Here’s a weird thing: As much as I love player housing and will take just about every opportunity to gush about it, I’m far less enthusiastic about guild housing. As in, I almost don’t care about it at all. I even resent it when an MMO — such as Guild Wars 2, DDO, Guild Wars 1, or City of Heroes — decides to include group housing without an individual option as well. I guess many of us are like that when a game includes a feature we don’t want instead of one we do.
So why does guild housing (or halls or superbases) fail to spark my interest? It’s more of a subjective than objective thing with me. Objectively, I appreciate that the game has another option and can even acknowledge the positive benefits of providing a space for guilds to gather and work on group activities. I’ve seen some impressive guild halls in my time, especially in EverQuest II and RIFT. They can be cool for parties, but outside of those, I haven’t seen a need or use for guild halls.
Outside of games that prioritize the inclusion of guild halls to the exclusion of individual housing, my main objection to this content is that I as a player usually have no direct say in the acquisition, decoration, and function of the guild hall. It’s almost always a project of the guild leadership, a box of toys for them to play with and the rest of us to admire without touching. What’s the fun in that? I can only root so much for a guild hall to be built up using the resources or money that I’ve helped to provide but have no say in how it’s used. I cannot summon the passion to care.
What’s frustrating is that with some thought, guild halls could function on both the group and individual levels. In fact, I have seen this played out. In RIFT, I was part of a guild that used a giant shared space in which all members were given permission to build and then set up little homes dotted about the map. I think Trove’s clubs work like this, but I could be mistaken. And FFXIV did kind of a cool thing where guild houses had a doorway that led to individual apartments, linking the two types of housing together.
I also would like to visit WildStar again soon and see how the new housing communities are coming. That seems like a great compromise of group and individual control, although they’re not large enough to be a guild-sized endeavor.
MMO guild halls (usually) do nothing for me. But they could.