Dev Scarabman Explains Guild Boons Balancing Woes

Neverwinter’s Guild Boons have long been a target of player complaints. It’s a difficult topic, but your tl;dr is that they are just too powerful and widen the gap between the haves (GH20 members) and have-nots. Yesterday developer Scarabman showed up on the forums and answered the latest thread about the boons. The post shared some interesting insight on the internal thought process and possible upcoming tweaks.

Guild Boons Are Overtuned

[su_quote]The difference between being in a guild with max-level boons and not being in a guild at all contributes to problems with our attempts to balance the level 70 experience. […] Since we can’t guarantee a player is in a guild and we don’t want to force anyone to join a guild, if we hand out sufficient gear upgrades to get players strong enough to fight without any guild boons, does the addition of the guild boons trivialize the content? In some cases it does.[/su_quote]

The first interesting aspect talked about were balancing struggles. It indeed seems that the difference between having guild boons vs. not is so significant that it’s hard to adjust content in a way it fits both scenarios. Scarabman points out that Guild Boons are intentionally strong as they were incredibly costly and time consuming to attain. Nowadays however, as more and more Strongholds reach GH20 and players can just join a capped guild, the cost vs. benefit is becoming less relevant. That’s why, for the current state of the game, Guild Boons are overtuned.

No Immediate Changes

You don’t have to fear that progress is going to get taken away from your guild by a nerf though. The developer stressed that they don’t feel like it’s enough of a gamebreaking issue. Hence they are unlikely to adjust the system “this year”. Long-term though there might be some changes coming to ensure that the devs can balance content around the assumption that most players have access to guild boons.

[su_quote]One idea the team has been bouncing around is to add a store in Protector’s Enclave where guildless players can buy access to lesser guild boons for a period of time. This would allow us the freedom to assume players have access to some level of guild boons. Something we might consider doing sooner is to reduce the build time of some of the really big structure upgrades. My personal opinion is that reducing those times would be a mostly positive change for everyone. Again, none of this is set in stone.[/su_quote]

What’s your take on the Guild Boons? Would you welcome a change or feel like your guild deserves to have an advantage over guildless plebs? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board!

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11 thoughts on “Dev Scarabman Explains Guild Boons Balancing Woes

  • April 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I have no problem with guild boons that does somethin and that is from a non rank 20 guild player. I do however think it is crazy to count utiliy and pvp boons towards your item level as this might cause better geared players to mi out on groups because being in a small guild with 16k means you are actually 17k (1k from pvp and utility)but people will take people that are 16.5k (actual 15.5k over you)

  • April 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I have no problem with guild boons. If you want access to guild boons, markets, and the many other benefits of a guild that the occasional crying anti-guild snowflake probably is not even remotely aware then join a guild. If you dont want to join a guild then shut your pie whole.

  • April 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Well, PvP Boons only apply in PvP.

    So PvE Guild Boons should ONLY apply on the Stronghold map. Simple. Job done.


  • April 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Oh, and SH PvP Boons should ONLY apply during SH PvP.

    Simple. Job Done.

  • April 22, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Really there should be a counter for the amount of donations you have put into a guild. Once you are at certain level of donations then it will unlock the boon for the player and not the guild itself. But really strongholds was a major mistake by the devs it cause so many players yo leave game or leave there guild. Many good guilds have fallen apart or had to downsize from the 150 player cap. Then other players/guilds (Most ass hats) just leave a guild/alliance to join the one they think is elite at the time and sadly it is still going on to this day.

  • April 22, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    We paid lots of in game currency for these boons, I recently tore down one boon plot and built a new one and kept track of the costs. The one plot was over 22 million AD out of my own funds plus what the guild collected in materials. That includes a 5% discount. These things are expensive and a change to them would need to obviously carefully considered as a major change would easily upset the population. If they are looking to even things up a bit, the buy your temporary boons is a great idea, I paid 22mil for the HP boon structure, so surely a few thousand AD to get some boons would not be terrible. Another idea is to maybe scale the boons differently, put higher values at the lower levels and smaller values near the top so the lower level guilds have a bigger percentage of the stats now.

  • April 23, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Guild leader of a GH 20 on XB.

    The idea of reducing the requirements for structures is spot on. The game population has contracted, so players of high enough item level to join GH 20s get the goodies. Others get the scraps. In the mean time, the smaller guilds have a hard, hard time getting donations.

    Agree with Contractions of Fate – PVE only in PVE, PvP only in PVP

    Also agree with Bob regarding snowflakes and pieholes.

  • April 23, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    As for costs, I wish there was some sliding scale where the base costs is worked out for a 5-man guild. Then, as membership increases, the costs increase accordingly in stages by a reasonable amount.

    Then a single person in a small Mod 2 Guild, who finds that all his guildies quit due to Mod 6, might have a chance of getting somewhere where he can buy some semi-decent gear from his Marketplace Rank 6 without having to ask friends for a temporary invite.

    I worked out that to get to Rank 20 would take a single player with 10 Alts something like 67 years, just to get the Influence!


    Or was that a single person with one character? Whichever way you cut it, it’s far too much for small guilds. Coupled with the fact that the strongest in an Alliance will be the Helm and get all the best bonuses and cost reductions, it’s not a great system.

    But if base costs were based on 5 @handles in a guild, then it would just take me 5x as long to farm the currencies alone than it would have taken us if the others had not quit. Or something. I think it’s actually based on characters, not players? Too tired to do the maths in my head, but you know what I mean…


    • April 24, 2018 at 7:36 am

      +1 to the scaling idea although that would probably work against socializing. Because for a super active endgame player it would probably always make more sense to simply build up a personal guild than align with lesser active players. If the scaling was linear that is.

      What they could have done is implementing a function that allows to build structures for X% of the costs but adds X*2% to building time. That way guilds could save massive amounts of resources at the cost of increasing wait times significantly.

  • April 26, 2018 at 10:46 am

    the boons are not overpowered, the problem is a lack of diminishing returns that doesn’t force people to balance builds. That’s the core of the balancing issues.

    At this point, anyone not in a GH20 guild is pretty much choosing not to be. Whether that’s because they want to experience leveling a guild or because they are anti-social is irrelevant. It is a choice that has been made.

  • April 26, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I agree some sensible diminishing returns should apply to Power, Crit and Life Steal, but if some players suddenly lost their 57k base power and 100% Crit Chance, there’d be uproar.

    But how many vacancies are there in your guild, Putz?


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