Killed In A Smiling Accident’s Zoso has another epic post up today, looking at housing in MMOs – and it’s damn interesting. Comparing housing in LoTRO to housing in Champions Online and the non-MMO Fallout 3, he covers a huge variety of interesting issues, from layout and placement of housing zones, to the feel of home-making in a hostile environment, to the inevitable problems that adding a from-home commute adds to the Heroic Fantasy feel:
Homes generally feature in fantasy tales as somewhere to tearfully leave at the beginning of an epic adventure, or a place to run away from when you discover the magical heritage from your true parents, or somewhere that gets burnt to the ground resulting in a sworn oath of revenge. Rather less frequently homes are somewhere the protagonist commutes from; “oh fiddlesticks, I’ll miss the 8:17 horse from Bree if I don’t get a move on darling. Important meeting in Garth Agarwen today, I should be back for six o’clock but you know that Ivar the Bloodhand, once he starts monologuing you just can’t shut him up, I’ll swing past the provisioner on the way home and pick us up some tasty rations for dinner, mwah, mwah, see you later.”
Speaking as a primarily WoW player, the idea of my character having a home that isn’t an inn chair in Ironforge is quite a wierd and novel one for me, and one that greatly appeals. I didn’t realise that LoTRO had such complete housing options, and it’s just adding to my momentum toward getting back into the game. And I’ve been feeling the “erm, what?” feeling that houses add to Heroic Fantasy for a while in Oblivion – whilst it’s nice to have a place for your stuff, the “let’s just commute half way across Cydoril” element is a bit immersion-breaking.
I heartily recommend a read of this particular KIASA bimble around the housing world – the chances are you’ll come out with some perspectives you didn’t have going in.
What do you think of the housing options in various MMOs? Do you feel that houses fit naturally, or do you keep feeling you should be running from it as the orcs burn the place and Nazgul ask nearby innkeepers for The Bagginses?
Quote taken directly from Zoso’s post.
Find Killed In A Smiling Accident at http://www.kiasa.org/