CDI: Guild Halls

If you’ve tuned into our podcast lately (live every Thursday at 10 am GMT at twitch.tv/guildmag!), you’ll know we’ve been paying attention to the Collaborative Development Initiative (CDI) discussions happening on GW2’s official forums.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on this Guild Halls CDI installment.  What are you interested in seeing happen in future CDI?  Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Players have been expecting guild halls since the release of Guild Wars 2. It would be fantastic to see the guild halls of Guild Wars return to give our guilds a centralized place from everything ranging from guild events and guild battles to just a convenient place to access NPCs. This feature brings a lot of potential to guild functionality, including guild event/mission type functions that promote unity in guilds. With the global guild features recently implemented, things are looking up for guilds as a whole.

There’s been a lot of excellent feedback from both players and ArenaNet. This is by far the most organized and productive CDI yet and there are a lot of great ideas floating around!

During the end of CDI, Chris Whiteside wrapped it up with a “Top 5” wishlist for guild halls:

CDI Proposal Phase 1: Guilds QOL and Logistics
This is a proposal put together by the CDI group specifically for the Anet development team to read and discuss. This is not a commitment of work.
1: Customization and Identity: The ability to customize your guild hall in a manner that provides your guild with it’s own identity as well as a wide variety of guild hall customization progression.
2: Small Guilds: The ability for small guilds and large guilds to enjoy the progression and benefits of Guild Halls without either making progression [too] easy or [too] hard (potentially through scaling)
3: Guild Activities: The ability to progress Guild Halls by taking on activities of varying types with your guild.
4: GvG Access and Functionality: We are discussing this after Raids.
5: Town Convenience: The ability to have town services in the Guild Hall. (I just want to point out that I am not a big fan of this due to the impact it could have on our current Cities.)

I. Acquisition and General Functionality

Many ideas mirror the guild halls of the original Guild Wars with a bit of a twist. A lot of it falls back to the addition of even more guild functionality such as added guild achievements, the ability to form an alliance with other guilds, and other features.

In Guild Wars, the guild leader was required to have a Celestial Sigil and talk to the Canthan Ambassador. A similar system may be suggested, like the requirement of an item purchased with commendations and/or influence. With the current world events we have, rewards intended for guild halls could have a chance to drop from each of the epic-level world bosses.

Guild halls should be a “time-gated” process similar to current guild upgrades. Various materials can be used for the upgrades (mostly T5/T6). Upgrades could be done with materials for ascended gear/equipment, such as bloodstone dust, dragonite ore and empyreal fragments. (This would require a conversion to another currency such as influence, since these materials are account bound.)

One of the more enjoyable things about guild halls was the centralized location of traders. Likewise, it would be nice to see something similar to Havoc’s Heir airship available to guilds.

II. Progression (Upgrading)

Since lower-tier materials are somewhat less common among people that aren’t leveling new characters, allow the substitution of low-tier materials to be used, but don’t require them. This would create more of a market to prevent low-tier items from becoming next to worthless (as fewer people need them for crafting now), and allow players who are leveling new characters to put resources to use in ways other than crafting.

Requiring ascended materials would also help clear out some of the items that people may not need for ascended gear. If none of the existing materials would work, items specific to guild upgrades could be added (similar to how new items were added to be used for ascended crafting).

Tying back to the last point, implementing more uses for lower-tier materials could also have the opposite effect on the economy. Depending on how the use scales, low-tier prices could easily skyrocket as the favor shifts from high-tier materials. Take into consideration that ArenaNet may want guild halls to have a minimal influence on the economy IF a tiered system that requires materials is put in place. In this case, consider adding a reward track that rewards materials needed to upgrade a guild hall. Reward tracks would function like the achievement reward track, or the PvP dungeon reward tracks.

III. Quality of Life suggestions

One player-driven “feature” that many players have been pushing to have officially implemented is the guild vs. guild game mode. While a few people have mentioned keeping guild halls and GvG separate, it would be nice to have “Guild Battle” access from the UI in the guild hall. GvG is scheduled to have its own CDI, prioritized after the CDI discussion on raids, so we won’t touch too much on this now. Hopefully this will be kept in mind while considering the design of guild halls.

While it would be great to have the convenience of the mystic forge (and other NPCs only available in certain areas), this idea is debatable, since putting so much in a small area would discourage players from going to the main cities. The major debate on this has been “why should I pay for something that’s just going to go away?” It’s a reasonable argument, but it doesn’t necessarily outweigh the downside to pulling even more of the population out of the major cities. One suggestion to fix this would be the ability to add crafting merchants and other NPCs that are specific to the major cities, but require the purchase of a contract for the NPC (which would go away if the contract was not renewed).

Traveling between instanced guild hall and open world is something that should be easy to implement. It was convenient what they did with the PvP interface, taking out the need for portal access. Guild halls should be easily accessible (without fees) via an option under the corresponding guild tab, similar to how PvP and WvW are accessed.

A separate bank/vault for decorations and guild hall items is something a lot of us want to see. Even if we don’t see guild-specific items added, we hope for items such as furniture (or even items to spawn merchants). Another bank tab could be added to the guild and personal banks to store such items.

A general board accessed from the guild hall showing statistics (ranking, win/lose ratio, recent matches, roster) would be useful for match history. This could reference a site that would also be accessible on the GW2 site.

Other suggestions for a board would be the addition of additional guild missions or personal quests only available through a post on the board. This would leave room for certain daily quests. Perhaps the addition of quests to help the NPCs with upgrades, such as gathering materials and fending off things that may interrupt their tasks, could be added for a more player-oriented, interactive feel.

IV. Design, Layouts, Misc.

Quite a few other ideas have come up multiple times in the CDI, ranging from small-scale training rooms and airships to mini games and jumping puzzles. Some notable posts that had interesting ideas were written by Blaeys and Areann. They give good outlines on some in-detail layouts that they’d like to see in guild halls, including various rooms with different functions such as access to minigames, a “living area,” training space and others. While some proposals may be too far-fetched to implement, there are a lot of great concepts.

CDI is a never-ending process of players communicating their ideas for new content and features to ArenaNet. As such, they are moving on to the second phase of Guild CDI, raiding. Keep an eye out for updates on this, and propose any ideas you might have to share about raiding here on the official forums.

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