Dislcaimer: By no means is this a leak from Cataclysm beta (something I’m not involved with just yet), this is merely opinion of how you can best gain/lose reputation with your guild.
With Cataclysm it is bringing obvious changes — class changes, new races, and a myriad of others, but one that piqued my interest is Guild Perks and Guild Reputation.
There’s absolutely no telling at this point what is actually going to impact your Guild Reputation, but I’m sure it will have to do with your participation in guild events — raids, instances, battlegrounds, etc. From a developer’s standpoint, it’s very difficult to standardize what is a good contribution to the guild when it comes to materials, raid flasks, food, etc. because every guild wants different things and ultimately has different goals.
Thinking a little outside the box here, Wikipedia defines “reptuation” as the following:
Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization on a certain criterion. It is an important factor in many fields, such as education, business, online communities or social status.
So if you have good reputation with your guild, what does that mean? The hope is a guild will have active members who work toward a common goal – whatever that might be. The easy measurement for a good guild member is activity levels — the investment they have in the guild, and the effort put forth. If a guild member is always trying to participate in guild events, helps out other guild members and plays well with others, they should have pretty good Guild Reputation. “Effort” is pretty difficult to define though from a sheer objectivity standpoint.
The Looking for Dungeons tool has taught us that people who don’t try can be carried through 5-man heroics, but they queue up all the time. Same thing goes for people who get into Battlegrounds all the time — there are some who just don’t try. I have a hard time giving them credit for “effort” if they just stand there.
I do think once Cataclysm launches though, negative reputation should be considered. I’m a big advocate of counting certain things against people, and GMs ought to have a simple interface where they can track this sort of thing and act on it accordingly — either through Guild Reputation or other means of their choosing. Below are some examples.
- Signing up to an event you’ve been invited to and not showing.
- Standing in fire/void zones/whatever is trying to eat your feet this encounter.
- Leeroy Jenkins.
- Coming unprepared to a raid. (not repaired, no flasks, no food, no consumables, etc.)
- Clicking yes on a ready check and then going AFK.
Is guild reputation best left at the discretion of the guild, or is it best left standardized by Blizzard?
I think this question is very dependent on your guild and guild leaders. I’m sure there are some out there who have the want to be complete jerks about guild reputation, and others who will give it out to anyone and everyone. I think for the formalized system, participation measured by Blizzard is going to be best — it will be standardized across all guilds, so the expectation of how guild reputation is given out is the same for everyone.
Guild reputation is currently handled through the Guild Rank system — where officers and Guild Masters can promote and demote members of their guild as they see fit. I think how this system is managed is what is going to set one guild apart from another. If you have to invest time and a significant amount of effort into becoming a member of a guild, chances are you’re going to automatically have good Guild Reputation. If you’re in a guild that makes anyone an officer, then it might not mean as much depending on that guild’s system. On Destromath for Alliance, Shadowmelded Moonkins is one of the guilds that will invite anyone and everyone and make them officers because they feel like it – not necessarily because the person truly earned it.
In my current and past guild, people are promoted into being a member of the guild after a trial period. Once you’re a member and you’ve proven your worth to the guild, you’re then made a Core member of the raiding team, and truly exceptional individuals may get to be an Officer eventually. Putting forth the effort and contributing positively to a guild is going to get you where you want to go — just like you hope your job will do at some point.
Bottom line, in Cataclysm, I see the Guild Ranking (member, officer, GM, etc.) system being the distinguishing characteristic of how a guild recognizes its members– it will truly tell you how you’re performing in a guild, provided there is some effort involved in gaining these ranks. The Blizzard general Guild Reputation system will likely help you gain the bonus rewards of being a member of a guild just by playing the game — running instances, participating in Battlegrounds, raiding, earning achievements, etc. Between the two systems, any guild will be able to provide bonuses to members who play all the time, but those guilds who want to recognize exceptional members will still need to show their appreciation through rank or some other means.