Posts Tagged ‘Guilds’

Notes from the Blizzard Developer Q&A, No. 6

The sixth round of the Ask the Devs Q&A chats have finally been posted over at the official blog, and the answers are pretty interesting. If you didn’t know already, this round focuses around the topic of guild advancement. As always, I’ll highlight some questions I think are particularly interesting from the roundup – not everything. For the full transcript, head over to the blog and check it out!

Without any further ado:

Q: The guild perks system makes it unnaturally hard to start a new guild, since a guild without all perks is at an obvious disadvantage in recruitment. In addition, it rewards just recruiting random people (who might only care about the perks) to get guild XP. What are your thoughts on this? Will it be addressed? – Lolisa [Europe, English], Mith [North America]

A: We knew when we decided to add guild features for Cataclysm that this was one of the risks. If the guild perks and rewards aren’t interesting, then there is no motivation to join a guild or work to improve your guild. On the other hand if they are too powerful, then you feel shackled to your old guild, even if it’s not a healthy relationship for you. We were careful to only choose perks that didn’t contribute to player power, and we let you keep any rewards you earn if you ever have to leave your guild. The perks are nice, no doubt, but you’re going to have less fun in an established guild of jerks than you would starting your own guild with fewer perks.

We don’t think recruiting random people is healthy for a guild. Rewards are never going to be a substitute for strong social ties. We really encourage as many people as possible to seek out guilds (and we hope the new Guild Finder will help with that), but joining a guild at random will likely end in tears.

On the other hand, there may be some benefit to having less churn on starting guilds. Before Cataclysm, some guilds would get started halfheartedly and then crumble again after a few weeks or months. Maintaining an active guild asks a lot of the guild master and leading officers. If you join an established guild in Cataclysm, hopefully it will continue to be around for awhile. But because of reputation, even brand new guilds may seem like a more serious option than they were before Cataclysm, since the founders of the guild know that anyone interested is likely looking for a long-term home and are not just hopping from guild to guild.

This is a good one, and something that’s been on my mind for a while now – makes sense it’s the first question. Honestly, the questioner does have a good point – some people just won’t join a guild without the perks, but I have to agree with the devs that in most cases, people won’t stick to a cruddy guild because they have the perks, and people won’t skip over a great guild without perks for a bad guild that has them. Still, I could see this being tweaked a bit over time.

Q: Are you planning to address the issue of Guild Leaders mass kicking members, once the guild reaches level 25? – Bloodbliss [North America], Юхани [Europe, Russian]

A: We don’t really have any interest in controlling who a guild leader chooses to kick, or when. Guilds are fairly transparent and simple player-run groups, and we have to be extremely careful about what systems we implement that impact how people can operate their guilds. We could absolutely make it more difficult for guild leaders to kick their members, and that might help very slightly with these situations, but the result would actually be that guild leaders would just be much less likely to invite new members. We want people to be in guilds, as opposed to making guild masters afraid that if they invite someone they may never be able to kick them if they don’t work out.

Allowing players to keep some level of guild reputation is an option we can look into to help with this situation, though.

Wow – I suppose it’s just an indicator of how little time I’ve had to really get arms deep into the game lately, but I didn’t even know this was an issue. That’s a pretty cruddy thing for a Guild Leader to do, honestly. I see why Blizzard doesn’t want to get involved, but I can see how it would be a problem. Don’t expect Blizz to do too much until it gets to fever pitch, though.

Q: Are we going to see guild houses someday so we could finally get a special gather place for the guild, to meet and interact easily? – Ellidryl[Europe, French], Греланд[Europe, Russian], Ledieri [Europe, Spanish], Bodywreckér [North America]

A: Guild housing is something we have discussed many times. It would be neat to have a place for people to hang out, but every time it has come up as a possibility we don’t think that is worth the amount of time and resources it would take to implement (and do it right). This is one of those features where if we ever decided to do it, the benefit would have to outweigh other content we could be working on. Also, we don’t feel that we need any new ways for players to hide themselves away. If possible we at least like people to be hanging around in the cities, if not out in the world. We know that many guilds, despite lack of official guild housing, have designated meeting locations throughout the world, which we think is really cool. If you don’t have one yet it might be something to explore.

Ah, the old guild housing question. And, of course, the answer that Blizzard has given us many many times: they like the idea, they really really do like the idea, but they just don’t think it’s high enough on the priority list at this point to take development time away from other tasks. Interesting. I wonder if it’ll ever be high enough on the priority list – it’s been something people have wanted since Vanilla.

