World of Warcraft Players Could Be Homeless Forever

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World of Warcraft Players Could Be Homeless Forever

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Blizzard often thinks of implementing player housing in World of Warcraft, but might never get around to it.

With around 12 million players per month, World of Warcraft is one of the most successful MMOs in the world. However, it lacks an often requested feature found in less popular games: player housing. World of Warcraft producer J. Allen Brack recently told Eurogamer that while Blizzard has been thinking about player housing, the studio can't figure out a way to logically implement it.

"Player housing has been on the list of something we wanted to do even back before the original [game] shipped - it was a feature that didn't make that," Brack said. "It's one of those things we talk about every expansion - what would this look like in WoW?"

Player housing refers to a personal space that players can typically customize to their liking. Decorations are often found in the game world or purchased through in-game currency.

Brack said that the feature will never see the light of day in World of Warcraft until there's a reason for players to have houses, beyond just players having houses. "I don't think it's sufficient enough for us in WoW to just say: 'Hey we have player housing - great,'" he added. "There's got to be some reason to have that, there's got to be gameplay behind that, stuff that happens."

Though player housing has been nixed with the release of each World of Warcraft expansion, Brack doesn't totally rule it out for expansion #4. Blizzard will just have to figure out a way to make houses matter, perhaps by making players fight over them in PvP or through introducing a quest chain where building a house helps take down an Old God.

Source: Eurogamer

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Tom Goldman:
*snip*

A place to store and showcase your older tier items is a good start.

If I want a place to call my "home" in a video game, I'll play Animal Crossing. Player housing would remove so much player interaction within the game. I'm glad they're not planning it. I've never seen it as a good idea in any online game.

You have to wonder what all the NPCs think of the millions of people that apparently just fall down and sleep in the middle of the street.

They go out and kill legendary monsters and have enough gold to build the theoretical phallus monument yet they just up and kip in the gutter. Why have the orphans not robbed them blind?

Makes me wonder if any of the Mayors have "reduce homelessness and vagrancy" as their campaign platform.

guild housing would be a better compromise.
And im more bothered about the dance studios

Gxas:
If I want a place to call my "home" in a video game, I'll play Animal Crossing. Player housing would remove so much player interaction within the game. I'm glad they're not planning it. I've never seen it as a good idea in any online game.

Agreed, player housing sounds like a cool idea on paper, but what are you really going to do with it?

Create a Sims-esque minigame where you can decorate your room?
Invite people over to do something? Like what? (except CS)
Display your "trophies"? Noone's ever going to see it, so what's the point?

Although it might offend some DAoC fans, I think player housing is awfully boring and pointless.

Mayhap they could make it a separate program, or a Menu addition, that functions as a virtual Hub other people can browse and look at all your old gear, your Raid accomplishments, browse your Auction House listings, drop messages, view your alts... Heck I dunno, maybe even grab a free nap if you'll let them.

Decent idea, but I feel for blizzard, how the bollocks would you implement such a thing?!

THeres a bunch of roleplayers, and servers out there.
Perhaps they would enjoy these.. houses?
I can immagine they are the ones that are pushing for this.

Guild housing/headquarters would seem like the logical way of implementing a type of player housing. With a vault for guild loot, a raid room (like a war room) and they could be PvP compatible (have players attack each others guild headquarters for fun).

Though it would be cool if WoW could somehow implement the first floating on water/flying player housing (Boats or Blimps).

bahumat42:
guild housing would be a better compromise.

I agree

I moved from Shadowbane to WoW I miss having a physical in game guild some place to congregate a place to defend. It made it more real for me in Shadowbane & I have been missing this a lot.

Most players never asked for PLAYER housing but GUILD housing instead. Having each player have their own home would be neat but ultimately pointless - Guild housing, on the other hand, would let you have a communal hangout for the guild...which is a neat idea.

The problem with player housing is if it's poorly implemented it can ruin a game, just look at how AO did it. It was suppose to be based on a frontier world with only a few real cities, with a handful of run damn ramsackled towns, but all of a sudden there were these modern guild cities popping up everywhere... even right next to NPC cities that had flavour and style... and it totally ruined the atmosphere, not to mention the frame rate.

And they were ghost towns, guilds used them once or twice a week, if that, the rest of the time they were empty.

Gxas:
If I want a place to call my "home" in a video game, I'll play Animal Crossing. Player housing would remove so much player interaction within the game. I'm glad they're not planning it. I've never seen it as a good idea in any online game.

It worked in Myst Online. It helped stop people from linking in and griefing the crap out of you as you solved puzzles, as well as holding your entire library of books.

Then again, the whole "home" thing was central to the game in Myst Online, and player interaction wasn't the highest thing on the list.

Player housing by itself wouldn't work in World of Warcraft. GUILD housing on the other hand can provide limitless possibilities to what you can do with it... Perhaps go back to the RTS roots of conquest?

Guild Housing is great for those guilds who are actually social, but I don't see how player housing would do any good..
Hey! Let's go over to John's for a strong Mana potion party!
...Eh...

bahumat42:
guild housing would be a better compromise.
And im more bothered about the dance studios

guild housing sounds like the way to go.

In city of heroes, you could build your own "hideout" for your guild. And you can fight other guilds for their hideouts or defend your own from attack. Neat idea.

Player housing sounds a bit dumb to me. I'm sure there's pleny of people that would use it but I highly doubt I ever would. Seems like a pointless waste of time and is that really what a MMORPG really needs? Besides....we have a bejeweled and peggle addon for that.

Zer_:

Tom Goldman:
*snip*

A place to store and showcase your older tier items is a good start.

The problem with that concept and guild housing is the following:

When it comes to player housing there are two possible approches:

a) place the houses in the real game world. This would not work in Wow because there are waaaaay too much players. If only 1% of your server population got to place a house in the game world, it would be enough to fill half of Kalimdor with houses. And you can't really implent a feature that only affects a small percentage of players.

b) You can instance the houses. But that defeats any possible purpose, because you would have to team up with any player whose house you wanted to visit in a group. For the purpose of showing off old armor, you could just to that right now infront of the bank. You don't need a house for that.

Then there is the problem with wows currency. Should houses cost money? If not, they would not be anything special, because anyone could get them. If they'd cost money, how much? Wows Gold has had a huge, huge inflation since BC, intented by Blizzard, probably to combat Gold Sellers. I know a lot of people who have several gold capped characters. But you can't make the price because the vast average of ->guilds<- never gets near that.

So in general Wow's Userbase is just too diverse today to implement such a feature in a meaningfull way.

Housing would need to be instanced, which is doable, but outside of decoration, I'd have to agree with Brack. I can't see a use. I mean, they could implement spells that you can only use at home, but that seems kind of forced.

I always log out in a hotel anyway. :)

lacktheknack:

Gxas:
If I want a place to call my "home" in a video game, I'll play Animal Crossing. Player housing would remove so much player interaction within the game. I'm glad they're not planning it. I've never seen it as a good idea in any online game.

It worked in Myst Online. It helped stop people from linking in and griefing the crap out of you as you solved puzzles, as well as holding your entire library of books.

Then again, the whole "home" thing was central to the game in Myst Online, and player interaction wasn't the highest thing on the list.

See thats the thing, if everyone in WoW is hanging around in their houses all the time, there would really be no community anymore. Even guild housing is a bad idea because of this. Thats what guild chat is for.

Besides, if you're logging into WoW just to talk to people and are just going to sit in your player housing the whole time, you really need to rethink your subscription and download an IM service.

Scorched_Cascade:
You have to wonder what all the NPCs think of the millions of people that apparently just fall down and sleep in the middle of the street.

They go out and kill legendary monsters and have enough gold to build the theoretical phallus monument yet they just up and kip in the gutter. Why have the orphans not robbed them blind?

Makes me wonder if any of the Mayors have "reduce homelessness and vagrancy" as their campaign platform.

You know, there was one Mayor that had that platform. I seem to remeber him disapearing mysteriously after a meeting with the local raid party though. No one's really tried it since.

