At its heart Forge of Empires truly is a resource management and worker placement style game. You need to have enough population to run things in your city, enough happiness to make them work hard, and then harvest what they make to serve your advancement. Whether these things are troops, goods, supplies, coins, FPs, or something else; it all serves the purpose of your own advancement.
A game like this though would be very boring, old, and just another SimCity in essence if it weren’t for one vital thing: Guilds.
Guilds are the social backbone of FoE, giving you a place to really get to know a group of players, and they add an element of teamwork to this otherwise single-player game. Now, you might be thinking: I’m totally antisocial and don’t care about that aspect, why should I join a guild? Well, there are many reasons actually! So first lets review why you should be part of a guild, and then we’ll review how a guild functions (which will also contain in-depth reasons to join a guild and a little insight on finding the right one).
Why you should Join a Guild
There’s no single answer as to why you should join a guild, but it all really comes back to teamwork. There are some things that you shouldn’t do alone in this game, and being in a guild makes it easier than just consulting your neighborhood or friends list.
Of course, you cannot join a guild until you research and unlock Smithery in Bronze Age, but once you do the search is on.
The biggest reason most join a guild is for free trade of goods. If you trade goods in the marketplace with people who are only in your neighborhood or on your friends list, then it costs a FP for each transaction you take. Sure, it’s free for you if it’s your listing that gets taken, but quite often you will need to both give and take to get all of what you need. So it’s going to cost your FPs… unless you’re in a guild. Guild members can freely trade goods back and forth without spending any FPs. Furthermore, they can mark trades as guild-only, which keeps people in their neighborhood or on their friends list from taking those trades. If someone is both in your guild and in your neighborhood or on your friends list, the trades are still free between you. It’s important to trade, too, because you can only effectively make so many goods, and then you have to trade to get the other ones you need.
When it comes to quest lines, there are many things your guild can do to support you so you can finish. Sometimes it’s advice from more experienced members, or taking circular trades to complete a goods-gathering quest, or even just having the guild treasury to donate to since that’s often an option in the either-or situations.
You’re going to find it’s easier to earn BPs for GBs being in a guild, because usually there are swap threads, direct swap availability, and more. Most importantly though, you’re going to be surrounded by players in various ages, which gives you access to BPs you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get yet. This can lead to potentially planting GBs ahead-of-age, and thus growing stronger, faster, because of it. It also makes it easier to get multiples of BPs, for those GBs you want to take past level 10.
As far as BPs go, some will even guild-surf for a bit to aid as many people as possible, so as to gain as many BPs as possible quickly. Usually they’re searching for the first few basic GBs: Zeus, CoA, LoA, CdM, and SMB. This can be very time intensive though, and sometimes frustrating if luck isn’t on your side, so it’s not a strategy for everyone.
Being in a guild also often means that you get more regular aid, possible GB assistance in the form of locks and sticks-to-bricks raising parties, etc.
Finally, guilds participate in Guild Expedition, which is essentially a mini-game of either battles and/or negotiations that helps the guild a bit, but really helps you get cool items to help progress your city. Soon there will be Guild Battlegrounds as well, but it remains to be seen how that will play into things.
Overall there really isn’t a downside to being in a guild. You just have to find one that you’re compatible with, because every guild is different with their own unique requirements. Some have no requirements and you’re totally free to do what you want, and others have very strict requirements and are looking only for the best of the best. Most however fall somewhere in-between those two extremes. You can usually tell how active a guild will be based on their requirements, too; the more requirements, the more active the guild.
How a Guild Functions & Picking a Guild
For the most part you don’t need to know [most of] how a guild functions, because only a small portion of players are ever going to hold Founder or Leader status in a guild. Most players are just members, and that’s okay. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the food after all. Regardless, if you’re thinking you might want to run a guild, or if you just want to know all that goes into a guild, this is good to know; not to mention it shows you what to look for when selecting a guild and an in-depth look at what a guild offers. Lets break it out based on the sections of the guild panel that you can see. All images I use will be from the PC, and at the end I’ll share a screen cap from mobile for comparison. The functions don’t change between mobile and PC though.
Use these to jump to specific areas of interest.
- Guild Profile
- The description of a guild, member display, and GE trophy room. This is the first place to look at guild requirements and who to contact usually.
- Guild Members
- In-depth look at who the guild members are, what rights they’ve been granted, battles won, and for founders/leaders, current activity status.
- Sub category: rights and privileges for individual members.
- Guild Level
- Guild Treasury
- What is the guild treasury, and where is it used.
- The administrative functions that founders and leaders of a guild will use. Discusses how members can join a guild.
- Mobile Screencaps
- Just a quick glance at the aesthetic difference between PC and Mobile.
- Message Center
- Quick overview of the main chat every guild has in the message center.
- Guild Ranking
- Brief overview of how a guild becomes top ten, and why it doesn’t matter when you’re searching for a guild.
Tab 1: Guild Profile
The guild profile is where you setup the description, pick the flag, and can see what people who are looking at your guild (but aren’t part of it) see. It features a list of players sorted in order of their personal rank, with any applicable status messages below it (set up in a different tab).
Most flags are free, but some cost diamonds to use. The game alerts you when you want to select a premium flag. Using a premium flag does nothing to enhance your guild as far as ranking or prestige. It is just an aesthetic thing.
The description is where you can leave a message for those viewing your guild. Most choose to highlight their requirements, while others put something witty, and some actually just leave it blank. The choice is yours on this one. Something very common to see though, even if nothing else is included, is the established date. Many guilds (at least active ones) like to take pride in their history, or how quickly they’ve grown, etc. Another common thing to see is who to contact if you’re looking to join, should the guild be set to invite/application only.
If you’re looking to join a guild, that description box should be the first place you look to see if there are any requirements, and if so, do they meet what you’re looking for/willing to do.
The trophies you see will show you how the guild performs in GE typically. It can give you a feel for how competitive they are, too. A lot of gold and little to no silver or bronze means they aim to take home the gold, and probably push decently hard. The opposite is also true, a balance of all the trophies or a skewing to more silver or bronze means they’re likely more laid-back about GE. No trophies means they likely don’t care about GE at all, and don’t participate (and likely don’t unlock extra tiers).
Tab 2: Guild Members
Here we see a listing of guild members, and their rights and privileges within the guild. You can also get a quick synopsis of who likes to fight based on their battles won, and if anyone has been inactive for a while. A blue dot means they’re active, a yellow dot means they haven’t been seen in the last 2-6 days, and a red dot means they haven’t logged into the game in 7+ days. The dots however are only visible to those with Leadership or Founders rights.
This is also where anyone with Leadership or Founders rights can edit the little caption below a members name. What gets put here can vary drastically. Sometimes it’s to denote who outsides should speak to for GvG, sometimes it indicates who handles what in the guild, sometimes it’s just silly stuff… the reasons are endless.
The little bar next to a name shows the rights and privileges, and there are six different things a member can be granted. From left to right: Founder, Leader, Guild Forum Moderator (PC Only feature), Inviter, Notifier, and Trusted. The little red dude with the “x” on him is how a Founder/Leader can remove someone from guild, or how (at least on PC) a player can leave a guild they’re in. Anyone who leaves or is removed from a guild cannot return to that guild for seven days (this is part of the game design and there’s no way to bypass it), so be careful you don’t leave on accident. If you do, you’ll have to wait to get back in.
- Founder: This is automatically granted to whoever makes the guild. A founder can grant this to other members, but BE WARNED: Granting this right to another member means they can remove your own founder rights! DO NOT grant this right to anyone you don’t trust explicitly. Inno Games WILL NOT help you out if you give founder rights to someone and they stage a mutiny and take over your guild from you. You have been warned! In the event that the only founder of the guild leaves, then the founder right will be assigned to someone else at random. It’s thought that it goes to the most senior member, but there’s no confirmation on this that I’m aware of. Finally, only founders can dissolve a guild, which means to poof it into non-existence. Again, Inno Games WILL NOT restore a guild you “accidentally” dissolve so BE CAREFUL.
- Leader: This position grants a player the ability to do everything a founder can do except make or remove founders & leaders, or dissolve the guild.
- Guild Forum Moderator: If you play on PC, then you can access the Guild Forum, which is a little forum that pops up within the game itself. Unlike the general message center, these messages and posts never disappear unless you delete them yourself. However, it cannot be accessed at all by mobile users, and presently there is no plans to give mobile users access to it. Anyone with this right can moderate that forum, which involves creating new sections, moving posts, and deleting posts essentially.
- Inviter: Having this right means a player can send out guild invites to other players. This is important because a guild that is set to invite/application only means that a person cannot get in without receiving an invite (or having their application approved). Someone with the ability to invite other players can bypass any leadership approval.
- Notifier: This is a basic privilege that most players in a guild will have. Usually a Leader or Founder will try to remember (but we’re human too) to give it to any player as soon as they enter a guild. This allows a player to add all guild members to a thread they are creating with the click of a button, instead of having to manually enter each name one-by-one. However, it’s also not uncommon for a member who abuses this privilege to have it taken away (no one wants a million new threads of nonsense).
