Guilds and the (de)merit system

So, I run a guild. A decently sizable one, though it’s not massive. We’re generally a pretty casual group.

And the more time goes on, the more frustrated I get with the guild system in Guild Wars 2.

[TWIT] was created as a cross-server, international social guild. However, the way the game handles guilds has caused us to not be able to fully meet what we intended ourselves to be. The guild was formed in BWE3, when we were still all under the assumption that guesting would be in at launch, and that it would be fully universal.

The lack of guesting at launch was the first big blow we were dealt. People on other servers could not play with us, outside of the very first weeks when there were overflows in explorable zones, or in dungeons. There is also the fact that influence and guild upgrades are server-tied; the combination of these two things made it so there was very little reason for our members not on Jade Quarry to represent the guild.

I do understand why influence is server-tied, to an extent. You can’t designate one server to be the guild’s home world. However, surely there were better ways of handling it. Make it so that all influence earned is a universal pool, collected by and usable from all servers. Same with the upgrades. If you are repping a guild, you should be able to access them, no matter what server you’re on. Not to mention the various boosts you can build and use!

Oh, and when you guest, influence you earn? Still goes back to your home server, as opposed to the one you’re guesting to.

For all that the game likes to say it’s about building communities, there are a lot of things it does that fly in the face of that claim. Guesting taking so long to be implemented and then being data center restricted is part of it. The restrictions on guilds, however, are another large part of it.

Last time I checked the [TWIT] roster, we were up around 160 members. That isn’t small. However, if even a quarter of those members have repped the guild, I’d say it’s a high estimate. The fact of the matter is, there’s absolutely no reason for members outside of JQ and certain other servers where we have a good number of active members to rep the guild, and there’s nothing that myself and my co-leaders can do about that.

I mean, I suppose we could. We could make being on JQ or repping a certain amount of time a requirement…but that’s not something we want to do. That goes directly against why this guild was created and what it’s meant to be. Guesting has helped some (I guest over to Sanctum of Rall or Anvil Rock for events at times), but it still doesn’t help a lot of the problems inherent in making everything tied to servers so tightly.

Guild missions are going to be here on Tuesday. Yay! We were looking forward to these – they’d make it easier to get guildies involved!

Except that merits, earned by completing guild missions and used to unlock more upgrades, are…wait for it…server-tied! Oh, and if you want to do Guild Bounties? Better have your Art of War at level 5.

Luckily, we have everything upgraded in full, but that’s still very frustrating. A lot of smaller guilds will not necessarily have Art of War to that level, or the influence to get it there any time soon. And don’t forget build times for those upgrades! This essentially makes guilds that do not normally have any interest in PvP or WvW burn influence to kick off PvE content, which I think is wrong.

There’s also the communication side of things, which is difficult People not repping your guild cannot read your guild chat, which makes it easy to miss out on things. There’s the message of the day, but unless someone is 1) repping and 2) checks the guild pane, they won’t see it.

Remember in Guild Wars 1 when you’d see your guild’s current message in your chat window when you logged in? I miss that. A lot. I also wish that guild leaders had a way to send a message to all members, even those not repping, similar to how maintenance messages are displayed in the chat window in-game. Things like that would be a great help to all guild leaders.

I love this game. I love my guild. But I really feel like the guild sytem leaves a lot to be desired, and splits the community more than it brings it together.

6 thoughts on “Guilds and the (de)merit system

  1. Pingback: This week in Guild Wars 2 | Guild Wars 2 Editorials, Magazine, Media & Podcast | GuildMag

  2. I completely agree with everything you’ve written here. I’m incredibly disappointed with some of the implementation of the guild systems. The fact that it’s a pain to communicate with multiple guilds at once, the fact that you can’t see the MotD when you login immediately, the fact that leaders can’t send messages to everyone, those are all facets that are irritating. The worst though is the server-tied influence. I’m completely certain that the reason they don’t have shared influence is because of WvW. They don’t want a multi-server guild to be spending influence for their World in competition with other members spending it in their own World.

    It’s really terrible. We don’t WvW much. It’s just not that big of an issue for us, and I feel like it’s something that they should have just left in charge of the guilds themselves to police and regulate. It’s not like there aren’t already ways to abuse the trust of a guild (via the bank). As such, I, on Yak’s Bend, feel so conflicted about repping TWIT. I love playing with you guys, and I like chatting, but everything I do while repping TWIT is a complete waste of influence because I am the sole member on Yak’s, and I have my own guild on this server as well that I want to earn influence for. Yet, even if nobody is online in my guild, I still have little incentive to rep TWIT other than to chat, and we have vent and party chat for that as well.

    This new system is full of so much promise, and sadly, as I predicted, it will be virtually inaccessible for me. My guild is small, we don’t earn influence very quickly. I can (and likely will) join up with TWIT when you all do things, but my participation doesn’t do anything for you or me other than give us something to do together.

    I miss alliance chat, and alliances in general. It was such an elegant way to communicate with people from other social circles and guilds. I still have a friend from a different guild back from GW1, and the only way for us to maintain contact is for her to be a member in our guild so I can easily see if she is online, even though she never reps because again, surprise, different server. I wish the guild chat worked kind of like the whisper system, where you could have a box on the left to input which guild you wanted to chat into, and where you could display all of your guild chats at once with custom color coding. I know that for every design decision, there are a lot of things to weigh. I just feel like for the vast majority of guilds and players, they made the wrong choice.

  3. I desperately want multiple guild chat. It’s horrendous that people are going to think that multi-guild systems won’t work in MMOs because of how GW2 has chosen to design theirs.

    Just with that functionality alone, it would be a massive improvement as people will be able to communicate to various groups at the same time.

    As for WvW and spies, well, you’re never going to get rid of them. They already used to lurk on servers’ map chats, though I suppose paid server transfers will limit some of that. A lot of strategy is done via third-party voice anyway, rather than guild chats, and determined spies have probably already gotten into those. I can’t see reading text chat of shared guild channels as being that game changing for WvW.

    • I think the issue with WvW isn’t spies (because, well, you’ll never stop that), but rather to make it so a guild can’t dominate WvW on several servers. But there’s an easy fix to that as well – make the WvW/PvP boosts server-tied, while leaving everything else universal.

      • In the arena of logic, ArenaNet fights unarmed. I’ve been a member of my guild since GW1 launch. We’ve always been a multi-national guild. We made the transition to GW2, the euro guys all went to Gandara, and the US crew went to Henge of Denravi. I wish I had known about that TA thing before we settled on HoD… :( But I digress. We did this under the impression that like in GW1 all our upgrades would be shared like they were in GW1’s guild halls and ANet’s big pre-launch talk about promoting community, etc. And that we’d be able to play together like we could in GW1, not by default since we were knowingly splitting servers, but at least with guesting since they toted it as being able to “play with your friends, whether they’re next door or a continent away.” Then they dropped the bombshell that we still wouldn’t be able to play together unless we transferred to the same server/region.

        By this time both branches of the guild had developed friendships/ties to the server they were on and we were unable to come to a consensus on where to move. So the transfer window closed and now our guild is pretty much a glorified chat-room. A lot of people were so disillusioned by ANet’s bait and switch and being forced to choose between which friends they want to play with that they’ve moved on. We still play together in other games, but we would much rather be able to play Guild Wars 2 together like ANet said we’d be able to all along, like were able to for almost 10 years in GW1.

  4. Pingback: Guild Wars Reporter Episode 50 – The Influence of Influence

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