As expected of a “sandbox-esque” game, reputation plays an incredibly large role. Most players associate guild reputation in terms of their stance on in-game criminal activity, mainly player killing (PKing). Within the game, you will come across a medley of different guilds that take different stances towards player killing. Imagine yourself in a PvP zone in ArcheAge. You are taking packs from one location to the other and suddenly you find yourself within the presence of another member in your faction. In fear that you may be attacked and killed, you will most likely look at which guild this player is associated with. It is a natural action because most guilds on servers will have a stance on PKing that most players on the server will be familiar with. Where some might view PKing as the greatest evil that has ever cursed mankind, others will take pride in seeing those glorious red bloodstains. What I’m getting at is that it’s natural for guilds to have reputation for criminal activities within the game in the same way that it’s natural for you to associate guilds with a reputation for criminal/non criminal activities.
Whether a guild has strict rules and guidelines they expect their members to follow or not, the players within the server will naturally designate them in the crime spectrum. But the true importance of a guild’s reputation is how it advertises them. Integrally, guilds resemble the same characteristics that define a “product”. A certain product will appeal to some people and will not to others. The same holds true for guilds in ArcheAge. Based on a guild’s reputation, they will attract and recruit players whose interests match those of the guild. Not only does it apply to recruiting players to a guild but also forging alliances and rivalries. Player killing guilds will be inclined to search for other player guilds who have the same interests should they be looking to make an alliance, ironic as that may be.
There is a particular example of this on the server that I currently play on. On the server, one guild has become the powerhouse and dominating force on the server with little to no opponents in its respective faction. Recently, several guilds have formed an alliance in efforts to oppose the dominating guild. For this alliance to be created, it would naturally need people who had the same goals and interests in mind. But above all else, now that they have created an alliance with the explicit goal to oppose another guild and player killing is a method they actively use. Because of the actions, their alliance has been labeled as a player-killing group. Whether or not the alliance will last in the future, the individual guilds within the alliance will now have the reputation as player killers. Guilds who coordinate what type of reputation they want to have will have to take the necessary steps in order to promote their desired status. However, we will speak more about that in the members-behavior section of the article.
ArcheAge Guild Focus:
We’ve all seen multiple advertisements from guilds who associate themselves as merchants, PvPers, etc. You may be asking why a guild’s focus is its own category in this article rather than being a part of the Reputation category. To answer that, I will use a very simple connection. Picture yourself baking a cake. You have to decide which batter you want to use before you can do anything else. You have multiple options but eventually, you will decide on one, or for you Gordon Ramseys out there, you may come up with a mix of different batters. After you have baked the cake, you have one phase to go: decoration. This includes using frosting, sprinkles, etc. to decorate and add another layer of flavor to the cake. It should also be noted that I have never baked a cake in my life, so if I left out some specific details, I apologize. Now, let’s apply that connection to guilds in ArcheAge. A guild’s focus is the cake prior to being decorated: an unfinished product. This is the mission statement for the guild and often what they will focus on in their guild events. The cake after decorations have been added is essentially their reputation in regards to their focus. For example, a guild that labels themselves as perhaps a merchant guild, will attract people who are also interested in trade and money making. Over time, however, the guild on several occasions has expanded its ways of making money. The guild now believes that privateering is a profitable activity. So it raises the question, are they a pirating guild or are they a merchant guild? The answer depends on specifics of the guild, but in most cases, they will still be a merchant guild. Confusing as it may be, privateering and stealing other’s packs is still an effective way of making money. If they have labeled themselves as a guild looking to expand their wealth, they are technically still within the bounds of their guild’s focus.
To reference the cake connection, the decoration of the cake is the actions taken by the guild that are used to achieve their goals. The culmination of both their focus and their actions of achieving their goals is essentially the finished cake. It should also be noted that a guild’s focus does not need to be specifically stated. However, the origin between the two concepts differ. Players outside of the guild make guild reputations and that perception is later quantified while the upper echelon of the guild constructs a focus. So while a focus and reputation may seem like the same thing, the focus is a category in its own right and hopefully this section helps support that concept. Oh and I should probably put this here, the cake is a lie!
ArcheAge Guild Member Behavior
This is perhaps the most straightforward topic that I will be discussing today. Earlier, we discussed how outsiders craft a guild’s reputation and how that reputation is a result of the actions the guild takes. But what about on an individual level? The larger the guild, the more difficult it is to control each individual member. The most widespread method of “controlling” players within a guild is requiring them to look up information via the guild’s website. In other words, educating guild members is the most effective way to manage them. However, sometimes educating and informing isn’t enough and therefore there are punishments that are in place to deal with these issues, most commonly being a kick/removal from the guild. A common complaint among some MMO players is that the individual has little to no effect on the overall world. Whether or not you believe this to be true in ArcheAge or not is subjective based. But I will however state that an individual can have a profound effect on guilds. If a player from a non-player killing guild goes around slaughtering every unlucky low-level player that crosses his path in a PvP zone, this has an affect on the guild’s reputation. Alliances have been broken simply because a few “bad apples” have gone and killed members of their allied guild on multiple occasions. However, I will say that individual members’ behavior is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, an individual member’s actions will heavily a benefit a guild. I’ll give a personal example. I spend a lot of my time simply queuing for 1v1 arenas. There was a stone arrow that I had played at least 10 times in the past two days and won (if I remember correctly) 90% of those matches. At the same time, it just so happens that my friend, who was also in the guild, queued against him several times and beat him multiple times as well. Because he hadn’t heart much of our guild as we were a smaller group of players, he assumed that many of our members were skilled PvPers, when in fact it was only myself and my friend who PvPed most of the time. We recruited him and his two friends and spent most of our time queuing for 1v1 arenas. The guild started to get a reputation as a strong PvP guild, even though five members out of twenty were the only ones PvPing. This of course brings about misconceptions but it nonetheless proves that an individual can have an affect on their guild as a whole, in more ways than one.
Like I previously stated, there are certainly more factors than just these three that allow players to draw conclusions about certain guilds but these three stick out the most to me when identifying guilds. Whether you don’t have a guild, are a member of a guild, or a guild officer/leader, I hope this provided some insight into the classification of guilds in the game we all know and love: ArcheAge.