With details about guilds be released PAX I thought it would be interesting to write up my interpretations and see what conclusions you guys draw from it all. Lets start off with what we know (you most likely missed the details if you weren’t watching all the panels fanatically like I do).
- Players can belong to more than one guild. When you log in you decide which guild you represent and therefore decide which guild you will be interacting with.
- Guilds can work towards specialised guild achievements and when guilds do things together in the world they gain influence. Influence is a form of guild currency which the guild can spend on rewards which range from leveling items and storage to the ability to throw parties.
- In WvW gameplay guilds are able to take control of keeps. Guilds can fly their flag in these keeps and spend their influence to fortify and upgrade these keeps.
- Out of game support will exist, with social tools like calenders and guild chat available for web browsers and smart phones.
Sourced from Guild page on the Guild Wars 2 Wiki.
Firstly I have mixed feeling on the multiple guild system. It’s good to see that multiple guilds are now allowed per account rather than a single guild for your entire account which was the case in Guild Wars 1. This annoyed me in Guild Wars 1 because if I had a pre-sear character and I wanted to join a pre-sear guild all my characters had to join that guild as well. The up side to this was that you didn’t have to switch over every single alt when you changed guild and people still knew who you were if you were playing an alt (although you could get these features easily with some smart UI).
The new guild system not only allows multiple guilds on a single account but also multiple guilds for a single character which I see as both a good and bad thing. You can join different ‘genres’ of guilds so if say in one play-session you wanted to play through PvE you would log in representing your leveling guild and on another play-session you wanted to play competitive PvP so you would log in representing your PvP guild. This is great because of the fact that if you like to join specialaised guilds you’re still able to play the entire game as your not limited to a single guild. It also allows you to incognitively sample other guilds if you grow tired of your current guild (remember you only appear online in the roster of the guild you are currently representing). This is great and all but i’m afraid this will actually dilute the guild experience. Guilds are all about building a community and creating really awesome group experiences together and getting to know everyone is hard enough (especially in larger guilds) but imagine trying to do it in 3 or 4 different guilds, impossible dare I say! There might be systems in place that could counteract this problem but until the guild system is explained in more detail we will just have to wait and see.
Guild Achievements and Influence sound rather similar to the new guild system that was implemented into the latest WoW expansion with Guild Achievements acting as a shared goal for guild members to better their experience with and influence sounding like a currency version of WoW’s guild reputation. Rewards to sound akin to things like exp boosts to guild calendars, nothing that puts other players at a disadvantage but enough to encourage players to work together as a guild. The thing I like the most about the rewards is the mention of the ability to through parties which probably means various party items (like the ones in Guild Wars 1) that add a little bit of flair to the moment. Can’t wait to attend some killer parties at Lion’s Arch!
Guilds also are taking a stand in mists this time round! Guilds can actually capture and control keeps in WvW which allow them to fly their flag in honour above the keep. Guilds can spend their influence fortifying the keeps they capture to make them easier to defend, which would mean that for guilds to spend their precious influence on keeps, the rewards for WvW must be widespread and highly valuable. Imagine guilds taking up the duty to defend a particular outpost every match to help ensure victory for their server. Through guilds the free-form WvW setting could become highly competitive as guilds on all servers refine their skills in battle, assuming guilds are locked to a server though.
Now the extended experience that ArenaNet had been talking about nearly a year ago has really peaked my interest in terms of guild interactions. The ability to bring a map of the world, track your friends and guildmates and talk to them through the game in real time; completely on the fly and on the move is amazing! You can stay connected to the game and more importantly your guildsmates wherever and whenever which means you can stay in the know if your guild is doing anything soon and continuing socialising (remember MMORPG’s have social aspects!) even when you leave your computer.
The totally free extended experience sounds eerily similar to World of Warcrafts paid mobile app which allows you to check the Auction House and and talk to guild members via a smart device. Then that comparison reminds me of the whole paid Call of Duty Elite subscription and Battlefield’s free Battlelog services (with the best games in the two comparisons having free social apps, go Battlefield!). The point is right from the get go guilds (and all social groups really) will get some really powerful and extensive social tools to complement their in-game experience, totally for free! With socialising become a major part of almost everything we do these days I think the extended experience is going to be a massive hit with guilds and will massively change the way people approach guild interactions.
So that’s what I think the guild information released so far but I’ve rambled on long enough, what do you think of the new guild system?