I have a tangent to go on, that in my own very unstructured way, needs to be put out there. I say this from my own perspective and it does not represent TL's stance. This honestly comes from having spoken to so many fans of Tales of Tyria who simply want this community to "feel" like home, and think we all have a great shot of doing that, if we take a second to think before we act.
We're roughly a week away from launch, we're all getting anxious, some of us irritated, etc. We all have one thing in mind however -- what server we will roll on, and just how organized is "organized"? Are we organized enough? Are we thinking a bit too much? What is that other guild doing? Etc.
The victories won by a master of war gain him neither reputation for wisdom nor merit for courage. How subtle and insubstantial, that the expert leaves no trace. How divinely mysterious, that he is inaudible. Thus, he is master of his enemy's fate. -- Sun Tzu
I just wanted to make a thread to remind everyone that while we all want to be among the "top", in the end you are actually playing a game, and want to have fun too. No single guild has it "all figured out" and there is no such thing as a wrong or right way to run your guild in WvW.
We all have similar goals, and more importantly, all of us want to carry and develop a community into and beyond GW2. It's fair to say that most of us here give zero shits about "x alliance" or specific guilds on other servers, and that's fine. Please though, don't be so quick to judge another guild based on your own opinion alone, consider some things:
First, in the MMO scene, the biggest mistake most players make is forming a complete conclusion and summary of a player or guild based on very minimal experience or contact. Sadly these quick first impressions are usually the root for the majority of misconceptions, discrimination, and eventual drama. Also, this major mistake is usually the one you will never be able to correct in someone, as this comes from a habitual upbringing. As we've all figured out over time in our gaming careers, the internet does indeed "judge a book by its cover" for the most part. All you can do is be wary of this, and know the signs.
Second, when acting as a third party and comparing players, or entire groups of players, you have to consider factors are in play that are not present in the real world. We live in a world today where factors determining one's "worth" are presented in a fashion that is easily identifiable. Everything is transparent in human society, and accomplishments are shown as such (i.e. a nice car, or wearing a business suit). Sometimes they are less obvious, but you never jump the gun to assume someone is unsuccessful in life as you would over the internet.
Now in online gaming, we are only as transparent as we wish to be, and therefore create our own "standards" to be judged upon, albeit not intentionally. An example would be a player in GW2 who focuses only on making sure he is among the best at aiming siege weapons in WvW. Now to his peers, and those who witness it, he would easily be regarded as a "decent" or "valued" guild member, having great spatial awareness and judge of distance. Now let's take that same individual and imagine him caught alone out in the middle of nowhere later that day, and faces off in a 1vs1 with a random scout from guild "Red Buccaneers".
This guy, who is respected for his individual accomplishments among his immediate peers, get's slaughtered by this "scout" from a different guild.
The issue begins here and multiplies for certain personalities:
-Typically, that scout would make a statement saying he "owned" this player.
-The "Red Buccaneers" at that moment could say "they owned" this enemy guild, or are "above" them in a certain manner.
-They could then move on to spread the word within the guild chat and Voip, and thus the prejudice is formed.
-The guild could have recorded this, and later show it as such in a spotlight video.
-"Small talk" brings this instance up often, and it becomes "common knowledge".
Now, no matter how excellent this "siege extraordinaire" is regarded among his own peers, he will always be looked down upon and trashed by those on the opposite side of the fence, without those individuals even taking a second chance to know that this guy is likely an immense asset to his own guild/server. He never gets the chance.
You can scale this up to guilds and alliance as well.
So how do we fix this? Well in the case of the internet, and our GW2 community, we don't. All we can do is attempt to stop it as it happens. When you hear members in your guilds or alliance starting to "trash talk" based on single cases of involvement with the offending guild or player, don't be so quick to judge. Speak up and make it known that you don't know everything about them, and certainly do not have enough experience to judge them. They could have failed on that last siege, but who knows if they have been normally dominating in other scenarios? Perhaps you got lucky. Perhaps you truly are better than them at this particular event or situation, but you don't know them enough to immediate call them out for being "noobs" or "useless".
I typed all of this out because we are about to enter that environment where we are marginally stuck where we roll, and the results of coming battles will test our wits and limitations on frustration. If you are pitted against overwhelming odds, or better organization, do not be so quick to call cheats, zerging, etc. More importantly, do not be so quick to judge the guilds or players in question. Believe it or not, very few guilds and players in WvW actually want to "zerg" or "steamroll" without any competition. They may feel naive about it at first, but it's human nature that every individual try to be just that - individual. All players will strive to be something they can be known for being good at. As someone on the other side of the fence, you have to seek those positive aspects out and find common ground -- even if it's so base as just wanting to enjoy WvW.
Common ground you can find with your enemies:
-You both enjoy WvW, and love epic, large-scale battles
-You both want the best for you're own server and guilds.
-You both really want this game to succeed.
So tl;dr. Don't be so quick to judge your enemies on such limited experience. If you lost or are losing, take the chance to respect the strategies or numbers required to win over you. If you are winning, then take a chance to respect the forces you are up against. Do not assume immediately because you won, that it somehow makes you "better". It just means that the circumstances aligned correctly to allow for victory.
Just think about the bigger picture. I really hope we can continue these forums into something where we all give each other proper and due respect, and work our best to fight against those simply trolling or flaming other guilds who likely tried and continue to respectfully try the best they can.
Looking forward to the great shout-outs, and wonderful battle stories, absent of discrimination and bias, and full of great smiles all around. We can only do this if we all police each other with encouragement. See someone bashing someone else's server or guild? Make it a point to jump in and give compliments on your own experience. Chances are there are plenty of solid, respectable, and decent guilds and players in that server who will read your post and say "we need more of him in our community", keeping things positive.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom. -Sun Tzu