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Player Housing - Why has this feature gone from a priority to a feature most developers couldnt care

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,256Member Uncommon

 

 

Player Housing IS possible. It just is not a priority. If people do not like the game or if they do not find the game fun, they will not build a house.

 

 

 

 

The reasons make sense though. You could create the best housing feature-set we have ever seen in a game but if nobody enjoys the game to that point, they will not stick around just to have a cool house.?

 

 

 

Seem as if developers now days see no importance in this feature known as player housing. The quote has a point. If Developers put too much resources into Housing over other features, than players may not be interested in the game and wont build houses regardless of how detailed that feature is.

but why has this feature been tossed under the bus over the last few years?
seem like this feature has become very unpopular in the developers offices lately.



Player Housing seem like a dynamic feature that gives players something to do when raiding/leveling/other grinds come to a end. Seem like a win win feature from a consumer point of view, but not from a developer.

What turn of events causes this?

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Comments

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    Ah, because most new initiates to the genre never had experience with it, and will instinctively call the rest of us out as "being sissy". Because of that, developers see no need to devote investments towards it, because most players simply don't get it, and likely never will... they will get paid either way.

    What they fail to see, though, is that dynamic housing is what generally keeps people paying a sub just to keep an ideal location, even long after they stop playing and just keep their subscriptions current in order to not lose the spot. So the joke is on them, mwhahaha!

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  • VarkingVarking Winston-Salem, NCPosts: 433Member

    Because lately, too many people feel these games are no longer fun. No longer fun = devs need to spend more time making the game fun. Spending more time making the game fun = housing on the backburner. 

     

    Or... Just being honest since I have been on some teams like what I will describe... -> When you are building a MMO, you hire talent from many companies who have already built their MMO. When they come over those people at times feel its common nature to share some numbers they aren't supposed to. If they come out and say when I left X company we only saw 40% of the active subscribers building a house, and each of them spent less than 2 hours a month on it. This is just an example but it is highly likely. If the new company can not create housing that blows you away at that point it becomes something that loses priority. It sucks developing something and spending hundreds of hours on it to see so few people use it, and even less people ENJOYING it.

  • terrantterrant Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 1,683Member

    Because by and large it's become useless from a gaming standpoint.

     

    Devs often try to find soemthing useful to do with homes, to encourage players to visit them often. But at best they end up being a location the player jumps into from time to time, to collect some special item, get a buff, ot craft. Then it's back out in the world the other 99% of the time. Why waste resources developing a segment of content players only spend a tiny amount of time in?

     

    Also player hoursing is viewed as a staple of RPing, which has declined quite a bit in MMOs. 

     

    Keep in mind I'm not saying I have an opposition to player housing...I remember the fun I had opening up my Jobe house in AO for the first time and decking it out. But I don't thinkit's something enough people care about and will use for most mainstream developers to care.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    As a SWG player, I found that the majority of my time in-game was spent searching for mobs that drop items I haven't seen before, solely to display them in my house.

    If other games have such low numbers in people that actually mess with it (and I have an *extremely* hard time believing poster #3 is directly involved in any kind of studio, rather than talking out of his ass), then it's because their take on housing is half-assed, and no more than a glorified storage unit with little in the way of customization. A.K.A., LotRO housing... and basically anything else out there post-SWG glory days (besides Wurm, which does it right as well).

    Seriously, very few games past UO and SWG take the concept seriously, and just aim at the bare-minimum in order to say they have it as a feature. It becomes trite, and nobody messes with it.

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  • TorlukTorluk EdinburghPosts: 162Member

    I get the impression that housing is something which is hard to get right in MMOs.  

    If they make it instanced then people can lose the feeling of uniqueness their home brings.  If they make it buildable in the world then the problems of finite space, land hogging and ghost towns crop up.

    I also believe the design focus of the game can impact how useful housing will be.  In a linear themepark where players are constantly relocating to new areas for character progression housing becomes less convenient, however, in a sandbox that is trying to simulate a world where individuals are linked to a particular territory housing can more easily become a fully fledged and enriching feature.

    Perhaps once the majority of MMOs started dropping the world simulating elements of their predecessors and began to focus solely on being a 'fun' game housing became less relevant?

     

     

  • Moaky07Moaky07 Flushing, MIPosts: 2,096Member
    Originally posted by terrant

    Because by and large it's become useless from a gaming standpoint.

     

    Devs often try to find soemthing useful to do with homes, to encourage players to visit them often. But at best they end up being a location the player jumps into from time to time, to collect some special item, get a buff, ot craft. Then it's back out in the world the other 99% of the time. Why waste resources developing a segment of content players only spend a tiny amount of time in?

     

    Also player hoursing is viewed as a staple of RPing, which has declined quite a bit in MMOs. 

     

    Keep in mind I'm not saying I have an opposition to player housing...I remember the fun I had opening up my Jobe house in AO for the first time and decking it out. But I don't thinkit's something enough people care about and will use for most mainstream developers to care.

    Pretty much this.

