[GW2] Unshackling Guilds

As I’ve said before, with the mind crush of information coming out of PAX for Guild Wars 2 I have to focus on one feature with laser-like intensity for my sanity and ability to communicerfuffle*error*. Anyway, possibly one of the first features most players think about for Guild Wars 2 is the guilds themselves. We aren’t doing a guildless war, people!

Elixabeth, Bringer-of-Sunshine, finishes up her thoughts on day 2 at PAX, where significant news of guilds in Guild Wars 2 was released. There’s some cool stuff like gaining “influence” for a guild by doing activities, which seems to be getting more standard in MMOs, such as Rift. Guilds will be able to capture, hold, and upgrade keeps in the world v. world PvP combat zone, which again is pretty standard for an MMO with that persistent PvP zonage. I would say that these are pretty good additions, but the best news is how each player and that player’s character joins guilds.

Like the original Guild Wars, guild membership is going to be account wide. This is a slight change from their prior position of non-automatic account wide membership. The significant change is that players can add as many guilds as they like to their account. The players can then choose which guild chats and guild affiliations to select at any give time.

ArenaNet is doing some very complex things for Guild Wars 2, but I am extremely happy they are re-visiting MMO standards that might make no sense in our given MMO age, where people have more than two ‘active’ MMOs at any given time. Guilds are no longer marriages because many MMO games are simply not played in a monogamous manner. Guild are, and always have been, clubs.

In real life, I do not just belong to one club. I belong to professional societies, hobby clubs, and nerd cults, and none of these groups requires me to disown another. Even my family has various uncommon groups (in-laws, cousins, the paterfamilias branch), which somehow allow me to occasionally visit the others. It has always been a little weird to me that in the diverse playstyles of a single MMO, I was required to marry one club.

Now that Guild Wars 2 will let players belong to multiple guilds, well I know Zubon and I are dancing in the streets. No longer will patches begin to end a guild. Simply focus on the one guild that will play all the patch’s content. Real-life friends will no longer feel bummed that their hardcore buddy wants to join a real guild because hardcore buddy can now join their own small bumpkin guild without negative consequence. And of course, the obvious of having a raiding guild and a role-playing guild co-exist on the character spreadsheet will be magniflorious!

There is a caveat to behold. Player reputation will become even more fragile and worthwhile. Spout a tirade in the raiding guild, and the damage is not as easily contained. Who knows what Venn diagram of guilds other players might share with the tirading player, and how far the reputation damage will bleed. At the same time, those MMO leaders will be able to share their wisdom and referring to a multitude of masses untouched. Becoming a server leader might be a reasonable goal if the player doesn’t mind joining and keeping in touch with a couple dozen guilds.

I hope that ArenaNet takes advantage of the unshackling of the guilds, and they are able to add in specific guild projects and features that might not otherwise exist. It is a breath of fresh air to be rid of monogamous guild relationships, and I hope ArenaNet rides that wind to the horizon.

If anything else, the worry that I had in having to choose a guild is now vanquished, and I can keep old friends and make new ones without worrying what my character sheet says.


28 thoughts on “[GW2] Unshackling Guilds”

  1. I see where you’re coming from when comparing it to clubs.
    I always play MMO’s with some close friends, and we usually create a guild to use the guildchat as an easy way to communicate together, since we’re usually not doing the same quest at the same time, and not always in the same party.

    But this means that our guilds are usually small, under 10 users.

    Now with this, we’ll be able to keep our friend guild, and join bigger guilds to do raiding/high end content.

    It’s such a simple concept, that I really can’t believe no one else thought of it.

  2. I agree with coffee – I have agreed to join Izziebot’s gw2 guild but when I told the few members of my current guild that I won’t be porting the Legion of the Blue Blade over to the new game they were disappointed! Now I can be in both!

  3. I’m not sure I understand. One character can be in more than one guild, or one must make alts to be in more than one guild?

    If it’s the latter, what exactly is different from any other game?

    1. Guilds are tied to your account. Every character you create has access to all the guilds, and AFAIK each character can toggle which guilds are “active” for chat, influence, and illustrating purposes.

  4. This is a great idea. I would say that since it’s one I’ve been suggesting since about 2002.

    We used to use the custom chat channels in Everquest to get some of this functionality. I was in a chat channel for over a year that was in many ways analogous to a guild, allowing people from small family guilds to the biggest raid guilds on the server to do stuff together without causing guild drama over “loyalty” issues. It worked really well, but it would have worked even better if we could have made the channel a guild in itself and had everyone both in that and in their “home” guild.

