan for the 57th time just to gear up someone's 3rd alt, you also might be looking wistfully at that other guild which has 25 man raids going.

There's cute social events someone can think up (more of a RP server thing really).

There's battlegrounds.

But none of those things benefit the guild per se. You can't win a battleground in a guild group and get a cool title or new tabard for your guild. There's no benefit for downing a raid boss in a guild group. There's very little in the game to help a GM give their guild more flavour and personality.

Its just a convenient way to organise things.

I also dunno how many people purely guild hop for better gear. Moving on for progression isn't the same thing and forcing someone to leave all their gear behind isn't going to solve their problem with their current guild.
Here's a refinement, the longer you're in a guild the less the penalty on your stats when you leave. E.g. someone who has been in a guild say more than 6 months may not pick up a penalty at all if they decide to leave.
These ideas are still just foolish and reek of a bitter heart. If you want to keep someone on your team, any team rl/or in-game, there's just as much responsibility on the head of the team's leader, the team's members, and the folks that you don't want to leave the team.

Do you take Terrel Owens' helmet away when he guild-hops from one team to another? Do you take anything from him at all? No. Something went wrong between him and his previous team and it could be anyone's fault.

Don't invite loot whores to your guild. Don't give them any uncontested loot while you prospect them. Don't promote them to full-time-actual-contested-loot-eligible-raider once you see that they're loot whores.

P.S. Epic is not a noun.
Just do what Eve does and let people see what guilds a character has been in before when you view their character.
I'd say the epics I currently wear are purely earned by me, not by my guild. Why? Because I led the raid. I dragged them through, found out about boss tactics, taught about a third of my people how to raid and I organised everything. I think I earned those items.
On the other side, there was this guy back in the old days. We had a little talk with him and he stubbornly insisted that all items he got and will ever get belong strictly to him. It was a bit sad, but we had to kick him. Why? Because he was very vulnerable to drama and dkp-wise he would have gotten our second Thunderfury. And thats an item that is OBVIOUSLY not earned by a single person, but by the cumulative efford of 40-50 people over a longer term. There is no way I would give such an item to somebody who doesn't clearly understand that he owes his guild a GREAT deal for this item and is NOT permitted to leave. If you want to maintain your freedom, stick with relatively unimportant epics and stay away from legendaries.
Do you take Terrel Owens' helmet away when he guild-hops from one team to another? Do you take anything from him at all? No.

Actually the former team DOES take something from Terrel Owens, they just sued him. On a more general level, if a top athlete changes from team A to team B, in most sports team B will have to pay a significant sum of money to team A to compensate them for the loss. Team hopping is very much discouraged in sports.
This really isn't a new problem created by WoW. It only seems like it because with 10 million people things that are small problems percentage-wise seem so much greater. EQ had people guild hop for loot, probably the same percentage, but with 500,000 people the problem didn't seem so huge.

There really is no way to fix it except to approach it the same way people did back in EQ... put in an interview process for guild applicants and try to weed out people you think are in it only for the loot. Not doing your due diligence when recruiting is your fault, not Blizzard's.
Guilds don't distribute boss drops out of kindness. The chance of receiving them are a condition of the player's participation to begin with. He trades his time and energy for DKP or a dice roll. The guild needs that time & energy from him or they wouldn't offer those things in return, and the possibility he will leave is embedded in that deal.

The reason you don't see it reflected in the numbers is that this risk is essentially the same for everyone invited. A player seen as a "flight risk" need not be penalized because he's not going to be along as often unless he's essential enough to balance that factor. Though the leadership are less likely to leave than the rank and file, this also won't reflect in the numbers simply because it looks like favoritism and quietly harms their positions.

The problem with this whole argument is that our dislike of the system doesn't necessarily mean it's bad or even unfortunate. Like many aspects of WoW the system is designed to cause drama. Why? Because drama creates or affirms that what happens in the game matters. As unpleasant as this stuff may be at the time, in the long run it reinforces the investment people have in the game.

Also, people secretly like it.