     

    I can handle them throwing us some instanced stuff as a place to hang a trophy or 3, but I want the land mass used for as much PVE as possible, and it is impossible if they are reserving it to build on.

     

    IMO EQ2 did housing correctly in the early days.

    Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  • lifesbrinklifesbrink Sayre, PAPosts: 553Member

    Wizard101 and Glitch.  The housing in those games is unrivaled, unless we consider the housing in Sims.

    My blog is a continuing story of what MMO's should be like.

  • RakujiRakuji Rossville, GAPosts: 135Member

    Easy Answer for you. They hate us.

    Kick to the Face.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by lifesbrink

    Wizard101 and Glitch.  The housing in those games is unrivaled, unless we consider the housing in Sims.

    Nope.

    Everything in that vid is either player-crafted, some kind of reward, or gotten from a mob. Then placed, by hand, using an amazing system to put anything, anywhere.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

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  • SaintPhilipSaintPhilip Bree, MIPosts: 713Member
    Originally posted by GTwander

    Ah, because most new initiates to the genre never had experience with it, and will instinctively call the rest of us out as "being sissy". Because of that, developers see no need to devote investments towards it, because most players simply don't get it, and likely never will... they will get paid either way.

    What they fail to see, though, is that dynamic housing is what generally keeps people paying a sub just to keep an ideal location, even long after they stop playing and just keep their subscriptions current in order to not lose the spot. So the joke is on them, mwhahaha!

    This.

    Hell I kept my EQ2 sub going forever because of my awesome home/shop... Would log in and take care of my orders (buy, sell, craft, whatever) while socializing with friends, growing my wealth and making my house even cooler- Long after I was bored with the Endgame treadmill.

  • DominionlordDominionlord madera, CAPosts: 179Member Uncommon

    i enjoyed housing in VG, especially from a crafters perspective.the houses were player built and basically everything in it. guild halls were crafter also in a way also. lots of plots to choose from across the land, would try to find a bunch of plots my guild and i could build together close by. Can't find any of that anymore, just like a good/meaningful craft system and good pvp, it's all gone! gone! gone!!

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    OP already answered his own question: Its not a game defining feature - just something extra. If you barely have a game in the first place why waste money on the extras? And even if you made the effort to create housing with the kind of depth some fans want, chances are only a small portion of the player base will spend time with it anyway. Its not worth it.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member

    As I normally would never never respond to the OP for obvious reasons I will make an exception and state categorically MMOExposed brings up a good point.

     

    Player housing is easily one of the best innovative features a game could incorporate.  It adds a level of endgame content that is IMO highly addictive and fun but alas the reason why it isnt done is threefold.  Most developers see it as either a waste of time, do not know how to properly integrate it into their game becasue it wasnt in the original bluepronts for the game or think they must amke the all inclusive, meaning if not everyone can have a house then dont bother because there is no way they will make a landmass big enough to support houses for the millions of players they hope to snag.  The problem with this 3rd theory is asanine because those same developers already institute niche style gaming elements into their game such as raiding or PvP.  Its silly to think because they cant implement player housing for the masses due to constraints but they go right ahead and include niche elements already in their game.

     

    I tell you all you need to do is open up a small percentage of your games landmass to housing and let the players use it as a source of economy and bartering much the same way Asherons Call did it.  Not everyone could afford to, or be lucky enough to find a housing unit but thats ok because the housing market opened up further deepening the economy of the game and that is always a good thing IMO.

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  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,065Member Uncommon

    Because it has never been a priority in any MMO after UO, and in UO it ruined the landscape.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • HyanmenHyanmen KolkkalaPosts: 5,354Member Uncommon

    Doesn't matter as long as the MMO's I care about have this feature.

    "Housing is standard in most mmo's."
    - yolteotl79

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member
    Originally posted by Moaky07
    Originally posted by terrant

    Because by and large it's become useless from a gaming standpoint.

     

    Devs often try to find soemthing useful to do with homes, to encourage players to visit them often. But at best they end up being a location the player jumps into from time to time, to collect some special item, get a buff, ot craft. Then it's back out in the world the other 99% of the time. Why waste resources developing a segment of content players only spend a tiny amount of time in?

     

    Also player hoursing is viewed as a staple of RPing, which has declined quite a bit in MMOs. 

     

    Keep in mind I'm not saying I have an opposition to player housing...I remember the fun I had opening up my Jobe house in AO for the first time and decking it out. But I don't thinkit's something enough people care about and will use for most mainstream developers to care.

    Pretty much this.

     

    I can handle them throwing us some instanced stuff as a place to hang a trophy or 3, but I want the land mass used for as much PVE as possible, and it is impossible if they are reserving it to build on.

     

    IMO EQ2 did housing correctly in the early days.

    Look at games like WoW with millions of players.  The vast majority of the players life will only see minimal use of the available landmass so your theory is moot.  The day that a typical MMO usses 100% of its landmass for 100% of its gameing is the day I switch to that game.  In essence that is exactly what GW2 is trying to accomplish but thats a different story for a different thread.  A game like a WoW, Rift, or soon to be TESO could benefit greatly from a small percentage of its landmass utiliyzed for player housing with minimal to no bad effects.

