Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Homes and Tomes Credit Union

The first time prestige houses went on sale, I excitedly purchased several. Unfortunately, one of my purchases was a Personal Dojo, which I'd sworn to never buy--I had selected it while browsing the sale, and forgot to move off of it when I went to purchase the house I actually wanted.

The default dojo.

To my mind, the dojo was much too small for the amount of money SOE was asking for, even at sale price.

But I'd purchased it.

What was I going to do?

I tried a variety of things with the dojo, from a small home to a general store. But nothing quite worked out. The house just wouldn't cooperate with my ideas. The center dividers kept getting in the way, and I couldn't seem to get my mind to see them as anything other than center dividers.

The dojo sat mostly empty for months. Then a chain reaction happened. First, I remodeled the Homes and Tomes guild hall (now outdated--we've moved to a T3 in the Commonlands). Everyone had a 20 item limit for personalizing their office space. As guild leader, I decided that rule didn't apply to me. My office took several hundred items. That was fine for a while.

However, guilds are not static creatures. They grow. And as members moved up in rank, more and more people needed offices. That meant that my several-hundred-item office was taking up space that was needed for other offices. So while everyone else had an office in the hall, I moved my office to a prestige portal which linked to the guild hall. This way, my office would only take one item instead of several hundred, and I could decorate to my heart's content.

Once I'd created my office, the depots, crafting tables, and apprentices that once lived in the Everfrost home I used as an office needed to move somewhere else. Why not the dojo? It was a small space, perfect for housing apprentices, depots, and crafting tables! I just had to think of a theme that would work for the space.

I was standing in the guild hall, staring at our banker and wracking my brains for an idea when it hit me. Homes and Tomes' concept is that of a construction and interior design company. Many companies have their own credit unions. Additionally, the guild had elected to leave our harvest depot public, and to move our rares to a home controlled by the officers. If I put the rares in the credit union... the ideas began to flow.

And so the Homes and Tomes Credit Union was born.

Located on the Leaderboards under Small Homes on Antonia Bayle, "The Homes and Tomes Credit Union."

The teller windows disguising the center divider of the dojo.
As I was building the Credit Union, I looked around and realized the bank was very empty without employees. I thought about using plushies, then realized I had the perfect employees available: tradeskill apprentices. Tradeskill apprentices were another item that I just couldn't seem to work into any of my existing homes. I had originally planned to create a "bunk house" for the apprentices, but moving them into the Credit Union to act as tellers was a perfect solution. Plus, I'd have personal harvest depots available, with the supplies for the apprentice dailies ready and waiting. So I moved my apprentices into the Credit Union (along with the apprentices of a few friends), and wound up with Tellers and Guards. Hooray!

Windows I and II.
Of course, that isn't as much of an issue now that they made the apprentice daily items stack, but when the Credit Union was first created, the items didn't stack (yes, the Credit Union has been mostly done since February. I just didn't have an urge to post it. But then three people in under a week asked me why they couldn't find it on the leaderboards, so I had to clean it up and post it...)

The bank has a suggestion box. Be sure to leave your suggestions!
Having a mailbox in a bank didn't sit right with me. At first I had the mailbox tucked away behind the window in Teller I's area. But I soon realized that I didn't like how hard it was to get to (while the windows are big enough to squeeze through, it's a bit of a hassle having to run and jump every time you want to reach the box). However, while it was back there, I had it sunk into the counter. I realized that it looked a lot like a simple box with the bottom hidden. And a suggestion box seemed like the perfect solution to the mailbox delimma. I could have it in plain sight, yet not have it be a mailbox. (Duh.)

Back of the Credit Union, where the vaults are.
The vaults came about because I hate how the default personal harvest depots look. They're too tinkered. Flipping them and tucking them back so only the trim shows creates a perfect vault door, however.

Each has a plaque overhead detailing what's inside, so that guildies and non-guild individuals depositing items don't accidentally store guild rares in with my personal stash of items. Holiday items are separated out from commons and rares, and Frostfell has its own box.

Closeup of one of the deposit boxes.
The wall of safe deposit boxes used to be a wall of sales crates. Inside, I kept my fuels. Then SOE kindly added personal fuel depots, and the sales crates were no longer necessary.

I firmly believe that sales crates should be easily visible, so I removed them from the wall (they were only holding my fuel anyway, and now I can use them to sell other things!), and replaced them with normal crates.

It makes sense for a bank to have safe deposit boxes, doesn't it?

The signs are Coldain Signs, flipped and sunk.

The safe. AKA the fuel depot.
Speaking of the fuel depot, I had it hidden under the counter behind teller window VII at first. Then I decided that it was too much of a hassle to hop through the window to refill it, so I moved it to the wall and turned it into a safe, complete with key. I'm not particularly happy with the gold frame, but it's functional and matches the rest of the Credit Union.

This was pretty much the only thing I had to complete in order to get the Credit Union ready for publication on the leaderboards. The home has been done for months (aside from the clutter I left sitting around as I used it as a dumping ground to empty out my inventory when necessary, which I cleaned up when I published it).

Windows VI and VII.
I have fond memories of banks from my childhood. My grandfather's house was situated right next to a bank, and my great grandfather and I would walk down to the bank approximately once a week.

My grandmother used to treat her daughters to the complimentary coffee from the bank. So of course, the Credit Union had to have complimentary refreshments in honor of that.

Mmmm refreshments. The coffee is missing (I forgot to put it down).
 I'd meant to have an urn of coffee and cups, but I forgot to put them in before I published. They'll have to be put in after the Credit Union hits the Hall of Fame.

Behind windows VI and VII. Tellers hard at work.
And here's a peek behind the teller windows off to the sides. I made sure to put in a ledge so that the poor Coldain can see over the edge...

That concludes the tour of the miniscule Homes and Tomes Credit Union.

I did make sure to tuck crafting tables under the counter at teller window IV, so that apprentice dailies are easy no matter which side of the counter you're on. Additionally, the Credit Union acts as a portable crafting room for homes I'm working on. I can just plop down a portal to the CU, and easily travel back and forth between a home fully stocked with tables and materials, and the home I'm decorating. The crafting tables are reachable from the zone-in point of the CU, so there's no need to even take a step!