The major down side is the departure of those who feel they have become too invested in the game - but is that really a down side at all? People who quit WoW talk about it all the time. They'll play other MMOs and they'll talk about WoW. They post about how much it sucks, they whine about it screwing up their lives, World of Warcraft World of Warcraft World of Warcraft WoW WoW WoW WoW. The complainers can outnumber the defenders 10 to 1 and the uninitiated still come away from the argument with the knowledge that it's beautiful and 12 million people subscribe to it.

Plus they'll all be back anyway.
In my 3+ years of Wow play, I have seen more bad guilds who treat their members poorly and couldn't lead their way out of a paper bag, than I have guild hoppers. Sure, there is always the odd few that pop in, gear up and ditch -- but it's not nearly as bad a guild filled with drama, playing favorites, and flat out sucking.

When I look back, and think -- should they have the epics I got while enduring their b.s. -- I come to resounding "absolutly f-ing not".
If people take loot drops with them, I really don't mind.

What I do mind is if, for example, a tank leaves with all his resist gear that the guild crafted for him.
In that case he should have to pay some sort of compensation; after all, he was given that gear in order to progress his current guild, not his next one.
Seems to me the real problem is how the loot is distributed (randomly) and how long guilds are forced to grind an instance to get the gear they need. Bring everyone up to speed faster with more intelligent gear drops and you might not have the guild hopping for gear issue.
i would love to see some carrots on a stick, which would mkae it more interesting to stay loyal to your guild.

In Lotro there were Guild features, which only came availlable over time. I think some features took months to enable.

Why is it not possible to award long living Guilds, this does not have to be the best gear, but maybe something like a Guildhall Buff (comparable to the Sage on the Darkmoon fare)

This could be done on "guildlevel" and "memberlevel".

It could be handled like any other faction.

Items availlable from the Guildvendor could be bound to the "raidlevel" the Guild has reached so far. Pulling a lever in SSC will give the "guildvendor" a different set of items, looting an item from Boss X in Mount Hyal, or Boss Y in BT will enable the next tier of "guildvendorloot".

If you switch guild, you are back to neutral faction with the Guildvendor of your new Guild and have to work yourself up again. (but this is no punishment, you just loose the bonus you earned before)

I would be very much in favor of such a system.
Well the idea that the guild should own the epics is stupid. Should your company own your house, your car etc. I agree there should be a better guild design in game. But What about the guy that leaves because he's told he'll never get to tank, or the Holy priest that is forced to go shadow and then they recruit a holy priest. etc etc.

The first big thing they could do would be to stop name changes and server transfers. Those two things have done more for guild hoppers than all other combined. Form a guild let em fill up the guild bank. Disband the guild, change your name and transfer. You profit and no penalty.

I've been throught he guild drama many times and there are always a sizeable minority that fall into that mental trap of getting mad because someone "defected" and took the gear the guild "earned" them. But the fact is everyone who raided earned the gear and everyone that participated made it happen. If they leave with thier stuff it sucks but they still earned it.

Now if you are bent out of shape because the guild crafted a bunch of stuff and spent many many resources on one particular person and they left, slightly different story but again its poor game design that lets people do that with no penalty. There was a time even in wow when raiding guilds frowned on guild hoppers. But the current design forces them to become poachers now because its easier than gearing up some noob.
I think this idea of a reputation status among your guild is CLOSER to being a viable solution than your proposition last night; However, there are still issues with it. As stated many times in the previous post's comments, there are a wide variety of reasons for leaving a guild, so who's to say your motives for leaving your guild weren't true or justified?

Certainly noone can check on an individual basis whether gear should be stripped of its stats every time someone leaves a guild, and you certainly can't leave it up to some program to decide... It's definitely a step in the right direction, but I think the idea that the guild partially owns your gear is flawed...

On the other hand, something like trophies that drop off a boss that allow guild-wide buffs would be an interesting proposition... This way it would stick with the guild as long as the guild was together while also giving you bragging rights. It would also mean that no individual got something that everyone else didn't get (or take to a new guild for that matter.)
Re: pro athletes
In addition to what's been said, pro athletes are often stuck on the team that they're on. They have no choice but to stick it out for the life of their contract.

Look at all of the griping by Ocho Cinco. He wants to be traded, but the Bengals are refusing.
Soulbound items belong to the person wearing it.

