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No player housing? Why not?

MikeJTMikeJT BrisbanePosts: 83Member

From what I've read in the media there will not be player housing in The Elder Scrolls Online. Quoting from manatank.com's article just today:

Zenimax has admitted some elements are unable to make the transition, such as owning a house...

http://manatank.com/2012/05/elder-scrolls-online-appeal/

 

Why can't it make the transition exactly? There's player housing in other MMORPG games.

I think there's three things which make developers put player housing in the 'too hard' basket.

Firstly, there's the preconception that everyone should be able to own a house. If a single server supporting thousands of players wants every player to have a house, then certainly there's a concern with providing enough space for all these houses. Developers decide simply that if they can't supply it to everyone they don't supply it to anyone.

Secondly, if we don't take the first issue and instantly rule out player housing, there's the preconception that buying a house as a player should be 'affordable'. What is actually considered 'affordable' will of course vary from gamer to gamer, with the more casual players being able to afford only a fraction of what the diehard, spend-every-waking-hour-online players will be able to. Yet again, the developer decides that if they can't keep everyone happy, they won't put the feature in at all.

Thirdly, given that affordability and accessibility aren't considered issues, is preconception that everyone should have an equal chance of obtaining a house. If we decide that the guy who plays for 4 hours a week should have the same chance of getting a house as the guy who plays for 40 hours per week, we're going to have to create some sort of method for randomly handing out houses. Lets face it, that's pretty lowsy. So, in the developers opinion, the conclusion is to not have player housing at all.

 

All these preconceptions come from the fact that the developer feels like they need to keep everyone happy. Well, they shouldn't have to. Like in life, some things in game should first in best served (at least in the game, missing out doesn't mean living out of your car whilst you look for a new apartment).

So if we remove all three pre-conceptions, what do we get?

Firstly, player housing is limited. The vast majority of people simply will not own a house in the game.

Secondly, player housing is expensive. Whether it's the initial purchase cost, or the ongoing upkeep, only the wealthy will be able to afford player housing.

Thirdly, people with the money, get the houses. Its simply first in first served. The first person to save up to 2,000,000 gold peices for that prime peice of real-estate listed with the NPC estate agent gets that prime peice of real-estate. If you weren't quick enough, tough luck. Maybe you'll be lucky and be able to buy it off him for 2.5M gp in 6 months time when he's upgrading to that 10M gp castle.

Of course, we shouldn't restrict ownership of a particular dwelling to a single person. That 10M gp castle could happily host an entire clan of 100 players, whilst that 2M gp peice of prime real-estate could be a could a stately manor for several wealthy adventurers.

By ensuring that many players can own one dwelling, but that each player can only have an ownership interest in one property, the developers could stretch that limited housing among many players.

Ensuring that benefits extending from owning a house are not excessive, and enabling owners to invite 'guests' to take advantage of those benefits (just as people invite non-guild members to their airships in Dungeons and Dragons Online to share in the buffs available on those ships), would ensure that owning a property does not give rise to an unfair advantage to property owners over non-property owners.

Finally, its with great disappointment that I reiterate here that The Elder Scrolls Online will not have global open-PvP (but instead a Team Fortress-with-Swords-and-Spells bastardisation of every thing PvP in an MMO should be), so to state that players would risk getting robbed by storing their valuables in their houses for extended unattended periods would be moot.

If Ultima Online could do it in the 1990's, if Star Wars Galaxies could give players such a highly customisable experience, if Everquest II could do it nearly a decade ago, if Lord of the Rings Online can do it in a game that went free-to-play ages ago, if a microscopic developer from Greece, Aventurine, can do it in their debut MMO Darkfall, then I'm certain that a studio with the financial backing of one of the biggest games companies in the world, with a vast talent pool from multiple award-winning studios, can come up with a way to include player housing in a game probably not due for release till 2013.

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Comments

  • IstavaanIstavaan CorkPosts: 1,350Member

    Because zenimax want maximum profit with  low risk. it's basically a cash grab. they want box sales, so don't buy it.

