I’ve read various blogs lately discussing player housing and whether or not the presence or absence of might be a deal breaker for some people. Personally I think player housing is purely optional and if it’s there great, but if it is not then that isn’t going to keep me from enjoying a good game.
I know there are plenty of games that contain some form of player housing, the ones that I’m aware of are Everquest 2, Rift, and ArcheAge. I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that pop in to my head. Each of these three games has its own take on how much customization they allow. Star Wars Galaxies also had a form of player housing, but to be honest I don’t think I ever got that far in the game to know anything about it. Galaxies was the first MMO I played, and it was before I met any of the friends I have now that helped me get more in to the genre.
Everquest 2 for example lets you add items to your house that you collect through playing. The houses themselves are more like apartments in the capital cities, the more you pay for the apartment the more space you can get. At least, this is the way it was back when I played, and I’ll admit that has been awhile.
From what I know of Rift it allows you to build your own “Dimension” that you can share with other players. A good example of this can be seen in a video posted by my friend Bel showing off the dimension made by our friend Rae.
The last example is ArcheAge, from what I can tell this game has a large amount of customization as well as an interesting system to keep space opening up. Player housing in ArcheAge is player built on plots of land claimed by players. Each player, once obtaining a plot you have to pay rent on the property so that you can keep your land. If you stop playing the game and stop paying your rent eventually your house will be destroyed and you’ll be sent the items. I think this is a good way to keep to many empty houses from cluttering that land.
There is going to be a finite amount of land available, so if you play the game and get a house but quit playing then I think it’s obvious that someone else should be able to use the space. If you’ve seen the video by Trion Worlds they state that housing is a premium. If every plot in the game is taken then no new players will be able to build a house. This also encourages one of my favorite aspects of any game, which is exploring. From what I understand you can find some fairly remote places to build a house, so it might take a long time for every conceivable spot to be used up.
The one feature I think it really cool is the amount of customization you have for items placed in the house. You can import your own images in to the game to create textures. I’ve seen videos where people had soda machines, stereos and family photos in their house.
I think rather than trying to explain this all correctly I will just embed the video. The developers do a good job of explaining it.