See, I've never been a big fan of decorating and furnishing. I've played The Sims for about ten minutes, I never bothered with the little Pokemon-pillows, tables and posters in the Pokemon games, even my own apartment is very pragmatically furnished making sure only that my computer is as close to the internet outlet as possible (and the rest of the furnitue adapting to that) - and I sure as heck wouldn't be interested in putting any time into rolling out the guild crested carpet in a potential Guild Housing. Eventhough I've not really been a guild swapper, historically, and mostly been in guilds that have lasted at least a couple of years (with or without me), guildies come and go normally and I found it difficult to believe you could get the consistency needed to make a Guild Housing interesting.
But in reality I hadn't really given Guild Housing much thought. I saw the idea and dismissed it, until today when someone (can't remember who anymore) mentioned it again on Twitter. My first reaction was the usual one - why? But it got me thinking. What if what everyone was so worked up about wasn't the furnishing, but other things? What if Guild Housing could provide a guild with lots of cool features and basically become the foundation for the consistency I thought many guilds lacked in the first place? If so, what could these features be? What would Guild Housing require to be really awesome and more than just an empty room decorated in the guilds pink and yellow bunny crest?
I had envisioned a Guild Housing to be not much more than a room, initially overcrowded with guildies, but soon emptying out as the whole concept of Guild Housing crashed down upon itself (as I imagined it would). But we're in a virtual world, there is really nothing that forces a Guild Housing to be small (except maybe realism). The Guild House could really be a mansion, or farm, with several different rooms filled with stuff for the guildies to work with. For instance there could be;
A Hall of FameThere are always a couple of people in a guild that work a lot harder than everyone else. Some of these people are obviously so, normally guild leader and/or proper officers (far from every officer actually does anything worth mentioning). But then we have the background strugglers, I'm thinking about the people who log in two hours in advance of a raid or just take a couple of hours during any free time to farm some fish/herbs/meat/whatever needed for the guild to be able to provide the raiders with raiding materials. I've never been one of those people. I'm ready to do a lot for my guild, farming is not one of those things. But I do admire those people, eventhough they might just be doing it because they think it's so much fun, I still think they deserve some acknowledgement.
Same thing goes with basically anyone in the guild that has done something noteworthy. Someone got the Insane title? Server first kill/level up? Legendary? A lot of these things are already noted in server wide messages, cool titles or weapons, but I think it would be really cool if these people got their own little statue or name on a sign/in a book in the guild own Hall of Fame, with some information about the character (name, race, class, time of happening) and preferrably a little picture of what the character looked at the time of the deed. I think it would encourage people further to go out and get cool stuff done if they knew they'd be immortalized in the guild.
Or how about;
A Guild History BookBasically a ledger/book where you can read about characters in the guild and noteworthy happenings of the guild. Some of these things are available on the internet and in the guild tab like for instance who's left and joined the guild and what bosses have been downed and when. These are a few things that could be added to the book (although I'm not sure if every player joining and leaving the guild is necessary). What if, along with getting exalted with the guild, you get a permanent page in the History Book with some information about the character. Even if your character leaves, if you've gotten exalted with the guild you will be permanently featured in the History Book.
Class Specific RoomsWhat about rooms where you can throw in class specific items? I would totally love it if for instance there were rooms where you could outfit mannequins with the different tiers, but only if someone in the guild has actually acquired said tier piece. These rooms could also house class trainers for instance.
A Museum/Showcase RoomA room where someone with proper rank, say Guild Leader and/or officer could display certain noteworthy items. I mean it basically as a bank tab that is visible in the "world" rather than as icons in a tab, and where you can put in anything for display, even bop items (meaning you don't actually leave the item, you just put it up for display, if you get my meaning). Say I have Anathema, I put it into the tab allowing it to be shown on display if someone with the proper rank further allows it. The item would still stay in my bags however.
And this is obviously where the;
Guild Bankhas to be.
Now all of these things would be even cooler of course if other people, not in the guild, could come into your Guild Mansion somehow and oogle the things you've put on display. There is nothing like proudly showing the world your accomplishments, personal or guild alike. I think if that was the case it'd be good if they were phased so that people in the guild didn't have to see people not-from-the-guild running around (suppose you could get to choose which Guild Housing to go into from a list when zoning into the Housing zone, or something like that).
Giving this some further thought I am certain that things like these would give new guildies a perfect way of getting the feel for the guild, and old guildies the consistency and "homey" feeling that many guilds lack at the moment. Unfortunately I know this is only a dream of mine and eventhough I will probably cheer the idea of Guild Housing as much as the next guy now, I know it will never be anything like I am hoping it will be. Ah well.