- Trusted: This right applies specifically to GvG. Having trusted rights means that a player can set siege, drop sectors, move the HQ, and unlock DAs. Without this right they are limited to fighting a sector under siege that their guild is attacking, defending a sector that is being sieged that their guild currently holds, and placing DAs in a sector their guild took so long as the slots are already unlocked.
Tab 3: Guild Level
Guild level is a really important thing, because leveling up your guild means the whole team gets extra goodies. Guild level comes about by collection of Guild Power, which can be earned in a few ways: Hall of Fames, Special Productions (some production buildings let you make GP), GE, GvG, and soon Battlegrounds.
Having a higher guild level means you get boosts to: Guild Prestige, Guild Support Pool, Recruitment Boost, Research Boost, and Building Rebate.
Phew, that’s a lot! Lets go over each piece bit-by-bit, because it’s easier to understand when broken down.
- Hall of Fame: These buildings generate GP daily, to be collected by the player who has one (or more) in their city. Motivating them via aid doubles the output and protects them from being plundered. Plundering a Hall of Fame gives your guild the GP. The amount of GP they produce increases with each age, but you have to use a renovation kit or a one-up kit on them to keep them current to your age. Get a lot of higher level players with a few [dozen] HOFs a piece, and you’re looking at quite the haul of GP, especially if they’re all motivated.
- Special Productions: This is like making coins or supplies, but instead you’re using the production building to make GP. Usually you won’t specifically do this though, because it’s a pittance compared to the size of the building or not as useful as the other stuff you can make (like goods or FPs). However, sometimes the timing works out that you’re filling in a gap before you have to leave (and want a longer time to prevent plundering then), or you need to complete a quest for some gajillion 5min productions or something, and you end up making some GP. These items can be plundered.
- Guild Expedition: The team as a whole will earn GP based on how many encounters each player does. The higher the era a person is, the more points they earn towards the next level in GE for more GP. The overall completion rate of the guild determines if you get a boost for placing in first, second, or third place. Seriously competitive guilds with a lot of high level players can earn decent GP from this.
- Guild -vs- Guild: Every parcel of land you hold during recalc has a specific value of GP attached to it, and the more you earn the higher you rank. This can really add up if you hold swaths of land. It’s honestly the single best way to earn GP, but it can be really difficult to not only take a lot of land, but hold it too. GvG is not for the feint of heart, and it’s also PC based, so it’s not the go-to method of GP it used to be. Regardless, guilds who are ranked in the top 10 in a world usually are active in GvG because the GP you get is that significant.
- Guild Battlegrounds: As of writing this article this feature is still in Beta Testing. It is rumored to be on-par with GvG for GP earnings though, and will be able to be accessed by mobile players. When it is released, this will be updated. For now, just know that it is going to be a future option.
- Guild Prestige: This is what determines your rank overall in the world as compared to other guilds. The more GP you earn daily, the higher you will rank. GP converts to prestige as far as ranking is concerned. The top three guilds in the world earn a bonus 15%, 10%, and 5% respectively of their overall prestige for each recalc they hold that position. As you can imagine, ranking in the top three can be a powerful tool to leveling a guild fast, but it’s not necessary so don’t sweat it if you can’t manage it.
- Guild Support Pool: Support pool specifically is used to offer defensive boosts to GvG sectors that are being held by your guild. It is not infinite, but if you’re not holding large swaths of land or aren’t participating in GvG at all, then you don’t have to be concerned with it.
- Recruitment Boost: This is a nice one, because it drops the time it takes to recruit new units by a certain percentage. The best part is it even works on the GB Alcatraz, which is why that one will generate sooner than 24hrs if you’re in the right guild. With a high enough level you can even potentially collect your Traz twice if you are awake for long enough!
- Research Boost: Simply put, it’s a certain number of FPs you collect daily from your Town Hall. The beautiful thing is that these FPs cannot be plundered. The higher the guild level, the more FPs you will receive. Who doesn’t love free FPs?
- Building Rebate: This reduces the coin and supply costs to build things in your city by a certain percentage. It does not do anything as far as premium buildings (require diamonds) or GBs are concerned. Still, building everything else can be expensive (especially when you need a bunch of stuff for quests and don’t have the right things in your inventory from GE), so anything to offset the costs is worth it.
Tab 4: Guild Treasury
The treasury shows what goods/medals have been donated to the guild for use in guild functions. It’s also the place you go to make a donation to the treasury. Only guild members can see their guild treasury, and if you’re competitive in GvG it is wise to keep that confidential.
