I was considering starting with an apology for the sour title of this item but I won’t. I am genuinely very annoyed with the decision of making it impossible to kick players before season end. Season end, which is still 2 weeks away…

So let’s look at this decision in more detail.

Which functionality and controls does a guild captain have:

  • Edit the Guild Motto
  • Edit the Guild type
    • Open or Invite Only
  • Invite a person to the guild from Friendslist
    • Can be done by every veteran so not really a guild captains perk
  • Remove a Guild Member from the guild

This last functionality is now disabled until seasons end.

So whats the problem?

Managing a serious long-term guild, which does well on guild level, rank and friendly members is a big challenge. This challenge is amplified by the controls that a guild master has at his/her disposal. Let’s take a closer look.

So when starting a guild the captain set the Guild type to either Open or Invite Only. Which can be translated to “any random person is welcome” to “we are picky in who we invite to the guild”. The first issue arises with the next feature, which is the possibility for each veteran to invite a friend to the guild. Veteran status is earned “automatically” by a guildmember after about 30 guild matches (which some of our members achieved in less than 3 days.

So basically the conclusion is that the guild captain doesn’t have any control over the inflow of members in a guild!

Would this be a problem in a perfect world? No. Sadly our world is not perfect. The issue can be broken down in 3 parts.

  • People
  • Management
  • Communication

People

The Internet houses a massive amount of trolls. Toxic people who use the anonymity and safety of their computer, tablet or phone to annoy, harass and offend other people. Sadly these people also play games like Vainglory. Guild captains deal with these people every day. Having a few good games with a person on your friendlist doesn’t really give a good view of a person’s behavior. In the beginning people tend to be nice until you lose a few games in a row and the real behavior comes out.

Below you find an example of a recent situation with a guildmember who was really nice to the guild captain but not so much to the rest of the guild.

SEMC can’t help the fact that assholes play this game. Though now it is impossible for a guild captain to remove a less “nice” person in case he misbehaves. We, as guild captains, literally have our hands tied on the back by taking away the only control we had.

Management

Let’s take a step back. SEMC implemented the guild functionality in patch 1.9 released on the 29th of September 2015. Since then the company released 6 update patches, 5 new heroes, a number of new skins (didn’t count), hero balance changes, map skins and more. In patch 1.10 there was an update on guild leveling and rewards. In the patch notes SEMC stated:

Guilds is a feature big enough that our work has to come in phases. With each update, we’re building on the foundation created in 1.9 and adding more and more to make guilds into a feature-rich experience for every captain, member and initiate.

Looking at this we can conclude that for 5 months or 5 patches (which ever way you want to look at it) no features have been added to enhance our feature-rich experience. On the contrary, the most important feature is taken away, the feature to exercise some form of control.

So what am I missing?

I think there should be a clear distinction between an Open guild and an Invite Only guild. Due to the fact that each Veteran (and the fact that its easy to achieve that rank) can invite whomever he/she wants nullifies this difference in setup. This actually poses a risk for serious guilds. It only takes 1 asshole to invite other assholes and hijack a well performing guild.

Coming from other games (I managed 2 high end guilds in World of Warcraft, a game I played for roughly 8 years) it was always easy to share the burden of managing a guild. Officers or staff members could be assigned to invite, promote or demote members. In case of Vainglory this would mean that, in case you set your guild to Invite Only, you can assign guild officers to help you manage the guild and the in- and outflow of it’s members. In this case the feature that each veteran can invite new members should be taken away.

Furthermore a staff log would be helpful. As a captain I appreciate knowing who invited new member x to the guild (this feature is even more important if the “veteran can invite members” stays valid).

Communication

I am sorry to say but I think the way of communication in this game is extremely poorly done (I do apologize to the lead dev on this part but the level of frustration is very high).

Some examples.

The chat system often fails (can’t connect), there is no way to notify a person who is not online (other then saying you are looking for members if you are lucky they starred you) and it’s impossible to send anybody a message, which he can see when the player comes online (like a mailbox). Our guild runs a website, a forum and multiple Discord channels to compensate for the lack of the in game communication system. Roughly 80% of the games are pre-setup outside of the game using Discord. Just to be clear, this is not the voice chat part, but the text part that is used for that.

So the main issue comes in to play when we look at membership requirements or expectations. Most of the more serious guilds have (activity and behavior) requirements for being a member. Some have 2 days not played, some 4. Each guild measures it in a different way and is more or less strict on this. This strictness can be debated (as I think it’s not fair if you didn’t play for 2d and 2h and your kicked without notification since you are 2 hours over the requirement).

On the other hand this also describes the issue really well. There is no way of notifying a person in game. Our guild is now notifying our members on Discord when they are not meeting our requirements and expectations. If we are ignored this normally results in a removal from the guild to free up an inactive spot for somebody who will play.

So the real question here is:

Is the guild captain an asshole for kicking a member who doesn’t meet the requirements which are agreed on when a member enters the guild or is the ex guild member a dick for whining to SEMC for being kicked when not meeting the activity requirements of a guild just before seasons end?

Another issue is leechers. This is probably the reason SEMC noticed the removal of people in the first place near the end of the season. It’s nice that you listened to those leechers (apologies for those who where active and kicked for no reason) but did you listen to the reason of that happening? I have noticed that it’s not uncommon for a member to join our guild, play a few games and get member status and then go awol. What is even worse is those who join, play a few games and get member status and from then onwards fully ignore the rest of the guild and only play SoloQ Ranked.

So again I ask:

Is it the guild captain who is an asshole for kicking a leecher or is the leecher an asshat for free-riding on the efforts of the rest of the guild?

Concluding words

With disabling the guild captains privilege of removing a member you support the above mentioned behavior and you fully strip guild captains of any power they had to manage a guild. I do see this change as a serious risk of guilds disbanding because of frustration reaching epic levels (and members leave as the bad apple can’t be removed).

Well, I think this covers my frustration.

In order to give SEMC the possibility to react I am willing to setup an account on our website so you can comment. I will also be at the VGL this weekend in London and willing to discuss this with Dev’s if that helps.

Cheers, Pieces.