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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Guild Wars 2: When they said GUILD Wars...

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday August 31 2011 at 7:05PM
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So I really get that ArenaNet is trying their damnedest to make sure that all the suck is taken out of the MMO when Guild Wars 2 launches.  I can appreciate that probably more than most people due to the fact that it’s my job to play all MMOs.  I want them to suck less, because it means my job will be even more awesome… a feat that’s hard to imagine.  But if there’s just one puzzling choice they’ve made in all of their brilliant design decisions it’s this:
  • Guild membership is account wide, and you can add as many guilds as you like.  You will be able to choose, at any time and on any character, which guild chat you are viewing and what guilds you are currently affiliated with.
  • Doing different activities (“almost anything,” to quote Eric Flannum) with guild-mates will earn Influence for one’s guild, which can be spent towards guild upgrades (storage, etc), or special in-game boosts like a flag that grants extra XP to guild members within its range.
  • Specific guilds will be able to capture keeps within WvWvW PvP, and be able to use their Influence to create upgrades to those keeps.
I love some parts of this.  One, that guild membership is account wide.  No more do I have to worry about getting or keeping every alt in my guild.  I just AM in that guild until they realize I hose at PVP and kick me out.  I also love that you earn “Influence” for the guild to spend on upgrades and boosts.  And I love that we’ll be capturing keeps in the WvWvW a la Dark Ages and Warhammer.  These parts make me giddy.
The part that doesn’t?
The “you can add as many guilds as you like” part. Basically, they’re saying you can be in so many very different guilds at one time.  If this is the case, is every one going to eventually join every guild on the server? Probably not, but someone will.  I remember a time when being a part of a Guild was like being a part of a family.  This system, while convenient for having people to play with at all times, takes away from that.  Surely, we can join just one guild if we want.  I suppose that’s the best way to avoid the problems I see with this system.  But there are benefits.
I wonder if it wouldn’t have been as heavy handed to just allow alliances of up to 5 or 6 guilds for this same purpose?  And in this way, it becomes an organizational thing and less of a “I’ll just join these guys because you know… I might like them better.”  It’s like cheating on your wife… if you’re wife was a guild of people you slew digital monsters with.
I’m really not complaining.  I’m just trying to point out some potential problems with this idea.  Imagine logging on to find out that all your mates in one guild were too busy chatting with their other thirty guilds to bother doing anything with you?  I’m sure the guilds who wish to remain close knit will require people to just be in that guild, but good luck enforcing such a rule without a way to “check a box” in the guild officer’s panel (that’s actually a great idea, and one I hope they add in).  Imagine the sheer amount of ridiculous guild v. guild jealousy that could spring from people being in all the different groups.
Okay, that’s enough pondering on the subject for me.  I’ll reserve real judgment on this until we see it in operation, and I’m extremely happy regardless about the rest of the guild features.  That’s a badass list of things to look forward to.  I can only imagine what my people and I will do in the WvWvW… so long as we don’t get caught up in guild drama with the other guilds we’re all in. 
kzaske writes:

I think this is a very bad idea.  GW1 allowed one guild membership per account, I don't really like that either.  I would like to see guild membership be based on your toon, not your account.  One toon in one guild only is the way I think it should be.

Wed Aug 31 2011 7:37PM Report
VoxTrooper writes:

 Love the image.


 I agree with the swapl but i hoe they allow for an option at character creation to join a previous guild and mark that character as an alt on the roster. Just if someone wanted to do so.

Wed Aug 31 2011 7:39PM Report
Yaos writes:

You can choose if you want certain characters in certain accounts, your characters are not forced into a guild if you don't want them to be one. Also, they are called characters, not toons, deal with it.

Wed Aug 31 2011 8:06PM Report
Terranah writes:

I could see how someone might be in more than one guild.  For instance, you might have an adventuring guild...the folks you hang out with and do quests, dungeons, etc.  But you might also be apart of a tradeskill guild or a pvp guild.


The larger guilds ofcourse can enjoy all facets of a game, questing, pvp, tradeskilling.  But larger guilds have their own problems, like feeling impersonal, favoritism, lack of cohesion, ego trips.  Not everyone likes a large guild so this is an interesting experiment. 


It's something I hadn't really thought of before, something original which is refreshing. 

Wed Aug 31 2011 8:07PM Report
HurricanePip writes:

It sounds like to me that people can pick whatever chat channel they want to be in, but really matters is the guild rep you earn.  This doesn't seem like a big deal.  Every MMO that I've ever played has had custom chat channels.  In addition, people also jump around between community, friend's and guild vent channels too.

I love some good old fashioned ranting, but this seems to be nitpicking based on lvery limited information.

