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Lord British needs your opinion on Player Housing!

Discussion in 'Ultimate RPG Discussions [Archive]' started by Lord British, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Lord British

    Lord British Portalarium Team | Ultima Creator VIP

    We would like to provide as close to the open housing methods that we provided in UO, but perhaps improving the "urban sprawl" issues. We definitely want player towns to be possible and worthwhile. Please give us your opinions and ideas about player housing.

    Lord British
    Kirthag, Daga Taga, Lady Raja and 6 others like this.
  2. Nexus

    Nexus Ravenant Administrator Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus

    I'd look at something similar to what LOTRO has, while not necessarily instanced, I'd look at having defined Areas for housing, plots that can be purchased and then built in order to create neat tidy neighborhoods, The benefit of Instanced though is it can be continually expanded, by adding more instances. You'd never run into the issues UO had in it's earlier days of people not being able to find a place to plop down a house. And for goodness sake, let people decorate their lawns!
    Lord British and Neves like this.
  3. Phangs_of_Phage

    Phangs_of_Phage Journeyman

    Once the guild has an established guildhouse, depending on the size of the house let them pay a amount of some sort of tax (goldsink) that will allow guild officials to place houses/tavers/inn whatnot within the area of the keep to work together as a town. IMO the player vendor system in UO has never been replicated it is simply amazing. It bring community together like nothing else. Maybe allow the owners to place merchants (blacksmith) and supply them with gold to buy wares and resell at a discounted price automatically. Player vendors are a given of course.

    As far as the "urban sprawl" the only way I can see is by setting min distances between houses and carefully limiting the land to place houses on, OR in certain "urban sprawl areas" make players choose from a set of predesigned houses so you dont get the customized eye sores.

    Also I would recommend making housing area around area where midevil settlements would have been (I assume the game is midevil) such as shorelines, along the river, foot of mountains where game is nearby... stuff like that.
    Lord British likes this.
  4. Fogsbane

    Fogsbane Journeyman Stratics Veteran

    Some type of upkeep cost(s) on housing is important, to me.
    Account ownership in and of itself should not be the only deciding factor in determining housing allowance.
    Decay, unintentional repairs, structure replacement fees, and "taxes" might dissuade land grabs and discourage "absentee landlords".
    Lord British likes this.
  5. FrejaSP

    FrejaSP Queen of The Dark Outlaws Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend


    I like the houses but they are to big in UO. I have 2 accounts with a castle on and even when I love my castles, I only believe a single person should be able to have a small house. A guild should be able to have a bigger house, maybe x tiles for each member. Maybe something like being able to share a house with a few friends and this way get more tiles.

    We also have a problem with ghost houses, players keep the account alive but do not play. This ghost houses are blocking for new active houses in the community.
    A unused houses should be deeded with all in it until the player start to login again. Then he will have to find a new spot for the house.
  6. King_Fisher

    King_Fisher Journeyman

    I think houses should be maintained. Wood/Ingots/Stone etc on a monthly basis. Or hire an NPC Craftsman to make repairs your home (Gold sink). This makes craftsmen more valuable. If a home goes into disrepair it becomes condemned until fixed; allowing no entry. Also houses in disrepair would have holes in the walls/roof, broken windows so if your in a pvp zone they can blast you through the wall. The holes would also allow monsters to break into your home, and if your chests aren't secure allow thieves to loot what they can reach. Also I think Personal Guards would be cool to have. If you had said thief/Monster or guild war person invading your home you should be able to call on your personal guards to defend your home. Or if the thief failed to make a stealth check through the house the "Patrolling guards" should be able to attack on site.
    Lord British likes this.
  7. King_Fisher

    King_Fisher Journeyman

    I think Customizing houses should only be done internally. Exterior customization should be limited to Housing upgrades. (Going from a villa style house then paying extra gold for a balcony.) This avoids the eyesore of crystall Borg cube looking houses, but still allows some variation. A cellar/dungeon would be ideal as well. We have been asking for those here for a long while. But only allow the basement to fit the footprint of the home, and make it so Miners have to dig the basement, or the homeowner pays a large sum of gold per tile of earth removed. This allows for personal basement/Dungeon making with a labyrinth type effect or entire clear space. Also make this space upgradeable with stone floors/walls, torches for light and definate posts for supporting the structure above. Every square of dirt removed could add a certain ammount of lockdowns added to the house itself.
    Lord British likes this.
  8. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor

    • Allow players to rent/lease pre-existing, empty NPC houses, shops, stalls, etc. Allow them to customize the interiors of the buildings (including walls, flooring/carpeting, doors, counters, furniture, etc.) and the exterior ornamentation (gardens, ponds, fountains, holiday decorations, etc.), but not alter the outward layout and style of the building. This may also involve limiting styles on a building-by-building basis (to prevent things such as a player renting an all-wood-panel house and filling its interior with marble walls and flooring).
    • Build a complete city, then choose 1/4-1/3 of the builds (possibly with a distribution that trends away from the city center) and delete them. In their place are completely empty plots that can be purchased and/or rented/leased by players. Buildings placed here could either be completely customizable (players can build absolutely anything they can come up with) or somewhat limited ("This plot is zoned upscale commercial, so only marble or stone shops up to three stories tall can be built here.").
    • Allow players to build and/or own farms with harvestable crops.
    • Allow players to rent rooms at NPC inns on a short- or long-term basis. Upon rental, a strongbox can be placed in the room for the player's use, and a character/account-bound key is placed in the player's pack for room's door.
    • Allow players to build their own inns, within which they can also rent out rooms.
    • Allow players to rent and/or own buildings, both those of player creation and pre-existing NPC buildings, in aggregate; i.e. shared ownership, of locations such as guild halls, etc.
    • Basements.
    • Allow construction on non-level terrain, such as mountain-sides (requires lots of stairs and/or cutting into the mountain face), and swamps (building needs to go up on stilts).
  9. King_Fisher

    King_Fisher Journeyman

    • "Allow construction on non-level terrain, such as mountain-sides (requires lots of stairs and/or cutting into the mountain face), and swamps (building needs to go up on stilts)."
    • "Allow players to build and/or own farms with harvestable crops."

