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Housing

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV and the housing mess, part 2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Housing, Subscription

Because I really enjoy writing this sort of column again.  Thanks, guy.
Wait, part 2? When was part 1 a thing? January, my friends. And while I had prayed for sun, I planned for rain, and that turned out to be a wise move. What happened in the end was unpleasant but entirely unsurprising, as Final Fantasy XIV's second implementation of housing went little better than the first.

In the interests of full disclosure, yes, I am one of the vanishingly small number of people with an in-game house at the moment. I work at home and happened to have both the money and the time to grab myself a place to live in-game. That doesn't mean the system is anything remotely approaching good or even acceptable, which is why I want to spend this week talking about the mess that has been made and what, if anything, can be done to correct this fact. Housing in Final Fantasy XIV is a sore spot right now, and that's a problem, especially when it doesn't have to be.

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Test Shroud of the Avatar, get a hat

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

SOTA
Release 10 access for Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar sandbox begins Thursday morning, according to an update on the Kickstarter portal. This release is primarily a polish patch, Portalarium says, but housing utility, PvP, and population density were addressed as well:
We also made changes to increase player population densities in the game because we observed players becoming more and more spread out as we added more scenes; especially scenes with player housing. Speaking of player housing, we also noticed many people claiming houses, but not actually using nor decorating them. To address both these issues, we reduced the number of scenes with player housing and we introduced costs to lot claiming and house deed purchases (deeds can be purchased from the bartender in Owl's Head). We also reduced the number of PVP arenas to only two. Hopefully this will concentrate the players in fewer areas, and increase the number of decorated buildings.
In far more important news, SOTA's devs admit that testing participation has been falling off with successive releases; to entice players to test, FREE HAT. No, really; you get a free special hat for completing a quest in each release.

SOTA was greenlit on Steam last weekend after just a few days of campaigning. The full release notes can be found on the official website.

MapleStory 2 shows off its housing system

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items, Housing

Oh, good, we're going to hear another round of complaints about land pricing and availability.  Boy, this will be fun.
MapleStory 2 is not going to make your character live on the streets. Probably not, anyway; the new video on housing makes it appear that space is limited for buying and building a house or a room, but players will have the option of doing either. Yes, there's housing, and the video just past the break shows it off in all its glory, even if the narration will be a bit difficult to follow for the non-Korean-speaking members of our audience.

While open-world plots are rather expensive, rooms can also be purchased for characters to use, offering many of the same benefits. Some decorations are purely cosmetic, while others offer a function; the video shows off using a cabinet for storage and a mannequin for quickly changing to a new gear set. There's also the option to quickly teleport back to your home as necessary once you own one. Check out the full video past the break for a clearer picture of the housing setup.

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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The Stream Team: Win a Settler's Pack while touring Landmark

Betas, Video, Contests, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, Housing, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

The Stream Team:  Win a Settler's Pack while touring Landmark
Are you interested in having full beta access to Landmark so that you can build, gather resources, and PvP to your heart's content (not to mention get some free goodies)? Then join Massively's MJ on her next tour! On top of wandering the world and experiencing the various creative endeavors of players, she'll have a code for a Settler's Founders Pack to give away. That's not all, either: She has other codes as well, including the new glass platforms! So join us live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to win.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WildStar's housing gets huge with Drop 3

Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, Previews, Housing, Subscription

wildstar
Housing fanatics (including those eternal level 14s) in WildStar have great reason to cheer for the upcoming Drop 3. Carbine Studios is giving a ton of love to the player housing system, including a huge expansion of how many items can be placed.

In yesterday's Nexus Report, the team answered many housing questions and outlined some of the big changes coming with Drop 3. When it hits, players will be able to place up to 1,000 decor items both indoors and outdoors, which is an increase from the current 300 exterior and 800 interior limits. Other improvements include musical selection, more lights, separate sharing privileges for gardens, and a blank housing choice. The team has also been discussing new base terrains and the ability to move FABkits around.

We've got the full video for you after the break, so chow down!

[Thanks to Greg for the tip!]

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The Daily Grind: How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing

archeage
We had an interesting question come up in the office the other day concerning all of the open world housing in ArcheAge. What if the game (perish the thought) shrunk in population and then faced server merges. How would the studio handle merging populations that had equal claims on housing plots?

It seems to be a recipe for disaster any way that you look at it. One solution would be to force everyone out of the pool, er, server and then make a completely new server for those populations to fight over. Another solution would be to award a housing plot to the character with the most seniority.

What do you think? How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Final Fantasy XIV introduces personal housing (badly) with patch 2.38

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SERVER ARCHITECTURE AND WHY CAN I NOT DO THIS YET?
After more than half a year of waiting, Final Fantasy XIV players can finally purchase houses of their own. Provided, of course, that they have an exceptional amount of disposable gil and were on the servers early. Patch 2.38 introduces the option of purchasing land in the housing wards as an individual, but with prices starting at 4 million on the most populated servers for the smallest plot and with only two new wards introduced, many players who had been hopeful for a new house will find their hopes quickly dashed.

