“We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.” She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” she said.” – Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
People are inherently social animals – we instinctively gravitate towards other people who share our interests, passions, and sense of humor. While social units IRL are generally more fluid and relatively varied, most MMORPG social units are structured around some form of the guild system. This is most certainly true for FW.
While it is possible to remain a free agent, and some players do so, being guildless makes it incredibly difficult to advance in FW as well as keeping a player from accessing a large portion of the end-game content. In order for players to obtain recipes and materials for higher job levels, they must be a member of a guild with a completed base since these items are not sold at public npcs. Being a member of a guild is also necessary in order to participate in Rift, FW’s guild warring and territory system. Furthermore, Rift is the only source of level 77 purple hands with golden text, making it extremely difficult for guildless players to obtain them.
Outside of the game mechanics that strongly encourage players to join a guild, the player-formed structure for most game content also makes being a member of a guild a quasi-necessity. Most players will inquire for instance parties in guild before opening the run to the general server through world chat. Epic boss hunts, especially the weekly Eternal Belief Lich Lords which drop the much-coveted 75 purple EB weapons, are generally organized as guild events. Consequently, a player’s choice of guild directly affects their enjoyment of the game as well as the nature of their gaming.
an example of an EB weapon
On Lionheart server, guilds can be roughly organized into 3 tiers: OP guilds, large non-OP guilds, and casual or small guilds. Alt guilds fall under a 4th tier of their own.
These tiers can be looked at in two different ways (づ￣ ³￣)づ
(I) What a player can achieve through these guilds
(1) casual/small guilds
(a) make friends
(b) learn the game
(c) receive basic advice on builds etc.
(d) elite quality gears, lower rarity items
(e) instance parties
(2) large non-OP guilds
(a) friends~ but you are much less likely to know everyone in the guild or be as involved in everyday guild governance
(b) a complete base
(c) more in-depth advice and information on game play and game mechanics
(d) elite quality gears, occasionally purple gears
(e) instance parties – notably, more parties for 75+ instances
(f) boss hunts for the less competitive epic bosses (i.e. Lord of Moss)
(g) regular rifts
(3) OP guilds
(a) friends~ depending on how strong your character is and how active you are, you can either be extremely close with the core members or remain relatively unfamiliar with most guild members
(b) a complete base
(c) very comprehensive advice on game mechanics – sometimes even bordering on uninvited interference (*・)σσσ(*゜Д゜*)
(d) boss hunts – specifically for the most coveted epic bosses (Lich Lords, Vexxers, Twin Emperors, FlyingBosswhosenamenobodyeverremembers)
(e) weekly rifts with relatively high stakes
(f) purple quality gear including EB weapons and boots
(g) possible help with your arena score
(II) What a player will need to invest into the game
(1) casual/small guilds: minimal play time, very little grinding/cash shopping
(2) large non-OP guilds: a reasonable amount of play time (most of these guilds require some proof of life at least every other week), some grinding/cash shopping (however there is very little pressure from the guild itself for players to do so)
(3) OP guilds: a regular playing schedule involving game time during most major guild events, either a lot of grinding or a reasonable level of cash shopping in order to remain a contributing member to the guild
When deciding what type of guild to join, players need to consider where they are in their “game life” and how much commitment they are willing to undertake. More importantly, it is necessary for the player to be as interested in making the commitment that the less casual guilds require as they are in what they can attain as a member of those guilds. Players who tend to join OP guilds solely for the benefits usually have high-turnover rates and end up creating a negative experience both for themselves and for other players.
While guilds can be roughly placed in one of those 3 categories, it is important to remember that guilds are not static within those categories, just as players are not noobs forever. Furthermore, guilds in the same category can display a vast variance in guild culture and the type of players they attract. These differences are usually less obvious in the 2 more casual types of guilds, but become very defined in the OP guilds.
The current strongest guilds on Lionheart server are:
Eminence – my guild （*´▽｀*）。♥.。.
Each of these 5 guilds have their own individual “personality quirks” which more often than not, brings them into conflict with each other (or more specifically in recent history, brings the other guilds into conflict with Emi).
Please bear in mind that there is going to be pretty heavy bias going forward since I am obviously very partial to my own guild (°∀ °)♡
Eminence and Starlight have always historically been Hydrus guilds and, as far as I know, have a relatively tolerant relationship with each other.
Starlight, based on popular opinion, is a very family-style guild, with a number of members who are in later stages of life (i.e. married, working, middle-aged). They’re considered relatively low-drama and relaxed as well as fairly casual for an OP guild. Quite a few members of my 2nd guild, Midnight, have gravitated to Starlight after guild-drama nearly killed Midnight in the aftermath of our guild lead quitting game. Most of these members are reasonably well-geared, but diffidently competitive, preferring to enjoy the social atmosphere of the game and the PvE content.
Doc & Fox, two of the sweetest people ever~
Avatar was historically an Aeroses guild, however it recently also switched to the Hydrus statue. Most Lionheart players know that at one point, Avatar was the most OP guild on the server – in many ways, the only OP guild on the server. According to former Avatar members who are now in Eminence, Avatar was almost militant in its rules and its point system for bidding on gear. However, due to a wave of drama involving quitting members and a ban war, Avatar lost its power and only recently started to rebuild. Due to various reasons, Eminence was largely blamed for Avatar’s downfall, resulting in a lot of enmity between the two guilds.
