Sunday, March 27, 2011

[4.0.6] The Failings of Guild Reputation

Imagine for a moment that you are just a regular person that decided to try out World of Warcraft (WoW).  You don't have good friends that you know personally in Real Life (RL) begging you to play, promising you gold, bags, and easy leveling.  You just bought the game, followed the directions, and figured it out.

Eventually, you come across a guild that you like and you join it.  Cataclysm is released and you level up quickly.  The guild reputation caps are so ridiculously low that you cap them out early every week, meaning you lose out on varying amounts of wasted rep every week.  Eventually you clear all of the zones and find that you are still only Revered with your guild.

That sucks, because now you have to keep killing bosses, doing daily quests, or running rated BGs.  Oh and earning Guild Achievements (a little more orchestration needed for that one).  But you soldier on and grind out the mind-bogglingly boring daily quests over and over and over and....

As if that is not bad enough, something goes awry in a random guild chat discussion and a guild officer takes a disliking to you and kicks you from your guild.

Such was the story of a poster in the WoW forums.

While just about everyone was focused on the complaint that the current system seems to encourage people to kiss their guild master's butt, I was more interested in the other point - it's an even greater pain to level guild rep when you have shot your questing wad.

The thing is, there are a lot of ways you can find yourself having to start from zero guild rep.  Maybe you are distancing yourself from drama or a stalker.  Maybe you had a bad day and they officers are twitchy.  Maybe your guild master disappeared without notice and you eventually left the guild because it was crippled by an absent GM.  There a a host of ways that you can find yourself in a new guild, staring up the steep slope of Mount Guild Rep, the lofty peak obscured by clouds and seemingly unreachable.

Well, I am sorry to report that I don't have a good solution for you.  Once the zones are complete, you are in a bind.  You have to get through Neutral (3k), Friendly (6k), Honored (12k), and Revered (21k),  That means you need to earn 42k reputation.

What does that mean to a new guild member?  Well, right off the bat, it will take you at least 12 weeks to hit Exalted, if you max out your reputation every week (the cap is 3.5k/week).

And how can you hit that cap each week?  Well, as you may recall from my post on Effectively Earning Guild XP, there are only a a few options available:
  • Quests
  • Killing bosses (dungeons and raid)
  • Rated Battlegrounds (BGs)
Note: Currently, there are plans in 4.1 to increase rep from PvP significantly.

If you have cleared out the zone quests, as the person in this scenario has, then the only quests open to you are the daily quests and only Fishing, Cooking, and Tol Barad dailies give you level 85 XP/rep rewards.

For the most part, you can expect to spend at least an hour a day on average working towards this, and it will take you 84 days to get there.

You might think that being in active raiding would make a big difference.  It does, for the guild, but not so much for you.  Downing all 12 bosses only really accounts for about 2/3 of your weekly need and it's likely going to take you more than 2/3 * 7 = 4 2/3 hours to down all 12, so you are not saving time nor spending it more efficiently.  However, it's good news if you like raiding more than everything else in the game.

And My Point Is...

Earning Guild Reputation is a long, painful process.  It requires at least three months of dedicated effort to reach Exalted.  And that can be obliterated by any guild officer with the ability and willingness to kick someone from a guild.

At the very least, I would suggest that Blizzard let people keep some portion of their earned Guild Reputation or perhaps set a minimum for anyone that leaves a guild, e.g., if you are below Friendly, you lose nothing and if you are above Friendly, you are knocked down to 1 point from Honored.  It may not be much, but it would take the edge off. Sure, it may make it easier to get the "Stay Classy" Achievement, but does anyone think that's a bad thing?

Consider if a professional sports team hired a renowned player from another professional sports team, that person would certainly not be treated like a rookie.


Sean said...

I think your analogy of the professional athlete changing teams is a very apt one. I currently find myself in a situation where I may wish to voluntarily leave my current guild due to personal issues/drama that I can see only being exacerbated by staying. I am currently the only guild member at Exalted status and I'm pretty proud of the accomplishment. That's a big reason to accept the potential for drama or uncomfortable situations simply because I don't want to lose what I've gained, or have to think about doing it again somewhere else. The system needs to be changed.

sam said...

I think the current flaws are intentional. The blues posts indicate to me that they think any system that holds guilds together is good. I really think they'll be surprised when guilds start exploding because people stayed around in guild far too long and put up with far more than they should have trying to hang on to thier hard earned rep.

I think guild rep will cause more drama and more guild problems than it ever solves. And as usual the talented game designers at blizzard will be shocked and surprised by normal predicable behavior of those non-techie, normal people that keep messing up thier grand plans.