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.

16 thoughts on “Will ArenaNet kill international guilds with Guild Wars 2?

  1. Lensor says:

    I am, in fact, not a dude. Easy assumption to make though ;) Anyways. “kill” might have been a too strong a word in the heat of the moment, but I *am* deeply troubled by the blog post.

    Especially when it comes to international guilds. Not so much for the start (after all, easy enough to decide on a world and have everyone join that one), but more about what happens down the road. If (a pretty big if) guilds work world-wide (chat, influence etc) a lot of my concerns go away, true, but nothing so far points to that. And even so, having pay wallso to WvW with your guild just seems… wrong. For instance, if it was so would not people from the same guild on different servers be able to join WvW on opposite teams?

    The wording of the post also does heavily imply that you have to be, if not invited, at the very least on the persons friend list. If ArenaNet ment that you could go as a visitor to play with yourself, they really should have said so. Of course, anything is possible and no one will be happier than I if the guest feature really is a GW-esque drop-down-menu visitor thing.

    I just hate artificial (pay-wall) community division with a passion. It is one of my quirks. :P Small town mentality at its finest, grouping people together based on proximity (world) in stead of common interests. I know this is common fare in most MMOs, but coming from GW1 it is a jagged pill to swallow.

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    • paeroka says:

      Ha. Sorry. The name did sound male, though. ;)

      And yes, I agree with your worries when it comes to guilds and how they’re probably, maybe, theoretically bound to servers! It did give us a headache already trying to figure out what to do. Although we may have found a good solution by asking our Drachis-friends to take us in for WvW. So in my head, I have a WvW guild and “Nerdy Bookahs” will be our guild for socialising with friends (while not doing WvW, obviously ^^) and chatting and who knows what. But I agree that it makes it really difficult to go play WvW with others…

      All in all, I’d love to have a lot more information on all of this. And clear, precise details, please!

      As you said, the wording on the part “where you have friends” isn’t clear at all. It could also have been said nonchalantly and was meant in a way like “why else would you even want to play there if it wasn’t for your friends” and that’s why it was added while it’s not a prerequisite at all.

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  2. Randomessa says:

    A very even-handed take on the situation, I think, barring future clarification from ANet. I shall wait and see before I form my views (I plan to be part of multiple guilds across servers, but not internationally, and I’m fine with only representing one for WvW, so my main concern is cross-server guilding and I’d love to get some more info on that).

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  3. ArcherAvatar says:

    Wow…

    Ok, first, let me just state the obvious: I have no more concrete “confirmed” information on this than anyone else does from reading the blog.

    Second, it really seems like some rather absurd assumptions are being made regarding this, and folks on the interwebs are once again doing a “the sky is falling” alarm when in fact, no such thing is occurring.

    It is definitely a “leap” to assume that being able to guest visit another server world is at all restricted by friends lists in anyway. What was said was,

    “With guesting, your characters can play on any world where you have friends—with certain restrictions. For instance, you will not be able to participate in WvW while guesting.”

    NO mention of friends lists… simply stating that you can visit other folks you know and like (often referred to by non-alarmists as “friends.”) It quite clearly sites the inability to participate in WvW while guesting as an example of the “some restrictions” referred to earlier in the statement.

    While the question of whether or not we can join guilds from servers other than our “home” server remains open at this point, the multiple guild system itself would suggest this is a likely possibility.

    Basically, this is much ado about nothing imo, and that is how I will be treating it until proven otherwise. My “interpretation” of the blog post (eg; reading it word for word, and NOT inserting words that were not present in the original post) We will be able to “sample” other servers by guesting on them (whether we know anyone there or not) which will permit us to experience PvE content with an entirely different set of folks, than is on our home server, and we obviously will not be able to participate in WvW while doing so because… duh.

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    • paeroka says:

      It may be easier for you and maybe I get to the limit of my English abilities here because when I first read the blog post – even after my second, third and fourth read through it – I did read it as a “relative clause” that “where you have friends” specifies “on any world”. However, you are right that it can also – or maybe SHOULD – be read as a part that was just added there without meaning any restriction (as I also tried to say in my comment to dalensor up there).

