Monday, January 17, 2011

What About Guilds?

We haven't heard much from the folks at ArenaNet lately (other than the blog post about the Kodan), but, if you take into account their commitment to polish, you can't really blame them. I'm all for developers not releasing information if it means a high level of polish and completeness. But, the patience of the fan community isn't infinite.

Guild Wars 2 fans are still anxiously awaiting for the reveal of the last four professions. If you haven't kept up to date, the professions we know of so far are the Warrior, the Elementalist, the Ranger, and the Necromancer. As Guild Wars' unique (and arguably signature) profession, Mesmer is a shoe-in for the fifth profession slot. That leaves three more slots still left unfilled.

As interesting as the speculation on the remaining professions is, I am more interested in the implementation of guilds in the game. I mean, it is Guild Wars, right? ArenaNet has said little, if any, on the topic of guilds. In the first game, guilds were, more or less, a roster of like-minded players you could call on to pad out your party for missions and/or to pawn off to or mooch new equipment from. (Note: I am aware that guilds also exist to enable PvP play such as Alliance Battles or Guild vs. Guild. I am discussing the more PvE-pertinent characteristics of a guild).

Will guilds in Guild Wars 2 essentially exist in the same manner? Or will they be more involved? In Guild Wars, there were only three ranks. You had the Guild Leader, Guild Officers, and Guild Members. In Guild Wars 2, I'd like to see the introduction of a more versatile system with different ranks and a diffusion of responsibility throughout. In Guild Wars, resource sharing necessitated meeting somewhere (usually the Guild Hall) and trading. I'd like to see Guild Banks in Guild Wars 2 to enable the easier pooling and sharing of resources. The instanced nature of Guild Wars meant that the only people who ever saw a good guild in action were members of that guild (or of the opposing team, if we're talking about PvP). In Guild Wars 2, I am excited to wander Tyria and see a band of players, garbed in matching red cloaks or tabards, taking on an army of centaurs, inspiring the others around them to greater heroics because of their teamwork and overwhelming "coolness."

And we can't really discuss guilds without discussing the Guild Hall. Despite the size of Tyria, I don't think there'll be enough space to house all of the Guild Halls. But to hide the halls away in an instanced location would be a shame. They are status symbols and players, I'm sure, would love to show them off to the wider world. Perhaps the Guild Halls will exist in the ethereal realm of the Mists? It is, after all, where PvP will be taking place. Maybe Guild Halls can come under attack by rival guilds or act as fortresses for allied teams in World PvP.

At this point, we simply don't know enough about guilds to even start speculating. We can hope, though. We can hope and trust that ArenaNet knows what they are doing and will deliver a product that will satisfy its fans. We can even hope that maybe sometime soon, we'll receive more information on something central to the game. It is Guild Wars 2 after all. What about guilds?

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