Our house it has a crowd /
There’s always something happening /
And it’s usually quite loud /
Our mum, she’s so house-proud /
Nothing ever slows her down /
And a mess is not allowed
Ah the 80s…. ok, enough nostalgia.
Anyway, this post is actually about in game housing. It was inspired by a post this week by Honor’s Code on Player Housing. Yet, I’d like to take it a step further into the realm of Guild Housing.
He does point out several issues, including space and persistance. Each of them providing a very good point, as you can’t just throw a bunch of houses, especially larger houses for guilds, anywhere on the map, and expect it to not cause issues with the terrain. As for the issue of persistance, and the illusion of a bustling town, I believe that I may be able to have a possible solution for this.
First we’ll hit the issue of space. I do believe that with the announcement that Azeroth is now “flyable”, there would need to be an instanced area used for the guild housing. The look of a town full of houses would work, with an instance in the center. Possibly providing a few storefronts to further immerse the player into feeling like they were entering a town. However, upon entering the instance they would be brought, first, to their guild’s home/headquarters. This would provide a starting point for them to gather their bearings. It could even be treated almost as apartments, but decent size apartments, allowing them to stack slightly to provide more room. I’ve included a few shots of Gilneas below to show this idea (slight spoiler). It shows how much space is really wasted and could be utilized in an instanced area.
This gives a bit of perspective on the amount of empty space that can be utilized. With this in mind now, imagine a few streets worth of these buildings, each having a few Guild houses to each section of the building.
Another solution somewhat going along with this, would be to have a town where the buildings themselves are instanced, each door, we’ll say, is instanced. This would create the illusion of a town or “apartment” complex, where upon entering the door, you would be sent to your Guild’s house. This would provide an unlimited (well dependant on server limitations) number of “houses” for each Guild on a particular server.
This would prevent the issue of a character, or even an entire guild transferring servers. As there is no definitive “area” that their house would exist, but instead it would be a set of variables that would build it upon entering the instance.
Just think of walking into your Guild house and seeing your tabard up on the wall, maybe even with some trophy kills hung here and there.
Sure the image I chose is a bit elaborate, but it gives you an idea. Anyway, what could be included in each Guild House would be a Guild vendor, for the new items that are going to be available through the Guild leveling system. Also included would be a Guild Bank/Vault, simply reusing the guild banks already existing would work, or creating a new model for it even. Lastly, it may be good to include a general/trade item vendor, and even a “bartender” for each House.
Then, to provide the “bustling town” feel, the center of town could be zoned to have trade chat integrated, and several shops could be introduced in the middle providing a gathering place. Possibly even an auction house and bank. It would be a new Sanctuary type area but more integrated with each guild. In addition I would include the basic Forge/Anvil, Inscription book, tailoring specific runes, etc. along with a Flight Master. Of course to top it off, you would have to have a Guild master and tabard vendor, simply because this would be a “Guild Town”. I would also say that it would be best for it to be a no fly zone, therefore preventing the epeen birdfest that was once Shattrath. This would cover the issue of persistence, as it would likely be a great location for nearly everybody to visit, with the essentials all being in a central location. As for the size of the place itself, it would need to be fairly large, if not to allow Blizzard to “zone” each section (no load screens, though) allowing for lower lag issues.
A final suggestion, would be a section of town for those who are not in guilds, still allowing them to use the essentials, but also providing a place for them to look for new guilds. This is actually something I have been thinking about for a while, but that will be another post (sorry).
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Guild Housing. With Cataclysm focusing a bit more on the Guild structure and social factors, it may be something that Blizzard could look into. Just some crazy ideas that came up while I read Honorshammer’s post.
Would you be interested in Guild Housing? Would you take advantage of it?