Boo! Blizzard takes away Guild XP from achievements

Last night, on the first night of play in a brand new expansion, I was in Deadmines on a level 80 character.  Not heroic Deadmines – regular Deadmines.

One of the amazing things about WoW is the way it can appeal to many different playstyles.  When a person logs on they can do so with the intent of:

  • raiding
  • questing
  • instancing
  • farming
  • playing the auction house for gold
  • leveling professions
  • leveling alts
  • getting achievements
  • being social

And, until yesterday, there was one more option…

  • leveling your guild

Of all the things that excited me about Cataclysm, the guild leveling was the big star.  I had every intention of doing anything I could to get my guild to level and start getting perks for my guildmates.  The daily cap on Guild XP was reached by about 6 AM, so the other option (I thought) was to get guild achievements which (until yesterday) were supposed to be able to exceed the daily cap.

With that in mind, one of the first things I did in the game was to get a group of four officers to start blitzing old instances and get some “Guild Run” achievements.

We sprinted through Deadmines and got the achievement splash for it.  After all the “grats” I checked the guild XP meter and it hadn’t changed.  We did Shadowfang Keep and got the achievement, and again no change.

I turned to the internet and found the blue post about guild achievements.

We have decided to remove the added bonus of gaining Guild Experience from Guild Achievements earned. This change will realign Guild Achievements with our philosophy held for normal Achievements, which are intended to be predominantly their own reward (barring the rare exception of special achievements that grant an additional reward.) Previously, the experience reward had been seen as an additional side bonus and not something that should have been significantly skewing the advancement of guilds. During the beta, we greatly increased leveling speed across the board and since most characters were copied from templates, guild experience from Achievements didn’t seem imbalanced. It has become clear that an imbalance does exist and should be addressed to ensure that guilds progress at the rates expected within the daily Guild Experience limits.


The reason this hits me so hard is that it actually took away an entire mode of gameplay.  It actually removes one of the options from the list I made above.  Chasing guild achievements was about the most exciting thing about the expansion for me, and was going to be my primary activity for the first week of the expansion.  Now I can only help my guild by questing and instancing, which is back to the same-old-WoW.

As far as I can tell, any sizable guild will level at the same rate as all the other sizable guilds, because we’ll reach our daily cap every day.  Will that mean that my guild and, say, Premonition will be at the same level?  That makes no sense.  It doesn’t hurt anyone for some guilds to level faster than others.

Blizzard gets a big thumbs-down from me on that one.

11 Responses to “Boo! Blizzard takes away Guild XP from achievements”

  1. 1 Elegantdeath
    December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Yeh, Blizzard makes some dumb decisions at times. This one seems like it came out of a ‘home for the senile’.

  2. 2 Asa
    December 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Sorry your expectations were crushed. That sucks, but your guild is collectively leveling itself. Raid lockouts effectively cap the amount of raiding you can do. At some point, you’ve posted all your auctions and crafted all your items. Your friends eventually log out. You reach the profession level cap. Many of these activities have limits that prevent you from doing it 24/7 by design. Leveling your guild is no different in this regard.

    Imagine you were in a smaller guild, like mine. What if you didn’t reach the guild xp cap at 6AM? What if you didn’t reach it by 11pm and another run of some dungeon or doing another couple quests would actually get you to it? There’s your commitment to guild leveling. A Loremaster can’t quest because he’s done them all. A raider can’t raid if she’s locked to everything. Just because your situation prevents you from exceeding the design limit for guild xp doesn’t mean others can’t work towards it.

    It does hurt guilds to progress slower than others. It became a recruitment and retention issue when Blizzard changed the perks from cosmetic nice-to-haves to really useful stuff. It’s more expensive in terms of time and money for a player to join a lower-rated guild.

    Again, sorry that the thing you were most looking forward to didn’t end up staying in the game.

    • December 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      I don’t think that the guild achievements were going to severely unbalance the system.

      While there were some guilds that made it to Level 2 by the end of the first day, that’s as far as it got. If the achievements were unbalancing you would have seen guilds at level 4 or 5, just like you saw players at level 85 in less than 24 hours and players with maxed professions in just a few hours. There’s always someone who will min/max the system.

      So the fact that achievements only got some guilds to Level 2 maybe a day or two ahead of other guilds is not unbalancing IMO.

      Instead, under the current system a lot of guilds are going to level at the exact same pace, regardless of what they do. If that’s the case, then the whole “guild XP” thing is pointless. They should just gate it, and say “On December 14th all guilds will reach Level 2 and on December 28th all guilds will advance to Level 3” and slowly progress us without the sham of a capped guild XP system.

      If there is no room for variability in the system then its silly to pretend that guild XP means something.

