Hasla Herald: A Sensitive Issue

Today’s Hasla Herald is a bit of a somber one. Normally I try to be a bit more upbeat in my column, but today that just isn’t possible. In this issue we are discussing Guild politics, splinter guilds and why I’m personally struggling with ArcheAge at the moment.  Next week I will try not to be so heavy hearted, but today I need to step on my soapbox and let everything go.

I absolutely adore this game. It’s one of the best MMORPGs I have played in a very long time. The mechanics are great, the game is a ton of fun to play and for the most part I really enjoy the community. While I enjoy the community it’s exactly that reason I have had a hard time playing ArcheAge this week. My drive to play has been completely shot in the foot. I let out an audible sigh every time I think about ArcheAge.

I really appreciate the guild I am in and I enjoy playing with the people in it, but I am currently torn between a rock and a hard place. People will be people, and often times there are disagreements between adults.  The way we handle said disagreements is a good test to the strength of our character.

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Guild Drama is nothing new. It will happen in any game you play and it can’t really be avoided. Personalities tend to clash and not everyone will get along, such is the nature of the world, both in real life and online.  Even though it’s the internet it doesn’t stop real feelings from getting involved.

I am in a very large ArcheAge guild. I won’t say what server and I won’t say what guild. This information is irrelevant.  What often happens in large guilds is people form in to cliques, smaller groups of people that often play together. Recently a group of players in the guild got in to a disagreement with another group of players. Some were asked to leave and others left on their own volition.  Many of those involved on both sides are people I consider close friends. I have no issues with any of them, nor was I part of the drama.

Part of it is the nature of the game itself. Guild politics are arguably the most important aspect of the game. Some of the feature’s aren’t in yet, but the alliance system, custom factions and castle seiges make for a highly political environment. ArcheAge is a heavily influenced by PVP. Farms and housing can be set to guild access allowing possible theft. Since there are rival guilds and another faction, spying also becomes an issue. I understand all of this, but at the end of the day we are in the human struggle together and when people are forced to choose sides it really hard on some.

The whole ordeal has made me really uncomfortable though. I feel like I am a piece of rope being tugged on from both directions, even though I understand no one is actually doing so. This internal conflict with myself has caused me quite a bit of stress. Right now the game isn’t enjoyable for me. I really hope that changes rather quickly.

ArcheAge Closed Beta

It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of scenario. On one hand, even though I enjoy most of the people in the guild it’s such a large group that I don’t connect with many involved. There are a lot of new faces that I just don’t know and feel uninspired to get to know. That is my problem not there’s. The real issue I am facing is that most of my friends have left due to the conflict. I was having an amazing time up until then, now I dread logging in. I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Recently that group of players went and formed a splinter guild. About 40 of the members are now in that same offshoot. This guild was immediately put on the KOS (kill on sight) list and is often talked about in a negative manner. Many of the people on both sides of the argument are great people and I consider them my friends it’s really a shame that the guild harbors a level of malice towards those who left.

What really disheartens me is the manner in which this guild has handled the issue. Anyone who leaves is IP banned from the TS and members are asked not to associate with them. It gives the impression of a “them verse us” environment. Some who have tried to talk or express their concern have been told “if they don’t like it leave”. The incident in question is incredibly minor in the long scheme of things, but mentioning the instance will now get you kicked from the guild. It’s an attitude that really makes my stomach sink.

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This has been the hardest column I have ever had to write. There have been times my hands even began to shake, I write this not as a journalist, but as a concerned player who is no longer excited or enthralled by ArcheAge simply due to a bad experience. Some might argue this article isn’t professional, that it’s not journalism and I might be inclined to agree with you. I write this from the heart, I write it because I feel it needed to be written.  I want to enjoy ArcheAge again, and I’m sure that it will happen but today doesn’t seem to be the day.

At some level I’m afraid that by publishing this I will be asked to leave the guild. I have made peace with that, I really hope it’s not the case. I really hope the leaders and other players that take the time to read this will see where I am coming from. Maybe by writing this I can help bridge the gap between both groups of players and they can see past their differences.Who knows, sometime in the future someone who read this might take a step back and re examine their current guild conflict. I am not holding my breath, but I really hope so.

This article may pertain to ArcheAge but it brings up a bigger issue in regards to the gaming community as a whole. Even though we have a level of anonymity we should strive to create friendships, not burn them down.  Everyone wants to feel welcomed and like they belong somewhere.  We are all human and even with our level 50s and our end game gear, the most important skill we have in the game is our empathy. It is one we should spam as much as possible.

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