In a new interview, LotRO's dev team talked housing, specifically the future of the feature, and improvements to the housing system, and teased what the next neighborhood won't be in Middle-earth.
The Lord of the Rings Online has had housing pretty early on in its life, and has added to it over the years in the form of new neighborhoods, hook types, and even the advent of premium housing. However, it's not a perfect system, and a new interview with Deco du Milieu talks to the team about what players can expect from Standing Stone Games in the future.
To start out, it looks like the next housing neighborhood the team develops will be either Elf or Hobbit, thanks to the admission that it won't be Human or Dwarf. This makes sense: Belfalas, Rohan, and Erebor neighborhoods already exist for premium housing owners.
The interview, which was conducted with Lead World Builder Scenario, Lead System Designer Orion and Community Manager Cordovan, touches on some improvements that could be made to housing, such as offering apartment-style housing (which is something Scenario has "been thinking about" as well), as well as the ability to run instances from housing (could be coming, depending on engineering bandwidth).
The interview also centers on one of the fun aspects of player housing: decorating. When asked about whether we'll see more decoration hooks, Scenario mentions that it's not as simple as adding more to a housing plot.
"At the moment you can already experience some loading time issues while entering your house," Scenario states in the interview. "Plus, adding more hooks to old housing neighborhood is a lot of work, and those neighborhoods were not developed to have that many hooks."
Scenario doesn't rule out the possibility of hooks being available in the LotRO store at some point, though cautions that it simply would mean that not everyone will have access to the hooks, then.
The interview also turns to the yard improvements made with the Erebor housing instance, citing the fact that yard items are able to move more freely than they do in other instances. Scenario states that Erebor's mobile hooks were a compromise to solve an issue of housing items falling through the terrain. However, in order to incorporate something like that on a large scale across all housing neighborhoods, new tech would need to be developed to help.
It then turned to the actual housing decorations, as well as convenience vendors found in houses and neighborhoods. One specific item to note is the idea of adding more town services as hook decorations, such as the desired addition of an Auction House vendor. Scenario states that the team has to be cautious about this type of inclusion as SSG doesn't want to "dry out the social spaces."
"I think adding town services to housing hooked items is something that we are both interested in. And also, we want to be cautious about it because there is value in having social spaces in the neighborhoods (and not only inside your house). We don’t want to just dry out the social spaces."
You can check out the full audio on Deco du Milieu's website, as well as read the transcription of the Q&A.