Q: Are there any plans to allow for easier alt access to the same guild rewards as someone’s main character? Perhaps some kind of +rep item that is BoA and can only be bought by an exalted character? – Serule [North America], Xheevas [Europe, French]

A: This is one of the main reasons 4.1 has new guild tabards with 50/100% bonus to rep. We made sure to place these at friendly and honored so they would be easy to obtain by alts. We are considering adding an even larger bonus to an exalted, BOA version as well. Great minds think alike!

Hah! Awesome – I was wondering when this was going to happen, and sure enough, we have it already. Well done!

And that does it for another round – we skipped a lot of questions this time, but they’re all pretty interesting. Make sure to read the full thread for the whole scoop!

Guild Finder Coming in Patch 4.1

In patch 4.1, Blizzard is planning to unveil the Guild Finder – a new tool that will allow players to find a guild that works for them. Seriously, just check off your primary interests, the class roles that you’re willing to fill, and a little information about yourself, and you can browse guilds that match those interests. Here’s the scoop from the official blog:

In patch 4.1 we’ll be introducing the Guild Finder, a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership.

The Guild Finder is intended to act as an in-game bulletin board for guilds that are actively recruiting. Previously in World of Warcraft, your options were limited. You would have to publicly post on your realm forum message board, or speak to other players directly via private messages or the chat channels. That can be a time consuming process. Guild Finder will allow your “looking for new members” message to work 24 hours a day, accessible to all of the characters in your faction, from anywhere in the game.

Wow. Talk about a great way to find guilds if you’re a player looking for a suitable – or more suitable – home for your main or your alts. Guild leaders have control over how their guild is listed, and they can see players who have applied to join their guilds as well.

Naturally, a lot of people have asked the question of whether or not this will eliminate the traditional guild application process – where most players have to go to a guild’s Web site, review the rules, and submit an application that way – but I don’t think it will. Guild leaders won’t have the flexibility to contact players who have applied and then put them in a hold list pending an application or anything, but they will get to see who’s submitted a request through the tool. From there, they can reach out directly, accept their application right out of the gate, deny it, or enter a comment. Still, it might be helpful to have a more robust utility.

There’s also the question of whether or not only guild leaders will have access to the tool or whether guild officers will as well: many guilds have a GM, but another person responsible for recruitment and bringing on new members. It’ll be a while before we get answers to all of that, and a better look at exactly what the tool will look like, but Blizzard has a screenshots of what the tool will eventually look like.

What do you think? Will you use the guild finder when it’s available, or are you happy with the way players find guilds now? Let us know what you think!

World of Warcraft Remote Updates, Adds Guild Chat

If you haven’t been using the WoW Remote apps for iOS and Android, you’ve been missing out. Not only do the apps give you full access to The Armory and the Auction House, but they now allow you to send whispers and messages to guild members, provided you and they are both signed up. You can even join officer chat while you’re using your phone, all without having to log in to the game from your computer. Talk about a way to find out who’s online in the game just by looking at your phone.

Here’s the scoop from Blizzard’s announcement:

We recently updated the World of Warcraft Remote page with new screenshots and information about the upcoming mobile guild chat feature, currently in development for iPhone®, iPod touch®, and Android™. This new feature will allow World of Warcraft Remote subscribers to participate in guild chat, send whispers to their guildmates, and more through their phone or mobile device. We’ll have more information on the availability of this fanciful feat of gnomish engineering soon, so keep your goggles glued to the official World of Warcraft website.

The bigger thing to note here, even if you’re not addicted to your guild chat channel and you don’t want a way to keep up with them and talk to them at all times, (ugh – I know some guildies who’ll be in gchat all. of. the. time. thanks to this….) is that this means Blizzard is and has been actively working on the World of Warcraft Remote app for a while now, ever since they introduced the Auction House features. That means there are likely more good things coming soon for the app.

What to do when Good Guildies Go Bad

Each week over at The Blog Azeroth Forums, the community comes together around a shared blog topic – interested WoW bloggers can pick up the topic and make posts on their own sites to respond to it, and all of the responses are collected and linked at “What to do when Good Guildies Go Bad” is this week’s topic!