Housing shouldn't be in game. Housing should be a web interface that you can access in game, and access when you're not in game.

Everquest II and LotRO have housing (to name the ones I'm most familiar with), and while it serves a purpose for a fairly small percentage of the playerbase who likes to decorate and hang out there, everyone else just uses it for extra bank storage. I can't see Blizzard wanting to dedicate resources to housing now, especially with the age of the game and the amount of effort required to appease a minority of players.

Perhaps when their 'mind-blowing' new MMO is out and WoW needs to find new features to draw in new players or old ones that have moved on, they'll consider it.

ATTN Blizzard: Guild headquarters with private housing. Quit the guild, keep the items in your private room.

best option-
Player housing could be implemented...
if you added Player Seige...

you can build a small hut on a hill, but at the same time an opposing faction player can walk up that hill with a burning stick and level your little slice of home.

so to protect your house and home, you buy a couple guards, so just one guy can't ruin your home.

but then that guy gets a couple of friends... kills the guards and burns down your home any ways.

well then, you go build your house next to some other people, so the collective might every ones guards thwarts any raiders. that is the start of a town.

well, then those guys get together and build a Seige Machine. and turn your town into a crater.

so the town now bands together. pools their resource and erects city walls. making seiging harder. now you have the start of a city...

things just keep going back and forth and escilating... then all of a sudden, This seige turns into something like a raid on one of the capital cities. These huge population centers ran mostly by players can then ration out their resources so that they can protect players houses on out laying territory. Provide special city level benifits such as town portals, profession trainers, and vendors. all of this for a fee of course.

of course, this can also lead to more ingenious and insidious solutions as to 'not get your stuff destroyed'.... instead of building a house on a hill, you fit a couple balloons to it and have a floating house zeplin style... build it underneath the hill like a dwarf... or in a diffrent demension all together.

I honestly like the idea of traveling from inn to inn much better. It made me feel more rustic and adventurous when I played. But the pvp idea is cool.

Wow, what a big fat waste of time. There is no way they could institute a way for 12 million people to have an individual place to stay. It would have to be the size of New York city, almost.

Hookers first, housing later.
Priorities, Blizzard. Priorities.

Would be nice to have a little house in the hills of Ironforge and Dun Morogh.

Abit like the hermit living there, but i guess there would be limited room.

Personally, I think the point is that you lived in the starting areas. When you're constantly on the move in the adventuring world, fighting monsters and stuff, you have to sleep out where you are.
An example of this in the real world, is a soldier, they need to be out on the front line, in camps and bases. They don't take a helicopter all the way back to their house every night.

Blizzard are right to say there's no gameplay element to it, I would go as far to say it's closer to breaking the gameplay then advancing it.
The game isn't supposed to be about personalisation and interaction (at least, not in that way) otherwise you'd be able to do all the ridiclous sims stuff like adjust your eyebrows.

Maybe if it was some kind of DLC that you didn't run online, Set-up separate from the rest of the game like the Sanctuary in Fable 3. Each player would have their own on their own computer where they could build a house and customize the appearance and immediate surroundings. It would be kind of a starting point before you went online. Of course the ability to invite/import other players' avatars and hire strippers for house parties would be a must.

Baresark:
Wow, what a big fat waste of time. There is no way they could institute a way for 12 million people to have an individual place to stay. It would have to be the size of New York city, almost.

Instances. You enter a complex with apartments/rooms/etc, and choose which house to visit. or visit some zone, and once you enter you decide what "street" you would visit, teleporting you to an instance with 10-20 houses.

RandallJohn:
Housing would need to be instanced, which is doable, but outside of decoration, I'd have to agree with Brack. I can't see a use. I mean, they could implement spells that you can only use at home, but that seems kind of forced.

I always log out in a hotel anyway. :)

Putting a house in another town, and have a second hearthstone for it.

Add bonuses, like the guild perks but for your account instead of the guild, depending on what you have decorated your house with/accomplished with one of your characters (i.e. paintings of your heroic deeds, heads of enemies, rare treasures youve found/bought).

"Live together" with a single person (or more, depends how positive wow devs are to polygamy) and share the perks.

