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Ask the Devs round 6 Guild Advancement Q&A now up

Ask the Devs has landed again with Blizzard answering questions about Guild Advancement. Round 6 of this long-running Cataclysm feature on the official site has gathered a variety of questions from folks about the new guild systems and how they're working so far, as well as what they'll be doing in the future. I was particularly interested in the following excerpt.



Q: Leveling guild speed varies depending on the amount of players. Have you considered tweaking the system so that guilds with fewer members get more experience per player and bigger guilds get less to even it out? Are there plans to allow smaller guilds to level their guild faster? – 信蜂 火星小喵喵 [Taiwan], Sergan [Latin America], Jardar [Europe, German], Паладиа [Europe, Russian], Amasisa [Europe, Spanish], Shory, 부너맨/노대현혹, Meltdown, 치킨아고마워/유진님 [Korea]

A: Guild Challenges coming in patch 4.1 are designed to help address this issue. Obviously we already enforce a cap on the amount of XP that can be gained per day to keep the disparity from being too large, but it's clear that smaller guilds still need some help. We'll monitor the impact of Guild Challenges and see if any further changes need to be made.


The rest of the entire Q&A session is after the break.


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.



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.



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.



Q: Why is guild experience capped daily instead of weekly? – Omegal [North America], Nuckels [Europe, English]

A: We implemented a daily cap so that more players get a chance to contribute every day. A weekly cap would make this more difficult since a guild might hit the cap the first day, leaving no experience for the other members to gain over the remaining 6 days of the week. If you could only login on Thursday, and the cap was always already hit before you could log in, you might not be as interested in this whole guild progression thing.

However, we will be reducing the impact of the cap as we move though the Cataclysm patches. We will most likely start by increasing the daily cap, and removing it from more of the higher levels.



Q: Why isn't guild XP from quests a factor of character level, quest difficulty, and intended quest level, instead of being derived directly from XP gained? Why is guild reputation so hard to gain before level 70? It feels as though it's harder to gain reputation with your guild at the beginning and easier as you gain levels; shouldn't it be the other way around? – Atun [North America], Threshold [Europe, English], Helíana [Latin America]

A: The experience gained from a quest is directly related to all of these factors, which is why we use it as a basis to reward guild experience. Clearly this value is much smaller at lower levels and we know that this does not feel great with the current tuning. We're going to tune the XP multiplier for doing lower level quests so it doesn't feel like such a waste. Guild reputation suffers from this same multiplier issue too, and when we tune the experience the rep gain will be improved as well. Rep gain will also be much improved though in patch 4.1 with the introduction of the new guild tabards, and increased values on clearing dungeons, raids and winning arenas and battlegrounds.



Q: Is there any way to recover a guild which is deliberately disbanded by evil account hacker or lunatic guild leader? – 哇靠不是吧 [Taiwan]

A: The best way to deal with this situation is to immediately contact a World of Warcraft Game Master.



Q: It seems that the new guild system is killing off the Pick Up Group culture in KR. In KR, raids were generally done through PUG and players did not care what kind of guilds they joined for raids. Can we expect more localized guild features to support the unique raid culture of the Korean region? –밥상의달인, Jeran, 블러드베인 [Korea]

We will continue to pay close attention to and work to protect the various in-game cultures in each region. However, we don't have plans to change the structure of the system at this time.



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!



Q: Will there be additional levels of rewards for those guilds that have reached the cap in future patches? Are you going to add levels beyond 25? – Sergan [Latin America], Carnesîr [Europe, German], Zippi [Europe, English], Gabän [Europe, Spanish]


A: Yes, we will continue to add rewards to the system as necessary. A great example is the guild reward we intend to add in patch 4.2 for guilds that obtain the new legendary staff. Guilds at level 25 also get the benefit of large gold deposits for completing Guild Challenges. Capping the guild system at level 25 felt right for the amount of content we wanted to provide in Cataclysm. We designed the system with expansions in mind, so raising the cap is something players will most likely see down the road.



Some of these questions have of course been asked and answered (the guild housing one in particular feels absolutely formulaic at this point), but it's nice to see some clarification on guild challenges and how the alt issue for guild rewards is being addressed. I was also interested to see that in at least one fairly active region (Korea), the new Guild Advancement system is actually having a pretty serious effect on the culture.

Check out our coverage of the previous Ask the Devs Q&A sessions:

WoW Patch 4.1 is live, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from guides of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Cataclysm

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