So, where to begin? I believe an apology is in order first. I am sincerely sorry for not keeping all of you up to date during this last development cycle. To fix this I am I am planning to have a weekly chat maybe on our mumble channel with anyone that would like to chat and ask questions. This way you’ll always know the latest.

As many of you may or may not know as a small indie shop we have been having a harder time financially and so development has really slowed down. Many of us here wear multiple hats and I’ve been deep in the trenches trying to get Guilds out. We’ve had numerous very frustrating setbacks but it is finally in a spot where I feel confident about it’s imminent release to talk more about it.

So, what is Guilds in the Forge universe? When we first started designing Guilds we read the forums and talked to many of you about what you’d like to see in Forge Guilds. We’ve built a foundation for Guilds that will allow us to easily add more Guild features. This foundation includes a Guild management system, Guild Play system, and Guild Progression. Guilds are all about working together as a team to earn XP for your Guild that allows your Guild to level up. It is meant as a place for you to play with your friends and to encourage more teamwork during play then we’re seeing in public matches.

The Guild management system is a very basic system that will allow you to create, edit, join, browse, and view Guilds. It has a leaderboard system based on guild experience and a recent match area to view recent matches and their outcomes. The Guild page itself has MVP, member rankings based on contributed XP, viewing all members, recent games, and the Guild Master can post daily messages. In order to prevent too many guilds and not enough players, and because guild logo’s are custom made and we have a finite number we will be charging a small fee to create a guild. We haven’t decided on an exact figure, but it will probably be just too much for someone to just want to test creating one and not seriously use it but not too much that if someone genuinely wants to form a guild they can. Please feel free to give feedback on what you think the fee should be. Guilds are free to join.

In the beginning we will be limiting Guild Play to only 5v5 CTR game mode. This is because if we offer more modes to start with it will separate the community for matchmaking making getting into games harder. We have no problem adding more games types if Guilds really takes off. But to start we’re only offering 5v5 CTR. I’m actually really excited because I really like to play objective based modes where teammates all have a role and know exactly what to do. My hope is that with Guilds and forming teams to play that you will assign roles before going into a match creating very exciting gameplay.

The last piece of the Guilds puzzle is progression. There are 25 levels and each level gives your guild some kind of reward. Anyone who joins a Guild immediately gets all of the Guild progression rewards – but if you leave a Guild you also loose your rewards. Rewards range from individual XP boosts (which in turn generate more Ore), skins, titles, and population increases. All Guilds start small and to really capitalize on progression need to have all members working towards progression. The final level gives all of your guild members the Platinum Glowing armor set with your Guild crest/logo displayed on it. This armor set will be in your inventory as long as you belong to your Guild and can be used in individual matches as well.

So, what’s the timeline for all of this? Because we are understaffed we are going to release Guilds in several QA stages. The first stage is Closed Beta. All of our current Closed Beta members and all those that played in the ESL Trial Cup will be invited to the Closed Beta. It should take about a week or so to test out and fix any bugs found during this stage. Once finished, we will reset the Guilds and be in Open Beta and invite everyone to participate. At the end of Open Beta we will have a reward for the Guild that progressed the furthest. Open Beta will probably be for 30 days. A reset will depend on if any major bugs that gave any particular Guild an advantage during this period and your input as well.

Again, I really do apologize for not keeping up on communication while deep in the trenches. I have now poked my head up and am hear to answer questions and to be more engaged as I hang up my developer hat and put on my community hat :)