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Player Housing The Key to Enjoyment?

SkillzerooSkillzeroo Baltimore, MDPosts: 96Member

Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs? It obviously isn't limited by hardware and there doesn't seem to be an excuse to not get it out.

 

Mounts, faster travel? Been done ten thousand times over...

End Game raiding to look forward to in your "goals"? Been done ten thousand times over.

But player housing, while it has been done, has never REALLY been a standard for MMOs especially recently.. Why is this? Its something to work towards and something I'd definitely want... I remember my first time in LOTRO being amazed and spending an entire night just going around looking at all of the houses and things people put around them and inside of them.. Its something in the game itself that you can claim is "Yours".. Its something that doesn't disappear when you log off and come back when you're back online.. Its always there!

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Comments

  • sloebersloeber antwerpen, AKPosts: 504Member

    Originally posted by Skillzeroo

    Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs? It obviously isn't limited by hardware and there doesn't seem to be an excuse to get it out.

     

    Mounts, faster travel? Been done ten thousand times over...

    End Game raiding to look forward to in your "goals"? Been done ten thousand times over.

    But player housing, while it has been done, has never REALLY been a standard for MMOs especially recently.. Why is this? Its something to work towards and something I'd definitely want... I remember my first time in LOTRO being amazed and spending an entire night just going around looking at all of the houses and things people put around them and inside of them.. Its something in the game itself that you can claim is "Yours".. Its something that doesn't disappear when you log off and come back when you're back online.. Its always there!

     Never played LOTR but i do play EQ2 and i realy enjoy putting stuff in my house and customizing it.

    Its not like UO but good enough to keep me happy for now......i feel you on this one.......more MMO's should have housing.

  • NiiehNiieh GhentPosts: 46Member

    Player housing definitely adds a lot to the fun of playing an MMO. I'm playing EQ2 atm and I spend a lot of time decorating my house and crafting new furniture. In fact, it's my most important motivation to keep working on my carpentry skills. 

    I don't think it's absolutely necessary for new MMOs to have player housing, but it's definitely a big plus for me and something fun to do when you don't feel like fighting and questing all the time. It helps to keep you interested in a game, because it adds new goals such as finding that specific piece of furniture or work on crafting skills.

     

  • theartisttheartist Amblin, OHPosts: 553Member

    I think giving a player a space to create in is more important than it just being housing.

    City of Heroes and it's mission architect for example. Once developers get past copying the mechanics of games, and start allowing more creation of content by fellow players.. Then we'll be able to get out of this kind of tired generation of mmorpg technology.

  • EdliEdli TiranaPosts: 941Member

    Devs seams to give too much importance to killing. Yeah players want to kill and blow up stuff but not only. Humans want to create and build too. Just look at the success of minecraft. I would love to see that concept integrated in a mmo. 

  • honourswordhonoursword MarsPosts: 82Member

    The best player housing I have ever played is definately SWG. That game had so many things wrong with it but had Crafting, Resource Gathering and Player Housing years ahead of any other game in terms of quality. In fact it still does.

    Player Housing is apprently quite resource intensive in terms of hardware and databasing. Most games that have it will do it from the ground up, in other words will add it while they developing the game engine initially. I remember a Blizzard dev saying somewhere that if Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definately be in WOW by now. Unfortunately, it isn't and takes a lot of planning and dev work to certainly do right.

    Would love to see another SWG housing system developed in an MMO.

  • nedoxnedox ZenicaPosts: 99Member

    It really depends on player, for example I have house in RoM and it does not provide 1% of enjoyment for me.

    I still spend 99% of my time "outside" doing PvE and PvP. But I do agree that they dont' take up too much resource, and that they do provide some sort of enjoymentfor lots of players, and that proves popularity of games like second life, where everything is based on your personal belongings in game that could relate to real life.

