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