So I’ve been playing a bit more while being a part of a guild. If anyone is confused, or if anyone cares, a guild is basically a group of people who you can talk to and do quests with. Well, you can technically do a quest with anyone you form a random group with (I think), but a guild is a nice way to make friends. There is a little window the the bottom left hand corner of the screen with chat windows, so you can open a new tab there for the guild chat and talk to people in the guild.
I was playing for about a week alone, and I was actually getting really bored with it. Everquest II can be kind of repetitive in its quests, which are generally: go here, click something or kill something by clicking it. Repetitive. So I decided to try joining a guild. I looked through all the guilds recruiting members and found one that claimed to be: a) noob friendly b) chatty c) and other things I can’t remember right now because those two were the ones I was focusing on. I sent a messge to the recruiter, and after an interesting experience trying to find each other, they led me to the guild hall. It’s pretty sweet.
Joining a guild is great for your playing experience: you meet new people, and you can ask them questions about things you’re not clear on. Which, if you’re me, is just about everything. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment: everytime you level up, find a really, really cool item, or get advancement points (things that allow you to boost your fighting skills) it automatically pops up in the guild chat. And everyone seems to have an almost obligation to tell you congratulations. So whenever you do something worthwhile, you get kind of excited.
On the other hand, it sort of forces you to be social. If you don’t feel like talking to anyone and just playing, you’re going to have to ignore your guild members, which is LAME.
So why do people join guilds? Well, online games are a, in a sense, just another way to socialize. Will killing stuff. If you ignore the MM part of MMO (which I did at first) it’s not nearly as fun; you miss out on the experience of playing with people. As someone who pretty much ignores PC gaming (except for the occasional Command and Conquer expedition) I found it difficult at first to find people to socialize with. I think people often jump into MMOs with friends to make it a little less isolated. An MMO without social interaction is just boring.
I also think people are drawn to MMOs because they are so UNLIKE our lives. The fantasy is so extravagant that it helps people dive in and completely forget about the real world. In a game like The Sims, it’s kind of different: it’s almost like you’re building a new life to replace your old one, but this new life is completely plausible. Better house, better job, better bathroom, etc. In games that are really, really different, like Everquest II is, it’s not so much building a new life as it is simply escaping from the old one. The regular world is boring, let’s go kill Orcs for a couple of hours. It’s a form of escape more extreme than going into a life simulating game. This kind of game replaces your old life with a new one where you can set sharks on fire underwater. I’ve done that a few times. Logic has no place here.
So there are some lovely thoughts on Everquest. Yay.