Alea Iacta Est Rolls Snake Eyes
We will be introducing a new, hard cap of 600 members in a single guild for Cataclysm. This function will go live with patch 4.0.1 and is already live on the beta and PTR’s.
As most of you already know, we have supported a soft cap of 500 members in a guild since World of Warcraft launched. We have allowed guilds to exceed the 500 limit up until now since being in a guild really just amounted to ranks and chat channels. With the advent of the new guild system in Cataclysm we are tracking many more things on each individual player in a guild and in order to support that, we need to limit the amount of members to a reasonable level.
The new cap of 600 members is fully supported in the new guild system and that means that everyone will be visible in the ui and able to contribute to all guild functions like experience and reputation gain. We have pulled a large number of statistics to get to the 600 member cap for guilds and we are happy to say that this value covers more than 99.9% of all the active guilds in World of Warcraft.
The small number of guilds that are over the 600 person cap will be able to keep their guilds intact (and fully supported in the new guild system), but they will not be able to add new members until they fall below the 600 member cap.
This was a blue post that came out yesterday. Needless to say, it’s had quite an impact.
I happen to be a member of AIE. I’ve been a member for a number of years. It’s hard to explain to someone what it’s like being in a guild that large. It’s not so much a guild as it is a community unto itself. With almost seven thousand characters in it, AIE is huge. Watching Guild Chat is like watching code in the Matrix scroll by.
It’s been a unique entity. It should not work as well as it does. But it has – helpful and cooperative, very little guild drama, and very little asshat behavior between guildmates. However, it bothers me that there are some who think they’re something special or important because they wear the AIE Guild Tag, and act like some kind of online diva to those outside the guild. These people need to be throat punched, as does anyone who thinks they’re some unique snowflake because of a guild tag. Seriously people. Get some self-worth on the other side of the keyboard.
It now appears that AIE, as well as guilds like Goon Squad (the Something Awful guild) and It Came From The Blog (the WoW Insider guild) are being forced to break up, most likely into smaller units. I’ve heard the panic chatter on various boards, crying out that separating into smaller guilds is a death sentence. Many have seen it before in their guilds, and they just know it’ll happen again.
Look at me. This is me calling bullshit on that.
There’s a big difference between the segmenting of a fan guild and the segmenting of any other type of guild. There is a uniting thread that binds the people in fan guilds, one that extends beyond Azeroth. Game content only strengthens that bond. This is why I’m not overly concerned about the future of AIE, and neither should those in other fan guilds that are being forced to segment. You are all still fans of whatever it was that united you. That devotion will keep you all united. You will find a way to continue in some fashion.
The negative talk from AIE guildmates makes me shake my head. This is the same guild that once held every Alliance bank and Auction House, after slaying the Alliance leaders, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. For a guild that large, to coordinate the attack, it takes some skilled people. Those same skilled people are working to come to a resolution on the issue.
Some people have tried to form some kind of protest to Blizzard. Spin your wheels if you enjoy wasting your time, but Blizzard is not going to budge on an issue (the cap) that affects less than one percent of the guilds in the game. The reason for the cap is due to a bug in the new Guild UI, where it tries to draw all the achievements and data for each person and causes the system to crash in guilds with rosters over one thousand. There’s no way they’re going to alter the cap to please a small number of players, no matter how sad and vocal they are.
Still, these Mega Guilds will survive. They will be more of a conglomeration rather than one huge guild, but they will survive. The community will continue on, and with smaller guilds to deal with folks just might get to know each other a little better.
This is Herculano. The sky is not falling, it’s just raining. It’ll pass.