Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Changing the Game Part 2: Why I like the Changes to Guild Levelling and Perks


To me, being in a guild is about having a safe place to play. A place where you can find people to play with, with whom you are like minded and can find people with similar goals and ideals.  It should be a place where you can feel free from persecution and somewhere to relax.

Ok. Fluffy softy feely guild talk over.


Guilds have also ideally been a kind of council, or government.  And governments are supposed to pay for things like waste removal, roads and parks maintenance, upkeep of facilities.  Now there are no toilets in WoW that the guild has to keep supplied with toilet paper, but one of the things that guilds typically fund is guild repairs after raids, and some guilds like to supply raiders with food and flasks.

And what is the problem all raiding guilds have?  Gold.  And what is the root of all evil? Money... or gold.

I could see how Blizz was trying to make it work.  Raiding guilds could access raid drop BoEs like recipes and gear that could be sold on the AH.  I could imagine that non raiding guilds complained (eg PvP guilds) as they could not generate gold (though does PvP really cause that much damage to gear?  Hmm), as well as smaller social guilds.  So then Cash Flow was introduced where a percentage of gold looted by guild members was siphoned off by the guild bank, a bit like GST I suppose, except probably more like Employer contribution Superannuation in that it wasn't a tax that the player had to pay and it was mostly invisible and didn't impact on your actual quest earnings.  However, some unscrupulous guilds were run by people who would just selfishly take that gold for themselves and so the guild earnings were an extra source of income for those unsavoury individuals, leaving the hard working levellers who were members of the guild to unwittingly work for those people and probably not even noticing because they were happy to be in a guild where they could ride faster, loot more with their professions and earn reputation quicker.

So, with the latest patch, Cash Flow has been taken away.  Suddenly there will be a lot less people trying to invite your newly minted unguilded alt to a guild because there will be no source of income for them!  Also, Raid drop BoEs are coming back and so raiding guilds will have ways to make gold again.  But there are no raid drops NOW so if you're still raiding and paying for raider repairs, then you need to find another source of income buddy!

Guild levels are gone too.  They were a big disadvantage to smaller guilds, trying to unlock the perks from the later levels. I think that removing them was a good thing - it shouldn't be about the levels of the guild.  Now your guild full of your alts can have all the advantages of a big guild but without the grind.  That's a good move.

I've noticed that a lot of the "personal gain" guild perks have been taken out - the Bountiful Bags perk, which increases the amount of materials you get from your gathering professions, and all the perks that increased honour, reputation or justice points seem to have gone.  So all the things that weren't about "playing with others" seem to be gone.

What has remained are these perks:


To be honest, I'm not sure why Mount up is a guild perk.  I don't think a 10% speed boost offers anything particularly special - maybe a guilded person can get to a farming node faster than an unguilded one, which I don't think is particularly fair.

Hasty Hearth, Mobile Banking and Guild Mail are all good guild perks to have, and I wouldn't argue those.  Mass Ressurection is great for raids and certainly saves time.

But we still have these:
  • 1 x raid - 1000g
  • 7 x dungeons - 7 x 250g
  • 3 x rated BGs - 3 x 500g
  • 3 x challenge mode dungeons - 3 x 500g
So that's 4250g a week just doing what I term the guild "chores".  However, I think a full guild group for arenas would be a great additional way to earn additional gold.  For PvP guilds only rated BGs are listed as a gold earner, but arenas are like mini dungeons I guess for a PvPer.  I would think that it would have to be 3v3 or 5v5 arenas that earn the gold (since scenarios used to be a gold earner and they only had 3 people).  I think it would be nice to add that in - maybe 5 x arenas or something for 150g each.  Actually, maybe that should be 5 arena WINS because you could just get a group of 5 and just stand around doing nothing and lose just to earn money, and that seems wrong. Hey, it might inject more new blood into the arena market adding that as a way to earn guild money.

One GM friend of mine is brilliant at making money.  She regularly injects 50k gold into the guild bank.  50k!!! OMG that's like half my current gold total on my toons collectively!  I wish I could do that, and if I was good at the AH, then maybe I would.  But I think a good guild with good members have people who are happy to contribute gold to the guild bank because that's who they are, and it's great to have a guild with people in it who are like that.  A happy guild makes a rich guild, I guess!

(Though, I don't have a rich guild...does this mean they're not happy?  And before you say it, NO, I do not help myself to guild funds inappropriately!)

I think another way to generate money that does not involve money being donated by people (because you will inevitably end up with inequality complains such as "Player Z doesn't donate, and I have been, so I don't want to donate anymore") would be a daily guild quest/dungeon/task, much like how Garrisons works.  It would have to be something that's done as a group (at least 10 people) or contributed to by at least 10 people, and would have to have some small gain for each person who did this daily as well.

So, what is left that separates my guild from a bunch of people who don't even talk or interact with each other?  What is there to show guild pride?

Achievements remain.  Guilds of friends with 5 people will not be able to get raid achievements because you need at least 8 for that.  So there is some incentive there still for you to play with others, with a LOT of others because of those guild achievements.  Rewards like mounts, pets, titles, tabards... I like those things and I think they're great for showing off our guild achievements.  And I think that it's enough.


As a vanity feature, think it would be cool to have a Guild Feat of Strength added like "Your guild is x years old" or have a guild birthday feature added to the Guild for when it was formed and have something fun happen on the guild's anniversary - such as a mask or party hat that can be worn for one day to celebrate it.  Or maybe even one of those cakes you can lay out as a feast and we can all have a silly buff come up after we're well fed from cake.  But that's really flavour text and not something that makes a significant difference to guild management.  But sometimes, it's those little things that make the game that little bit  more fun.

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