Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
How did guild perks work out for you?

My guild in World of Warcraft is level 24, and will reach level 25 soon. And the most remarkable thing about that for me is how little I actually noticed it. Some of the advantages are downright invisible, because nobody really notices an X% bonus to this or that. Others are weird: Why did Blizzard make the heirlooms you pay for with justice points rather expensive, and at the same time offers new heirlooms as guild perk which are extremely cheap in comparison? The one perk that ended up being most useful to some of my characters was the 15-minute hearthstone.

Apart from a few trade chat guild advertisements stating the level of the guild I haven't really noticed much of a change in guild behavior due to the introduction of guild perks. I have no idea whether they are working as intended to reduce guild-hopping. Maybe my guild is just too nice and stable to react to perks a lot after 6 years of staying together without rewards.

So I'd be interested in hearing from you whether you noticed any effect from guild perks. When they were announced people theorized all sorts of effects from being stuck with a bad guild to a positive effect on guild loyalty. Did you experience any of that? Have guild perks as a means of social engineering worked? Did they lead to small guilds dying out, replaced by anonymous mega-guilds? Or did guild perks in fact not change anything fundamental?
The guild perks mainly made raiding easier/cheaper. Longer flask durations, mass summons and resurrections, cauldron and feast recipes for cheaper buffs, lower repair bills.
When wour guild started raiding, the prices of flasks were close to 250g per flask, that would be 1000g per raid (4h raidnights). Now we chip in our flasks and produce cauldrons. With the gold the guildbank earns we can provide guildrepairs on new heroic bosses.

So for a raiding guild, the perks have been great so far. For the smaller guilds- the added XP bonus and cheap access to heirlooms might be the only major benefits.
Those perks are quite useful for raiders. You save money through less repair or (better) cauldrons.
We are using the Mobil Guildbank pretty much every Raid. And the massress is really something you don't want to miss, it's just unbelievable how much progress time it saves.

And those perks lead to our close 10 man hardcore raiding guild inviting every willing mercenary to push our guild level. Since we are extremely inactiv outside of raids (~5% of the daily xp cap) we don't really have another way of reaching that cap.
XP through killing raid bosses doesn't help, since we usually kill most of those on the same day (while sticking at the daily cap after the first few kills)
I did join a mega-guild for the faster leveling and heirlooms, but my main got decent mileage out of the Quick and the Dead as well. I barely noticed the other ones.

If one pays for loyalty, then one shouldn't be surprised that the loyalty ends when the rewards end. And thanks to the progression path being identical, every guild is eventually going to be the same anyway. The only thing preventing someone guild-hopping between identical guilds A and B is intertia.. and maybe guild reputation if they don't have what they want already.
Turned out rather horrible for me. We were a very casual guild as of late, everyone was just in it for the nice company. Half our people were just twinking, the others raided outside of the guild in about three different raids.
Now? Immediatelly when guild leveling arrived half the guild had to leave with their main character, because joining the raid guild had become mandatory. Guild advancement slowed down to a glacial speed, we hit level 2 when other guilds got level 7. When our raiders hit maxlevel with their second char and started to raid with that one too, they also had to take that one out of the guild. For some it was mandatory again, for the rest it was simply stupid not to do it because of all the advantages guild perks bring to raiding.

Nowadays the guild is pretty much dead in the water. Without our buddys the rest of us had nothing holding us there so we simply spread out. Some of us joined other guilds, some are playing on different servers for the kick of starting anew. We are still connected via real id and some semi-inactive chars, but thanks to guild advancement we are no longer a guild.
When you consider 2000 honor point heirloom "expensive" and 2000G helm "cheap", you are considering your own goldmaking speed.

The average player doesn't use the AH for making gold, they do dailies. Getting 2000G means 100 dailies, about 1000 minutes, 17 hours.

Getting 2000 honor is about the same time in random BGs but you can "hav fun pwning n00bs".

I agree with you that 2000G is about 1 hour while 2000 honor is about 5 (if you do TB attacks and just one BG win/day instead of BG spamming), but our valuation is based on the fact that we have brain cells.

