Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.
Cataclysm is finally in beta and the information floodgates have burst! One of the most interesting revelations for officers is the unveiling of guild perks -- or, at least, Blizzard's current pass on them. I'm sure that, like everything else in the beta, these perks are subject to change. We also don't know how long it takes to obtain them, but it seems like Blizzard's intention is that every guild will be able to unlock them eventually.
As you may recall, I was unhappy with Blizzard's decision to give us perks instead of talent trees. I stand behind that opinion, but there's no use in dwelling on it. So let's rate the perks! I've broken them up into five different categories: money, convenience, active abilities, professions and points. This week, I'll be talking about the first two categories. (Note that I am listing only the highest rank of each perk.)
The money perks
Cash Flow (Rank 2) Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 10% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.
First of all, wow, that's going to be a lot of money flying into your guild bank, especially for larger guilds. If 100 players loot 100 gold from enemies, that's an extra 1,000 gold for the guild. The best part about this perk is that it is not a tax -- the money is generated by the talent, not taken out of what a player loots. The only problem here will be figuring out what to do with all that extra cash!
I never felt completely comfortable with the random cash donations that guild members would make to our bank. We couldn't have afforded to unlock all those bank slots without them, but it never felt quite right to me. As for the money that's left over after you unlock all the vaults and the money that's donated later, how do you spend that money in a way that's fair to all of your generous contributors? Hopefully, with this perk, you can tell players to keep their money. They will earn gold for the guild just by going about their business.
5 salutes out of 5
Reinforce (Rank 2) Items take 10% less durability loss when you die.
Unlike Cash Flow, this perk benefits members individually rather than the guild as a whole. It's a nice bonus, sure to save everyone some money if they participate in any dangerous forms of PvE. On those brutal wipefest raid nights, this perk will make the financial sting slightly less acute.
Not only that, but because the perk reduces the durability loss rather than lowers the cost of repairs, your members will have to waste less time repairing throughout a night of raiding. Repairing is pretty easy these days, what with so many robots and mammoths at our beck and call, but this perk doesn't really have a downside. My only issues are that it isn't really that exciting and it doesn't help PvP guilds very much.
3 salutes out of 5
Bartering (Rank 2) Reduces the price of items from all vendors by 10%.
Hey, look -- your guild is automatically Honored with everybody! It's not clear whether this discount stacks with player-based rep discounts, goblin racial discounts or what have you. I'll assume it does. Even so, much like Reinforce, it's not very exciting, but it's still a solid perk that benefits pretty much everyone.
4 salutes out of 5
The convenience perks
Mobile Banking Summons your guild bank; 1-hour cooldown.
I'm struggling to remember if I've ever wished I could access the guild bank remotely. I think I have maybe once or twice, when I forgot to bring Fish Feasts to a raid or when someone showed up without tanking flasks and our other tanks didn't have any spares. I can't imagine it's the kind of thing you'll use very often. I guess it means you could skip going to the actual bank most of the time, but it's not exactly an earth-shattering, quality-of-life change. I suppose it would be handy to bank those BOEs that no one wants or the Primordial Saronites that are earmarked instead of toting them around for the entire raid. Meh.
2 salutes out of 5
Guild Mail In-game mail sent between guild members now arrives instantly.
I don't understand why there's a wait for mail between guild members in general, so it's nice that we're able to remove that wait eventually. This perk will be great for when you need a gem cut or some other professional service and your jewelcrafter happens to be on the other side of Azeroth. Since Cataclysm doesn't have a central hub like Shattrath or Dalaran, that situation will be more likely during the next expansion. However, this perk is still fairly obscure. I doubt most guild members will even realize they have it.
3 salutes out of 5
Hasty Hearth Reduces the cooldown on your Hearthstone by 15 minutes.
In Patch 3.1, Blizzard changed the cooldown on Hearthstones from an hour to 30 minutes. (The patch also killed "ghetto hearthing.") Now, we'll be able to reduce the cooldown even further to a brief 15 minutes. Your guild's shamans won't care. For everyone else, it may be a handy convenience. However, with the "remote questing" system, I wonder how often you'll really need to use this.
2 salutes out of 5
Chug-A-Lug (Rank 2) The duration of buffs from all guild cauldrons and feasts is increased by 100%.
What on Earth is a cauldron? If you weren't on the forefront of raiding in The Burning Crusade, you probably wondered that when you saw this perk. Back then, some boss fights were much easier when everyone in the raid could pop a specific resistance potion. Rather than expecting alchemists to carry hundreds of these potions for the raid's use, Blizzard gave them the ability to make cauldrons. A cauldron would give out a BOP, conjured resistance pot to every raid member, much like a warlock's Soulwell for Healthstones. Blizzard never updated them for Wrath, and fortunately they proved unnecessary in this expansion's raid encounters. Does anyone ever use cauldrons anymore?
Feasts are obviously much more useful these days. However, how often do you need to drop a new feast because the duration of the buff is running out? Usually you drop one because you wiped or because a few people died during an encounter. Prolonging the duration on these buffs seems useless to me.
1 salute out of 5
The Quick and the Dead Increases health and mana gained when resurrected by a guild member by 50% and increases movement speed while dead by 100%. Does not function in combat or while in a Battleground or Arena.
Besides wondering exactly which reference this perk is named after, the first thing I thought was, "Wow, this will be extremely useful in PvP!" Then I read the second sentence, which says it doesn't work in any PvP-specific context. D'oh. I can understand that perhaps allowing people to zip back to their corpse might unbalance organized PvP, so it's a justifiable ban, but it would have been fun to see the impact of this ability in a battleground.
For PvE, this perk has two benefits. The first is the rez component. Unfortunately, the perk doesn't work in combat, either, so battle rezzes will still leave you with virtually no mana and an amount of health vulnerable to even the most half-hearted AoE effects. There must be, after all, a consequence for dying during a fight. However, after a boss kill that leaves two-thirds of the raid dead, it will be helpful for rezzers who get rezzed by other rezzers to rez more rezzers before they have to drink (assuming you're all in the same guild).
The best part of this perk is the movement speed component in a PvE context. Runbacks after a wipe are annoying. While you'll still be moving at normal speeds after you walk into the swirly portal, at least you'll get to that portal more quickly.
For people who die while questing or get ganked in the open world, this perk will also let them get back up and running again a little bit quicker.
Will the run speed increase stack with Wisp Spirit? I guess we'll find out eventually, since it's still a night elf racial in the current beta.
Overall, this is an interesting perk that is hamstrung by its limitations -- but perhaps it should be.
3 salutes out of 5
That's all for this week! Next week I'll cover the remaining perks: the profession perks, the active ability perks and the ones that I believe will prove to be the most controversial -- the points perks.
What do you think of the money and convenience perks? Are there other benefits to these perks that didn't occur to me?
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas and suggestions at email@example.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!