The team at ArenaNet used E3 2015 to unveil the overhauled Guild Halls that will launch as part of the Guild Wars 2: Heart Of Thorns expansion. The message is clear. These aren’t just buildings for your stuff. These are live, active content portals that give players everything from story based content to pvp bragging rights to social spaces like taverns.
“We didn’t just want to do a building and some NPCs, we wanted to do something really big for them,” said ArenaNet Lead Designer Crystin Cox. “Something that really lived inside of the game.”
Guild Halls enter the Heart of Thorns story after the end of Living World Season 2, when the elder dragon Mordremoth decimated the airship army. This attack left no organized resistance to combat the growing threat in the Maguuma Jungle. So the denizens of Tyria decide the best course of action is to turn guilds into private armies against Mordremoth and the other elder dragons, which means they need Guild Halls.
“This is called the Guild Initiative. It’s going to be a new building in Lion’s Arch,” Link Hughes, the primary designer for guild halls, said. “We kind of destroyed Lion’s Arch at the end of season one, but you’re going to get to go back there when Heart of Thorns is live and register your Guild. You’ll get access to their services, technologies they’ve researched and, most importantly, their reconnaissance.”
This reconnaissance will be used to generate missions for the Guild. Guild Halls must first be earned by completing certain tasks, like locating the Hall and then clearing out any local enemies before moving in. Once guilds complete the necessary requirements to discover and unlock their hall they can begin to use the space for activities ranging from new world vs world content, a multiplayer sandbox-style arena and scribing, a new guild-focused crafting discipline. ArenaNEt hopes the Guild Intiative illustrates the ongoing commitment to the living world philosophy that has helped distinguish Guild Wars 2 from other MMOs.