You consider this situation obvious and universal. It is very much not.
I noticed no positive effects from the guild XP/rep/perk system. If anything, it played a part (if a minor one) in convincing me to stop playing. Changing guilds was already traumatic enough, and the loss of rep just adds another junk-punch.
In my smallish guild with three accounts active simultaneously at most guild levels were pretty much a running gag. "Look, look, 5% to level 3! Yeah us!"
They are not game-changing (they weren't meant to), but they are nice additions making life easier for raiders.

Will they stop anyone from guild-hopping? No.
From my perspective as part of a raiding guild, the perks are definitely nice, but they're not really a recruiting tool or a reason for people to day. Raiders want good raids; better cauldrons are nice, but they can't move people out of the fire.

For leveling guilds, though, some of the perks are quite strong. So guilds of that type might be facing a situation unlike that of my guild.
I doubt if it really works.

The goal is nothing more than probably a title, while in SWG you actually could create a city with your guild. That is some pixels worth struggling over. simply a cauldron or a better hearthstone is not.
I haven't seen people change their behaviour much from this addition - it certainly hasn't created a sense of community or encouraged people to play together if they weren't previously doing so.

I've joined miscellaneous guilds with my alts only because it was inefficient not to do so.
Trying to satisfy my curiosity: Do you (anybody) think that the guild perks have been
(1) a good decision by Blizzard,
(2) a bad one, or
(3) a waste of time?
It has been harsh for me.

One guild died via merger by Christmas. Another recently died at level 17. I think both were significantly affected by the new guild environment.

Altoholics will notice the level 20 BoA.
Everyone notices the hearth
Almost everyone will notice the 10% rep, JP, honor (or at least people who read web sites to find rotations will certainly think 10% is non-trivial)

The remote guild bank and rez speed can save a good bit of time.
If you are going to disenchant, mine or herb you will want to be in a level 24 guild. In particular, I think enchanting mats will be driven by 110% of the jasper ring price, not 100% (Bountiful Bags)

Most bloggers post that rep will have little impact, as players will continue to play with friends. My opinion is that in a game where many would grind Hodir dailies for dozens of hours just to get +10 stats to a shoulder enchant, that rewards will matter. My opinion is it has had little effect on large stable guilds and more effect the smaller the guild. ALso Guild rep is just one component of the cata "Thou Shall Not Pug" that pushes you to larger guilds.

I think they may matter more on guild changes. Say your guild dies due to Rift or Cata or w/e. If you are going to go join some strangers, why not join a level 25 group of strangers if the other aspects are about the same
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hmm, another Fake Tobold comment, and this time Blogger claims that the original author is Gevlon.
Well, I guess as I stole his identity first (years ago), Gevlon has some justification to steal my identity for troll comments. You can verify which Tobold posted a comment by clicking on the name, the fake Tobold has a hidden profile to disguise the fact that this blog isn't on his Blogger profile.
As mentioned, for raiding 'Guild Perks' mean that you no longer need to grind. Epic BoE drops are enough to fund repair costs and guild cauldrons.

Still the positives don't outweigh the mauling guilds have suffered this exp, with the perfect storm of 25/10 man guild drama, Raid complexity that picks up where ICC left off and lack of non-raid night stuff to do.
Agree with Felsir and Iancore, it's made raiding more sustainable (even for smaller guilds). So if you don't raid, you wouldn't miss them that much.

Ian raises some excellent points though. For example, unless you've got a continuous stream of lower level people to help (i.e. new recruits, alts, etc), there really isn't anything for a guild to do as a whole besides raiding. For example, I don't need to run heroics now but when other guildies need help doing them to gear up, I happily jump into help them out. When there is no one to help though, that's when things get boring.

So if you've got a guild of just hardcore raiders, non-raiding nights are probably pretty much a ghost town (which is starting to happen in our guild as well).

WoW needs more ways to "bump" into other people and "jump" into help them out, especially when doing your regular daily activities (i.e. farming). For example, in Twilight Lands, doing my dailies as a horde player, I'd always see if someone needed help killing the dwarf boss (since I'm a tank). So for me, it was kind of like a PQ from Warhammer Online or a zone boss from Allods Online.

