Friday, June 29, 2012

Are Guilds Needed in Guild Wars 2?

With the release date rapidly approaching, guild recruitment has never been more emphasized.  In fact, I have even begun searching for a guild I can call home over the last couple of days.  Furthermore, many articles have been created over the last 24 hours, describing what you should be doing in the next two months before release.  One of the most common features in these articles is that you should be in a guild. For many this has translated that to be effective, you need a guild.  I largely disagree, the majority of players do not need to be in a guild. While socially effective and fun, do not think for a single moment that you need a guild to experience all the content in Guild Wars 2.   Guilds have traditionally been "required" in MMOs, but may be considerably less critical for Guild Wars 2.

Previously, in many MMOs (specifically before the Looking for Raid feature), having a guild for end-game content was extremely important.  In fact, to even see or compete in many of the raids or reach high into the rated PvP brackets, a player almost "needed" to belong to a guild.

I'll reiterate the question, are guilds needed in Guild Wars 2?

If you are in the majority of players that cares about seeing all of the content, having fun, but not necessarily being the best in the world. Then my answer is no, but they can help you create and form groups for specific content.

But before I fully go into my reasoning, we have to examine why they were so critical in previous MMOs.

Much of the requirement was artificially created by the group size.  Raids often required 10, 25, or even 40 people, and rated battlegrounds required having 10 or 15 players.  This group of players needed to be geared, coordinated, previously done the fight or at the minimum pre-researched the bosses, and committed for several hours.

These requirements were made worse because of the achievement-obsessive nature of the end-game.  To gain access to a raid outside your guild, required that you either knew the raid leader previously, or you had an achievement to show that you had been there before.  So if you think about it, to gain access to a raid, required you had an achievement to show that you already done it, and thus the window to down bosses in the first one-to-two weeks of a newly released raid was critical to your overall access to a raid.

In Guild Wars 2, much of this is gone.  In Guild Wars 2, you can probably see all of the content without a guild.  Much of this is because of their smaller standard group size of 5 players.  Simply put, you just don't need a guild to arrange 5 coordinated, skilled players.  It can help and facilitate gathering 5 players, but it doesn't require a guild.

In the PvE department, they have large zone-wide meta events that are open to all players in the area.  An elite guild may be attempting to down one of Zhaitan's champions, but there is nothing stopping you from joining them.  ArenaNet also has story mode dungeons that require 5 people to complete.  The low amount of players needed for dungeons in this game make forming groups considerably easy to form groups to see the content.  Explorable mode will require an extremely coordinated group, but once again getting 5 people together is a lot easier than 10.  Plus, most of the bosses and mobs have notable information beneath their tags and often telegraph the critical aspects of the encounter.  Thus makes pre-researching the three-phase fight is not needed at all.

In the PvP department, once again in structured PvP the group size is 5 players.  You don't need a guild to arrange 5 coordinated players.  In WvW, the necessity of a guild depends on the question you ask.  If you want to be in top 2-3 realms, then yes, guilds and their alliances will be critical for your realm's ranking.  If you simply want to be able to play and have fun, no.  Smaller groups can take down supply camps and towers, or you can simply join players in a guild and help them take down some of the larger capture points like keeps and Stonemist Castle.

In many ways, ArenaNet has reduced the need for guilds.  Are they important for your success? Well, it really depends on how you define success and what you hope to accomplish.  However, the answer for most people is no.  Forming a group of 2-5 real life friends, and filling the gap with other players will work just fine.

However, if you looking for a comfortable environment that you can call home, to create new friends, and to thrive socially in-game, then guilds are a great place to start.  If there are any guilds recruiting on Crystal Desert, and are highly interested in WvW, please contact me, thanks!


  1. This is someone who knows nothing about the game. Dungeons are hard, you will want to find a core of good players to run with. Being a hard core DAoC RvR fan let me tell you raids and large scale organized events are far from dead in GW2. You like PvP? Then you are gona wana find the right guild. Also running with friends are always the way to go in any MMO, really who likes pugs?

  2. I appreciate the criticism, but I'm not sure you read my article at all. I never said dungeons were easy, particularly in Explorable mode. I never really said large scale groups are ineffective in GW2, nor did I say that guilds were useless. I ask you to review the article, and really read it for what it says, and not what you think I say.

  3. It's not that guilds aren't needed persay, it's that the shift in game play leads to a shift in a guild's purpose and player motivation for joining guilds. That's something I deeply appreciate. The problem with raiding and gear treadmills is that people often join guilds for the wrong reasons, or push casual guilds in a different direction due to the importance of "gearing up," never mind the fact that gearing up typically meant competing with your fellow guild mates. It basically led to a lot of using and abusing from my experience as both a member and leader in raiding guilds.

    Instead of players "needing" to join guilds in GW2, they will want to join guilds. Now the hardcore WvWers will probably seek out hardcore WvW guilds, but the lack of a gear ladder takes a lot of the edge off. And since size doesn't matter - I know,"that's what she said" - smaller guilds have a better chance to thrive.

    The fact that we can be more independent will ultimately strengthen player relations. As in real life, relationships are better when people are whole within themselves rather than dependent upon others for fulfillment. People will look toward guilds more as a means of socializing, which is as it should be in my opinion.

    1. Case and point of the article, and I could not have said it any better Aly. That's really what I wanted people to think after finishing the article. I may not need a guild, but I want one because I want to socialize. You no longer need a guild to see all the content, but the desire to have one still remains. It's something that I didn't want to entirely spell out in the article, but have people reach the same conclusion independently.

    2. "Instead of players "needing" to join guilds in GW2, they will want to join guilds."

      And that, within itself, will make guilds, of all kinds, a much bigger success than if you are forced into a guild to see content or for guild perks (such as WoW) and will strengthen guild ties and relations much more.

  4. Not needed, but for sure helpful.

  5. IMHO, the fact GW2 don't have raids can help to create guilds.

    No one need be at a top guild for do raids at end content. That was something that frustated me a lot of times at RIFT and other MMOS.

    Guilds will be mostly for who wants try WvW and sPvP as a more organizated team, but no one need have top gear and more players will be better. No limitation, no exclusion. Anyone will welcomed to that PvP guilds.

    And IMHO, we will see a lot of "social" guilds, created by people that just want talk and socialize.

    1. I actually completely agree with you. Many of the sites that featured this article, mistakenly thought that by not being "needed" meant not being used. If I was a better and more experienced writer, I would have phrased my title differently. I think by not making guilds "required" to be competitive, as you say you make people want to join guilds for the "right" reasons, aka socializing. That is what a guild should have always been about, and I think this will make guilds all the more stronger.

  6. highly recommend this article

  7. i am full ascended gear dont need bounties anymore and havnt been in a guild for months. i dont pvp or wvw all i do is pve. im lv 33 fractal lv and i LFG all my dungeons. yes being in a guild is pointless. if you dont need guild commendations or guild gear its totally pointless. since nothing is hard or challenging that makings you need to call on guild members to gather and get good at something in the pve department. its totally pointless if you are a pve player.