Wed Aug 31 2011 8:32PM Report
WhySoShort writes:

Convienience can be taken too far. Here, it has been. I do see the point of making joining a guild easier, as I've always had trouble finding a guild in other games. But more than one guild? Imagine the server troll being in every Guild (anyone ever play WoW on Grizzly Hills? Imagine a certain rogue being in every guild). And he will be. It's the way trolls work.

Nonetheless, the game still looks great overall. Looking forward to it. 

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:02PM Report
jinxxed0 writes:

Thy're giving people the freedom to form their own factions. Its too much freedom sure, but it can be controlled by players and guild leaders.


Guild Leader: "Sorry, but you can't join my guild if you're a part of xxx guild. go away"



When devs start letting go of people's hand, everyone freaks out.

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:03PM Report
Fozzik writes:

I think its much ado about nothing. You're having a really really hard time thinking of anything to complain about. hehe

I understand that as gaming journalists, you feel a need to not regularly sound like gushing fanboys/girls...but this "problem" is a little thin, as I'm sure you realize.


If a person feels that it's appropriate to be in only one guild...only join one guild. If a guild feels like membership should be a monogamous thing, they can require it as part of their membership process. If you feel it creates problems in the guild...only join a guild that requires monogamy of its members. Problem solved.


What ArenaNet continues to do in almost every facet of their game is provide players with as free and open an experience as choose what works for you and what you enjoy, and play that way. I think their guild system sounds innovative and very cool.

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:05PM Report
tank017 writes:

Yep,I can see alot of guilds hating each other..

Guild leader 1:"You keep stealing my members for you're events to the point where I cant even run mine!"

Guild leader 2: "well theyre members of my guild too!,its not my fault they like my guild better,yours is teh suq"

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:22PM Report
Melieza writes:

FFXI let people join as many guilds as you wanted with Linkshells.  You could have any many Linkpearls as you wanted and you picked which you wanted to equip (which guild chat you wanted to participate in).

It never caused problems between Linkshells and it was never a bad thing.

Whoever thinks its a dumb idea and wont work is wrong, its worked for almost a decade for FFXI without issue.

Most people only have one anyways.

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:30PM Report
DrNo172000 writes:

Hmm... will guild leaders be able to see that your in other guilds.  If not I see a lot of potential for spys.

Wed Aug 31 2011 9:49PM Report
Corehaven writes:

I completely agree with the article.  Everything sounds great except for the feature that lets you join as many guilds as you want.  I somehow feel this just defeats the purpose of guilds, or severly down plays their significance. 


Im surprised they didnt just go with some kind of Alliance system, while allowing guild chat or Alliance chat.  Im not understanding this concept at all though.  Perhaps it will make more sense when I start playing.  Im hoping to say something like, " Oh...thats why they did it this way.  I see now. " 

Wed Aug 31 2011 10:53PM Report
Athcear writes:

Unlimited seems like too many.  Or perhaps there's a cooldown for joining guilds, so that you can only join a new one each month, or something like that.  Leaving a current one would reset that cooldown, so that no one would be unable to replace one they left.

Wed Aug 31 2011 10:59PM Report
Nailzzz writes:

     I have to agree with the article. I have been pretty much in agreement with everything arenanet has decided to do. But this is the one decision i just dont agree with. I hope im wrong about how this will turn out, but i am left fearful about this decision until then.

Thu Sep 01 2011 12:17AM Report
gaeanprayer writes:

You guys realize that FF11 already did this with Linkshells, right? This is nothing new, and it worked fine for FF11. The only place I see this being odd is with bringing influence, or whatever, to a guild. However, all this really means is people don't have to leave a guild, join a friend's just to level it and get him his storage, then rejoin their old one again.


It's sorta like them saying "We already know you're gonna do it you don't have to."


I admit it's an odd feature but not one I find inherently bad nor do I think it can't work.

Thu Sep 01 2011 12:19AM Report
Palebane writes:

I like the idea. Just because you are able to join any number of guilds, doesn't mean that all guilds will be open to recruitment all the time. It's a neat idea that may actually bring players together instead of trying to segregate them by only being allowed to join only one guild at a time. The significance of one guild may be lessened, but the architecture of the system seems like it was built for a good purpose.


Perhaps there will be less guilds with only a few players in them spamming the chat channels. Perhaps the guilds will become more centralized and focused on certain things instead of trying to always please everyone at the same time, and in doing so, pleasing no one. I've always felt more loyal to individual players, moreso than a guild. It sucks when someone you like leaves the guild. But perhaps now, it doesn't have to suck as bad.

Thu Sep 01 2011 12:34AM Report
Kniknax writes:

Is this new? GW1 allowed account guild membership and EQ2 grants you points towards your guild rewards for pretty much anything you do, and WAR allowed your guild to raid keeps in RvR.. ArenaNet is starting to sound like a smaller version of Blizzard. i.e. "Look what we have created!" - No, you borrowed it from other people. Just be honest guys, we wont think less of you!

Thu Sep 01 2011 1:11AM Report
Failtrain writes:

I think it's to allow your other characters to be in different guilds if you want to do so and still remain in contact with people from your original guilds.

I like the idea, but I haven't seen it in action yet.

Thu Sep 01 2011 2:13AM Report
Diovidius writes:

Jayanti, if you show me where Anet says it's a new idea then I agree with you, but I'm pretty sure you won't find it and you're just looking for ways to attack Anet and GW2.

Thu Sep 01 2011 3:09AM Report
Kalfer writes:

Guild Wars never had a tight guild community, because the game did not promote - lets play 6 hours every day to win. people would log off and be gone for days and sometimes even weeks.


the lack of monthly fee reduces the commitment, and thats a good thing, but it also makes it more difficult to become a "family" like the Murphey talks about.



I think Cataclysm's guild system was very nice, but I got the feeling that people just joined the guild to get random bling bling and perks, not because they did anything. if you reward people for anything, the gratification and unitiy will be lot less.


you need to be smart about how you reward your players. You shouldn't reward a guild with points, items, titles, collectables for doing stupid mundane tasks, but their achievements. It doesnt have to be end of the rope crap, but stuff that makes sense.


A boss encounter defeated by an entire guild(Minimum 20 people... example)? tournament won by guild? 


WoW reached a point where every player got guild points awarded almost from walking and breathing the air. this made it so that everyone had these comfort perks. these tools that make life easier. but what ended up happening is that at guild level 15 life was so easy, that a lot of the game was taken out of it.


I'm not against individual contribution, to raise a guilds value(Guild GDP) in status/power/influence, but it needs to be so in a way that actually helps the guild. 


if you get conveniences by being in a guild, you need to give something back. 10-15% of all your looted guild goes directly into guild bank automatically. This makes total sense. this is the price of entry you pay to be in a brotherhood. you shouldn't be allowed to be a slacker.


or even better. allow the guild leaders to adjust these things with sliders. and make money worthwhile. why can't a guild own or rule over lions arch by power? most influential/powerful guild, takes it, gets a cut from all npc  merchants, gets their guild banners hanging, gets access to exclusive dynamic events, that other players can participate in.


now thats guild stuff that matters. that's power. thats a guild being famous. thats a guild creating community on a server.

Thu Sep 01 2011 4:02AM Report
thekid1 writes:

I always have problems in a guild knowing who's alt is who..

This would make that problem ten fold.


Oh well I don't need to be in a guild anyway.

Thu Sep 01 2011 5:51AM Report
NovaRyu writes:

As has already been said a few times, FFXI has done this since it came out, and it worked out just fine. You have a guild or two you like to socialize with, you have a guild or two you like to do events/raid with and thats pretty much it.

If someone wants to join every guild on the server, they can, but I don't see what these "benefits" are that you are talking about. They can only actually be talking to one guild at a time. When the other guilds never see this person in guildchat, they will just remove them as simple as that. Its the same with these "trolls" that another person seemed to be worried about. Its still the same guild rules, if your annoying or your never online you can be kicked from the guild, simple as that. In the end, most people will be in a handful of guilds to keep in touch with different groups of friends and thats it. Personally, I always enjoyed the system and its cool to see it here in GW2.

Thu Sep 01 2011 8:52AM Report
Mariner-80 writes:

I probably won't be in any guilds, anyway, so this is not a big issue for me.

I do hope I will be able to easily create a "Guild of One", so people aren't constantly asking me to join their guilds -- something I was able to do in GW1.

I disagree with the OP strongly about one thing: GW1's (and GW2's) policy of one membership applying to all toons is TOTAL SUCKAGE, imo. I like playing alts, but I usually only keep one toon in a guild. This was a feature I always appreciated about WoW.

Anyways, these GW2 guild "features" are just giving me more incentive than ever to not join any guilds in GW2.

Thu Sep 01 2011 8:56AM Report
jayce writes:

i see no problem with this particular feature. to me, it's like being part of multiple social groups on steam, which is basically what guilds are.

Thu Sep 01 2011 10:15AM Report
AonSao writes:

All those complaining about it should look up what guilds actually are... like in real life. It is a society for people of a particular craft which gather. It is not uncommon for such a person to join multiple guilds.

