Something that I’ve seen over the years in a variety of forms and have even implemented myself is adding in roles to a guild where players are recognized for their exceptional effort or skill. In larger guilds there’s a need to dole out responsiblity to an officer core so the leader and figurehead isn’t constantly micromanaging on a day to day basis. During my days of being in a serious Warhammer guild there was a couple levels of our officer core. The top three positions were for the guild leader and the two immediate successors. All three had equal rights as far as management went and were all considered the guild leader. Underneath the three of them were the main officer core, long time trusted players that could be relied upon to manage full warbands of people and were generally competent in every role, or at least knew how every role worked within each other. There was a secondary officer role below that which acted as a squad leader and assistant to their direct superiors. Below that were various ranks of players based mostly on time in guild with the top non-officer rank being our most skilled players that consistently kicked ass and were recognized for it.
This was back in the very early glory days of WAR when having an active roster of a hundred or more people was not terribly uncommon. As far as organizing 100+ players it was more or less necessary if you we planning on doing anything strategic. We managed to run four full warbands for about two months before the game started to nosedive, and things did go rather smoothly until the GL at the time saw the end was nigh and disappeared beneath a pile of psychobabble. Like, quite literally. He took down everything of use on the guild forum at the time and plastered it with hundreds of lines of profanity. It was probably the most epic rage quit I’d ever seen a guild leader go through and none of it was provoked by the guild as far as anyone could tell. Due to the structure of the guild we soldiered on as the population of the game dwindled away. There’s something to be said about structure and order that makes people feel like they belong. Being an integral part of the system or striving for a position of renown or influence is an intangible carrot that I see a lot of games not accommodating for.
Enough reminiscing however, part of what I wanted to bring up was a new layer of guild importance in Rift. At the moment guilds aren’t extremely useful, but do manage to wedge in a couple bits of handy utility. The ones we use most are the rally banner for chasing down raid rifts during times of high contention, and the SP/AP/End bonus banners. Also, the Cache Finder bonus helps pick up an occasional extra Mark or Plaque from raid and dungeon bosses. The guild bank, although I feel it’s a bit small and the cost for a second slot a bit high, is a handy staple as well that I think people expected from the beginning. As Trion continues to grow Rift and the population realizes it might actually have something solid here to latch onto, I think it would be pertinent to expand on the functions that a guild holds.
Ideally right now you need at least 20 consistent players to get through some of the harder content and a handful of substitutes to sit the bench and make sure your raids are always filled out. There’s also a case to be made for having 30 players plus subs as you can then rotate people between 10 and 20man content on guild designated raid nights. We’re not quite there, but we could be as soon as summertime slows it’s damn role and lets us get back to serious gaming. The utmost importance for having these different thresholds of players is to hold peoples interest in that they always have a chance of progression on raid nights. What about the other nights of the week? What about the players that aren’t on at night and miss one or two raids consistently? For the off hours and frequent players more is needed than just raiding, and I’m not talking about the PvP.
I propose Guild Stewards, masters of their own profession or role in the guild. Initially these would be purchaseable guild ranks that you would use your perks on. The requirement for these positions would be based upon either their skill in game and/or achievements collected which would be directly related to the Steward position. Each steward position would grant a passive benefit to any guild members that are in a party with them, and would have a useable ability related to their area of expertise. While there are tangible benefits to becoming a Steward of the guild, they also serve as a recognition to your dedication and to highlight that player as one that is highly knowledgeable in their field.
An Armament Steward would craft masterwork weapons and require 300 Weaponsmithing and Artificing as well as the True Professional achievement. All weapons crafted while in a party with this steward would gain an additional 3DPS or 30AP/SP for jewelry. They would gain the Mastercraft prefix. This steward would also be able to enhance weapons, increasing damage dealt by 5% for 30m.
A Fortification Steward would craft masterwork armors and require 300 Armorsmithing and Outfitting as well as the True Professional achievement. All armors crafted while in a party with this steward would gain an additional 30END. They would gain the Mastercraft prefix. This steward would also be able to enhance armor, reducing damage taken by 5% for 30m
An Enhancement Steward would craft runes and potions and require 300 Runecrafting and Apothecary as well as the True Professional achievement. Runes when applied in the presence of the steward would be given a to return the crafted materials to the user. Potions being used would have their durations increased by 25% or potency increased by 10%. This steward would be able to enhance potions or runes to increase their potency if used within 30m.
A Materials Steward would harvest all manners of materials and require 300 Mining, Harvesting, and Butchering as well as the Supreme Harvester achievement. Raw materials when processed or harvested in the prescense of this steward would have a chance of producing an additional unit. This steward would also be able to add harvesting icons to your large map and a larger radius to them with a 30m duration.
An Exploration Steward would be well traveled in the lands of Telara and would require the Every Nook and Cranny achievement unlocked. This steward would be able to see NPC’s on the main map, even ones that would normally not show up on a mini-map. They would be able to confer this ability to another guild member for 10m at a time for a specific zone.
An Invasion Steward would have experience defeating the planar forces invading Telara and would require the Colossal Victory achievement unlocked. They would confer a 20% damage bonus to all party members assaulting the invaders or objectives. When an invasion starts they would receive a one-time prompt to be sent directly to the zone where the invasion is occurring.
A Planar Steward would have knowledge of all the rifts across the lands of Telara and would require the Telaran Defender achievement unlocked. They would be able to see tears forming a few minutes before normal Telarans on their map. They would al
so be able to change a normal tear into a Raid or PvP tear once every 30m.
A Dungeon Steward would have conquered all of the 5-man dungeons and would require the Dungeon Expert achievement unlocked. Upon entering one of the expert dungeons, the group receives a 5% damage buff and the loot drop chance is increased. While inside the instance they are able to group resurrect their party once every 15m.
Of course you could continue adding more guild stewards ad infinitum. You could go so far as specific dungeon stewards, class or even soul stewards, a steward for each zone or even each major quest hub. Making them all purchaseable options for the guild to decide if they want that sort of particular dept. Adding recognition that comes with tangible rewards gives people additional goals to strive for. I like the achievement system, accumulating points, even if it’s only for bragging rights among guildies (I’m ranked #6 overall in the guild). Giving further recognition to players in the form of a secondary title, or guild tabard, or something of the sort adds another meta layer to the game. More things to strive for, more reasons to level the guild, more reasons to play with yourself in front of others. Because really, what else is there?