Producer Naoki Yoshida took to the forums to apologize for the land shortage, promising that more wards will be introduced with or following the launch of patch 2.4, which should double the amount of available land. While the prices are equal for both personal and free company houses (being built on the same plots), these prices are significantly lower than those when housing was first introduced, even after adjustments to Legacy worlds. The update also contains other features, including new emotes, new Relic Weapon quests, and update loot in Syrcus Tower and the Second Turn of the Binding Coil.

The Stream Team: The fight for a farm in ArcheAge's early access land rush

Fantasy, Video, Launches, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, The Stream Team

And they're off! With ArcheAge's early access in full swing, it's a race to try to get plots of lands for farms and houses. That means Massively's MJ will have to blaze through those early levels to get her paws on the scarecrow deed or earn enough Gilda Stars to buy a housing deed. But of course, everyone else will be doing the same. Just how crowded are the newbie lands? And how quickly are the plots of land being snatched up? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a glimpse into this land rush.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Eleven to revive Glitch with Tiny Speck's help

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Browser, Housing

eleven
Glitch. Now, if you have tears streaming down your face because you still find yourself crying every time you are reminded of the late, great crafting MMO, then prepare to go from sobs to smiles. A fan project called Eleven is making waves as a genuine attempt to revive Glitch with former developer Tiny Speck's blessing and assistance.

According to the FAQ, Eleven "is a project to get the publicly released Glitch code back up and running; a strictly volunteer effort by 'Glitchen' who want to see the revival of Glitch. We don't have any rights to the name Glitch as a brand, hence our name Eleven (after our eleven giants)." Tiny Speck has also gifted the volunteer team a new product called Slack to help in coordinating the project.

The team is working with the released source code from Tiny Speck to create new code to connect the client and server. The project is chugging along nicely, with a testable version of the wardrobe and vanity system available on the website. There's also a housing demo video that you can watch after the break. Getting the Glitch feels yet? You should!

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Mortal Online sets out territory control in a new patch

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Mortal Online, Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content

No one man should have all that power.
Ready to make your mark on the world of Mortal Online? Your time is now. The game's latest patch implements the territory control system, allowing guilds to war over choice bits of land, build keeps and cities, and generally shape the landscape into what they want to see. There's even a trailer for it past the cut, showing off what players can expect to get when breaking ground on a new city and building its defenses.

Cities alone would be a welcome addition, but the patch also brings with it a variety of improvements to quality of life. The game's mail system has been rebuilt, several UI elements and chat commands have been implemented, and the world map has seen some trimming and adjustments. The patch is live now, so you can check out the notes for all the details or just log in and start staking your guild's claim.

[Thanks to Zakiyya for the tip!]

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Trion clarifies ArcheAge's head-start housing situation

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

During its livestreamed pre-launch discussion of ArcheAge earlier this week, Trion Worlds clarified a number of issues that will affect players early on when the game enters its head-start period tomorrow. Top priority in a sandbox? Where you hang your hat. Housing will open at the beginning of the head start period, so early players will naturally secure the best properties. There is no limit to the number of houses an account can own, although accounts are taxed "exponentially" after they acquire three and up.

Also of note:
  • The game plans to launch with the eight ten original beta servers.
  • The "patron" subscription is indeed $15; 1250 credits cost 1 APEX or $10. For scale, consider that a character slot costs 1000 credits.
  • Trion vowed to continue its efforts to deal with chat spammers and botters.
  • Everyone, even F2P players, can access the auction hall.
As to the controversial labor point system, Trion says all characters will begin with zero points.

[Thanks, JunkiesNation.]

The Stream Team: Building a beautiful modular maze in Landmark

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, Housing, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

The Stream Team: How to build a modular maze in Landmark
Sometimes building in Landmark seems daunting. But thanks to modular pieces, even those who feel constructionally impaired can put together impressive builds. With only five handcrafted pieces saved as templates, Massively's MJ will show how to lay the foundation of an impressive underground maze. Then all that's left is adding a few finishing touches and you've got something to be proud of! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to chat about Landmark's latest news and see how modular pieces can help anyone make a massive creation in next to no time at all.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Albion Online's closed beta trailer promotes player cities and maps

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content

Albion Online
Ahead of the opening of Albion Online's alpha doors on September 15th, Sandbox Interactive has released a new gameplay video detailing what's inbound for testers and new founders. Specifically, the team has been hard at work on mounts (horses for you and oxen for your stuff), guild alliances, fast-travel via ships, the housing system, improved maps (like the slick and shiny one above), castle sieges, and the player-governed cities that serve as the foundation of the game's political content.

Enjoy the video after the break -- we're still oohing and aahing over that shiny skill web.

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The Repopulation rolls out open-world housing and tournaments

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, The Repopulation

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling.
The Repopulation is looking back over its updates through the month of August and letting fans and backers alike know how the game is developing. The biggest addition was the rollout of open world housing in PvE regions; the team has changed how plots are placed to allow players more freedom in choosing locations. City plots will see a similar restructuring for contested regions. More people than before will get to try these changes, as well; the price for early access to the game has been dropped to $100 and all of the Round 1 backers should be invited to the game's test by the coming weekend.

Player-created tournaments were also rolled out for testing; while the final version will be available in player-run cities, the current implementation is in a testing instance. The minigame system got its basic implementation, and of course there was the usual array of tweaks, balance changes, and bugfixes. Check out the full update for all of the details if you're watching the game from afar with eager eyes.

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