  • SuraknarSuraknar Montreal, QCPosts: 824Member

    Housing that is limited, that is expensive and that is not accessible equally to all styles of play, simply does not work and has been a mistake in games that offered it as the OP suggests.

    The point is that an MMO is not RL, at least, part of the appeal of an MMO is the possibility to do something that one simply does not have the opportunity to do in RL - Becoming a powerfull mage laying Waste with Powerfull spells, or a Knight in a Shiny armor Saving the unfortunate Travellers from a Fierce Dragon -, if you shove RL limitations and realities down to the player's throats in what is supposed to be a "game" or if not, a "Fantasy World where anything is possible for everyone", players will reject that game, and they have in the past.

    So, many devellopers, just choose to not include Housing instead of trying to find solutions that will provide equal opportunity to all. If it is not there, there is nothing to worry about is the logic. Not to mention the effort and ressources that would have been needed in order to include Housing.

    But here we come to the conundrum. Many players, do want this feature, whie we may not all agree on certain aspects of it, like in this discussion I do not agree with the OP, we all do want the feature nevertheless, like both the OP and I would like to see Housing in this game.

    I think, one of the solutions is actually to use, thematic related Instances for Housing. And I am not talking about an Instanced Room here. I am talking about an Instanced Area where players can build their Housing on, and that this area is made of the same theme as the Open area it relates to.

    For example, you could explore the world and decide to build your house in a Swamp Open Area, then your Instanced Housing area will be accessed via a Travel NPC within the Open Swamp Area, and once there your instance has the same features as the Open Swamp area, in other words it is also a Swamp and you explore it and build your House in to it from the ressources existing within it, you can make it open so that other players can visit it and you could even be crafting and selling your wares or host any kind of Social activity you like..etc.

    This way, you solve many of the issues raised, Housing will not cluter the world, there will be enough for everyone, and it is accessible to everyone.

    Expanding on this you could make it so that several Players could combine their Instances, by polling ressources and upgrading to a combined area which could be bigger depending on the number of people combining their instances, a small guild could build a village, a larger one a Castle or a City etc etc..

    Exploring the Game's Lands could also be about exploring the Player made Communities and Establishements, meeting new people who may have created their own background storis and are ready to share their own experiences and adventures or personalities allong with a nice Pint of Ale.

    I would take it a step further, I would let the players manage, the "security" features of their own housing Instances, permiting PvP (with appropriate setup to eliminate grief, abuse and ambush play of cource) or Not permiting it for example.

    Let the players be in a position to Customize their experience as the players see fit and have fun with.

    But most devellopers seem to addopt a "God Mode" when they move from designing an MMO rather than a Single player game, all of the sudden the player is not treated as the Adventurer of the world, but rather the spectator of their Themepark.

    Ultimatelly, solutions exist, suffice it the Designers/Devs actually wish to solve the problems they may perceive.

    For now, I am inclined to agree with Istavaan..they got the feedback from many Skyrim players, they know many want an MMO like it, and they are going for the money grab, as quickly as possible with as little investement as possible as to maximize profit while taking advantage of the current Hype...all fine and nice Business plans, but nothing "Fun Game" oriented about them.

    - Duke Suraknar -
    Order of the Silver Star, OSS

    image
    ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  • Effin_RabbitEffin_Rabbit Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 773Member Uncommon

    Because its not elder scrolls, it just wants you to believe it is.

  • odinsrathodinsrath louisville, KYPosts: 814Member Uncommon

    in most cases companys dont roll out "everything under the sun" to start off a new title..they like to see if their shit flys 1st..then roll out bells / whistles like player housing if it does ..if not..the title gets pushed aside like 70% of the market today and wait for the next steaming pile to see it that flys

    image

  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Sugar Grove, VAPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon

    Considering so many people would want housing out in the game world I am glad they decided to hold off on it for now because housing in the game world just isnt a good idea IMO due to all the clutter that would ensue. That doesnt mean they couldnt have used a system like EQ2 though but they obviously had something else that they thought was a higher priority.

