So, I finally got enough gold in LotRO to upgrade my house size from a standard to a deluxe. My original house was a cute (but really tiny) place in the hobbit area. So, I packed up most of my stuff (the rest of it was sent to Escrow, so it was pretty easy to retrieve from a vendor after abandoning the house). Then, I hit the “abandon” button and I was no longer the owner of the cute little hobbit house, but that was okay – because then I ran over to the Elven area and went house shopping. There wasn’t much selection in which house I could buy at the Deluxe level, so I settled on this neighborhood, where I found a house across from someone in my current guild on that server (howdy, neighbor!).
When upgrading houses, I decided that bigger hobbit holes were just not as attractive as the really graceful looking houses that were found in the Elven area. So, here’s what the outside of my house looks like now:
My new house has 4 rooms (instead of 2). However, 3 of the rooms are pretty tiny. It is a really great house, though. I spent some time getting it set up after last night’s WOW raid. So, most of the outside & inside is now furnished. This is what the main room looks like. It’s much more roomy than my tiny hobbit hole. However, I’m now back to being poor again, as the house basically cost all the money I had saved up.
Why I like player housing and wish that WOW had player housing:
- You get to feel like you “own” a piece of the world. After all my hard work in WOW, I don’t have a place to call home at the end of a long day’s battle. Since gear is temporary, it’s not that meaningful of something that you can say “look what I’ve done!”, since everyone will just have better gear than that 6 months down the road. Achievements in WOW don’t really have the same meaning as a house would (since you can’t buy anything with the achievement points). Vanity pets & mounts function as a similar role for the WOW playerbase to collect things, but what if you could display Onyxia’s head over your fireplace? That would have so much more meaning. However, LOTRO makes the houses themselves pretty easy to attain (the standard house is only 1 gold to purchase).
- Places for RP’ers to escape from the outside world. If RP could take place in people’s houses (you can set permissions to let other players in your house), or in guild halls, then the community environment for people who roleplay would be better. You can also have everyone buy up houses in the same neighborhood (if you want), so that the neighbors you see are your friends, guildmates, or whatever.
- You can still pack up your things and move if you don’t like it in one of the neighborhoods. Since LotRO split housing into a bunch of mini instances (with 30 houses per neighborhood).
- Big cities can still have their “big” feel. Since most of what I want to do, I don’t have access to in my neighborhood, I actually spend relatively little time in my house compared to the time that I spend in the major cities. My neighborhood gives me access to my personal bank and some vendors, but most of what I need isn’t there.
- More tangible goals. One of WOW’s problems is with not giving people enough stuff to have long-term goals. All goals in WOW seem to be on a relatively short-term scale (or are really non-meaningful achievements). There is very little that differentiates one character from another (we all mostly have the same gear, same achievements, etc). When you have a good variety in types of houses & types of things you can display in your yard, you get a sense of feeling unique (while still not really being unique). In addition, all my characters can share the same house on a server, which is really nice. Housing in LOTRO gives me goals, because I always want bigger & more interesting things for my house (in addition to working a long time to get a bigger & more interesting house).
- Drains money from the economy. In LOTRO, I pay rent. Since I don’t have high level characters, paying rent is something that drains money from me (in addition to the cost of the house & furnishings that I’ve payed for).
- I play LOTRO on the side because I enjoy player housing so much, and it is something I can’t get in WOW. I really wish the WOW developers would change their minds and put in player housing.