Guilding the Space-Lily with WildStar
By Team WildStar - January 22, 2014
Since we started talking about this li'l' ol'' game of ours, one question has been asked across various countries, time zones, and dimensional rifts - lucky for us it's a fairly easy one to answer: "Will there be guilds in WildStar?" The answer: of course there will be! Thus far, though, we've done everything possible to avoid talking about them. We've talked about Circles, cross-realm communication, and roleplaying, but we've totally avoided talking about this core MMO feature.
It's high time we resolved that, don't you think?
When designing WildStar guilds, we wanted to do something that was at once both completely familiar to MMO players, but still brought with it a unique WildStar twist.
Let's get all the obvious features out of the way in bullet-point format:
- Creating a guild
- Full permission sets for withdrawal limits and repair limits
- Re-namable tabs! (Woooo!)
- Customizable guild ranks with full permission sets
- Optional guild taxes (5% of your loot will get contributed to the guild vault if your guild leader decides to turn this on)
Now that's laid out, we can skip past all the standard stuff and go straight for the three meaty features that make WildStar different.
Benefits: Guild Holomarks
Whenever you talk guilds, everybody wants to make sure that their group stands out in a crowd. Whether you're the "Bunnygirl Bruiser Squad" or the "Protostar Resolution Action Team" you want a defining visual element that proudly displays your guild allegiance. In other games, this might be a tabard or emblem. But that kind of fantasy business ain't the way we roll out beyond the Fringe.
In WildStar, guilds will be able to create a Holomark: a holographic emblem projected in the air around, or above the character. You can set the various elements of the logo (we've got 65 inner and 65 outer designs at launch, which means around 4225 possible combinations at launch), and then each player can decide where they want to display it on their character. Snazzy!
You can choose to have your holomark project on your back, your shoulders, above your head, or any combination of those options. Want to go gank someone in PvP? Make sure your Holomark is turned on so they know who's destroying them. Is your guild invading an enemy warplot? Your foes will be sure to know who's boss (and who to kill) when you've got 135 holomarks floating above their enemies' heads.
Currency: Guild Influence
In many MMO games, a guild is a social group of players. They may raid together, or hang out in the VOIP system of their choice, but individual players tend to wander the open world on their own, their guild being nothing more than a passing word in a nameplate. A terrible, terrible, shame - and not the WildStar way!
With WildStar, we want guilds to want to play together, and we're going to do everything we can to incentivize that through a guild currency known as Influence.
Your guild earns Influence through one simple method: playing WildStar with guildmates.
"Playing" literally means being in a group with other guild members and doing almost anything you want: Questing, killing creatures, running dungeons, raiding, PvP, and so on.
The more guild members you have in your group, the faster you'll earn Influence, so it's definitely to your advantage to play with a full group of guildmates whenever possible. As the saying goes,"The guild that plays together, stays together.
This leads us to (arguably) the most important part of the guild system: where you get to spend all that Influence.
Reward: Guild Perks
Influence is spent in three main categories:
- Guild unlocks (including additional bank vaults and player summoning)
- Guild-wide buffs
- Consumable guild items
There are six guild-wide buffs a guild can unlock and activate. Unlocking the ability to use a buff is a one-time, high-Influence cost. Once unlocked, the buff can be activated for 7 days (real time) by spending a smaller amount of Influence. Any member of the guild is affected by this buff while they are logged in during those 7 days. These buffs typically boost the rate at which you earn currencies in the game, including experience, faction reputation, and Influence itself.
The consumable items include things like summoning a guild bank out in the open world just by spending some Influence on the spot. You can also purchase the ability for guild members to buy "flasks" on their own, which give individual boosts that stack with the guild-wide buffs you may already have activated.
As you can see, a small guild that plays together will be able to accomplish infinitely more than a large guild which spams trade chat to invite their members but never groups up to play through the game. We're really excited about guilds being a driving force for being social in WildStar, while we let Circles take the reins when it comes to smaller social circles and hanging out with your various groups of friends.
Of course, everything we mention is still in beta, and is subject to change, so we're eager to hear what you think about it all. What excites you most about guilds in WildStar? What are you most concerned about? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit!