WoW Guilds To Get XP Boost, Free Money

By Quintin Smith on March 30th, 2011 at 2:59 pm.

I wanted Guild In Action but it wouldn't fit

Just saw this over at PC Gamer- Blizzard has announced that the 4.1 patch for World of Warcraft will, in addition to updating the Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman instanced dungeons for level 85 players, be giving players some encouragement to hurry up, put on some big boy pants and join a guild already, because there’ll be extra experience points and gold to be had. Details after the jump.

The new feature couldn’t be simpler. Through nothing more than guild members emerging victorious from level-appropriate dungeons, raids and battlegrounds on a weekly basis, the entire guild will benefit from an experience point boost (one which doesn’t even count towards the daily experience cap) and a neat stack of gold will be deposited into the Guild Vault. In the case of 5 man instances, 3 of the players must be members of the same guild for the adventure to qualify, while challenges requiring 10 or 25 players will need 8 or 20 of the players to be members of the guild, respectively.

It’s a move displaying typical Blizzard-level wisdom. Not only will it encourage the formation of new guilds and please older guilds, standard MMORPG design can only keep people playing a game for so long. Ultimately, it’s the social glue provided by guilds that turns World of Warcraft from a diversion into a way of life. I’ll be very surprised is something similar to this doesn’t start popping up in all sorts of other MMORPGs over the next year.

Jeez, I just disappeared down a rabbit hole watching videos of the new bosses that were introduced in Catacylsm. These are some absurdly nuanced fights.

__________________

« | »

, .

41 Comments »

  1. MrMud says:

    This isnt about getting people to join guilds (that was part of the guild leveling system introduced around cata) as there already are pretty big bonuses for your characters being guilded.

    This is about your guild getting off your arse and doing stuff together.

  2. pakoito says:

    I’m glad I never got to play it officially. There’s so much stuff going on there I would still be punished by it every time I tried another game.

  3. awkies11 says:

    Couldnt help but point out Rift did this first(to my knowledge)…They are just reacting to a concept that works.

    • Wulf says:

      I believe you and I’m really not surprised about that at all. I mean, let’s be honest… what else is new?

      Blizzard has never exactly done originality, they just drop the good ideas tried and proven by other games into their own games and polish them off, and we all know that’s true. (Note: This does not include Blizzard North, Blizzard North now goes under two new names, those being ‘ArenaNet’ and ‘Runic Games.’)

    • Grygus says:

      I see this a lot but I’m not sure it’s entirely true. WoW was pretty innovative design in its time in some ways. Back in 2002-2004 when WoW was being developed, a “casual” MMO was almost unthinkable; solo play was assumed to be the death of guilds, so MMOs had half-hearted solo support while requiring a group for almost everything past the initial levels. This was thought to build community, which was already understood the to be the key to sustained success. Downtime was also seen as valuable, since players would communicate while sitting there waiting for their bars to fill up. The gold standards were EverQuest and Lineage, which both rode these concepts to subscriber bases of several hundred thousand, a number thought to be about the limit for the market.

      Blizzard came out with a measurably easier and more player-friendly game (the mod support was, and remains, the best in the genre.) While not nearly as easy and friendly as it is today, I think you have to give Blizzard credit for making an MMO that was a lot more accessible than what had come before; now, in retrospect and with the meteoric rise of social gaming, this seems an obvious path to success, but at the time it was fairly new and daring. If conventional MMO wisdom had been correct, WoW would have flopped. They ran counter to that wisdom, and now daily bathe in money, with bubbles made of adulation.

      MMOs are in direct competition with each other; they all steal ideas from one another, and that does include Blizzard. I’m only questioning the commonly held opinion that they are particularly egregious about it. I don’t think Blizzard are more or less original than anyone else. I also think their reputation for incredible polish is somewhat overstated in the MMO arena; even with the incredibly long development times (the game is averaging one expansion every two years, a glacial pace in that market) their products ship with bugs and balance problems like everyone else’s.

      So why does WoW remain so popular? I think it is mostly because it was the first accessible MMO to market; now everyone is invested so the barrier to other MMOs is high. Even if another MMO is measurably better, WoW has merely to remain good enough to retain the lion’s share of its subscriber base. Incorporating cool ideas being used by competitors is an excellent way to do this.

      Besides, complaining that WoW stole something from RIFT is pretty hilarious when you think about it.

    • Nick says:

      haha.. I was just about to ask which MMO they got the idea from.

    • bob_d says:

      @ Wulf: The Blizzard North guys are pretty scattered at this point – the last few companies I worked for had more Bliz. North guys than either of the companies you mentioned.

