As a guild leader, I was very excited to hear about the upcoming changes to the guild system for WoW. The interface hasn’t changed in the slightest since the original release of the game, except to incorporate guild banks, and the interwebs are rife with stories of how hard it is to add in another rank, set permissions for members, and so on.
So when it was announced at Blizzcon that things like guild achievements and a recruiting interface would be added, I was overjoyed. Guild currency? Yes! Guild recipes? Yes! Benefits for doing things as a guild? Yes! Guild leveling system? Yes!
Since my guild is very casual, and very small, we don’t have the ability to, say, take a guild group into Ulduar and come out with proto-drakes, or to be able to go into Naxxramas and bring back an Immortal achievement. These sorts of things really are the only way to show off as a guild right now.
However, once they implement the guild features in Cataclysm, I’m hopeful that this will change. Guild achievements are going to be a way for us to show off what we’re made of without having to do the utmost hardcore things in the game. Simply by doing normal things, for example daily quests and crafting, the guild will benefit.
By earning the achievements, new mounts, pets and tabards will be unlocked for members, and perhaps other things too – if I had one wish, I think it would be a fantastic idea to have the guild tabard logo emblazoned onto your armour somehow, or a banner with it on for your Argent Squire to hold. It would be a great way to show off guild pride, which is something I know we as a guild value, and I’m sure others do too.
Additionally, as a result of earning what I guess are guild experience points via killing bosses (we can certainly manage heroic instances) or doing some PvP, the guild will ‘level up’ and earn guild talents, amongst other things – like a normal talent tree, but one which affects all members of the guild! We know if, for example, there is a guild raid, that some talents may allow us to summon the whole raid at once, resurrect the whole raid at once , reduce the durability repair costs for guild members, or remove the need for reagents on raid-wide group buffs. Very exciting, and I hope to see some good and fun things here.
Linked to guild raids, there will also be a feature like ‘guild tax’, whereby a percentage of looted gold will be directed straight to the guild bank. This is a brilliant idea in my opinion, provided it isn’t abused.
We’ll also get guild currency which can be used to further aid our members – with it, it may be possible to buy reagents for crafting, more bank tabs which we couldn’t otherwise afford (without having lots of members, the donations are not enough to be able to afford more without personal sacrifice from the officers), and many other things.
Including a Looking For Guild interface similar to the current Looking For Group implementation is a great idea, because even my guild has now reluctantly resorted to using trade chat for recruitment macros. Not that our macros are in bad taste or anything, but it would be good if people used, and responded to, the guild recruitment channel. At the very least, introducing an actual UI might help clear up spam! Also, it will make it easier to find the guild you need and it will be easier for actively-recruiting guilds to seek out members, who I presume will be able to set preferences (i.e. raid guilds only, RP guilds only, etc).
The only thing that I didn’t like surrounding guilds was that it has been said that we will definitely not be getting guild halls, or anything like it. In fairness, I entirely see the reasons for this – having everything you need in a localized, instanced area away from the rest of the world would defeat the purpose of capital cities, and so they would have to severely limit what the halls would contain. Nevertheless, I think it could be made to work with a few limitations, but I will go into my thoughts on this in a future post.
EDIT: One thing I didn’t mention was that Blizzard is considering a way of letting the whole guild transfer servers, with their guild bank, which ought to be a very useful thing to have if you have server issues or similar, and need to move everyone. I know that some of the more hardcore guilds would make use of this (read: Eventide (TankSpot), who say they’re willing to transfer in every recruitment video).
In summary, a great big thank you to Blizzard for finally doing something about guilds (which really ought to be a more prominent feature of the game anyway considering it’s classed as an MMO – the second ‘M’ does mean ‘multi-player’ after all) and I now can’t wait to see exactly how my guild will be better off after the Cataclysm!