    Awesome ideas.
    Lord British likes this.
  10. Flagg

    Flagg Seasoned Veteran

    My Liege!! :bowdown:

    I have experienced player housing in three MMOs. (Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies and Lord of The Rings Online) If executed well, housing offers game and playing experience so much additional depth. Settling down and building your own cosy artificial nest to serve as base of operations for your artificial life has it's very strong and undeniable appeal.

    Housing gives purpose and value to entire categories of items that simply don't have a reason to exist in say, WoW and her clones. If MMO lacks player housing the itemization and loot inevitably feels restricted and shallow to me. In such MMOs you very rarely see items that weren't either gear, consumables or crafting mats. This is even more true if you can't even place the item on ground and see it there. In WoW item can essentially exist in three places: loot window, PCs inventory, PCs paperdoll. For someone who made a fortune** by crafting barrel hoops, book shelves and statues in UO, this felt ridiculously boring and restricted way to handle itemization. Looting nothing but shiny helmets and big swords and token "cute" non combat pets gets very unrewarding and boring.
    ** this statement is not true.

    Major appeal with housing has to do with ability to carve your own mark in the world. This is exceptionally true in modern UO where both house customization tool and what players have managed to do with it is pretty awesome. On the other hand, placing and owning a house in an instanced environment(LOTRO) feels much less satisfying. If your home is located in Instance #2211 of Shire it isn't player housing as I experienced it in UO but rather, just smoke and mirrors.

    I think there are some rather natural ways to combine PvP, Factions and player housing. Give players a change to place, design and OWN their houses( I dislike idea of renting something that is already standing there. This would kill much of the charm for me) but do not give players a change to decide where to build cities. Instead, have pre-set locations for city states. Have these city states also serving as factions and alliances for players and guilds to join. To place a house within borders of a certain faction also means joining this city and faction. Some factions are at neverending blood war against eachother(people who PvP) others are neutral. (PVE, crafting cities?) Despite having locations and borders of these city states pre-set and maintained by game client , they could be entirely ran by players, adminstration-wise. Players get to pick Mayors and counts from their own ranks and so forth.

    From Devs POV (just guessing here, I'm not a dev of anything!) Housing prolly offers an awesome way to anchor player to the game/sub. Owning a house in game world makes it so much harder to leave everything behind. I guess it also gives borderline endless possibilities related to DLC and Pay to Play.

    Just my two copper
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  11. Bosaku

    Bosaku Guest

    Player housing in UO was unique in that it worked exactly like the real world did.

    As a result, the truly valuable spots were taken up by those who had come before. This created somewhat of an elitist housing and community society.

    I would argue that that would not necessarily such a bad thing if only we would allow players to disrupt those communities by openly declaring war and then demolishing those structures. I believe such things were tried. In addition, if I remember correctly, if you did not 'maintain' your home by visiting it, it would decompose. You could also prevent players from having, say, more than two homes.

    I was just thinking about having multi-use buildings, like a fort or castle, where there exists player-run housing on a more massive scale. I can almost see 'projects' and 'ghettoes' now, but above all else, I loved the feeling of 'realism' in UO, and therefore, I would say, let these things run their course.

    The trouble, I suppose, with urban sprawl, is that it takes away from the setting of the game. If you leave a peaceful developer built city, only to find yourself in a housing project, it would be somewhat a negative juxtaposition. If that is your fear, Lord Garriot, I would recommend making housing only available to those who establish a community beforehand.

    Thank you for reading, I hope development proceeds well.
    Lord British likes this.
  12. Rhiannon

    Rhiannon Sage Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus

    I loved the entire housing in UO. That's the #1 reason I haven't cancelled my account (that and I want to see what they do with the 15th anniversary coming up next month). It was so cool that I could design from ground up (something I hated in LOTRO). I loved the creativity of other people and what they came up with. I was so inspired, I generally did a complete redesign of my house every few months. I loved creating gardens with growing plants. I loved aquiring special items to decorate my house with. It gave me a HOME in a game. It grounded me and gave me a reason to be there. And stay there.

    However, I HATE how close the houses are. Or that you can see inside your neighbor's house. There must be a way to have sufficient housing for citizens without having the houses right on top of one another. And the problem with UO right now is that the most popular server (and the one I started on in 1997) HAS no housing that's affordable. I recently came back after a 2 year break and had to dish out 40 MILLION for a house. That's insane. There must be a way to limit to price of housing instead of letting it get insane as it has in UO, specifically Atlantic. I understand wanting to duplicate an economy but it truly got out of hand with the greedy.

    When I started UO Nov. '97, in about 4 months, I had enough gold saved up to place a tiny little one room house on the tip of the island of Moonglow. I sat in my RL chair and had the hugest grin on my face. I OWNED that house. I EARNED it. And as time went on, I EARNED enough gold to get a bigger house. And then the BIGGEST house. Such a sense of accomplishment.

    I think it's important to look at the problems and pitfalls that were and are with UO in it's past and present state, take what was/is positive about it, and duplicate that in the new Ultima, enhanced of course. :)

    Thanks for asking, LB.
    Signed, your loyal fan since 1993
  13. Orvago

    Orvago Stratics' Finest Staff Alumnus

    One of the most glorious things that I have missed in all MMOs I have played since I left Ultima Online has been UO's extreme customization and freedom of placement of player housing. I absolutely loved the building from plot up that was later introduced. I know at one point, I had over 50 houses across 26 accounts on one Shard. My proudest achievement was gaining a side-by-side Castle & Keep along with 4 other houses surrounding them to make my own personal Estate. I left UO due to my Castle & Keep decaying even though they were supposed to be grandfathered in. I lost nearly 10 years of collecting. I loathe the thought of any system that would allow such a thing to happen again. I truly hope to encounter another MMO someday with the sheer customization that UO's housing used to allow. I do not know what it is like now, for I haven't played UO since 2004.

