Will ArenaNet kill international guilds with Guild Wars 2?

That’s a question that came up today on Twitter. As you all probably know, Twitter isn’t the best place to talk about or muse such things because of its limited amount of letters that can be sent with each tweet. Especially if tweets go out to several people at the same time (who were all taking part in the conversation) as those people’s usernames count towards the limit of letters. Add that to me tweeting on my mobile phone while being on the train which generally means that I may or may not have an internet connection at the time of sending my tweets. ;)

Anyway, the original tweet came from dalensor and can be found here. I quote: “Never thought that @ArenaNet would kill their international guilds and any chance of world-wide player events in #guildwars2. Dissappoint!”

Before I start ranting, let’s have a look at the facts. Or, well, the bits of information that we already know. Martin Kerstein wrote the latest blog post and gave us information on choosing and transferring worlds.

For this beta weekend event, every player will be able to switch their home world once but we won’t be able to use the guesting feature. That just as a heads-up. Now on to what it will most likely be on the live servers (that is, post-release). When we start with Guild Wars 2, we will choose a home world which can be either EU or US, no matter where we live or which region’s box we bought! We can only play WvW on that home server. We will also be able to use the guesting feature to play PvE on whichever server we want. With one restriction: “…on any world where you have friends”.

And that’s the problem dalensor sees, I assume. Now, I don’t agree with her but at this point, her opinion is as good as mine. Or rather, our assumptions, guesses and gazes into the crystal ball. ;) Even if we had more information, it would be difficult to predict exactly what happens just as we need to wait and see what will happen with being able to join multiple guilds.

Here’s my take on this: I assume that “have friends” means that I need to be on somebody’s friends list and if they play on server Abaddon’s Mouth (for example!), then I can play PvE there, too. If nobody from that server has me on their friends list, then I can’t join that server for PvE. Unless I pay 1800 gems (which you can buy with real money or on the game’s auction house from other players who paid real money for them) and switch my home-world completely to that server (which would let me play PvE as well as WvW there). I don’t think it means “invite-only” which would be a bad idea because then I couldn’t just go to their server (and said friend would have a passive role in that they have me added to their friends list but don’t do anything else) whereas invite-only means they’d have to invite somebody. If so, then her argument that it works for individual visits but not for huge events like “Pink Day in L.A.” certainly makes sense!

But what’s different to the original Guild Wars then and is it really worse? Dalensor’s argument was that events like “Pink Day in L.A.” won’t work anymore. Fortunately for us, Lion’s Arch exists in Guild Wars 2. Hurrah for that! But seriously: Will it work? Or has ArenaNet destroyed this event for Guild Wars 2? I’ve only experienced this event once and from what I saw, it was perfectly organised. I don’t see how the “guesting system” would prevent this event from happening. Yes, they’d need more organisation. But in the current Guild Wars, you can only have X amount of people in one district. Then another one opens. So, we’d have the first district as server Abaddon’s Mouth. Once that is full, people would have to go to Augury Rock. Once that’s full… well, you get my drift. ;) It is more complicated to announce the servers that the hosts will be on as opposed to just counting the districts up from 1. And the hosts would either need to be on that server as their home-world anyway or would need somebody to add them to their friends lists. But why would anybody refuse to add them? And then the hosts would need people to add others to their friends lists that want to join the event on a particular server. As I said, it will definitely be harder to organise because now, you can just hop into the district you like and that’s it.

However, I don’t think ArenaNet is really killing anything with it here. Is it necessary? I don’t think so. Why shouldn’t we be able to jump from server to server if we want to? Bookahnerk brought up the argument of gold-sellers (I can’t link you to it because it happened while we were preparing dinner in the kitchen ^^). But you could add something like diminishing returns. If within 24 hours, you switch a server, you have a cooldown of half an hour before you can switch again. If you switch again, you’ll have a cooldown of 1 hour now, and so on. If you haven’t switched for 24 hours, the cooldown is set back to half an hour. His argument and his idea. But I thought I’d throw it in here because it fits. :)

Let’s get back to WvW and the gem-cost. It will essentially cost real money to switch your home-world (maybe you won’t have to pay it yourself but somebody has to). I assume that this happens because they want people to stay on their home-worlds. Nobody enjoys the so-called “winning team joiners” who just run to those servers that have organised PvP which makes them win and want to enjoy those victories without having to do anything themselves. On the other hand, nobody wants people leaving their server just because they had some bad luck in PvP either. Then there’s always the good old “server pride”. If we could switch instantly with no repercussions etc., then we probably would switch a lot more often and wouldn’t be able to feel any pride for the server that we’ve been fighting with so long. Is it necessary to add the hurdle of “real money”? Who knows… all I know is that this is the standard in MMORPGs with the exception of Rift, I think, who do not charge money for that service.

And finally, there’s “international guilds”. If they choose on home-world, then there’s no problem. Everybody can join US or EU servers. So if your guild’s on another region, feel free to join them! However, this is Guild Wars 2 we’re talking about. The game that offers us unlimited guilds. How does that work? In our case, we already decided to join die Drachenreiter for our WvW in Guild Wars 2. We’ve played with them in Warhammer Online and really enjoyed our time, so we figured we’d finally meet them again in Guild Wars 2 and have a great time together! And if we want to run through dungeons, dynamic events etc. with others, we can always guest on their server. But if you want to join more than one guild for WvW and those guilds happen to be on different servers, then yes, you’re out of luck or rich if you can/want to afford switching servers every 7 days. I still don’t think they killed anything with it. But in this point, I agree that it might be a big hindrance.

So, dalensor, this is what I think about this topic. It clearly didn’t fit into tiny tweets. ;) And I do hope you’re actually male. Otherwise… sorry! ;) Hopefully, I caught all pronouns and changed them to reflect that you’re not a dude. ^^

And before I could publish my own blog post, demajen posted his.