This week’s shared topic at Blog Azeroth resonated with me specifically:

What do you do when a normally good guildmate performs poorly or behaves badly? Your rock solid tank comes to raid ungemmed, your master mage dips down into pre-cata dps numbers several nights in a row or your best healer can’t seem to keep from going oom 2 minutes into any fight. What do you do? The obvious answer is shoot the hostage but…

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the kind of position to really gripe about this, but I’m going to take a different approach – not just one around DPS or poor performance in raids and instances, but also when it comes to behavior in general. I definitely have experience with guildies who generally behave badly and can’t bring themselves to either just be considerate to their guildmates or who are just so obnoxious in general that they’re difficult to deal with.

First thing’s first – let’s talk about the kind of guild member I’m thinking of here. Sure, there are plenty who mean well but do poorly in raids and instances because of one thing or another – bad gear, improperly gemmed, using the wrong weapon, poorly spec’d. You know those folks. Some of them may be a bit defensive when called out on their errors (after all, no one wants to be told they’re wrong) but more often than not they’re willing to learn from their mistakes and improve their game if you bring it up to them in a police and reasonable way. These people aren’t the ones I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the kind that constantly link their items in guild chat just to show off what they’ve seen/picked up/looted lately, the kind that use guild chat as their personal trade chat or use it largely to talk to one other person, (the kind that use guild chat for the types of conversations that should happen in whispers, for example) the kind that can’t stop saying wonderful things about themselves and generally clog up guild chat or raid chat with their own self-aggrandizing banter.

They’re the type who are the most defensive when you call them out on their errors, because they simply can’t believe themselves capable of any wrong. They’re the type who will start whining about you when you bring up a way they can improve – no matter how nicely you do it – or build a massive conspiracy theory against them on behalf of you and your whole guild if they perform poorly in raids and find themselves benched.

Oh yes, I know this type of person very well. And admittedly, they’re not always the type who was “good” before they “went bad,” usually this type has always been bad, but they made friends somehow, right? So what do you do about them? Click the jump, let me offer some suggestions.


Blizzard’s Guild Advancement Guide Helps Guilds Master the Basics

I had meant to share this when it was a little newer, but Blizzard recently posted a Guild Advancement Guide to the new Community Site that explains the basics of guild leveling, achievements, reputation, and some general tips to help your guild do well in all of its endeavors, whether it involves raiding, instances, or just being social and trying to keep a motley crew of friends together and on speaking terms.

Of course the post really focuses on things like the Guild UI, perks and achievements, and the technical side of being in a guild or running a guild, but the tips are great for people who are confused about all of the changes to the guild system in Cataclysm and are looking for some more information about it.

Adrianne Curry’s Guild is Recruiting!

Looking for a new guild? Aren’t we all – but if you’re looking for a new guild and you want to join something special, I mean really special, you can always join Adrianne Curry’s guild, No Clue, over on Nazgrel!

She actually posted to Twitter that she wanted fellow WoW players to spread the word, and as you can tell from the snapshot of her post at the official forums they’re a social 21+ guild with a pretty active and outspoken membership, so I’m not suggesting you go overwhelm her with applications. She is the GM after all, only apply if you’re serious about the guild, serious about playing with the group, and serious about being a good player and making some new friends, not because you’re star struck.

Still, it’s a little hard not to be star struck, I understand that – and that’s part of the reason it’s fun to post and possibly drum up a few applications for her. Admittedly, No Clue sounds like exactly the kind of guild I’d love to be a part of, so you never know, maybe I’ll apply.

News and Thoughts from the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Press Tour

Blizzard took the media on a whirlwind tour of some of the new features and changes coming in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm at the end of last week, and dropped a few bombshells that were worth paying attention to, especially for those who are looking forward to the expansion based on information that’s been previously provided. The bulk of the details are over at MMO Champion’s post about the tour, but there are some significant changes worth highlighting here:

Path of the Titans is gone
The whole Path of the Titans idea has been removed from the game. It will no longer rely on Archeology or on any kind of PvE/PvP progression and instead Blizzard will just introduce a new type of glyphs: Medium Glyphs.

Medium Glyphs will add a “fun factor” to abilities, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see something similar to the Fortification or Breakthrough glyphs first previewed during Blizzcon 2009. (But probably not these exact glyphs, a lot of stuff happened since last year)

Guild Talents are gone
The guild talents are gone and your guild now gets extra bonuses depending on its level. There are 25 levels and each level will automatically reward with more cool stuff. The leveling process remains unchanged and your guild will gain experience through PvP, Dungeon and Raid progression, questing, etc …

Guild currency has also been removed and rewards will just be “unlocked” after you reach a specific level or complete a guild achievement. Once a reward is unlocked, members will be able to purchase it with gold. Some of the rewards include guild tabards, mounts, heirlooms, and it looks like you will finally be able to have a guild tabard on your mount. (Just like the Argent Tournament banners)

New members of a guild won’t be able to buy everything directly, they will have to contribute to the progression of the guild before they can access the top rewards. Each time a player helps towards the leveling he will gain reputation with the guild, the best rewards will require players to be exalted with their guild before they can buy it.