    • Carra says:

      Guild levelling was in the cataclysm expansion. And that was released before rift.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Guild levelling was in the cataclysm expansion. And that was released before rift.

      Guild levellling was in Ragnarok Online back when I played it in 2003 on the euRO server before WoW was even released. What’s your point?

  4. Bats says:

    I was wondering when stuff like this would show up. In Rift your guild has its own levels. You get quests in the main town to complete dungeons and such, and in turn you gain exp and you actually have a guild skill tree you can put points into for skills that benefit the entire guild. Blizzard’s always been fairly good at absorbing good ideas from other MMOs into its mass.

    • FalseMyrmidon says:

      You might want to refrain from giving Rift too much credit for that since Warhammer did it a few years ago.

    • Durkonkell says:

      WoW has had guild levels and perks since Cata launched, and this feature has been in development for significantly longer than that (it showed up at Blizzcon 09). Blizzard aren’t afraid of nicking stuff from other developers when they do something interesting, but not this time :P

      EDIT: Unless of course Warhammer had it first :P Nevertheless…

      There was a guild skill tree, but it was dropped in favour of giving guilds ALL the perks one level at a time. The theory behind this was that a large guild would likely contain PvE and PvP players, and a guild leader could spend points on things that would benefit one or the other of these groups (or split the points which would prevent the guild getting the really good abilities). Blizzard want players to find a guild that works for them, and stay because of the community rather than everyone splitting up and joining specialised guilds. I think this makes sense – if guilds aren’t about the people, what ARE they?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      As in the above reply, Ragnarok Online had this back in 2003 (possibly earlier, I only played on euRO) before WoW was even released. It’s not exactly the newest development in MMO’s.

  5. DJ Phantoon says:

    Ehhhh.

    Raided in vanilla, wasn’t impressed with anything afterwards.

    • MrMud says:

      Honestly with a few exceptions (4H in particular) most encounters in vanilla were fairly outclassed in the later expansions. MC in particular had very immature boss design.

  6. Berzee says:

    Ew guilds…if I still played WoW I would still play it unguilded =T

  7. Heliocentric says:

    MMO developer applies social engineering to ensure subscriptions. Never would’a thunk it.

  8. Durkonkell says:

    Guild rewards (increased XP, reputation, and honour / justice points used for gearing up at max level) have been in since Cataclysm launched. One of the aims of Cata was to encourage people to get themselves into guilds – as WoW is designed to be experienced as a guild. In (previous expansion) Wrath of the Lich King it was entirely possible to use the random dungeon finder to pick up groups for heroic 5-mans (Which really weren’t that difficult). Even as a DPS class you would usually not have to queue for more than 20 minutes and you had a high chance of completing the instance you were deposited in. It was even possible to pick up groups for raids, so long as you didn’t expect to clear the place.

    With Cata pushing the compexity and difficulty of 5-man heroics and raids up substantially, players who are in active guilds are in a much better position than lone wolves. Wait times for heroics are long and there’s about a 5:1 ratio of idiots who will wipe your group and then drop to competent individuals who have a chance in hell of finishing the instance.

    The improvements in 4.1 are less to do with encouraging people to get into guilds (a fully levelled guild has so many perks it’s extremely difficult to justify not being guilded) and more to do with encouraging guilds to go and do things, as MrMud says. In fact, guids were already rewarded for having a majority of players in a 5 / 10 / 25 man run. Giving guilds a list of challenges to complete is a stroke of genius though, it’ll encourage guilds to run 5-mans even if only 1 person really needs the points or gear and to try the guild’s weekly raid with some newer players if the ‘A’ team isn’t all on.

    • Jumwa says:

      Some excellent points, however an important thing to keep in mind: this is adding on experience past the cap. Now, from my own experience on my server (anecdotal warning), not even the largest, most hardcore raid guilds are hitting the cap, only the massive 600-800 member “invite everyone” guilds are hitting cap, and this will benefit them more than anyone else.

      I am more than a little disapointed to see how they went back on their promises about making small guilds and raid teams equally as viable. As you say, the perks for joining a guild are too good to not do so (you’re talking about not just buffs and bonuses, but huge chunks of raw TIME out of your life saved from boosted experience, honour and gear-currency accumulation), and the massive catch-all guilds are extremely appealing… well, except on your patience and levels of tolerance.

    • bob_d says:

      The encouragement of Guild play with Cataclysm is interesting, because that expansion also changed non-instanced gameplay such that it now appears possible to follow all the quest chains completely solo. It used to be that quest chains would lead to an elite MOB that required multiple players; all the new elites (and at least some of the old ones) now have means to defeat them with one player. So they’re simultaneously encouraging solo and guild play.