Actually Allods Online had something interesting in that you could get a daily treasure from each zone. So sometimes you'd go back to a zone you've completed just to get the reward. And more often than not, you'd hear people needing help to down the zone boss and you'd gladly help them out, since it would only take you five minutes to do. Again they created an opportunity for people to bump into each other and interact.
@neowolf2 - if you feel there are no positive effects from the guild perks/rank system, then why the hell do you care about the loss of rep when you switch guilds?

Not the mention, the actual perks you get at each level apply regardless of your guild rank. Only the stuff you buy from the guild vendor are gated by rep.

Personally, I think the Guild Perk system was a fantastic idea. My guild may be unique -- our core has remained stable for about 12 years, dating back to the beginning of EQ. We rarely have more than about 15 members online at any given time, yet we got Realm First level 25. We are not hard core, and are still 7/12 in Cata raiding.

However, we've all noticed significant advantages to most all of the perks. I find it pretty surprising that at level 24, you haven't! None of them are drastic, sure... in fact I think that's a good thing. You don't want to create even more disparity between the elite guilds and the casuals. In general, they are all conveniences. Running faster when dead, flying faster, more materials from harvesting, faster hearths, instant mail to guild mates, faster leveling and rep gains, better flasks, cheaper repair bills... how can you NOT notice these things?

The more I think about it, the more shocked I am. The only thing I can think is to compare it to the frog in boiling water. Because they slowly happened over the course of 5 months, it seemed passive maybe. However, being used to them now, if you were to go to a level 1 guild, I can't believe you wouldn't miss them. At least for a short while...

I can't really answer the question about noticing much of a change in the community due to guild perks. We have not recruited since long before Cata released, and I honestly can't remember the last time someone left the guild. The only effect the Perks had on us was when we hit 25 and it got announced server-wide, we got flooded with people wanting to join the guild.
My little friends/family-only 10 man max guild didn't achieve shit with the guild perks system. Half the achievments in there are Pokemon-like, "Get one of every class/race combo!" BS that you can't do if you intentionally want to keep your guild small.

Now that wouldn't be so bad if achievements weren't one of the ways to unlock things for your guild. As it is, Blizz is definitely, explicitly telling smaller guilds to 'get with the program' and become giant, impersonal superguilds. Or to stop all playing Blood Elves. Either way, my response was the same. One finger, extended.

Additionally, if you weren't a superguild when the initial rush started, you have a massive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting several months down the track - especially if you only intend to fill one or two slots. "Hey, come join our level 4 guild."

It's not for levelling guilds either, unless your guild already has a giant stable of bored 85 alts. The exp contributed from 1-80 is Sweet Fuck All.
Guild perks are just another link in the long, "holy grail" chain of making players work/wait for features that would have otherwise been added for free. If you think things like PvP item prices or JP awards were not balanced around someone having the +10% bonus, I do not know what to tell you. Heirlooms, in particular, is such a out-of-the-ballpark hit that I think people forget that before they were introduced, Blizzard would straight-up reduce the XP needed to level between certain ranges. Now? You need to sink in JP or emblems back in Wrath for the same benefit.

On a less snarky note, the guild perk system simply makes the prospect of guild death that much more painful. Enough people have unsubbed from my guild that it is dead in the water, and yet we're level 15. The place we want to go, a reformed amalgamation of guilds, is level 12. Yay? Or we can go to the ultra-casual level 24 guild just to sit around. Most of us don't like any of these options, so we stay put, growing more and more dissatisfied with WoW overall each passing day.

The average player doesn't use the AH for making gold, they do dailies. Getting 2000G means 100 dailies, about 1000 minutes, 17 hours.

It takes someone 10 minutes to do one daily? The Northern TB dailies take 30 minutes unless you get ganked, and that is what, six dailies? I do not think the average player is an AH fiend either, but they absolutely sell random garbage for gold because I am there buying and flipping their items every day. If they can buy Ebonsteel Belt Buckles for 300g or 150-300g glyphs, they can afford heirlooms no problem.
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