During an episode of Relics of Orr a year or two ago, I said that MMOs should be about creating virtual worlds and letting you settle them. At the time I espoused scepticism that anything like my dream for guild halls could ever come true.
Well I'm happy to see I was wrong! Colin Johanson gave a short presentation at E3 letting us know that there will be not one, but two zones in Heart of Thorns that can serve as our Guild Halls! Right after the presentation Zam and MassivelyOP published interviews from E3 providing even more details. Follow along as I highlight and speculate on the features of Guild Halls we will be getting with Heart of Thorns!
Raiding Your Hall
During the raiding Collaborative Development Initiative thread run by Chris Whiteside I was cautiously optimistic that raids would make an appearance as adventure maps. I was not expecting to see it manifest as a RAID TO CAPTURE YOUR OWN GUILD HALL. The idea behind the Guild Hall invasions is that your guild has purchased a contract for a piece of land. Much like the colonists of the early modern era the only thing between you and your new land of opportunity is the local denizens. Fortunately those living in you future guild hall are Minions of Mordremoth so you can slaughter them to your hearts content with minimal moral quandaries. I am a huge fan of this the raid as it provides both content for your guild to clear together, but it also serves as a guided tour of the hall itself. I'm looking forward to killing bosses and pausing to discuss what we might build in place of what was once a knot of nightmarish tentacle vines.
Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats mentioned several months ago the improved enemy scaling that we see in Silverwastes. This improvement to scaling technology means that the guild hall raid can be challenging while not preventing friends and family guilds from completing it. This will be very important as one of the problems that cropped up when Guild Missions were added were small guilds merging, dispersing into bigger guilds or dying off entirely.
Beyond concerns for equal access I am curious to see if the raid will be interesting enough for guilds to want to run it more than once. According to the ZAM article as each time you switch guild halls you will have to clear the area you want to move to. Once clear all of your already completed buildings and upgrades will unlock removing any inconvenience of switching halls. If raiding a guild hall is interesting enough, I foresee some guilds periodically switching halls just for a chance to re-clear the raid. The ZAM article also mentions that we will need to keep the guild hall clear of Mordrem after capuring it, hinting at possible invasion events where guilds defend their halls from returning Mordrem.
Building Your Guild Hall
While raiding your guild hall sounds awesome, I’m most excited for the upcoming options to build things in your guild hall. According to the MassivelyOP interview there will be six buildings available to be constructed at the launch of HoT. Each of these buildings relate to a different parts of the guild wars 2 experience. The Workshop is for crafters, granting us access to the new Scribe crafting discipline. The Arena for is SPvPers, providing an arena for guild members to duel and when fully upgraded functions as an on the fly custom arena. The Tavern provides a place for players that want to socialize and roleplay. It also will be a place where players can claim the old guild wide buffs that used to be a part of the guild panel. The War Room provides a place for players to unlock guild upgrades for WvW objectives. The war room will also provides access to recipes for the scribe profession that will be used in WvW. The Market is a place to shop. Guild merchants can be found in the market and as the market is upgraded the merchant's stock will expand. The final building is a mine, where workers employed by your guild provides access to the new aetherium resource which builds up at a set rate. Each building sounds like it will have a few levels of upgrades and from what I can see in the trailer they will all be fully explorable! The buildings will be hooked to specific locations in your guild hall though whether we can choose which building goes on which hook remains to be seen.
It also looks like the appearance of the buildings will be based on which of the two maps you have chosen. Buildings on one map look like buildings from the golden city while the other map appears to use the theme of the town of Prosperity in Drytop. While having the ability to choose the theme of the buildings on the map might be interesting I am very excited to see them roll out future guild zones. From Human to Pact themes that are so many different building styles they can build on from the game and I am excited to see how they grow both the building selection and the locations of guild zones over time!
Making a Home for your Guild and you.
If ArenaNet had just buildings with upgrades I would have been happy, but they took customizing your guild hall a step further and added decorations. The decoration system has me incredibly excited. Decorations are items that you will be able to place in your guild hall. The examples we have seen vary from trophy mounts to trees and fountains. According to the ZAM article some of these decorations such as plants will not have collision, others however will.
Being able to place objects has me dancing gleefully. Why you ask? Whether intended or not Anet is giving us CUSTOM JUMPING PUZZLE creation tools! The video shows a character only placing the items on flat ground and a recent blog post from ArenaNet on the scribe profession suggests flat ground will probably be a requirement, but if we can hang some things from the walls to create platforms expect some amazing jumping puzzles to come out the community.
Decorations will acquired by completing guild content as well as through the new Scribe crafting discipline. When a player acquires a decoration using it will let them select which of the guilds they belong to will receive it. Once an item has been moved to a Guild decoration storage any guild member with the new "Architect" permission will be able to place decorations around the hall. In a recent blog post we also learned that we will be able to purchase basic decorations from one of our guild vendors. These basic decorations can then be upgraded by combining them with items found in the open world. One example given in the blog, was at the end of a jumping puzzle there will be some elementals that once killed may drop an item that can upgrade your fountain from simple one to a fancy one with elemental lights ringing the outside.
Beyond the building jumping puzzles the sheer size of the map may allow guilds to grant each of their members a small section where they can use decorations to create whatever kind of home like area they want. While this may not satisfy everyone hoping for player housing it is an exciting step along the way. I am looking forward to walking through the various neighborhoods that the RO guild members will build in our guild hall.
Those are my top reasons for being excited for guild halls and I haven't even touched on the custom arena, the WvW Charr siege motorcycles or the fact that we will be able to buy mini-pets for some form of in game currency! I was debating whether to hop onto the HoT hype train. Today I’m all aboard.
Are you pumped for guild halls? Does your guild have any big plans? Let us know in the comments.