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MMORPG.com columnist Justin Webb writes this article about player housing.
Player housing always comes up on the list of things that players want to see in their games, and rightfully so. The concept of owning a chunk of real estate in the world you love is extremely compelling. At face value, player housing looks like it should be a slam-dunk win for every game that implements it. However, expectations are unrealistically high for this system. Player housing comes with a host of problems, many of which are developmental and/or production based.
Player housing as a global feasible game feature is an artifact left over from the days of MUDs, where the game world was created out of text and imagination. I had my own house in the MUD I played (Terris), that other players could enter and look around. It had things to interact with, and a couple of secrets. I really liked my house, but it wasn’t unique -- flavorful player-owned houses were fairly common.
Read Gimme Shelter.
Michael "MikeB" Bitton