Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Community Debate - Open World Housing vs Instanced Housing

    • Moderator
    • 8798 posts
    October 22, 2018 4:01 AM PDT

    Community Debate - Open World Housing vs Instanced Housing, which do you prefer and why? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

     

    Twitter Poll: https://twitter.com/PantheonMMO/status/1054326414256685056

    • 670 posts
    October 22, 2018 4:04 AM PDT
    Don’t matter to me. And what a can of worms this question is gonna be haha.
    • 156 posts
    October 22, 2018 4:31 AM PDT
    It's really the only part of the game that I would be ok with being instanced.

    I am ok with open world too as long as you cant put a house anywhere like in Ultima Online. Really not a big deal to me.
    • 1785 posts
    October 22, 2018 5:23 AM PDT

    Open world if possible. Neighborhoods, house crossing in the wild, etc..

     

    Instanced is really safe but lacks depth and a feeling of order.

    • 145 posts
    October 22, 2018 5:52 AM PDT

    well  Instanced Housing for me but i cant say i really dont care about housing. More for guild housing and perhaps then not instanced ? and if guild housing think high fantasy why not a floating little island or a ship.

    the hardest is to find a use for the house/guild if you give to mutch the city will be less vibrant, or to less nobody cares to be in the house/guild and it will be empty anyways.

     

     

     

    • 9 posts
    October 22, 2018 5:53 AM PDT

    NO!  For proof, look no further than WoWs Warlords of Dreanor expansion.  Durring that time Blizzard was having a hell of a time trying to juggle the two main aspects of player housing.  Everyone turned into a hermit crab, and it doesn't take a genius to realized thats not good for an MMO.

    1) Make it appealing enough or intertwined to the storyline that you are required to visit the garrison (player housing)

    2) Don't over utilize player housing to the point where there's little reason to be anywhere else.

    To put it neatly "relevance"!  To sum up the results; player housing is either so interesting you only want to be there or too irrelevant you won't ever go.


    This post was edited by Sejannus at October 22, 2018 5:54 AM PDT
    • 222 posts
    October 22, 2018 6:03 AM PDT

    Non-instanced all the way.

    I distinctly remember when I proudly went to take possesion of my first Quenos flat in EQ2. When I got to the door 5+ other people were entering before me, but when I got in nobody was there. It was such a disappointment and I never got attached to the place. It was a trophy room, but I didn't spend much time there. By contrast, when I got my very own non-instanced house i Vanguard, it felt much more natural and was a place that I loved to invite people to.

    Having said that, guild halls interest me much more than having my own house, and those have to be non-instanced to make any sense, IMHO.

    • 3380 posts
    October 22, 2018 6:05 AM PDT

    Open World ... but housing in general is very low on the priority scale of what's important to me in an MMO.  I hope it's shelved until the first expansion.

    • 476 posts
    October 22, 2018 6:11 AM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Community Debate - Open World Housing vs Instanced Housing, which do you prefer and why? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

     

    Twitter Poll: https://twitter.com/PantheonMMO/status/1054326414256685056

    That really depends. If housing is little more than glorified storage space with decorations it really doesn't matter. However, if you plan to do something a bit cooler with it open world would be the way to go. A long while back I played an MMO called Horizons, which now goes by the name Istaria. Initially their housing system was supposed to be tied to an undead blight system that allowed players to buy plots in established areas around the world to build up player cities. But those cities would be subject to undead attack and even destruction if the blight was left unchecked. Unfortunately that system was never fully realized when I played it so long ago. Still, it was a nice idea.

    Also there's the possibility of Star Wars Galaxy style gameplay with player shops and such, but that needs to be restricted in the building area to prevent the mass of clutter that SWG encountered. 

    There's a lot of ideas to play with when it comes to housing. Ashes of Creation has it evolve as players level up a node and if that node is ever sieged by other players or a powerful NPC monster, it can be destroyed, along with their home. So it gives them incentive to fight whatever the danger is. Unfortunately, most MMORPGs do little with it beyond decorations and storage. While that's nice to have, beyond storage it offers very little to the overall game experience. So if that's all that it will be in Pantheon, instanced or not doesn't really matter. It really depends on what the goal for housing is in the grand sceme of things.