      That makes me wonder now… are such entries posted in German as well? I never paid attention, obviously. But usually, when there’s such an unclear wording, I read both language versions if they’re available because it does help in such situations.

      Like

      • Rakuno says:

        Just to add my 2 coppers, but no I don’t think it is case of limitations with the english language. The way the article was written it is an assumption anyone can make, specially depending on what other kind of discussions they are engaged in at the time.

        And yes, have it written in more than one language can help assuming it is the same person writing in both languages. Otherwise there is also the risk of things being lost in translation too. So it is not a 100% guarantee of it making things more clear.

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        • paeroka says:

          It usually is in situations like these because we can assume that the person writing this knows what they’re writing about – or eh, they should know how the system works, at least. Unless it’s external translators. But as far as I know, Martin Kerstein translates stuff like that quite often and he should know. ;)

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  4. Rakuno says:

    I can sort of understand where this feeling comes from. When I read that we were restricted to create all our characters could only be created on the server I chose as my home server, my knee jerk reaction was to think that was a step back in terms of MMORPG design.

    But then as I calmed down and thought about this more rationally, there are actually good reasons for this and it might not be any different than playing in other current MMORPGs. Might even have its advantages in fact.

    On current MMORPGs you choose a server and create a character on it. If later on you find out that one of your friends is playing in another server the only options for you to play with them is either to create a new character in their server or pay to have your character transferred. Neither option is that appealing in my opinion.

    With what we know of Guild Wars 2 system we might just not have to worry about it and just hop around the servers with our usual characters to play with friends in other servers.

    Even if it turns out to be a scenario like Paeroka imagine I don’t see that changing and I don’t see it stopping from people in other servers to attend events like “Pink Day in L.A.” Yes, it would add some extra hurdles to organize but that is nothing that blogs, facebook, forums and twitter can’t fix. :)

    Besides that, I am with ArcherAvatar on this. It is just to early to worry as we don’t know the details of the guild system or how guesting in other servers will work. Personally, I don’t think it will be bad if I recall correctly I read somewhere (gah, don’t remember where exactly) that one of the reasons for allowing people to join multiple guilds at the same time was because they want to make it to be more natural, like how in real life you participate in different groups of people, like people from work, friends outside work, etc. So I don’t think they will add any arbitrary restrictions for people visiting other servers unless they have a very good reason to do so.

    Hmm…. That was a bit of a rant. I hope it is clear enough. @_@

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    • paeroka says:

      Yes, it is. :)

      And I’m with you on the “we need to see and wait”. As I said, I argued based on my own assumptions but I’m very well aware of the fact that my assumptions aren’t facts and I can be wrong in interpreting here.

      I’d just really like them to clarify or, well, rather explain to us how the system will work exactly… mostly with the guilds. Because even if they require the “having some friend on the server”, I’m not worried about that at all. It’s an extra hurdle but a very, very low one.

      I’m really happy with the guesting feature per se! Being able to play together with friends no matter where they are is great! And as I asked on the EUFanDay, we can also join structured PvP with our friends no matter where they play. :)

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      • ArcherAvatar says:

        I’ve been trying to find it again so I can provide a link, but haven’t had any luck in doing so yet (I will keep looking) – I’m certain there was a relatively recent DEV interview where “guesting” was discussed (very briefly) and, once again, the impression I came away with was that while they wanted the multiple home servers to enable the WvW dynamic, they didn’t want to obstruct folks from freely playing with one another in the PvE side of the game – hence, guesting.

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        • paeroka says:

          Yes, that’s what I always took away from how they talked about their game – to make it as easy as possible to play with others. As I said, I wouldn’t even be bothered by the “have a friend on the server”-feature. ;)

          Anyway, I’d love to read that interview! I was a bit bad with all the recent interviews coming in and didn’t read them because I was too busy with collecting the EUFanDay links and translating my posts, etc.

          By the way, have you decided for a server already? ^^ We spent quite some time yesterday and have hopefully settled for one where we can find lots of other EU players that we know from Twitter, other games etc.