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  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member
    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

    Because it has never been a priority in any MMO after UO, and in UO it ruined the landscape.

    Well you can rectify that by allowing only select placement of housing units and theres nothign wrong with having small hamlets of player housing dotting the landscape in fact it would actually get players out into the surrouding areas alot more efficiently instead of having 90%+ of them sitting in capitol cities with their thumbs up their arse wiating on their next dungeon or pvP queue.  As a side effect this would make the world fill more alive.

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  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member
    Originally posted by terrant

    Because by and large it's become useless from a gaming standpoint.

     

    Devs often try to find soemthing useful to do with homes, to encourage players to visit them often. But at best they end up being a location the player jumps into from time to time, to collect some special item, get a buff, ot craft. Then it's back out in the world the other 99% of the time. Why waste resources developing a segment of content players only spend a tiny amount of time in?

     

    Also player hoursing is viewed as a staple of RPing, which has declined quite a bit in MMOs. 

     

    Keep in mind I'm not saying I have an opposition to player housing...I remember the fun I had opening up my Jobe house in AO for the first time and decking it out. But I don't thinkit's something enough people care about and will use for most mainstream developers to care.

    EQ2 handles this very well with housing competitions and rating systems. More companies should follow their lead on player housing.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,178Member Uncommon

    I miss SWG style housing/gathering in general. I agree with many posters that it adds a ton of immersion into the game when players are able to directly affect the world they interact with (other than just mowing down NPC's that will respawn in 5-30min).

    It is often just treated as yet-another-marketing-tick-box, with some obligatory instanced area that is nothing than a virtual closet. The fact that WoW does not include it has seemed to re-enforce/prove the idea that you don't need it.

    Hopefully we see some of that come back in ArcheAge.

  • TheAmirTheAmir Traverse City, MIPosts: 328Member Common

    If implimented correctly, it can be a big hit. Heh, I think half the people still playing EQ2 play it for the housing and crafting.

     

    GUILD HOUSING, on the other hand, where you have huge guild halls with all the necessities, such as vendors and auctioneers, can make the outside world look and feel -dead- (SOE messed up with this big time). While it's largely for the RP crowd in a sense, it's also just another thing to -do- in game and work at. But these days, all games really seem to be are a straight point A to B leveling and gear tread with nothing to do in between. End game is the goal and the only goal, and people rush to it as fast as they can, leaving those who want some added depth and complexity to their game crap out of luck. Meaningful crafting is almost non-existent in most games now, too. Exploration generally means little (no, I don't like the GW2 system btw, I am not impressed with several aspects of that game to the point where I -enjoyed- the exploration)  except a few experience points to get you to that holy grail of end game.

     

    End game consists, in most games, of running the same thing over and over and over and over.  At least housing can provide a nice distraction from the grind. As an RPer myself ( or used to RP in games, until the old joke about RPers just being nothing but cybersex freaks actually became reality the past few years that I've seen.... very, very sad but the new generation of RPers really do NOTHING but sex rp) I really wish some MMO's would give the RP crowd a little perk here and there, like housing.

    image
  • bingbongbrosbingbongbros Vista, CAPosts: 650Member Uncommon

    One reason:  WoW doesn't have personal housing.  If WoW doesn't have it or care about it then our game doesn't either.

    Until the player base either petitions enough on forums or in game or the population plummets to a point where dev's try to add features they hope will bring back those who asked for it and left when it wasn't put in.

    EXAMPLE:

    Rift. Players of Rift,myself included, asked for player/guild housing since beta and Trion said no.  Since then they repeatedly defended the reason why it wasn't a priority or needed to improve the game.  Low and behold, Rift's upcoming expansion has player housing!

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  • TerronteTerronte Cedar Rapids, IAPosts: 321Member

    I'm not sure a significant portion of the population really care about housing. If it's a niche feature,  you are devoting resources that could be better used making more "Content" that many people want (dungeons/raids/etc).

    With the F2P boom I could see housing as a way to further increase game revenue though...

  • deathshrouddeathshroud londonPosts: 1,366Member

    a few games still have player housing but i was real disapointed about TESO not having it. :(

     

    heres a Mortal Online traielr to makeup for the lack of player housing in TESO

    there are 2 types of mmo, imitators and innovaters.

  • Ex0dUs101Ex0dUs101 ManchesterPosts: 268Member

    The whole genre has just changed so much since player housing was something the majority wanted, we are now very much the minority. Most people introduced to the mmorpg genre in the last decade dont want a world they can live in, they want a world they can beat and boast about. Sad but true.

  • bingbongbrosbingbongbros Vista, CAPosts: 650Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by deathshroud

    a few games still have player housing but i was real disapointed about TESO not having it. :(

     

    heres a Mortal Online traielr to makeup for the lack of player housing in TESO

    you lost all credibility with using Mortal Online in your comment and for posting a beta video for a game that launched and still to this date hasn't been able to make the game even playable.

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