Guild Chat: Giving a newbie Blade & Soul clan purpose

    
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Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, my cosy wee corner of Massively Overpowered in which I break down a reader’s guild related issue in order to make his or her MMO time that little bit more enjoyable. The reader in question for this edition is Dave, a relatively new MMO player who feels that his clan lacks purpose and wishes that he could find it one. With the help of our advice, Dave wants to find a niche for the fledgling clan he has just recently started and seeks a unique selling point for his band of merry martial artists. He’s relatively new to the world of MMOs and sort of fell into guild leadership over a bunch of equally inexperienced players who are now looking to him for a definite direction. Check out his full submission below along with my advice to Dave and be sure to leave him your thoughts in the comments to mull over.

I’m very new to MMOs (I am a big gamer, though), and when I looked for guild help, I found your articles. I want to know how to manage a clan and what to do with my people. I read your recipe for guilds, but I need more help than that. My friends started in an MMO called Blade & Soul and got me into it too; then we decided we needed a clan to continue and I would be the leader. We added more people over the last week or two and now we have about 20. People are asking what we’re going to do, and most are endgame already now and want to be busy. We don’t really know what to do, so we want to find out what we can do together and run it. I’m embarrassed because I don’t know any more than they do but have to lead. Help me set it up well and find some good things to do now we’re mostly level-capped!

Thanks for your submission, Dave, and welcome to the world of MMOs! I’ll preface quickly here by saying that my Blade & Soul experience is rather limited, but I’m happy to help with some general advice for moving forward. Firstly, I want to help you determine why you might be enjoying the game as much as you are to see if that can give us some clues as to what sort of content you should complete with your clan, and then we’ll look at how you can gather up your clanmates to enjoy that content together.

b&s 00What do you enjoy about the game?

I’m assuming that your friendship group is among the members who have reached the level cap here. I want you to first of all think back to that process and remember the sort of quests you most enjoyed and which you were most likely to prioritise. If you were heavily into the main campaign quests and dungeons, that might indicate that the admittedly limited PvE pursuits such as more challenging dungeons would suit your clan best. On the other hand, if you found yourself selecting and enjoying faction quests more, that’s a sure indicator that PvP grips you instead.

I want to drive home, however, that you don’t need to tie yourself to only one type of content provided you have the manpower and desire to branch out. One of the fun things about MMOs such as BnS is that there’s no wrong answer as to which pursuits you should carry forward and many of the gameplay styles offered at endgame are demonstrated to the player throughout the levelling process. Follow the tooltips on your gear for upgrade path advice as a great starting point and then simply see where your feet take you.

b&s 01PvE pursuits

Dungeons are great for making some gold, finding increasingly difficult challenges, and generally improving your character. You more than likely experienced some as you levelled too, so it’s sound familiar territory as well. It’s organised, coordinated group content that allows you to select an appropriate challenge for the people you’re bringing along, making it a great place to bring clanmates to work on skilling up together. Start off in 6-man dungeons — you’ll appreciate the clear telegraphing and flexibility — and then ultimately work toward running the considerably more difficult and punishing 4-man advancements. Look at the 2016 roadmap and you’ll see that plenty of new challenges lie ahead for dungeoneers: The 5-star, 24-member Midnight Skypetal Plains coming in Q4 sounds like an epic feat to work toward.

There is a wealth of open, large-scale content to enjoy at end-game that I’d encourage you to look at too. Gold accrual is vital in your chosen MMO (let’s face it, it is in most MMOs!), so completing daily quests and downing field bosses is great filler to fill the coin purses of your PvE fans. Repetition and grinding for your weapon upgrades and soul shields is the main endgame task in this sphere: This isn’t for everyone, but many do enjoy the incremental challenge presented in this type of content. Becoming comfortable with those bosses and improving your equipment instills a great sense of pride in MMO players, so it should give you that gamer thrill that you might be missing right now as you explore your first MMO.

b&s 02PvP fun

Quirky action combat that favours the bold strategist who possesses a mastery over a character combined with lightning reflexes is what PvP was made for! Your MMO of choice shines here, so get chatty with your fellow faction members for advice on how to jump in if you’re unsure. The open world has an optional flagging system, meaning that you’ll need to be in costume to join in. World PvP is not equalised (bear that in mind when stepping up to an opposing faction member) and rewards a temporary currency named prestige points for taking down appropriate foes. These points are stealable from those you down and are traded for contribution points with your chosen faction. There are several key locations for world PvP that you can look into if this appeals to you and your clan.

There’s also 1v1 and 3v3 arena PvP matches to enjoy as well as the new 6v6 Whirlwind Valley. This is the most enticing form of PvP in my book: Stats and gear are normalised to make competition fierce, with each player relying on class and skills to gain a win. This is where the real competitive nature of the game lies, and many players would argue that it’s the true heart of its endgame. Arena PvP is ranked, which means you’ll face off against a player with a similar skill base as you have. Arenas reward zen beans that can be spent on upgrades, crafting, and materials. The best-of-three format is enticing for those who have played fighting games and enjoy fuss-free toon smashing, I suppose, so this might suit you depending on what games you’ve played before. You might have tried arena PvP while leveling and found it too grueling, but I do believe that it is more balanced for endgame players even with the normalisation process.

b&s 03Getting the clan together

Now that I’ve given you a very brief overview of the sort of gameplay that lies waiting for you and your clan, we should talk about incentivising your clan and stepping up to fill those leader boots you’re wearing. First of all, stop worrying about being new and inexperienced: Providing you never suggested that the opposite was true, chances are your clanmates will be patient with you being as new as you are while you get to grips with the content too. Remember that your clan and its members are all pretty new; it’s not as though you’re deliberately blocking more experienced players from taking the helm. Point your clan to both this article and the level 50 overview and see what they think. I’d suggest a healthy mix of content that focuses on supporting those who are seeking a good challenge: Run a wide range of dungeons and pick up arena PvP in small clusters and see what takes off.

MMOs do take a significant amount of time to get comfortable with, so don’t be too hard on yourself at this point. If you still struggle after another month or two, you could always consider joining a recommended clan if you decide to back away from leadership until you’re better acquainted with the title. There’s nothing at all wrong with not wishing to lead your merry band, especially since you’re new to MMOs and are finding the play experience a little overwhelming. Please don’t feel trapped in the position by your friends and new clan members: Games are supposed to be fun, after all! Whatever direction you choose, welcome along to Blade & Soul and I hope you have fun playing for a long time!

Over to you!

I’d love to see some dedicated BnS players step up to help in the comments to add a deeper layer to my suggestions. If you play, what’s your favourite aspect of endgame? What helped you start off in MMOs? Have you any advice to help Dave in his first time as a guild leader? Let him know in the comments below.

Many thanks to Dave for this submission! If you have a query to put to me and the MOP audience, feel free to send along an email.

MOP’s Tina Lauro is on-hand to deal with all of your guild-related questions, queries, and drama in Guild Chat. Whatever your guild issue, she’s sure to have a witty yet sympathetic response. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to see dissected, drop Tina a comment or send an email to tina@massivelyop.com.
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