What’s the cost of creating a guild?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by spiralspy

Stupid question, right? 50k crowns and 500 energy according to the “create guild” dialog. Well, not quite! Those 50k and 500 energy is what you must own in order to be allowed to press the “create” button. Once you do, there will be follow up costs.

Occasionally, I visit east haven to look at the doorplate of the barracks. There are a number of names you always see as well as a number of names you have never seen before and, after visiting their humble abode, you pretty much know that this will be your first and last visit. Reading something along the lines of “plz donate” in the MOTD pretty much tells you that the owners of the premise got deep into debt, can’t pay off their mortgage and the whole thing will go belly up soon.

Guilds cost money, a lot of it. If you are barely able to muster the initial deposit, think twice about creating one! That being said, let’s talk about what kind of cash you need if you don’t want to join the has-beens after two weeks.

Make sure you are a vanguard

If you want to run a guild you must also be able to run Firestorm Citadel. Not as an appendage, but as a host and with rookies in your party. You don’t necessarily need to be able to beat the boss, but you certainly must be able to get there. If you cannot play the game on that level, then the only other viable way of financing your guild is by using your credit card. A complete 5 star loadout comes at somewhere between 400k and 500k cr.

Opening cost

The opening cost of a guild is 50k cr and 500 energy. The good news about the 50k is that they go fully into the treasury and may be spend on improving your hall (so your real opening cost is just 500 energy). The bad news is that those 50k cr are spending money and you will blast through them in no time.

Getting an Auction Room

Your guildhall needs a private auction house. Period. Yes, there is on in haven, yes, putting one in your hall is redundant, but no, you can’t do without one. A private auction house allows your guildmates to do their business without interruption from beggars and hawkers. It is the minimum you need to offer in terms of convenience to attract members. The auction room belongs on the first floor as close as possible to the main entry and it will cost you 125.5k cr to install. Since you have to add wings to place it, your upkeep will automatically go to at least 2.5k cr/week.

Getting an alchemy machine

After placing the AH room, you should place an alchemy room right next to it. Alchemy rooms have very little actual use. The reason for getting one anyway is that once you expand your hall to support an auction house, you will have a lot of empty rooms and you can hardly furnish for cheaper than 14.5k cr.

Getting furniture

Your guildhall needs decoration. Yes, It costs money, yes it constantly stands in the way, but it is also a requirement. If you leave your hall bare, you are basically telling everyone that you are not committed to your project and that will give you a very hard time recruiting new members. If you have been following so far, you’ll have three completely empty rooms. You should at least get the two on the ground floor as well as the lobby furnished. You can make a room look cozy for around 80-100k. So all in all you are looking at 240k-300k to give your hall the appearance of being inhabited.

Get a guild storage upgrade

Guild storage is a double edged sword. Depending on how it is managed, it can either be a constant source of trouble or a valuable tool for shoveling items around. It is optional, but well worth the 20k cr if used properly.

(Re-)Stock your treasury

Remember that I said that you will burn through your initial 50k fast? By now you have not only spend it, but you are technically already in debt as you have spent far more than your initial deposit. Nevertheless, you’ll have to cough up some more crowns as you have now bills to pay (the 2.5k upkeep per week). You should always and at any time have enough money in the coffers to pay rent for at least a month, but never less than 100k cr! Why? Well there is always a good chance that you will be away from Spiral Knights for a week or two (think: your summer’s vacation). The last thing you want is to return to the game and learn that your guild is hours away from defaulting and you now have to raise money fast. The reason why you should have at least 100k in coffers is the same as for furnishing your hall: many knights have been members of many guilds and lost big time when those guilds went into default. If players don’t see a big pile of money sitting in your treasury, they will (rightly) simply assume that your guild may default in the near future as well and that doesn’t make them too eager to chip in with the costs. In other words: if you you can’t/don’t want to demonstrate that you can/will finance the show on your own, then you will end up being the one who is financing the show on your own.

Keep cash reserves!

With a guildhall as described above, you should keep at least 250k cr spare cash on hand. Why? As a freshly baked guild master you are likely lacking experience and that makes you prone to promoting some idiot to officer who will trash your hall (either out of stupidity or out of malice, most likely, both). Depending on the case, the game masters may restore your hall and punish the vandal – or not. In the later case you should be prepared to rebuild out of your own pockets.

Even if you don’t fall victim to vandalism, it is always a good idea to set money aside for guild investments. Sometimes you will come across a good deal for piece of furniture, other times you might want to invest into morale boosters (dropping a bucket of flawed snowballs into the hall can be a lot of fun).

Summary

Assuming you are already a vanguard (and don’t have to pay half a million for your FSC gear), you are looking at an upfront cost of about 50k+(125k-50k) +15k +275k +20k +100k +250k = 785k cr and 500 energy if you want to have a realistic chance of staying in business. And that’s just what you need to get established. Be prepared to spend (a lot) more than that. It will take a long time before other members start chipping in. Before they do, you’ll have to convince them that their investment is not going to be wasted by investing heavily yourself. You can only build confidence in your project by risking your own capital. Setting up shop and hoping for others to “donate plz” is not going to fly.