Taking away the right to own your items (i.e. with stats) would do far more harm than good, and basically destroy guilds, not help them. For instance, why would I want to join a guild if they haven't a proven track record of performance and no drama? People would stay in guild they hated with people they don't like, and this would only increase the drama. I can't imagine that would be good for progression. Instead of guild hopping, everyone in those guilds would say "well we got as far as Kara but can't stand each other, so I'll just do solo stuff" and then other guilds doing 25 man would have no one to recruit. They'd have to keep starting over at kara.

In essence, the problem would be magnified, not lessened.

It's all about incentives. You take away the incentives, and people will be less likely to bother. I have a great raid group, and I don't care about gear that much. And it's easy for me to donate fel lotus, help others with lower level quests/dungeons, etc. Because it's voluntary. Once it becomes not voluntary, it's a chore.

And of course, a system like that would only make things even worse for healers. They already only bid on dps gear if all the other dps players have it. Now on top of that they can only use it if they stay in the guild that may already make them feel used and abused.

Some of the examples cited are just poor planning: for instance when a whole guild gets together to equip an MT, instead of treating the MT just like everyone else. Then they are shocked! shocked! when the person they treat like a prima donna starts acting like one. It's one thing if it's someone you've known for years, but with most guilds composed of strangers it's just not wise to give so much up front and then hope the person pays you back. People might think that's slower or not progression minded enough, but the other side is you're not progressing when the "emo tank" leaves because you're not babying him anymore like you did last month.

But if everyone's equal, then everyone earned their items equally by showing up to the progression raids, buying enchants, buffs, etc. Being on time. There are plenty of reward systems to choose from to encourage people to help out.

But once it's time for the person to leave, let them. If you've a good dkp system then that person only got what they put in. And if they somehow didn't, then you not only don't want them, but it's a learning experience for the guild in either 1. to assess players and be more picky, or 2. to listen to player's problems and deal with them maturely.

Really I think WoW needs more than anything an ability to know who someone is by their account, and also track all your previous guilds. Then let the players decide what to do with that information.
Guild hopping for phat lewt is nothing new to WoW - it happened all the time in EQ. In fact, it was maybe even more visible there, since progression was so mind numbingly slow - players would "gear up" in a guild that's at a certain stage, then jump to a guild in the next stage, etc. It should be no surprise that this happens in WoW, whose raiding endgame is deeply based off of EQ design philosophies.

In either case, the player owes nothing to the guild. The guild is a construct to further the goals of a group of players, nothing more - when a person leaves, they simply end the contract. It's similar to quitting a job in the real world - you owe nothing to your employer, and they owe nothing to you. It's a marriage of convenience that can be terminated at will by either party.

I feel like you're still taking a very narrow view of this "problem." Under almost any sane loot distribution system, loot isn't something you "pay forward" as an incentive for people to stay, it's a manifestation of the contribution a player has already made. They're not taking "guild property" when they walk off with it.

At any rate, this whole conversation is a symptom of the insanely high value of items in WoW and the insane number of people required to get them. The fact that think players "owe" their guild something for helping them "gear up" is itself an indication of how screwed up that system really is.
I've been in a raid which is not linked to a guild but to a bunch of people from several family size guilds...

So who belongs my epic, my guild, my raid, the biggest guild of the raid, me perhaps (yes it's BOP anyway) ? Whatever....
It is very hard to regulate social behavior and I personally think Blizzard is smart to not meddle with guild recruitment and operations. People have all sorts of reasons for joining and leaving guilds, and I think setting rewards or penalties would have a lot of unintended negative consequences.

Reputation with other players remain the strongest force to protect against bad behavior. Serious raiders know each other and their behavior and that definitely comes into play during recruiting. Players who avoid this by jumping servers only get around this for a while, then their behavior generally becomes obvious again.

Moreover, I think Blizzard is already tackling this issue from the opposite end.

Your premise is that guild hopping is bad because people leaving with raid-acquired equipment hurts the progression of those left behind. Well, especially lately Blizzard has made it very easy for players to build up their gear without raiding (inc. badge gear, the move to make high-end crafting mats non-BOP, epic gems for badges, rep-based pvp gear, etc. etc.).

