On Thursday, on GuildWars2.com an article by Leah Rivera appeared detailing Guild Missions. Additional details can be found in an interview conducted by Dragon Season during a meet and greet held by Arena Net. Even more from this meet and greet can be found on Twitter with the hash tag #foodwars. Putting this all together we start to get a really good picture of what the Guild Missions will be. It all sounds really interesting. Today I would like to discuss the features we have learned about the Guild Missions so far and give you my thoughts on what is to come.
Guild Missions are a new form of PvE play that Arena Net is introducing into Guild Wars 2 with the February patch. The missions are designed for large coordinated groups and will be started by a Guild that has unlocked the event through research. The missions will come in a number of difficulties as well as five different types. The types are, Bounty, Trek, Challenge, Rush, and Puzzle. You can get a good idea of what each of the mission types will be, except Trek, by watching the video embedded below and in the Arena Net blog post.
Bounty is the mission type that has been talked about the most. It is the first Guild Mission that will be available once researched. The Bounty mission will have various mobs spawn across multiple zones which your team will need to take down in a given time limit. Colin Johanson said in his interview with Dragon Season that the larger Bounty missions will have your guild spread out across five zones each with a boss that needs to be taken down. The smaller tier, however, will have three bosses in three zones. He also said that when the Guild Mission is launched a random selection of monsters will be selected from and spawned meaning the mission should be different each time.
Trek is probably the mission that we know the least about but the one I am personally most interested in. The only thing I know about this mission type is what Leah Rivera said in the official Arena Net blog post. "Think you know Tyria? Well the Tyrian Explorer’s Society has a challenge for you! Find the list of locations before time runs out." I feel I have good knowledge of Tyria. I have three 80s and a 50. I have 100% World Completion on my Thief, 72% on my Elementalist, 62% on my Warrior, and 33% on my Mesmer (266% in all). I have explored some regions quite thoroughly for articles here including Wayfarer Foothills, Diessa Plateau, Black Citadel and Hoelbrak for the Living Story and Ebonhawke because it is awesome. Learning more about Tyria sounds like fun and I feel I would be a great help to my guild in this mission type.
|Some where along the Dragon Brand...|
We learn the most about Challenge from Leah Rivera's blog post and the video that accompanies it. The official word is that the Challenge mission will "leverage [the] existing event system" and be "specifically geared to require multi-group, coordinated play to succeed." Watching the video we first see a group of heroes fighting somewhere along the Dragon Brand then we see a group fighting the Krait underwater and finally they are fighting Karka in Southsun Cove. I look forward to learning how these missions will differ from existing events.
|Branded creatures feature in this Guild Challenge.|
|Everyone in the pool!|
|The flashbacks are already starting.|
|Chicken run. Looks like stealth is one of your abilities.|
Rush as described by Leah Rivera is, "a mad dash over harrowing terrain, traps, and other hidden dangers." In the video we see a group of players running past monsters, first, while transformed into chickens and, second, transformed into spirit wolves. To me, this looks like it will be a lot like the Underwater Fractal where you are transformed into a Dolphin. In Dolphin form you have the ability to "ping" around you to see hidden enemies, you can send out a decoy to fool enemies, you can dash forward, and finally, you can revive allies from a distance. The goal is to use these abilities to swim through a maze and avoid the Krait. I would be very surprised if this is not what Rush was like.
|Here we see the Spirit Wolves buffing each other. Also notice the banners. Will this be slalom style?|
|A pretty room in this first puzzle featured.|
Finally, Puzzle looks like it will be the most complex. Described as, "a puzzle and a jumping challenge all in one," this mission type looks like it is setup to highlight group play and individual talent. In the video we see players performing a group jumping puzzle, fighting monsters, and navigating a maze. The variety of things to do in the Puzzle mode looks interesting, but I wonder if these will remain interesting once they are solved. My guild has a lot of fun with "jumping puzzle nights" where we all get together to complete a series of jumping puzzles and race to see who can finish first sometimes with prizes. Others in the guild, however, have great difficultly with the jumping puzzles due to a number of factors from skill to hardware and rendering issues. I think views on this game mode will be very polarized from those that love it to those that hate it.
|Three Human statues on one side of the room and three Charr statues on the opposite. An Ascalonian riddle?|
|Not really sure what is going on in here, but again, it is a enjoyable view.|
|Jumping will feature in the Guild Puzzles.|
|As will mazes.|
|And Puzzles. Notice the different animal silhouettes above each station.|
|More Asura style architecture, perhaps this is a swiftness buff or an elevator control.|
It did not take long after the announcement of Guild Missions for a bit of a controversy to break out. Most of this is in relation to a post made by Anthony Ordon. The post itself was harmless and merely an answer to the question of how guilds will go about unlocking the various missions. His answer is as follows,
Each guild mission type becomes available through an upgrade that is researched in the guild tech tree. The first one is Guild Bounties, which does require Art of War level 5.
