I’m a huge fan of the idea of having Guild Halls as someplace unique and accessible only to guild members.
Of course they would have to be implemented correctly. It doesn’t do much good just to have a room or an inn to hang out in. Only the roleplaying people would care about that. It has to appeal to them certainly, but also to all manner of casual players and raiders alike.
Next to having a pet collar, this is probably the non-existant aspect of the game that I’ve fantasized about most. If I were in charge of implementing it (and of course I should be), here’s what I would do to make Guild Halls into awesomesauce:
To begin with, I don’t think the Guild Hall should be free. Make it something that the guild has to pay for, so the whole guild can work together on it. I also think that the Guild Hall should have an upkeep cost every month in addition to the larger purchase price. Then there are Guild Hall upgrades possible for additional cost, and additional upkeep costs.
The purchase price of the hall and the upgrades should probably be in gold. Maybe something modest for the hall itself, in the 20-50k gold range. But the upkeep cost of the hall and the upgrades should be in the form of a unique new material, call it guildonium. There are three ways of getting guildonium:
- You can create a bar of guildonium by combining a bunch of mats – this would require metals, enchanting mats, eternals, etc. If fact, it would be nice if it required something from every gathering profession, so everyone could kick in. Those without gathering professions could farm eternals, if they want to help.
- Guildonium also has a 10-20% chance to drop from raid bosses. This way raiding guilds could pay for the upkeep on a modest Guild Hall with their raiding loots alone. Or if they have an excess, they could sell them on the AH to add to the guild gold pool.
- And finally, since guildonium is BoE, you can buy it on the AH.
I like the idea of putting a cost element, including upkeep cost, for a couple of reasons. Mostly because it’s a centralizing activity that brings the guild together and supports a sense of community. Even if you aren’t raiding, you can go out and grind some mats to support the guild. And it also means that not all guilds will have the same Guild Halls. Some guilds will be able to afford cooler upgrades. Some will go for cosmetic stuff, while others go for useful stuff. And to make a Guild Hall really appealing, it has to be something that you have to work for. Having every possible upgrade should require either a huge guild, or a huge effort.
Of course the downside of a cost is that some guilds will implement member dues that have to be paid to support it. That would suck, but my hunch is most guilds will have plenty of people eager to help. I know mine would.
The Basic Hall
The basic hall is that you purchase exists in every major city as an instance portal. You step through the portal and pop into your guild hall, assuming your guild has one. In my mind the hall is a spacious area with massive stone arches, tapestries with your guild tabard insignia, a feast table, and then a number of side rooms that sit empty until you purchase the related upgrade.
You could also set it up so that you enter the instance of the group’s group leader, so that you can bring non-guildies in to show off your awesome Guild Hall.
In addition to being an awesome place to hang out, even the basic Guild Hall comes with features that make it immediately worth the investment. These include:
- Guild Stone: another hearthstone on a separate 1 hour cooldown that will teleport you to the guild hall.
- Hub Portals: portal to Dalaran/Shatt and any future expansion hub cities.
- Mailbox: gotta be able to stay in touch
- Guild Bank: obviously this is where your guild stores it’s stuff! Note that only the guild bank is accessible, not your personal bank.
- Killboard: a board you can click on to see the complete list of the guild’s first kills with dates & times of the takedown.
- Trophies: The walls of your hall automatically populate with trophies from certain raid boss kills. Not every boss, but stuff like Onyxia’s head, Sapphiron or Sartharion’s head certainly. Something from Kel’Thuzad, world bosses, etc. I would totally include BC and old world stuff in this. Encourage guilds to have off-night fun raids to fill their trophy hall.
- Achievements: Perhaps these trophies gain additional decoration (or only appear) when you gain some kind of special achievement on the boss. And there can be additional decoration for special guild achievements.
While I think the extra hearthstone and trophy wall alone are worth the price of the Guild Hall, the real benefit comes from the host of upgrades you can purchase for the Guild Hall.
Best of all, there are two routes to getting them: either you raid a lot and get the drops to pay for it, or you’re a casual guild that is happy to spend that time grinding the mats. Works for both kinds of guilds!
Here is what I see as some of the cool upgrades available for your Guild Hall:
- City Portals: Purchase portals to major cities – Ironforge will obviously be your first choice. This helps make your Guild Hall a valuable hub for traveling anywhere in the world, whether your questing, leveling, or grinding.
- Stone Portals: Purchase more expensive portals that take you to specific instance summoning stones. Need to go to Naxx? Your Guild Hall can take you there!
- Target Dummy: purchase a target dummy that spawns in a special “target range” in the hall. You can buy this multiple times if you need more dummies. Do your testing in the Guild Hall without having to worry about the 20 other people applying various debuffs that skew your results.
- Vendors: Several kinds of vendors you can get: general goods, trade goods, repair, etc.
- Locations: forge, anvil, stable, etc. Whatever you need for your profession, you can buy it for the Guild Hall.
- Trainers: your guild can hire profession trainers to serve the guild. Each one purchased separately, of course.
- Bank: for a modest monthly fee, your guild can open a bank right in the comfort of the Guild Hall.
- Cosmetics: Obviously you gotta be able to waste some money to make your Guild Hall just plain look cool. Perhaps you can purchase statues (maybe generic, maybe special ones you can only access after doing achievements), upgrade to marble floors, marble pillars, fountains, change the color scheme, put in an outhouse for Arust, fancier tapestries, buy a library with lore books, furniture, purchase “guild pets” – critters that run around your hall, etc.
One of the ideas behind the upkeep costs is that it makes it virtually impossible to have every upgrade. In fact, most guilds would only have a handful. Thus while the Guild Hall would somewhat reduce the population of Dalaran (and that would be a good thing — way too crowded) people would still need to go out there for the various things that they don’t have upgrades for.
So the idea is to strike a nice balance of making the Guild Hall home and your hangout, while still giving enough reason to go out to the various cities. Dalaran will still probably be more crowded that you would like.
[Edit] Note that the cost I proposed off the cuff may seem high, for a player, but for a guild it’s nothing. 20 – 50k gold? Sure most small guilds don’t have that in the bank, but they have no need for lots of gold in the bank. Even a guild with just 20 players can make that kind of money in a couple days.
Also keep in mind that for a modest guild hall, the upkeep cost (much lower) can also be paid entirely with the excess guildonium drops from raids. It’s only if you try to get everything that it’s incredibly expensive – which it should be. That’s what keeps you from packing all of Dalaran into your guild hall :
Being in a guild is pretty much necessary in the World of Warcraft, and just about everyone is in one. I think that the Guild Hall would help bolster the sense of community, because the guild as a whole will have to pull together to get the funds to continually improve their home and upgrade it. It shows off your guild’s achievements, gives you a place free of all the annoying gold sellers and a-holes to hang out with your friends, and it provides some very real conveniences that make the game more enjoyable to play. Guilds could use their awesome hall as a selling point in recruiting, and guild members would be that much prouder to be affiliated with their guild.
Best of all, it should appeal equally to hardcore and casual guilds, and allows either of them to build and upgrade their hall in their own way. Because implementation of something like this must be both social, and functional, so it appeals to all types of players, not just one subset.
Am I the only one that thinks this would be the coolest thing ever? What else would you add to the Guild Hall concept?