Guild Wars 2’s Guild Missions - First Impressions
The addition of Guild Missions into Guild Wars 2 was something long awaited by most guilds even though the influence prices are steeper than any of the other upgrades thus far. This update brought something unique to the community of a guild.
Unlike anything else in Guild Wars 2, the bounties give guilds the chance to work together in something that can only be activated from within the guild upgrades panel. It requires mass organisation, and when Arena Net said that eight players per boss was a good idea they weren’t kidding. Most of these champions hit like bullet trains and some of them have some really interesting characteristics, one of them even throws bears!
In a game which, from the start, had very few reasons to be part of a guild, this was a breath of fresh air, especially for all those long-standing guilds who longed for guild activities. Bounties provide a fantastic reason for guilds to start creating event nights and add a new level to an endgame that is otherwise lacking. While dungeons are a lot of fun, their content is far more static; the bounty champions, on the other hand, wander around an area and have hundreds of spawn locations on a map. In under fifteen minutes, not only do you have to locate them, but you also have to co-ordinate your guild group(s), and finally defeat them.
Bounties provide a fantastic reason for guilds to start creating event nights and add a new level to an endgame that is otherwise lacking
A possible tactic to make these easier to execute within the time limit, could be having team members find and follow the champions and state the location by pinging the nearest waypoint into the correct chat, so that the location is known by the relevant group: larger guilds can do this by splitting up attendees into smaller parties. Provided there’s good communication, any teams lagging behind can be joined by those who have already defeated their champion, and given extra help to complete the bounty in the time. What makes this all possible is that it takes place in the open world of PvE! This also makes the content a little more accessible to lower level players by providing a real possibility of the bounty champions being within their level capabilities.
The guild missions - the bounties at least - are in many ways what I, as a player, imagine “dynamic content” should be
The guild missions - the bounties at least - are in many ways what I, as a player, imagine “dynamic content” should be. Arena Net achieves this by making the bounty you receive completely random, as well as unknown before activation. This gives the participants a feeling of excitement because of the mystery and unknown. Since these bounties are brand new and the variety is so vast, each playthrough will be different and, even if the same bounty comes up numerous times, there is no telling whether your team will be able to handle that champion’s behaviour.
These bounties require coordination, planning, and skill. This is especially true when in the higher tiers of the bounty because of the need to spread out the attendees in order to handle more champions at once. When the numbers tackling each boss are lower, more skill is needed, and the players are unable to succeed just by spamming skills or auto-attacking. For instance, one of our teams had to take on a champion, named Bookworm Bwikki, who has a nasty habit of inflicting chill on her targets and hitting with heavy AoE, while also being invulnerable to anyone who is afflicted with a condition. Suffice to say defeating her requires good condition removal, as well as awareness. Many of the bounty champions have unforgiving mechanics such as that of Bwikki which require the player to either pay attention, or die.
Having tried them with my own guild, I am looking forward to doing them again. The sense of community was fantastic, and working together for something guild specific made it, more worthwhile being in a guild.
Though not without its issues for smaller guilds, all in all I think that this is a definite step in the right direction for Guild Wars 2 content. I look forward to trying the other types of guild mission, and will keep you posted.