The term guild in Guild Wars originally referenced not only the lore of the game but it also referenced the heavy focus on guilds. Guilds would compete in guild vs. guild combat, send teams into the Hall of Heroes in order to have their guild name broadcast to all, and work together to help members unlock skills to become more powerful. This type of camaraderie made Guild Wars one of the most fun and social MMOGs on the market without forcing other players down your throat thanks to henchmen and a plethora of solo content.
So moving into Guild Wars 2 we must ask will there be a huge focus on guilds, guild affiliation, and guild vs. guild combat or will we see guilds as nothing more than a means to group likeminded players together into one chat channel and nothing more? Well, currently we dont have enough details to pass judgment, but we do know that there will be a few changes coming about.
The first big change is the possibility that GvG (guild vs. guild) battles will no longer exist. There has been no confirmation yet that GvG will be returning in GW2 but there has been a lot of talk about structured PvP. There will be various structured PvP options which feature the ability to enter into tournament play or pick-up play. Tournament play is similar to GvG, but no constricting a group to rely on guild members alone while pick-up play allows players to choose their own settings and play. This will be a huge improvement to the functionality of GvG combat but, to me, makes it feel less like a guild only activity and something you could easily do with a small group of random friends. Although, for some guilds, the guest system makes GvG just that.
No comments were given by the Guild Lord who is unsure of what his position will be in GW2.
The other PvP change is that guilds will be able to hold fortresses in the casual friendly World PvP. World PvP will pit various servers against one another in The Mists (where the Rift is located, which is where the Hall of Heroes is at) where theyll fight in open world combat. Guilds can claim keeps in their name and work together to hold them for their server.
Speaking of functionality, guilds will be a lot more player friendly in Guild Wars 2. You can have different characters in different guilds, but if one character is in a guild then any alternates can be placed into that guild without having to beg someone for an invite. At the same time you wont have to make your account and all of its characters belong to just one guild if you so choose, which is a neat feature for those who have alts they want to be in friends guilds.
Another feature being implemented will be the ability to chat with your guild from your web browser and, presumably, your mobile phone. This will provide a bit more access to guild chat and the ability to speak with your friends without having to give away real life information when youre not at home near a GW2 accessible computer. Thats a godsend for those times youre stuck listening to someone and you cant break free to run home and tell your guild, who is counting on you, that you wont be able to make it.
While there is almost no information available on the subject, there will also be Guild Achievements. Guild Achievements are presumably achievements that can be earned for certain guild actions. Perhaps holding a keep in WvW or winning battles as a full guild in structured PvP. That can be something pretty neat for people to work together to earn, but can become frustrating if people begin demanding a guild to have certain achievements before they join.
Perhaps we'll be able to have Guild Halls much like our apartments and be able to decorate them with tapestries and more.
There will be a lot of changes in the way guilds are handled in Guild Wars 2, but that wont mean that they will become defunct and useless. Guilds, clans, and any other similar system are simply a way of bringing likeminded people together to work toward common goals. It is up to the game to take that and make it something more, to provide challenges and competition to guilds and create an environment for everyone to feel as if theyre all working together as friends more than associates.
We shall see how GW2 handles it, especially as more and more information is revealed, until then I hope that well see a lot of options to make guilds more awesome than they are in the original Guild Wars while not shoving any features or requirements in the faces of more casual users. No one wants to feel like they have to join a guild in order to do anything at all, but it does feel nice to join a guild where you feel like you belong.
What are your thoughts? Are you a lone wolf who needs no one else by your side or do you wish to command a guild of 10,000 all in the name of the light? Come to Ten Ton Hammers community forums and share your thoughts today.
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