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  • DatarinDatarin SydneyPosts: 164Member

    Depends on the gamer. However, I really would want "all" MMOs to have housing... even if, just because, it would appeal to some gamers. I like variety in the games I play, and so far, the few games that have kept me playing for more than a month -- almost all of them have housing systems I loved to tinker with.

    That said... don't make bland housing systems. Case in point: NosTale.

    And yes, it's one of the few aspects that create "immersion", or whatever the word is these days since PRs abuse it so much.

    Forums: The best real-time interactive MMORPG you'll ever be in.

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    Originally posted by honoursword

    The best player housing I have ever played is definately SWG. That game had so many things wrong with it but had Crafting, Resource Gathering and Player Housing years ahead of any other game in terms of quality. In fact it still does.

    Player Housing is apprently quite resource intensive in terms of hardware and databasing. Most games that have it will do it from the ground up, in other words will add it while they developing the game engine initially. I remember a Blizzard dev saying somewhere that if Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definately be in WOW by now. Unfortunately, it isn't and takes a lot of planning and dev work to certainly do right.

    Would love to see another SWG housing system developed in an MMO.

    The italic part is wrong actually.

    Blizzard Dev said player housing doesn't fit their vision for their game. Which is to give the players a social feeling through lots of chars on your screen when you are in WoW. Except PVE/PVP group content they prefer people are actually in the 'world' and not holed up in their own 'home'. You lose that 'massive' feeling.

    Someone always brings this housing up and I always ask (never get an answer though). How would you solve the problem where everyone don't 'see' each other (since they are all in their house) if you want to give that social experience to your players?

    Is it really worth the time to do it right (so old houses don't clutter your world) if it doesn't benefit your players or runs counter to the vision of your game?

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXPosts: 3,475Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by jpnz

    Originally posted by honoursword

    The best player housing I have ever played is definately SWG. That game had so many things wrong with it but had Crafting, Resource Gathering and Player Housing years ahead of any other game in terms of quality. In fact it still does.

    Player Housing is apprently quite resource intensive in terms of hardware and databasing. Most games that have it will do it from the ground up, in other words will add it while they developing the game engine initially. I remember a Blizzard dev saying somewhere that if Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definately be in WOW by now. Unfortunately, it isn't and takes a lot of planning and dev work to certainly do right.

    Would love to see another SWG housing system developed in an MMO.

    The italic part is wrong actually.

    Blizzard Dev said player housing doesn't fit their vision for their game. Which is to give the players a social feeling through lots of chars on your screen when you are in WoW. Except PVE/PVP group content they prefer people are actually in the 'world' and not holed up in their own 'home'. You lose that 'massive' feeling.

    Someone always brings this housing up and I always ask (never get an answer though). How would you solve the problem where everyone don't 'see' each other (since they are all in their house) if you want to give that social experience to your players?

    Is it really worth the time to do it right (so old houses don't clutter your world) if it doesn't benefit your players or runs counter to the vision of your game?

    Actually, if your devs are good at what they do, you can give player's housing and still draw them out to "social" areas in the game. SWG is a prime example of how to accomplish this which is why so many people who have played it, don't understand why it wasn't used more in current MMO's.

    As for social areas, SWG designed their game with Cantina's in mind as the social network and believe it or not, it worked. Why? Because of intelligent game design. In order to receive buffs or healing, you had to visit an entertainer whom could only perform their skills while in a Cantina. So, you can give players their housing and still create the "social" areas in the game if you know how to design what your looking for as a dev.

    Again, SWG's crafting, resource gathering and player housing is so crazy awesome, it still amazes me to this day why no other MMO 

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  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon

    This concept that being in a sea of people constitutes interaction seems to based on a fallacy.  The truth is while standing in Iron Forge or Stormwind I can definitely say there were a lot of people around me I cannot say I actually interacted with any of them in a meaningful way. I mean there is the chat and not to mention the quality of said chat and I have shame on me contributed to its vileness on occasion but most times I just turn it off mentally meaning not reading it at all.

