Ghostcrawler and other Blizzard staff have talked about the removal of the Guild talent tree lately, and since then have been bombarded by requests to put it back in. Here is an excellent explanation from Ghostcrawler on some of the potential issues they saw with it.

I commented on Paths in another thread.

Guilds aren't a new feature for WoW, and we are really sensitive about imposing any kind of structure on them that might make you feel like you aren't supposed to stay with your current guildies any longer. To that end, there were flaws with guild talents that we didn't like.

Guilds are, for the most part, groups of friends. We don't want features to drive wedges between them. We don't want you to guild hop looking for the talents that suit you best; we want you to play (or in many cases keep playing) with your friends. With a talent tree, guilds would naturally have different talent trees, which creates a reason to bail or guild hop that doesn't exist today. If you didn't like the direction the guild was taking (for example, you were a PvP guy with a GM focused on raid-progression) you might feel like you should leave. That can happen today of course, but you can also stay in a PvE guild just because you like the members even if you don't participate in the same content because you're not losing out on inherent guild benefits.

Furthermore, we felt like the decision-making, for many guilds, would be up to a relatively few people, possibly as few as the guild master. Talent trees work for classes because the decision is up to you. We didn't want to create the risk of drama over choosing those talents or even not being consulted in choosing them.

Another advantage of the perks system is that it's easily expandable. If we want to add new levels and / or perks in later patches or expansions, we can, without having to rejuggle a talent tree.

Looking over his explanation of issues I can really see it happening. If I joined a guild to raid, but the guild leader decided he wanted to focus on PvP or PvE gold/leveling talents, I wouldn't be happy. Also depending on what the raid progression talents focused on some DPS might feel they would be better in a different guild.

Even if you were a raider, and the guild focused on raiding, I can see issues that could pop up. If you and several friends in the guild also focused heavily on Arena combat each week, what would you do to compete? Would you be forced to setup an alternate guild and level it as well, switching guild membership to compete in your arena fights, and then switch back for your raids. If it didn't apply for arenas, would it for battlegrounds? Would you get wiped if you were not in a PvP focused guild and then guild hopping would apply for that?

While I really like the idea of each guild being able to be different and unique, I can see now that it could indeed cause issues. It's nice to know that Blizzard is looking after finding issues before they effect us in the game. I would still like some way to make guilds unique though besides just the tabard system, which most people do not display anyway.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.