In this world of massive, near-instant communication, where a given person can mean hundreds of thousands, if not millions of other people over the course of their lives, there seems to be a degrading of these feudal values. In the real world, this may not be a problem - the feudal era is often looked upon as backwards, simplistic, mysoginistic, and even cruel. However, for Cainites around the World of Darkness, the values of pride, loyalty, and honor still have a great deal of sway. The Tzimisce are most frequently accused of being stuck in a feudal mindset, but any Clan has its ancient values and traditions that may not mesh exactly well with the world culture of the 1990s. For the purposes of the WODMMO, it may be beneficial to take a look at the feudal way of doing things and try to find a happy compromise that works for the ancient and terrible children of the night.
At first glance, "pride" may not sound like a good thing to have. It's a deadly sin, after all, and all-too-often leads to arrogance, narcissism, and megalomania, especially in vampires who develop a lot of personal or political power. (I'm lookin' at you, Princes and Archbishops.) There is a happier side of pride, however, one we see in other MMOs when a group of players or a guild does well. It is the pride of accomplishing something together, of being proud that you have the tag of a powerful and influential guild next to your name, that your name and those of your compatriots stands for something.
Now, exactly what your name stands for is something of an open question. Many players take pride in being griefers, manipulators, loot thieves, and generally all-around bad players. There are vampires who take pride in being the most despicable beings on the face of the planet, those who take pride in their skills as a torturer, and those who take pride in being the most disrespected vampire in the city. It's a crazy world, isn't it? Pride, however, is one of the strongest things that cements Cainites together, because pride makes them feel good and makes them look better to their peers. Pride can be taken in one's lineage, the purity of one's blood and the nobility of one's ancestors - pride can be taken in action, in the number of enemies met on the field of honor and slain - pride can be taken position, achieving rank and title that shows how much influence you have over your lessers. Even unearned pride can serve - the fear you see in other vampires' eyes when you show up, because you are the favorite minion of the Ventrue Primogen whom nobody dares cross, which means you can make a total ass of yourself and nobody can touch you.
Any kind of pride serves as the cement of Cainite relationships firstly by making them care about what other vampires think. It is not enough to BE powerful, that power must be acknowledged and obeyed. A Cainite who loses the respect of their peers is in a very dangerous position, but a display of pure pride and confidence can act as a powerful buffer against betrayal. Cainites who take pride in their associations (for whichever reasons) want to keep the quality of the organization alive, so that they can keep feeling pride. A coterie or pack that does great things means that all members share in the glory and prestige, making other vampires look up to them and aspire to be them. We see this kind of pride in other MMOs when a player brags about which raiding guild they're in or their PvP ranking on a server with thousands of other players. Players even take pride in accomplishing random events, like finding all pieces of a item set, or gouging other players in the auction house. Pride is yet a motivating force for gamers, and can be used as a tool for good as well as evil.
Being a vampire isn't an easy gig: there are many constant pressures to capitulate to other vampires' demands, especially if they manage to acquire some sort of hold over another vampire. Loyalty can be as cheap as a single drop of blood, and even if a vampire is completely loyal to another in the depths of their soul, they can be manipulated and coerced into serving different masters on the surface. Many vampires of all ages end up being extremely paranoid, not necessarily because they don't trust those who are loyal to them, but because that loyalty can be so easily perverted by others. Elder vampires have many and complex ties to other elders, not to mention their own childer and their childer's childer, and their allies can call in a favor owed to them from centuries ago at any time. Being loyal to your old friends (and to new friends) is almost a requirement, for a total lack of loyalty means you are a rogue quality, and a danger to all vampires everywhere. Couple this with the paranoia most vampires develop sooner or later, and there's a pretty good chance that the vampires of your city will hunt you down just to make sure you're going to mess things up. Even a vampire who declares heart-and-soul for the enemy sect is more trustworthy than a rogue element, because they can be trusted to follow a certain course of action based on their allegiance.
Loyalty is a tricky thing, though. A vampire can be loyal to a person (their sire), their sect (the Camarilla), or even to an abstract ideal (mercy) - or all three at once, which can lead to some very tight spots if any of those objects come into conflict with another. The Gangrel faced this conflict when Xaviar pulled the Clan out of the Camarilla - a given Gangrel's respect for Xaviar clashed with their Clan's loyalty to the Camarilla, and put them in a tug-of-war with their loyalty to the concept of freedom: if they stuck with the Camarilla, they were not free; but if they followed Xaviar, it would look like they were just his lackeys. There's no telling which loyalty a character will choose, and in a world as politically complex as the World of Darkness, there are undoubtedly many hidden loyalties that a vampire has that makes their actions unpredictable in times of great stress.
