Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns’ new guild features won’t leave smaller guilds behind

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.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns interview

“[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.

Guild Wars 2 Constructive NPE Feedback

My purpose for this thread is NOT a kitteny rant, but to start constructive feedback for the NPE. Personally I feel kitteny rants may announce a problem, but they do nothing towards actually resolving the issue. Any discussion following please keep constructive and on the topic of how it could have been done, and what they can do to fix what is out now (and don’t just say roll everything back, ANet won’t roll back – but they can change it moving forward).

First of all, I understand the need for a NPE. I love(d) GW2 so much that in an effort to addict my friend I bought her an account. Her first few hours (pre NPE) in the game were spent at my house as I tutored her on how to do…well everything. “What was this, what was that, what do I do with this, where do I go/what do I do next” etc. Even with the concerning information I was receiving about the level gated NPE I was looking forward to it hoping it really would make things easier on new players, but I think in many aspects it might have made things worse.

When I first logged in it was on my main and the first thing I noticed was the compass. It annoyed me so much, after 5 min I was digging in the options for the control that was supposed to be there, and rage quitted when I couldn’t find it. I returned some hours later (after calming down) to play with my newbie friend on a lower level character and finally understood the purpose of the compass. I LOVE the compass. It’s fantastic for directing players to new things to do while wandering the world. I believe what angered me so much on my main, which has world completion, the compass just screams and screams at me to do local events. I want the compass to stay.

In order to get the full NPE experience, I made a new ( guardian charr) character and tried to play as if I had no working knowledge of gw2 – pulling a lot on memories of when I played at launch. First off is the tutorial, which immediately tells you WASD for movement. If you are around long enough it will also tell you how to control the camera via the mouse. I talked to the NPC with the green thingy, and was instructed to fight my way through the barracks. Quickly I established you press 1 to attack, and that these enemies won’t hurt you unless you hurt them, so I walked through the barracks to the dying charr with the green thingy over his head. He says go to the Crypts ASAP. Every NPC on the way (if they talk to you) says go to the crypts ASAP. No dilly-dallying, don’t look round, go-go-GO. I went in, walked past all the mobs (as they had no interest in me) and did the boss fight (which NPCs do most of the work anyways which is good else it’d take forever). End tutorial. I received a better version of my existing weapon as a reward.

Summary of what the tutorial teaches:

  • WASD to move
  • Moving the Camera with the right mouse button can also steer your character
    Possible additional lessons gleamed:
  • Red circles = bad
  • There’s this thing that makes my character run away and my skills lock up (ie fear)