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Posts with tag guild-talents

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's benefits for guild organization

the scrapped guild talent trees
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

As I predicted back in the summer of 2009, Cataclysm changed WoW's guilds and the guild experience more than any other expansion in the game's history. Many of these changes were a boon to officers, but even the positive changes sometimes had unfortunate drawbacks. Other changes were not as welcome. Let's look back and see how each of these shifts in game and guild design have affected us as officers over the past year and how Blizzard could improve them in the future.

What we didn't get

Every expansion has its list of announced features that don't make the cut. Two guild features that eventually got the axe were guild talents and guild currency.

Despite arguing in favor of guild talents, replacing them with universal perks was probably the right move for Blizzard at the time. With all the other upheaval that guilds had to endure during Cataclysm, choosing talents would have been one more unwelcome source of stress for officers. However, I still believe that providing us with more in-game ways to distinguish one guild from another is desirable and good.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: In defense of guild talents

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

About a week ago, Blizzard revealed all the latest updates concerning their gameplan for Cataclysm. Among them were a host of changes to the new guild systems and UI overhaul that were originally announced at BlizzCon 2009. Today I'd like to focus on the removal of guild talents. In future columns, I'll address other changes.

Guild talents get the axe

Two of the biggest announcements from last week were not new features but the cancellation of previously announced features: Path of the Titans and guild talents. I've heard a lot of complaints from people about removing the Path, which is to be expected -- it was considered a key feature of the expansion and a long-awaited means to customize your character beyond talents after glyphs, in the words of Ghostcrawler, "didn't live up to what they could have been." It's a shame they couldn't make the Path work, but I'm hopeful that the revised glyph system will compensate for its loss.

On the other hand, I'm not hearing nearly as many complaints about the removal of guild talents. Again, perhaps, this is to be expected. After all, Blizzard's plan is to replace them with unlocked perks that you receive automatically as your guild levels up. In other words, every guild will get every talent. Awesome, right? For guild members, yes. For officers, not as much.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ghostcrawler on guild organization in Cataclysm

In response to players' concern over guild organization and management in Cataclysm, Ghostcrawler's been frequenting a thread answering questions about their design goals for guild leveling and why developers decided to axe guild talent trees.

While you should definitely read all of his responses, there are a few points concerning the new system that really jump out:
  • They didn't want to encourage guild-hopping, and forcing a guild to pick and choose among talents would have wound up suiting some players and not others (e.g. a guild leader picking PvE-oriented guild talents and alienating the more PvP-focused players in the guild). Hence the leveling system rather than the almost-inevitable squabble over which talents to get.
  • Because only a certain number of people in the guild can advance your "level" at one time, there's a cap on the advantage a large guild would otherwise have held.
  • "The guild bonuses used to be talents. They are now more like leveling spells. We call them perks now instead of talents. We haven't cut any content, but just changed the UI from boxes with prereqs to a list."
  • The hazing ritual to get into Ghostcrawler's guild "is pretty dehumanizing."
The upshot is that Blizzard's trying to encourage guildies to stick together and reap the benefits of a strong guild without punishing players who don't feel they've got any choice but to move. I was initially worried about guild talents for just that reason, and the "leveling" system sounds like a much healthier way to do this.

Filed under: Guilds, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Press Event: Guild talents and currency scrapped

Guild leveling will remain in Cataclysm, but guild talents and currency have been scrapped. Happily, that doesn't mean that rewards and achievements have gone with them. Overall, it seems they simplified the new guild system without removing the promised benefits. Here is a breakdown of what the new guild system will entail:

Guild leveling

Guilds will gain experience when their members participate in the following:
  • rated battleground wins
  • dungeon or raid boss kills
  • completing quests
  • unlocking guild achievements
Max level will be 25 and each time a guild levels, it will automatically get perks. Previously these perks would be chosen with talents.