    Housing is the least of my worries in an MMO.

    image

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    Originally posted by Istavaan

    Because zenimax want maximum profit with  low risk. it's basically a cash grab. they want box sales, so don't buy it.

    Yep. They're using the same greedy business model as the rest of 'em.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    Originally posted by SlyLoK

    Considering so many people would want housing out in the game world I am glad they decided to hold off on it for now because housing in the game world just isnt a good idea IMO due to all the clutter that would ensue. That doesnt mean they couldnt have used a system like EQ2 though but they obviously had something else that they thought was a higher priority.

    Housing is the least of my worries in an MMO.

    The problem is that its not what they said. Regardless of if one likes housing or not the comment they made is asine.

    'player housing IS NOT POSSIBLE as players want it'

    They didnt say

    'we dont want to do housing' nor 'we might consider it later' no. They 1. suggested they know what you want 2. implied that its not even possible let alone many MMOs have housing.

    To the question of 'will there be player housing' the best answer should have been 'no'.

    They really f8ck up when they try to explain the 'why'

     

     

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • InvintionInvintion naptown, INPosts: 28Member

    Competitive housing zones with faster decay periods could be used for the high traffic areas such as around or within cities where people expect to see non-instanced housing and vendors. 

    For those that cannot afford such a high value location to hoard their items, there could be apartment holes drilled into a mountainside, or districts on floating islands/giant mushroomtops offering as "out of the way" and economical locations.

    I think the largest holdback is between demand and programming, rather than equality placement. 

    ~V~

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    Player houseing in UO worked perfect..

     

    Player housing in SWG also worked really well.

     

    Player housing in Mortal Online works well

     

    There are probally a lot of other examples out there wher player housing works well..

     

    The fact is this is probally going to end up being your average run of the mill wow clone.... but its still early on the devs might see the light.

  • Methos12Methos12 Maladis 46Posts: 1,234Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Caldrin

    Player houseing in UO worked perfect..

    Player housing in SWG also worked really well.

    Sad that SWG had a problem of house decay factor being absent which lead to too many houses in certain areas, but it had the edge over UO with the whole player cities thing and whatnot by going beyond mere houses. Even if your game isn't a sandbox, that doesn't mean houses have to be COMPLETELY instanced for every individual player. LotRO got this right with the inclusion of Neighborhoods.

    Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
    Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
    .........
    Magic without Technology is fantasy.
    Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
    .........
    Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
    Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.
  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common

    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    Tell that to all the Social, RP, Crafter, City and Community builder type players

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common

    Originally posted by Methos12

    Originally posted by Caldrin

    Player houseing in UO worked perfect..

    Player housing in SWG also worked really well.

    Sad that SWG had a problem of house decay factor being absent which lead to too many houses in certain areas, but it had the edge over UO with the whole player cities thing and whatnot by going beyond mere houses. Even if your game isn't a sandbox, that doesn't mean houses have to be COMPLETELY instanced for every individual player. LotRO got this right with the inclusion of Neighborhoods.

    LoTRO housing sucks.

    Turbine even says so.

     

    The houses are too static. Cant change them or move them. Can only place certain items in certain places.

    Neighborhoods actually seperate tha community even more. They are too far from the main city hub and too isolated in themselves.

    Also the fact that if you have a good sized guild, you can be spread out over multiple neighborhoods instances.

     

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member

    My guess...

    IT'S TOO HARD

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • DAS1337DAS1337 Parma, OHPosts: 2,404Member

    No, I do not want an instance 'canvass' to build my house that is not attached to the game world itself.  That completely breaks immersion.

     

    Tough titties guys.  The best and most immersive housing is a limited placement housing structure where the developers decide the areas of the map that players can dwell.  Then, supplimenting the limited housing with rented Inn rooms to make the less fortunate happy.  The OP is right in that a developer can stretch ownership over several players.  That gives those players the same benefits without actually owning the deed to the house itself.  A guild could build a castle and in that castle, there could be lockable rooms that guild members could have access to.  Either that, or instanced rooms that look it's still inside the castle.  This way, with 10 guilds, you could house 500 players.