    I am looking forward to the next incarnation of Ultima Online. I just wish that Ultima X: Odyssey wouldn't have been cancelled, as I am no longer a fan of 2D/3D isometric style games and greatly enjoy the truer 3D MMO environments like LotRO, WoW, EVE and so forth and so on. It would be glorious to me to experience UO's Housing System in such a 3D environment.
    LiquidSolidity likes this.
  14. Skillz

    Skillz Guest

    I like a few things that King Fisher noted, and others as well. I think many of us agree there should be some sort of small gold sink, whether it be housing repairs, or a monthly land tax to Lord British. It seems many of us want to make sure that the economy is server run, similar to how UO should have been, without the duplicating and other exploits. However, I believe the customization should be free, along with provided pre built houses, so the player can choose pre existing, or to customize their own. I realize the eyesores that a few people mention, but that is the life. In UO and in real life, sometimes people don't have the decorative mind as one another, maybe that just want to have something crazy, or maybe just a plot land with some plants. I think that should be left up to the player. If one home owner doesn't like his neighbors style, move away, or talk and offer deco tips.

    Something my girlfriend mentioned to me, while I was, probably over excitedly retelling her about an interview Lord British had on the George Show, was that it would be cool to have your own theme house. Whatever style fantasy this game ends up being, there is no doubt that most of us still want medievil looks, so having those options similar to UO, being able to decorate your walls, floor tiles, having 1,2, and 3 story homes that could look anything from a sandstone mexican villa to a medievil stone wall S&M chamber. Freedom and options.

    Not all the houses should be easy to come by, like the castle in UO(although not that insanely hard to acquire). It is nice to know when you had an 18x18 or a tower, that you did WORK for it, someone would have to spend lots of money on it and make a real investment, and I think that falls back onto making sure not everyone has money just sitting around, except those hardcore players. Again as many other people say, they love the vendor and shopping experiences that UO had to offer, going to one portal, and then that real sense of getting lost in the world shopping from house to house and really trying to seek out good prices. All the newer games with one central shopping hub(auction house), as well as in Ultima Online: Age of Shadows with the introduction of Luna, on every server Luna became this huge shopping extravaganza that wasn't player made. Not only the shopping experiences and ability to really control a mini "business" with vendors, but players would always stumble upon random homes that would be decorated so neatly, and others...not so neatly. It gives reason to help the players that want to make their house look great, extra reason to because they know shoppers will be coming by.

    The main issue which of course is tough, is the plotting. For one of my ideas, UO fans I ask you imagine if Tram and Fel were more as one land, not two, and Iilshnar a second, I liked the idea of having at least Some designated areas where one could go and not see homes that would take you away from the experience, as the bright green EXIT sign in a movie theatre does. Like with Iilshnar, I loved going with a friend or two to go hunt the Ancient Wyrm, but you'd have to travel through this forest, around the corner of a mountain, and follow it up to his den. It a small sense, it was great to feel like you and your friend were "travelling" or going on this adventure that would lead you away from civilization(homes included).

    The idea of UO is where you couldnt always just lay a big house anywhere, whether it be trees or unflat ground, and not only that, but the ability that sometimes you DID have the chance to build a bigger home in a spot you really liked, however you had to try to purchase the neighbors home, you could then take both homes, and destroy and build an even bigger home. Not always, but running into those situations were something that added small but great opportunities and experiences. I don't, however, feel URPG should have any instanced housing, plain and simple it takes away that open world continious feeling. That people can just walk by, animals may or may not be grazing by. I've searched for quite a long time trying to find games with good housing, and could never find one that could match or best UO.

    I personally think the isometric style was fantastic, you get to see so much of the house at once, and at an awesome angle, not only that but you were able to see behind you and all around you all at once. I don't think it would fair well to stray from that, with third person 3d comes so much graphics hogging lag, WoW, TERA, SWTOR, it usually doesn't matter what PC you have.

    I DO think housing should play a lot like Felluca did, inside your home, you are pretty darn safe from anything. It's your home. However once you step out, you step out into the world. Of course, there was probably no one running around waiting to kill you, but the possibility that it could happen adds a sense of depth to the game. To be decorating your house one moment and then see two people running by fighting it out adds some cool excitement, for everyone, I believe. Linking what others suggested, what if you could rent some guards(another gold sink), that sit out in front of your home, and while we know NPCs never really do a great job, and I would never expect them too, maybe they could take some damage for you instead of trying to attack the PVPer.(I.E. You open a portal to your house, go there and someone starts to attack you, if you have some good hefty bodyguards, they would take the damage for you as long as you were withing X tiles of your home.) Not only bodyguards, but if you're an animal tamer, you could have an option of having your pet sitting out front protecting you. God knows my dragons saved me more than once!

    I feel having the ability to really make a home as individual to each player as much as possible helped curb the downsides of the urban sprawling and other other issues. Yes, it was not perfect but we loved our virtual homes so much we would live with it.

    Highlights of my article, and probably the only real important things lol.
    • Housing repairs, reoccurring land tax to Lord British
    • Freedom of choice for customization, with plenty of themes, with added predesigned homes as an option(similar to UO)
    • Ability to fully really renovate your home, floor tiles, walls, balconies, roofing, etc.
    • Being able to sell from your home with vendors, adding to the commerical range: simple home, specified selling business, or mini shopping mall
    • Real range is home value. Easy small homes, to large very very hard to get homes, or at least plot sizes.
    • No "government" designated plotting areas like Luna which take away from player run hot spots.
    • Player towns can be suggested in certain locations, but again not to the point of Luna, where it is obvious and everyone makes a house there and then no one shops anywhere else.
    • Safety inside the home, but danger on the outside
    • Locations and lands where housing is NOT available to add to the experience of getting away from civilization
    • Different landscapes, snow, mountains, flat grasslands, or near likely PVP hotspots.
    • NON instance housing
    • Possibility of renting out bodyguards to take damage for you and proctect you should you come under fire until you can safely enter your home.
    • Give us a place to call our own, and the ability to show it off to other people!

