On Goblins and Guild Leveling   Leave a comment

I think that my favorite Cataclysm announcement to come from Blizzcon was the introduction of Guild Leveling.  When it was first announced it as a function, without going into any detail, I will admit to being trepedatious of the feature.  I thought “oh god, I hate leveling in groups, this is going to be awful”.  However, as I followed it through to the game systems panel, I found myself more and more excited about what it is actually going to work.  In fact, I was so excited about it, that I’m fairly certain that I bored a good number of my party at Blizzcon talking about it.

Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of guild leveling, and then what I think it will do for the game.

What is Guild Leveling?

The easiest way to start this, I suppose, is to go over what it is not.

  • It is not grinding out levels with your guild like you would leveling your character;
  • It is not mandatory;
  • It will not have game breaking functions that will be required for instancing, raiding or PvPing.

Ok, cool.  So then what exactly is it?

  • As members of a guild participate in guild groups (it was opined that 75% of your group would need to be guild members), your guild will obtain “experience” points and level up.
    • This can be any activity, from instances, raid or PvP functions.  Just about anything you can do as a group of guildmates will earn “experience” for your guild.
  • The Max Guild Level was stated to be 20.
  • Your guild will gain a talent tree, in which talent points can be spent on unique features that will be available to your guild.
    • None of the talents are meant to be “game breaking” if you do not have them.  They are meant to be fun or “perks”.  Some examples that were shown were:
      • Mass Resurrection – Let’s one rez cover everyone dead;
      • Group Summoning – This was a feature that let everyone be summoned to you;
      • Extra Gold Drops – This allows the boss to drop 7% more gold, of which all 7% of that extra gold will go directly to the guild bank.
      • Cheaper Repairs – I believe we also saw a slide for discounted repairs.
      • Potions and Flasks – While they didn’t demo these, there were definitely potion and flask icons in the mock up.  I don’t know what they will do with these, as I don’t think it would be wise to make any of the talents “required” and tune content to having “increased potion effects”.  But perhaps it may increase the duration or some such thing?
    • It appears that there are options within the talent tree to benefit all types of players and guilds in the game.  I imagine that there will be some that Raiders will seek out first, some that Family guilds will seek out first, and of course some that PvPers will seek out first.  It really does look like there will be something for everyone.
    • This talent tree is re-specable.  As such if your guild purchases a talent and later decides that it’s rubbish, you aren’t locked into that particular talent and can obtain a different one.

That doesn’t sound too bad, now does it?  Sounds kinda neat, right?!?!  But wait!  It gets better!

  • In addition to earning talent points, guilds will also earn ” guild currency”.
    • This currency isn’t like normal gold, it can only be used by the guild to buy “guild” items.

Guild Currency?  Hrm…what will this be used for?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

  • Just as Guild Talent Points will give out things that are beneficial to the guild, guild currency can also be used to make purchases that are useful to the guild.  Some of the examples given were:
    • Craftable Heirloom Items for all slots.
      • This was kinda cool, really.  The way it was explained was that you would use guild currency to make the pattern available to all of your guild members for purchase on a vendor.  Then any of your members of appropriate skill level will be able to purchase the pattern and craft the item.
        • Here is what else makes this cool!  If you leave your guild, you will loose not only the recipe that was bought by the guild, but any guild heirlooms your toon is wearing.  Any items will revert back into the guild bank.  Ergo, you will only get the benefit of the items, including the pattern to craft them, if you are in a guild with access to them.
    • Alternative crafting materials.
      • The example that was given was Frost Lotus.  That is to say that there will be a frost lotus equivalent that can be purchased with guild currency to assist with making flasks.  I would imagine that perhaps there will be some other crafting materials may be made available in this regard.
    • Guild Potions
      • This was another example, where potentially potions or flasks could be purchased with guild currency, but only used while you are in the guild.  I assume that just like the heirloom items, should you leave the guild these items will revert back to the guild bank.

Still with me?  Are you on board the Beru Excitement Train yet?!?  I hope so!

Of course, if doing things with the guild is what earns you “guild experience” how can you tell what people are doing?  What if I want to reward those putting forth the most effort for the guild?  I’m glad you asked!

  • The top 20 guild achievers for each day will be tracked in the UI.
    • This will let everyone know who has worked their hiney off in game to be a contributor and who deserves recognition!
      • The only drawback to this, is that it has the potential to be misleading.  While it will track in game who has contributed the most, it will fail to recognize the work that raid leaders put into strategizing and planning raids; or your the effort your guild’s web monkey puts into the upkeep of your forums and website.
        • Hopefully your guild knows who these people are, and appreciates the hard work they put in, without having to have Blizzard tell them about it!