Dominant is a guild I privately call “the terrorist guild” when discussing them with guild mates. While most people think I started having such a negative view of them after joining Emi (because of how much Domi hates us), it’s actually a term I started using when I was still a corps lead at Midnight. At the time, Mjolnir, another Aeroses guild, was working with Dominant and other Ignet guilds in an alliance to contain Emi. Because I had an active alt in Mjolnir (actually Reina, who was only an alt at the time), I acted as a diplomat of sorts, helping set up communications between our then guild lead, Ravara, and Genocciide, the Mjolnir rift lead. Although we were supposed to work together to focus on attacking Emi and Starlight, Dominant disregarded the alliance and led a number of Ignet guilds in attacking Midnight (we held quite a number of lvl3 territories, the lowest level of territory) for 3-4 weeks in a row. From our point of view, the attacks were largely unprovoked and initially unexpected, it was only after asking people who were close with then Dominant leader, Deibross, that I finally heard what amounted to a rationale for their behavior. Deibross supposedly said that he was attacking Midnight simply because we were weak and he believed that Domi was capable of taking all of our territories.
That type of “bully” mentality is essentially what I have come to expect from Domi and members of Domi. Instead of facing other guilds (even weaker ones like Midnight) head on, they prefer to use numbers, attacking only when they can ensure that a number of other guilds will be attacking the same guild that week. Pretty typical of Domi’s attitude is their ranting in world chat after Emi successfully defended a 60v60 against them last week. Emi entered the rift with less than 30 people while Domi had close to 60 members in the rift – although the rift was close, Emi still managed to win by a slight margin, our attacking teams making up for the lack of carters. Immediately afterwards, Domi members flooded world chat calling us various names and implying that some of our members were “selling themselves” by joining Emi after leaving their previous guilds (even though these same members had been close friends with most of Emi for most of their time in FW)
This is honestly one guild I struggle to find anything nice to say about – in fact, it’s pretty difficult for me to even think of more than one member I can consider a friend (ノ`Д ́)ノ
Freeza, you’re a top bloke, and pretty much the only exception to the rule
another old friend from Midnight~ only I feel much more ambivalent towards his new guild ┬─┬ ︵ /(.□. \）
Oblivion is also an Ignet guild. To a certain extent, Oblivion has undergone the largest transformation within the past few months: from a relatively relaxed cbf guild to what reminds me of the Avatar glory-days bedtime stories I get told by Shirona and Phil. The main thought that comes to my mind with Oblivion is “rules.” Oblivion has a lot of them – from how purple quality gear is distributed and bid on to how rift parties are organized to where you can and cannot bot and who you can and cannot ks (including rules on whether you should keep an open party or not!) There’s a lot of antipathy between Oblivion and Emi (mostly originating from the Oblivion side to be fair) partly because Emi is basically the antithesis of rules. Personal feelings aside, Oblivion is probably one of the more welcoming guilds of the 5 OP ones (Starlight might be slightly better, but I’m less familiar with it) when it comes to teaching newer players game mechanics and helping them with instance runs. This is partly because Oblivion is very active, with a large number of PvE focused players.
On the other hand, Oblivion can be relatively ragey, with certain members constantly talking about banning other players and calling down the wrath of the GM on other guilds (this is especially prevalent after Emi wins all 3 EB bosses because Oblivion took over 2 months to realize how the reflect boss fountains worked). However, their Emi rivalry/inferiority complex aside, most Oblivion members are fairly nice and reasonable.
Eminence is generally considered to be the current most OP guild on Lionheart, though, to be honest, calling us the laziest guild on Lionheart is probably much more accurate. We are the only PvP focused guild on our server (PvE server d’oh) and our members are constantly “harassing” other guilds to guild war (and getting turned down, even by guilds that could theoretically match us simply due to sheer numbers like Oblivion). For an OP guild we’re quite small, of our 30-odd members online at any given time, at least 20 are in the training grounds whenever arena isn’t open. Our members generally have a max/min attitude towards everything and are almost all on the younger side of 30 (we probably have the most college students out of all the Lionheart guilds). Case in point: our lvl 3 dining hall still hasn’t been constructed so our guild can only hold lvl1 campfires.
A typical conversation between two Eminerds:
An even more typical conversation:
♡♡((◕ω◕))* vorb I sorry for revealing your super secret priest strategy (pssst everyone switch to this build fast~ it’s borbis approved)
Emi’s first ever lv3 chest *⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* – dated 4/7/2013
Fundamentally, “the perfect guild” doesn’t really exist; it’s more about finding a guild that matches your needs and level of commitment in game as well as your personal attitude towards what a guild should and shouldn’t be. As you grow as a player, you will also slowly bring your own attitude and personality to the guild, gradually changing it (Emi recently welcomed quite a few less “lazy” members – hence the first lv3 chest in guild history). Having been actively involved in 3 guilds in FW: Radiance, Midnight, and Eminence, I can say with certainty that my “perfect guild” has changed dramatically from when I was first learning the game to when I reached end-game (I even did a complete class switch from vampire to priest). And even if one guild doesn’t have all the aspects I look for (i.e. I like chattier guilds and Emi is usually quiet): when in doubt use an alt~