Archives: Guild Halls
This is another page rescued from the DiabloII.net Archives. This one was written prior to Diablo II's release in 2000, when Guild Halls were still a planned feature. They were worked on by the D2 Team, and they even released a screenshot for them and included some artwork on the CD, but time constraints kept them from being developed into a functional state.
Likely to be a major part of Blizzard's efforts to improve the Guild support on Battle.net for Diablo II, Guild Halls were likely to be a very popular addition to Diablo II. Unfortunately, they were not finished in time to be included in Diablo II. Blizzard announced this March 24, 2000, and their actual quote on it is as follows:
- "Guilds will not be in the Beta, nor in the final shipping version of Diablo II. During development it became clear that making Guilds bullet-proof, balanced, and completely secure would delay shipping Diablo II. Fundamental, major changes to the Diablo II, Battle.net, client-server architecture would be required. Testing and all-important balancing would make our fans wait even longer. In the interests of getting the game to our fans -- we had to decide to drop Guilds. Rest assured that we are exploring ways of adding Guilds after Diablo II ships."
Guilds are not going to be added in any patch, since as Blizzard says, they need to be extensively tested and balanced and would require fundamental, major changes to Battle.net and Diablo II. However, hopes for them being included in the future Diablo II expansion pack were high. Unfortunately, as confirmed at this year's ECTS, they will not be included because the programming involved would severely push back the release of the X-Pack. The scale of such a feature would warrant a pack in its own right, although such a pack has not been mentioned by Blizzard.
We have three new images of Guild Halls, with full info in the caption of each shot.
The one Guild Hall screenshot is seen to the right. It was released by Blizzard in November 1999, not long before the D2 beta began. If you want more info about Guild Halls; first hand info based on seeing them ourselves during our visit to the Blizzard North offices in December 1999, you are in luck. Click right here for the very detailed report on them from our huge write up of our visit. There is as much info there as on this page, so it's impossible to just paste it in here in quotations.
For the new shots, they are all exclusive, and have never before been displayed anywhere. Thanks to Lanth for assistance in obtaining them.
The Guild Trophy Case. A place to show off your best items, with space for text descriptions as well. Unknown exactly how this would be accessed from a Guild Hall. Click here to view the mockup of it inserted into a normal screenshot.
The Guild Chevron Selection Page. Probably the most interesting of the three new images, this one shows all of the guild icons and colors you would have had to pick from to represent your guild on Battle.net. And of course there is a mockup page of it also. An interesting page, since the image doesn't fit properly.
Full Guild Hall Info
The text on this page below the images is an updated version of how this page was pre-beta, since that's when the last official word on Guild Halls came, before the announcement that they were out was made. So the features listed here may, and probably will, be changed when/if there are actually Guild Halls in a released product, but this is the most recent info available.
It was thought that Guild Halls would be largely finalized during the Beta Test, as various styles and ideas were tried out and approved or rejected, based partially on player feedback. This may still be the case, depending on how extensive any Diablo II X-pack Beta Test is. However with more time to think about them, Blizzard North might have them all worked out and wouldn't need to do any public testing before they included them in the game.
Here's a quick run down of some of the most important Guild Hall features as they were last described:
- Guild Halls are free, and any character can found one as soon as they have completed the game once.
- Guild Halls are only available on Battle.net, and with a Guild Hall comes the right to pick a name, a three-letter abbreviation to appear after all member's names, a two-colour scheme and a chevron, an icon or symbol to represent your guild.
- The security for a Guild Hall is absolute. Before anyone can enter, they must be added to the Guild by the Guildmaster, a simple point, select option, and click procedure that is done from Battle.net chat.
- Guild Halls start small, just a single room with a grassy area outside to frolic in, but as you add money to the Steeg Stone, a form of treasury, they get bigger, and more features are added. See a low-level Guild Hall here.
- There is no set limit on the number of members allowed in a guild, but it will be a large number. As many as one-hundred or more, possibly.
Guild Halls are one of Diablo II's promised enhancements to multiplayer, specifically adding a feature primarily for the popular player-created guilds and clans. Assured to cost a hefty sum either to buy or to upgrade, Guild Halls will serve as a permanent private meeting place, with potentially secure storage areas for a large number of clan members and an open area to meet, chat and trade items.
Purchase and Creation
The projected system for Guild Halls was rather a theocracy. There was one character, the Guildmaster, set up as the leader. It was never decided for sure if this title would be transferable, or if there would be any sort of democracy, where members could boot an existing Guildmaster if need be.