A lot of players are concerned about this because they have smaller guilds which have yet to unlock Art of War at all. The Art of War research chain contains upgrades useful for WvW which many guilds have, up to this point, decided are unnecessary. Unlocking this entire chain would take 36,500 influence which is a lot for a small guild to put together. Influence can be purchased at a rate of 2 gold per 1,000 influence making Tier 5 Art of War cost 73 gold in total. A lot of people are concerned that their 2-3 person guild will not be able to obtain this. Here is Arena Net's response,
Our goal with this system is to give guilds activities and long-term progression that they can accomplish by working together as a guild. These missions are meant to be difficult and challenging to not only unlock, but to accomplish.
We would also like to make every guild upgrade line valuable to every guild. Currently, Art of War is very focused on PvP and WvW, but our plan is to continue to add more guild upgrades in the Art of War line to accomplish this. These Guild Missions are the first step. Along with this system, we also added a number of new guild upgrades that guilds can earn.
In the end, our goal for all of this content is to give guilds new goals and challenges to accomplished once they have researched deeply into each line, as well as require guilds to have researched multiple lines to unlock some upgrades. We expect guild members to have to work together as a guild to earn the influence needed to unlock these new missions, as well as overcome the challenge of the missions themselves.
In the future, we plan to continue to add more guild upgrades, as well as continue to add challenging guild missions, as we don’t want guilds to run out of goals and accomplishments they can achieve.
I, personally, think this is a perfectly valid response. Guild Missions are not designed for 1 or 2 people to be able to do. As Colin Johanson said in his interview with Dragon Season, the easiest Bounty mission has 3 bosses spawn in three different zones. He figures it would take 10-15 people to finish this mission. If you then consider the cost of 73 gold across 10-15 people that is only 5-8 gold per person which is not a whole lot. This content is not designed for solo play. This is the content that a lot of us have been waiting for that will engage an entire guild. If you still want to be in your 2-3 person guild the great thing about Guild Wars 2 is you can join multiple guilds. My guild is very receptive to allowing people to mutli-guild so long as you stop in to say hello to us every once in a while. Thus, I really do not see what the issue is. Just join another guild for doing Guild Missions. With guesting you do not even need to find a guild on your server. If playing with others in a coordinated style is not the play you are interested in then Guild Missions are not for you.
|My Guilds Influence count.|
The only thing that I remain concerned about is how involved people outside the guild can be in the event. Mission types like Bounty and Challenge seem like they take place completely in the open world and anybody can join in. This, in my opinion, takes away from the element of the guild working together to finish the event. I don't see how these are any different then the events that already exist in the world other than a Guild has to start them. I really hope there is something extra to these mission types that requires the coordination a guild brings to the table.
On the other hand, the mission types like Puzzle and Rush, seems like they take place in instances (although somewhere I think I read that the missions will not be instanced [can't find a source for this though]) and will require a lot of coordination. It will be interesting to see if people outside the guild will be able to help with these mission types without being a hindrance or just out right griefing. I can already see my guild enjoying ourselves in a Puzzle mission type only to have an outsider come in and spoil the solution for us or complete a section we wanted to do together.
Overall, I am very excited about the Guild Missions. The various game play elements look exciting. My guild is already going nuts about this in guild chat and on our guild forums. We have been saving up influence for this day for a long time now and are already starting to plan how we will tackle organizing everyone to finish these missions. Suffice to say, the first chance we get we will be going on a Guild Mission together and you can bet that I will have coverage of that right here. If I can convince my guild leader to stream the mission I will link that here as well.
|HPV during a diving board contest.|
In the mean time, if you are looking for a guild that will be getting serious about these guild missions consider my guild Hyperion Overlords (HPV). We are based on the Gate of Madness server (but we are open to anyone joining us) and are roughly 300 members strong. We have a webpage we use to organize events and a vent server to organize play. We try to take part in all aspects of the game and have members actively playing PvP, PvE, and WvW. We are not a hardcore guild by any means and prefer to think of ourselves as casual and fun. We run at least one event a week but it is more often then not we have over three events each week. Members of HPV hail from all around the world but are mainly eastern North America. Check out our webpage and fill out an application or contact me in game via PM or whisper Crushnaut.8307.
What do you guys think about the Guild Missions? Are you as excited as I am? Do you have concerns about the content? Did I miss anything? There have been a lot of little tidbits coming out of the meet and greet Arena Net held that have been difficult to follow. Let me know in the comments.