    This post was edited by Kratuk at October 22, 2018 6:16 AM PDT
    • 192 posts
    October 22, 2018 6:53 AM PDT

    Depends, if housing is similar to other games I have played, then I don't care for it and hope time isn't invested in it for the initial release.

    If housing is significantly different and has something more to offer apart from decorating and storage then my answer would be "open world". I would like it to be set aside and unobtrusive to other players and content. If there was housing in the EC in EQ where one can be involved in /ooc trading and have just a quick jog to the tunnel or an address associated with one's house, that might be intriguing for me.

    Instanced detracts from the experience and immersion imo. 

     

     

    • 266 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:04 AM PDT

    At this point in time I would rather see the dev team working on gameplay. Give us that huge open world game that we’ve all been waiting for. For right now, let’s concentrate on release. But for the record, I prefer open-world housing.

    • 134 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:11 AM PDT

    Instanced housing hands down. More can be done with it if you make it more of an area you can zone into. Honestly though if I had it my way I would say give different cities zone lines where you can have housing neighborhoods. Once you zone into that area of that city it gives you a list of neighborhoods that can hold a good 20 players housing to still keep it immersive.

    • 1941 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:21 AM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Community Debate - Open World Housing vs Instanced Housing, which do you prefer and why? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

    Twitter Poll: https://twitter.com/PantheonMMO/status/1054326414256685056

    Instanced, but with a slight difference.  EQ2 had open-world areas in Freeport and Qeynos where you could buy housing.  The buildings where real enough but the houses inside were instanced.  Thus you could see any number of people 'entering' the same door to each access their individual instanced house.  I wasn't a fan of this approach.

    My personal preference would be the other way around.  Have an instanced zone (or zones*) in which there are plots onto which players can place their own house.

    If one or the other part are not instanced then you need to be creating enough space for what could be 1 house for every person on a server and the world needs to be designed with that in mind.  Tacking it on as an afterthought will just lead to problems the biggest of which, for me, is the clutter. If you had a server population of 3,000 and each house plot was just a 20mx20m square you're going to need 1.2M square meters of land just for housing.

    *Why would zones for housing need to be only above ground?  I'd like to see underground housing, in a huge cave system or something of that nature (think Neriak on Antonica or Shadow Haven on Luclin).

    • 1605 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:38 AM PDT

    Open-world, because what I would like for housing is for it to really matter, and not just for the players who happen to live in a particular housing area.  I want to see player towns and cities that provide services to areas of the world for players adventuring in those areas.  As I've said in other places, if we could marry SWG's housing to Vanguard's housing (and support both really well) I think it would really go a long way towards making Terminus feel a lot more like a living, breathing world.

    • 245 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:45 AM PDT

    Housing is a fun addition to adventuring.  It would be a great thing to add to Terminus.  I like housing as a place to display my trophys.  I would put instanced housing in existing cities.  That gives players more reason to go back to cities.  I would not allow crafting in housing, I want cities to be needed for that.   I think open world housing is simply to hard to implemenT.  Housing in the real adventuring world will intrude on adventuring and could ruin the look of a zone.

    • 126 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:49 AM PDT

    I prefer open world housing but... the game needs to be made from the ground up with that in mind.  Buying housing in an existing city should be relatively safe. Building in the wilderness should be dangerous local mobs or groups of mobs will want to burn it to the ground.

    while density of housing in existing cities is not an issue it certainly is in the wilderness or next to popular adventuring areas. Building in the wilderness should be an adventure in its own right. clearing the area, keeping it clear and then building your wizard tower, small foot print castle, Inn, Ranch, farm etc etc. Once its built their are maintenance costs which may include guards!

    • 1127 posts
    October 22, 2018 7:53 AM PDT

    One of the issues with Open World Housing is that you need Star Wars Galaxies level large zones to not over crowd your content with Ol’ Joes Crab Shack Emporium.  Which leads to the second issue with Open World Housing – zoning and city planning.  SWG housing was cool until you had to travel 10+ minutes in a random direction from the closest space port to find a mostly abandoned city with only one active merchant left.  Keeping player “Digital Estate” dense and active is key to making Open World Housing a benefit rather than a cluttered sprawling mess.

    Off the top of my head I can think of 5 different “Digital Estate” models that would work fairly well with the limited zone sizes of Pantheon and in fact all 5 can coexist.

    1)      Roaming outpost/encampments.  These are just up-jumped campfires that have some city life tools.  Players or guilds set them up as base camps and NPC will actively agro and try to destroy them.  Regardless encampments are very temporary and can be set up in the wild.

    2)      City housing.  A certain number of city housing lots exist for players, guilds, family clans, and trade companies.  These “Digital Estates” options are competitive bid with high upkeep based on the next bids for the properties of that type.  If you fail to pay your rent then the property is repoed and all the items stored in it go into storage, the rent will fluctuate over time based on supply and demand and the over all in game total cash values.  You can decorate the interiors but not really change much other than that as they are hard art assets.

    3)      Semi Instanced Apartments.  Certain buildings will have small scale housing options where you go to instanced floors or wings that you can rent out for much lower costs than the hard art asset houses.  These apartments could be in public buildings or they could be a sub function of the guild halls, family clan and trade companies the rent you pay helps contribute to the upkeep on the hard asset big building.  Each building will still have a limit of possible occupants.

    4)      Plotted Player Only Cities.  Different points on the continent can be setup as growing player cities.  They start out as just a town hall, bank, auction house and workshop at a cross roads.  Players can go to the town hall to buy plots of land.  The size and cost are split into zones.  Once a player or player organization own a plot of land they can build player created buildings on that plot, large plots can be subdivided by the player organization.  The city art grows based on how far the city has expanded and is possibly influenced by the style of building built along it.  Once again failing to pay upkeep will have your house demolished and the plot reclaimed by the city or sold at a great price with the house on it.  Players will be able to trade ownership of properties and put them up for auction.

    5)      Market Stalls.  This one is more a dream of mine that would be both cool and more trouble than its worth.  Each of the cities will have a city market.  Somewhere between the Plotted player housing and hard art cities.  A player can rent a market stall and hire an NPC to man it.  The size of the stall dictates how many items can be put on display and the maximum cost of those items.  All the items for sale will be visible with price tags so you can actually window shop, there could be a way for back stock to fill in empty spots when something sells.  The booths with high price ceilings will be nicer looking than the low cost booths.  The market will start with a few alleys that extend as more booths of a certain size or value cap open, again hoping to keep things condensed.  You will still need some form of item finder tool to help you find the vendor you want.

    I see Guilds as being the Adventuring Guilds we are used to that are mostly about raiding content with a lot of strick rules on ownership.  Family Clans will be more for your friends and family groups that want to join up together for shared resources and just having a place to hang out.  Trade Companies I see being guilds for crafting and merchanting with special facilities that are for those purposes that Adventure guilds and Family clans will not have.  I see a character being able to be part of a Family clan, Adventuring Guild and Trade Company at the same time, possibly even an adventuring party as well.  I can also see greater guilds having an arm of all three types at the same time and possibly sharing the same resources.

    TLDR:  Clever uses of both is a good way to go in my opinion for player housing, guild halls and player stores.

    • 2713 posts
    October 22, 2018 8:04 AM PDT

    We have considerable sentiment either way. Open world has obvious advantages but instanced probably lets you do a lot more with decorating the place. How can I disagree with everyone and be contrarian? I have it:

    BOTH!!!

    Have housing neighborhoods in the real world. A limited number so that you get a mass of people there. Not hundreds of neighborhoods. Near places that people often visit - not an hour of travel from where anyone is likely to be. Maybe a neighborhood in each racial starting area. I won't ask for racially themed houses but it would be nice.

    Give reasons to have a house there - discounts on purchases from NPC merchants. Minor but real crafting perks (1% bonus to chances of critical success, 5% speed-up in crafting, 10% discount on NPC sold crafting materials, that kind of thing). 

    Give a benefit to selling things from your house - no AH or broker fee for example but allow visitors to the housing area to see all items listed. Treat the housing neighborhood as a region for purposes of regional brokers. If banks or mailboxes are less than common, have one of each in every neighborhood. 

    Can you do this and have houses for thousands of players - of course not. 10,000 houses outside of the troll starting area would sprawl forever, take up the entire zone, and be more inconvenient and annoying than even DAOC housing.

