Guild Renown is a refreshing addition to our existing guild system. Players' individual actions will now have an impact on the overall guild's progression over a server-wide struggle for triumph.
One of the biggest problems many games face is providing tools for guild value, guild advancement, and long-term benefits that attract new members. Guilds that don't have tools available to make their organization valuable will struggle in finding new members, keeping those members and showing those members that yes, you do have an impact on the world you live in. Guilds in Age of Conan have an impact on the world through control and respect. Taking that one-step further, we are introducing a system by adding new mechanics that further promote the value and guild impact while making being a part of a guild more worthwhile than ever before.
Contributing to a larger effort
When asked about the goals, Gameplay Designer and Guild Renown creator Tanya Short said, "The idea was to add extra meaning and fun to whatever you already enjoyed in Hyboria, whether you prefer crafting, questing, or PvP. We wanted players to be able to feel as though they were able to contribute to a larger effort, just through playing normally. Every week, the top Renown-earning guilds also earn bragging rights through a competitive guild rankings system that we hope will encourage players to show how well they really can work together better than anyone else on the server."
We have seen the impact guilds have in Age of Conan. This impact gives the entire guild a sense of meaning and a sense of accomplishment that is truly epic for everyone who experiences it. Guild Renown is also designed to hone those aspects and further improve the existing guild system by giving guild leaders and guild participants better ways to define their existence in Age of Conan through two important Guild Renown components, "Renown Level" and "Renown Rank".
Renown levels are attained through individual actions of your guild members in various types of game play. Guild members can gain renown from doing various game-play action like PvP'ing, crafting or killing monsters. Each type of game-play action is rewarded with a certain type of Renown Point called Valor (PvE), Glory (PvP) and Artisan (Crafting/Harvesting). As your guild members attain various Renown Points, your guild will rise in level and contribute to the overall rank of your guild.
Competition and rewards
The best part about Guild Renown are the rewards. There are 20 guild renown levels to attain and each level gives your guild access to certain rewards for your entire guild. The rewards range from new player city decorations to entirely new buildings, from new seasonal social clothing to new pets, and from new guild quests to improved potions for guild members. There is literally dozens of new rewards that help give your guild more value for achieving long-term goals together. How about a gigantic statue of your favorite Hyborian deity placed in the middle of your city? You can get that.
Guild Renown would not be complete without some good healthy competitive game-play additions thrown into the mix. We are also including Guild Ranking for guilds to show off or brag uncontrollably about their progress together and as individuals. As you attain more and more renown points, you will be able to see your own progression and other guilds progression in the most Valor, Glory, or Artisan points in any given period. Rankings are updated only every seven days, allowing the top guild at the time to enjoy their rewards for a full week before competitors can take it away from them.
Individuals who progress the most will be granted with special titles for whatever renown specialization is the highest. Those titles will be shown in game with special highlighted names or symbols on their characters as they play in Age of Conan.
"Players who have otherwise used all of the game's content can continue to strive, as some rewards are dependent on retaining the top slots on the server. No player can ever think that their guild will always be the best, because if they sit back and stop playing, another will take their place," says Tanya Short, Game-play Designer and Guild Renown creator.
Battle in the social PvP arena
The last and most important part of Guild Renown is the new PvP Social Arena's attached to the system. PvP Social Arena's allow guild members to dual and even form their own PvP tournaments with each other without having to drop out of their guilds. The gives you a more controlled method of organizing fights regardless of the server rule set.
"Before the introduction of these arenas it was quite simple for a player to intervene in the outcome of a fight, for example they could group up with a healer and get some buffs. Players had to put in some effort to make sure the fights were fair. Now they have a system that can take care of this for them. When a fight is in progress, no outside sources can influence the outcome of fights. It's also a safe way to observe without getting the risk to get attacked like in places such as Kheshatta," says Tim Dunks, System Designer and PvP Social Arena creator.
The arenas contain two objects where members have to choose a side. When all players have selected a side, they must relocate to the center of the arena to begin the match. The system is fully automated and will be able to detect when sides are ready to fight. As you players die in the arena, they are teleported to a preparation room where they are silenced from doing any abilities until the fight has ended. The locations of our new arenas are located in Kheshatta and Khemi with access granted to only those guilds that have attained the appropriate Guild Renown Level.
More robust than ever before
With these additions in Update 6, the guild system in Age of Conan is more robust than ever before. Not only do players have access to a streamlined and powerful interface, with the Guild Renown feature there has never been a better reason to socialize with your fellow players, join a guild and show off what you're good for. Funcom will continue monitoring the performance of the Guild Renown feature, and hope to expand and improve upon it in the future. Right now we're just looking forward to what effect this will have on the political environment on each of the game's servers!