     

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  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by cheyane

    This concept that being in a sea of people constitutes interaction seems to based on a fallacy.  The truth is while standing in Iron Forge or Stormwind I can definitely say there were a lot of people around me I cannot say I actually interacted with any of them in a meaningful way. I mean there is the chat and not to mention the quality of said chat and I have shame on me contributed to its vileness on occasion but most times I just turn it off mentally meaning not reading it at all.

     

    And of those in the main cities. IMO 80% were mule toons either humping the mailbox, standing at the banker, or inside the AH..  I dont' see the appeal in that, but whatever..  I mean really, especially for characters at end game level.. What is the purpose of the city?  Are you required to craft there? train? quest? dungeon?  Anything?  The only big draw Shat and Dal had was  portals.. portals..   portals.... but now those are gone..  I never had any purpose to go to Stormwind, Ironforge or the others.. UNLESS it was a holiday event I had not done.. but I did all those too.. so now that is done..  WoW hasnt' revamped their holidays stuff since? since?  /shrug

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member

    I honestly don't care about player housing, except as a place to store things I don't want to lug around with me all the time.  In any game I've ever played where they had player housing, I've never once done anything there that meant anything.  I don't think anyone ever came over to my "house" more than a handful of times, I don't think I went to anyone else's "house" very often either.  Therefore, decorating my "house" seems pointless if there's hardly anyone who will ever see it.

    I'm there to play a game, not show off.  Most people are the same.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by jpnz


    Originally posted by honoursword
    The best player housing I have ever played is definately SWG. That game had so many things wrong with it but had Crafting, Resource Gathering and Player Housing years ahead of any other game in terms of quality. In fact it still does.
    Player Housing is apprently quite resource intensive in terms of hardware and databasing. Most games that have it will do it from the ground up, in other words will add it while they developing the game engine initially. I remember a Blizzard dev saying somewhere that if Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definately be in WOW by now. Unfortunately, it isn't and takes a lot of planning and dev work to certainly do right.
    Would love to see another SWG housing system developed in an MMO.

    The italic part is wrong actually.
    Blizzard Dev said player housing doesn't fit their vision for their game. Which is to give the players a social feeling through lots of chars on your screen when you are in WoW. Except PVE/PVP group content they prefer people are actually in the 'world' and not holed up in their own 'home'. You lose that 'massive' feeling.
    Someone always brings this housing up and I always ask (never get an answer though). How would you solve the problem where everyone don't 'see' each other (since they are all in their house) if you want to give that social experience to your players?
    Is it really worth the time to do it right (so old houses don't clutter your world) if it doesn't benefit your players or runs counter to the vision of your game?

    Zoning. Not in the MMORPG sense but in the Residential/Commercial/Industrial sense that towns and cities use. Give people a space somewhere that they can buy with a house and space for a farm (like Farmville). This space would operate a lot like residential areas...you can't just plop a house down anywhere, but you can buy this lot for 1,342,543,345 gold elf coins. Then make sure that the people in their little lots can produce something useful for the game. Maybe they hire blacksmiths or their farms produce something useful in cooking recipes, etc. They bring the stuff they produce into the main town or city to sell it. They also have to go there to pay their rent to the fuedal overlord shiny dragon king. Also, players should be able to craft these decorative items with stuff they loot and farm from around the game world. Not necessarily the house owners, but other players can craft stuff to sell to the home owners.

    There. They get to have their own little house to decorate as they please (with stuff they get from other players). They have to periodically return to the populated center of the world to at least pay their rent. They aren't freeloading or checking out of the game world. They may even be producing something useful for all the adventurers out there.

    I have used sarcasm here, but I think you could work this kind of game play into just about any game.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    I happen to find the idea of player housing pretty awesome, but that's probably due in part to never having had it. I've played Ultima and had a little shack but...it's Ultima...it's all little and graphically irrelevant...so that doesn't count *wavey hand at*

    I never got the money for a decent LOTRO abode, and other than that I can't think of any game I've played with housing with the exception of that browser game whose name I can't remember right now...the one where most of your leveling happens with mini games. Got bored of that one quickly.

