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.
A few weeks from now, BlizzCon will reveal all about the next WoW expansion and the evolution of the game. Guild perks aren't really at the top of anyone's list of BlizzCon announcements, but they are nonetheless a big feature of guilds now. On that front, Mists took away more than it gave us. I'm hopeful that patch 6.0 will be more generous.
Here are some much-needed perks that Blizzard could provide.
Bait and Switch: While fishing, you have a 30% chance to catch extra fish.
Fishing has received lots of support in Mists, but the act of fishing is still deadly dull. Apologies to the last two people who enjoy it, but it is -- by a long shot -- the one thing in WoW I can't bring myself to do. The profession desperately needs an overhaul. Blizzard mentioned back in 2009 that such an overhaul was in the works, but it has yet to see the light of day.
Given that fish are often ingredients in feasts, noodle carts, etc., they are a commodity that guilds need. They are also the commodity that most guild members don't want to farm. A bonus to cut down on the time it takes to farm said fish would be very welcome.
Lesser Luck: Increases your chance to loot a Lesser Charm of Good Fortune by 10%/20%. (Two ranks)
Sure, if you spend any time on the Timeless Isle you'll be swimming in lesser charms in no time. But it's likely that they won't always be so easy to obtain. In any event, more coins are never a bad thing.
Looking for Awesome: Increases health, damage dealt, and healing received by 5% in raid finder difficulty if at least two other guild members are present.
We get the bonus after one wipe anyway. Why not encourage players to run LFR with guildmates by offering it up front? People who run with a few guildmates are less likely to quit on a run and less likely to act like a complete jerk. I have no statistical data to back that up, but in my heart I believe it.
Does Blizzard have the tech to implement a bonus with this restriction? I have no idea.
On a related note...
Extra Flexible: Provides a bonus equal to one flask and one feast according to your current specialization in flexible raid difficulty. Flasks and feasts may no longer be consumed in flexible raid instances.
Flexible raiding is meant for players who don't have the time or desire to commit to normal mode raiding. Cutting out the consumables would reduce the commitment needed for flex.
If most people end up in flexible raids during the next expansion, this perk may have a negative impact on the alchemy economy. It's something Blizzard would have to keep an eye on. Players would still need potions, however, which are consumed at a much more rapid pace than flasks, at least for DPS.
Kiss of the Val'kyr: Upon death, a val'kyr will resurrect you with 30% health and mana. Only available in outdoor zones. Cooldown: 3 days.
Light of the Naaru: If a damaging attack would kill you, a naaru will shield you, protecting you from all attacks for five seconds and healing you for 10% health. Only available in outdoor zones. Cooldown: 3 days.
Faction-specific perks such as these could be interesting. It's been a long time since only the Horde had shamans and Alliance had paladins. I like the idea of adding more elements to differentiate the factions in a minor, lore-oriented way.
Obedience Training: Increases experience from pet battles by 20%.
Leveling pets is a daunting task. The battles aren't lightning fast, and the process is time-consuming when you don't already have high-level pets to power-level your noob companions.
A bonus to pet XP would be handy, and far from gamebreaking.
While we're at it, a few more pets unlocked by guild achievements would be great, too.
Staff Meeting: Summon a meeting staff that can be used by allies to summon a targeted party or raid member. Requires the caster and two additional allies to complete. Lasts 5 minutes. Cooldown: 1 hour.
Blizzard got rid of the Have Group, Will Travel perk in the same expansion that they made exiting a raid to access meeting stones more difficult and aggravating than ever. Raids without warlocks have suffered as a result.
Early in Mists, my guild had a warlock. Subbing people in and out of the raid was as easy as a few clicks. When the warlock switched to a DK tank in tier 15, we no longer had that option. People had to hang out on the Isle of Thunder or else make the raid wait while they journeyed to the entrance. It's less painful now that the Siege of Orgrimmar entrance is so close to where everywhere has their hearthstone set, but raid portals won't always be this close to civilization.
A more limited guild perk summon spell than HGWT would end a raid's reliance on warlocks for speedy summoning. The cast can be limited to raid instances if the devs don't want it being abused for world PvP and the like. But please give us a non-warlock option. I'm absolutely positive that 'locks won't mind.
And now, for the ultimate:
Ticket Taker: Summon a GM to your location to address an open ticket immediately. Cooldown: 30 days.
One can dream...
What perks are you hoping for in the next expansion? Tell us below!
Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.