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"We're Going To Be Like [KISS] Only Better!"

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First off, let me say that the title does not refer to [ESP] so everyone can put aside any fears that I have taken a sudden turn towards megalomania and plan on spawning twenty new Everlasting Sacred Path Guilds covering every Guild Wars flavor imaginable. No, rather this is a direct quote taken from someone whom I met in the game a while back. My interactions with her provided me with a few answers to the question 'just what exactly does a guild need to do to be as big as [KISS]?

I first met Emily when I casually accepted an invite into her guild. "WHAT?!?" you say? Well, allow me to explain. One of the luxuries of having multiple accounts is that I am able to keep one as my 'guildless wanderer'. Sometimes when I am playing around with this character I will accept invites from other guilds, not because I want to be in another guild, but rather because I am curious to see how other groups out there function and hope to perhaps learn something new and bring these ideas to [ESP] and our alliance. I suppose it is sort of sneaky of me, but I figure that if people want to invite someone simply because they do not currently have a guild tag then they can deal with it. A lot of times I find people who just want to recruit, recruit, RECRUIT! anyone who has a pulse, but occasionally I will come across something interesting.

So there I was one day, standing around in Ascalon City on my alt account, not moving at all other than the occasional head sway that all Guild Wars characters do, when I received the familiar private message -- "Hey there, would you like to join a guild?" I pondered for a moment and then replied "Maybe, it depends on the guild." The person trying to recruit me responded back "You can give it a try " Maybe I am just a sucker for the winking smiley face but I decided that I would give it a try and soon I was sporting a brand new guild cape and sharing a guild roster with about 75 other people -- almost all of whom I noticed, had joined within the past week or two. The Guild Announcement mentioned something about an upcoming party in the Guild Hall so I figured I would stick it out for a little while and see how things fly.

A few days later and the guild was maxed out at 100 members. Not only that, but there were four new guilds in the alliance -- all spawns of the original with the same capes and just a slight difference in the guild tags. I hopped over to the guild hall and caught one of the officers going over with the guild leader what message he would use to spam local chat for recruits. As soon as they were in agreeance he was off; he dropped out of the main guild and another spawn was created. Clearly the goal here was to create a mega-guild and to do it quickly. After I lingered around in the hall for a bit the guild leader noticed me and we began chatting. I had assumed that the person who had recruited me was a male, due to the masculine name, but I was to discover that the person that I was talking to was actually named Emily, and she was quite pleasant to chat with. As we continued speaking and I grew more into her confidence she let slip a hint about the 'master plan'.

"Oh yeah? And what is the master plan?" I asked.

"Well . . . . ," She let it out slowly, as though everything that she was about to relate truly was confidential information. "I don't want to give away too much, but basically we are going to be like [KISS] only better."

I took the opportunity to crack a joke. "Oh, you mean you and the officers are actually going to dress up in KISS makeup? I always thought that they should have to do that in order to use that guild tag." I got the laugh out of her that I wanted but no real information. The most that I was able to gather was that Emily had once been a member in [KISS]. However, she didn't like it for some reason and grew tired of all the anti-KISS hate and she wanted to make her own guild now, and make it even better than the one she had been in before. It seemed an interesting idea but I failed to grasp just how exactly we were going to be 'better'. The most I got out of her was "Well, everyone hates [KISS] and we are not going to be like them."

A few weeks later and the new-guild machine is running full-tilt. Everyone who has failed to log on for 3 weeks is being given the boot, and new people are being brought in daily. The Guild Announcement reads "Please use alliance chat to communicate now that we have the new guilds." There is even a newly established vent server. It seems Emily is a pro recruiter and she has managed to quickly found enough trusted people to run sub-guilds underneath her command. It almost looks as though she has a shot at giving her former guild a run for their money.

After some time, I ended up coming clean with Emily. I let her know that the account she had invited was just my seldom-used alt account and that I was actually the leader of my own alliance. I expected her to be a bit surprised but she seemed to think that it was all inconsequential. I began to run around with her sometimes with my main account and I discovered how shockingly little she actually new about the game. In fact, it seemed as though she had only just began playing when she joined [KISS] -- not that it mattered at all to me, of course. It just seemed surprising given the early success she had shown in creating her own guild.

Things reached an apex with the new guild/alliance and then began a slow decline. Inactive people were booted but there were less and less new ones coming in to replace them. Some of the new alliance guilds seemed to be making a decent stand but a few of the others seemed to have gone the way of the tumbleweeds. Emily seemed to rely upon me more and more as a source of information. I helped get her Assassin through the Ebon Vanguard quest line so that she could get her coveted Mask of the Zo Ming. While she was always friendly and grateful she was also extremely unabashed about asking for anything (she wanted to know if she could buy my Superb Charr Carvings. After I gave her some for free she later asked me if she could have one of my alt-accounts).

I ended up pulling my alt out of Emily's guild since nothing was really happening there any more. She never seemed to notice. I briefly toyed with the idea of trying to help her out, but dropped it, deciding that it would be too much of a drag on my free time and resources. Besides, I had come to the conclusion that Emily was actually rather young, and had not actually considered the sort of time and commitment it takes to make any guild, much less a huge one, last for the long term. By this point she seemed more interested in learning from me how to get all the various accessories in the game for her characters rather than in running her guild. Once she had all the armors and other goodies that she wanted I began to see her less and less, no doubt her interest in the game fading, until finally she stopped showing up at all. I can only assume that the alliance she put together was either handed off to someone else, or else turned into an abandoned ghost town; the goal of being 'just like KISS only better' not so much a failure as it was merely discarded once the interest died out.

Could she have done it if she had actually decided to stick with it? I don't know . . honestly . . . I have my doubts still. It's not exactly a question that bugs me by any means but after my experience I have wondered just what exactly goes into the creation of a mega-guild. Maybe the person who starts up such a thing knows exactly what they are doing from the very start and has a very detailed and extremely well laid out plan. Then again, maybe it all starts when a 16 year old girl named Emily decides to be bigger and better than what they have seen before.

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Updated 09-13-2011 at 08:40 AM by Karuna




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