This will eventually become a complete guide to clubs. For the moment though, here is some essential information about them, for owners and for members both.
The advantages of joining a club
For most people the biggest advantage is being able to have a store. You can sell items, mobla, horses, or offer stud services, and this allows you to make quite a bit of money if you price your wares right.
Another advantage is having other club members to talk to and do events with, everything from competitions to beauty shows to Essence hunts. This varies widely from club to club, but usually clubs are pretty up front about whether they have a lot of events or not.
You can also take part in auctions, and can restrict that auction to other club members if you like.
If you are a Gold ranked member, you can have a ranch that is within 1.5 kilometers of the club. Silver ranked members can hold competitions if courses have been built.
The Drawbacks of joining a club
You can only join one club at a time. Also, many clubs have dues, usually a certain amount of gold, wood or stone per active game day. Some clubs are sticklers for that, others just ask that you contribute as you can.
Clubs can pick a percentage of gold dust to add on to your store prices, and that money goes straight to the club. Same goes for trainers etc. It’s better to pick a club with a low markup because then your prices will be lower and you’ll get more sales.
For example, my club has a 5% markup so if someone buys an item for 1000 gold dust, it will cost 1050. On the other hand, another club I knew had a 50% markup, so that same item would have cost 1500 gold dust. No thanks!
If you leave a club, you get 40% of your gold, stone, or wood back, up to the amount you can currently carry.
Buying your own club
First of all, it costs $80 US to buy a club, or the equivalent amount of Mobla. That money goes straight into supporting the game, and you own that club forever. You can only have one.
Once you have enough Mobla either purchased from other players in game, or bought with real money, you can buy your club. At that point you are just reserving your name.
Next, travel around the world until you find the perfect spot. Make sure you really like it because you can’t move or delete a club. It’s best if the spot is relatively flat so it’s easy to build on, and is close to various useful biomes. For example, mine is in Deep Jungle, but is close to Open Jungle, Wondershrooms, Mountains, and Geysers. It was founded in a spot that had a naturally open area surrounded by trees, with a couple of useful paths leading away from it.
At this point I have many buildings and that whole place is surrounded with cool stuff. I’ll be adding decor fairly soon too. That tiny little building is the Club House, which is the first building that needs to go up.
When you first start out, you can only have five club members including yourself, so try and find people who are motivated to donate to the club. After all, the more donations there are, the more amenities there are, and the better it is for everyone.
Tips for making a great club
Have a plan in advance. Take a really good look at the area you have chosen and think about what buildings you want. For every club level you have, you get five building spots, though club stores don’t count towards that total. Think about what most people use a club for and set those buildings up first.
For example, my club started out with a horse trader, a breed identifier, a trainer for speed, some club stores, and an importer so we can get things like iron, wool, and garden seeds. I built up from there and I also asked my clubbies what they would find most useful.
Pick a good color scheme. Whether the color scheme is meant to be tasteful or wild, put some thought into it. I’d be more likely to spend time in a club I liked the look of, then stick around in a place that was all black and hot pink, for example, with low contrast store signs.
Have fun with profiles. Some stores allow you to put up a profile, which is short but still enough to put in a few sentences. I chose to describe what each shopkeeper looked like and I think it adds something to the club village.
Think of creative club amenities. Horse Isle 3 allows for some flexibility in thought, so I’ve used that to enhance things for my members and visitors. For example, I bought a land parcel as close as possible to my ranch, and made sure one of the paths led to it. I built a breeding barn there, which is a structure anyone can use, then put a lamp post near it, and put up a sign in the club letting people know where it was. That way it’s something useful for visitors but isn’t a pre-designed, official club amenity.
Consider lighting. It gets pretty dark during our ten minutes of night, so plan carefully when placing your lamp post.
Pick a theme and purpose. One club I know of found a club area on a mountainside and picked a Greek Mythology theme. My own club is supposed to be a village of friendly traders who live in the jungle. Others focus on breeding, or competitions. So if you know what you most like doing, and you have some special interest that can be turned into a theme, that will lead to a cohesive club that is a pleasure to come to, and return to again and again.
Name things! If you have names for various land forms around your club, use them. If you build a directional sign, for example, and want to point to a nearby mountain, you could say “this way to Blue Peak.” When setting destinations for your Wagon, you don’t have to list the destination plainly, like “plains biome” or “mesa and sandstone.” Why not make it immersive by listing them as “Sunlit Plains” or “Rattling Gulch.” Of course, if it’s really hard to guess, you may want to put a sign nearby explaining what everything actually is.