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Can Ultima Online learn a lesson from FarmVille?

Discussion in 'UO Homes and Castles' started by Lord Raven, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    Over the years, I've built and demolished many homes in Sosaria. In fact, one of my passions is designing homes and decorating them. As much as I enjoy being able to toss a new house together in an hour or so, it has always seemed that, like other things in-game, there should be more player to player involvement.

    Recently I began playing FarmVille. Compared to UO, FarmVille houses are primitive. There are no interiors, and you can't add decorations or furniture. Sometimes, the buildings don't even follow the same scale as other structures on the property. (My chicken coup is taller than my winery - must be some monster chickens living there!)

    Where they hit the nail on the head is the building process. To complete a building, you need to supply brick nails and boards. You can get these from your friends or buy them, but the point is that you actually have to build a building.

    Now think of how this would benefit housing in UO. If players were required to accumulate building materials before a home could be finished player crafters would have a new market for raw materials like boards, granite and ingots. Player crafters could even supply finished items such as nails, floor tile, iron gates, etc. The home owner would not be required to purchased player crafted parts, they could use raw materials exclusively if that is their preference. Using player crafted parts would just accelerate the building process and require fewer raw materials.

    My recommendation is that you can place a house plot just the same way you do now. When you place the plot, a building crate would appear and this is where you would store the raw materials needed to build your house. Then you would enter the customization menu, and design the house. When you save/backup the design you would receive a list of all the materials needed to complete the house.

    Building materials you have in your building crate would be applied to the house. Perhaps you would then see partially constructed walls while your home is being built. As you add more supplies to the building crate, the house goes through stages of construction up to completion. You could then place interior furniture and decorate the house.

    As I envision it, the new system would not require home owners to have any special crafting skills to build a house. In addition to supplying raw materials, the home owner could also purchase finished items from player craftsmen. Doors, iron gates, windows, finished stone and floor tiles could all be player supplied construction materials.

    I realize one objection to this system is that many folks won't want to wait for a house to be built. For them, leave an option to build the house for gold by hiring NPC craftsmen. NPC crafters could bypass the materials gathering phase. The more you hire, the faster your home is built. Perhaps using "skilled labor" (a real player with the appropriate skill) would allow your house to be completed with fewer materials, or in less time. The current ship repair system allows for fewer materials to be used if a skilled craftsman repairs the ship.

    Player run events could now include an old-style "barn raising." Wouldn't it be cool to invite your neighbors over some weekend to help build your new house!

    Ultima Online is a game of the imagination. As I wander through towns, I see memorial statues under construction, yet everything else just seems to appear instantly. I think the ability to mark time by watching the development of homes would add to the unique experience this game offers. It would offer players additional ways to interact, and new markets for raw materials and skills.
     
  2. Interesting idea.

    Placing/building a home costs a lot of gold already, but making it look like it's part of a living world seems a lot more interesting.

    I don't play Farmville or any of the other online social games, but MMOs can learn a lot from how they're structured. Microtransactions are huge and the billions in revenue a company like Zynga sees in return means it's working.

    How the fanbase of UO would respond to things taking longer would be interesting to see, but I could see crafters getting a boost from timed house builds.
     
  3. AND3R

    AND3R Guest

    Introducing new concepts to UO is always a good and welcomed idea, however, I will keep it short and just add this... I think current content needs some attention before we suggest new content.

    Ever use recall and you dont go anywhere?
    Ever macro something and the targeting retilce is missing?
    Ever put something down on your floor and lose it under the house?

    Not trying to be a downer here, but it would only further discourage players if they lost building materials under their foundation!
    :thumbup:
     
  4. tehfloof

    tehfloof Seasoned Veteran

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    I wouldn't mind seeing something like this. The more you put into it the more storage you get? I have a max storage house but I find myself running out of room constantly. Xd
     
  5. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    Yes, I have had stuff drop under the house. I have a LOT of deco and just about any problem you could have with deco... I've experienced it. Parrots are my favorite deco pet peeve. Have you ever noticed they generate a "dead zone" on the Z axis and if you want to place anything on a floor above or below a parrot you need to axe the bird first?!

    I think the house customization tool is due for a few tweeks and perhaps that would also address the various housing bugs.

    Yes, there are a lot of other things that need work in-game and I don't propose this as any kind of priority. As frustrating as it may seem for those folks that deal with various bugs, the fact is that if the devs stopped developing new content for the game it would get pretty boring.

    I about fell outta my couch when I read about the new distillery! Folks have been clamoring for the ability to brew custom beverages for a while now. I think it's good to have something new, even if that means I still have to axe a parrot now and then!

    *EDIT* Also wanted to comment on your mention of recalls going nowhere. Yes that is annoying, and even more so if you have a ship. I haven't kept statistical grade data on the issue but trying to recall from a ship takes two tries often enough to be annoying. (How's that for a statistical description "often enough to be annoying"). The interesting thing about aborted ship recalls is sometimes you end up in the middle of the sea... not on the ship or at your destination. 'Cause of that I always put on a life-preserver before recalling off-ship.
     
  6. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    Players having to harvest materials and use them to build houses would be a big boost to the economy. But a lot of people might get upset that they now need to put in a lot of additional effort into building houses.
     
  7. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    Horizons had something like this where some of the crafting professions were actually intended as "building" professions, so that there was a trade in labor and materials for player housing. I've always thought that was a great idea. Of course, Horizons was pretty much a failure ( Though it is still running, last I checked!), but I don't think it had anything to do with the crafting system.
     
