12/01/2019

Guild Perks Are Confusing

One of 5.10's more low-key features has been the introduction of guild levelling and guild perks. It's kind of funny really, because in a different context this could have been the main feature of a patch, but with everything else that 5.10 delivered, it felt like a comparatively minor addition. Personally I was also hesitant to get excited about this new feature because while my guild is very important to me, I don't remember the implementation of guild levelling and guild perks in World of Warcraft back in the day being something that I ended up finding particularly great. Mostly I recall some rewards being kind of overpowered to the point that Blizzard had to nerf/remove them later, so my biggest concern was that Bioware might repeat Blizzard's mistakes in that regard.

So far it looks like they avoided that particular pitfall, but there have been others.

First off, let me just say that guild levelling by itself is fine. It doesn't really serve any purpose other than to signal to other players that you're active and to serve as a gating mechanism for some guild perks, but that's okay. It's basically an extension of Conquest that gives you yet another bar to fill via collective effort, and everyone goes "yay" when you succeed. I've taken a screenshot every time Twin Suns Squadron levelled up while I was online, because each one feels like an exciting "ding" that I won't get to experience a second time.


Guild level 2 achieved while I was doing dailies on Ossus...


... level 6 from killing the Alderaan world boss in a guild group...


... level 8 after tanking an uprising...


... level 10 from killing the Colossal on Iokath...


... level 12 in the middle of a PvP match.

Those perks though... I don't know. So far, it seems that if anything Bioware may have played it a bit too safe by making all the perks so inconsequential that nobody cares. I've actually been finding it a bit of a struggle to get the other officers in the guild interested in slotting perks, even though we have all the slots on the guild ship unlocked and aren't short on money either. People just aren't excited about most of them.

There hasn't really been much community buzz about them from what I've seen either. A couple of sites posted "guides" on the subject, but they're usually not much more than a copy and paste of what was posted about the system on the official forums when it was first put onto the public test server. I haven't really seen any talk about what perks might be best for what type of guild, and it feels to me that this is because nobody really knows. While the whole system was on the PTS before launch, it clearly didn't receive sufficient testing, which is evidenced by a multitude of strange bugs, which is in line with the rest of 5.10.

First off there was a perk that was supposed to grant you a slight increase in crafting crit for a few hours when used, but apparently its numbers were off and instead it pretty much guaranteed that all of your crafts would crit for a while (depending on the item and the used companion's influence level). They managed to fix that one pretty quickly.

Then there's a perk that grants you a chance of certain ops bosses dropping a Grand Chance Cube in addition to their normal loot if you kill them in a guild group. This just seems to be on by default, regardless of whether you actually picked the perk or not! Or at least we've seen a bunch of cubes drop from Soa, much to the consternation of everyone present in those runs, seeing how we never actually chose that perk.

There are a couple of perks that grant you an extra Conquest objective that gives a lot of points for doing a certain activity in a guild group. We bought the one called "Warzone Conquest I" which grants you an extra Conquest objective called "Warzone Rally" which claims to give you points once a day for doing ranked or unranked PvP in a guild group. Unfortunately, we quickly found out that this didn't work as expected, because it only triggered if we got into an arena. Seems that if your guild premade gets into an 8v8 warzone (the default for unranked), and the other four people are in a different guild (which they naturally are), it doesn't count as a guild group anymore. That's just plain nonsense seeing how you can't queue with a full group of eight. This perk has therefore ended up mostly going to waste, as the only reliable way to benefit from it is by doing ranked arenas, which most of my guildies don't like. I've given it a go a couple of times just for the sake of getting some use out of our purchase, but it's not fun when you struggle to find three other people willing to play even a single match just for the points.

We'd probably have been much better off with the perk that gives you a repeatable Conquest objective to do an operation in a guild group (though this might also be bugged and not working if the forums are to be believed). The thing is, I only know that this even exists because I've heard other people talk about it, because I've never actually seen the associated perk. About two weeks ago, I went through the list of available perks as displayed on our guild ship (to make sure I had the definitive live list and not outdated PTS information), and that one wasn't even there. Initially I thought that maybe there was some sort of display issue with all the guild group perks cancelling each other out or something - my evidence for this was that in our Imp ship we chose the flashpoint perk of this type and now can't see the warzone perk, while in our main guild it's the other way round.


However, the operations perk was never there on either faction's ship as far as I could see. And worse, the other day I looked at the list of available perks again and some of the ones that I noted down as available only two weeks ago have now disappeared as well, without us changing anything. Can you "outlevel" guild perks without meaning to? Are some of them only available during certain times or after fulfilling some invisible prerequisites? Who knows! (EDIT: Almost immediately after posting this I found some information on Jedipedia that talks about "perk cycles" and that some perks are only available during certain cycles. There is zero indication of these in game though, which just adds another layer of confusion on top of everything else. Holy crap.)

For all I know, there could be some amazingly overpowered guild perks lurking in the system somewhere - but at the moment we can't even tell because half of them don't show and the other half doesn't work right. Hopefully Bioware will sort things out eventually and thereby give players a chance to get more interested in the system... but at the moment there's still too much wrong with it to really get excited about the potential benefits.

5 comments :

  1. The guild perks cycle on a fortnightly basis. The full list including what is available each cycle is available at https://swtor.jedipedia.net/en/news/list-of-guild-perks-5-10.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And now after I commented I see you found that info :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I've found that it pays to read things in full before commenting. ;)

      Delete
  3. The Operations Conquest perks are working and completely OP. Guilds on Star Forge hold on to hard mode EV and KP lockouts all week and cycle toons through earning with stronghold and invasion bonuses (8,625 for Operation: Rally - Part 1 + 2,372 for Operation: Take Them Down) * 16 toons = 176k points for 15 minutes work. They really need to find a way to stop guilds using lockouts this way because it sucks the fun out of it. I’ve heard players suggest that there should be points for each boss for example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, good to hear it's working. Still a lot less OP than crafting, but yeah, I agree that endless Soa and Karagga runs are not the most thrilling way of gaining points...

      Delete

Share your opinion! Everyone is welcome, as long as things stay polite. No sign-in required. I also read comments on older posts, so don't be shy. :)