I want separate guilds for dungeons, title hunting, and PvP. And no it should not be character specific. I PvP with all of my characters :-/ I PvE with all my characters.... character specific makes no sense.

Thu Sep 01 2011 10:42AM Report
timeraider writes:

this is an very strange idea...but you know whatll happen..people will fight for the guild that is the nicest to them..therefor guilds will be nicer :D

Thu Sep 01 2011 10:47AM Report
opiatezeo writes:

I think this is a great idea.  I imagine most will have 3-5 guilds total for both socializing and high end pvp/pve stuff.  With the ability to change your membership, you can only have certain characters in each guild, or one of them in all and the rest in their own one person guild.  Sounds like players are given a choice and some flexibility with their characters and I don't see that as a bad thing at all.

Thu Sep 01 2011 10:48AM Report
fansede writes:

hmm Guild Wars 2 - can you really have a guild war if you are in all the guilds?

Thu Sep 01 2011 11:07AM Report
rojoArcueid writes:

there will be issues with some pvp (aka guild wars)... if i join guild A and guild B, and they are at war..... if i fight for guild A then guild B will kick me out for treason or viceversa..... and so on and on and on with all the guilds ... :/

the idea of 1 guild + alliance with some other guilds sounds better :/ IMO

Thu Sep 01 2011 11:22AM Report
Master_M2K writes:

I like the fact that ArenaNet are allowing players to join multiple Guilds and have them linked up to accounts and not characters. It will allow me to be a part of a: PvE guild, Hardcore PvP guild, WvWvW super guild and a small guild with just my friends.

What's not to love about having those options.

Thu Sep 01 2011 11:42AM Report
Bent writes: Let see a normal day of life. Time with family time with coworkers, time with sports team, time with friends. Wouldn't it suck if my work "guild" controled my sports team and said I could only play on the company team? Think of gw2 as a more than a single group. If one guild only pvps Mon and wed is a player not allowed to pvp with others the rest of the days? Has no one ever played on two sports teams at once, work and lesuire? Multiple giuld is thus great for players. It allows them to pick who will be their group for pve, social, pvp, crafting instead of being told. Guild leaders may think they will have a harder time. To them I say if your member is meeting their commitment leave them be. For example in WoW, giuld raided mon and wed. One member came to every raid. Later found out he also raided with another guild on a different toon tues thurs, no stated giuld policy. There was much drama. I can not understand why. He was meeting he comitment in both giulds, if anything raiding in both gave him more practice. Thu Sep 01 2011 11:55AM Report
rwyan writes:

FFXI and FF14 feature similar systems - Linkshells.  Basically, players can belong to as many of these guys as they want.  And in FFXI, it wasn't uncommon for players to belong in a few types of staple linkshells...

1. One for the more hardcore/raiding content

2. One for your close group of online gaming buds

3. One for your trading

4. Starter linkshells us

I really enjoy this model because most players will find that they want to belong to a number of communities/groups/cliques etc...  Its hard when you are stuck or tied to a single guild.

Thu Sep 01 2011 12:11PM Report
robert154e writes:

I for one like this type of thing, because in most MMORPGs I play I either join a) A PvE guild for Leveling toons, but later b) Leave and join PvP Guild cause others are carebears and don't want to fight people... THIS setup solves that problem for me... I can now join a PvE guild to level with and to help people level, and also join a PvP Guild to go fight People with. It's like getting Cake and Ice Cream... The best of both worlds. ^_^

By not having to actually leave the PvE Guild when I am not PvP'ing I can actually go and help new members of that Guild, and If some members are interested in going to PvP, they will probably join the pvp guild for when they want to do that. Just make sure you find 2 guilds that are like this. 1 Strictly PvE and the other who just loves PvP. And make sure they both are ok with you hopping in and out to help both sides. You get to enjoy the Environment side and the Violent side.

Thu Sep 01 2011 12:38PM Report
Dracondis writes:

fansede writes:

hmm Guild Wars 2 - can you really have a guild war if you are in all the guilds?




You're using that word a lot.  I do not think you mean what they said it means.

Guild Wars describes the background of the world, wherein the various guilds went to war against one another and nearly tore the human kingdoms apart (actually doing so to at least one).  Know your lore.

Thu Sep 01 2011 2:18PM Report
UnsungToo writes:

Writers ay- "Specific guilds will be able to capture keeps within WvWvW PvP"

What do they mean by "Specific Guilds"?

How are the guilds broken down? Does GW2 categorize guilds, or is that done by the player?

Thu Sep 01 2011 3:00PM Report
fiontar writes:

I like the system and hope they don't change it based on knee jerk reactions against something different.

