Even though I have now completed one of each of these guild missions I haven’t actually done that many of them just yet. There always been something that comes up whenever our guild has done them and I’ve never felt comfortable enough to complete these with an outside guild.. yes, I’m very much the introvert. Apart from that though the need for it isn’t really that high for our group considering that our regular play involves structured group combat, when your constantly playing together in WvW you don’t need an excuse to play together but it is definitely filling a very valid need in Guild Wars 2.
For all of Guild Wars 2’s wide range of activities there has always been a distinct lack of large group content in the game for coordinated groups to enjoy together. There are dungeons for small groups but if you don’t like the chaos that is roaming the borderlands then that is pretty much it.. and no auto attacking a Lagon doesn’t really count.
Now they aren’t as structured and serious as the usual raid dungeon style of content which I actually think is a good thing, it’s nice to have content that people can enjoy together in a more casual way without that level of frustration. There is a wide selection available now of all the content styles, enough that no matter the type your guaranteed to have a little variability.
Bounty missions are your typical open world boss encounter, some of them are at the difficulty level of a champion mob but others can get much harder. They can be challenging with the effects and buffs they have and require a bit of coordination as a group and understanding of the mechanics involved but they are all rather fun to do. I think a few of these need certain updates to enrich the mechanics so that they can be more manageable and less of the unavoidable type but overall these are some excellent pieces to test your builds against.
These are freekin hilarious to do most times. Usually it just involves most of us running through the areas like chickens with our heads cut off, laughing at the people raging about dying so many times. They require a little bit of teamwork in how you clear the path for the people trying to complete it but it’s mostly rather easy to complete if you know the mechanics and mobs of the area.. even if you don’t you can easily learn what to do within the time needed. No pressure involved either as there always seems to be ample time to complete the task.
Another mechanic which removes the joy of personal exploration and what seems like their way of showing off all the things that the vistas and poi’s missed. It does take you to many more spectacular spots in the world which are truly beautiful but I don’t understand this as a guild mission. It isn’t hard, doesn’t really require coordination or teamwork. Maybe if we didn’t have the internet it would have been a nice crowdsourcing exercise but as it is it is just filler content. You should see those spots though, in fact don’t worry about waiting for the mission just look up a guide and see these places for yourself
These are some of the best guild type missions available. They are in some truly breathtaking instanced areas, well crafted with a nice attention to detail. They contain many new and interesting mechanics too which involve the coordination of large and small groups. A bit more serious than your typical trek type mission and requiring a certain amount of patience in order to get it right but still easy enough to avoid needless frustration. Some of the mechanics can be complex enough that it will take some people a little time to understand but generally simple so that everyone can join in.
I like the ones I’ve done of these as they provide some interesting and dynamic open world content pretty much on demand. The ones I did where well placed with their mechanics to the zone they were in. They seem like your standard dynamic event in how they use the kill, collect, protect but they have actually been tuned properly for larger groups. There is a bit of a challenge to these as many tougher mob types will usually spawn, not Bounty tough but the numbers of them can be overwhelming. I like how they have also incorporated mechanics that require the coordination of small groups to work in tandem as it is something different from the zerging that can happen in the other mission types.
It was an excellent design decision to have these Guild Missions occur out in the open world, one of the modern-day problems to mmo’s is that most group content usually happens within instances. Segregating players is never a good thing in my opinion as it makes the world feel less lively and more like a lobby than a mmo. With these you are giving people incentives to visit past zones, and even if these players don’t help out with dynamic events you’re still creating an area that looks more active. And the fact that any player regardless of being in the guild can participate as well it means your actively creating open world content which I’ve already said is a great idea… it needs work but still good.
It is also great content for the guilds doing them as it is often working towards a common goal that is good for creating a certain rapport with each other and for creating a cohesive group. Raids have been the usual content style for guilds for decades now but sometimes I’ve felt they do more harm than good to most guilds. The pressure involved in completing these can and has been the down fall of many groups. They naturally create frustration and conflict, there are positives to it.. progression and group goals are a great thing to have as a binding agent but do the problems outweigh the benefits?
These are semi serious enough as they do have a gear reward aspect to them but with the way they are designed and the general direction of Guild Wars 2’s end game it doesn’t have the same level of significance. Now they are semi serious in that there completion is tied to the guilds progression but they allow far more freedom in how many are involved and how they can contribute. They are more about the fun of the event which makes them more of a positive experience to the group.
I’m still not so sure about the restriction placed on the content by influence.. perhaps it is a reasonable cost but I think it would have been better if the all had there on individual cost which was maybe attached to its own progression line.