On the 31st of May 2006, after years of speculation and pleas, Jagex released the Construction skill with the ability to build and customize player-owned houses. Many uses were made of the player-owned houses, most notably the ability to worship whatever deity you choose on one's own altar for more experience points in prayer, and the ability to teleport to various locations in Gielenor by means of portals built inside the houses themselves. It is an expensive skill, requiring quite a bit of construction and deconstruction in order to gain the proper experience needed for the finest pieces of furniture and decorations. Still, the title of Master Constructor isn't impossible to attain.
It's rather lonely though, to have a large fancy house with no one to share it with. And when one did decide to throw a house party to show friends and associates the latest redecoration and rearrangement of rooms, often times it led to having not-so-desired guests crashing in as well. Sure the owners have the ability to kick people out, but to play host and bouncer isn't much fun either. Still, it wasn't a terrible system.
When clan chats (now known as friends chats) were first introduced, it required the owners to add people on their friends list to have them ranked according to their wishes. However, as many of us have experienced, the limited space and the difficult decision of removing a friend for a clan mate was just not ideal. Not only that, but the owner's home can almost become sort of the private meeting spot for private clan events, should it lead to that. To have a P2P account made for the sole purpose of holding the clan member list and have a private clan hangout area just doesn't seem very practical. When the new clan chats were created, this freed up many people's friends lists for friends and put clan mates on a separate, proper list, with ranks and permissions included. It's not a perfect system either, of course, but considering what we've had in the past, it works. Only problem is the lack of private meeting space for clan members to get together in game.
We will soon enter the second phase of construction: clan citadels. This means that those in a clan can now participate in the creation of their own building where they can hold their private meetings and style the project accordingly. However, unlike player-owned houses were you can simply finish the build and let it remain the way it is forever without the need for upkeep, clan citadels require that a certain number of clan members visit the citadel each week in order to maintain the tier of build it is in. It doesn't sound very difficult. Fifty members a week to just walk in and say hello and do a few odds and ends for the good of the clan doesn't sound terrible at all for the highest tier. In addition, it gives clans the ability to hold battles with other clans on their own territory, not no-man's-land. I can see this update as being one of the most defining updates for the larger and more active clans. It gives them more reason to come to weekly events and give a sense of pride to see that their loyalty is contributing to the construction of an entity the entire clan can call their own. It also puts in a new activity that perhaps requires other skills to accomplish, quite like the idea behind dungeoneering, but with a visible purpose behind it. Perhaps in the coming months we can see some competitions in this new playground aside from the usual XP-races and clan wars.
But isn't it also asking too much? Do the weekly visits require that members do a certain amount of tasks within the citadel to maintain its tier of construction? It's still too early to say whether or not clan citadels are going to be a chore for clans, or a minor inconvenience to have a playhouse. Get those hammers and saws ready. We have a lot of work ahead to build our citadels!