Hello, fellow Tyrians! A couple of months ago, Link gave you a first look at how guild missions are going to change in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ in his blog post Guild Halls: Missions for All. Today I want to show you some of the more in-depth changes we’re making to guild missions and how “Missions for All” is something we want to achieve in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
New Guild-Mission Types
Previously, the only types of guild missions that existed in Guild Wars 2 were the PvE missions: Bounty, Trek, Rush, Challenge, and Puzzle. Since guild missions are an essential part of leveling up your guild halls in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, we’ve decided to add new guild-mission types for both WvW and Player vs. Player. These new missions will allow players to earn favor—a requirement for leveling up guild halls—by playing their preferred game mode.
These missions include new categories that better fit with their game modes. For example, WvW Capture and Hold will require guilds to capture an objective type in WvW and hold the objective until it reaches tier one; PvP Conquest will require a guild team—or several guild teams—to work together to kill a certain amount of players on or near capture points. PvP Conquest is also an example of the new progress-style missions we’re adding. Progress missions will require you to incrementally advance a progress bar to complete the mission.
Along with adding these new mission types, we’ve added a new mission preference option that will allow guilds to select which types of missions they’d like to play each week. So if your guild only wants to play PvE missions, they have the option to select PvE as their preferred mission type. Once mission rollover happens the following week, all of their mission slots apart from dedicated slots (more about these later) will be PvE missions only. It’s important to note that if your guild does not have a mission preference selected, they’ll not only get a mix of PvE, PvP, and WvW missions, but they’ll also receive a 10% favor bonus on their missions.
Link mentioned instanced missions in his blog post, but I thought I’d go into a little more detail. All guild challenges and puzzles are now instanced missions. Since every guild will roll the same guild missions every week, we wanted to make sure that guilds wouldn’t have to wait for other guilds to complete their missions before they could participate. Instancing the missions allows several guilds to complete their challenges and puzzles at the same time without having to worry about who’s going to receive credit. However, if you want to participate in guild challenges and puzzles with friends and other guilds, you can still ferry players into the puzzles and challenges. We want to make sure that we aren’t blocking guilds from playing their missions when they want, while also allowing them to play with players outside of their guild.
Entering instanced missions is really easy! The same guild-mission flags that exist in the open world still exist, except this time when you interact with them and agree to start the mission, a blue portal will surround the flag. Players can then enter the instance if they’re in the guild or partied with a guild member. It’s as simple as that!
The New Guild-Mission Panel
There are a lot of new changes coming to guilds in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and the Guild Mission panel is included in these changes. Guilds will begin on day one of the expansion with three guild missions available to them: one easy, one medium, and one hard. Missions are now broken up into difficulty levels based on the number of players needed to complete a guild mission. We made several improvements to missions to make them more or less difficult depending on the mission. We’ve adjusted the amount of time some missions need to be completed, and we’ve balanced the number of targets some missions require. Smaller guilds should be able to complete the less difficult missions, whereas medium or hard missions will require either more players or higher-skilled players to complete. The amount of favor rewarded is dependent on the difficulty of the mission; easy gives the least amount of favor, and hard rewards the most.
Unlocking New Mission Slots
As players advance their guild hall, they’ll be able to purchase new mission-slot upgrades that will give them more options for missions they can complete each week. There are also three dedicated mission slots that are specific to each game mode: one each for PvE, PvP, and WvW. These dedicated mission slots will not change even if players have their mission preference set, and they can be easy, medium, or hard in difficulty.
There are weekly and overall favor caps on missions. This means that each week guilds can only earn so much favor before they hit the maximum amount of favor they can earn for the week, and this won’t always require completing every single mission available to a guild. Since hard missions reward the most favor, guilds will be able to reach their weekly favor cap much quicker if they play hard missions as opposed to easy missions. Similarly, if you’re in a large guild, you might be earning favor faster than you can spend it, and the favor cap will help regulate the rate at which small and large guilds can progress.
What’s the point of doing guild missions if you’ve hit your favor cap? Just like in the existing PvE guild missions, you can still earn personal rewards. However, there have been a couple of changes to how personal rewards work in the new system. In-world chests have been removed from existing PvE missions and have been replaced with personal reward chests. The great thing about giving personal rewards this way is that it allows us to reward players even if they disconnect or log out before they receive their mission rewards. As long as you participated in the mission and the mission has completed, you’ll receive your rewards, either when the mission completes or the next time you log in. Another important thing about new personal rewards is that you can only be rewarded once per mission slot, and you cannot be rewarded for the same slot in a different guild. If you’ve earned your personal reward for the mission slot, the reward is earned for the week and you’ll have to wait until rollover to earn a reward in that slot again.
Previously, Link mentioned that group play would be rewarded with a new item called a resonating shard. After internal testing and looking for how we could simplify the system, we’ve decided it isn’t necessary to incentivize guild members to party up. Players should make parties when it makes sense to them, not when the game offers them a reward for doing so. As a result, we’ve moved the rewards that were going to come from resonating shards into personal mission rewards—just one more reason to help each other complete as many missions as possible each week.
Prerolled vs. Random Target
There are now two types of missions: prerolled and random target. Prerolled missions are missions that allow you to see everything that’s required of your guild as soon as the mission is rolled. Most guild missions currently work like random target guild missions, but once Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is released, we’ll be moving most missions over to prerolled, and only Bounties and Treks will remain random target missions. Random target missions will also work differently than they currently do in that you’ll be able to see how many targets there are. For example, you’ll now be able to see that the bounty mission you have requires you to kill five targets, but you won’t know which five targets they might be until you launch the mission.
That’s it for this in-depth look at how guild missions are changing in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. I hope everyone is getting ready to start earning the best guild hall possible!