    So instance them.

    Have e.g. 10 house styes. A player could choose any one - with different costs and perhaps different sizes inside. These would be in the real world as with EQ2. A player would click on the one he or she had picked to enter his or her personal house. Voila (or voici) - you may have 5,000 peoiple owning houses but the zone would not stretch endlessly and you would not need 1,000 neighborhoods. Very important to make the real world part of the zone popular and active. 

    Depending on resources spent and how much time it would take you could have anything from somewhat bare bones Vanguard houses to somewhat nicer LOTRO houses to much nicer EQ2 houses (other games have good housing too I picked three that I know well). You could have the houses crafted as in Vanguard - or not. You could have the instanced personal house come with a nice outside area or not. Visible just to the owner and guests.

    Is this perfect - obviously not. I would prefer all of my house in the real world with a large yard that I can decorate for anyone in the area to see. With many choices of outside house design (roof, windows, brick or wood or stone look, etc). 

    It is a *compromise*. 

    It allows a limited number of housing areas. It allows a high and concentrated number of visitors using the real world amenities and socializing. It allows everyone's house to be convenient to get to without needing a special fast-travel boat or teleport. It allows everyone a choice of the "good" houses. No "land rush" where the whole *world* may have only 10 houses with nice views of waterfalls and they are camped for days before sales start and the bitterness over claim jumping is toxic. Many of us have seen that as discussed in other threads.

     


    This post was edited by dorotea at October 22, 2018 8:08 AM PDT
    • 1347 posts
    October 22, 2018 8:07 AM PDT

    I've seen player housing done very poorly in Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and Shroud of the Avatar.

    Given the lessons of those failed experiments, I would say open world housing for single players is not a good idea.  Technically, even to represent a tent or the smallest structure, dynamically, per player is very challenging.  EQ2 did a great job of integrating single player housing into the game world with various apartment sizes whereby the door to the apartment was in the open world, and once you clicked on it, you got a a list of what persons home you wanted to visit.  Burglary was something I proposed to the Shroud devs on June 12, 2013, but they weren't interested, even with a pure NPC housing/structure implementation and an extremely small sample size, and a similar mechanic already present in EQ2 with the Maj'Dul Desert of Flames expansion.  As Pantheon Rogues don't appear to be anything like a DnD Rogue, Burglary likely wouldn't apply here either.  But still, it would be extremely fun if implemented correctly. :)

    Guild Housing in EQ2 was instanced, and it seemed pretty great, for all the wrong reasons, and actively discouraged social interaction with the rest of the server, once you had everything in the guild house.  In fact, there were many weeks where it was either be in the guild house or be at the raid instance or raid target.  That's it.  Not very community building.  Super convenient, and super anti-social.

    To answer the question of "Open World Housing vs Instanced Housing, which do you prefer and why? "..I would prefer instanced housing for everything except guilds with 150+ active accounts, updated weekly.  Large guilds like that could have open world guild structures, but all services offered by the guild structures must be open to the public, and require community participation, and extraordinary ongoing sacrifice & rewards on the part of all the members.  None of this "Your reward for being a large social group is to hide from the entire server" nonsense.  There's no reason all those large guild houses would need to be in cities.  There is also a community generated mechanic for the PvE attack and defense of other guild structures that would include crafters, diplomacy, faction, and insulated player interaction, if desired, which would add another dimension for large guild interaction if that was a public design goal.

    Another simple mechanic would be something like this;  The upkeep of the large guild structure requires public sacrifices performed at the large guild structure, which is open to the public.  These sacrifices have a more powerful effect, or last longer, the more players who are not of that sacrificing guild or flagged as enemies of that guild, gain a buff from those sacrifices.  Every guild that is flagged as an enemy can attack the guild structure via the PvE mechanic mentioned above, and do NOT count toward the public count of rewarded buff recipients.  So, you can certainly declare enemies, but there are consequences. 
    This means those large guild structures would require public sacrifices as upkeep, and public buff interaction as well to hold onto that structure.  If they didn't, the structure would revert back to the public market for puchase.  But only if it's a design goal that you wanted large guilds to contribute to your server, socially. (see FAQ sections 6.5, 13.11 and 13.12 for sacrifice mechanic mentions)


