Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dreams and Money

Compared to last weekend I am having a lazy Saturday. Just two sessions of strength training exercises. Tomorrow I will have to do two sessions of elliptical.

On the other hand, this is one of the more exciting days for feature encounters.

Housing is a feature that only appears in about half of the MMO's on the market. Sandbox housing like you'd find in Star Wars: Galaxies or Ultima Online is the most rare, and often the most talked about by housing enthusiasts. Having a real something in the world that you can show off and have to defend is exciting to some players. Other players are just looking for a bit of design fun, systems like Final Fantasy 11's Mog House, or EQ2's player housing can be a fun mini game. Rift recently introduced a housing system they are calling Dimensions. This is instanced player housing with almost no limitations. Players have created some amazing things with the tools given.

The revelation of cannons and turrets in this video led to a lot of speculation about if the floating islands were out in the world or if the plots visible from the ground are just place holders, a bit of art fluff while real player houses were instances. Recently it has been stated that player houses are instanced, which was a bit disappointing to players looking for that sandbox housing situation. But there was another system introduced that is also instanced that they are calling Warplots. The current implication is that you would fly in your house and land it on a Warplot map to engage in PVP in this instanced environment. There are not a ton of details about this yet even in the present day, and well outside of the scope of this entry, but I wanted to bring it up because I think housing is important to players and you want to know everything that can be known about it.

I see a lot of potential with the housing system and with warplots, depending on what the final design is. One of the complaints I have with World V World in Guild Wars 2 is that the maps are so static. The structures aren't really modifiable, there is no incentive for a guild to set up a home at a keep and defend it for all time. There is no loss associated with its capture. mostly World V World is just a capture and abandon rush. I'd like to see large scale structure pvp include more build up and defend. Rewards and incentive for a guild to stake out a spot on the map and build a fortress. Something that can be defended and destroyed. From my imagining, this seems a bit out of the scope of Warplots, which sounds a bit more like small scale team fights, your standard 20-30 minute battleground but with your house featuring heavily into the content. This is neat, and I hope it becomes more. I'd like to see a system that starts from nothing and is persistent and fully and uniquely modifiable. Where the player paths work together to construct a fortress and defend it. Resource gathering, research trees, the whole deal. The idea of a section of the map with giant player cities at constant war is thrilling.

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