Guild perks and leveling have to be one of my personal favorite additions to the game. With guilds struggling to find members, it gave players a reason to want to be a part of a guild. However, it seems that despite their good intentions, many feel these items were giving high level guilds unfair advantages. So it is not surprising to find that big changes are coming to both guild perks and guild leveling in Warlords of Draenor. What are these changes and will they truly manage to do away with any perceived inequality?
Guild Perks and Leveling Changes
Players logging into the Warlords of Draenor beta were faced with some surprising changes. A large portion of guild perks have been removed entirely, including the Fast Track and Cash Flow perks, while others have received sweeping changes leaving them almost unrecognizable. Perhaps the most surprising change was that guild leveling has been totally and utterly removed from the game. Gone. Vanished. Poofed.
Instead guilds will automatically be at what was once level 25 of the guild leveling system. This means that every guild will have access to all the perks available, though the list will be significantly shorter in Warlords of Draenor. Many guild perks will be automatically streamlined into the game such as flight path taxis moving faster. Meaning many players, especially those who were part of high guilds of high level, will not notice a difference in their game play.
A Barrier or a Reward?
These changes to guild perks and the total removal of guild leveling are an interesting change. Both of these features were added in Cataclysm with the sole purpose of enticing players to join guilds and to work together to earn the rewards. It gave players long-term goals to pursue and also brought a sense of community back into guild life.
However, according to Blizzard's Watcher, it seems that not everyone saw things this way. In fact, many felt that guilds that remained at lower levels in the guild leveling system were at a disadvantage. Especially guilds that were brand new to the WoW scene. To make matters worse, some players were even abusing some of the perks for their own personal gain as pointed out in Watcher's blue post on the subject:
"The Cash Flow perk is obviously popular, though in most guilds it actually contributes less gold to the guild bank than something like Guild Challenges, since it only applies to looted coins. However, it also fuels some degenerate player behavior: if you've made an alt lately, you've probably noticed that you can't go more than a minute or two without receiving a guild invite - typically from "leaders" who are looking to recruit armies of often-unwitting players to both level guilds for later sale, and to increase the amount of Cash Flow gold that is siphoned into coffers to which only they have access."
It was due to this supposed inequality that the guild leveling system was scrapped. However, we are left to wonder if this will actually solve the problem or if this is just another band-aid. You see, even with the guild leveling system scrapped, small guilds are always going to be at a supposed “disadvantage” when compared to bigger guilds. Bigger guilds can more successfully fill raids, generate more funds, and typically complete tasks in an easier and more timely fashion.
With that being said, small guilds have their own set of advantages. Like possibly being on a more intimate and friendly level with their guild mates. While Blizzard has made great strides to improve the in game experience for players, no matter the size of their guild, there will always be differences. These differences will always cause hard feelings in some people.
In my opinion, this is one of those issues with no real solution. No matter how equal World of Warcraft becomes for all types of guilds, there will always be someone who feels disgruntled. While I do not stand against the choice to remove the guild leveling system, I do disagree with the the premise that it will solve the inequality some guilds feel they are experiencing.
At the end of the day, each type of guild is distinctly different. Each will always have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is nearly impossible to change the game enough to put them on totally equal terms without also losing the fun of the game. As the old saying goes, you can't please everyone. This holds especially true in this situation, no matter what changes are made and how equal things become in game, there will always be someone who is unhappy.
Do you think that the removal of the guild leveling system will bring guilds on more equal terms? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!