    • daf says:

      @bob_d: They only slightly changed that design, while all the cataclysm 80-85 leveling zones are now 100% solo content they do lead to final dungeon quests, In one way this is a change for the best as finding a group to a quest was not always easy (at least not as easy as pressing a button on Dungeon Finder), however it did further erode the need to socialize with people on your server outside of your guild members…

    • afarrell says:

      I don’t know, even the smaller guilds I’ve been in (IE ‘only’ 100 and a lot of them alts) have been hitting the cap fairly regularly. I think one of the things that this will do is move people away from mega-guilds – now if you’d like to start a guild with the dozen good people from your old guild, you can get up back up to speed quicker.
      Also it’s worth pointing out that time is pretty much all the perks save you – there isn’t anything there that will make any single boss fight 1 iota easier.

  9. skyturnedred says:

    That video reminds me of a simpler time in WoW, when doing 1000 damage with an ability was impressive.

    • Juiceman says:

      Please son, I ambushed Razorgore for 2k

    • sneetch says:

      I remember the first time I did 1337 (leet) damage in Molten Core, ah the hilarity that ensued.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I was a feral druid when it was “not viable” so 1000+ damage was bloody awesome back then.

  10. JDragnarok says:

    Bonuses from being in guilds are no stranger to MMORPG’s. The current World of Warcraft model is not so different from the Ragnarok Online guild leveling system. However, the Ragnarok Online system involved taxing exp as opposed to making it come out of nowhere. Odly, even some of the guild perks are the same as Ragnarok’s ‘guild skills’ http://ratemyserver.net/index.php?page=skill_db&jid=10000

    • Wulf says:

      Directly lifted ‘homages’ isn’t a new trick for Blizzard, either. :p

    • Asurmen says:

      Forgive me if I’m being dumb (perfectly possible) but none of those skills in that link match any of the guild perks in WoW.

  11. The Hammer says:

    I’m not that chuffed about guild challenges actually. When they were first touted as a feature, I was hoping they’d be more like 5-man group quests – extra bits of content that were designed specifically with a guild in mind. Now we find that they just reward you on things you’d be doing anyway. In other words: this is another meta-game feature.

    It’s probably going to be something my guild will use, but… ugh. I still don’t think I can conjure up the enthusiasm for frequently entering dungeons any more.

  12. Jaxtrasi says:

    This is not Blizzard genius.

    Out of the box, the guild levelling system in Cataclysm is pretty poor, functioning well only for the sort of huge, anonymous guilds of players who don’t interact with each other that we have all tried out in one game or another.

    Tight-knight, functional guilds are poorly served by the current system. This change is an attempt to redress that. It may or may not work.

    • Jumwa says:

      If this is an attempt to address that issue, it’s terribly ill-conceived. Making these bonuses go beyond the cap benefits those massive “blob” guilds far more than the tightly-knit guilds who I could scarcely imagine are hitting their cap by the teens. This measure is just essentially broadening the gap between giant guilds of faceless people who don’t know each other and smaller, tightly-knit guilds.

    • 1stGear says:

      Except none of the guild perks are necessary to a functioning guild. Gear prices haven’t been inflated to match the increased Valor/Justice/Honor/Conquest point gain, and everything else is just little perks we all survived without before Cataclysm and can continue to do so until your guild hits that level.

      Yeah, if you have fewer people in your guild, you’re going to level slower. There wasn’t a way around that unless Blizzard implemented some kind of scaling method for smaller guilds (which would then just encourage every guild on a server to fragment into a tiny mini-guilds for greater reward with less effort). What’s more, Blizzard has done a lot this expansion to [i]discourage[/i] blob guilds, what with basically making 25-man raids redundant, the guild exp cap, and nearly implementing a 500-member cap which got violently shouted down by their playerbase.

      The guild leveling system isn’t perfect, but its far from the broken mess you’re implying it to be. Leveling for small guilds could be faster, but that’s exactly what guild challenges are aiming to help.

    • Jumwa says:

      This change does nothing to address that, however, as I’ve stated only very large guilds are hitting cap as is (at least from my experience and observations), so only they are getting the benefit of the bonus.

      Also, 25 mans are not redundant, they still give a larger amount of rewards per member of the raid. I have not seen any 25-man raid guilds break up on my server since these changes came along, I have, however, seen a lot of smaller guilds shrivel and die as members left to get the perks and bonuses of larger guilds.

      And implementing a cap to slow down their progress was fine, until they then slowed down experience gains so much that only “blob” guilds could push through it routinely.

