This has been a hot topic among friends and I. How do you feel about what has been said about joining guilds in Guild Wars 2?
Ideally, I want guilds to be much harder to create and for loyalty to not punish guild leaders. In GW1, leaders and officers had to pay for invites to the guild. That in my mind ultimately makes the new recruit more valuable than the guild itself. Continuous recruiting adds up in costs. Of course, if you’re one of those guilds who makes others pay (you jerk!) then this doesn’t apply to you. If I could have it my way, no one pays anything. If the recruit leaves, he has to wait a few days before he can join another guild again. If he gets kicked from the guild, then he can immediately join another. The reverse may be preferable depending on how you look at it, but this is not what this topic is about.
As we heard live from PAX on Saturday, each character will be able to join multiple guilds. The idea is that you can switch between representing each one which is beneficial when, for example, you feel like being in a PvP guild more than PvE that day.
I think GW1 guild leaders will have much to worry about. What we know is only from the recruit’s point of view, but I hope very much for guild leaders to have some kind of control over the matter. The idea is great and I actually don’t mind it that much, however that’s because I’m at the point in my life where I only have time to hang out with a tight group of friends on a voice chat server. I know these friends as if we went to school together everyday. I am totally cool with them joining another guild temporarily when their personal goals aren’t parallel with my guild at the time. If I rewind time by 6 years, then this would definitely not be an ideal feature. I need some kind of guarantee that members are loyal, so that I can feel safe investing my time to help others, and know that we are independently competitive. From what we’ve heard, though, it sounds like guilds have been reduced to being Steam Groups. In case you’re unfamiliar with Steam, users of the service can join (or be invited to) any number groups they wish to be associated with. There’s no sense of loyalty to a single community there. Again, in terms of GW2, players may join up with multiple groups and just reap the benefits from each one without committing much to any one guild themselves.
In the real world this makes sense. You join multiple clubs, subscribe to various magazines, take different modes of transportation in a day. More than half the time though, you are giving something before you get something back. I don’t see many guilds asking their members to pay regularly to keep their membership. That’s no fun. The most that a guild can ask of their members is to be loyal. It’s not that we cannot be friends, but I would like to know that giving you 10k gold is eventually going to pay off towards the success of the guild or fellow guildmates. Why is there such thing as profit? Profit exists so that people and organizations can grow. Strangely, as we just saw this works in a reverse manner for guilds. Most guilds. I don’t deny that there are those guilds who think highly of themselves and believe low ranked members should pay to share the status. In that case you ARE giving something to get something back.
So what do we need? ArenaNet probably has this on paper already, but I’ll explore the ideas in my head here. Leaders need control. I want the ability to define my guild’s charter when first creating it. The rules are parameters that new recruits must accept when given a guild invite. 6 years ago my charter would have said: “By signing this charter you have made a loyalty oath which binds all characters on your account to this guild”. Today I’m okay with: “By signing this charter you are granted the privilege of representing our guild as needed.” Of course there could be some middle grounds between these two extremes. This might be a little complex for some to warp their head around, but the game can simplify things for leaders by simply returning an error message if the new recruit cannot join due to existing charter constraints. In that case, the recruit should not be interrupted in any way. On the other hand, if the leader desires to change their charter for an existing guild, he/she may be asked to kick members until the new charter rules are satisfied.
That was all pretty technical, but back to the romantic side of things; It would be in my interest to know what other guilds someone is in. My recruits will be lurking in multiple guilds, so politically I believe I deserve the right to know. Okay, this could work. Wait. How about we keep guilds as guilds and add Steam groups?
To the readers: What are your opinions on the guild system for GW2? Like it or no? If you’re a former, current, or future guild leader, how do you think this system will affect guild loyalty?
Peter Chan is the founder and web developer for GuildWars2Live.com. GuildWars2Live continues to raise the bar on game convention coverage with its worldwide team of gamers and loves to promote other creative Guild Wars 2 fansites. Follow @Peter_Chan on Twitter for all of his real-time randomness.