I think everyone would agree that the Guild (and in particular, Guild Raid) System needs a major update. The balance is still largely based on 10/12 chapters, and it is woefully annoying that advanced guilds can't keep more than 1-2 raids opens without creating gap days (clearing faster than we can acquire new GPs). There are a couple of ways to fix this, the easiest of which would be to increase the daily contribution limit again and overall GP cap. Here is a more complicated, but also more fun, suggestion:
Add Guild Levels
The general concept would be to allow guilds to level up based on either GPs acquired and/or other quest-like group activities. Some in-game activities that could award Guild XP could be:
Raid Completion within Bonus Time (see more on this below)
Setting Raid Damage Records (maybe)
Guild HoL Rank
Guild War Performance
Achievement/Tier Bonuses (get 25/40/50 members, X number of combined hero stars, X number of Top-5 Hero stars, # of Guild Awakened Heroes, similar achievements awarded at various tier levels, like the individual level up or total hero quests).
New Daily/weekly Guild Quests (use a certain # of raid attacks, hit a specific dmg amount in HoL, things like that)
Leveling up your guild could provide various in-game benefits, like:
Raise GP Cap
Raise GP Daily Contribution
Discount in Guild Store (or unlocking heroes in the guild store, new or existing that aren't usually there)
Ability to purchase other store currencies in Guild Store (HoL, EA, CoF, etc).
Discount to Raid Costs (see more on this below)
Discount in GW Registration
Increase in Bonus Award Amounts
There a couple ways the above changes could affect raiding:
A) The costs to open raid and completion bonus periods/amounts stay the same, but discounts become available as Guilds level up.
B) Each time (or after a certain number of times) a raid is completed within the bonus time, the Guild receives a discount for opening that raid, and the future bonus period is shorter. Put 5-10 levels for each raid that guilds can shoot for, and award Guild XP as they achieve each level. This would preclude overall raid discounts based on Guild levels, of course. You could even have each Raid Level get progressively more difficult, or unlock Heroic Versions if a guild can max out a Raid.
I think B is a much more fun and interesting approach. It would keep some interest in all Raid levels for guilds of all levels of game progression. Would be a fun challenge for top guilds to try to complete Raid 7 within 2 hours, without it costing them the ability to re-open other raids needed for gear progression. It would allow older, more experienced guilds to leverage the time and energy they've spent, and have the GPs available, to keep more than 1 raid open at a time.
Benefits of these Changes
Obviously, the main benefit would be enhancing the collaborative portions of the game. Providing more fun mid- and end-game options for your playerbase will keep top-end players interested for longer periods of time, and allow low- and mid-level players to contribute more to the guild than they currently do.
For raiding, it will allow guilds to run 2-3-4 raids at once, which is both more fun and more challenging if the bonus timer shrinks each time. Even moreso if Raids become more difficult or have unlock-able Heroic versions (which could drop more useful loot).
One of the most impactful benefits of these changes would be a motivation for players to form multiple strong guilds to compete for top spots on every server. Many servers are dominated by just 1-2 guilds, with a slew of other, small ones, that are unable to compete. The benefits provided by a strong guild would incentivize players to stick together and promote more competition and teamwork, especially at the top. It would also probably reduce constant guild hopping.
There are two concerns I could foresee opponents of this idea having:
1. Too much loot available. I understand that limiting Guilds' access to raid levels slows the rate at which they acquire loot, and in the minds of game-designers, slower progress equals more spending and longer periods of interest for your players. Hopefully you could balance either drop-rates or loot tables to keep this from getting out of hand. That said, with the increasing number of new heroes each month, providing a mechanism for new- and mid-level players to level and gear up faster is probably a good thing.
2. Makes the strong even stronger. Yes, the big established guilds that already dominate some servers will get even stronger. That will always be the way of things. Hopefully, though, the added benefits will cause more big guilds to emerge to challenge them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I would be very interested in discussing other players' thoughts on these ideas. Please reply and let me know what you think, or if you see any problems, have additional ideas, or have a completely different approach to solve some of these current problems.