I had high hopes for guild challenges as a way for guild members to feel like they were doing more that directly impacted the guild. When the idea was brought up at a conceptual level I had visions of ways the guild could go out into the world of Azeroth and adventure, almost like a guild quest board where the guild would be able to sign up for tasks that needed to be completed in a 5 man or greater group, something that helped make being in a guild feel more epic.
Blizzard recently announced in more detail what guild challenges would be and this is what they had to say regarding what guild challenges are:
Built into the user interface, Guild Challenges will be separated into three categories: Guild Dungeon Run, Guild Raid, and Guild Rated Battleground. You just need to be in a guild group to complete each category a set number of times per week, earning your guild achievements, experience above the cap, and gold deposited into the Guild Vault (a lot more gold if the guild is level capped). We’ll have more details for you probably by next week.
So what does this mean for the WoW playing population?
Well it means that any guild dungeon run, raid or rated battleground you complete will go towards the guild challenge. Unfortunately this is something people are already doing. In a previous post I explained the time is right for user created content in WoW. Guild challenges offered the perfect scenario for such a thing, with guild leaders potentially being able to set up stocking up the guild bank with materials, similar to gather quests you do out in the world. However this is not the case.
Guild challenges when they are implemented will provide perks sure, but its nothing that makes anyone do anything different than they are already doing. Now Blizzard also made an ambiguous post that answered a question:
I thought it would be more like guild quests that create a phased challenge somewhere in the world for your guild to complete.
We’re working on something sort of along these lines as a much more robust content feature for the future, but I can’t put a date or patch number on that yet. It also won’t necessarily be centered around guilds.
Hopefully that will make things better, having phased quests for guilds to go complete together would be something outside of raiding that would bring a guild together. Perhaps offering some type of Valor point award for guild who complete it, for that I would think it would have to be at least 5 guildies, maybe even a 10 man raid type quest. But, Blizzard also said in that same quote it may not be centered around guilds. So once again guilds still aren’t getting a challenge worthy of being called a guild challenge, challenges look to remain the same thing we currently do instead of offering up a new unique experience.
Blizzard has a perfect opportunity here to allow guild leaders to setup quests, setup quest objectives. They have done things like this with map editors in their other titles, we know many of the quests are scripted using an in-house tool as Blizzard has discussed it at previous Blizzcons. So why not expose part of it in the guild interface?
I can’t help but feel that guild challenges are not going to live up to their name at all as its the same thing. I can only hope that we get some type of phased guild questing or even user created content coming soon that would truly live up to the name of “Guild Challenge”
Here are some pictures of the guild challenge screens from the PTR as of 3/26/2011, one thing I immediately noticed is the guild challenge achievements look to be feats of strength, this is a bit disappointing: