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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Doing some research... Player housing

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51 posts found
  IG-88

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/12
Posts: 136

7/21/13 9:46:49 AM#21

Yea, player housing is absolutely essential to me. I love decorating my house with stuff i have received as rewards or loot.

 

SWG had a really good system, not only could you decorate your house, but show off your fancy gunship as well!

 

 

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5725

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/21/13 10:39:01 AM#22
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by anemo
 

Yeah, housing doesn't need to be fluff, but it usually is. There's way too much focus on the virtual dollhouse with little to no game element to it. If I can build a castle and decide where I put all the towers, walls, gates and defensive weapons - great. It affects my ability to defend that strong point. Building/crafting becomes a strong part of combat/PvP. That's a good thing. Housing where I merely decide whether the curtains should be red or white, polka dots or no, is not what I want to see. Things like that don't matter to me.

Had to fix that for you, and while I share your viewpoint regarding the usefulness of housing in a MMO, I also acknowledge that by incorporating these fluff items including in depth character/item looks customization, pets etc broadens the appeal of a game to wider audience which generally is a good thing as long as the fluff doesn't divert too many resources from core game play features

Well yes. I left that out for emphasis.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  JamesP

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 315

 
OP  7/21/13 11:30:26 AM#23
Thanks guys for all of your input. It's all really very helpful. I've coded up a little prototype/proof of concept for our house Building tool. I'll post a Video of me building a house in it as soon as it's uploaded to youtube. We are then releasing the prototype tomorrow for people to start playing around with it so we can get some feedback on it. I'll post the link to it here as well when we release it.

Lead Programmer
Greed Monger
http://www.GreedMonger.com

  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 877

7/21/13 12:01:53 PM#24

I agree with the consensus SWG had the best player housing along with EQ2 as a close second. Give honorable mention to Ultima Online and Puzzle Pirates. Nobody mentioned Vanguard but they also did alright.

 

Basically any kind of player housing is good especially if you are building a living breathing world and not just a generic online game. Player housing is certainly not fluff. I have yet to see a MMO that put in player housing and it turned out poorly.

  DAS1337

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/07
Posts: 2383

7/21/13 12:29:49 PM#25
Originally posted by JamesP

What are some games that you guys feel got buildable Player housing correct and what are some MMOs that you felt didn't get it right?

Would you guys rather have an advanced Modular System which allows you to design your own houses from the different blocks available or preset layouts/Prefab housing? 

 

I don't think any game has gotten it right.  I've yet to see a game in which the housing is done that way I'd like.  Developers say that open world housing is too difficult and players say that instanced housing is lame.

 

I prefer pre-fab housing with the ability to change certain aspects.  For instance,  being able to change the material used for things like roof, walls, flooring, exterior and interior decorations, as well as color if you go for a painted look.  This gives players a lot of control over the look and feel, so no two houses will be exactly the same.

 

Having preset layouts allows for less server and client load when entering housing areas, and is one step closer to open world housing.  However, I do not like the idea of open placement.  In Ultima Online, I don't think anyone enjoyed an endless maze of housing that created a lot of lag as you pass by.

 

There should be limited open placement.  Meaning, developers design their world to include housing areas.  These area's themselves will be open to placement, but the entire world will not be.  Each expansion that adds territory should be the same way.  And then you'll have a nice housing market, where people will buy and sell their property.  But DAS1337, there probably won't be enough room on the map for all of the people who want a house! 

 

Well, there are two solutions.  Phasing is one of them.  Players will be attached to a phase that isn't full, until they place a house.  After placement, they are locked into that phase each time they enter it, so they can go to their own house.  I personally don't like this idea, because it means that NPC vendors aren't really feasible.  And if they are, you'll have to jump between phases to visit other NPC vendors.  That's an immersion breaker for me. 

 

So here's my best solution.  Unlimited instanced housing in cities and guild houses, as well as being able to friend people to an existing house to share assets.  The unlimited housing should be small, and limited in how you can change it's appearance.  So, a player should be able to go to a tavern, or inn, and pay daily to stay there and keep some of their belongings there in a lockbox.  Each player will get their own instance of that room, though, likely, you won't be able to visit a friends room.  Also, if you are part of a guild, and they have placed a guild house, they can assign you the ability to have an instanced room within the guild house.  This will act similarly to the inn or tavern idea in cities.  And obviously, depending on how much you want to pay for rent, your room may be nicer, with more tools, such as anvils, forges, looms, alchemy sets, etc.

 

Now, you combine the two ideas.  Players get open world housing that is open placement within developer designated areas.  Developers can offer this because they allow players a second option in rented instanced rooms that make sense.  It helps reduce server load and gives everyone the ability to have their own space within the game world, without breaking immersion with phasing.  It adds a new market to the game in house brokering.  Guilds become even more important with the ability to offer player housing to those who didn't get a chance to place their own.

 

And most importantly, when subscription numbers start to dwindle, and houses decay and fall down, existing players who never had a place to stay within the game world, now have the opportunity to do so.  It also keeps all areas of the map active.  That newbie area that you went through six months ago might be your home, and you might share a home in the same area as a hundred other players.  You'll constantly see people coming back and visiting, as well as the city that it's nearest to. 

 

So that's my take on housing.  Limited open placement and instanced rented spaces.  Give players the best of both worlds and have it make sense.  It's a hybrid system that, in my opinion, would be flat out awesome.

  JamesP

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 315

 
OP  7/21/13 12:39:30 PM#26
Originally posted by DAS1337
Originally posted by JamesP

What are some games that you guys feel got buildable Player housing correct and what are some MMOs that you felt didn't get it right?

Would you guys rather have an advanced Modular System which allows you to design your own houses from the different blocks available or preset layouts/Prefab housing? 

 

I don't think any game has gotten it right.  I've yet to see a game in which the housing is done that way I'd like.  Developers say that open world housing is too difficult and players say that instanced housing is lame.

 

I prefer pre-fab housing with the ability to change certain aspects.  For instance,  being able to change the material used for things like roof, walls, flooring, exterior and interior decorations, as well as color if you go for a painted look.  This gives players a lot of control over the look and feel, so no two houses will be exactly the same.

 

Having preset layouts allows for less server and client load when entering housing areas, and is one step closer to open world housing.  However, I do not like the idea of open placement.  In Ultima Online, I don't think anyone enjoyed an endless maze of housing that created a lot of lag as you pass by.

 

There should be limited open placement.  Meaning, developers design their world to include housing areas.  These area's themselves will be open to placement, but the entire world will not be.  Each expansion that adds territory should be the same way.  And then you'll have a nice housing market, where people will buy and sell their property.  But DAS1337, there probably won't be enough room on the map for all of the people who want a house! 

 

Well, there are two solutions.  Phasing is one of them.  Players will be attached to a phase that isn't full, until they place a house.  After placement, they are locked into that phase each time they enter it, so they can go to their own house.  I personally don't like this idea, because it means that NPC vendors aren't really feasible.  And if they are, you'll have to jump between phases to visit other NPC vendors.  That's an immersion breaker for me. 

 

So here's my best solution.  Unlimited instanced housing in cities and guild houses, as well as being able to friend people to an existing house to share assets.  The unlimited housing should be small, and limited in how you can change it's appearance.  So, a player should be able to go to a tavern, or inn, and pay daily to stay there and keep some of their belongings there in a lockbox.  Each player will get their own instance of that room, though, likely, you won't be able to visit a friends room.  Also, if you are part of a guild, and they have placed a guild house, they can assign you the ability to have an instanced room within the guild house.  This will act similarly to the inn or tavern idea in cities.  And obviously, depending on how much you want to pay for rent, your room may be nicer, with more tools, such as anvils, forges, looms, alchemy sets, etc.

 

Now, you combine the two ideas.  Players get open world housing that is open placement within developer designated areas.  Developers can offer this because they allow players a second option in rented instanced rooms that make sense.  It helps reduce server load and gives everyone the ability to have their own space within the game world, without breaking immersion with phasing.  It adds a new market to the game in house brokering.  Guilds become even more important with the ability to offer player housing to those who didn't get a chance to place their own.

 

And most importantly, when subscription numbers start to dwindle, and houses decay and fall down, existing players who never had a place to stay within the game world, now have the opportunity to do so.  It also keeps all areas of the map active.  That newbie area that you went through six months ago might be your home, and you might share a home in the same area as a hundred other players.  You'll constantly see people coming back and visiting, as well as the city that it's nearest to. 

 

So that's my take on housing.  Limited open placement and instanced rented spaces.  Give players the best of both worlds and have it make sense.  It's a hybrid system that, in my opinion, would be flat out awesome.

 

Greed Monger contains OpenWorld Non-Instanced housing... We do it by forcing players to purchase Land parcels with real money (A one time fee). We also have Limited numbers of Parcels available which will help fuel our Housing Auction System where players can place their parcels up for sale on the Auction System and we get a small percentage of what's made from the Auction and then the players gets the rest. Once the parcel value reaches a point that overall it's too expensive to buy parcels through the auction we will add more parcels that a player can own.