Being known as a loyal character, however, can have many great benefits for a vampire. Being loyal breeds trust, even in the face of paranoia, because in spite of their massive power, no single vampire can do everything alone. It helps, politically speaking, to have a good track record of being loyal to those you publicly side with - being known for your loyalty to the Prince probably means the Prince will reward you sooner or later, if only to assert his public image as a person worth being loyal to. On a slightly more abstract level, loyalty to an ideal can help a vampire maintain their morality, and prevent the Beast from taking over the void of an empty heart.
Of course, loyalty is a two-way street: there's no point in maintaining loyalty to someone who does reciprocate and trust you in return.
Honor is arguably the most fragile and the most important of these three qualities. You either have honor or you don't, and it can be broken with a single nod of agreement or shake of denial. If you do not have personal honor, it becomes much harder to have loyalty, and there's one less thing to take pride in. Some vampires regard honor as an extremely flexible tool, to use when they see fit, and to break when it's convenient. In the feudal politics of the World of Darkness, however, honor still holds some sway. Having honor leads to trust - if you give your word of honor to somebody, then they are inclined to trust you - and to pride - you are a better person for maintaining honor or, on the other hand, you take pride in making others believe you have honor.
Honor often seems like a small and trite thing compared to the lavish earthly rewards offered by betraying one's honor, and yet keep in mind that most other vampires practice their own deceits: if someone approaches you offering a bribe to look the other way while they pass through the door you're supposed to be guarding, and you accept, not only have you given up some honor, but that "someone" could be an agent of the Prince testing you for loyalty - a test you just failed. Ironically, having a great deal of honor means you need to be at least as suspicious as the paranoid elder you're serving, because there are so many more pitfalls and temptations that can lead to your unfortunate end.
Keeping their word, standing up for their employer, practicing what they preach, and fighting for what they believe in all help a vampire maintain honor. Maintaining honor, especially in the face of the casual "just this once" or the uncertain "I'll make it up to you", leads to loyalty and pride. Honor, loyalty, and pride aren't just for Gangrel anymore, and they can still have a place even in the World of Darkness.
I have been speaking many high-and-mighty words here, but there comes the question of how they could possibly be applied to an MMO set in the twentieth or twenty-first centuries. The reason is blindingly simple: it all comes down to trust. However much power, influence, reputation, and prestige any given player has, they are still only as good as their word. EVE Online regularly shows how much impact pride, loyalty, and honor has on player interaction and player politics: from massive corporations that are known for doing safe business to choosing to believe the pirate when he says he'll let you go if you pay your own ransom, pride, loyalty, and honor are all still very much alive in that game. Trust is built by having the outward look of pride, loyalty, and honor, and maintaining these qualities inclines people to trust you because of what others tell them and what they can see with their own eyes. Pride, loyalty, and honor can be used honestly, as in the case of the fair-dealing corporation, or dishonestly, as in the case of a massive Ponzi scheme or unscrupulous pirate.
Even when used honestly, though, there is nothing stopping pride, loyalty, or honor from becoming totally self-serving and even profitable qualities when applied to EVE Online or the WODMMO. Being known as the player who always lives up to their word and never backs out of a deal can be a powerful negotiating tool - or a tool of intimidation. If you are known for always fulfilling a contract and doing what you intend to do, a simple promise to hunt down and kill another player-character sounds like a certainty that you will hunt down and kill another player-character, which means you can scare your target into hiding - thus perhaps serving the political ends of your client - or getting them to pay you off in exchange for their life (if it's a "dead or alive" situation). The Nosferatu agent who always delivers timely and quality info is sitting pretty good in the massive web of Cainite politics, and rakes in the cash by playing the game as straight and honest as it can be.
Pride, loyalty, and honor among a coterie leads to cooperation and advancement; pooling together your resources in order to purchase a new block of domain requires that you trust your fellow coterie members, and that they all trust you. Even if your coterie has the simple and violent loyalty of a wolf pack, there is still a very good reason why you work as a pack: it helps you bring down larger prey, both literally and metaphorically speaking. Even in the standard MMO, a raid group counts on its members to do the right thing at the right time in order to bring down the boss. Raid groups who promise a fair share of the loot but fail to deliver often find themselves lacking members the next time they want to go after the Giant Lava Lord of Doom. Even the lone wolf, the griefer, has to have a certain degree of pride - they have to be driven to constantly excel in combat, so they can beat anyone who comes their way - and even a twisted sense of honor - they have to always kill their target, otherwise it makes them look weak and stupid.
As I hope I've demonstrated here, pride, loyalty, and honor are still applicable in a twenty-first-century world, a world of deceit, greed, and darkness. These qualities are not even necessarily exclusive to deceit, greed, and darkness - every character has the choice of what they take pride in, who they are loyal to, and how they define what honor is. Even the followers of the Paths of Enlightenment have a great deal of pride, loyalty, and honor - maybe even more than your average vampire, for they committ actions that can lead them straight into the Beast's jaws if they slip along the Path even once. Pride, loyalty, and honor are useful for any player concept in the World of Darkness MMO, and can even help them survive in the nasty political web that is the realm of vampires.