It's hard to argue now that anyone who wants to couldn't get adequately geared to raid, and harder to claim that any one person could cripple a guild gear-wise.

Today, the hard thing to replace with an experienced player leaving a guild is their skill and raiding experience -- neither of which could be "repossessed" through any game mechanics.
Actually Pidge you are wrong. A new guild or one at a delicate junction can completely implode when one key person leaves and progression stops. This game is built on controlled frustration. Everything in this game is a long grind for gear. EVERYTHING. There is nothing in this game that is commonly done that is just for fun and no reward. And when you take a group of people that have spent 6 months struggling to get to the point they are progressing steadily and then one person leaves it can and on many occasions has destroyed guilds.

And Epic crafted gear is actually worse than drops as a guild destroyer. Because I've seen many a priest or tank get geared up by guild mats and crafters to speed progression, just walk away and join a guild further progressed. If you think people get mad about the lucky guy getting the drops you should be around for that. And it has the perverse problem of making the guild leaders paranoid and then they won't give anyone but officers and real life friends thier mats, which further breaks the guild.

I don't think any system that just punishes the player is the answer. I think the only things blizzard could do that would actually help would have to be along the lines of factions, guild titles, special crafting patterns you could only use if you were in that guild etc. But whatever system you design the guild and the player both have to have some negative consequence for splitting up and some positive reward for staying together.
In the U.S., if you join the military, you can get them to pay for your college education. If you view the military as your Guild it's the exact same thing. They invest time and money in you so you can better yourself, but it's not just for you, they also reap the benefits of the new & improved you. In return for them 'gearing you up' you promise them X-years of service, and if you back out on the deal they have legal recourse against you.

In the MMO world though, a Guild that power levels a Warrior to Tank for them has no recourse when the Tank in which they invested time and in-game money jumps ship for another Guild, leaving them once again stuck in Kara with no Tank. This is, unfortunately, why Socialism will never work IRL; there are too many people with a WIIFM attitude, too many people prepared to do as little as they need for the maximum possible gain.
Personally I feel that this topic mixes a couple of play philosophies. I was a raider back in vanilla wow and our guild started out as a bunch of family-oriented players who wanted to raid. We suffered in months of wipes until we finally downed Lucifron. Once we did we, suddenly people wanted on the wagon. So our nice little guild suffered a lot from guild hopping, and opportunists. It changed the face of the guild and many core people left because it wasn't what it was before. An idea like Tobold's would have certainly mitigated some of those results.

However I do not like the idea as a raider. Raiding was a sacrifice for me as it required a lot of time. If my gear lost its pizzaz because I left, that would have made me pretty angry. It is hard enough to do--why make it any harder? Also as others pointed out, you are really trying to control social behavior which usually isn't well accepted. All in all, while a nice idea, I don't see anyone who raids favoring it.

I think that the thoughts of this post really stem from a desire to see guilds as more than raid machines. I agree with this. Since I stopped raiding I have no care what guild I am in if any at all. There is no reason unless to get a separate chat window. I am in favor of a reputation meter-like idea. I like the idea of contribuing to the whole in real ways, and building a reputation.

Currently the only guilds that have reputations from my perspective are the raiding ones. What if a group of friends want to band together and pursue some greater goal as a whole but don't have the time or desire to raid? They are sunk.
This topic really just is way too much taken from 1 singular bias. If people are leaving your guild for more progressive guilds that's an officer problem. Either 1. they aren't recruiting well or 2. they aren't treating well.

As long as the loot system used is fair then any epics a person gets they personally have earned and they shouldn't lose anything for finding another guild that suits them better.

The only guilds that have issues with this kind of thing really damaging are those that have loot systems where the few get many rather than many getting few and making the raid as a whole stronger.

Why should 1 person impact 25 so much?
This is what DKP does, something used by almost every raiding guild in WoW. When you leave a guild, you lose your DKP. When you get an epic, you're spending DKP that you earned through guild participation.

