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Wild Rift Dev: Guilds and GVG

2021-10-25

What does it take to get five people together in a MOBA like League of Legends? What about 20, 50, or 100 people? When we set out to create Guilds in Wild Rift, we knew there were a lot of hurdles ahead of us. But we also knew that it was very important to give everyone the opportunity to create these communities together.

In the coming article, we’re going to explore what Guilds are in Wild Rift, what “GvG” is, and what was most important to us in delivering a fully featured community system in a game sliced for five people. Come take a gander!

Before we jump in, if you need an intro on all things Guilds and GvG, check out our explainer article or our full feature breakdown in the Patch 2.5 Preview.

WHY SHOULD I JOIN A GUILD?

While we love all our solo queue warriors, pretty much anyone who's ever played a video game can tell you: it's more fun with friends. If you want more people to play Wild Rift with, you should join a Guild! 

You might be familiar with what guilds are in other genres like MMORPGs, where players gather together in community organizations to take on large-scale group content like raids. We wanted to bring that large community feeling to Wild Rift, a game scaled for just 5 players (well, 10 if you count custom games).

With that scaling in mind, our first challenge was to make Guilds feel rewarding for large groups in our ecosystem. So, we created some perks that benefit everyone in the Guild at once, whether you can all fit into the same queue or not. When you queue with Guild members, you’ll gain the Poro’s Blessing, which grants bonus XP and Blue Motes for playing together. There’s also the Guild Level system, where you can earn rewards from partying up and collecting Guild Points over time. 

Outside of some sweet rewards, we knew we wanted Guilds to seamlessly connect players, making it easier to find a true community experience. With a new party search system and the Guild Feed, Guilds lessen the burden of finding a group and allow you to share a variety of moments within your community. With Guilds, we hope that finding new people to play with and building memories together will feel more intuitive than ever.

Lastly, we wanted to give players some shared goals, so they have even more of an incentive to play with friends and make new ones. Introducing: Guild vs Guild, or GvG for short. (Like PvP, eh? EH?!?)

HOW DOES GUILD VS GUILD WORK?

At its core, GvG is a weekly champion matchup, showcasing Runeterran rivalries—starting with Piltover and Zaun. Each battle is asynchronous, meaning you win by completing challenges from playing Wild Rift during the week, rather than needing to coordinate with your opponents to duke it out on the Rift.

During the week you'll pair up with a champion belonging to the region to help resolve a quarrel with their current rival. So as an example in this first season of GvG you might be paired up with, say, Jinx and get matched against another Guild allied with her sister Vi. Jinx will talk some smack and clue you in on what she needs the Guild’s help for, while Vi claps back with those oversized gauntlets of hers.

At the end of the week, the two Guilds face off in a final showdown that decides the result of that week of GvG. Winning nets you some bonus loot and helps you climb the leaderboards. 

Oh yeah, did we mention there's leaderboards? As you climb by playing GvG, you get sweet medal upgrades on your Guild Badge.

WAIT, BUT WHY...?

A lot of how this works is covered in detail in our explainer article! But to give you a general reason for why Guilds and GvG play the way they do: we had to make a lot of tough calls along the way to ensure that they work properly, create an environment where Guild members want to work together, and avoid incentivizing exclusionary behavior.

For example, we added narrative elements (i.e. weekly stories between champions) to give Guild members something non-performance related to get excited about. And, earning GvG rewards isn't gated by skill—by playing together, everyone gets a shot to earn free goodies on the seasonal GvG track.

But even still, Wild Rift is a competitive game and GvG doesn't pit players against their rival Guild directly on the Rift. So why did we choose to emphasize collaborative goals rather than head-to-head gameplay?

Our highest priority with Guilds was to create a system where players like you can make more friends and deepen their bonds. With that in mind, we chose not to have synchronous battles so that everyone, regardless of their rank, could still contribute on an even playing field. Furthermore, almost every community mission asks you to complete objectives through playing with Guild members.

This was important to us because while we wanted you to play with others, we didn’t want to create an environment where only skilled players are valued in Guilds. Instead, we focused on rewarding Guilds that stick together long-term. There’s still one community mission each week you can contribute to solo, so don’t worry if you’re a bit of an introvert, but the best way to participate in Guilds is to play with others.

FAVORING FAVOR

We also introduced Champion’s Favor, a community mission where each week everyone in a Guild flips a coin (with a little behind the scenes magic) to determine whether they are Armed or Unarmed. Armed players Arm others by playing with them to earn Trophy Points (essentially GvG’s XP). When you go from Unarmed to Armed you’ll collect all the banked Trophy Points earned through community missions. And since now YOU are Armed you can go around Arming others!

Ultimately we felt it was important to inspire players to play with more Guild Members—rather than just a select sub group—so no one is left behind. A community is more than a 5-stack, and we want everyone to get a chance to meet new friends!

BUT I WANTED THAT ONE!

One last thing that may be on your mind, “Do I get to pick my allied champion in GvG?” We really tossed and turned about this, but ultimately the decision came down to “The champion picks you.” There are so many reasons behind this, including planning dialogue, matchmaking woes, solving for imbalance, and making some champions feel sad (poor Amumu).

In order to deliver an exciting and unpredictable narrative we chose to keep things simple: two champions per week, one assigned for each of the rival Guilds per match. This way no one’s playing favorites, there’s no conflict inside the Guild when your champion doesn’t get picked, and everyone is united together against the real opponent: your rival Guild!

FEEDBACK, PLZ

Hopefully this little article provided some insights, posed some questions, answered them, and then posed some more. This is just the start, and we’re dedicated to evolving Guilds for the long term.

Guilds and GvG are for YOU! This is a labor of love, and we want to help everyone build something together in Wild Rift and beyond. It’s understandable that you might want some changes, and we want to hear those thoughts! We’ll be monitoring for feedback, so go make some noise, especially once you’ve had some time to mess around in your own Guild. Lastly, please try to be patient as it takes time to make changes and new content, we’re eager too!

Going forward, let’s work together to evolve Guilds in Wild Rift, wreck some opponents, and create some sweet memories.

See you on the Rift!

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