The open beta is closer to its end now, so its time to test all you can and want to know for launch. Yesterday i tried out guild battle standards and figured they are worth an in detail article.
Once your guild reaches guild rank 5 you'll gain the right to assign two standard bearers (everyone can buy a standard, but only those assigned can use it) and use a Warped Battle Standard, which can be bought at quartermasters in warcamps. The guild leader will always be able to function as a standard bearer as well. You equip the battle standard in the designated slot (player doll) and drag it into a hotbar slot. Once you use it, a castbar will show up (takes a while) and you'll bring out the standard. When you have it out, you'll gain a permanent speed buff:
This passive speed buff will work for all guildies in your party (and most likely warband as well, did not test that) as long as they're within range of you. If you should die while carrying the banner, it will be lost - that's nearly 1.9g wasted then. Especially in the begining that would be bad, so probably best to let tanks carry it and maybe have an off-tank to "guard" the standard bearer as well if in dangerous areas. The nifty part of the speed buff is it will let your party move 25% faster through areas, could be useful when you don't have a mount yet. But be aware that the standard bearer can't use any of his abilities/skills while carrying it. He can only run & jump and has access to two core abilities in the beginning:
The blessing will prevent you from most damage for a short period. And NO it does not prevent falling damage, i tried. ;)
Planting a standard on the ground is where the basic battle standard gets interesting. Once you plant it, it will stay one hour (then decay if not picked up again) or until and enemy player picks it up. I have no idea what exactly happens then, but afaik they will be able to use it as a trophy or gain "Banner Scraps" to buy unlocks. As long as the designated standard bearer is still alive, it's not possible for another guildie to pick the standard up instead. I don't know if he would be able to do so should you die. As he gets a message I'm still alive, maybe so.
The interesting part is what the tooltip does not tell you... once the basic banner is planted it will radiate a pulse that will award all party members in the area of effect with a 20% morale boost. Imagine for example you enter a dungeon and plant the banner as your spot to fight and pull the mobs over into the pulse. Also useful if you are defending a keep. Depending on the fight you could use your morale abilities a lot more.
So its rather obvious that the standards real use will come at later levels with additional tactics etc. equipped. But for a cautious group even the basic battle standard can provide uses, maybe in the beginning more in PvE then RvR, but still. Standards will also be needed later to allow the guild to claim keeps.
Tip of the Day:
#You do not need to stand still to bring out or store the battle standard, you can do it while running.