Some DKP implementations don't discourage guild hopping though. Zero-sum DKP systems in which the player is allowed to go negative can actually encourage guild-hopping. I was in a raiding guild pre-BC and we have several members with DKP scores around -700 or so . . . and then they left for another guild.

It would be interesting to see WoW or some other game implement a DKP system into the guild management tools. Have pre-defined values for items by the developer and have players earn points in a guild log during raids. Less management needed, no risk of unfair practices, and it makes it all very clear. Guild masters could even query another guild's logs to see if that prospective guild-hopper is just a gear moocher or a real contributer.
I think that I'd agree, epics gotten from raids should belong to the player. Yes, it's unfair when someone leaves you for another guild (and no, it's not an officer problem, in my experience, unless you blame people's attitudes on the officer), but there's no other fair way to do it.

I can see the point of items made by the guild, as a whole, and worked on by the guild. I wouldn't mind seeing some sort of "bound to guild"-type of item or status, where the item can be created as BoE, as normal, or it can be created and bound to the guild rather than a player, and it somehow gets sent back to the guild should the person leave for whatever reason. It's gotta be for crafted items only, though.

I think between that and the ability to see a character's history in different guilds might really cut down on the guild hoppers, or at least limit the losses.
I am a rather analytical person, and honestly Tobold. Honestly. This is a dumb ass conversation. I am crass but I mean no true disrespect, honestly. I like your blog, and rarely do more than absorb the great discussions that take place here. The sooner you agree with me, the sooner you will wash your hands of the discussion in relation to WoW. Honestly:)

My two cents. You are only addressing the symptom and not the problem. Your first blog prescribed the most asinine treatment for a microcosm of a much larger macro problem, and the discourse spiraled from there into some brainless amalgamation of people like me typing furiously over something that really is simple in its resolution.

Honestly, the problem with this discussion is the premise that it can be solved in a way that would retain a player base that is ridiculously abject to change. The white paper referencing the bevy of issues that contribute to poor socialisation within this game would span the globe. That statistic is 97% accurate.

The game was not designed to handle the pressures of the social engineering, coordination, group scaling, or human logistics that any level of advanced game play (be it pvp or pve) requires. In truth, since 2004 the game has yet to enable players to capitalise on wealth of other people eager to play this game. It has never addressed the fact that people have a real life outside of WoW, with the exception of a retarded blurb on the loading screen.

It’s a matter of game design in its foundation. Your solution comes in designing another foundation. (Insert next-gen Blizzard MMO here). There is your solution. Anything else is a bandaid on a tourniquet wound. Honestly.

I digress. I honestly meant to go on another tirade, but convincing you that your time is better spent investing in a better topic of discussion is rather hypocritical at this point. Good job ole bean, you roped me in:)


Want a great read Tolbold? I didn’t write it, but its damn fine penmanship and I thought of you after reading it.

Goblin in the Tuxedo:;jsessionid=1A9DB9BF3F6A71498115628F9B481027.app09_07?topicId=6136325779&sid=1

Actually the former team DOES take something from Terrel Owens, they just sued him. On a more general level, if a top athlete changes from team A to team B, in most sports team B will have to pay a significant sum of money to team A to compensate them for the loss. Team hopping is very much discouraged in sports.

He breached a contract. Did your guild's recently-departed MT sign a legally-binding contract?

Bad guilds that folks are more likely to hop (or flee, or limp) out of are defintely not the kind that are willing to make someone sign a contract. There's no incentive to join a guild like that. Not even a GOOD guild with an actual contract would get very far without massive incentive: reputation for success. Nihilum can get away with that; I expect there is an agreement to sign before you join up there.

Let's try a different analogy if you choose to disregard WoW's lack of contracts. How about at-will employment? I'm under no duress to remain at my current job. My teammates and superiors count on my subject-matter-expertise for a specific (and somewhat large) amount of quarterly revenue. If I hope to a better paying (or more entertaining) job, do they take away the paychecks that I've already earned? No. They can't do that because they didn't have the foresight to make me sign something.
Heres my 2 cents.

If Blizzard tried to introduce this into WoW now, I can't imagine anyone besides GMs of raiding guilds finding it to be a good thing.