Lead Programmer
Greed Monger
http://www.GreedMonger.com

  Antiquated

Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/13
Posts: 479

7/21/13 12:49:08 PM#27
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Kyleran

Had to fix that for you, and while I share your viewpoint regarding the usefulness of housing in a MMO, I also acknowledge that by incorporating these fluff items including in depth character/item looks customization, pets etc broadens the appeal of a game to wider audience which generally is a good thing as long as the fluff doesn't divert too many resources from core game play features

Well yes. I left that out for emphasis.

They don't tend to be highly complex systems (as far as object-coding goes).

Anybody who worries about fluff "taking resources from core game" features really hasn't thought it through very deeply. Good training projects to give to your junior staff (except the Animators; not entirely sure what their "freshman" projects are...emotes maybe?).

  JamesP

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 315

 
OP  7/21/13 12:54:59 PM#28

Ok here is the Video of me building a house in the Prototype:

 

Lead Programmer
Greed Monger
http://www.GreedMonger.com

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 3173

7/21/13 3:15:13 PM#29
Originally posted by JamesP

Ok here is the Video of me building a house in the Prototype:

 

Looks like a very interesting system, having so many small "building blocks" gives the player a wide variety of options.

 

But isn't it a trade-off ? Won't all those seperate objects start causing lag ? That model mansion would probably run to 200+ 3-D objects when completed, and then you still have to add all the furniture and decorations...

 

And doesn't the presence of so many objects pose serious challenges for NPC AI when determining pathing ?

 

 

  JamesP

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 315

 
OP  7/21/13 3:36:52 PM#30
Originally posted by SpottyGekko
Originally posted by JamesP

Ok here is the Video of me building a house in the Prototype:

 

Looks like a very interesting system, having so many small "building blocks" gives the player a wide variety of options.

 

But isn't it a trade-off ? Won't all those seperate objects start causing lag ? That model mansion would probably run to 200+ 3-D objects when completed, and then you still have to add all the furniture and decorations...

 

And doesn't the presence of so many objects pose serious challenges for NPC AI when determining pathing ?

 

 

Well the solution is a mix of several other systems. Server side I have a custom Area of Interest System. Houses will only be displayed if your with in the area of interest for that house. The AOI settings for each object can be set on the fly resulting in a dynamic system that can be adjusted based on the situation the player finds him/her self in at any giving time and based on the players settings/computer specs. If the player enters a heavily packed city center for example the AOI can be decreased allowing for more objects to be displayed for each building.

Item's inside a house will only be rendered once the player steps onto the parcel that the house resides in. Which means that unneeded objects won't be rendered. Each parcel will also be allowed a certain number of Rendered objects and won't be able to have more then that number. Alot of these settings will be figured out during Alpha when we conduct Load tests. 

The Models them self use Texture atlases which helps to keep the Draw Calls down to a minimum. As a last area to optimize if needed we can also combine the meshes into a single mesh once the house is completely built.

Path finding: We have a dynamic Path finding solution which can adjust at runtime. NPCs will be kept down to a minimum where Greed Monger is mostly a Player Driven game,. We will have City Guards, Player Hired Vendors, Bar Keepers, and other sorts of NPCs that do certain tasks. Most of these types of NPCs however will be stationary at their place of work. For the few Wondering NPCs we add in to give the world more life they will mostly stick to the streets and paths which should be free from too many Obstacles for them to path around.

Lead Programmer
Greed Monger
http://www.GreedMonger.com

  TyranusPrime

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/13
Posts: 68

7/21/13 5:15:35 PM#31

Ultima Online had a good concept for housing but it sort of fell short of the mark for me.. Especially after my house was bugged into and robbed blind.. Plus, the sheer amount of player houses out in the wilderness became a little gaudy really.. It was hard to find an area untouched by player homes..

 

Horizons (before it became known as just Istaria) had an excellent system for housing.. Or more appropriately, a system to design a house, merchant area, storage, or whatever you or your guild wanted.. Whole guild townships grew up over weeks and months.. Plus, they were in set parcels of land so they didn't interfere with your cross-country adventuring..

 

Overall, however, I'd say Everquest 2 has the best system in place.. With 3 types of guild halls and a ton of player homes (albeit a bunch of them are Station Cash purchases), EQ2 has most of the competitors beat.. I spent a bit of time myself falling into the "decorating" crowd and was surprised by the many options in house design..