    Still, I don't think this is the 'key' to enjoyment. It may be a nice aspect of it, but adding homes people can decorate cannot and will not ever save a game, thus it is not the 'key' to enjoying it.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • CzzarreCzzarre Cleveland, OHPosts: 3,742Member

    PLayer housing can be considered 'end game' content. Something your character can do after leveling is done. Basically trophy collect and even revisit newbie zones to some rare item.

    Housing is not implimented in MMOs as much as it should be in my opinion.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,246Member Uncommon

    Well, to channel the folks working on SWTOR, hanging out at the house and adventure don't really mix.

    That said, I do think that a player having ownership of some little piece of the world is a positive thing.  But really the best option is being able to take your home with you.  That's where SWTOR is very conveniently positioned for your character to have your ship as your home.  I think it's good to have a place you can call "home", and even better if it becomes a tool for you to continue your adventures.

    I like my house in LotRO.  It's a deluxe house in Ered Luin, and I have it nicely decked out at this point.  Thing is though, there's no really reason for me to bring friends there.  I suppose I could load up the chests with beer and we could have a drinking contest, but aside from that, there just not much of a reason to stay there and hang out for a long time.  The fact that there's some beautiful scenery and a party area, complete with a party planner who does absolutely nothing, doesn't change that nothing really happens there.

    So basically, it's become a place where I can store 2 chests worth of stuff, listen to Bombadills theme, and take a short jog to get some nice discounts on crafting ingredients.

    Until a game comes along which rewards RP and social interactions with some form of advancement, I figure housing will never be much more than that.  And that's a much bigger challenge than it sounds, methinx.

  • junzo316junzo316 Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,684Member Uncommon

    I love the idea of player housing, but I don't think anyone has got it "right" yet. (didn't play SWG, so can't speak for that one)  I love my house in LotRO, but it is so limited.  I want to place things were I want to place them, not have specified placing for things.  That's why I like EQ2.  You can place things where you want, but it feels like more of an apartment than a home.  I really like my yard in LotRO and the neighborhood system.  If these two ideas came together, I think I would be really happy.

     

    Also, I enjoyed the housing in Istaria.  You had to actually work to build your home.  Gathering components, to add that next addition to the house.  It felt like you were actually working toward something, it was definitely something to show off.

  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member

    Originally posted by Edli

    Devs seams to give too much importance to killing. Yeah players want to kill and blow up stuff but not only. Humans want to create and build too. Just look at the success of minecraft. I would love to see that concept integrated in a mmo. 

    Pretty much sums up my thoughts.

  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member

    Originally posted by junzo316

    I love the idea of player housing, but I don't think anyone has got it "right" yet. (didn't play SWG, so can't speak for that one)  I love my house in LotRO, but it is so limited.  I want to place things were I want to place them, not have specified placing for things.  That's why I like EQ2.  You can place things where you want, but it feels like more of an apartment than a home.  I really like my yard in LotRO and the neighborhood system.  If these two ideas came together, I think I would be really happy.

     

    Also, I enjoyed the housing in Istaria.  You had to actually work to build your home.  Gathering components, to add that next addition to the house.  It felt like you were actually working toward something, it was definitely something to show off.

    I completely agree.

  • wizyear2099wizyear2099 Los Angeles, CAPosts: 310Member

    I think it should be there in mmorpgs. was in UO, EQ's, SWG, AO, Vanguard, FFXI, etc, ect. but which one did it the most fun. I think the instance ones are ok. but I like the look of external houses you can actually see like the ones Vanguard tried to achieve or SWG. who concept gives much more to the game. It is a ROLE-playing game. can't forget about the capital R.

  • LentechLentech Shitesville, ORPosts: 119Member

    I really enjoyed the player housing and crafting of SWG... infact i still play it for that reason... walk into my mustafar bunker, have some classic starwars jams playin.. couple of rad paintings on the wall.. all kindsa goodies, love it..