      Thank you for reading my article and please anyone I'd love to hear feedback on your thoughts on these. Thumbs up, thumbs down?

      Gods speed Lord British!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2012
    Lord British, Amber Witch and Syrus like this.
  15. Lord_Toast

    Lord_Toast Guest

    Many good ideas have been posted on this subject.

    I think the further away from civilization (NPC towns) the greater the risk for building a home or hideout.

    1) A player own structure can be attacked and destroyed by wandering monsters.
    2) Other players ‘bandits’ or a ‘lynch mob’ should be able to burn a home to the ground. “Oh man, the killer ran into his house. We can either camp, log off, or burn it down to the ground.”
    3) Natural disasters should be able to damage homes too.

    Also, building a home shouldn’t be a one click process. It should take a certain amount of time which can be disrupted by monsters, hampered by weather, lack of resources, or ruined by ‘bandits’. Instances should be considered because it would prevent urban sprawl and there should be limits to where a player can build. Just like in real life. The “Hey I can no longer go into dungeon X because some folk built their homes around it.” days are over and shouldn’t be repeated in UltimateRPG.

    And yes, I did steal some of the above from the fine folks at Goblinworks, the posters on the Lotro forums, and other various MMO forums.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2012
    Lord British likes this.
  16. Hmm... such lovely (un)limited possibilities to be creative by building a house from scratch and decorating it to a cozy place, a sombre crypt, a pompous palace, a home-to-many guildhouse, or even a complete town run by RL Players.
    I wouldn't mind a bit if this were to return!

    A few months ago I returned to UO after nearly 8 years of absence. One of the first things I did was grab a house placement tool, find a nice and quiet spot and place an 18x18 ;)

    It appears self-evident to me that every player should have a place to call his (or her) own, that every guild should have a possibility to offer sanctuary, training grounds, dining hall, sleeping quarters, etc. to its members and that people sharing a same vision should be allowed to create a complete town, with the support of the developers (or their representatives).
    But maintaining a place, no matter what size it has, appears self-evident to me as well.
    Ghost houses, ghost guildhouses and ghost towns are a problem; it's true. However, sometimes it takes just a few persons (or even one!) to turn a nearly dead town into a community bustling with life.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
    Lord British and aoLOLita like this.
  17. King_Fisher

    King_Fisher Journeyman

    Just throwing this out there, but what if we could buy land? Not necessarily a house, but you own land and on "your land" you could choose to build a house,a garden, a wall around your property etc. The minimum ammount of land would be the size of the smallest house (eg. 7x7), then over time (if you had the room to do so) you could buy the tiles of land surrounding your home. Thus potentially increasing your house size to fit the spot, or you could build said garden/front lawn or hay field/livestock pen. Leave it wild looking and lay traps etc. or Dig a cellar or basement underneath it. I think it would be fun to have a 7x7 small thatched cottage with a 32x32 basement under it for my thief guild hangout. The land that has been bought will show up in a different colour while using a house placement tool. (Like the orange colour of misplaced housing tiles while customizing). The ammount of tiles would be limited to a certain ammount per account. (eg 32x32 - castle size I think)
    Also I like the idea of not spying into my neighbours home through the roof and him spying on me.
    Lord British likes this.
  18. LiquidSolidity

    LiquidSolidity Adventurer Stratics Veteran

    I was very happy with the housing in UO. I think you got the formula right back then! No other game has managed to do this. I would also like to see the top-down perspective, as it seems to work best. Imagine a UO like game with the graphics of Diablo 3 or Titan Quest!!
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  19. vigrond

    vigrond Guest

    I'd say give the 'land' a lot more variables.

    Highly valuable land will be, flat, low maintenance, no risk of natural disasters, and in a 'good' community, and 'close' to cities and traffic.

    In UO we had communities and proximity to traffic that affected value.

    What if there were earthquakes, or significantly more weathered lands, or more monster activity. This would be a less valuable house as its more likely to 'blow up'.

    Some land should just be impossible to build on. And there should be some "unique" spotty areas where a house can be build in an awesome place, like at the top of a cliff, etc.

    I guess in the end you will have to designate some areas as "urban sprawl" areas, and others as "dangerous to build on areas", and then "spotty areas".
    Lord British likes this.
  20. senescal

    senescal Adventurer

    I really liked UO's housing system and reading that Portalarium is aiming for something similar makes me very excited. Instanced housing just isn't the same.

    I believe the urban sprawl problems could be diminished by reducing the costs of building near other player owned buildings or at least making the price of maintaining a building away from civilization much higher. The filthy rich could have their Xanadu on top of an artificial mountain in the middle of nowhere, but they'd have to pay a very high price compared to that other guy that is building a manor just outside the city.

    Maybe players could have the option of investing together on improvements for an entire area, like higher security or easier access, wells, mines, farms. More developed areas would be sought after and you'd have no good reason not to live close to someone else, even if your neighbors are just strangers. Also good reason not to plan his death just because you want his piece of land (let him spend some money on it first).

    This, of course, opens the door for some real estate speculation. Which is awesome. Can I play as a realtor?
    Lord British and LiquidSolidity like this.
  21. Neves

    Neves Visitor

    I agree. LOTRO has a good housing setup. It would be heck of a lot cooler if the neighborhoods weren't instanced and your house interior wasn't instanced, but it works alright. I have played LOTRO for a few years and own a house, and always hear (and agree) that players want to be able to customize their interiors a la UO. Right now they are limited to static item placeholders at specific areas of their house interiors. At least make the placeholders movable.