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which IS reality. - Ogata

  apocoluster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1305

\m/,

7/21/13 6:59:08 PM#32
Originally posted by nilden
Nothing even comes close to what you could do in Star Wars Galaxies with player houses and starships.

yah nothing is more awesome than having the landscape littered with ghost towns.  Ill take instanced any day of the week.

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  Jemcrystal

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1380

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

7/21/13 7:28:36 PM#33
EQ 2.  

Next time if they ask your name tell them "Your Overlord." There's nothing more satisfying than an Arby's employee repeatedly yelling over the munching masses, "Your Overlord's classic cheddar is up!!!"

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2902

There... are... four... lights!

7/22/13 5:48:21 AM#34
Originally posted by apocoluster
Originally posted by nilden
Nothing even comes close to what you could do in Star Wars Galaxies with player houses and starships.

yah nothing is more awesome than having the landscape littered with ghost towns.  Ill take instanced any day of the week.

That's why any good open world housing system must have a decay and maintenance system.

What would actually be nice and quite immersive is if after a specific time without maintenance by the player, the house starts to decay into a ruin which will stay around a while and can be "repaired" if the player comes back, until it completely disappears freeing up the spot for another player's house.

Ruined cities could actually add the feeling of a living, breathing world.

Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2

Got a refund: Archeage. First refund since I started MMOs.

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Lonzo

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/05/04
Posts: 208

7/22/13 5:58:57 AM#35
I loved the housing in UO and especially in SWG. There I had a big mansion with a store in it. I loved the fact that I had employees and that I had to travel overland to my mining facilities to get the resources for my crafting. It was brilliant game design!
  alakram

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 2240

7/22/13 6:00:20 AM#36
Originally posted by JamesP

What are some games that you guys feel got buildable Player housing correct and what are some MMOs that you felt didn't get it right?

Would you guys rather have an advanced Modular System which allows you to design your own houses from the different blocks available or preset layouts/Prefab housing? 

Everquest 2

Rift

Both of them have awesome player housing in my opinion.

Lotro has a bad one with predetermined hooks for furniture. At least it has housing even if it's not a good one.

-=AlaKraM=-
Don't fight against poverty, fight against greed.
My Lord of the Rings Gallery

  alakram

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 2240

7/22/13 6:02:20 AM#37
Originally posted by apocoluster
Originally posted by nilden
Nothing even comes close to what you could do in Star Wars Galaxies with player houses and starships.

yah nothing is more awesome than having the landscape littered with ghost towns.  Ill take instanced any day of the week.

It's a pity that cities were mostly ghost town but they looked good. And player spaceships were awesome, I took  a ride in a millenium falcom witha friend, I roamed around inside while it traveled, it was so fun.

-=AlaKraM=-
Don't fight against poverty, fight against greed.
My Lord of the Rings Gallery

  Reklaw

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6168

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

7/22/13 6:14:35 AM#38
Originally posted by Rydeson

Good Points Spotty..

     The one point you brought up with SWG was the extra inventory, which was one major perk I considered..  One of the issues I had with SWG was the lack of policing how cities were being abused.. and also the lack of originality..  People loved having their own shop.. BUT.. there was not one commercial floorplan for vendors.. Musicians had theaters, Doc's had hospitals, and then cantinas.. but there wasn't a true "STORE" .. Player cities I think ran into the same problem much of the game did after release, it lost sight of what they were, and where they were going.. I heard that many devs had moved on, and they were either never replace or the new ones were clueless..  I had left SWG before NGE, because the game just seemed lost in what direction they were going.. Exploits ran rapid, and bugs ignored.. 

Underlined was excactly the great thing for me, sure I used at first a small house, moved to a medium house and eventually created a large house which then was swapped into our guildhall to made a large mall. It was the players desision how their store looked, thankfully without a commercial floorplan. it was left to players creativity and allot incl. me did build true store's. Sure from the outside apart from the vendor sign it all where houses, but inside we made some very creative store's. Would be different if everyone had the same floorplans and might even become boring to not be creative in how you designed your shop.

But full on topic, yes I feel SWG had the greatest housing system and I never have seen or experianced anything alike. Sure there are some MMORPG's that do offer or go beyond SWG's housing but then the overall visual settings isn't what I like.

  Saur0n

Novice Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 92

7/22/13 6:28:25 AM#39
UO and SWG have/had the best player housing systems imo.
  Xthos

Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2651

7/22/13 6:44:03 AM#40

1. UO - It is 2D, but you build every block, and can get up to a castle sized house.

2. SWG - Open world 3D housing, different models, but not as customizable as UO.

3. Vanguard - 3D, same as SWG with pre-built plans, housing areas/plots that are sectioned off to keep from having a sprawl everywhere.

 

 

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