Friday, June 29, 2012
Are Guilds Needed in Guild Wars 2?
With the release date rapidly approaching, guild recruitment has never been more emphasized. In fact, I have even begun searching for a guild I can call home over the last couple of days. Furthermore, many articles have been created over the last 24 hours, describing what you should be doing in the next two months before release. One of the most common features in these articles is that you should be in a guild. For many this has translated that to be effective, you need a guild. I largely disagree, the majority of players do not need to be in a guild. While socially effective and fun, do not think for a single moment that you need a guild to experience all the content in Guild Wars 2. Guilds have traditionally been "required" in MMOs, but may be considerably less critical for Guild Wars 2.
Previously, in many MMOs (specifically before the Looking for Raid feature), having a guild for end-game content was extremely important. In fact, to even see or compete in many of the raids or reach high into the rated PvP brackets, a player almost "needed" to belong to a guild.
I'll reiterate the question, are guilds needed in Guild Wars 2?
If you are in the majority of players that cares about seeing all of the content, having fun, but not necessarily being the best in the world. Then my answer is no, but they can help you create and form groups for specific content.
But before I fully go into my reasoning, we have to examine why they were so critical in previous MMOs.
Much of the requirement was artificially created by the group size. Raids often required 10, 25, or even 40 people, and rated battlegrounds required having 10 or 15 players. This group of players needed to be geared, coordinated, previously done the fight or at the minimum pre-researched the bosses, and committed for several hours.
These requirements were made worse because of the achievement-obsessive nature of the end-game. To gain access to a raid outside your guild, required that you either knew the raid leader previously, or you had an achievement to show that you had been there before. So if you think about it, to gain access to a raid, required you had an achievement to show that you already done it, and thus the window to down bosses in the first one-to-two weeks of a newly released raid was critical to your overall access to a raid.
In Guild Wars 2, much of this is gone. In Guild Wars 2, you can probably see all of the content without a guild. Much of this is because of their smaller standard group size of 5 players. Simply put, you just don't need a guild to arrange 5 coordinated, skilled players. It can help and facilitate gathering 5 players, but it doesn't require a guild.
In the PvE department, they have large zone-wide meta events that are open to all players in the area. An elite guild may be attempting to down one of Zhaitan's champions, but there is nothing stopping you from joining them. ArenaNet also has story mode dungeons that require 5 people to complete. The low amount of players needed for dungeons in this game make forming groups considerably easy to form groups to see the content. Explorable mode will require an extremely coordinated group, but once again getting 5 people together is a lot easier than 10. Plus, most of the bosses and mobs have notable information beneath their tags and often telegraph the critical aspects of the encounter. Thus makes pre-researching the three-phase fight is not needed at all.
In the PvP department, once again in structured PvP the group size is 5 players. You don't need a guild to arrange 5 coordinated players. In WvW, the necessity of a guild depends on the question you ask. If you want to be in top 2-3 realms, then yes, guilds and their alliances will be critical for your realm's ranking. If you simply want to be able to play and have fun, no. Smaller groups can take down supply camps and towers, or you can simply join players in a guild and help them take down some of the larger capture points like keeps and Stonemist Castle.
In many ways, ArenaNet has reduced the need for guilds. Are they important for your success? Well, it really depends on how you define success and what you hope to accomplish. However, the answer for most people is no. Forming a group of 2-5 real life friends, and filling the gap with other players will work just fine.
However, if you looking for a comfortable environment that you can call home, to create new friends, and to thrive socially in-game, then guilds are a great place to start. If there are any guilds recruiting on Crystal Desert, and are highly interested in WvW, please contact me, thanks!