Many people have discussed the positives and negatives of the new guild system in Guild Wars 2 so I’ll avoid weighing in on whether I think it’s good or bad. Instead I plan to focus on specific uses that a multi-guild system can have, even for guilds that insist on loyalty to a single group. Follow along after the break for a bit of mechanics analysis and armchair development.
The first place I’d like to look at is the way Role Players can use this system to enhance their RP organization. Having out of character guilds that are used for organization and policing of events can be extremely helpful as it allows everyone in a RP community to be in the same managing guild. Having individuals who may be in “warring” guilds have access to a common guild allows for free flow of ideas in game that usually requires forum surfing. Policing this chat would be important as opponents in the developing story may have some issues compartmentalizing. This can also help address the issues brought by “god modeing” and “RP griefers” as they have a larger community to which they are beholden. Beyond the regular RP community having a guild dedicated to casual RPers run by the a few regular RPers allows the casuals to be updated when an RP event is occurring. If the casuals are interested they can fast travel. This encourages greater community involvement and can create the possibility for larger more unpredictable RP sessions.
For the large loyalty driven guilds creating multiple sub-guilds can be a great opportunity. Sub-guilds can be created for specific purposes such as World vs. World, competitive Player vs. Player, or Player vs. Environment. By seeing who is active in which sub guild you can easily see what other members of your guild are interested in and more easily group together. This can even be used to segregate hardcore PvP guilds into sub sections. There can be a primary tournament PvP group as well as secondary PvP groups. PvP players can work to progress from the low rank PvP sub-guild to the top PvP sub-guild in their large PvP guild, much like moving to the varsity team in high school.
For gargantuan guilds Sub-guilds can allow more people the chance to experience the advantages of their vastness. Examples of such guilds include; massively overpowered, the Pc Gamer guild or Gaiscioch(these guys were big enough that they fielded a three hundred person raid within a week of rifts launch). Many of these sorts of guilds already use additional guilds in game this system however allows the guild leader and officers direct access to each guild.
Even from the small amount of information we have received on guilds I have only two significant questions about how guilds will function. I’m curious how server structure will affect guild formation and what guild halls will be like. We know guilds will be able to hold structures in Tri-World combat (hah finally a short way to say it), this suggests that guild will be bound to servers. An interesting option for some guilds may be the option to forgo the ability of holding and benefiting from holding territory in TWC (formerly known as WvWvW). By losing this ability they could gain the ability to work as cross server guilds and perhaps gaining a bump in the number of people they can hold to compensate.
I posted a comment over at under the pale tree discussing what I thought guild halls might be like once they are implemented sometime after launch. I keyed of the idea that Guild Halls and Player housing will be implemented at the same time and suggested that each server may have a city in the mists that features guild Halls and Player housing. This would be a large area constantly shifting in size. If a guild buys a hall it will appear at the edge of the city, the same if a player buys a house. As players and guilds upgrade their property the area it takes up can expand shifting the city around it. Simultaneously if a player or guild chooses to abandon their property or switch servers it will disappear allowing the city to contract.
This would be a major undertaking for the coders at arena net, but it would go a long way toward creating the server focused communities that Anet has said they want to foster as long time players will develop neighborhoods. Obviously there are some issues with a city building system this chaotic such as people getting lost constantly and friends being far apart, but Hogwarts constantly shifting staircase and sigil the city of doors were no less annoying yet still totally awesome.
So what are your opinions on sub-guilding, cross server guilds, cities in the mists, and TWC the new way to say WvWvW? Sound off in the comments below.