Add daily quests if you bought a big enough house (like a castle).

Could also add pvp things if you bought a castle, like getting attacked by the other faction once a day at a set time, and if you cant defend you lose your perks for 1 day (and the other team gains em). Would be awesome fun to go into the "instance" and choose which castle to attack, then the defenders got 10 min to gather up friends to make a stand :D

The possibilities are great, and even though theres other matters blizz should focus on, they should really consider it.

I think there are a lot of things they tie in with Guild housing, especially now that there are guild levels. Off the top of my head:
1. Teleport to guild hall.
2. Crafting "special" decorations, some of which may offer benefits, say, better bonuses on crafted items, better chance of a crit for inks or potions, or the ability to create trophies of raid kills, which may provide a raid buff.
3. Access to the guild bank, or an expanded guild bank (a free tab?).
4. Faction-based decorative items. Maybe even the ability to attract faction vendors to your hall?
5. Centralized crafting - now all your guild crafters can meet in one place and not have to run around to find each other.
6. AH access

And all of this could be handled through the guild levels. Maybe introduce "guild faction" so that the guild has to work together to increase their rep with individual factions to gain perks (say, an average of Revered with Dalaran mages for the teleport).

Ta-da. We now have a grindfest to keep players going to outfit their guild hall. The thoughts here were created on the fly. Imagine what Blizzard could do if they actually applied themselves to this.

Oh - location - instance it. With the number of guilds, this would be huge when it drops. And the world would be littered with halls. The only option I can think of in-world would be in Outlands. Set it up in a "safe" part, sort of behind the Dark Portal, each guild would get an island to build on. This would require a rebuild of Outland, but it would help the pop. in the area - I think it's only really used for the 60-70 grind, then abandoned.

Haakong:

Baresark:
Wow, what a big fat waste of time. There is no way they could institute a way for 12 million people to have an individual place to stay. It would have to be the size of New York city, almost.

Instances. You enter a complex with apartments/rooms/etc, and choose which house to visit. or visit some zone, and once you enter you decide what "street" you would visit, teleporting you to an instance with 10-20 houses.

RandallJohn:
Housing would need to be instanced, which is doable, but outside of decoration, I'd have to agree with Brack. I can't see a use. I mean, they could implement spells that you can only use at home, but that seems kind of forced.

I always log out in a hotel anyway. :)

Putting a house in another town, and have a second hearthstone for it.

Add bonuses, like the guild perks but for your account instead of the guild, depending on what you have decorated your house with/accomplished with one of your characters (i.e. paintings of your heroic deeds, heads of enemies, rare treasures youve found/bought).

"Live together" with a single person (or more, depends how positive wow devs are to polygamy) and share the perks.

Add daily quests if you bought a big enough house (like a castle).

Could also add pvp things if you bought a castle, like getting attacked by the other faction once a day at a set time, and if you cant defend you lose your perks for 1 day (and the other team gains em). Would be awesome fun to go into the "instance" and choose which castle to attack, then the defenders got 10 min to gather up friends to make a stand :D

The possibilities are great, and even though theres other matters blizz should focus on, they should really consider it.

I had thought of instances. But it's pointless to decorate it if no one can see it. Also, there has not been a point in WoW, to my knowledge, that you were given any leeway to change the game world in any way. The possibilities are huge, but not when you put it down to individual player instances. At most, you could have a small instanced town that could accommodate some players, but they couldn't give every single player access to that same instanced town. You could have your apartment/street idea. But there would be nothing to show off.

Adding daily quests, setting up sieges, institutions of such ideas would mean an expansion probably based solely around that. If it's not an idea that appeals to everyone, people aren't going to be interested if all their friends weren't doing it either. These are not things that could be lightly added, it would require an immense amount of work that probably wouldn't pay off in the end.

Damn we take down dragons, armies of alliance scum kill archenemies and demon lords....own thousands of gold pieces...but we are so heroic that we cant own a house X_X

Kinda frustrating :P

Lets hope one day we see the light of it.....at least we know Blizz is considering it an option. maybe the new MMO will have the feature!

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