Treasury goods are needed for unlocking GE levels, sieging sectors in GvG, and unlocking DA slots in GvG. Medals are used for playing in All Ages in GvG, and nothing else. Battlegrounds will use goods as well once released, but it’s unknown at this time if it will require medals. If your guild does not participate in GvG at all, there is no point in donating medals to the treasury.
Goods/medals donated to the treasury cannot be regained by individual members. Likewise, the treasury cannot be dipped into to give individual members goods/medals. Once they’re in there, they’re for guild functions only.
Goods get into the treasury in one of two ways: either they’re donated specifically by a guild member, or a guild member collects a treasury building (Observatory, Atomium, or Arc) which donates a set of goods for them. Goods donated specifically by a member comes from their personal stash, goods donated by a GB just come from the GB and the player doesn’t lose any goods. At least on PC you can use the little drop-down menu (found under the three horizontal lines in the blue box, upper-left corner of the guild screen) to look at where donations are coming from.
Tab 5: Administration
This tab is only visible to Founders and Leaders of a guild. The average guild member cannot see anything in here.
It is in here that you can set your guild for Application Only, Auto Join, or Invitation Only.
Application only means that anyone can apply, but until they’re accepted they cannot join.
Auto Join means anyone can join whenever they want, no invitation or application necessary.
Invitation Only means that unless you are invited to the guild, you cannot join and you cannot apply to join… at least not via a button (there’s usually someone you should message).
Anyone who is invited to join a guild by someone with inviter rights will automatically join the guild if they choose to accept the invitation. For this very reason it becomes important to know who you have given inviter rights too, if you’re looking for members with specific qualities or who you feel can meet certain requirements.
These screen caps show what the guild center looks like on a mobile screen. Instead of five tabs, you only have three, but the little three-line blue box in the upper-left corner will let you open the administration panel, which gives you the rest of the functionality of the PC version of a guild.
Another difference to note is that the same drop down menu to get to the guild administration gives you the ability to leave your guild. Honestly, this is probably easier and more intuitive for most players to use when it comes to trying to leave their guild, than how the PC version works it.
The Message Center
Once you join a guild, there will be a new thread in your message center that is pinned in place (so it ignores any scrolling or pagination). You cannot leave this thread, as it is your guild’s main hub of communication. This is often referred to as the “Main Chat”, and some guilds ask that you do not pollute it with general chatter so it can be used for announcements and important information only. Other guilds don’t care. Regardless, it’s the one thread that all guild members are automatically and forever in, until they are no longer part of your guild.
A guild will usually create other certain guild-specific threads (with some being optional and some being mandatory) as well, but that’s a whole other topic to be discussed and this is already long enough.
It should be noted that while it’s nice to have the bragging rights of being in a top guild (especially one in the top three or top ten), it really doesn’t say anything to the quality of the guild. Many guilds are top-quality, but they don’t participate heavily in GvG and so they will never (at least for now, Battlegrounds is supposed to change this) be in the top ten (unless of course they’re really pushing those high-era HOFs). So when you’re looking at a guild, don’t make the guild ranking a priority. Talk to founders, leaders, and even current members to get a feel for what the overall quality of the guild is. Are they fun? Strict on requirements? Are the requirements laid back or involved? How helpful are the members? And other similar things, because these are what really matter. Getting into a top ten guild doesn’t mean anything if there’s an elite core of members that prey on younger members until they claw their way into the elite, or leave. Similarly, joining a rank 573 guild doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means they aren’t bringing in a lot of daily GP. They could be the kindest, most knowledgeable, overly-helpful group of players you’ve ever met. Basically, don’t judge a guild by its ranking.
So that’s basically guilds in a nutshell. They offer teamwork to players, with nice rewards based on how much GP the guild can raise daily to level it up.
How do you know when it’s time to leave a guild? What about visiting other guilds for short periods?
You tend to know it’s time to leave a guild if you’re starting to feel out of place, if meeting their requirements is a struggle, or if you’re looking for a guild with something different (like going from a low-activity guild to a more active one). Sometimes the opportunity presents itself if someone is recruiting and you get a message for a guild that sounds like a better fit than where you currently are. It’s really very personal, because what each player is looking for in a guild experience is different, but those are a few of the things that should be relatively noticeable.
As far as visiting a guild for a short period, that’s often something exclusive to GvG to foster good relationships, and guild leadership works it out between the participating guilds, before finding willing participants. That one is really weird.