    This post was edited by vjek at October 22, 2018 8:09 AM PDT
    • 112 posts
    October 22, 2018 8:44 AM PDT

    Conceptually, I could be happy with either but I think it would be way harder to do open-world housing where it did not present issues.  As some have stated in the thread, EQ2 did a pretty nice job with housing.  I would, however remove their aspect of allowing crafting tables, portals, brokers, etc. from within housing.  Those have a negative impact on the social and community aspects of the game.  The way I see housing is this:  

    1. A place to display "trophies" from your in-game accomplishments.  In EQ2 it was cool to wall mount your Heritage weapons, display books you collected throughout your travels, etc.

    2. A cool little niche of the game world that you could spend some down time decorating.  Some of us enjoy doing that when there's nothing else that we want to do.

    3. A place where you could have a little additional storage space for items you don't need everyday access to.  Think of it like storing items in your attic.

    Just my two coppers worth.

    • 649 posts
    October 22, 2018 8:58 AM PDT

    I've written at great length on this subject. In short: instanced is best.

    - No restriction on supply, so everyone gets to have a house (or multiple houses, if the system is designed in such a way - e.g. Rift's Dimensions)

    - No needed, annoying in-game maintenance costs to force turn-over of housing

    - Allows for higher decor counts. For example, WildStar's housing allows for the placement of 2,500 exterior decor and 2,500 interior decor. In their Community feature (where 5 housing plots are combined into one mega-plot), you can place a total of 17,500 exterior decor items. The types of decor are also greatly varied beyond basic furniture and clutter items - everything from various shaped building blocks, to moving water, lighting, particle effect, and animated NPCs (people and creatures). This kind of thing would be impossible in open world housing due to the load on servers. While you can buy premade house structures to place on the plot, there is also plenty of space for players to create whatever they want - and many don't even create a house. Sometimes it's a jungle, or an asteroid with a mysterious research station, or long-lost ruins, or a complex cavern system, or an entire city. In Rift, you can even place an item that lets you change the zone-in point for the Dimension, greatly enhancing a player's ability to design unique builds. The sky is literally the limit.

    - Allows for greater overall customization. Instanced housing would allow you to modify the ground, lighting, music, and skybox of your housing instance to better suit whatever the player desires to create. Instanced housing also allows for full XYZ axis placement of decor, as well as complete rotation and resizing of decor.

    The pros of open-world housing often include things like "it makes you more connected to the community"; however, after being a dedicated housing enthusiast in both Rift and WildStar (games with very detailed, instanced housing), as well as participating in housing in more open-world systems, I can say with great confidence that the experience with instanced housing was better. And with NO loss to community. The community aspect is easily maintained through 1) a chat channel that spans all instanced housing zones; 2) a searchable list of all available housing plots; 3) the ability to make one's housing plot either private or public. The community will blossom automatically around it.

    Housing should be a part of the game where players can explore their artistic, creative sides. It doesn't need to involve convoluted defense systems or anything like that. It doesn't need anything to makke it "functional" (e.g. bank space, or whatever). Make it as free and customizable as possible, and the players will take care of the rest.

    [edit] To emphasize my point... even if the rest of the game ends up not being my cup of tea, I would GLADLY maintain a subscription just to play around in housing that was comparable to WildStar's or Rift's. And I am not alone (think, at least the entire population of WildStar's housing community, who will soon be homeless XD).


    This post was edited by Naunet at October 22, 2018 9:17 AM PDT
    • 613 posts
    October 22, 2018 9:10 AM PDT

    Anyone here who has seen the mad land rush in Archeage?

    Tbh, I liked the open world areas for housing there, fully integrated into the worlds zones. And the housing itself was amazing!

    BUT: Not everyone could have a piece of land. This lead to a fair amount of frustrated people. It also had other problems, like you could "block" land by placing your house stupidly. And you could only pay the rent for two weeks ahead (no long holiday for you!). I still think it was overall a good system, but it definitely should be improved upon.

    Overall I'm not too obsessed with housing however. If there are instanced areas where people can place houses, that would be fine with me too.