    Back to URPG Housing, plots for purchase or development is a great idea. We would, after all, be living in the lands of Lord British, and his housing authority could plot out and zone the land for all types of good things, like player marketplaces where you could buy a booth, etc. Very Renny Faire-ish! Or you could set up shop in the wilderness. Parcel out the land. And make it VERY expensive, perhaps a crafting achievement of megalithic proportions. Make people work for housing. Make it valuable.

    PS: Speaking of houses, please don't make an Auction House. (Keep vending in player-run establishments).
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    Lord British likes this.
  22. cazador

    cazador Babbling Loonie

    I think you come to a happy medium yes nobody likes the crystal houses of today..but how many cool houses have been built all around UO..fully customizable is the only way to go..because certain people lack creativity or they just like ugly houses doesn't mean you shouldn't have the options...as for placing..instances is not the answer everyone get a house but if you can't walk next door without loading IMO its kind of stupid...the housing sprawl was good for the community in a way if everyone was supposed to get a house why not just auto place for them the fight for reality give a sense of achievement once you do get it placed..EA gave into the whining and made selling anything under a castle useless...make it challenging again

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Lord British likes this.
  23. LlamaDragon

    LlamaDragon Guest

    Lotro housing was (presumably still is) less than ideal. A few friends and I all got houses in the same neighborhood instance, but then we progressed at different rates and when one person could afford a bigger house, he went to a different instance 'cause there weren't any available in ours. The housing areas were also not terribly convenient, tucked in corners that probably would've otherwise gone unused, so despite the appearance of large housing developments, you rarely saw anyone, especially with unused houses sitting empty for months, even if the upkeep went unpaid.

    However, one place I think instanced housing could shine would be inner-city housing. In Lotro I thought it would be really cool to get an "apartment" in Bree. It would pack a lot of people into a very small space in a town where people spend a lot of time anyway (well, it was bustling when I played, maybe everyone hangs out in the higher-level areas now). It could be slightly off the thoroughfares, close enough to be convenient, but not so close that high-traffic areas would get too congested.

    Of course, the city needn't be terribly large to support non-instanced housing. Look at medieval towns, where thousands of people were tucked into cities with a fairly small footprint (less than 1 square kilometer would house a lot of people) though trying to keep real-world scale in-game is probably nearly impossible.
    Lord British likes this.
  24. JoeLock

    JoeLock Visitor

    Maybe take a look at what linkrealms is doing? Basically when you find a suitable piece of land in that game, you throw down a claim stake on it and you can do whatever you want with it. Some people build homes/guild halls, some people build farms, some people build mob infested fortresses, and some people build PvP areas/arenas. Some even make a combination of all of that. Some drawbacks to that game however is that each plot of land seems segregated. Meaning each plot of land is on its own map, with paths going N,S,E,W to the next map with a small load screen. You can't have two claim stakes on the same map. I wonder if any of this would work on a truly persistent map.

    What I getting at I guess is, should we be able to do more with our land than just build our homes on it? Would something like this work well in the Ultimate RPG? Or would this scale of player created content create too many problems?
    Lord British likes this.
  25. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus Stratics Legend

    I would make housing reflect upon the time period the game and fiction is.

    No customization of housing by players. Leave that to the developer.

    Player towns could be "villages" in areas but also have housing spots in no man lands.
    Lord British likes this.
  26. felixr-

    felixr- Visitor

    There should be a risk to having a house.
    Regards, cA#mce_temp_url#.

    Make sure to include houses in the real gameworld, I'd hate to see housing being cut off from the real world giving a safe haven where trammies can trammelize their trammelgoods on their trammelwalls.
    Keep house keys, remove newbied keys, people should take care of their keys.
    Lord British likes this.
  27. Vanpry

    Vanpry Visitor

    I loved and hated UO housing. I loved that they were in game, there was some variety and then were customization. But I hated that the landscape looked like a urban sprawl and was pissed off by the fact that pre-trammel there was no land left for housing. I think that if your house was more a part of the game and less a warehouse it would create a much greater connection to the game. So with all that said I'd suggest there should be 2 housing options instant housing (see below) for the people not really into housing, looking for more of a warehouse. Anyone can buy a instant house for in-game currancy. Then you have in-game housing (see below) which world but cost real life money.
    Instant housing: a mixture of wizard101 area and UO customizable houses or pre-fabs for those that don't want to build their own.

    In-game housing: Wouldn't be much different then the instant houses but as the name implies they are in-game for everyone to see. In-game housing zones would be large instant zones that would consist of multiple player towns, various points of interest, mobs, dungeons and crafting resources. For a visual take what old UO looked like turn all the towns into player controlled towns. So it would play similar to UO but instead of shards you would have zones. The zones could scale for higher level characters, pick your house up and move to a more dangerous town. These zones could be based around pvp, your town against all the other towns.
    House decorating, construction, everything to do with houses MUST be based on a grid system. LOTRO hook systems SUCKS!
    Lord British likes this.
  28. Lord Azram

    Lord Azram Guest

    1. Do not make houses 100% secure. I always recalled to my house two screens away with my Keys on, and would use the tracking skill a few times before actually running up to the door and enter it. I was never looted.
    2. when houses are not 100% secure and you can actually lose yours by losing your keys, houses will come and go, ie there is no issue with not enough land
    3. Upkeep costs are good, the larger the more people need to provide to a guild house regularely for example
    4. The closer houses are to NPC towns, the higher the upkeep cost maybe :)
    5. Houses in UO were pretty cheap in the beginning (10K gold small house). So losing one wasnt a big deal. The good stuff needs to be in the bank anyways.
    6. Maybe appartements in the large NPC towns? Like it was in medival age also which you can rent (weekly upkeep cost).
    Lord British and Neves like this.
  29. Neves

    Neves Visitor

    Lord British likes this.
  30. Vanpry

    Vanpry Visitor

    Everyone is entitle to their opinion, but my god you people apparently need to get some excitement in your lives. I guess it could just be a different prospective on gaming. To me gaming is supposed to be fun and relaxing apparently to you gaming is a serious a real life.

