So, I have a Lord of the Rings online account that I’ve talked about once. I still just have a couple very low level characters (since their end-game sucks, I may as well draw out and enjoy the leveling part that is much more well done). I really wanted to talk about player housing, and so since I had some down-time today, and nothing really interesting to say about WoW, I thought I’d use my knowledge of LotRO’s player housing system and let you guys know what kinds of features it has (and why I think it’s so much fun!).
As soon as I had made my first gold in the game (the amount to buy their smallest of houses, which I could do before I even hit level 25), I ran off to the Housing Broker in Hobbiton, and bought my very first in-game house!
Then, I spent the next week buying things to put in my home! I’d squeal with childish glee as I hung paintings, planted trees outside, and even got a pet bird to sing in the corner. This is really the only area where I think LotRO beat WoW hands-down – allowing players to have a little piece of the world to call their own. This isn’t really an advertisement for that game, so much as my wish that I had access to this kind of stuff in WoW.
Here are some of the features of player housing that I really like. For more, you can see all the info on LotRO’s player housing at this link.
- Instanced neighborhoods
- Multiple types of houses in various locations (A design & seperate neighborhoods for each race, but you get to choose which type of house you want to buy).
- Three sizes: personal houses that are smaller or larger, and guild (kinship) houses – where everyone can be granted access to the Kinship’s house.
- Storage space that you can access from all your characters on that server & acount – but there’s only one faction. All the characters on the same account have access to the same house, and the same storage space (rather than having to mail things to my other characters, I can just drop it in my personal vault & pick it up with the other character).
- Discounts on the vendors that are in your neighborhood
- You get a free hearth ability to get easy access to the house (on a 1 hour cooldown) that is seperate from where you bind your regular hearth to.
- There are “decorating hooks” both inside and outside (with various sizes, which determine what you can place in each space). So, you can’t come home and drop all your gear on the floor, and the smallest houses are pretty limited with how much stuff you can put in there – but it allows for all sorts of customization options to make it feel like “home”
- You can pick what kind of wall paper, color, flooring and music track is in your house in addition to the furniture and decorations.
- There are meeting areas where you can have a guild/kinship party at a party tree in the Hobbit area, or other open locations in each of the other types of neighborhoods (ie. dwarf, elf, or human areas). Or, you can just hang out with your best friends in the big open areas. I’m pretty sure you can even give access to your friends to come and visit you in your house.
- However, if you wanted to have a kinship meeting that couldn’t be interrupted by others outside of that kinship, you can meet in your Kinship house and not be disturbed by other people (makes having things like weddings and funerals in-game so much easier!).
In conclusion, I really like all the player housing features in LOTRO, and I think it wouldn’t be that hard to integrate a similar system into WoW. You can have many player housing instances set up, where you have groups of houses in each instance (instead of a 1 instance to 1 house ratio, which could be a lot harder to set up, they have 30 houses per intance, with lots of space to run around outside the house, to give it a really great “neighborhood” feel). It even works as a good money drain from the system, since I have to pay maintenance fees every few weeks to keep access to my house (and if I take a break from the game & come back later, I can always pay to get access to my house again). If I get tired of my small house and want an upgrade, I can always get rid of this one to move to a different neighborhood (or a different house in the same neighborhood) when/if I have enough gold to afford a bigger house.