Guild Quests #GW2
The idea of having a guild quest isn’t new to Guild Wars 2, because I know TERA has them, and I’m pretty sure other games have something that could be called “guild quests” in function if not actual name. The idea is pretty cool: have a quest for all of your guild members, most (if not all) which require all or as many members as you can possibly get in order to complete the quest in the time allotted. It sounds pretty cool, certainly a way to get guild members online and working together.
A lot has been written, however, about how this system is “unfair” to small guilds. The entrance fee is somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 guild influence. Naturally, the more people you have online, the more often they are online, and the more they do, the more influence you earn, and the fast you will earn it. For some large guilds, earning influence is tough, but doable. Even when the members aren’t playing together, they’re all working towards contributing to the pool.
But small guilds are behind the 8-ball. It takes a lot of work for large guilds to get 30-50k influence, which means it’s neigh impossible for a small guild (>5, maybe <30, I dunno. There’s no official definition for “small guild”) to get anywhere near that in a “reasonable” amount of time. I put “reasonable” in quotes, because given enough time, anything is possible, but in this case, that possibility might be measured in years, not months, and certainly not weeks, even with the most dedicated of intentions.
The backlash is predictable: join a larger guild. GW2 allows people to join multiple guilds! There’s no reason why you need to abandon your smaller guild to join a larger guild, just sign up, and represent the larger guild to get in on the action, right?
Well, yes. Technically, yes. Emotionally, maybe even spiritually, no.
Around the web, there’s a lot of heavy-handed rebuffing going on when someone in a small guild bemoans the barrier to entry. People are being told to piss off, suck it up, join a bigger guild, that they shouldn’t expect a small guild to be worth anything in this game. It’s Guild WARS, and smaller guilds can’t realistically assume they have a chance to compete against massive outfits with hundreds of members.
That’s not the point, although for people who feel OK just jumping to a large guild, it certainly is. Those folks are more often in the joining for what’s in it for them, not what they can bring to the guild. A large guild, for many, is a giant pool of resources they can draw from for their own personal needs. The more resources, the better the chance that they won’t have to wait, or want, which accelerates their progression.
Smaller guilds are small, often by choice. They’re made up of friends who want an easy way to stay in touch. They’re made up of people who don’t want to get lost in someone else’s bureaucracy, or to be subjected to the transient whims of other people they don’t know. These small-guild members don’t want to be a number in a crowd, and they certainly don’t want to be used by someone who’s only there for what he can extract from a faceless mob. Small guilds form uniform, emotional attachments; large guilds do as well, but not in a uniform way. They’re filled with cliques of people who have played together for years, those who attach themselves to other cliques, and the people who never chat or never join the voice server. Which group do you associate with? Why should you have to work to be accepted, or to be noticed, or even heard?
That’s what small guilds do: they give everyone the opportunity to meet and to get to know everyone. If you’re in a small guild and you don’t fit in, you won’t last long: you’ll either get the cold shoulder, or will be shown the door, or will feel out of place and opt to remove yourself. If you’re the type to exploit the good will of others, you’ll be locked out in a small guild, because you’re expected to give as much as you take. You can’t be anonymous in a small guild, because what’s the point? If you want to shrink into the corner and be unnoticed, join a big guild where they don’t care who you are, or what you do, or if you play or not. They just want to be able to use your body as a recruitment tool to attract other people who believe that more bodies equals a better guild.
I’m not even that sad about not being able to participate in the Guild Quests with the Wombats. Sure, it would be nice to have a tool that could bring back some lapsed members like this system surely would, but personally, I’m used to not having access to all of the content (as a long time soloist, dungeons and raids are often off the table, and never mind about PvP), so missing out on this doesn’t really faze me. If given the opportunity to multi-home with a carefully screened guild that could disprove my opinion of large guilds, I’d consider it, but I’m not going to go out of my way to seek one out in desperation like those who enjoy exploiting large guilds are suggesting.