    I could see something like 1 & 2 working well on a hardcore pvp server.
    Lord British likes this.
  31. Kooree

    Kooree Guest

    The only time I felt housing was done well was in Ultima Online. Instanced housing doesn't work, because it doesn't feel like an integrated part of the world. On the other hand, non-instanced urban sprawl like in Ultima Online is also terrible for immersion. At least with the sprawl certain parts of the housing had identities as players banded together into community hotspots, whether for commerce or socializing.

    That, I think, is the most important part of housing. Letting players create their own villages, towns and cities and create an identity for themselves within a world. Even if instanced away from the rest of the world, I think that'd be the most important things. Less "Player Housing" and more "Player Communities" would be good, I think.

    I also disagree with the comments that player housing should not be completely secure. In fact, I'll go one better; items within a house should be able to be moved around, but not taken out of the house. That way players can pull up a chair, or employ other items inside a house, but they can't pilfer the items. The lockdown system in UO worked, but it also made player housing a lot less dynamic because everything was always bolted down unless the owner was there.

    EDIT: More thoughts! 3D decoration doesn't really ever work well. It worked decently in Morrowind then, with grab physics, not at all in Oblivion and Skyrim. Not being able to decorate ruined housing in Skyrim to me. I think 2D top down views work best for decoration.

    Also, being able to place items anywhere is nice. I was always so sad that in Ultima 8 you could drag an item and drop it anywhere, but in UO it was all per tile. Couldn't even get a plate and cutlery to look decent without extreme floatation tricks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012
    Lord British and Vanpry like this.
  32. Lady Raja

    Lady Raja Sage

    Hellos Lord British,

    I would like to see some kind of upkeep feature. Why make a house so easy to have right? A house should be your most valuable asset. Make some kind of carpenter feature or some kind of blacksmith feature where you have to hire one for certain things to fix or add... This can also promote players to interact more with each other and not just be mindless hoarders with nothing to fear while scripting inside their homes... :(

    I do like the open housing idea, but there has to be a way to limit how close a house can be next to another house. I play on Siege Perilous and I love the fact that I have room to spread my arms out while running around. What if you and your team base it like the real world. Where you build houses in certain "Designated" areas of the land, and we the players, go take tours of them before puchase. It can be better laid out with roads even buildings. Once purchased, this is where it can get fun for us, or at least me. We can hire other players, with certain skills like carpentry/blacksmithing to help with anything house related... :)

    "I want to change the paint on the outside of my house, looks like I better hire a painter for that. I need new fixtures for my house, looks like I will need to hire a blacksmith for that..." And since the neighborhood is well laid out with roads and buildings, maybe in the center of town can be a community boards where services/wants can be posted... The possibilities could be endless! It would create more skills/jobs for players to interact with. I believe the housing aspect of a game is the community it is in. With people relying on other people, it builds strong communities. I know this might be jumping way too far, but this can even lead to inner community events, community versus community events, so on and so fourth... :rolleyes:

    But yeah... Something in the realm of "upkeep"... :D


    Thanks for listening to our opinions!

    I saw you on "Oddities"! That is quite an interesting collection of stuff you have! I swear I saw a skull candle... :p
    Lord British likes this.
  33. Zarf

    Zarf Guest

    To reduce urban sprawl, I would make all housing instances. Entrances located in NPC towns, leave the wilderness untouched. But I would make these instances fully customizable by the players; inside and out. You just purchase a block instance ( 7x7, 50x50 ), whatever, then customize it to your liking. Being a instance perhaps you could allow players to upgrade later to add on, to make their homes larger. Guilds could purchase even larger plots, to construct guild halls, villages, at a much higher premium. Players should be able to set security features similar to UO on who can enter their homes and interreact with contents. UO housing was one of its greatest options in game, many people loved decorating their homes, displaying rares and whatnot. But also caused a lot of lag and an eyesore at times.
    Lord British likes this.
  34. Skillz

    Skillz Guest

    Setting securuity features isn't really needed if your house is instanced and segregated from the rest of the online world.

    When they asked us about player housing, we all said a lot of the same things from a few different perspectives. The problem, most of us did not think, speculate, or address the potential of the player base. Our ideas were great for something like UO, but UO had something like 150k players give or take.
    Point is, if this game takes off like World of Warcraft did, none of us are used to a UO with housing, where numbers range in the millions.. even 1 million in a UO styled game would be like seeing Pandora for the first time.
    However the beautiful way Ultima Online worked was with portals. You go to the main portal and it opens the options to travel to different lands. So while yes it is one large world, it still does have it's own sort of "instance" segregation. It was just implemented much more seamless than other games. One could argue Trammel/Fel were actually already instanced housing, while Iilshnar was the land for adventure, thing was Trammel/Fel wasn't ONLY good for housing, it was good for the civilizations and towns and whatnot. So they could very well follow most everyones suggestions here. Giving us our fantastic Ultima Online experience(upgraded) of open world and depth, but also having additional portals/lands to support the new millenia of gaming, and gamers.

    So hopefully while plenty of us want something similar to UO, hopefully Portalarium has a backup plan for URPG considering the new size of player base games which is now much larger than UO. As Bruce Willis once said, "You don't have a back up plan!? You gotta have a backup plan!"

