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The Importance of the Guild Hall

David North Posted:
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Most players in an MMO band together to form guilds.  Members of a guild can call upon one another for help, or to join in on a tough dungeon.  I’ve made a lot of friends playing in guilds over the years, in several different MMOs.  There’s one game that really made the guild experience feel important, and that was the original Guild Wars, which had a nice feature called the guild hall... a feature that Guild Wars 2 is sadly missing.

A lot of folks want a player housing experience.  I can see how that can be fun, but think of that same experience on a much larger scale.  Imagine a place where you can meet up with the rest of your guildies.  On the walls hang trophies of some of the most feared creatures of Tyria, bested by you and your fellow guild mates.  Medals and statues decorate the rooms, showing the amazing feats you’ve all accomplished.  When you invite others outside of your guild to enter, they are in awe of all your guild has achieved.

I believe all of these things are possible, even though guild halls didn’t have nearly this much back in the original Guild Wars. The closest experience to what I described is actually the Hall of Monuments, which only showcased your accomplishments as an individual.  It was, and still is pretty awesome, but the issue is that I accomplished all of those things with the help of my guild, as most people did.  That’s why adding a guild hall instance is so much more important than just personal housing. 

The trophies that you could display in the Hall of Monuments were a great way to show off to your friends.

With the tech behind Guild Wars 2, it should be easy for the game to track what a guild has done together.  If a guild is able to take out a tough boss, like Tequatal.  The game could track this in the guild hall by having the dragon's head mounted on the wall, which would look awesome. Perhaps it could even be done for all world bosses. 

Trophies and medals are another cool way to show guilds' achievements.  Different medals can represent the guild challenges that are completed.  Trophies, or some sort of relic can be used to show which fractals have been conquered.  Similar things can be done for bringing home the gold during PvP and WvW tournaments.  No matter how you play, the guild hall could show off what the guild has achieved.

The main idea is so that a guild can show off what they’ve accomplished.  They could have a visual element to look at, and remember the fun times they had together.  This is something that I feel is missing from GW2 right now.  Yes, the addition of guild missions improved the overall experience, but it’s still lacking.  Sometimes we don’t even know what challenges we’ve been through.  This causes a disconnect between the guild members.  It makes you wonder if you’re only in a guild to complete missions for the rare item rewards.  Guilds need a way to show that they are more than just extensive friend lists.

Guild Halls can also be used as a tool for recruiting.  Normally a guild hall can only be accessed by those in the guild.  If a guild member were to bring in a non-member in a party, they could show off a little in hopes to recruit that player.  This would benefit the larger guilds a lot more, but it can help a player actually see what a guild is all about, even if they are a smaller guild.

The old guild halls were some of the coolest environments in the entire game.

Right now guilds mainly act as a large friend list.  My guild often forgets what we’ve accomplished with each other, or with pugs, even though we spend most of our time playing together.  Guilds should be rewarded not just with loot, but with a way to look back and remember the experience, giving guilds a new goal to try and decorate their halls with amazing looking trophies.  The guild hall is the only thing that could truly bring guilds together.

Would you like to see guild halls in Guild Wars 2?  Which guild halls from the original game were you’re favorite?  Let us know in the comments below. 

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.

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David North