Waging MMO War - 13

The leader of a group is the most essential element of victory in both PVE and PVP.

Players: One competent leader is worth more than a hundred incompetent followers.


Waging MMO War - 12

In both PVP and PVE the desired end state should be victory over the foe. All other things should be secondary to this objective.

Players: The guild that puts victory before rewards is the strongest. Guild members should strive to defeat the enemy, as rewards are a byproduct of all victories. Patience in these matters is essential.


Waging MMO War - 11

Rewards should be given to those who accomplish most of the fighting.

Players: This includes raiding, a common term for large-scale PVE encounters. Those who are consistently doing the majority of playing, supporting, and fighting during these encounters should be the recipients of the majority of rewards. A system needs to be in place that clearly defines how party and guild members will receive rewards during all encounters. Many modern MMOs include “looting systems” as game mechanics that allow for distribution of rewards, but higher levels of organization (guilds in this case) require a system outside of the game to determine who is the best recipient for rewards that are harder to obtain. Without a well-established system, conflict over fair play may result in disharmony and lack of trust between members of guilds. It is essential that guilds determine this system at the earliest time possible during the planning phase for any MMO.

Designers: In modern MMOs, rewards should be given (loot, experience) to those who do the majority of fighting (either by way of damage or damage mitigation) and those who aid in the fight (healing). One should not be able to stand around in a fight and reap rewards or the benefits of being on the battlefield. Systems should be sound enough to avoid exploiting by association or distance to the actual enemy. An example of this would be to not allow a lower level player reap the benefit of having a higher level player kill for them.


Waging MMO War - 10

Players must have purpose behind killing their opponents, both in PVE and PVP. Without a purpose, there is no advantage to killing.

Players: A player’s purpose can be the simple obtainment of rewards, class progression, or personal gratification. All players should find a purpose behind the killing of enemies, attack enemies that fulfill their purpose, and leave behind those that serve no purpose.


Waging MMO War - 9

When able, use what you can off of enemy drops, rather than your own stores.

Waging MMO War - 8

Generally in MMOs, the farther a group is from their base of operations, the higher the prices will be from vendors.


Waging MMO War - 7

All members of a group should bring enough materials for every possible encounter during their time away from their base of operations.

Players: Leaders of a party of any size should impress upon the group to have ready and at their disposal all resources to be used during prolonged encounters. Leadership should plan ahead and have general lists for the campaign to aid their group members. A leader who has every detail planned for their group ensures victory.


Waging MMO War - 6

Only carry what you will possibly use when leaving your base of operations.

Players: One must carefully determine what can be used during an engagement away from resources. At all times a player must be prepared, and having a list of basic necessities to be carried ensures preparedness. The player who is not always prepared is the player who is easily defeated.


Waging MMO War - 5

A group cannot benefit from prolonged engagement.

Players: Resources to include in-game resources, players, player schedules, and guild resources should all be considered when planning for engagements. All resources should be considered as limited to maximize what is available.


Waging MMO War - 4

When making decisions, one must be able to do so quickly, but not so quickly that a hasty decision leads to downfall.

Players: A player who knows their class fully, and other classes fully, is a player who can respond to any situation during PVP or PVE play. Decision time is decreased in relationship to knowledge of a class’ tactics and strategy. One should very rarely have to guess at their next move.


Waging MMO War - 3

If a guild does not progress through content in a MMORPG, some members will take advantage of opportunities to join guilds that are progressing.

Players: Guild leaders must encourage and stress progression through game content as one of the basic goals of the guild. Without progression, players will always gravitate towards a guild that helps them to progress as a player. Even the most loyal players can become distraught at a lack of content progression.


Waging MMO War - 2

When victory requires a large amount of time in PVE or PVP, members will become distraught.

Players: It is crucial for leaders to plan timed breaks to ensure the health and motivation of other players. Even if players are excited to continue on, by having planned breaks of no less than five minutes, players will be refreshed and able to play at their best.

During raids, if members begin to become sullen and distraught, a break will allow them to clear their mind and return with focus. If members begin to show signs of weariness, stopping is often better than continuing without true focus.


Waging MMO War - 1

The cost of running a guild for an MMO will go well beyond just the managing of the guild in the game.

Players: Essential elements for a successful guild include a website with a forum, a voice over IP (VoIP) service, a website administrator, and a guild charter. The costs will be well beyond the cost (i.e. subscription) of just playing the game. Time will be the most expensive of all the costs to a guild member and leader.


