I have been in my guild neXus since our formation over 4 years ago, I am officially the Deputy Leader of neXus although we make all decisions as a group where possible. We founded the guild as we wanted a casual small guild where members knew each other and everyone would help each other out when they could. All of us founding members had been in guilds who’s ideals were the same as ours and had some good, some not so good experiences.
People told us it wouldn’t work and that we’d never get anywhere with such a small guild…
We began with a strict trial period for new members of 4 weeks and the ability for each full member to comment on each trialist so decisions are made by all members not just those in charge.
Our aim initially was to hit guild level 5 in Everquest 2 which at the time was our only game, we are now approaching level 70. Slow level progression sure, but we do it with a bunch of good people who all have a similar mindset to gaming. Our LOTR branch while small is also still going strong.
A few years ago we decided to have our first meet, something I think we’d all thought would be fun but also a bit weird. At this point the guild had been running for a couple of years and a good few of the guild members had known each other in various games for a lot longer.
Our first meet was on the Isle of Mann where our leader Vannin is based, we rented a house for a week and a good few of us descended on the Island. It was a bit strange at first meeting people you didn’t know but at least we all had something in common and had chatted via text/voice for a while. In the end we all got on well as a group and much drinking and chatting was done. Sure some of the chat was about gaming but not all of it. One of our group managed to remove his pants for some random woman in a pub, by which point we knew it was going to be a good week.
We had a mini-meet with just a few of us last year at a guild members house which again involved a good amount of beer and the chance to meet more of the guild.
I have just got back from the 3rd neXus meet in Copenhagen. Initially it was going to consist of around 10 of us but with the current financial situation for a lot of people, the numbers gradually dropped as we got near to the meet date. So as the sole representative of the UK neXians I headed off to Denmark to meet up with 3 Danish members of our group, that as of yet hadn’t been to any meets, one of whom was MMO-Symposium’s very own Ffaffner.
Again lots of Beer, Food and drunken chat/laughing was done, we even have a video on Youtube as well as a large number of pics in our site gallery. I won’t post the link to the Youtube video to embarrass those present (myself included), though I’m sure with a bit of imagination (we tagged it), you could find it.
The good thing about our guild (and some people would think this odd), is I count many members as friends as we always have a good laugh and enjoy our gaming. The addition of voice chat has helped as you get to hear what people you have chatted to via text for a long time, actually sound like and are able to get an idea of their personality. Sure you can do this via text, but we’ve all had moments where the point and mood of a text chat line has been misunderstood.
I think that meeting people outside of the game and in the flesh is where you find out what people are really like though. After the 3rd neXus meet I now have 3 more guild members that I count as friends outside the world of MMO’s, at least from my point of view. As well as people to call should I ever get lost in Denmark.
I guess the point of this post is that many people think it’s weird to call those you only know in games as friends, but when you spend so much time over the years talking and gaming with people who you get on well with, what else would you call it?
The addition of the guild meets has enabled this to move from the virtual world to reality and this can only be a good thing. Guilds should not just be about grouping in a game to achieve an objective, but to my mind should be about finding like minded gamers with who you can enjoy your gaming time. It also helps the guild stay together as even when members leave games as a guild, many still use our website and join new games we try as a guild.
MMO’s are social games and what’s more social than getting together with your guild members in the real world for chat, a laugh and a few beers?