    In the last few years I haven’t been joining any guilds unless Mrs Bhagpuss and I make them. With this system, though, I’d anticipate becoming a member of several.

    1. GW was my first “MMO” experience and I just assumed when I joined that I could have a different guild for each character. I was surprised when I couldn’t.

      My guild/alliance has similarly managed to bend the rules with multiple guilds. We have 10 guilds in the alliance and everyone is free to swap guilds between them at any time. We all chat over alliance chat, but some of the guilds are clearly more competitive than others and some are more social. I’m looking forward to guilds in GW2.

  5. I think it’s an untested concept. Risky but could be quite successful. Sadly I think this has crushed any hopes some had of a solid focus on competitive pvp. Basically anet announced that this won’t be happening. The exclusivity and tight knit feeling required to be a top guild is gone. The guesting gw one had was brilliant. I just think this is a nightmare for the structure and loyalty that is needed for top pvp guilds.

    1. I think it will be the other way around. Because you can be in a competitive PvP guild and a guild with your friends we will see more high end groups

      1. I agree. I think the competitive and loyal guilds will still exist. Really, they may be more loyal since they don’t have to worry about hangers on or people in the guild who are friends but do not contribute to the guild’s goal. It’s the best of both worlds.

  6. This is great news! *dances in the street*

    This is effectively what has been emulated somewhat in City of Heroes through private global chat channels and combinations of super groups and coalitions.

    And of course the FFXI linkshells.

    Good to see that ArenaNet continues with with really evaluating various features and not taking “what usually has been done before” for granted.

  7. I’m pretty sure the only folks who will be displeased with this news are the ones who feel their power and control over other people slipping away.

    This clearly moves power away from the guilds and towards the individual player. Quite honestly, this will have absolutely no bearing on loyalty to any particular guild either… that has been, and remains, completely dependent on the personal character of each individual player. If you were loyal to a particular guild before, there is nothing in this new system that should change that whatsoever.

    This will affect those players / guilds who take themselves a bit too seriously but, that can only be to the betterment of all concerned, including those folks who may find themselves needing to “loosen up a bit.”

    As for competitive PVP… it was already announced that it was moving to a 5 man team focus and away from GVG (which will not be in the game) so this has no affect on that at all. The large scale PVP is the WVW format which includes everyone on the server (a rather large guild to say the least…)

    My only complaint about the announcement is the lack of other details on the social aspects / support planned for the game. As usual… I’d just like to know more details please ANet.

  8. I’m pretty excited about all of the new guild features–my only prior guild experience was early on in GW1, so even the influence systems sound amazing. How will an influence system and guild specific rewards work with guild polygamy, though? Like, which guild would get points for doing an influence gaining activity?

  9. I support the idea,
    but I can just imagine the gvg and you are a member of both guilds, it must happen I hope it happens xD

  10. The only reason I hate this idea is because of my ex-GW alliance. And their power-hungering. I don’t like the thought of them spreading their influence into other alliances D:

    But ignoring that, it’s a pretty awesome idea. So we can have social guilds with our friends and hardcore WvWvW guilds etc aswell. Everyone wins <3

  11. I wanted to comment about what you said about player reputation. I see this as a good thing. If people are going to be rude, troll around, and /ragequit, I think they deserve to have their reputation follow them. I don’t want to play with those people any more than you do. They can go find a guild who is willing to put up with their childish behavior. It’s a nice way to combat anonymous behaviors and hide behind an avatar when your avatar gets a reputation for being a tool. Sure, the player can delete/change the avatar, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s probably the player who is the tool to begin with.

  12. I will be coming into Guild Wars 2 with no guild(at least at this point). I will probably treat this a little more like the standard guild mechanic. Though my account may have multiple guilds I will likely only be active in one guild on one character and then another guild on another.

  13. Eh, I like how much work they’re putting into this but I really don’t like the multi-guild thing.

    Looks like once a high-classed guild reaches a point, there won’t be any competition.

  14. I can imagine that on the pve side of things true matriarchs will appear. As women gain favor and power in multiple guilds the leadership of all the guilds will bend over backwards for the small group of women who flirt the best or sound the best in the various vents.

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