Archeology will be less important
With the Path of the Titans gone, Archeology will become a “true” secondary profession and you won’t really have to level it anymore. However it will still be used to let you get cosmetic/optional items, get more information on the game’s lore, and ultimately it looks like we can expect rewards similar to fishing. (Nothing mandatory, but you’ll be happy when you actually find something)

Information gathered from other sites:
You will find two types of items: Common Artifacts will give you more information on the lore of a race, and might be used in some kind of collection game. Rare items will give you usable items, most of them will be cosmetic but some of them will have actual effects.

I have to admit, I’m pretty disappointed by this spate of news. I thought that Path of the Titans, Guild Talents, and Archeology all sounded like a lot of fun and I was looking forward to all of them being in the game and playing an integral role in the way that guilds and groups evolved. I also thought that these changes were finally going to do something to shake up the way Guilds are made and operate in the game, and I’m afraid that with so many of the guild-wide changes removed we’ll just go back to the way guilds are now; an implementation that I think could use some serious improvement and encouragement from Blizzard.

That’s the bad news, but there is good news:

Raids and Dungeons Split
Raid leaders will be able to split an ongoing 25-man raid into up to three 10-man raids. Those 10-man raids will be able to continue from that point on, with bosses already down.

So far it looks like it won’t be possible to merge 10-man raids into 25-man raids, for obvious reasons.

Information gathered from other sites:
Raid IDs should be much more flexible. You will be able to join any raid as long as it doesn’t have any bosses up that you have already killed.
There will be more Algalon-style encounters—ultra-hard optional bosses for hardcore players only.

Rated Battlegrounds
Rated battlegrounds will be available for pre-mades of 10, 15 and 25-player sizes. The amount of Conquest points rewarded will be capped so that players who enjoy both arenas and rated battlegrounds don’t feel they have to prioritize one over the other.

Information gathered from other sites:
The classic Honor titles will be coming back and rewarded to the top teams each season.
The “Gladiator” equivalent teams will also receive epic ground mounts. Ground mounts because they want to reward something you can ride in the battleground and be proud of / show off.

Now that’s pretty cool – and the new raids and instances look cool too. It sounds like a lot of the changes they’re making as far as rated battlegrounds and guild achievements will help alleviate the loss of some of the more interesting guild talents and features that I was looking forward to. Additionally, the changes to raids and lockouts will encourage more people to get involved and will allow people to progress without having to reconvene raids multiple times if they don’t get all the way through somewhere – the whole force of a 25-man raid can do a certain amount, and then a few 10-mans that can meet on different times of the week can continue the 10-man version of the content from there. I like that idea.

Here’s the trick though, I caught this little tidbit further down the thread notes:

Heroic Deadmines / Shadowfang Keep
Heroic versions of classic instances might not be ready for the release of Cataclysm and will be shipped in content patch instead.

Okay – this may not seem like a big deal (unless you were really hoping for those heroics come Cataclysm) but it tells me something that I’m worried about, something that was magnified with the removal of Path of the Titans and Guild Talents: Blizzard may be rushing this thing.

Seriously, at Blizzcon last year, we were all so thrilled to see that Blizzard had been making so much progress with Cataclysm at the time and that it looked so good, but considering the way they’re scaling back some of the content changes tells me either that they’re pushing for a release (likely this year) and don’t have time to implement everything they want to, or they’re worried that some of the changes they want to will be too much upkeep for their team. (I wouldn’t want to be the people who have to balance Guild Talents…what do you do when one turns out to clearly be the best and ALL of the guilds in the game flock to one tree?)

Now at the same time, the flip side to this may be simpler – Blizzard may have just decided that some of these changes just weren’t good ideas. But the notion that the Heroic Deadmines and Heroics Shadowfang Keep, two things fans have been craving for ages, may be delayed, tells me that Blizzard has a lot on their plate and their timeline is in jeopardy. If that’s the case, the question then becomes: “what’s still on the plate that made Path of the Titans, Guild Talents, and, while not cancelled – just postponed, Heroic Deadmines and Shadowfang fall off? We’ll just have to wait until a full beta starts and the NDA is lifted to find out.

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