      I see your point that small guilds might have difficulty reaching the XP cap every day. However, that’s not a huge issue. If a small guild gets to level 3 a week after a larger guild does, its just not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. There is no reason to expect that all guilds should have to level at the same pace.

      My guild doesn’t progress in raids as fast as others, either. That’s just the way it goes, and I don’t expect Blizzard to cap Premonition’s raid schedule to allow my guild to keep up.

      But it is what it is. Now I can just ignore the whole guild XP thing and let it happen at its own pace, which it will do regardless of what I do to contribute or not.

  3. 4 Jacob
    December 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    > It doesn’t hurt anyone for some guilds to level faster than others.

    I’m not convinced. On beta, “guild level” was a primary selling point when looking for guilds (or looking for recruits). Given a choice between two strange guilds, one level 10 and one level 20, the recruit will choose the level 20 guild with its greater guild benefits.

    Slow leveling hurts the small guild by hurting their recruitment. People don’t want to join a low-level guild.

    A more difficult question is: how much do the designers need to care about small guilds? Yes they’re being hurt but so what, what’s the impact? And can you tune which size guilds are affected by tuning the daily experience cap?

    – I think the experience cap is set so that a guild sized for 25-man raiding will trivially hit the daily exp cap.
    – I think a guild sized for 10-man raiding will hit the daily exp cap “without too much trouble”, so they are protected from the “hurt” of recruits not wanting to join them.
    – I think vanity guilds and guilds too small to raid will likely be too small to hit the daily exp cap. You join these guilds for vanity / social interaction, not for a desire for “progress”.

    • December 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      The beta, obviously, was not the same as Live. On the beta you had a much smaller population of people. Also, on Live everyone is already in a guild, which is a VASTLY different situation than when people joined beta guildless and were immediately guild-shopping.

      The real question is, would someone who is already in a guild jump on Live to another guild just to gain a level or two worth of perks? I doubt it.

      And as above, if you claim that Blizzard should maintain the same guild leveling across all guild sizes to keep an even recruiting playing field, then remove the entire sham guild XP system because it is meaningless. In the example you describe all guilds except vanity guilds gain the same XP every day. That means that XP is a pointless quantity.

      Imagine if I said, “every characters that logs on for at least an hour a day gets exactly 1/2 a level worth of XP.” Thus, if you log on every day for an hour, you will automatically get from level 80 to 85 in 10 days. It doesn’t matter if you play a lot or a little, if you raid or stand in Stormwind. Ten days to 85, no more, no less. Everyone dings 85 simultaneously on the 10th day.

      That is what the current guild leveling system is to me. Does that sound good?

      • December 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

        Also, I don’t agree with the premise that Blizzard has to provide a level recruiting field.

        In WotLK, Premonition (Sen’jin – US) had cleared heroic ICC within a couple of weeks of its availability. My guild never cleared heroic ICC.

        Given a choice between the two, which one would a raider choose? Premonition, obviously.

        Is that unfair? Should Blizzard have slowed down Premonition’s raid progress because it was unfair to my guild, and they got all the best recruits? Of course not.

        Recruiting is, by definition, not level. Some guilds have more stuff to offer than others. In beta, guild level was *all* that a guild had to offer because there was no progression. On Live there are a hundred other factors when choosing a guild beside guild level. There is no reason at all to make the system so it forces small and large guilds to be at the same level, as long as the disparity is not tremendous.

        If small guilds could only get to level 3 when larger guilds were at level 18 I’d be in full agreement. But with the relatively small contribution from guild achievements, that was not going to happen.

    • December 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      I’ll be honest, I no longer join guilds based on progress but based on personality. Guild level would not deter me from applying to a guild with people I enjoyed being around.

      Moot point since I have an incredible guild.

  4. December 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I think that they will put the achievements back into the game. I think for now they want to keep guilds like Premo from rolling down every bit of content before the new year.

  5. 9 Broch
    December 10, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I think that a better solution would be to increase the daily cap, rather than allowing achievements to exceed the cap. The achievement system was designed to be something you do for fun. For the most part they are basically vanity points, although there are a few exceptions. Having guild achievements suddenly be a way to speed your way through the levelling process to get fairly substantial in game benefits doesn’t seem to fit with the larger ethos of achievements. If anything I would say that the design flaw here is that they made the xp cap too low, and allowed achievements as a source of xp in the first place, then ended up feeling like they had to backpedal.

    • December 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      I know that Blizzard stayed away from this so that larger guilds did not have a huge advantage over smaller guilds. I can see their logic. I’m sure there could have been a happy medium solution.

      • 11 Broch
        December 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm

        Agreed, keeping guild leveling from meaning anything seems like just as bad a solution as letting some guilds get ahead of others.

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