| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:21PM Macabre 13 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Chat bubble made me lol, good one, Kyle.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:23PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I do try. ;)
Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:09PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm not hugely surprised at this...This is the KotOR sequel. Sure, it happens to have a MMO component, but for all intents and purposes, it's the KotOR spiritual successor. The main base hub system worked fabulously for KotOR 1+2, as well as other Bioware franchises such as Mass Effect and Jade Empire...If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 2:48PM Kamokazi said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Well maybe that’s just exactly what ‘housing’ is…how you travel around planets…your ship, which is also your ‘house’. It may have a lot of features similar to other MMO housing systems, so internally they just call it ‘housing’.
Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:10PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Really cool idea, if fleshed out well. Should create more of an emotional attachment for players to their characters.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:14PM jpkustra said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I loved having a house in SWG to display various "treasures" and armors. Hopefully this will be set up in a similar fashion with your home being your base of operations and a place to chill out and look at your collections or achievements.
Bioware will do it right if it is really a feature :)

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:27PM vicryixiv said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Having my own personal "ship" or whatever that I can see things displayed like a mix of the KOTOR Ebon Hawk and the Xwing Alliance Sabra would be nice. Going as far as star wars galaxies? No thanks.

I loved my house there, spent hours on it. I did not like the 400 miles of District 9 that surrounded every NPC city in the game though. It was a pain and a nuisance.

Lets also be honest, with exceptions for a small minority of people, even if you spent 100000 years on your house, no one else actually cares very much and likely, you dont care about their houses either.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 8:01AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Yes.

Give me ships. Multiple ones with different layouts. Ships are VERY important not only to bioware games, but to Star Wars as a whole. The Falcon yes, but Dash Render's ship in Shadows of the Empire, Slave One of Bobba Fett, and several others in extended media.
Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 4:29PM aurickle said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I have always loved player housing, but it has also always been mostly a waste. I'm clearly not alone in this, given what happened with LotRO. When housing became available, the community went ape. Plots sold faster than the Flash on crack. But if you go into the neighborhoods today they are ghost towns. House after house that says, "locked due to failure to pay rent" when you click on the door.

In order for player housing to actually work, it has to be meaningful. It has to have compelling reasons to bring you and other people to it. If there's no compelling reason for you to come, then gaming gets in the way and you never make the trip home. If there's no compelling reason for others to come, then your house becomes a very solitary experience and the things that bring you to your home might as well be served by other mechanics elsewhere in the game.

So far, EQ2 has had the best implementation for housing that I have plaid. First, there are tons of decoration options, which makes it easy to truly personalize your space. Second, crafting ties into this. Third, they made houses a status symbol. Some are just not available without being rich and/or in a strong guild. Fourth, your house became an easy way to put stuff up for sale. It's also a place where you can put a crafting table if you want. All of this ties together with the other game mechanics pretty well. Plus you have the fact that you can display trophies (and there are massive numbers of them to get).

The place where EQ2 lacks is reasons for other people to come to your house. The only one that will bring strangers around is the discount that they can get for buying from you rather than from the broker board. This is pretty weak, really.

The only problem is that I can't think of many things that can be done with housing to increase the traffic or make the system more meaningful. Without that, player housing is always going to just be a cool little side note that probably takes far more effort to design, model and texture for than it is actually worth. Which is probably why Blizzard has never done it for WoW, despite the regular requests for such a feature.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 5:01PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
They've also stated that they don't want to lose the "hustle/bustle" of the cities if they allowed player housing and you had things like crafting tables or what not in the homes.
Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 5:23PM Tom in VA said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The way housing *SHOULD* have been handled in LotRO would have been:

--instanced houses/apartments in (preferably) or immediately adjacent to the major cities.

This would have given players a reason to come "home". If LotRO, for example, were to "open up" a dozen or more homes in Bree, I would have happily bought a house.

As any realtor will tell you, it's all about location, location, location. People want their homes to be close to travel hubs, inns,shops, the AH, and crafting. Doh! Why Turbine didn't factor this I have no idea.

Would it bother me to see other players "entering" my front door (but going into their own instanced dwelling)? Not at all.
Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 7:34PM mysecretid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tom

Absolutely agree. By coincidence, Anarchy Online was the first true MMORPG I played, and they handled housing the way you describe ("instanced doorways").

My house was actually located in an apartment block in one of my faction's major cities. Everything I wanted was nearby, and I felt like my character was actually part of the game-world, part of the metropolis.

You can imagine my surprise when I left AO and discovered that no other MMORPG seemed top handle things this way.

LotRO's a great game, but -- as you say -- what I really wanted was my own doorway in Bree-Town, not life in a "suburb" half way between two major locations.
Reply

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 11:35AM aurickle said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I always felt that LotRO missed the boat in a big way when it came to how they handled the player housing. They should never have stuck the houses in neighborhoods like they did. Instead they should have had two types of housing:

1) In every town or city in the world, many of the doors should lead to instanced player housing/apartments. The price of the rent would be based on the desirability of the location. For example, a door facing the Prancing Pony in Bree would be more expensive than one tucked away in the slum part of town. Bree housing as a whole would be more expensive than Archett or Trestlebridge. The upshot is that there would be enough housing for everyone, and people could live anywhere they wanted.

2) Throughout the world -- in cities as well as in more remote locations -- there should be a bunch of non-instanced housing. For example, the cottages or a few of the hobbit holes just outside of Bree. The price of these would also vary by location, but would be much more expensive than an apartment. What's more, they would also require Kindred standing with the local faction. A catch here is that these houses could be lost for nonpayment of rent whereas the apartments would simply be locked. This would keep someone who quits the game from tying up the home forever.

By combining the two types of housing they would prevent the classic overcrowding problem that typically occurs with non-instanced housing. There would be enough instanced housing to accommodate everyone, while the non-instanced housing would be a great carrot for the status-seekers.

I would love to see this kind of system in SW:TOR.
Reply

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 3:10PM mysecretid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@ aurickle

While not explicitly stated, the other important thing your housing methods do is to ensure that player housing doesn't negatively impact the immersion aspects of the game world.

You ever play Star Wars Galaxies?

As mirilene mentions above, player housing turned huge sections of Tatooine into District 9 -style slum sprawl. Tatooine is supposed to be a planet of outpost cities surrounded by desert wastes -- and yet, when I was playing SWG, anyway -- on my server, you could travel all the way from Mos Eisely to the next nearest city and _never_ hit a significant patch of land which wasn't crowded full of player buildings.

Doorway "instanced housing", whether in cities or in the wild , not only gives the players what they want in a preferred location, it also preserves the game-world environment and "sense of place".



Reply

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 5:02PM (Unverified) said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
Even if it was the best Housing model ever it wouldn't make up for the uninspiring gameplay I saw in that 20 min vid.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 5:37PM MrGutts said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
When playing a robot race/class, Futurama comes to mind and Benders apartment. :)

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 5:53PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
i have a house in runes of magic, but i see no need for it. it's just more inconveniant places to teleport/travel for me. if i wanted to custmize a house, i'd play the sims. i love the game, but what on earth will i do with a house and a pretty bed? take a virtual girlfriend there after dinner?

i think a fully customizable mount would be pretty awesome in the form of a car. like adding in tacky fuzzy dice and having accessories in the trunk. now that's an idea. at least it has utility, like taking me to one place to another faster. now only if runes of magic was set in modern times.

@mgutts, i'd totally play a futurama mmorpg. now that's an idea! mmm slurm!

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 6:45PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I can see this going the KotOR way of "housing" and having things you need in the house; workbenches, storage, and whatnot. This would give you a reason to come back to your place and actually care about it or where it is.

Personally, I could go for my own Falcon to cruise in ^^

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:31PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Please let someone do player housing right. Some day we will look back on what is available now and be shocked that people settled for it. I so want an MMO with a deep housing system and someplace you can spend some time.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:40PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Give me a more strategic based combat system and I'm there.

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW