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Officers QuartersJul 1, 2015 7:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Guild features wish list

Final Fantasy 14 airship

At BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard announced sweeping changes to guild systems in Cataclysm, like guild talents and guild achievements. I had high hopes that a top-to-bottom guild systems revamp would add a ton of helpful guild features. Some of the announced guild features made it to the live game, while others didn’t. The new guild features and improvements were welcome, but they fell short of what guilds really needed, and those needs have only multiplied and become more urgent over time.

Grayclaw asked
What specific features would you like to see Blizzard implement to help foster stronger guilds?

So, so many. Here’s my list!

(Keep in mind that addons do provide some of these features, but we’re talking about what Blizzard could provide in the base game.)

A real, cross-realm recruiting tool. The existing Guild Finder tool is so limited and user-hostile that it’s all but useless. Warlords of Draenor‘s Group Finder proves that Blizzard can connect people with similar interests, no matter what they want to do. The free-form nature of custom grouping means people can find exactly those other players who want to work toward the same goal at any given moment. Why can’t the technology be applied to guild recruiting?

Recruiting is extraordinarily difficult at the moment, as we talked about last week. It’s entirely possible that players are out there right now who would love to join your guild, and a guild is out there right now that perfectly suits a player who is looking for one. Finding each other in a sea of forum posts and social media, however, is both inefficient and daunting.

Players are already taking this upon themselves. The Convert to Raid podcast recently sponsored such an addon for their realm, Aerie Peak-US, that combines recruiting, raid team management, and other important functions into one UI. It sounds fantastic, but it only works on Aerie Peak so far. If Blizzard created a similar tool to enable cross-realm recruiting, it would help foster stronger guilds more than any other feature they could ever add.

Advertising in-game outside of trade chat. Ads for Geico or Toyota would break immersion, but spaces for guilds to advertise themselves in capital cities and hubs wouldn’t be quite so jarring. Make it cost a large amount of gold for the guild and it could serve as a gold sink. Make them free for new guilds for the guild’s first month after forming. Give the ads a strict time limit and a guild-specific “cooldown” so no one can monopolize the limited available spaces. For griefing or inappropriate content, it would be easy enough to extend the reporting system to ads. Or Blizzard could just allow us to design from a template of options.

Guild-sponsored events could be a similar system. Ask a guild to pay gold or to gather X of Y items to spawn an event in the world. Events could include a world boss, a world PvP event, a transmog contest (voted on by players), a limited-time scenario (remember those?), a Darkmoon Faire mini-game, etc. In return, the guild’s name will be featured and communicated to players who participate. If these events had desirable rewards such as transmog items, mounts, pets, toys, etc., then player participation would be all but guaranteed. Sponsoring the event would increase the guild’s reputation and name recognition on the realm.

Gwitter. OK, the name could use some work… Here’s what I mean. The major drawback to guild chat is that it’s temporary. People only see what’s posted if they’re online (or using remote chat) and looking at it. With social media like Facebook and Twitter, what people share is permanent (for better or worse). A guild UI option could create a Twitter-like environment by allowing posted messages from your guildmates to become browseable within the game. The messages could also contain screenshots or selfies, achievement notices, calendar invites, and even items to be shared or given away. Officers could use them to post important info that people might actually read (unlike the posts on your guild’s website…). The messages would probably have to expire after a week or so, but that would be enough.

Improve guild tabards. They’ve been stale basically since launch. Add more logos. Allow us to upgrade our tabards by earning guild achievement points so they eventually provide fun cosmetic or on-use effects. Something, anything.

Quality of life improvements are also welcome. They may not lead directly to stronger guilds, but it means that officers can spend less time on menial tasks and more time working on the things that really make guilds matter, such as group activities and guild events. Here are some that would ease the logistical burdens of officers.

Better roster management tools. So many features could be added here:

  • A purge tool that automatically removes all characters who haven’t logged in within a set, custom time (and of course a setting to exempt certain characters)
  • In-guild alt tracking. It should only allow guild leaders to track alts that are already on the guild’s roster, but that would help immensely.
  • Labels that allow officers to mark someone as a raider,  a new recruit, a friends and family member, etc. Then officers could sort by these labels in the roster window. Officers could also toggle them to be invisible to nonofficers if they prefer it.
  • An extra window along with the guild note and officer’s note to track point systems for loot. Addons have to use the existing note windows to track points, thus rendering them unusable for anything else. An extra window would allow addon programmers to use it for their own systems.

Guild bank improvements. It would be great if we could enforce what is eligible to be placed in a vault with a checklist. Given that reagent banks are now a thing for characters, guild banks could use a consumables-only vault, a low-level items vault, a BOE weapons and armor vault, etc. A one-click button that organizes everything in the bank the way that players can now do with their personal inventories would also be incredibly helpful.

This is a bit of a sidenote, but adding another mail-wearing class would also help raiding guilds. Mail armor is the new intellect plate. We’re sharding so much of it…

Finally, I’ve said this before in similar columns in the past and I’ll keep saying it until we get them: guild airships. Even Final Fantasy XIV has guild airships now — the technology exists!


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