My thoughts on how Guild Leveling will affect the game

If you couldn’t already tell…I really like this feature!  I am excited to see it implemented, and I am in favor of this change.  I know that there are some people that don’t see it with the same perspective that I have, and feel that it’s going to kill the solo player (I disagree).  However, here are some reasons that I think this feature is so great:

  • It re-enforces guild teamwork.  Being in a guild is already supposed to be about being part of a team, but so often it seems there are folks that need reminding of that.  We’ve all been there: “any DPS for the normal daily?”, 20 people online and no one with the time to help out.  Hopefully now that there is more incentive to lend a helping hand, people will be more inclined to do so.  People will actively seek to group up with each other outside of raids and in turn, hopefully build more friendships.  Friendships are often what keep people playing the game.  I certainly have heard people comment that “I might not be playing anymore if my friends weren’t still playing”.  I believe there is definitely some truth to that.
  • It makes the Guild more important and encourages socialization.  Raiding guilds have long relied on each other for success during raids, but there are many people that have never been in a guild.  I personally think that one of the best things about an MMO is the socialization and interaction that is involved.  While I realize and respect that some people are perfectly content to play by themselves, they really are missing out on some of the best parts of the game.  This makes being in a guild, even if it’s a small one with just a few close friends, offer more benefits.
  • The Death of the Rage Quitter!  Didn’t like that loot decision?  Gonna quit over it?  You better think over the decision carefully.  Not only are you going to lose just your guild, but all of the perks that came as being a part of your guild.  All your guild potions, any of that heirloom gear your alts are sporting.  Gone!  Hopefully this will have more people thinking about the overall benefits of the guild and the consequences of leaving before hitting that /gquit.
  • /Gkicking will have some meaning.  Sure, right now when you remove someone from your guild, it has the consequence of that person no longer being guilded with you.  But often that’s not a huge deal, they will just move on with whatever your guild has provided them to find a new place to stir up whatever drama got them removed in the first place.  However, now that there are more implications to being a member of your guild, there are going to be more implications when you are removed.  I should think that this will potentially help keep some people in check a little bit better.
  • An end to guild hopping.  While I don’t know if this really will stop that guy that has been in 6 guilds in the past 3 months, always looking for the bigger and better thing, I would hope that a little more thought would go into leaving one guild for another.
  • Everyone builds the guild.  That is right, from that friends and family member to that 100% attendance raider, everyone will contribute to the guild.  I like this because it is much harder to tear down a house you built with your own hands than it is to knock down something you had no part in creating.  Everyone will feel that they contributed, regardless of if they are a raider or a casual member of your guild.  Everyone will build the guild, and everyone will be able to reap the benefits of the guild they created.
  • Something for everyone.  I really do believe that there will be something here for everyone, regardless of what type of guild you are in.  Family guild?  Enjoy those heirlooms!  Raiding guild?  Have some discounted repair costs and cheaper flasks!  PvP guild…um, I’m sure there will be something for you as well!
  • It may encourage people to stay, even if it’s a bad fit.  This is really the only downside that I’ve come to so far (other than “joke” kicking someone and having to mail all their shit back to them from the guild bank).  This system may encourage someone that is truly miserable in their guild, where it is truly a poor fit for them, to stick around anyhow.  I would hope that someone who is truly unhappy will do what is right for them, and move along…but this may make that decision harder for them.
  • Has the potential to create “Powerhouses”.  Honestly…they are already there.  Every server already has the guild to be in.  I don’t think this argument really holds much weight, honestly.  The benefits appear to be quite diverse and I suspect that there is going to be something in it for everyone, in any type of guild.  Because the activities to earn “guild experience” and “guild currency” are going to be hugely diverse, I really don’t see that there will be a monopoly on guilds that “have it all”.  There will be guilds that get there faster than others, but ultimately everything will be obtainable to all guilds.

The bottom line is that I think this is something that will strengthen guilds.  Anything that can build strentgh to something that I have spent countless hours building is a go in my book.  I look forward to this development with an open mind and excitement.

What do you all think?  Good?  Bad? Horrible?!


Ok, so I got a little out of hand with all of my thoughts with the guild leveling.  I’m just so darn excited!  But I did want to say a few things about goblins 🙂

  1. The lore surrounding the goblins is a little, er, shakey.  However, I am sure that it will be developed more in the starting areas as you learn about the turmoils our little green friends have experienced, and what brought them into the arms of the the horde.
  2. I am a bit disapointed that they can become shaman.  Their history is so counter-intuitive to being attuned with nature that it just seems a bit, well, wrong.  However, I suppose that there are hippies and mystics in all societies, why not here?!  I suppose I can over look this small flaw and just assume some goblins have always had more interest in the peace pipe than tikering with toys 😉
  3. The alchemy bonus seems out of place.  Honestly, if anyone would have gotten a passive alchemy bonus shouldn’t it have been the Undead?  We are ALWAYS running about getting them things for their tricksy potions.  I would have imagined a goblin to have a passive engineering bonus!
  4. Green Skin and Pigtails is a go.  No further explination needed!
  5. The alliance will finally get to experience the pain of a “gnome” sized rogue running about and pwning everyone in PvP.  What?  Can’t get me targeted?  So Sorry!  Good Luck!  Oh, and as we’ve had about 5 years of QQ on the forums about it, I suppose we will suffer through yours 🙂

I will be making myself a little goblin rogue, and deleting my current level 9 BE rogue Invidia.  Now…just to come up with a good goblin name!  I’ve already reserved “Beefbubble” for a tauren paladin!

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