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Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

Jul 14

Written by:
7/14/2012 9:43 AM  RssIcon

Time to get stuck in! The first step in founding a guild in any game is to know the tools that are available to you and that is where we’ll be starting, with a broad strokes look at guilds in Guild Wars 2.

Disclaimer: this information is based on what is known about the game in beta now and may be subject to change.

The basics

In Guild Wars 2, guilds are player run communities of up to 100 people, but ArenaNet have indicated this limitation is likely to rise. Guild creation is currently free and has no level requirements.

Lots of guilds for everyone

A major aspect aspect of player communities in Guild Wars 2 is that an account can be a member of more than one guild at any one time. However a character can only participate in the guild chat of and represent one guild at a time.
With such mechanics, it could be easy to conclude that no-one could ever hope to make a successful guild because a player’s time will be split between all the guilds they are a part of, but this isn’t what happens in the physical world. People are members of more than one community in real life with few conflicts (like a sports club and a movie club), and in general individual communities do not suffer because a member has other things they want to do. 

It does mean thinking about guilds differently though as leaving or un-representing a guild are no longer as big a deal as it once was, and people can try a different guild before they leave yours. For guild leaders, this means working on understanding what kind of people would be interested in your guild and what they look for, and then trying to provide that. For a WvW guild, this may mean regular or continuous groups or squads and voice communications servers. For a PvE guild, it could be a large guild bank or a focus on dungeons. We’ll be looking at why people join guilds in detail in upcoming entries.

However, some guild leaders do very much reject the multi-guild decision that ArenaNet have taken and are intending to implement rules that would stop members joining more than one guild. How successful or popular such guilds are remains to be seen.

Guilds are game wide but also local

Due to the server architecture, guild names are game wide. This means your awesome guild “Winning Guild Wars [WIN]” is the same guild no matter what server the members are from. So if you’re a large guild that has an American and a European section, you only have one guild and one guild chat for both areas. If you want different ones, you need to make 2 guilds. The servers and areas that your members are currently playing on and in are listed in the roster.

A view of the roster

However, the influence your members earn and the upgrades you build with it are local to the server you are currently on. This is a major disadvantage to migrating servers!

Representing and Influence

Guild Wars 2 allows guilds to build various items that provide services to members and non-members alike, through the use of a special currency called Influence. In order to gain access to current services and gain Influence a member must represent a guild. This is also required to read and post messages on guild chat. Members earn Influence by representing a guild (a set amount every 24 hours) and completing different events in-game. More influence is gained if guild members are playing together. This means a smaller guild that plays together a lot will have as much or more Influence as a big guild playing solo.

At the moment Influence can be invested into 4 main build channels, each aimed at being of use to different types of guilds. For example, the Art of War reward category contains a large number of boosts that help allies in WvW and the Architecture category contains a number of permanent upgrades to the guild, such as a vault. Everything on the list takes influence and time to build. If there is an excess of influence, builds can be rushed by spending extra. Some of the rewards in the Politics and Economy lines rival those available in the gem store. Influence can be converted into +15% Karma for 24 hours, +10% Magic Find for 3 days, +5% EXP from events for 3 days, +10% Influence from events for 24 hours and a +10% gathering bonus for 3 days - none of which should be sniffed at. You can also allow your guild members to adorn their armor and weaponry with your guild symbols, and throw a banquet for an entire town!

Obviously having the right services and boosts will encourage members to represent the guild, earning it more influence, which means more can be built! It’s a positive cycle that every founder should be looking to induce. The good news is that it’s rather easy to get a decent amount of Influence. Over the first beta weekend my guild of around 30 people managed to gain over 11,000 Influence, peaking at over 600 in a single hour. That would have been enough to get us a 50 slot guild bank and symbols on our armor if there had been enough time to build everything. 

Influence listing

Some items take more than a day to build, so choosing an optimal path to your builds if Influence is scarce is a mini game in its own right. There are builds that allow you to put more than one item into the queue at once so it may be worth prioritising those. It’s worth noting that the timed buffs don’t activate as soon as they’re done building, so if your guild is only active over weekends, you can set a bunch building over the week and activate all of them at the weekend for a bonanza of extra stuff!


Integral to all guilds is the idea of government. Even if a guild is essentially flat in structure, that was a conscious decision at one time another that had to be made. Various guilds approach government types in different ways, from dictatorships to republics, to their own special concoction! In Guild Wars 2, leaders can create their own ranks. Leader, Officer and Member are supplied as standard, but these can be edited and others can be made. There’s all kinds of fine tuning available, from different symbols for the ranks in the guild roster to which ranks can draw from storage.

One of the exciting aspects of this feature is how many different government types can be thought up with it. For example, it’s possible to assign more than one person to the Leader rank so guilds aren’t forced to have a single figurehead. Having seen a fair number of guilds that are run by councils, I am really pleased to see this amount of flexibility. Not only that, but there’s a great deal of fine tuning as to what powers you want to give individual groups which further add to the customisation of government. It becomes far less about what the game can support and more about what you can imagine and make work for you - exactly how it should be.