Planning - 23

It is essential before a player or group of players engages the enemy, they have planned ahead through many calculations, have foreseen many outcomes based on those calculations, and have determined the best course of action for any action made by the enemy. The more time spent planning, the swifter the victory in any MMO battle.

Players: Players should study tactics used in MMOs, and guilds should provide training and guides to teach players on common tactics essential to their chosen MMO. A guild composed of members who are fully trained on tactics and strategy is a deadly and powerful guild indeed.


Planning - 22

If a normal tactic is to use a gate, go through the back entrance.

Players: When attacking an area owned by an opposing force, unless there is no other option, always attack indirectly (from multiple areas if able). Always attack the weakest point of the opposing force’s stronghold. The enemy will changed guard towards the weak points, at that time, strong becomes weak. Players should think on this deeply.


Planning - 21

In PVP, always show weakness to your enemy to draw them in.

Players: In a fight against a single opponent in PVP, always circle the enemy and let them make the foolish move, giving the impression you are weak. If striking first gains the advantage, be like lightning, without warning and without reprieve. If the enemy strikes at you without warning (as in an ambush), retreat and gather your bearings to the situation. The player who excels is the one who knows these things without having to analyze the situation fully, and can act upon instinct. The player who is always ready is the one who cannot be defeated.


Planning - 20

It is always better to go around unnoticed, or run away and live, than to fight a stronger enemy and lose.

Players: It does not show strength to run into battle only to be defeated time and time again in an MMO. It shows only haste and a lack of knowledge about taking the advantage. The good player fights when they can win, runs when defeat is certain, and bides their time when it is necessary.


Planning - 19

Feigning weakness to draw  the enemy in is a common tactic used to bring enemies close for the slaughter. 

Players: The pulling mechanism often employed of bringing a monster to the larger group uses this principle. This can be also used in PVP by having a single player act as bait as a larger group waits in ambush, or having the single player bring the attacker(s) to a larger group that can surround and slaughter them. Only a group with discipline and good communication can use this tactic wisely.
One should always show weakness before an enemy if possible.


Planning - 18

Deceiving other players is essential to gaining the advantage in PVP.

Players: One must keep their opponents always guessing at their next maneuver. When the enemy knows the plan, the advantage is lost.

Planning - 17

Guilds, raids, and players should always modify their strategy to gain the advantage.

Players: Gaining an advantage during any situation is of primary concern during gameplay. Gaining an advantage could be during battle, during collection of items or resources, or during production of items or resources. Once an advantage is gained, all players must ensure they keep the advantage as long as possible. If the advantage is lost, all can be lost.


Planning - 16

Thinking outside the normal context of MMORPGs helps a guild to overcome challenges they may face. While using a known exploit is inappropriate, using game mechanics to one’s advantage is always appropriate.

Players: A player who reports an exploit to the developers is a more trustworthy player than one who uses an exploit and keeps it to themselves or only tells a few others. Guilds should strive to maintain the high road and refuse to allow exploitation of bugs. Guilds that use exploits are frowned upon by developers and in some cases removed from the game.

Exploiting game mechanics that are common to all games (i.e. line of sight, high terrain) is not only acceptable but essential. One should always exploit game mechanics to create an advantage.


Planning - 15

Does the guild have a system to promote fairness in both PVP and PVE? Does the guild have a charter by which it has listed its methods of operations?

Players: One of the most contentious aspects of guilds in an MMO is the distribution of rewards from styles of play. While PVP often rewards individuals via a system built into the game (often rankings determined by number of players killed, battles won), PVE in most MMOs does not have a mechanic built into the game. It is up to the members of the guild to decide on a method to distribute rewards in a fair way. This method should be discussed at length by the members of the guild and a fair, but set way should be implemented. Once implemented, very minor if any changes should be made from that point on to the system. This must be given much consideration.

A charter is the defining document of a guild, and should include how rewards are distributed so that all current and potential members are aware of the system.


Planning - 14

Does the guild take the time to teach their leaders how to be leaders?

Players: It is essential that guilds create a leadership training program focusing on elements of leadership common to all leaders, which then focuses on leadership specifics used in MMOs. While many theories exist on leadership it is commonly accepted that all leaders, whether natural or trained, gain substantial benefit from a program to hone their leadership style.


Planning - 13

“Strong” can mean in numbers, as well as having higher level characters and better gear. “Strong” more importantly relates to the cohesiveness and discipline of the group or guild.

