Guild Castles vs Guild Halls

December 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg, Runes of Magic | Comments Off on Guild Castles vs Guild Halls
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CastleIn Guild Wars you could purchase a Guild Hall and choose from a selection of 16 different maps. For PvPers this was essential for Guild vs Guild battles, and meant picking a guild hall that played to your strengths in battle. In PvE guilds this essentially meant picking one based on aesthetic value or proximity of npc’s (you could buy 13 different npc’s) to your spawn point.

In Runes of Magic you can donate a crap ton of materials, gold, and Guild Runes, to level your guild. Once you reach level 5 you can war people, and people can war you. At level 7 you can start donating even more materials so you can build your very own Guild Castle. This immediately grants you one benefit. A guild vault, with permissions settings, that allow you to store things for the good of the guild. You are also blessed with the ability to donate even more materials so that you can build guild buildings that can actually be quite helpful.

Guild Wars, I’ve always felt, didn’t do enough things that centered around building the sense of a guild. At first Guild Halls were very expensive and if you did not PvP, pointless. Many of the maps were simply mirrors of each other, with different ‘skins’. Eventually they added npc’s, that allowed you to do in your Guild Hall, what you normally did in a town or city. Purchase supplies, sell items, gear up etc. Often they were used as nothing more than a place to go AFK. I will admit many people made a home out of their Guild Halls, and with the release of fireworks, eventually held ‘parties’ and socialized there, but there was nothing to do other than business or hit emote after emote.

Runes of Magic does more to build that sense of Guild, but, I think they fail at it as well. Forgetting for a moment the giant amount of resources required to build each building, not many of the buildings are useful. My guild has a level 9 Castle, which we constructed to get one of the 3 things we use in our Guild Castle. The Vault of Course is very useful. You’re forced to build the Academy so that you can build and use a Library, which my guild loves. Standing at it removes death penalty debt. The Guild Bulletin Board requires level 9, and provides daily quests. These quests are not counted toward your allotment of 10 daily quests, but they do provide XP, TP, Gold, and a couple other bonus’.

There are many other buildings in the Guild Castles of Runes of Magic, although it’s hard to figure out what you can actually build, as there are many options that have not been implemented. We’ve got a stables, which allows for a 2% increase in mount speed for 550 gold. Useless. It’s an imperceptible amount. We’ve got a field, and a forge, which are meant to be used while afk, to harvest herbs and ores. We didn’t bother with the lumberyard. We’ve got a drill grounds, which actually cost us valuable rubies to build, nobody had built it before, and it ended up being a sad game of whack-a-mole. With poor rewards. You can build up to 4 bulletin boards, which we’ve done. Unfortunately only 1 bulletin board actually works. There are other buildings like Towers and Training Grounds that I’ve never seen or heard of anyone building.

With all of these things though, I never see anyone in the Guild Castle. Nobody farms materials from the forge/field, nobody uses the Drill Grounds or Stables. Being afk at the Library doesn’t really count as activity and trips to the GBB or Vault last only a few moments. A Runes of Magic Guild Castle is as dead as any Guild Wars Guild Hall.

I think a combined approach would have worked so well for both of these games. The usefulness of GW’s merchants, traders, other npc’s, combined with the usefulness of RoM’s buildings and vault. You could transport to GW’s Hall instantly, but you have to go to either Varanas or Obsidian Stronghold to go to your Castle.

Guild’s are so important in MMORPG’s, but these games treat it like it’s a secondary priority. PvPer or PvEer, I don’t think anyone can say they wouldn’t like better ways to interact with the people they spend time with online.

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