FanFaire Follow-up: The Guildhouse That LEGO Built…

Posted: August 8, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Guilds

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

-Kurt Vonnegut  

I’ve been advocating for Guildhalls for a long, long, LONG time.  So it should come as no surprise that I was very happy to hear that SOE’s developers are currently in the early design stages of what promises to be the most robust system I’ve seen in an MMO to date.

With only some early concept sketches, and a description of an early wireframe walkthrough to go on, we’ve finally started taking steps toward what could eventually be yardstick by which future Guildhall systems are measured.

Or it could suck.

As described (and keep in mind, this is ALL very early concepts being discussed here – all subject to change), the Everquest 2 developers are working on a Guildhall based largely around Qeynos or Freeport to begin with.  There would be a single Guildhall “island” built off the mainland of Antonica and another off the coast of the Commonlands.  Each island would be accessible by boat (or bell?) and would be an instanced area (similar to city housing – shared facade, with instanced interiors).

Guilds of a lower level might be only be able to purchase the basics – essentially a general shared meeting area with limited, if any, actual gameplay functionality.

As guilds advance in level, they’d have the ability to purchase additional, relatively modular rooms.  You might pick up a teleportation room which enables guildmates to instantly transport to other places in the world, or perhaps an in-home Guildvault for storing properties. 

They didn’t go into much detail, and in-fact, they stated that they were very much in the early design stages of the concept.  Very little of the actual idea was set into stone at this point, and only a few vague details were discussed at all.

However, the idea is one that excites me quite a bit.  Nevermind the fact that it is practically a carbon copy of the idea I’ve advocated for some time now.  It’s a good design concept, and it solidifies the idea that guilds are a central social hub within games such as Everquest 2.  Moreover, by introducing a modular design, they give themselves license to build upon the concept for years to come, to continue to reward guild players for advancing within the game itself.

Not all rewards need be specifically game functional, either.  In fact, some of the most fun rewards might include a stable (just for showing off mounts?) or a tavern.  I’d love to see any of the following type of rooms (or staff):

  • art gallery
  • private guild garden
  • game rooms
  • central trophy hall
  • meditation room
  • healing spa
  • armory
  • tradeskilling rooms
  • small sparring arena
  • training room
  • recruiting area
  • map room
  • guild mender
  • guild merchants
  • guild broker
  • chapels dedicated to specific dieties
  • guild tavern
  • guild library
  • observatory
  • rock garden
  • spire/teleportation room
  • guild barracks (basic housing for members)
  • ballroom
  • theatre
  • mage tower

The list goes on.  There’s really no realistic limit here to what could be done.  Even if they filled the base hall idea, there’s no reason that they couldn’t add in new towers or build upon the walls. 

Imagine the eventual expansion ideas such a Hall could enjoy?  You could tie a guild “ship” or two alongside the docks outside of the Hall.  As the guild advances, the ships could as well.  Eventually, a ship based expansion might include a ship based system of combat, or just give an enthusiastic crew the chance to try out new ship based “dungeons” out on the open oceans. 

Imagine new guild raids which only started within guild halls, as opposed to starting within specific cities. 

Or, imagine a system with none of those things.  Imagine very limited, linear options.  Imagine some tradeskill devices, access to existing guild functions, and maybe a room for teleportation.  Imagine every guild hall looking alike after a very short amount of time.  Imagine that some rewards are obvious first choices, whereas other rewards are only taken when nothing else is available.   Imagine the costs of the best rooms being so high that only a percentage of a percentage of players will ever be able to see them. 

Oh, I’m excited about guildhalls.  I just want to see them done right.  

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Comments
  1. Kilanna says:

    I completely love this idea. I love the idea of heading back to the guild hall with your buddies after an adventure to sell your spoils, put your loot up for sale, sit around in the tavern chatting, perhaps do a little crafting, and maybe have housing open off from the guild hall.

    What about a notice board in one of the rooms that will take you to the guilds website? I like the idea of a dueling room too to check out a little PvP.

    If player housing and guild housing become very inter-related, it will be interesting to see how the system will handle direct sales from sales displays in player housing. I see no reason why it can’t be done, I am just interested in the mechanics.

  2. ogrebears says:

    I love these ideas. I”m very excited about the guild halls, from the forms i read that there reading people ideas and seeing what they can do with them.

  3. kendricke says:

    I’ll be posting a full transcript of the panel soon.

  4. Meryddian says:

    It took quite a while for guild halls to come to EQ1, but they keep adding functionality and stuff to those. (Of course, I haven’t played EQ1 since EQ2 came out, but I still like to find out about EQ1 stuff. The games are kissin’ cousins after all.)

    Just frustrating when things come out in one game and not the other…

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