The Guild 2, what went wrong?

Bugs, crashes and burns

The game is still unstable, despite all the years the developers had to fix all the nit-bits. The game is mildly demanding in terms of hardware, and even if you have a super-computer you have no guarantee it won’t crash. Although the situation has improved, from what I remember previously, there are still cases of the game crashing almost at random (though plenty solutions exist to fix most cases of them).

There are bugs, that is clear, but they are not ever-present. Most of the time they appear spontaneously and do not disturb the game that much. I had cases when my workers would stand in their work place because their pathways could not find a way home, but it was never the case of “End of the World” bugs, yet. I did hear stories of NPCs getting stuck in mountains or other strange places though. Other times I have seen NPCs not do their jobs, for example in hospitals, causing a huge clog-up in the building’s operation. One time I even had a bug where my character could not enter his starting house.

Bugs are present in every game. They usually get fixed, sooner or later. The Guild 2 did suffer from bugs not being fixed, not all of them at least. Another problem is that the optimization of the game is often sub-optimal. In order for The Guild 2 to run smoothly on my own laptop I have to switch off any other processes that might interfere with the game. It might not be a problem for some, but considering how newer games are better optimized it leaves some food for thought.

“Now what?”

When I played the Guild 2 I reached a point where I asked myself “Now what?”. This came around when my Rogue was so filthy rich that the Town offices he did not control himself he held in his pocket. Despite being called to court almost every other day he held enough influence to come out clean. Eventually when he achieved Diplomatic Immunity he organised a giant bon-fire made up of all the houses of his competitors.

The Guild 2: Renaissance

As a city expands so does its council. Each new posting offers new possibilities for whomever “grabs it”… but sometimes there is not enough people around for all of them.

This is not so much a game flaw as it is a design flaw. When you become clearly too powerful any game becomes repetitive. The fact that you hold the power to kill somebody in front of the Guard and not be arrested would be fun, if not for the fact that the AI is often a bit too dumb to counter such actions.

With power comes property, and here comes another problem with The Guild 2.

(No) Business Management

When you start off with a single store or workshop it is easy to control it. After all, you can handle the deliveries yourself, order production and sell your cart-load of goods with ease. As you begin expanding, building new locations, you discover that The Guild 2 becomes difficult. As Fanatyk stated in one of his articles, optimization and time-saving comes from automization. You do not have an option of a Cart obtaining necessary supplies when a store runs out. In addition, if you have even three different businesses remembering what each one was meant to produce makes you focus exclusively on money-making. All the other elements of the game, such as Politics and Intrigue, disappear because otherwise you will be at a gigantic economic loss.

And speaking of Economic loss, when you deal with any business that needs to trade with other towns bandits become a problem. Often, recruiting a mercenary to guard your caravan costs a whole lot of coin, and there is no guarantee he will win. Your precious cargo, together with an expensive guard disappear. The only way for you to clear out the bandits is to organise a campaign against them, sending your henchmen to burn their hideout down. It seems like the logical thing to do, but if you do not want to spend a whole lot of coin on such preparations you should have an option of protecting your caravans adequately. Logistics is this game’s essence. You need to transport goods for a profit, but if you keep making a loss out of it, why bother?

The (hopeful) future

I like the idea of The Guild 2. I never played a similar game before, or after its release. Despite its bugs and demanding hardware I was happy that such a video game exists. I had plenty of choice, more so than a lot of other games could offer. There were plenty of events I could take part in, shaping my Dynasty to become the most dominant force in the kingdom. The problem came in the game design. I wanted to ignore the fact that I saw NPCs run in circles due to faulty pathways, or that the AI was too “inexperienced” to argue with my actions. During one playthrough three other families died out within the first few days, for different reasons. I sat somewhat in disbelief when I realised that I did not have to do anything for my competitors to fail miserably.

The Guild 2: Renaissance

Even though these gentlemen are fighting right under the city gate nobody thinks of calling the Guard… Oh well. Might as well loot one of the corpses later on.

If there will be a The Guild 3 coming out, I would want it follow the concept of The Guild 2, but that the design be done at a true master-class level. No bugs, or pathway errors, no bad building placement, better business management, more challenging gameplay, and corrected spelling errors. Despite what some other critics stated, I do not feel that the graphics in The Guild 2 are out-dated. The game is pleasant to the eye and sufficiently beautiful to please a demanding outdoors-man. I know that an economic simulator could have the looks of Skyrim, but what for?

I will continue to play The Guild 2, because there is no other game like it. Although it is unlikely I will see it “fixed” in the future I hope The Guild 3 (if it ever comes out) will be what The Guild 2 should had been.

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

5 Responses to The Guild 2, what went wrong?

  1. Andrew says:

    Excellent write up Alex. I was a big fan of the TG2:R and you summed up where the developers failed to meet expectations. The real problem was that JoWood did about the same thing with every game they touched. Grand games with epic ambition but terrible execution and follow up.

    Runeforge will be coming out with Kontor (hopefully) and it is supposed to be the successor to the The Guild series in everything but the name. The company that bought out Jowood didn’t release the rights so they have to change everything including the basic premise but it’s supposed to remain true in style.

    • WriterX says:

      Oh? I will have to keep my eye on this. If this will be “Like the Guild 2 only better” then I hope it does get the fame it deserves, and does not end up forgotten.

      Time will tell!

  2. cruors says:

    i play the game everyday… i never have problems with it and i think its a great game so….. unlucky….

  3. Anonn says:

    Bugs killed the game for me, also the World was rather small in my opinion…

    Aside from that, the -BEST- game I’ve ever played!

    • WriterX says:

      I wouldn’t say the world were small. When I played Guild 2: Renaissance you played on a map the size of… well… the “Hanza” (sort of like Patrician 2). Granted, only the key cities were present, but the travel time from city to city was long.

      I wonder will there ever be a Guild 3…

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