Players: A variety of factors makes a guild seem strong in nature to the outsider. The most important of these are cohesiveness and discipline. Without these, the guild will fail.


Planning - 12

Does the guild or group have a high level of discipline? Is good discipline enforced through positive, constructive feedback? Is there a mechanism in place for members of a guild to provide that feedback without fear of retribution for doing so?

Players: Even guilds and their members must instill discipline if they hope to achieve success. The right player needs to be doing the right thing at the right time during both PVP and PVE. If players are not doing the right thing, they need to be trained to do so in a positive way that encourages better play out of the player. By being respectful in one’s critique, one can always create a community of respectful players who are encouraged to offer feedback.


Planning - 11

The player, group, or guild that takes advantage of game time mechanics as well as terrain will be the victor.

Players: One should know all game mechanics as they apply to PVP and PVE to include such things as line of sight, effective attack and defense range, stealth, time of day, high point of terrain, ambush points, buildings and foliage.

Designers: Games must build upon natural terrain as well as physical obstacles that can provide unique advantages and disadvantages for players. Time of day is often overlooked as a method to provide for players a unique disadvantage. Night in a game should always limit the distance a player can perceive while during day, the source of light, should blind the player while looking into it. The more options there are available in the game, the better the experience for the players.


Planning - 10

In PVP, the group with a better leader wins the battle. In PVE, the raid or group with a better leader will defeat the artificial intelligence of the enemies.

Players: Those with a natural ability to lead should do so and never be afraid to speak up when others aren’t properly applying a proven strategy in a PVP encounter. It is never wrong to follow the directions of a player who has a proven strategy for winning.

During PVE play, leaders must know the encounter from start to finish, and there should be no hesitation in their decision making. They must lead the group in a way that even when learning an encounter, victory is ensured.


Planning - 9

The guild, raid, or single group with the better leader(s) will win.

Players: This should be considered carefully. Strength in numbers may result in being defeated in numbers. The better guild, raid, or group has more power with competent leaders than being larger in number.


Planning - 8

Guild, raid, and party leaders should be familiar with the constant factors of terrain.

Players: One must always be aware of their surroundings, and know the probable direction the enemy will come from. Terrain in games will offer clues to the player to be ready such as larger rooms for “boss” enemies, or large areas that offer a great deal of concealment for the enemy around corners, behind buildings, or on top of battlements. The player who is aware of these clues is a player who is always ready for any situation.


Planning - 7

Guilds must create a rank structure, maintain supplies and items, maintain a set form of distribution, and wisely use guild resources to maximize potential.

Players: Guilds whose structure allows for a democratic design (one where all players are involved in the day to day processes) and allows for some semblance of group decision making is more apt to ensure harmony between all members of the guild. This structure should be in writing and available to all members in the form of a charter. The charter should list the guild’s hierarchy, goals, and expected conduct of all members.

Guilds should have a system in place, agreed upon by all members, that determines how items and supplies are distributed. This system should be in writing, and available for all members to refer to in the event of disagreements or grievances about item distribution.

Designers: Guild mechanics should have built-in and customizable rank structure within the game, with abilities to determine levels of control each rank should have. Included in this should be a guild “bank” where associated ranks and selected members of the guild have different levels of access to the bank holding the guild’s items and currency.


Planning - 6

A leader in a MMO is not only the guild leader, but any player who takes charge during a PVP or PVE situation.

Players: Guilds should structure a training program for leaders, not just place them into a position based on tenure. Leadership skills are essential both for running a guild and during gameplay. Only after completing the training program is a player placed in a high-ranking leadership position.

A culture of leadership should be honed by the guild leadership for all players in the guild. This ensures at any time a player can "take the reins" if required.


Planning - 5

Terrain in an MMORPG includes vast open areas, areas with funneling features, areas of concealment both outside and in structures inside of towns and cities.

Players: The ability to know the line of sight (LOS) of the character and the enemy is an essential skill when participating in PVE and PVP. One should always consider the LOS towards the rear of their character, as this is the primary point of attack in a MMO because of limited camera angles (though some MMOs may include an auto-facing feature or a backwards-looking camera mechanic to help battle this). Many players work around this tactic by using a circular path.

While in a structure, there are normally only one or two lanes of LOS that a player can be attacked from in either PVE or PVP. These areas should be focused upon at all times for potential danger.