    P.S. Give me dragons or give me death!
    Lord British and LiquidSolidity like this.
  35. Flagg

    Flagg Seasoned Veteran

    Based solely on LOTRO, I for one would hate Instanced housing. It doesn't give you the feel of leaving your own mark in the world. Haviing anything except Dungeons Instanced is always a touch terrible and dangerous idea.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    Lord British likes this.
  36. Broman

    Broman Guest

    No instanced housing please. When Activision Blizzard introduced instanced elements with World of Warcraft, that one certain feeling when you played UO faded away. I cannot really describe it, but once there are instanced areas, the game itself somehow lacks the connected-to-others-at-top-level-feeling.
    senescal likes this.
  37. Lord British

    Lord British Portalarium Team | Ultima Creator VIP

    My problem with "instanced neighborhoods is no one visits them. In UO to get to the city center, you walked through the whole city. Thus the pathways became valuable. As it should be in my mind. But we did a poor job "cleaning up" dead houses. so sprawl became ugly and empty.
    kulder likes this.
  38. Lord British

    Lord British Portalarium Team | Ultima Creator VIP

    I too am very proud of UO housing... I think it is close to what we might be able to make work in the new game. It would be much better with a mechanism to get rid of dead generic sprawl, which is ez. The biggest challenge could be our expectation to do a two zoom map. More like Ultima's 3-6, than U7-UO. I will start a thread about that too!
  39. Lord British

    Lord British Portalarium Team | Ultima Creator VIP

    There is indeed a nice skull candle!
  40. Lord_Toast

    Lord_Toast Guest

    Can't we have both types? Players who want to 'live' in the city gets instanced houses. Those who 'live' outside civilization get a normal house which they then have to fight to upkeep, defend from monster (npc or players)...they can trap there own houses to kill/maim thieves...spend some real cash to prevent upkeep cost for a certain amount of time. And if the houses in the city or out in the boondocks ever become lapse then they spawn monsters which the player has to clean up once they reactivate their account.
  41. Nexus

    Nexus Ravenant Administrator Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus

    I wasn't meaning instanced Neighborhoods, but having areas set aside with plots for players to place houses to avoid what became a cluttered sprawl of houses in every available space in UO. These areas would become more or less player ran cities.

    I was just commenting on one of the benefits of instanced in that it's easily expanded on to add additional space as needed.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  42. Coldren

    Coldren Sage Stratics Veteran

    I suppose what I think about housing depends upon the systems surrounding it, but here are some initial thoughts:

    1) Upkeep, definitely. However, the TYPE of upkeep in concert with the payment model needs to be considered. I think, bar none, if your going to try to monetize anything in the game, it should be real estate. If you own a home, I think you should have to pay a monthly amount. The minute you stop paying, your housing begins collapsing and will completely collapse in 1 week. There has to be a limitation to how many houses a player can place. However, how to prevent 1 player from having multiple accounts, and therefore, multiple houses in a F2P game though, I leave to those who are more creative than myself.

    Secondly, on top of this, I think there should be an in-game cost, but with multiple avenues of payment as tribute to Lord British to support non-combative roles. Miners should be able to turn in ingots, gems, and the like. Lumberjacks, wood and other resources. Cooks, food and ingredients they can craft. Alchemists, potions. Fishers, fish, MoB's, nets, etc. And for everyone, gold as another option, so those who chose to lay waste to the evils of the land can pay as well.

    Third, depending on the above mentioned surrounding systems, I think players, alliances, or guilds should be able to control regions or towns, and impose additional costs to residence (Though only a small portion of that should go to the player/guild/alliance itself) to those under their jurisdiction. This sets the stage for political machinations, if such a system is being considered at all.

    2) Customization is key, but customization within a theme. The ability to create whatever house you'd like in UO is wonderful. But, on the other hand.. Some players can make some truly god-awful looking houses. For the sake of immersion and my bleeding eye sockets, a method by which to control what pieces they can fit together should be considered. And of course, have some nice pre-packaged designs as well.

    3) Give options for residence within cities. Let players rent a room when available in the city. Let them lease an apparently empty building with limited customization options, and place a vendor. This will help ensure that cities will always have players in them. The vacancy of most cities in UO not named Luna is a great indicator of what can happen.

    4) Storage limitations should be sensible, not only for performance, but as an artificial, limited method to combat inflation.

    Those are some initial thoughts. Good luck, and looking forward to seeing what is done!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    DJAd likes this.
  43. cazador

    cazador Babbling Loonie

    How about a monthy monetary charge? .99 cents a month? Help generate revenue to keep the game rolling with micro transactions for items that well were never implemented in UO..courtyards? (Minus castles) outdoor gardens, dueling pits, all static adding that have special features like a resurrection stone in dueling pit resource bearing plants in gardens housing should be special IMO if everyone has a house where's the real accomplishment of having one?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  44. EarlGrey

    EarlGrey Guest

    Housing is a key for meaningful PvP and so it has to be PvP style - looteble.
    The best by far was Shadowbane housing system. When you have house in town you are going to fight for it and guard it. In SB players could build town as fortress or as trade town or as learning center or combination.
    Player city as key factor for personal houses, trade center, access to spawns and training centers would be a key point of meaningful/politically motivated PvP
    Also. Houses should not be a means for transportation as in Darkfall
  45. Rothen

    Rothen Guest

    Some really good ideas here. I do really like the housing UO has and hope your new game has a similar setup. I don't like the idea of needing a key for security, but do think there needs to be some sort of upkeep to maintain the plot. Whether it be just logging in, or a maintenance fee, something needs to be added there. And I too have wished we could dig basements!
  46. Red

    Red Guest

    I dislike anything instanced. It breaks up the game. I am interested to see how multiple devices will integrate into one game without instances.

    The only place where I feel instances would be tolerable is in the NPC town Inns, because it would open the door to rent a room at the Inn. Only create as many instances as needed in any given time, and do not restrict access to these instances to anyone. If I rent a room and log out, my instance of the room shouldn't be visible/exist when I'm logged out. This should keep things simple in order to promote player interaction. New players should be guided to use the inn rather than placing a small house. Inns and houses should be the only semi-permanent places to secure items.

    The bank should only hold currency. This way, the Inns would be the social gathering point that they should be, instead of banks.


