My Warhammer guild has turned out to be an interesting social experiment. Usually when I join a guild in an MMO, it’s because I’ve run into the same people a few times, grouped with them, and have some idea of what I’m getting into. Not so with CoW. I learned about it through reading the blogs of some of the founders, but once the guild was formed (and it grew very rapidly) I was in this group of total strangers who nevertheless shared a common interest: blogging. And, well, Warhammer Online.
Things are going pretty well and so far the guild drama quotient is pretty darned low. A lot of people assumed a guild made up of a group of (by nature) opinionated bloggers was doomed to fail. But I can tell you that so far at least, there’s no sign of pending collapse. Quite the contrary.
In any group of people this big, you’re going to meet folks who have values that don’t coincide with yours. I’m working through that issue right now, in fact, and I keep expecting this to turn into major drama (given that the person in question is an officer) but again, thus far its been very much a “You do your thing and I’ll do my thing and we’ll both respect the other’s personal choice.” kind of situation. No harm, no foul, everybody having fun.
Granted there are people I don’t actively like: the constant complainer, the “I know more than anyone” dude, etc. Any reasonably large group has these characters. I still get along with them, but I don’t seek out their company, if you know what I mean.
But mostly I’ve been having surprisingly enjoyable experiences. For instance, y’know I’m a voice chat hater. But I’ve been running Ventrillo when doing RvR in CoW groups just because I can’t deny that it is easier and more efficient. Generally I just listen even though I have a mike set up. And I have vent coming through the speakers (I run it on a 2nd pc).
Saturday night I was in a CoW group, getting our arses handed to us in a Tier 2 scenario (we were pretty badly out-leveled), and one of my guild mates had his Vent on ‘handsfree.’ He was being pretty chatty, which should have driven me bonkers, but instead he was doing a grand job of keeping us entertained and keeping the ‘sting’ of losing at bay. Not only was I in stiches, but so was Angela, who was next to me playing EQ2.
To make things even better, someone in another group shouted “Why do all Shadow Warriors suck in RvR?”. I was the lone Shadow Warrior in the scenario. I just ignored the idiot because I didn’t feel I was doing particularly badly, given the circumstances. I’m usually the first one to come down on myself if I’m screwing up; I hate letting down my group mates.
But I digress. As I said, I just ignored the comment, but my guildies came to my defense, which felt pretty damned good. It wasn’t a big deal and the shouter never said anything else, but its the thought that counts, y’know?
So yeah, being in CoW has been a very rewarding experience so far. Would it be going over-the-top to say its even been restoring my faith in people, to some extent? I always expect the worst out of any group situation, and my expectations are generally met. I expected CoW to be an awkward experience; I’m not very extroverted and tend to hold myself apart from groups. But so far, its been a joy to get to know this group of strangers bound together by a love of gaming and a love of writing about gaming.