Running a guild is hard work at the best of times and moving from one game to another just makes the task even harder. Hopefully this article will give guild leaders and prospective guild leaders some advice that will help make forming a guild in Guild Wars 2 a lot less stressful.
This will be a three-part series of articles, so if what you are looking for is not in this one it’ll be in the next.
Before You Form a Guild
There are whole load of things you need to consider before forming a guild, most of them totally obvious but some easily missed. Here are the sort of questions you should be looking to answer. If you are an existing clan or guild then a lot of these are likely to be in place already.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here, but it’s important you have consistent ones and that you communicate them to your actual and prospective members.
- Work out what sort of guild you want to be in GW2. Same as you were before or something new? Are you going to be PvP-, PvE-, or RP- focused, casual or hardcore? Remember like attracts like, so if you are a casual PvE player it’s unlikely you'll be able to recruit and keep hard core PvP'ers.
- What will you call your guild? An old name or a new one? How will you decide?
- What sort of guild rules will you put in place? Will it be a free for all, or will you have specific rules? Will you have an age limit?
- Where will your home server be? Are you going to designate a spare one in case people can't fit on it? How will you handle things if people can't get onto the server they want to?
- Prepare your forums. Maybe you want to give them a new look, new logo and then tell your new guild members about it. If you have no forum then there are several free and paid for forums you can use.
- Who will you make officers? Will you need custom ranks? I usually work on a one officer to ten members, and if you are multiple timezones, make sure you have at least one officer online in each one. Be sensitive to people’s feelings if you need fewer officers than you do now.
- What about influence? Are you bothered about how much guild members earn? Who in your guild will be allowed to spend it?
- What’s your guild bank policy? Can everyone deposit and withdraw, or only officers? Who will be in charge of keeping it tidy and sorting out what’s kept in it?
- How will you recruit people? Spam chat on your server, posts on forums or rely on friends and word of mouth?
- Decide on who is coming back from other games to play and how many (see below on how the guild cap tiers work).
- Ensure that you publicize your recruitment policy and how you will go about interviewing (or not) prospective members. That way everyone knows where they stand before they even apply.
- What is your approach to multi-guilding? Will you insist on people staying loyal or will members be able to switch whenever? Will you limit your officers to one guild, or can they go anywhere too?
- Who are you going to give priority to inviting into your guild when the game launches? Naturally your officers, but then who?
- Decide (if you haven’t already) on a voice com system or an out of game chat system and make sure people know how to use them. Suggest to members they set them up and test them before launch.
- Who is going to pay for things like voice com servers, forums and the like? You? Will you have a donations system?
- Communicate things your members are expected to do well before launch. These include such things like contributing money to raise the guild cap so their friends can join and more importantly, the server you are planning to roll on and any alternatives in case it becomes full.
- Think of some events and activities you can run as a guild in the first couple of weeks and find someone to run them for you.
Initially, you or one of your guildmates will need one silver in order to create the guild. This will get you a starting member cap of 50. To increase the cap, you will need to do two things: first, find the money to pay for the next tier, and second, have enough representing members to qualify for the cap.
You can raise the guild cap by talking to a Guild Register NPC, which can be found in the each races' capital city. Make sure you have as many guild members online/representing at the time to ensure you’ll be able to meet the membership criteria.
Each tier has the following costs:
There are three main ways you can obtain the money to raise the cap:
- Farm the money yourself
- Buy gems and convert it to money
- Ask guild members to contribute the money towards raising the cap
Regardless of the way you choose to start your guild, you will need to manage your guild's expectations of how and when they will be able to join. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to know how many players you’ll have coming so you know how much money you’ll need to spend at launch.
So far - and is looking increasingly likely - Alliance features from Guild Wars will not be available at launch. This means that if you are in a GW alliance and wish to remain in separate guilds and not merge, or are too large for the 500 cap, you will need to find and agree on other out-of-game ways of communicating with each other until such time as ArenaNet deem it necessary to add.
Since we have no confirmation of alliance chat-like features being planned, it is very important that you plan and communicate this enforced separation at launch. My suggestions include using Steam, Xfire or Mumble, as its chat overlay makes a better attempt to keep your community together. They are not ideal and have many downsides, but they are better than nothing.
One of the other considerations is what sort of structure will you give your guild. Guild Wars 2 gives you the choice of a number of permissions. You want to strike the right balance between giving players too much authority or so little you end up doing everything. The permissions are:
- Edit Ranks
- Edit Guild Emblem
- Claim/Unclaim WvW Forts
- Queue Upgrades
- Modify Upgrade In Progress
- Activate Built Upgrades
- Admin Lower Ranks
- Edit Message of the Day
- Display Guild Emblem
- Guild Stash Deposit
- Guild Stash Withdraw
- Treasure Trove Deposit
- Treasure Trove Withdraw
- New Members Here
Note: You must have New Members Here selected with one rank or you will not be able to invite new members to your guild.
Dealing with Servers and Regions
Perhaps one area where there has been the most confusion is in the matter of servers. Many players have concerns over the effect on them if they cannot roll on the same server as their guilds or friends. Here are the effects you'll come across if you do not manage to roll on your guilds chosen server.
- You will be able to join your guild if you are in a different region or on a different server by using the guesting mechanic.
- You will be able to PvE (guesting) and sPvP together, no matter what server you roll on, as long as your servers are in the same region (US & US/EU & EU).
- Guild chat and mail all work even if you are on a different server.
- You will be able to play with EU players if you live in the US (and vice versa).
- You will not be able to WvW with your guild if you are on a different server.
- 1800 gems to transfer to a high population world
- 1000 gems to transfer to a medium population world
- 500 gems to transfer to a low population world
The short answer is, no one can answer that for you. Many guilds have not decided or announced what servers they will be rolling on and even fewer have posted that information.
The best advice I can give, is try to ensure guilds you know and like can agree on a server to go to, so no matter what the community is like on that server you will always have nice players to play with. It's also important to realise there will be no such thing as a perfect server.
The other question to ask yourself is does having all languages bundled onto the same server bother you. If so it’s probably best to make sure you roll on a server whose language and culture you will be familiar with. Currently there are only two separated language servers, French and German.
We don't have firm answers on some of the details of what exactly you can and cannot do, but it’s safe to say that unless you choose to spend all your time in WvW, having to roll on a different server is not the same disaster it would be in other MMO’s. Therefore, when you are planning your guild, try to give priority for those who will live and breathe WvW.
The Knowledge Gap
A lot of the game mechanics will be unknown to you and your members, therefore it’s worth reading up on as many as you can beforehand (especially around the guild functions such as representation, influence and multi-guilding).
Planning a guild is hard work. There are a lot of things to consider and yet it’s an essential step to ensure that you and your guild get the most out of the first few days. It's tempting to think, "I'll just do it on the day," but this will leave you open to needless drama and will reduce you and your guilds fun at launch.
In subsequent articles we’ll be looking at things to consider when running your guild and a detailed breakdown of the guild influence system, which will help you plan the best way to get the most out of your guild’s efforts in the shortest time.