     

    The Elder Scrolls is better than 'It's too hard, wah!'.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    The people making this game made daoc and uo right? Both games having housing of some sort.
    So "it can't be done" is probably dev speak for "we have more important things to work on now like the world, the combat, the pvp, the dungeons etc.., we might get back to minority interests much later if there a big demand for them"
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by DAS1337

    No, I do not want an instance 'canvass' to build my house that is not attached to the game world itself.  That completely breaks immersion.

     

    Tough titties guys.  The best and most immersive housing is a limited placement housing structure where the developers decide the areas of the map that players can dwell.  Then, supplimenting the limited housing with rented Inn rooms to make the less fortunate happy.  The OP is right in that a developer can stretch ownership over several players.  That gives those players the same benefits without actually owning the deed to the house itself.  A guild could build a castle and in that castle, there could be lockable rooms that guild members could have access to.  Either that, or instanced rooms that look it's still inside the castle.  This way, with 10 guilds, you could house 500 players.

     

    The Elder Scrolls is better than 'It's too hard, wah!'.

    1. agreed on last point.

    2. speaking for myself I couldnt care less if its instanced or not.

    3. darkfall has non-instanced housing its very simple to do.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MikeJT

    No player housing? Why not? 

     

    Because their whole focus is wrong and instead of developing an amazing PvE social world they are sticking PvP in.

     

     

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    Tell that to all the Social, RP, Crafter, City and Community builder type players

     

    I agree Pyr, there is a huge audience for content like this.

    Folks like Thor just don't get it. Lots of 'I don't like it so it's a waste of time' in what he says, sadly.

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    Tell that to all the Social, RP, Crafter, City and Community builder type players

     

    I agree Pyr, there is a huge audience for content like this.

    Folks like Thor just don't get it. Lots of 'I don't like it so it's a waste of time' in what he says, sadly.

    ironically his reason why not is actually better than the reason Zenimax gave

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,041Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    Some people actually like it alot and it isn't that expensive to add so i fail to see why they shouldn't include it.

    A friend of my played a house broker for 3 months in "Daggerfall" because he liked how the economical sytem worked. What is boring to you might be fun to others and housing does not make things less fun for you.

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    Tell that to all the Social, RP, Crafter, City and Community builder type players

     

    I agree Pyr, there is a huge audience for content like this.

    Folks like Thor just don't get it. Lots of 'I don't like it so it's a waste of time' in what he says, sadly.

    ironically his reason why not is actually better than the reason Zenimax gave

     

    lol I guess, but their statement was really piss poor so I don't think that's saying too much ;)

  • MikeJTMikeJT BrisbanePosts: 83Member
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Player housing does nothing for a better gaming experience in MMOs. Just a waste of money, time and resources.

    I think it's best not to state an opinion as if it were a matter of fact.

    Whilst you might not gain any enjoyment from player housing, many other players may gain significant utility from its inclusion.

    The best thing about player housing is that it doesn't affect the enjoyment of the game for people who aren't interested in it.

  • MikeJTMikeJT BrisbanePosts: 83Member
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by MikeJT

    No player housing? Why not? 

     

    Because their whole focus is wrong and instead of developing an amazing PvE social world they are sticking PvP in.

     

     

    Player housing and PvP content are not mutually exclusive features, and neither are social aspects and PvP content.

    You can have non-instanced player housing and open world FFA PvP, and social gaming and excellent PvP all in one game.

  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common
    Originally posted by MikeJT
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by MikeJT

    No player housing? Why not? 

     

    Because their whole focus is wrong and instead of developing an amazing PvE social world they are sticking PvP in.

     

     

    Player housing and PvP content are not mutually exclusive features, and neither are social aspects and PvP content.

    You can have non-instanced player housing and open world FFA PvP, and social gaming and excellent PvP all in one game.

    Except for the RED, I agree.

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

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