When deciding new features for The Buried Sea expansion, the EverQuest team really wanted to focus on ways to reduce the amount of downtime. This is especially true for setting up a guild raid. It's not always easy for everyone to log in at the exact same time to start the raid. There will always be your guildmates that won't get home from work on time, that need to feed the kids and walk the dogs. Guild Banners will really help late arrivals catch up to the rest of the Guild on the raid.

Features of Guild Banners
The main functionality of a Guild Banner is to serve as a roving destination for the guild's teleporter in their guild hall. However, once upgraded, it provides area of influence effects that only affect members of the guild.

The leader of a guild will be able to create a banner by accessing a merchant in the guild hall or the guild lobby. The basic banner is free for all guilds. It has the teleport ability and displays the customized guild emblem. Advanced banners that have more functionality can be purchased at the banner merchant. The banner is created by browsing through a large selection of patterns. The patterns are available in two layers, a background and an emblem. Once a guild emblem has been selected, it will be displayed under a banner tab in the guild window. This is where officers can make edits. A new banner can be selected at any time by returning to the merchant and paying for a new one.

Any guild can plant a banner in a zone as long as it meets the number of groups in the zone requirement. Only guild leaders and officers can plant the Guild Banner and only one Guild Banner per guild can exist anywhere in the world at the same time. Once a banner is planted, it will last for 1 hour or until there are less than the required number of groups within the zone. The banner can also be removed via a button control in the guild management window.

Whenever a Guild Banner is planted, guild members can purchase a special guild stone to use the guild portal in their guild hall to teleport to wherever that Guild Banner is in the world.

Upgrading Guild Banners
The advanced banners that can be purchased from the banner merchant, offer a wide range of area of effect abilities such as a boost to attack speeds, invisibility, healing, and more. Anyone within the area of influence of the banner will gain the benefit that it offers. The benefits are set by the guild leader or officer before the banner is placed.

These banners have charges and once planted, the charges will only be available for a certain period of time. If the banner is lost during that time, it can be replanted but the timer doesn't stop counting down while the banner is gone. Once the time has run out on the upgraded banner, it reverts to a basic banner.

Guild Banners Restrictions
To help balance out the use of banners with gameplay, we wanted to ensure that anyone using a banner to access a zone that has entry requirements, meet those requirements. If someone is not flagged for the zone, they will not be able to teleport to it. The guild banners teleportation will be disabled for areas that have teleportation restrictions. For example, it will not be permitted in areas where Call of Hero cannot be used.

Customizing the Banners
With the customization of the banners, we really want guilds to have the ability to create a symbol that can be associated with their guild. The background has a primary and a secondary color choice that can be set and there are over 50 EverQuest and Heraldry symbols and color choices available for emblems. The emblems are layered on top of the background.

There will be several types of banners to select, including the basic banner. The banner's staff, accessories and emblem area will change based on the banner selected. The emblem itself will remain constant for the guild unless the leaders elect to modify it.

Now when you go fight Lethar or other encounters that take a while to get to, you can use your guild banner and have your guild members teleported to your side. If you have a guild leader close by make sure you deploy the advanced guild banner to gain the added bonus it offers. Your guild will have a new way of traveling and I am sure you will ask yourself how you played the game without it.