     

    Downside alot of ghost towns because lets face it... people jump on a bandwagon, and ride that shit home.. when it comes too games... PRENGC or w/e it was called, never played then, only fired it up after they "ruined" the game... and yet i havent had this much fun in a while

  • rwyanrwyan raleigh, NCPosts: 461Member

    Its a feature that always excites me, but always became a lack luster feature for me in the long run.  I don't think its as vital as everyone makes it out to be.

    Games like UO and SWG, it works well.  Player buildings became gathering places and made you feel apart of the world.  There was a definiate sense of ownership.

    Games like DAoC and LotRO, it works but its just a bullet point to add to a  feature list.  I never felt like I "owned" anything.

    SE did something interesting where depending on how you decorated your apartment, there were gameplay implications in combat, crafting, etc...  I found that both fun and intriguing.

    Horizons and Vanguard had preset plots that you had to build up - this I liked because there was a huge sense of accomplishment when you finished your building.  However, I wasn't too keen on "preset" locations, and once you were done, you were done.

     

  • BioNutBioNut College Station, TXPosts: 414Member

    Originally posted by Skillzeroo

    Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs? It obviously isn't limited by hardware and there doesn't seem to be an excuse to not get it out.

     

    Mounts, faster travel? Been done ten thousand times over...

    End Game raiding to look forward to in your "goals"? Been done ten thousand times over.

    But player housing, while it has been done, has never REALLY been a standard for MMOs especially recently.. Why is this? Its something to work towards and something I'd definitely want... I remember my first time in LOTRO being amazed and spending an entire night just going around looking at all of the houses and things people put around them and inside of them.. Its something in the game itself that you can claim is "Yours".. Its something that doesn't disappear when you log off and come back when you're back online.. Its always there!

    I don't think its necessarily player housing that is the key.  The key is that the player has something to call his own (or the illusion of this) in a world that is dictated by the game creaters.

     

    There is a reason games like farmtown are so popular.  There is a sense of personal pride found in those games that cannot be found in many MMOs, save the time commitment it takes to reach max level.

     

    More content that allows the player to feel attached to the world and that he is actually "making a difference" (can be just decorating his house or saving a life) is what the key is. Even if its merely an illusion.

    Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

    Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Skillzeroo

    Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs?

    Persistent world customization with a purpose, specifically. Housing for the sake of housing is of little interest to most MMO gamers, especially when coupled with some kind of rent or maintenance system. Player owned areas or structures that can be effectively utilized for player interaction on any level - creafting area, store, meeting place, etc- seems to be what players enjoy most.

    To facilitate that, some of the features that could be integrated are  



    • quick and easy travel to/from the location


    • group and individual storage with permission lists


    • the ability to display trophy/unique items


    • a system to broadcast to select groups events or gatherings at the location


    • a system to securely transfer or sell previously owned locations

    UO and Puzzle Pirates have great examples of functional and meaningful housing in an MMO.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • BioNutBioNut College Station, TXPosts: 414Member

    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Originally posted by Skillzeroo

    Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs?

    Persistent world customization with a purpose, specifically. Housing for the sake of housing is of little interest to most MMO gamers, especially when coupled with some kind of rent or maintenance system. Player owned areas or structures that can be effectively utilized for player interaction on any level - creafting area, store, meeting place, etc- seems to be what players enjoy most.

    To facilitate that, some of the features that could be integrated are  



    • quick and easy travel to/from the location


    • group and individual storage with permission lists


    • the ability to display trophy/unique items


    • a system to broadcast to select groups events or gatherings at the location


    • a system to securely transfer or sell previously owned locations

    UO and Puzzle Pirates have great examples of functional and meaningful housing in an MMO.

    This, in the most hardcore sense but I think LotRO's housing is almost enough for casuals.  It allows you to decorate your place within some limits.  The problem is those limits are a bit too restrictive for it to appeal to the farmtown crowd.

    Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

    Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

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