Guild Identities - Upcoming Preview

A few weeks ago, we experimented with something brand new in Steamforged Games’ community engagement, the Pitch Formations preview. In the weeks that followed we saw an enormous reaction as hundreds of feedback posts were left on our forums, we saw a lot of Twitter and Facebook conversations happening and even some podcast discussions. As Developers, it was a joy to watch and the process has ensured that Pitch Formations will appear in a future Organised Play update.

Here at Steamforged we see the Pitch Formations preview as a huge success… so we’re back to do it all again with something completely different! 

Guild Identities

Guild Identities, or Guild Identity cards (GICs), have been knocking around the Steamforged Development team as an idea for a while. We have been exploring our options for how to deploy these into the world of Guild Ball and two things happened that made us pause for thought. Firstly, the huge success of the Pitch Formations preview in both community engagement and the responses we received from you. Secondly, that we don’t want to wait until Guild Ball Season 4 at the end of 2018 before we reveal Guild Identities to you, because we think they’re such an awesome idea! So, just what are Guild Identities?

Guild Identities represent the team coach (you!) having done some research into the opposing team to analyse their strengths and weaknesses. The coach then trains their own team to play slightly differently to gain the upper hand and hopefully increase their own chances of winning the match. This is something that happens regularly in a number of real-life sports such as Football (Soccer) and American Football. 

To represent this type of training in Guild Ball, we decided to explore the idea of each Guild having access to a small hand of cards, each one detailing an extra ability that will affect your team for the duration of the match. This represents you as the Coach selecting a particular strategy and telling your team what to do when they go out onto the Pitch. We intend for each Guild to have access to around three Guild Identities. If being used at an event, a different Guild Identity can be chosen for use in each match to represent the Coach training their team differently for each opponent.

Anatomy of a Guild Identity Card


There are three main aspects of a Guild Identity card, the name of the Guild Identity, a Text Benefit, and a Heal Rate. Text Benefits can do a huge number of different things, some will only apply to one player in a team, some will apply to every player in a team. Some Benefits will even offer opportunities to score bonus Victory Points (VP). Whichever you choose, each one should offer a different way to play with your team.

The Heal Rate on each card governs the amount of Health Points (HP) that players recover when being affected by the Come on Mate! or Take a Breather! Momentous actions. In our example, the Heal Rate shown is a [3] – this means that in a game using this Guild Identity Card, when a player on the friendly team uses Take a Breather! to recover HP, the player will recover [3] HP rather than the standard [4]. Additionally, when a player is targeted by Come on Mate! to recover HP, again the player will recover [3] HP rather than the standard [4].

Playing with Heal Rates allows us to take another look at how resilient a particular Guild really is when taking into account all of the supporting factors. For example, on face value the Engineer’s Guild don’t appear to have many resilient players. The Engineer’s Guild doesn’t have the highest average HP, DEF, or ARM attributes when compared to other Guilds. However, the Engineer’s Guild are one of the most resilient in Guild Ball because they have a large amount of powerful defensive Character Plays and Character Traits such as Nimble, Reanimate and Tough Hide. It could be argued that the Engineers benefit a lot more from healing their players than a Guild with less of these powerful defensive abilities.

Furthermore, we can use Heal Rates to offset particularly powerful Text Benefits. So we could choose to employ a very powerful Benefit, because it looks very fun to play with, and then balance that powerful Benefit by giving it a low Heal Rate such as [2] or even [1]. Finally, Heal Rates are also a ‘lever’ that we as Developers can pull to tweak the overall balance of a particular Guild if we feel we need to.

How to use Guild Identity Cards

For those wishing to play a casual match using Guild Identities, simply choose a Guild Identity to use at the same time as selecting your six-player team. 

For those wishing to try an event using Guild Identities, each coach will select their Guild Identity at the same time as selecting their Captain & Mascot (Step D of the Pre-Match Sequence). A different Guild Identity can be used in each match.

Once chosen, a Guild Identity is fixed for the duration of the match. There is no way to change your Guild Identity during a match, there’s no halftime talk in Guild Ball!

Preview Process

Through running the Pitch Formations preview, we were able to review the process we used in order to improve its impact and efficiency for use this time around. So that we can move onto talking about the new and exciting stuff, here is a brief explanation of how this preview will work:

Start Date – Today! (Friday 1st of September)
We are revealing a single Guild Identity for each Guild to give you all a chance to try the system out before worrying about choosing from a set of Guild Identities.

Feedback Portals – Any relevant discussion can take place in any of the feedback threads. However, please remember to only post reports of games played and your findings from them in the GIC Game Feedback Thread:

GIC General Theory Thread
GIC Game Feedback Thread

Alchemist Theory Thread
Blacksmith Theory Thread
Butcher Theory Thread
Brewer Theory Thread
Engineer Theory Thread
Farmer Theory Thread
Fishermen Theory Thread
Hunter Theory Thread
Mason Theory Thread
Mortician Theory Thread
Union Theory Thread

1st Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 15th of September
We will reveal two additional Guild Identities for each Guild. A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

2nd Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 29th of September
A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

Final Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 13th of October
A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

Preview Ends – Friday 27th of October

There you have it! The Guild Identities Preview has begun! Make sure you join in the discussion on our forums and give these rules a try!