I often have a wierd schedule and can't always play at consistent times of day. Sometimes I'm in full night owl mode, sometimes I'm tooling around before noon. I've often found myself in guilds I really like and manage to get some solid hours of play in with, only to spend most of the week playing in what ends up being a dead time for the guild.

This system eliminates that problem.

Now, you can have a main guild, with lots of members and organization, with whom you can focus on earning guild rep and rewards. However, you can also have a guild that focuses on people who like to group up for dungeons between midnight at 3 am, a guild that likes to travel around doing quest chains together after dinner and a crafting guild that is dedicated to supporting each other with crafting items you need from other crafting professions. Then you can have your guild that does World vs World every night between 8pm and 11pm, or a guild that focuses on sharing personal story content with each other.

The options are endless.

This WILL change the way we think about guilds. There will still be large, over-arching guilds that provide a broader group identity. However, there will also be tons of guilds that address a very specific niche based on time windows and specific activities.

No need for guilds to be jealous. Most players will still want some large main, multifaceted guild to represent a primary guild identity, but players are also free to form guilds for very specific things.

There is huge potential here and the ease of juggling multiple guilds, along with the niche nature of most of them, really serves to diffuse guild drama, not increase it. It's also easier to avoid guild drama when it starts to pop up in guild chat, you can just flip over to your 3 o'clock explorers guild and leave your drama queens with no audience for their disfunctional tirades.

Thu Sep 01 2011 5:31PM Report
Anireth writes:

What the people who favor "one guild per character" forget is: It's not gone. You do not have to join many guilds, and you can choose which guild you represent. Nobody, not even yourself, will notice that this particular character is in several guilds if you do not want it

The fact that he is is irrelevant for this.

Thu Sep 01 2011 6:08PM Report
nightowl79a writes:

im actualy surpirsed how many ppl dont rember that ff11 had a moslty similar system that worked great. ff11's link shells werent account wide but stil you could have multiple link perls in your invitory and switch between linke pearls(or guilds) at will. I think this system will work fine.

Thu Sep 01 2011 9:15PM Report
observer writes:

I don't really like how we can just join chat channels and be part of a guild.  I hope there is some guild reputation system that entices players to be loyal.

Fri Sep 02 2011 12:21AM Report
raapnaap writes:

Agreed, I highly dislike the entire concept of being able to join unlimited guilds, it takes the personal aspects away entirely, and even worse, it might create community issues on a larger scale because no one has to be loyal to 'their guild'.

Atleast I hope you can flag your account as a 'loyal guild member' that basically shows everyone that checks your name that you only joined a single guild, this way serious guilds can have the option to remove any people that just join for the benefits, not community.

Fri Sep 02 2011 3:29AM Report
arliendark writes:

Might just have to reconsider what you think a guild really is.


It's a collection of players some more organized than others, like a group of friends.

You have your work friends, your school friends, your best friends, and that close knit circle of boozoos you always get into trouble with.  Joining a guild shouldn't be like a job ap, it's worked for FF it'll work for GW, I'll have my hyper active raiding guild, my low key chatting guild, my "How do I do this?" guild, and my buddies from work guild, and all will be right in the world. I'll never feel guilty leaving one guild to help out a friends.

Fri Sep 02 2011 7:59AM Report
st3v3b0 writes:

GW2 has been very innovative thus far, but I think this is an absolutely ridiculous feature.  It completely defeats the purpose of a guild.

Fri Sep 02 2011 8:36AM Report
Rollmeister writes:

I think this is a good idea, especially as there are no raids, so no raid lockouts, etc.  It just makes it easier to play with different groups of people.


There will always be drama, at least with this system you won't feel like you're betraying a group of friends to join a guild that does more hard content, you can have the best of both worlds.


Also, how many people are likely to join hundreds of guilds?  Your average player will maybe join one or two.  There will always be asshats, and they will quickly be recognised and removed from any guild with a half-competent GM.

Sat Sep 03 2011 7:35AM Report
liadz writes:

I was with the "against" guys just as I was reading this article but some comments here made change my point.

Some people made me realize that guilds can be exactly like those schools that have lots of clubs which the students can sign for so they can have some varied activities. As one can usually pick more than one club, you are gonna have more than one group of friends to do stuff with and they are focused on different things.

Like mentioned, it was somewhat done before and people liked it.

About guilds being tied to accounts, I'm more divided. I think it's nice how I can just get my alternative char any time and go do missions with my guild mates in GW1. But if I wanted some variety some day I wouldn't be able to do so.

I think the new system solves the problem above.

Sun Sep 04 2011 11:09PM Report writes:
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