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          • ArcherAvatar says:

            I will be on a NA server for this first experience at least (although I’m going to at least “check out” some EU servers once that is a little more feasible since I have friends from other games who live in the UK, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Providing the lag or other technical issues don’t make it prohibitive, I will likely spend at least a good portion of my gaming time on EU servers once the game is released. Being able to play during the day (in my time zone) matches up nicely with peak hours over there.)
            Looks like I will probably be on Eternal Grove unless it is simply overloaded… I have some RL friends who will be heading there, and while it won’t make or break the first BWE for me, it would be kind of nice to be able to group up with some folks I already know for some of the PvE content.

            Honestly, I’m starting to worry that all of my grand plans for experimenting with various professions in PvP could be seriously threatened… if I create a necro first and get caught up in the PvE content I may find myself at the end of the weekend and realize I’ve only played the necro the whole time!

            Maybe it would be better to just leave it completely open and go with whatever feels right at the time…

            (Also purchased a new mouse recently (razer naga hex) which arrived today, and that’s throwing me for some loops too as I’m trying to get used to the new feel… my hands are very large, and it’s not always the easiest thing for me to find a comfortable hold on some mice, but I really, really want access to the additional thumb buttons on this model… looks like I will be tackling more than one learning curve at the same time this weekend.)

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          • paeroka says:

            We’re going to be on Kodash. Though I do think about using those gems they give us to transfer and switch my home-world on Sunday. We’ll be out during the day but return in the evening and I have Monday off. So I could switch to a US server and play during their afternoon… most likely on the server that Talk Tyria decides to go to but right now, I don’t remember if they’ve decided for one server yet.

            My grand plans aren’t too big, fortunately. Warrior starter area (charr in norn region ^^) and mesmer at level 80. Then I want to have a look at Lion’s Arch (which could be the ONE thing that’s on almost everybody’s agenda) and then… I want to explore! I want to look at the corners of the world, see what they put in there, take tons of screenshots (unfortunately, always with my character in them. Hmpf ^^) and just enjoy myself.

            Bookahnerk has large hands as well. Mine are rather tiny, though. And I’m a lefthander who can’t use the mouse with her right hand. I need to physically move the mouse to the left side of the desk but I don’t do anything else. That is, I can’t switch the mouse buttons because that confuses me. O.o

            I have the Razer left-handed mouse edition as bookahnerk gave it to me as a gift (for our anniversary, I think… always the hopeless romantic, he is! And I loved that present! ^^). I never use any extra buttons, though. Right, left and scroll wheel. Everything else confuses me (yes, even the scroll wheel as a third button… I just can’t get used to it). On the other hand (no pun intended ^^), it’s probably for the best that I don’t get used to any extra buttons because if I really want some like the naga hex one has, I’d probably not be able to find any cool ones for the left hand anyway.

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          • ArcherAvatar says:

            “I can’t switch the mouse buttons because that confuses me. ”

            After today I can really empathize with this… it’s felt like I’m trying to re-wire my brain getting use to this new mouse. Human beings are such incredible “inertia” machines. We form habits so easily, but changing those can be incredibly difficult.

            I haven’t realized just how much “auto-pilot” I take for granted in the way I manipulate the mouse and keyboard to play video games… it’s going to take some time for some of the adjustments I’m attempting to really “stick.” Hopefully, because my only experiences with GW2 will be with this new set-up, it will help form the associative links in my brain.

            I also have a much greater sympathy for Mrs. ArcherAvatar when she complains about getting herself to remember what keys to hit in stressful situations in games… she doesn’t have the years of “muscle memory” and practice I do at that… she’s still making the associative connections that I’m trying to re-do today. There’ll be no more of “What did you do that for?” type of comments coming from me when she’s playing.

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          • paeroka says:

            Hehe. I can only guess what it must be like… *looks at ergonomically formed mice for right-handers while feeling very jealous* But I guess you’ll get used to it fast if you practice hard enough. ;)

            I guess a lot of this involves practice and getting used to it. I don’t remember what it was like when I first stepped into WoW. Hmm… I hadn’t really played games in years (well, apart from a game that’s similar to the Settlers and text-based browser games). Then again, I was very young (24) when I started and I assume Mrs. ArcherAvatar is a bit older. Hopefully, Guild Wars 2 will still be a great game for her! :)

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