I bet a lot of people who are just trogging through raiding would quit their guild before it happened, and there would be a non-guilded "free market" way for people to raid and earn epics.

There are all sorts of game programs, such as xfire, or ventrilo, that allow people to get together outside of a game. I'd make a wager that WoW guilds would die a slow death.

Or, in the alternative.

If a new game came out with the guild loot attached to a guild as premised, I'd bet guilds wouldn't form the way they do now. Friends list would become a guild list from the start. Progression, if you consider it a good thing, would be slower. If people even decided to play the game in the first place

Or, another alternative.

Allow a GM to set as an option the ability to have loot attached to the guild rather than the player, and have it be actually agreed to by each individual player. And watch as that guild never gets enough players to raid.

Maybe I just see this game as a game, but I don't know why "guild hopping" is some sort of evil that needs to be addressed. Its a video game, let people play how they want.

There are options for a loot master...there went the ninja looter argument. There is the cold hard fact that you can trial someone for a week, or 3 months, to see how they react during raiding, and how they deal with loot distribution.

Those 2 options right there seem to be a lot easier, and a lot more feasible, than introducing a system that penalizes people for playing a video a video game.

Not many people want to live in a company town and pay 3x the normal price for groceries and utilities. Does anyone really want to play in a company guild, where their "well being" (read: fun) is tied to the whims of everyone but themselves?

I know I wouldn't, and I'd guess that most people would agree.
The core problem is people have to decide between their friends and their online progression. So why not design a reward system that favors people who are LOYAL?

We already have badge loot. Let's say, if your humping your less geared friends through Kara for the 1337'th time, you should score a ton of these badges. You should also be able to use these badges to completely outfit your toon in tier 6.

Once you stop making people choose, you'll get stable guilds...
If items "wear out" over time and are destroyed as you use them, then this problem simply goes away.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the source of almost all problems is related to gear and if you simply turn it into a consumable then most of this types of issues disappear.

As I wrote over at :

"A system that easily destoys gear requires that gear also be fairly easily attained. The players who can attain the gear more quickly and regularly will still be better equipped overall, but even a casual player could “save” or “bank” items for when they wanted to do something special to them. Maybe thats a rated PvP match, maybe it’s a high level Raid."
I fail at hyperlinking.
I think your missing the point that Blizzard has designed in Guild Hopping proactively. They know that a regular guild-change event will "freshen up" the playing experience for the player who does it, at the cost of demotivating other players.

So they recommend, by design, everyone to hop guilds about once per year.

This is part of the "pattern breaking" strategy. A guild is a pattern and when you grok it it stops being fun.

Fun wins over Socially stable, so thats the way it goes.
I think your missing the point that Blizzard has designed in Guild Hopping proactively. They know that a regular guild-change event will "freshen up" the playing experience for the player who does it, at the cost of demotivating other players.

That is the dumbest thing I've heard in awhile.
What makes wow fun is playing with friends. Breaking up guilds and forcing poeople to do the corporate cube shuffle just seperates the friends more and more and screws up the fun
This comment has been removed by the author.
Most of these post seem to be from the point of view that 'hopping-guilds' is a bad thing. Even the phrase evokes a negative image.

As someone who has switched guilds for reasons of progression, I would suggest that you look a both sides of the equation. What if you are stuck with a guild that had people that regularly dont show for scheduled raids? Or, people who only spend an hour or two in a instance before giving up and starting again from scratch next week? There are a lot of inept, lazy, and greedy people who DONT hop guilds. I have hopped guilds several times to get away from these people, and find a guild that had dedicated, focused players to play with. In my mind this problem goes both ways, and really doesn't need to be fixed. DKP systems are more than sufficient deterrent for lootwhore guild hopping.
I disagree with your suggestion. In my experience, when there are a few progressed guilds on a server, the people running those guilds are complete ***holes.

You're forgetting that being a part of a guild is a two-way street. If you try to discourage people from leaving guilds, players get treated like garbage.

The recent inclusion of "welfare" epics from badges and pvp has made guilds nicer. Forcing guilds to compete over players makes them try to be places players want to be, rather than acting like jealous boyfriends.
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