When the guild leveling system was introduced in the last expansion it seemed pretty cool. You'd pick up random bonuses every now and then as the guild leveled up but the content would have all been balanced around no one having any of those bonuses because no one could have had them right away. They put restrictions on how fast a guild could level which meant they could be sure when specific bonuses would enter play and they could know most guilds would get them at around the same time.
Like with any other initially optional bonus I'd imagine they're now balancing everything around the fact that everyone has all of the guild bonuses. Even with only moderate play over the last two years you'd have hit the guild level cap a long time ago. Now these bonuses don't feel so much like bonuses as they do penalties if you don't happen to have them. My guild doesn't have them all. The guild as a whole pretty much withered and died a year and a half ago and the guild ended up at level 19 of 25. So we're missing out on...
- 10% honour points
- 25% flight path speed
- 10% trade skill-up chance
- 15% more stuff from mining/herbalism/skinning/disenchanting
- 10% discount from all vendors
- the mass resurrection spell
We're also far from the two new bonuses added in Mists...
- double speed rest accumulation
- 10% discount on transmog/void storage costs
Ok, the new bonuses seem pretty mediocre. Some of the existing stuff is pretty relevant (especially if one is trying for realm first achievements) but I guess not really the end of the world. Mass res seems pretty useful in dungeons but presumably we'd get up to it before hitting the challenge dungeons anyway, right?
Turns out, definitely. Blizzard made a couple significant changes to guild experience in the last patch. They completely removed the daily cap (which will let very active guilds catch up) and they changed it so low level characters earn the same amount of guild experience as a max level character. I can remember being pretty disappointed at how little guild experience/reputation our low level dungeon team was earning so I'm really in favour of this change. But how much of an impact will this have?
I finally tricked Robb into starting a character on the weekend and we played a little on Saturday and a lot on Monday. In maybe 12 hours of play his character is already up to the 22nd on the list of guild experience earned. He alone earned more in getting to level 51 than the old daily cap for an entire guild! As far as reputation goes we're already into revered where it used to take 3 weeks just to hit honoured. Between our two characters we got more than a third of a guild level. And we weren't getting any bonuses for doing things in a guild group... Makes me wonder how much the old low level dungeon group could be pulling in? My warlock in that group ended up at level 54 and pulled in a total of 620k guild experience. The warlock I'm leveling with Robb is level 52 with 7.74M guild experience. And was leveling at triple speed the whole time... That's quite the difference.
When it comes to perks for realm first achievements the skill-up chance is the big one. Getting more stuff from gathering skills will make it cheaper but shouldn't actually make it faster unless money ends up being a real limiting factor. How much experience will it take to get to those two? We're currently 90M away from the skill-ups and 141M away from the gathering stuff. At 60k guild experience from every quest completed that's only 1500 quests from the first one. With 20 days left that's only 75 quests per day... I might be able to do that on my own! (They removed the personal cap on daily quests per day as well so you can do more than 25 dailies if you want now.) And of course I'm not the only person playing right now. We actually had 5 people on for a good chunk on Monday. Looking at the numbers now it actually seems entirely reasonable to get at least the first bonus before the expansion launches. At least if I spend my time doing quests instead of flying around saving up archaeology fragments...