In last week’s AMA, we learned that they no longer have a guild content team at Arenanet – and, even more importantly, that they have no plans to implement/improve/etc guild related content in the foreseeable future.
This is probably the most shortsighted decision ArenaNet has ever made. Guilds are the backbone of this game. Without them, I believe there would be no meaningful world vs world, there would be very little open world coordination/leadership efforts for things like meta events, early world boss successes, boss trains and much more.
Supporting guilds – and encouraging them to be active in the open world - is more important than it has ever been, in my opinion. Players are already expressing concern about the new maps becoming dead zones. The most logical way to stop that from happening is to incentivize guilds to organize and lead activities on those new maps (and older maps that may become dead as well).
As an obvious example (that has been discussed before), a simple overhaul to the guild mission system where PVE missions mirror how they work in PVP and WvW missions would go a long way. This could include things like:
And about 100 more examples come to mind. At that point, adding new guild missions becomes a natural part of new map and content development. It no longer even requires creating unique content in order to remain interesting.
And, of course, this isn’t just about guild missions. Anything they can do to encourage guilds to become more active across the large group game modes is obviously very good for the game.
Even for those that do not rely on their guild when enjoying the game, this is an important issue. Encouraging guild activity in maps creates that light to medium level of coordination needed to keep the zones alive for everyone there.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this issue exposes a key problem with how they have aligned teams and are moving forward with the game. Yes, focus is good, but not when it becomes so narrow that the mandates given become the only things your creative employees see. I believe the above would be a pretty simplistic fix for the issue – but even if it’s not, there could be something else that could be done. With no guild focused team – and no oversight or more general development focus from a high level – no one is paying enough attention to care or try and come up with one. In any creative endeavor (such as an MMO), that is very bad – and leads to neglected content.
Like many, my guild is the one thing that keeps me logging in day in and day out. I found it depressing to hear from the president of Anet that they have stopped supporting activities focused toward those groups – and I hope that they realize the error of that decision.