Socialism in Azeroth
Today our growing guild reached level 9, which many of you may know is the maximum level that any guild can attain at this point in time, due to Blizzard’s daily cap on the experience that a guild can accrue. While I understand the reasoning for this artificial restriction, I maintain that there could be a better balance between limiting guilds from leveling too fast while still providing some separation from less active or smaller guilds.
Now let me preface this written opinion piece by stating two things; first, I support the idea of restricting guilds from leveling too quickly. This can be achieved in one of two ways, drastically increase the amount of experience required to level or restrict the amount of experience that any guild can attain in a given time frame, in this case, daily. Obviously Blizzard chose the latter option. Second, and most important to this discussion is the need to separate what are two very distinct facets of the guild leveling system; pace and separation.
As painful as it feels to see our guild hit our daily XP cap before I leave for the office each morning, I completely understand and support the restriction for reasons that are much more globally impacting. However while understanding the reason for and supporting the idea of such an artificial barrier, I disagree with the implementation choices made to achieve this limitation. The current system is simply too “egalitarian” (dare I say communist) in that there is now no real incentive for larger guilds or more active guilds to separate themselves as leaders in the guild leveling process. I do recognize that these same guilds have a leg up on smaller or less active guilds in terms of guild achievements, however I do not think I am being too “Adam Smith” when I say that a larger and/or more active guild should have some – even slight – advantage in leveling over a guild that is much smaller or less “active”.
Currently our guild hits the daily cap within a couple of hours each day. By the time many of us return home from work and log on to play, we have reached the cap and us evening players simply do not contribute to the guild leveling process. Add to this that I routinely see guilds that are literally 1/10 or even 1/20 of our size at the same level, which seems a little too socialist.
What it all boils down to is that in 6 months (+/- X as the duration is not really relevant) everyone will be level 25 and there will still be no difference in guild A,B or C. I was hopeful that guild leveling would function similar to the Arena/Rated Battleground system or even the old PvP rank titles in that only a small percentage of guilds who worked hard to unite the player base and then work their tails off to level would attain the loftiest of goals (aka levels).
I actually understand clearly the counter-points to this position and, to a large degree, agree with them. A mad dash of “zerg” guilds inviting anyone and simply hoarding players would indeed promote a quantity over quality type of server mentality, and that would most certainly not be a good thing. However I would add that, at least in my opinion as I only speak for my guild, the system could do a better job of promoting quality among guilds by differentiating them by level as well as achievements. I strongly believe it is possible to have quality in a large guild, although that is generally not the accepted belief. Additionally, I completely agree that the system should as one of its primary functions, promote sustainability and dedication to the guild and that purpose is – in large part – achieved with the reputation decay system.
For the record, I would prefer that no guild on any server at this point be anywhere near level 9… it should take longer. But as a benefit (or consequence depending upon your stance and perspective) to that, some slight advantage should be given to any guild that has either more active members or counts among its members extremely dedicated players. Keep in mind when considering this position that I am not proposing that guild size become the sole factor in the guild leveling equation. The problem really lies in the size of the daily cap and the wasted efforts of the bulk of the players in leveling their guild. I would firmly support any change that not only allowed large guilds some separation but also smaller but more dedicated guilds.
With the current structure in place, almost any guild regardless of size or dedication can hit the daily cap, so there is in fact very little differentiation (in terms of level) among most guilds. Even bad and semi inactive guilds can compete in terms of levels with the best guilds on the server. What I want to posit is a belief that a guild of 25-50 all star players should in fact be able to compete with a 500 player “more casual” guild. But most importantly, BOTH of those guilds should in fact outpace and separate themselves from the 25 player guild that is in fact, very mediocre, ordinary or even bad.
This level of differentiation would set dedicated/quality guilds apart regardless of quantity, thus separating the “wheat from the chaff” and really serving as a beacon of light shining to speak to the activity and perhaps quality of the guild and not just the size. I believe to do that as well as slow the pace of guild leveling, Blizzard should have increased the daily experience cap but at the time time drastically increased the amount of XP needed to level.
I would have no issue with the process of leveling a guild to max level (25) taking 12 months or more, so long as there some level of separation for the effort.