Next Project: On MMO War

After the completion of The Art of MMO War, I will next delve into Carl von Clausewitz's On War, in a new post series titled On MMO War.

I am excited to start this new project, which is expected to last over the next three to five years. I hope you will continue to enjoy this journey as much as I have.



Don Juan Matus on the Mood of a Warrior

"The hardest thing in the world is to assume the mood of a warrior. It is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior."
Don Juan Matus


Mark Lawrence on Armor

"Pretty armor doesn't make a warrior."
Mark Lawrence

Most have become aware of MMO developers increasing the visual representation of armor over time (World of Warcraft is a great example of this trend over the last 11 years). What is frightening is most players have become aware that these representations no longer display the ability of a person to play the MMO, but their ability to be carried along by others to get shinier pixels.


USAF Air War College Strategy Definition

Strategy is a plan to use resources to achieve an objective.
USAF Air War College - Foundations of Strategy 2014


The Use of Spies - 3

A leader who is able to know the enemy’s plans beforehand shows true wisdom.


The Use of Spies - 2

In MMOs, one who is unaware of the advantage of knowing the enemy’s designs cannot master victory when leading a guild in battle.

Players: In PVP, a leader must always know the opponent's strategy. This will increase the preparation time before the battle, but ensure the battle is swift when it happens, and victory is assured.


The Use of Spies - 1

Players will face each other for years in any MMO, seeking to obtain victory. Even so, to remain unaware of the enemy’s plans because of a fear of reprisal is the height of ignorance.

Players: To ignore the tactics of the enemy is to give in to defeat before beginning to fight. One must carefully note all aspects of the enemy, even down to the smallest detail.


Miyamoto Musashi on Strategy 2

Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close, and to take a distanced view of close things.
Miyamoto Musashi


The Use of Spies - Author's Note

The use of spies in MMORPGs is a very controversial subject. Purposefully gaining access through a network of players to another group can lead to reputations being ruined. Gone are the days when a players can switch from game to game and lead an anonymous existence on the internet. Players often use the same in-game name in each game they play, staying with a gaming community across multiple games. 

Guilds should, through their recruitment process, look for background information on a player and previous guilds they have been a part of to ensure no conflict of interest exists. To be labeled as a spy by other players and communities can and often makes a player a pariah for their gaming career. Read this section with the utmost caution in mind.


The Guild Attacks - 16

A good leader is understanding, and cautious in his approach. This will keep the guild harmonious, and morale intact.

Players: As Sun Tzu wrote, “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.” By treating guild members as family, not just pawns in a greater scheme, or as equipment with which to further selfish gains, a guild leader enables members to rise to leadership positions, and normal members will gladly follow their leaders. One of the greatest enemies to a guild is the animosity of its members.


The Guild Attacks - 15

Once morale and order is gone from the guild, it cannot be restored.

Players: Leaders must ensure that their players are both willing and able to follow the rules and regulations of their guild. Those unwilling to do so should be removed at the first sign of disharmony. This quick action is often seen as being too heavy-handed, but on the contrary it shows the willingness to do what it necessary to keep harmony in the guild. Players whose goal is to bring disharmony are a virus that will only spread unless dealt with quickly.

Leaders must also be wise to understand the difference between disharmony and open discourse. Often players will voice complaints with passion, but do so because they see problems arising they want to fix to ensure further harmony. View these times as opportunities to progress the guild as an entity, and not as one to the power invested in the leader to remove a player.

Those who want disharmony are most active when the leader is directing battle, or when the leader is away. During battle they will ensure defeat. When the leader is away they will use rumor and gossip to usurp the harmony of the guild.


The Guild Attacks - 14

The good MMO leader is always cautious, and keeps harmony with his players.

Players: Leaders must engage their players on a personal level. Too often guild structure is a hindrance to meaningful relationships between players and their leaders; leaders often create cliques as roadblocks towards being approachable by the average player. While leaders cannot, nor should they have to address every issue, they must take the time to get to know and understand those they lead. This will strengthen the guild as if forging iron into steel.