  8. I say no way!!!
    I play farmville to and i HATE the building process.
    The one thing in UO i love is building house designs, when i want.
    Its relaxing and and satisfying.
    If UO adopted farmville building style I will quit!
     
  9. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    You would really quit over something that you do periodically? Or are you actually re-building your house every day?

    Maybe I didn't emphasize it enough in my OP, but there would still be options for building houses the old way for players that didn't want the extra effort. But, those players would also miss out on the rewards...

    I just think that finding a way to involve crafters in house building for more than miscellaneous deco would enhance the playing experience.

    I don't know if you play any crafters, but what I'm proposing is the difference between buying everything pre-made (like the current house customization system) and the ability to make your own building materials.

    For example, wouldn't you want to make stone blocks out of shadow granite? Then you could have a cool black house... or golden, or verite colored, etc.

    Same for lumber... you could use the different colored woods for unique floor tiles or doors.

    That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

    And if you don't want it... then just customize the old way. I would want there to be a choice.

    In fact, it would be a good idea to implement this type of system in phases and I bet after folks saw houses designed with crafter made building materials lots of folks would be tearing down their old houses and starting fresh!
     
  10. Mike of Ameraust

    Mike of Ameraust Journeyman
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    Love the idea, great, better than making furniture that no one wants
     
  11. Kri

    Kri Journeyman
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    I really like this idea... it would add a lot to custom housing and crafting in general. From the git-go I always felt that there were some missed opportunities for crafting in the housing system.

    Personally, I would like to see it extended beyond just boards and carpenters as well. For instance, mined stone might be needed for stone walls and perhaps someone skilled in masonry could shape them to reduce build time (or perhaps the amount needed.) Tinkerers could make hardware, Tailors curtains, Alchemists paint and so forth.

    Alternatively (or additionally), perhaps using crafter made items could have another "bonus"... like imbuing item colors for instance. Perhaps a skilled carpenter could make frostwood colored doors or a skilled mason could make valorite stone walls. Nearly all of the crafting professions could be included in some capacity...
     
  12. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    This reason would be a good one not to add house building.
    *BUT*

    What if you could add house building where building the house could be done more cheaply and have several more options.

    *ALSO at the same time*

    Keep the current house tool the way it is for fast placement of standard houses and standard custom houses, but increase the price for the convenience of not building it.
     
  13. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    If you gave one set of players a financial advantage over the others there would certainly be complaints. However, if you made player crafted items that could be added to houses, or used instead of parts available in the customization menu then nobody is penalized.

    Anyone could use the new items to build their house. They could either buy them from player crafters, or if they have their own crafters... make whatever they needed themselves.

    One thing I would like to see, is some kind of "building crate." This would be an item similar to the moving crate, or trash barrel. You could set one on your plot, and just drop raw materials or completed house items into this crate. Perhaps it could also work like a mailbox where other crafters could drop off items you've comissioned for your house even when you're not there. It would be really cool if anyone could click on the crate and get a menu of items needed to complete the house. Then you might even have complete strangers donating materials or items to help you complete your house!

    The house would show completion in stages... after the daily server maintenance, all the materials in the building crate would be added to the design plan, and the house would then display as partially constructed. Of course, you could just build the whole house in one step by providing all the materials needed for your design. Or, by using the "standard" materials already available in the house customization menu.
     
  14. Banner

    Banner Guest

    This is by far one of the best ideals I have seen. "WOW" I think changes like this would not only make playing the game more interested for me but would allow people to start relying on other players and more group gatherings I say go with it before its lost in all this mess.....
     
  15. APDouble

    APDouble Guest

    I am sure you all have probably thought of this, but something I would like to see is an incentive to get some of the shards from completely becoming ghost towns. There is several shards that there is nothing going on. Lots of space for housing. The only shard I see very populated is Atlantic. I dream of bigger plot sizes. An 18x18 is no longer enough for all the decor out there. Castles are nice, but there are not customizable and their layout is just becoming boring to me. I own one and also 18x18s but done everything over and over again to keep my interest. Again, just my wishful thinking. :)
     
  16. Gidge

    Gidge Sage
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    When we use to have to refresh our homes, my husband and I brainstormed an idea that would require upkeep of your home where you would give wood, ingots and stuff to keep your house in good condition. the more stuff, the longer between refreshes. When auto refresh came out it we had a sincere feeling of relaxation knowing our homes weren't going to fall if we missed a refreshed.

    I think if they got rid of scripting of resources, maybe having special add-ons available would be an option of filling said building requirements.

    I hate building in farmville too especially when you has no friends!!! LOL
     
  17. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    I was going to PM a Facebook to my buddy Farmer Bob so you and him could be friends, but you don't seem to be set up for PM's.
     
  18. Lord Raven

    Lord Raven Seasoned Veteran
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    FarmVille just added a craftshop. It takes hammers, twine and concrete to build. Other items take boards, nails and bricks to build.

    The cool thing about FarmVille, is that you can ask for help from your friends to complete these structures. (You also have the option to just buy items for FarmCash if you prefer.)

    I think that something that worked with existing materials and skills for UO could be lots of fun and create some interesting opportunities for meeting folks and building crafting skills.

    I wouldn't want to see a system that required all new skills, materials, etc., to complete a house. And, for those folks who perfer the standard customization system, they can use the standard house parts already available in the menu.
     
  19. Xelious Norwood

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    id rather see tinker BODs and carpentry BODs, we need a way to get BODs more useful again, imbuing has kinda trumped the sewing kits and runic hammers.