Showing off in-game

When it comes to grabbing people’s attention in game, Guild Wars 2 has a few novel ways of introducing yourself. For example in the politics construction line guilds will have the option of building a flag which grants +5% EXP to everyone who touches it for an hour, whether they’re inside the guild or not. If you’re the kind of guild who likes to party, you can spawn a banquet table that people can eat and drink from for an hour. It’s also possible to pay the herald some gold to shout about your guild’s accomplishments in a race’s capital, granting that guild additional influence.

In World vs World, you can claim any keep or fortress that isn’t already claimed for your guild. The bonuses you’ve built up through the Art of War construction line will then apply to allies in your keep. In addition your guild emblem will fly from the flags in the fortification you’ve claimed, striking fear in the hearts of attackers and respect from your allies.

I won't lie, this feels pretty cool

It’s not entirely clear how you’ll be able to show off your guild in structured PvP, but it’s probably fair to assume that it’ll be through tournament completion.

What’s missing

No matter how many tools are provided by any game maker, communities will always want more. Guild Wars 2 is most notably lacking a significant number of offline communication avenues (probably rightly so) outside the as-yet shrouded in mystery Extended Experience. For example, there’s no offline discussion or messaging system (you have to go online to read & send mail), guild calendar, screenshot gallery or ways to disseminate news beyond the small welcome message. Some of these features have been indicated to be on the great ArenaNet to-do list, others haven’t. Either way, it’s prudent to think about other features you think your guild would need that aren’t included in the game.

Another feature that’s missing that was included in Guild Wars is alliances. As many of the guilds in Guild Wars 2 will have migrated from Guild Wars and have previous allies they’d like to stay in contact with, this is a problem. Some are considering merging their alliances into one big guild but with the guild cap likely to be well short of the 1000 people that could be in an alliance (and that not being enough for some), there’s a numbers problem to be solved.

What you can do

At the end of every post in this series there’ll be a few things that I’d love to hear from you about. This week, I’d love to hear your solutions to how to accommodate larger guilds or alliances and what other tools you’d like ArenaNet to add to guilds. You can leave a comment against this blog post or email your thoughts to

Next time we’ll be taking a closer look at what it takes to be a guild leader.

Recommended Reading

9 comment(s) so far...


Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

An excellent article indeed! Truly informative to those who're not familiar with the guild system at all and full of little details for those that have not spent that much time into it.

Thanks a lot Sam! :D

By Tilion on   7/14/2012 10:22 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

Amazing article! There are so many things i didnt knew about guilds!
A must read indeed.

By Zeno on   7/15/2012 8:02 AM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

Good read :D

By Somnium on   7/15/2012 4:21 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

If this is an indication of what's yet to come... I am sold!!!
Incredibly useful info, a great kick off for our dear columnist :)

By thevalliant on   7/15/2012 4:28 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

I think I'm gonna miss the guild hall feature from GW1. I hope that some time down the line there will be Halls. They were great.

By Sir Cusfreak on   7/16/2012 4:29 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

oO i have never noticed all these misses ..!

excellent presentation for the guild system and the few tips ..!
also i didnt knew about the existence of different goverment types for the guilds ..! and its so awesome, how i didnt noticed it ..! :/

By Loulaki on   7/17/2012 6:59 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

I have never lead a legion (nor do I aspire to!) so most of the things you brought up have been a mystery to me, and a very welcome introduction to this troublesome task! Personally I have very limited and specific demands when it comes to the guild info and interactivity I expect in a game, which are also very basic ones: being able to see which members are online and where they are, their class and level, to be able to join them or chat with them from within this window, to see their crafting expertise, their daily progress (achievements, influence points). All of these seem to be in place here, so I am happy. I guess one 'tool' I'd like to have, as a guild leader, would be the option to form parties (say for a raid/siege) from within the Roster panel - instead of /invite-ing each member separately. An alliance panel would be equally useful, I'm guessing.

By thevalliant on   7/18/2012 6:40 AM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

@Sir Cusfreak - Guild Halls are reportedly on the to-do list, but were left out of the features for release as ArenaNet "want to do it right". Apparently they have some great ideas, but I'm with you in being disappointed. The Guild Hall was a great mechanic for gathering people together before going off for an adventure, and that's less likely to happen now. The plus side may be a more coherent server community, but it'll be interesting to see how it plans out

@thevalliant - Thanks for your kind words and for contributing to the discussion topic! You're correct in saying the main set of tools you look for are in the game but being able to form parties from the guild roster would be very useful indeed, especially since the terrain in GW2 stops you seeing and selecting people from their name and tag.

I'm hopeful that alliances will make it into the game sometime close to release - it was a surprisingly useful thing in Guild Wars that allowed you to compensate for your own guild's shortcomings by putting other guilds that provided services within easy reach.

By Tasha on   7/18/2012 9:13 PM

Re: Introduction to Guilds in Guild Wars 2

Definitely digging the idea of Guild Halls and Alliances coming back. Both of these aspects were totally useful in Guild Wars.

They were bringing the people close and that's what Guild Wars 2 seeks afterall.

By Tilion on   7/18/2012 10:11 PM

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