Guild rewards

Rewards will be unlocked when guilds earn achievements. Once unlocked, guild members can purchase them with gold as long as they have the appropriate Guild Reputation. The original plan was that guild currency would be used to purchase rewards. The rewards will include:
  • mounts with flags that display the guild tabard emblem
  • heirlooms
  • tabards

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: The benefits of Cataclysm raiding

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

If you've read's reaction to the new Cataclysm raiding paradigm, you already know that I'm a bit biased about this whole situation. I can't deny that this announcement had me cheering. On the other hand, I'm hearing a lot of doom and gloom from around the WoW community. Few people seem to embrace these changes wholeheartedly, and that's all right. There's quite a bit of uncertainty -- even fear -- about how it will all play out. I understand that. All raiding guilds will be affected one way or the other, and it could be that your guild will have a hard time adjusting to the expansion's raiding environment.

As officers, however, we can't give in to negativity. No matter how you might feel about these changes, they are happening, so let's move the conversation into a more productive area. Let's examine how Cataclysm raiding could help us as officers and how we can take advantage of these changes to help our guilds thrive.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

IgroMir 2009: More Cataclysm guild leveling details

IgroMir is Russia's largest gaming convention -- sort of an Eastern European Electronic Entertainment Expo (E5?) -- and Blizzard made an appearance there this week, showing off World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II. Besides the demo booths, visitors could look forward to panels with J. Allen Brack (the current WoW head honcho) and Chris Sigaty (SC2 grand poobah), trivia contests with the Russian Blizzard CMs, and goblin/worgen leveling contests.

But, of course, here at we're mostly interested in Cataclysm news, so let's get right to it, shall we?

In his Cataclysm panel, Brack touched on two subjects -- Tol Barad, the new outdoor PVP zone/quest hub, and the new guild leveling system. The Tol Barad talk was apparently nothing new, but the guild leveling talk had some good information in it. Not everything discussed here is new, but some of it is, so I'll just reiterate what he said.

After the jump, of course.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Europe, Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- leveling and talents

Last week I talked about the massive guild overhaul unveiled at BlizzCon, and the impact these changes would have on guilds, for better or worse. This week I'd like to delve into the leveling system and guild talents. (I'll cover achievements and guild currency in a separate column later.)

Currently we know that guilds will level up as players participate in the following:
  • Boss kills
  • Rated battlegrounds and arenas
  • Leveling professions
  • Increasing faction reputations
Blizzard has stated that only the top 20 experience producers per day will count toward leveling. This is a smart idea. Without this limitation, I could easily see guilds recruiting every player possible just to level up quickly, and then discarding the players they don't really want once they hit level 20. Guild size should help in a small way, but it shouldn't be the determining factor of leveling progress.

One other factor I'd like see contribute to guild leveling is player achievements. Many of them, particularly for Heroic dungeons and raiding, are very difficult to get without a solid guild. Aside from a few vanity items along the way, there's no great reward for racking up a ton of achievement points. Yet, well-designed achievements (i.e., not the exploring or holiday achievements) demonstrate mastery of various aspects of the game. Shouldn't your guild be rewarded for having such players? Besides, it never hurts to give players more incentive to go out and /love some squirrels.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that my biggest pet peeve with WoW is how little support guilds have received from Blizzard over the years. As I've said before, guilds are the backbone of any MMO. They facilitate all the group content that developers spend millions to produce -- the content that keeps people interested in the game and separates an MMO from your average single-player experience.

Without officers who sacrifice time and energy to organize and lead their guilds, no MMO can succeed. I am, of course, biased, but I believe that officers deserve more support than they typically get from MMO developers, especially in WoW. Finally, Blizzard has unveiled plans to deliver not just an improved guild interface, but an entire leveling and achievement system for guilds, complete with talents.

In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth is not the only thing that will be reshaped. Guilds will be completely different entities compared to what they are now, with much greater depth and interactivity. To fully understand how monumental these changes are for officers everywhere, let's first look at the history of WoW's guild improvements.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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