Some Assembly Required: Your home is your castle on Vanguard's Thestra

MJ Guthrie
M. Guthrie|01.31.14

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Some Assembly Required:  Your home is your castle on Vanguard's Thestra
Some Assembly Required:  Your home is your castle on Vanguard's Thestra
In a painful twist of fate, this week's scheduled Some Assembly Required wraps up the trilogy on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes housing that began with my first piece for this column highlighting Kojani homes way back in 2011. I say painful because we now know that Vanguard will be closing its doors forever come July 31st. But that leaves us six more months to enjoy what's there, and since we've already seen the oriental homes of Kojan and the desert dwellings of Qalia, it's time to take a tour of Thestra.

The European-flavored continent was the final of the three to visit not because it is somehow less than the other two but because it is more -- as in more land to cover! The main reason I left Thestra for last is because of the sheer size of the continent. The amount of time required to visit just a fraction of the housing settlements scattered throughout this land is daunting. The other reason is that I wanted to end on a bang with my favorite style of guild housing: the castles!
Although I chose Kojan for its cultural flavor for our guild tavern, once I saw the housing on Thestra for the first time, I couldn't not fall in love with it. You see, each continent sports its own flavor of housing styles; while Kojan is East Asian and Qalia is very desert Arabian, Thestra relies heavily on medieval European flavor. That means castles. And there is no form of housing I love more than a castle! The stone, the bulwarks, the turrets... everything about them. I just can't get enough of them. So the idea of living in one? Well, heck yah -- sign me up! It doesn't hurt that it rains a lot on Thestra since I love the rain, but that's another topic.

The guild halls themselves are the impressive castles, looking very much like the impenetrable fortresses that any knight or damsel would safely call home. There is a small and a large version, though both are quite sizable. I have never wanted to work harder for guild housing than I did for one of those beauts. Sadly, the castles did need the work of a sizable guild to build and to maintain, so having just a few hands to help out meant that dream never became a reality. But that's actually not as disappointing as you might think.

Obviously, just as in life, not everyone can own a castle in Vanguard. And that's actually a really good thing. Why? Because the housing on the Thestran continent best captures the feel of being in a vibrant world. While Kojan and Qalia also have different styles and sizes of dwellings, Thestra parades a diversity that is very satisfying to see. Along with the stonework, shutters, and wood framing that is prevalent in the mid-sized houses, there are also small log cabins with dirt floors and barely thatched roofs dotting the landscape. Nothing says you're eking out a living like a rustic cabin with straw for carpeting. As much as I love castles, it was this quaint charm that completely captivated me. Unfortunately, until fairly recently, each account could own only one housing plot so I could never have a home on Thestra while I had the one on Kojan.

As I did for my other two housing tours, I traveled the continent and peeked into many an unlocked door (I thought it best to not be found picking any locks) to show of the decorating prowess of Vanguard's players. Sadly, many doors remained closed, hiding whatever visual treasure were inside. But I still found many examples of ingenuity, whimsy, and cleverness in the accessible places. I found a magical room where a floating pig was encircled by a spiral of floating lights. I discovered a well stocked kitchen with a roaring fire on the stove in one home (a popular theme, in fact) and a carefully laid out shrine in another. I found cozy homes that just made me feel like kicking off my adventuring boots and relaxing as well as cavernous halls that made me feel minuscule.

You really need to see some of these places for yourself! I simply don't have enough space to detail all the awesome details I came across. The variety and creativity was truly a pleasure to behold, and I couldn't even get into a fraction of the houses available throughout all the land. I'd need more time, so much more time, to really appreciate every abode, but I am afraid time is not something we have in abundance of anymore.

And that, my friends, draws our Thestran tour to a close and concludes our trilogy on Vanguard's housing. That doesn't mean this is the end, however; just as I memorialized Star Wars Galaxies with a housing extravaganza, I plan on doing the same thing for Vanguard. This game deserves to have its housing system remembered, and you deserve to have your homes shown off, so I will be making a large gallery of player homes and putting it up here on the site for all to see. In the meantime, check out the homes that I visited in my travels in the gallery here.

Do you have screenshots of your humble abode or your creative genius? Send those images to me at If you don't have any yet, you have until the beginning of July to take some, or you can email me with your home's location and I will come and personally take some for you (please make sure you have the home open for visitors if you do!). Include your character name, guild name, or establishment/home name if you'd like it included on the picture. The final gallery will be available mid-July.

Every two weeks, Jef Reahard and MJ Guthrie take a break from their themepark day jobs to delve into the world of player-generated content. Comments, suggestions, and coverage ideas are welcome, and Some Assembly Required is always looking for players who'd like to show off their MMO creativity. Contact us!
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