    Dynamic housing in the game world is truly amazing.
    I agree with some points already made, but I would like to add my own ideas into the mix.

    Before I found this URPG project, I was dreaming of a UO in a sandbox type world, where the terrain could be changed in a deeper level, rather than solely building atop it. Of course it could never be anything like CraftyMiner for many reasons, but I believe that there is plenty of room to travel in that direction. There would obviously need restrictions, such as owning a plot of land designated as such. You can't allow everyone to be able to do this easily. This has more potential for disaster as house customization, and as such should be the next level.

    As for house customizations, I could be wrong but I don't believe that UO was designed with the forethought of this tool being implemented. The original tiles themselves seem to be drawn with the knowledge that you could minutely fine tune the position of the tiles, a feature that wasn't in the house customzation tool. I am a huge fan of the house customization tool, and one of the first to complain about eyesores.

    What if players could sell blueprints to a customized house, to other players that take the blueprint and build the actual house on their plot? This would create its own market very well.
    What if players could simply dbl click the house sign and press the "ugly" button, and when a house gets a certain amount of "ugly" votes, a moderator can assess and/or correct the situation. Perhaps their house gets converted..?


    I had an idea expanding the Guild concept. Clans, Guilds, and Factions.

    Think of a Clan as a UO guild without the need for a house. Perhaps if the leader doesn't log in for a month straight the Clan dissolves.

    A Guild would be something like a player run town. I was thinking about a more complex system where your land size is extracted from the total online activity of the Guild and the upkeep costs are extracted from something equivalent to the total number of skill points in the entire Guild. I believe that this sort of counter balance is whats needed to combat what has been labeled as "Urban Sprawl" when we're talking about something this size. This problem is akin to the castles with a sole owner.

    Factions were great. Factions were the natural progression in PvP and I think it was amazing. It provided the outlet to the PvP hungry, which I'm sure alleviated the PK problems to an extent.

    Perhaps this is where the destruction of houses and the ability to edit terrain belong. These things need to be consented to, not forced upon.
  47. Bombadil

    Bombadil Guest

    Please enable player housing as it was in later UO - fully customizable. Players should not only be able to choose from preset buildings, but build their owns. Think Sims style. The possibilities with this shall be endless.
    LiquidSolidity and Vanpry like this.
  48. Arcades

    Arcades Sage Stratics Veteran

    First off, I cannot wait for your new game, its been too long since you left UO. Games just are not the same as when UO first started out.

    That being said and we fastforward to the present day of iPad/iPhone/etc gaming, on a tangent/suggestion to a whole new direction to player housing and maybe even resource gathering, I propose a way to integrate mobile apps/games into PC/console gaming facets for mundane things such as resource gathering, housing organization, auction houses, etc, etc. After playing UO since it first opened, I have to say one of the most boring/frustrating things is resource gathering which is why scripting is so rampant in UO. Honestly, who in their right minds would click to mine mountains non-stop to gather resources these days? UO has moved away from the earlier times where a few ingots/leather pieces made your gear for the day, and stockpiling wasnt really an option in bulk order deeds/etc. Now you see deeds of 60k of every known reagent/resource available, I doubt there is a person behind each computer mining/logging/cutting leather non-stop all day and night. I say we put an end to this stupidity. We play games to have fun, not become mindless robots.

    That being said, Ive played a fair number of iPad/iPhone games that require resources but harvesting is done via timers. Buying x # of plots yields y # of resources per hour. What this gives is an opportunity for each player to harvest their own without wasting valuable "playing" gametime, and also if you choose to sell or use the resources, that should also be your option. Yes people will script, but every person will have the same opportunity to yield resources during "non-playing" gametime at the same rate.

    Onto housing, one of the paramount things I've found about UO is there are things to do outside of fighting and killing monsters, player housing, decorating, player run auctions, that I could easily see as having a beneficial link to a mobile device. How many times have you wished you could bid on an ingame item at a auction only to find out you are at work. Or for that matter, anything while you are away from your main computer/laptop. Blizzard really ****ed up their auction house by not having a mobile app available for it. I think the integration of mobile gaming into PC/console gaming will be the future.

    But I digress, so lastly, I think player housing is create as is in UO, but one suggestion would be to have "blueprints" for a house made available by a player designer. That way, if you see a cool design, it can be shared, but give the architect the option of pricing his design. Each blueprint can be "uploaded" to a real estate agent(vendor), possibly one for each type of house available in-game...designated by plot size. Accessible to all, and a preview can be viewed or a rune made available to the original house on the vendor. Of course, all this done on a mobile device! Lets say a "Ultima Online Real Estate Application". All types of houses people would like to share, can be posted and browsed through at a player's leisure...lunch time, break time, etc, etc. And leaving the monster killing/PvP to our real gaming time at home. That being said, I know some people purely like to do this during their gaming time, making money buying/selling thus all the data would be available to the PC version as well.


  49. Ludes

    Ludes UO Catskills Reporter Staff Writer Staff Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    My only opinion on this is so far UO has done it the best with SWG running second.

    You guys got housing right in UO and besides maybe some tweaking I wouldn't change it.
    LiquidSolidity likes this.
  50. XDarkxMageX

    XDarkxMageX Visitor

    The housing should function similar to UO's: Ability to place where the house can fit, not be able to place blocking roads or entrances to dungeons or caves, not able to place overly close to NPC towns.

    In addition to this, there should only be certain areas where houses can be placed, like small pockets of viable areas in the heart of the wilderness or on abandoned islands. Also, players should be able to purchase houses inside NPC towns. I remember in UO that there were dozens of unused buildings in cities like trinsic, britain, Skara and Vesper. Allowing players to be able to buy or rent these houses would allow players more options for housing.

    Then there is the issue of space in general. To make a viable world capable of supporting a reasonable amount of houses for the player base, the ingame world is going to have to be massive, capable of supporting thousands of independent houses for players to place.

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