This week my husband and I started working on a guild hall. It’s something we’ve wanted ever since they were first announced back in the pre-Heart of Thorns hype days. When Heart of Thorns released our enthusiasm was destroyed. There was no way a guild of 2 people could reasonably do a guild hall. So we joined a large guild that was already working on one that didn’t pressure us for representation or donations. They turned out to be a great group of people, but they’re people who ultimately we almost never play with. They’re a chatroom and a way to access a guild hall.

You may be asking yourself now, what changed. Well, we finally got to see the new guild hall that was released with Path of Fire. Even in the completely ruined state that it starts out in, it’s gorgeous. The guild we’re in doesn't show any signs that they’ll be moving to it. Plus we both want to have scribes and the ability to decorate as we please. So, after 2 years of lust, we’ve finally given in and started working on Windswept Haven.

The first challenge we faced was claiming the guild hall. Doing so requires a small group of people. So we asked the guild we’re in to help out. We got a handful of awesome volunteers and it went amazingly well. I had been expecting a whole lot more mobs and difficult bosses. But we managed to keep everyone focused and got through the fights without any trouble. With that, we had unlocked our guild hall. Little did we know that the easiest part was behind us.

Our next goal was to unlock the first tier of each building, just so we would have something to start with. Thanks to my massive hoarding habit over the last five years of the game we were able to get through this goal with only one small hitch.

See, neither of us are PvPers. It’s not a very friendly environment and quite simply we don’t find it fun. So we once again found ourselves put in a position where to get what we want we have to complete something we don’t want to do.

But then I remembered seeing someone in one of the Guild Wars 2 Facebook groups offering to buy shovels for their guild hall. I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a try and see if anyone would be willing to sell us these PvP potions that we needed. Not knowing what they’re worth I put an offer out on Facebook for the same price I’d seen the shovels going for. As it turns out, they often sell for 4 times that amount! We only needed 50 to get started, and while 50 gold isn’t bad looking ahead to how much more we would need, it brought back that crushing defeated feeling. Then the amazingly kind players from Facebook started offering to donate what they had completely free! I cannot thank them enough. They saved this whole project.

All of that was enough to get us started, but once again we’ve hit a snag. All that hoarding I’ve done…my supplies are now depleted. The only thing stopping us from unlocking the next thing is needing Elder Wood Planks. Then the next thing on the list will need even more elder wood and mithril, which we’ve also run out of.

This brings me to what this article is really all about. Guild Wars 2 needs an alternative for people who don’t want to join massive guilds. My little 2 person guild is only level 10, our guild hall adventure is barely starting and we’re out of resources. We’re both 5-year veterans of the game. We’re casual players, and we’ve barely put a dent into the guild hall after giving everything we have. From here on grinding is going to be part of our daily play for a long while to come.

But if there was an option for something smaller this wouldn’t have to be the case. Rift is the perfect example of what I have in mind when I think of player housing. You’re given a small chunk of area that usually has a building or two already on it. You also have the tools and items available to completely customize the dimension (what they call player housing) to be what you want. There is no requirement for a massive guild backing you up. Most things are bought with the regular in-game currency, and it doesn’t feel like a grind the way guild halls do in Guild Wars 2.

In a recent AMA, the question was asked if there was any work being done on making smaller guild halls an option. The answer was a rather depressing one. According to Mike O’Brien, the Executive Producer of Guild Wars 2, they don’t have a development team working on guilds. This means that there are no plans to expand guilds beyond what they already have. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the idea of player housing is out the window, but it does mean that small guilds are out of luck.

Based on other things MO said during the AMA, however, it sounds like we won’t be seeing player housing either. In it, he said that they’ve laid out a road plan and if you’ve enjoyed what they’ve created so far you’ll enjoy what is coming next. Basically, the studio is working in a direction they like and they aren’t ready to change that up by throwing something totally new into the mix. What does that mean? More of what we’ve had since MO took over. A slow trickle of legendary weapons, the living story every few months and expansions with masteries, elite specs, and additional story. Fractals, WvW, and PvP will get content from time to time as well. And raids don’t seem to release on any schedule.

While I am happy for ArenaNet that they’ve finally found what works for them, I am sad about what it means for the future growth of the game. Will the next expansion be more of the same again just in a different place with a different story to tell? Will we ever get smaller guild halls or personal housing? These are things that would make a lot of people happy.

For now, though, I’m happy to grind away at my guild hall. It’s a big challenge for 2 people to take on, but it also gives me something to focus on between living story releases. Next week is the start of Halloween and, of course, you can expect a Halloween-based article out of me. I just hope they do something to incorporate Elona into the festivities.