    • 798 posts
    October 22, 2018 9:15 AM PDT

    If I would have to pick..Open world housing. And I don't want designated zones for housing. I think you should be able to house in Thronefest and places like that. There would also be limited areas soo not everyone can get housing. Through expansions as more content is created inevitably with other city type areas people can go to you can also have housing there. However, only one house per account and can be shared with your other characters. 

    All in all I think you shouldn't do housing. Never saw the appeal and only ever saw it effect MMOs negatively. With instancing the world will be more vacant. With open world..and only in cities...it will be mitigated quite a bit, and atleast make cities more populated.

    I think the only type of housing that should be done are guild halls in designated areas like cities.

    Housing shouldn't be done from the start either. Very low on the list of priorities that need to be done.

    • 134 posts
    October 22, 2018 9:16 AM PDT

    Naunet said:

    I've written at great length on this subject. In short: instanced is best.

    - No restriction on supply, so everyone gets to have a house (or multiple houses, if the system is designed in such a way - e.g. Rift's Dimensions)

    - No needed, annoying in-game maintenance costs to force turn-over of housing

    - Allows for higher decor counts. For example, WildStar's housing allows for the placement of 2,500 exterior decor and 2,500 interior decor. In their Community feature (where 5 housing plots are combined into one mega-plot), you can place a total of 17,500 exterior decor items. The types of decor are also greatly varied beyond basic furniture and clutter items - everything from various shaped building blocks, to moving water, lighting, particle effect, and animated NPCs (people and creatures). This kind of thing would be impossible in open world housing due to the load on servers. While you can buy premade house structures to place on the plot, there is also plenty of space for players to create whatever they want - and many don't even create a house. Sometimes it's a jungle, or an asteroid with a mysterious research station, or long-lost ruins, or a complex cavern system, or an entire city. In Rift, you can even place an item that lets you change the zone-in point for the Dimension, greatly enhancing a player's ability to design unique builds. The sky is literally the limit.

    - Allows for greater overall customization. Instanced housing would allow you to modify the ground, lighting, music, and skybox of your housing instance to better suit whatever the player desires to create. Instanced housing also allows for full XYZ axis placement of decor, as well as complete rotation and resizing of decor.

    The pros of open-world housing often include things like "it makes you more connected to the community"; however, after being a dedicated housing enthusiast in both Rift and WildStar (games with very detailed, instanced housing), as well as participating in housing in more open-world systems, I can say with great confidence that the experience with instanced housing was better. And with NO loss to community. The community aspect is easily maintained through 1) a chat channel that spans all instanced housing zones; 2) a searchable list of all available housing plots; 3) the ability to make one's housing plot either private or public. The community will blossom automatically around it.

    Housing should be a part of the game where players can explore their artistic, creative sides. It doesn't need to involve convoluted defense systems or anything like that. It doesn't need anything to makke it "functional" (e.g. bank space, or whatever). Make it as free and customizable as possible, and the players will take care of the rest.

     

    Definately this. The only thing I wish wildstar had better for its housing was better browsing options. I loved visiting houses other people made and exploring them. However, I struggled to get through to the ones I wanted to visit. I wish it would have a description and a place the builders could mark whether it was ready for viewing or not. 

     

    So many people on here think in the open world it will be more immersive but so little will be able to be placed the system will be bad in the open world. The immersion will still happen as people will go to odd areas and do odd tasks just to get that house piece they want to add to their house. Or allow people to capture rather than kill creatures to breed them and sell their offspring as housing decor that runs around on a path the housing player chooses. It even adds new tradeskills as you gain a builder who makes items for housing or animal handlers for breeding animals or slavers for capturing mobs to enslave and place in houses as servants or decor that can walk a path on your plot. Instances allow for so much more and it will be so much more immersive with people just exploring housing plots.

    • 649 posts
    October 22, 2018 9:18 AM PDT

    zendrel said:Definately this. The only thing I wish wildstar had better for its housing was better browsing options. I loved visiting houses other people made and exploring them. However, I struggled to get through to the ones I wanted to visit. I wish it would have a description and a place the builders could mark whether it was ready for viewing or not.

    I agree. I prefer Rift's UI for that particular aspect. They have a browsable (and searchable) list of dimensions that you can also filter by dimension type, rating, etc. That kind of UI shouldn't be too terribly difficult, though.