Upgrading houses in LOTRO

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.

10 Comments

  1. Posted March 22, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Oh! I loved this aspect when I tried out LotRO! I only played on a trial account for a couple of weeks so I couldn’t use the auction house, remember being dead proud that I could afford a mount when I hit the right level and that my next goal when I had a proper version of the game would be to auction all the stuff I’d saved up and buy myself a little house! I never got round to getting the full version however, I’d like to sometime.

    In my opinion, player housing is something that sets a game like LotRO apart from WoW, which is nice, those differences. It makes escaping from WoW into a new MMO a bit more fun if you ever decide to. Aside from this, I’d love player housing in WoW, but I try to keep those things in mind.

    Now, account wide banking systems.. that’s something I’d like to see that I’ve seen in other games.

  2. ThezzieTuss
    Posted March 22, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with u. Most of my guy mates say “thats soo girly that u want that”. But I think deep inside that if everyone would be given the opportunity to have their own spot/house they would go nuts to display their gardes/houses, achivements, gear, mounts. WoW is a very social game and wow dev need to take that further than just hanging in a “guild” :)

  3. Tammy
    Posted March 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    My other half and I love our Hobbit houses (The Elven houses are beautiful but the rooms are too small)! The housing upkeep definitely makes you come back to the game though. Houses in LoTRO are a HUGE money sink, even with just the upkeep. Just make sure you don’t fall behind or it will balloon out of control quite quickly. I once took a break and had to spend over 1g to get my house unlocked, this doesn’t include bringing the payments up to speed either *frowns*.

  4. Posted March 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely house! I agree with more tangible goals being needed in WoW. I suppose that is one of the reasons I am not playing currently.

    I absolutely love player housing, it’s just a little something that makes the game feel it has more depth. Currently I am playing EQ2 and love the housing there, decorating and things I make or acquire in it just adds a bit of fun to the game.

  5. Bert
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I still miss the guild hall from when I played Guild Wars. It was a place where we would hang out or meet and prepare before an epic battle. You also had your Hall of Monuments where you display your trophies like achievements, your armor, weapons, vanity pets etc.

    Having a mix of the houses from LotRO and the guild hall and hall of monuments from GW would definitely enrich the social environment in WoW.

  6. buff
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I too take breaks from WoW to play LoTRO. I have a deluxe house in the Shire. I really like how you can go out and fish up trophies to put on the walls and the many other ways to get decorations like trophies from boss’s.

    but at the end of day its just fluff and doesn’t mean anything useful, like 90% of the game. not saying that’s a bad thing. LoTRO excels at giving meaningless stuff to do

  7. Posted March 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite things about Oblivion was the fact that you could have your own house, despite it being a single-player game that you shouldn’t even show off to other people! I remember being super excited to buy the first hosue, a decrepit little shack, because it would be mine, all mine, and I’d finally have a chance to put all the miscellaneous junk I’d been stockpiling for weeks.

    Your house looks amazing though! I would love for Blizzard to implement housing in WoW, if only to have a place to store memento items. It would also be a great place for guilds or even just groups of friends to hang out. In an older MMO I used to play (Ragnarok Online) you could guild-PVP and take over castles, which would reward you with treasure. During non-PVP times, only your guild could enter the castles, so we used them as guild hangout spots for socializing or chatting.

  8. Nimizar
    Posted March 27, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Housing would actually work well with the achievement system – “stuff to put in or around your house” would become one more reward for the various achievements.

  9. Posted March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Hey Liss, what server are you on (if you don’t mind me asking)? I tried LotRo at a kiosk at PAXeast and a promoter handed me the collector’s edition, free!

    Promoter: “Hey there! This is the game you’re playing! Here!”
    Me: “=O”

    So I just installed everything (took two days >.<) and now I have to pick a server! =)

  10. Lissanna
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m on Meneldor. Character’s name is Annobur