World of Warcraft Player Housing

Player (or at least guild) housing has been a requested feature for WoW since before its release. Blizzard's own FAQ has an early question:

Will there be player housing?
Yes, we plan to include player housing as soon as possible after the game launches.

But from questions put to the designers working on the expansion earlier this year by Stratics:

A. Housing for players and guilds alike is a feature we've always been interested in pursuing. Though we don't currently have plans to include these features in the Burning Crusade, we've certainly not abandoned our hope to include housing in the game sometime in the future.

So, it's popular, and much requested, but there's no sign of it yet. Why? Here are my guesses.

1. Everyone else has done it. Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online - all of them had player housing of some kind, either in early expansions, or right from the start. With an optional feature like that, which everyone has covered, they want to do something new and different with it, and thinking about new and different things is harder to do in a company of any size.

2. Housing as implemented in, for instance, DAoC isn't all that great. Sure, the houses are pretty (even if they all look the same), but the way they were spread out resulted in huge zones, where you could travel for hours without ever seeing anyone else, and you could easily get lost. AO's housing was basically a bank service, with little enough further customisation. So Blizzard will be wanting to avoid those mistake - even if it's not new and different, it absolutely has to look good, and be interesting.

3. What's it going to do? Housing in other games has allowed people to sell stuff, via NPC merchants or stalls or the like. But the auction house covers most of that in WoW. And the bank covers storage, and people can already get mail without having their own mailboxes. Or maybe housing could provide spaces in which guilds can meet? But if there's RP or even normal social interaction going on, it's in Blizzard's interest to keep that in the open, where other people can see it going on - the concept called "being alone together" is very important in successful MMOs.

Given the above, I can't see Blizzard rushing to get going on housing anytime soon - it just doesn't have much return on investment of time or energy.

EDIT: Jeff Kaplan has made some comments about player housing in WoW in an interview.

Posted by Drew Shiel at August 2, 2006 5:43 PM

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I have played Ultima online for years and enjoyed the player housing but did not enjoy how the landscape was packed with houses and artwork that lagged up the game.

A good idea, if anyone has ever tried Toontown online, is that your player can teleport to a peice of land (stored locally on your hard drive) and on this piece of reserved land you could build your houses or houses, even decorate outside with plants. You could do whatever you wanted on this piece of land, invite friends, guild, even have low level animals walking about, purchase addons like stable master, innkeeper, banker etc.

You could use a housestone or hearthstone to travel to and from your house.

Homes should be a money sink as well, not given from the start.

If this would be done right it could avoid houses taking up landscape or having to build a new map for player housing, just a small island, or perhaps guilds could purchase a bigger plot of land surrounded by mountains / rivers.

Just an idea.


Posted by: Todd at January 25, 2008 7:23 PM

Just one thought that I wanted to add. If player Housing comes into exsistance. I hope that they modify the Professions. Just imagine, engineers making sinks or plumbing. Leather workers making sofas and chairs. Tailors making currtains. Herbalists creating a herb garden that grows herbs but the garden refreshes once a week. Black smiths creating tools for the house. Enchanting could create lustrious glows or auras for items in the house and of coarse. Jewelry crafting making little gem base bobbles for the house.

If they go with player housing it would be a good idea to use the professions for housing items.

Posted by: Kirex at March 4, 2008 9:57 PM

Shadow bane had a very good version of this also.

I really hope WoW does implement this in the upcoming expansion.

Only time will tell!

Posted by: World of Warcraft Guide at June 3, 2008 7:03 AM