Guilds are so important to Guild Wars 2 that they put them in the title. Presumably, back in the days when the first Guild Wars was being developed, before they thought about social stuff, it was just called Wars, and that is a terrible name for an MMO.
With a new expansion on the horizon, Heart of Thorns, ArenaNet is introducing a slew of new features for organised groups of adventurers, from fancy things to craft to PvP guild teams. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in a massive, established guild or a wee one with a group of mates, ArenaNet tells us.
“[W]hen we think about doing these sort of things we also tend to ask our players on the forums what they think and feedback on our design questions,” the developers explained. “One of the biggest pieces of feedback was… people wanted to make sure smaller guilds were not left out and not outpaced too much.”
With Heart of Thorns, ArenaNet has overhauled the progression with that in mind.
“[W]e designed it so that the progress would have multiple ways to progress, so we really feel like this is a good solution to the problem. You wont have tons of huge guilds with whatever they want, but you will also have a situation where smaller guilds, while it make take them a short while to gather resources they need, they are going to be able to keep pace better, as everyone is having to work just as hard.”
So even a tiny 5-person guild, if they are dedicated, will be able to make a guild hall and achieve the same sort of things as the larger guilds, it will just take them a bit longer.
And you’ll also be able to bounce around different guilds, helping out even if you’re not a member.
“We listened to feedback from our alpha testers and so we initially thought about making you choose a main guild but ultimately that’s not really going to best serve our players. So now you can actually contribute to any guild without having to be a member of it. You can go run missions with those guilds, you can donate resources to those guilds and there are certain rewards you can get by doing that, even when your not a member.”
Individuals and other guilds will be able to team up and help small guilds get a leg up. ArenaNet doesn’t want guild halls to split up the community. It’s more of a staging ground, they say; a meeting place where groups can plan things out and go to another destination together, always sticking together. This includes players who aren’t even in the guild.
EDIT: ArenaNet have yet to state when Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will be released, but this week the studio did share detailed plans on future public beta tests for those who pre-purchase the expansion which in turn will influence the final release date decision.