Initially Blizzard North had planned to require a very large amount of gold to create a Guild Hall, but they announced in early 2000 that this was changed, and that Guild Halls would be much more attainable, where you could found one as soon as you finished the game one time. It would have been easy to do, just select it as one of the options in the create game menu accessed from Battle.net chat. There would have been a Guild Hall option, and you could have selected it like a game, join or create.
The plan was that a character could only belong to one Guild Hall at a time, so it was assumed that if creating, your character would get some sort of pop up "yes/no" option about leaving their other guild. It is not known what would become of any possessions stored in the old Guild Hall; if they would be forfeit, vanish forever, or appear in the new Guild Hall.
At the time of creation the GuildMaster must set a name for the guild (which will almost certainly be unique, first come first served), and can also set the Guild tag, the three (or fewer) letter [bracketed] abbreviation that will appear after all guild member's names. It is not known if these will be unique, but three letters = 26x26x26=17576 possible combinations. Quite a few, but with tens or hundreds of thousands of accounts on each Battle.net server, and millions of characters, very shortly any new guild would be limited to tags like [QVY], and that's no fun.
In addition to the guild tag, the guild's insignia was going to be an option, a heraldic pattern picked from a large list. And the guild's two color scheme can be set as well.
There was talk from Blizzard North about having ranks within a guild, so-called "Guild Lieutenants", guild members with more authority and power than the regular guild members, but less than the Guildmaster. There was also going to be a way for members to vote out a corrupt leader, and there certainly needs to be a way to pass down the Guildmaster mantle to another member. However nothing new was heard on these topics pre-Guild Hall removal.
Security and Access
To enter a Guild Hall, you will select "Guild Halls" from the game selection menu, pick "create" or "join", and if join you will then type in the name of your Guild. If you have typed the name of a real Guild Hall, the Battle.net server will check to see if your unique character ID# is on the approved list for that Guild Hall. If so you will appear inside it the Guild Hall tile set, just like you were joining a regular game of Diablo.
As far as we know who is allowed in is totally up to the discretion of the guildmaster. He can add names at any time, and possibly remove them, though we hae not heard much about how kicking out bad members will be handled.
There has only been one image of a Guild Hall yet released, and you can see it above. The shot is of a lower-level guild hall, but not the beginning model, since that one is a single room without even a chest in it. As you add more money to the Guild Hall's Steeg Stone, new features appear. The first upgrade was estimated to be at around 35,000 gold. It was not known what this would add, but it would have been most likely a public storage chest.
This figure is also suspect, as it was well before the final game balancing, and as we know in Diablo II now, 35k is not very much money at all, with most characters having well over 100k by Act Four, and able to make a lot more than that very quickly if they so desired.
Higher level upgrades were set to add size to the Hall, and other cool features, such as changing tile sets, an in-guild bulletin board, and possibly even direct access to the Guild Hall from a game. Upgrades were said to cost more money, but no figures were every given. The money management would be up to the Guildmaster, as only he would have had access to the treasury, and also only he could have clicked on the Steeg Stone to see how much gold there was, and how much was needed for the next level. Keep in mind that all these features were projected, and may have changed.
One much-requested feature that will never occur is a way to duel or spar in the Guild Hall. This is mostly a technical issue, since Guild Halls allow such large numbers of members, the server and all of the player's computers have a lot to deal with, and if there were fighting and spell-casting on top of just standing around talking, it would be too much for most computers to keep up with, and would severely hurt the frame rate for everyone.
One nice and unexpected feature is a large outdoor area around the Guild Hall to play in. When you join a Guild Hall game, you appear in a cul-de-sac shaped area, and must run to the right for a few seconds to reach the Guild Hall. The outdoor space is in the style of Act One wilderness in the first levels of a Guild Hall, but it is unknown if later levels will incorporate Act Two or Act Three or other tile sets instead.
Since many things are not yet known or determined about Guild Halls, we've listed some of the top questions about them here:
- What if the guild master removes a character from the access list? Is that character out, with no recourse? What of the items in their chest?
- Can the Guildmaster access the storage chests of each member?
- What sort of recourse will players have to deal with a bad or unresponsive Guild Master? There have been mentions of limited forms of democracy, but how exactly will these work?
- Must you finish the game to be allowed to join a Guild Hall? Or just to found one? [Top]