I was told in high school the shower is the best place to think of ideas. As I mulled over my ideas about the GW2 market, an idea popped up…
Guild Wars 2 introduced an interesting new type of guild system. The ability to join and stay in multiple guilds while selectively representing guilds has some great aspects. I’ve always found in MMOs that I enjoy having a few of my alts be in different guilds to interact in different player communities. The interaction between players is always one of the central aspects of the game and is personally one of the largest staying powers for online gaming. Having multiple guilds gives great ease to joining different communities just as you would have different friend groups in real life. It also opens the door for more specialized types of communities. PvP, WvW, and PvE are all vastly different experiences in GW2 and the option to have specialized communities will greatly improve the experience for all players.
One caveat for this new system is the relative lack of anonymity with your alt characters. The fact that you can always be seen in guild screens and friend lists on different characters makes it so that you are always visible to the players you are connected with. While this is a great convenience most of the time, with accounts locked to purchases, it isn’t easy to get another account to play privately in contrast to F2P MMOs. However, overall my experience with the guild and party system keeping you connected to your party across characters and play sessions has been very positive.
This new guild system brings me to my new idea. With the ability to switch and participate in many guilds on the same account, an interesting possibility opens up for my market escapades. I haven’t examined the new guild system closely enough, but the great flexibility with guild ranks allows for a very fine control of the actions in a guild. Combined with the functionality of the guild warehouse and bank, it is very possible to open a type of banking system. Managing a shell guild (The Bank of TopGun!) to act as a central depository hub and actively managing the deposits in the game could become a great way to establish a more complex and robust player-run economic system. I’m sure that I’ll be forming a bank for members of my guild to deposit and withdraw from. The money in the fund could then be leveraged to trade and participate in the market.
A deposit only format for depositors of the bank would be necessary to manage the books and keep track of “share” purchases in the bank. The books would have to be kept clean and ownership of the fund adjusted as deposits are made, however this can all be done with relatively simple bookkeeping. The traders would be granted withdraw permissions and be allowed to manage the fund. A transaction log would make this process complete with the ability to track performance and finely tune the deposit and withdrawal times to reflect proper trades in the fund. With the free market system in GW2, being able to leverage a depository institution would likely grant much more market power to the traders and result in the ability to maximize returns. Working out a withdrawal system that is monitored but available while traders aren’t online is another task to think about.
Pending the release of the game I’m already excited about my first plans. Mapping out the guild system and trying to create possibly the first GW2 bank will be exciting!