Intro: Rift’s Guild System
Guilds are an integral part to any MMO, not only do they create vibrant communities where like minded players can find each other, but they also act as a practical means of achieving group oriented content. Guilds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and their goals and policies vary wildly, and despite common conceptions, the blanket terms “casual” and “hard core” are often insufficient in describing the diversity out there. Since guilds are so important, most players quickly find themselves looking for one, and that in itself can be an important decision since choosing the right guild will greatly affect your enjoyment of the game. However, while others are content to simply find per-existing guilds, others are a bit more ambitious.
Choosing to create a guild can be an interesting and rewarding experience, and depending on the type of guild you run, it can also be a lot of work. With Rift still new, and with most players not having even reached level cap yet, guilds are still emerging (and dismantling) in large numbers, if you’ve ever wanted to start a guild before, then now would be one of the greatest chances to do so. Depending on your goals, creating a guild can be as simple as purchasing a charter and recruiting five random recruits. On the other hand, a lot of work and organization is needed if you want to run a guild with serious end game goals. Furthermore, the modern guild systems found in games such as Rift are significantly more involved then they used to be in the days of earlier mmo’s. Included in Rift is a full fledged guild system, complete with leveling, perks, quests, and more; in other words, guilds are a lot more than the shared friends list/chat channels they used to be.
Creating a Guild
Creating a guild is a fairly simple process: find the appropriate vendor, purchase a guild charter, choose a name, and get five signatures from other players to co-found your guild. Here is where you can find the charter vendors:
- Defiant: Doohin Bayardash in Meridian (the central building)
- Guardian: Gilbert Hiberto in Sanctum (the central building)
Guild Charters cost a simple Platinum, and once purchased you right click it to choose a name for your guild. After a name is chosen you will have to find five signatures to complete the process. If your building a guild from scratch you can either try to find your first few members at random, or even offer tips to players to sign.
Hitting the alt-g key will bring up the guild panel (alternatively it is located on the menu bar). The guild panel is what you will use to manage and monitor your guild.
The Info tab will display the message of the day (which will also be announced to each member upon login).
The Quest tab will detail which quest your guild is currently working towards.
The Roster will list each member in the guild, with an option of showing who’s offline and a toggle between showing members ranks and their in game location.
The Log is an important tool that lists every significant change to the guild. Much of this list will be cluttered by achievements, but it will also record people who join, leave, or get kicked from the guild, plus any promotion/demotion information.
The perk system works similar to the souls used by the different classes. As your guild completes quests it will earn experience points and eventually level. Each level awards a point to place into the perk system. The available perks offer a lot to the guild, and will be important to helping out your guild members. Each perk has a specific focus, such as XP, or currency grinding; choosing perks which adhere to your guild goals is important if you want to achieve them easier. Some perks also provide abilities to use, such as the very useful mass resurrection spell.
The ranks tab will allow you to organize the guild ranking system. Each rank can be customized to provide various responsibilities, such as who can invite members, who can kick, who can pick up and complete guild quests, etc. Depending on the type of guild you run, the strictness of these options will be something to consider.
While guild quests are optional, the benefits for levelling and earning new perks makes them a worth while investment; they also provide encouragement for guilds to work together. The quests can be completed weekly, and their objectives vary. Youâ€™ll want to choose quests that fit with your guilds interests, but the more active guilds will probably complete as many as they can each week. There are three quest categories:
- Dungeon Quests
- War-front Quests
- Rift Closing Quests
Looking to the Future
The currently implemented guild system offers a lot more than most games, and is likely to keep guilds entertained without feeling like they forced to do the content. Rifts guild system offers some pretty powerful perks, but the free form layout of the Perk Tree means that guilds will have access o them fairly early. This is generally a good thing since it prevents players from joining guilds based solely on hard to acquire bonuses. The system does not track individual contribution and neither rewards nor penalizes members for participation (or lack thereof). There is certainly room to add to the system, particularly in the quest department; while the available quests are decent enough, there is a ton of potential for more involved quests. Perhaps an epic quest chain spawning several weeks and offering various guild related rewards/perks could be something that would add a bit more depth to the system, and provide further opportunity for guilds to define themselves. Rift also lacks a guild banking system, a feature that would allow members to share supplies with greater ease; though with the recent hacking issues (that have thankfully cleared up), perhaps it was for the best that this feature was delayed.
Guild Rally Scrolls
One of the most handy modes of transportation available in Rift is the Guild Rally Banner. This is a banner that can be placed anywhere in the world and allows members of the guild to use a Rally Scroll to teleport to the banner’s location.
There are a couple of things worth noting about the banners:
Rally Banners have a one hour cool down. That means that you’ll only be able to place a banner once an hour. Use it wisely.
The banner will stay spawned until you move away from it. After placing the banner stay put until everyone who plans on going to the banner is there.
The guild can only have one rally location at a given time. It is common courtesy to ask if anyone is using the rally location before planting a banner.
So where do you get these banners? At the guild merchant of course! He can be found here. in Meridian:
And the ugly guy looks like this:
He is a typical shop NPC and carries the following items:
The Rally Scroll (the item you use to teleport to the banner’s location) is highlighted in red while the Rally Banner itself is highlighted in yellow.
I would suggest folks always carry a Rally Scroll with them. It will make responding to PVP threats as well as general transportation much easier for everyone in the guild!
Tools Outside The Box
Guilds, and clans from other genres, have grown into a marketplace and micro community of its very own. Dozens of websites offer services to guilds: websites and forums, voice services, and more. While none of the services are required to run a guild, used appropriately they can greatly enhance the experience.
Unarguably, the most common and important out of game feature guilds use are VOIP services. These programs allow players to host or rent servers in which they can then chat via microphone through. The most common services, and the ones targeted specifically to gamers are: Ventrillo, Teamspeak, and Mumble.
Other software exists, such as Skype, but these are the three most guilds recognize. Running these services can sometimes cost a monthly fee, and while many services offer guild payment options where multiple members can contribute to the cost, most of the time the Guild Master will be expected to host the service, and carry the cost. If youre unable or unwilling to pay for the fee, then you might want to consider some of the free services, or find a public one which you can share, such as Raidcall, a free service.
There are two approaches to creating a guild website, either you can create an actually website from scratch or using a template system found on most hosting providers, or you can use one of the many guild hosting services which provide ready to go websites, aimed at mmo’s. The guild hosting services are a great choice if your not savvy with website design, and they offer tons of features such as forums, DKP trackers, rosters, and much more. They also usually come complete with game themed backgrounds and the built in registration system makes sign up easy, plus it can be used to filter recruitment applications. Of course, you’ll have a lot more freedom if you build your own site, and you might even be able to host it for cheaper, but overall the Guild Hosting sites are a great alternative.
One thing to consider is whether or not you actually need a guild website. While these sites offer lots of cool features, they are only useful if players regularly use them, and depending on your guild, this can sometimes be difficult. Most important guild information can be found in game, especially with the guild Log which records members achievements. On the other hand, forums can be a great place for sharing builds, guides, and screenshots/videos; if you can get your guild members to become actively involved in the site. Another bonus is that it allows an alternative means of communicating, so if your main tank gets stuck at work one night, then a quick forum post could save a lot of time and frustration.