      Perhaps coming from a RP server where players tend to be more casual, and RP guilds especially so, changes that require more regimentation and structure hit a lot harder than more seriously oriented PvE/PvP servers. As casual a gamer as I am, when they bumped up the difficulty of dungeons with Cataclysm, and increased their length, I suddenly found myself with barely any opportunities I could safely commit to running them. And if you think those guild perks aren’t a big deal to people, think again. They’re the first thing every person who applies to my guild inquires about when thinking about joining.

    • 1stGear says:

      Okay, so your cap doesn’t get extended necessarily. You’re still getting a huge chunk of experience thus making it easier to hit the cap. And if you do manage to hit the cap and complete a challenge, wham! You still get a huge chunk of experience! The entire process is made faster and I’m not really certain why you’re complaining about it when this change is best for small guilds!

      As for people asking about guild perks, I would argue that anybody’s who’s first question is “What level is your guild?” isn’t the kind of person who fit into a tight-knit, functional guild, like the original comment described.

  13. Alphabet says:

    “He only has four million health.” I played this game for a (really fun) week until it became the same thing * 1.05 * your level to infinity.

  14. Metonymy says:

    It’s a bandaid, as it always was. The original spirit of WoW was a great deal of casual group content, with battlegrounds that anyone could join at their leisure.

    But once the playerbase got better, (and bored) they began to create more and more difficult content requiring grouping. The current arrangement for pvp (arena) requires so much “pre-fun” organization and restrictions that I would hardly call it a game anymore.

    I’m sure Blizzard wants to make the game fun for people who don’t care for grouping and the tedium it involves, (I call this a ‘job’ in the real world, and I get paid for it.) but the design simply doesn’t support a strong single-player game.

    I’ve been clean for about a year now, and every time I’m tempted to go back, I just remember that there isn’t a game there for me. It’s for groups only. You may peevishly insist this is an ‘MMO,’ but the player is the measure of all things, and the evidence that Blizzard is failing to please the players is demonstrated in these arbitrary grouping bonuses.

    • Menthol says:

      I started playing WoW while it was in beta and played for about 4 years once it came out. In the beginning, the people on my server were largely quite friendly, and while a few hard-core guilds existed, most of the folks I played with were happy running 5 man PUG instances just for fun. Those were the glory days of the pick-up group, where every member might be from a different guild (or even all unguilded), but everyone was there to help each other have a good time first, and get loot second.

      Over time, as the game became more popular and things evolved, the playerbase slowly changed; I saw the community become more immature, more selfish. Playing in PUGs became less and less fun as more rude/unskilled people who couldn’t get into a decent guild began to flood in (not to mention the gold farmers). After a while, guilds became more insulated and isolated from the general population; it became harder and harder to trust non-guild members in a run, so why take the risk of inviting the unknown player?

      Instead of the friendly, open server I started with, I was now playing in a land segregated into gated-community guilds and the rabid, un-guilded masses. I didn’t fit well into a large guild because I couldn’t and didn’t want to raid (schedule, didn’t like raid content, etc.), but PUGs with strangers were unbearable. No one played just for laughs anymore; you were only worth talking to if you could help someone get X piece of gear. If a group wiped in a difficult encounter, no one wanted to help the inexperienced player learn when they could just /kick them and invite someone else.

      One day I just realized I wasn’t having fun anymore. I was so tired of dealing with all the jerks and rude people, and I had done all the solo content and PvP I could stand in that environment; I think I felt faintly that day how someone must feel when they realize the only option left in their marriage is divorce… This sorrowful mixture of nostalgia and regret, longing for the good old days and knowing it’ll just never be the same again.

      On the bright side, though, when I quit WoW I got to stop making monthly payments, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

    • 1stGear says:

      That’s almost a complete opposite of the way WoW evolved. The original spirit of WoW was 40-man raids that only the largest guilds could do and required an extensive amount of gearing and preparation through instances that were long and difficult in their own right. PvP gear was non-existent unless you were willing to do an infamously long grind which meant dedicated PvPers were stomped without effort by raiders. It was the smallest evolution of the grindfest of Everquest.

      Its been since then that WoW has become more casual-friendly. Raiding has dropped all the way down to 10-man raids that many guilds can organize. The PvP game has been developed into its own aspect of the game (though still something of a sideshow). And the idea that arenas and raids require such extensive research, preparation, and dedication as to be called a second job is ludicrous. Maybe if you want to compete at the highest levels, but the average player can get by with some quick looking up of a few well-known sites and bam, ready to go.

      As for your “Why isn’t it single-player” complaint, well, yeah, it’s an MMO. Ultimately, its not made for one person to “win”.