A billowing ground fog, faintly scented with acetone, lies over the foothills of the hill country. In the distance, the floodlights of the silt fields swing lazily back and forth, while spiders the size of small cars playfully flit through the ruins of Süderstade. The idyllic calm is interrupted by the body of an orc, which hits the ground with brute force, stretching all fours with a soft farting sound. A human rogue rubs his battered bones, groans softly, and settles down on a rock next to the orc corpse to clean his swords. A little later, a soft "clack" is heard from the background and the orc shuffles over to the human, also groaning like an old man, and drops down on the rock beside him, armor clanking. "Lucky," he grumbles sullenly, offering the human a slice of wild berry bread. The rogue nods gratefully and takes a bite of the sweet, fragrant bread. With his mouth full he mumbles "Don't mind me, next time I'm sure to be in the dirt again." The orc smiles and lets his bull neck crack with a grimace. "Just be nice to relax a bit in between, wouldn't it? When I get home, it'll be full of Vrykul yelling nonstop again." With a long-suffering look on his face, the rogue pats his horde friend on the broad shoulder. "At least you don't live in a sewer."
They both sigh, as if they've colluded. For a few heartbeats, only unanimous chewing and smacking sounds. "You know..." the human begins, before the Orc raises an index finger threateningly, silencing him. "If you're going to say, 'at least we still have the garrison,' I'm going to throw you into the sea. Our wooden shack looks like someone put a pile in the snow, and on top of that, the thing is on another planet in another dimension." The rogue's smile eased the situation. "Well, you're right. Don't you think we should start putting our gold into a home of our own? White fences, flower beds, and a garden swing?" At first the Orc wants to interrupt his friend and say something about 'weakness' or 'real warriors' in a chest tone of conviction. Then he tilts his head and nods slowly. "Yes. Yes, I think that would be nice." They both chew their bread reverently as spotlights move back and forth in the background and the soft ticking of spider legs pierces through the fog.
It's about time, fellow players. We've waited a long time and nothing seems to be happening, so now let's get up on our soapbox and get out for a slightly longer incendiary speech: We need a housing system in World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 )! In the following article, we'll first explain why a housing feature would make sense for WoW - not only for players who want to decorate their own homes, but also for elite gamers who are only in raids and Mythic Plus content. Secondly, after that we come to the possibilities of implementation, because, looking around the MMORPG world, there are different approaches to this idea and not every one is suitable for our favorite game. So grab a plastic bottle of water, some cookies, and follow us on our guided broker tour of Azeroth. And never forget the three most important criteria when choosing a property: location, location, and location. Let's go!
In March of 2020, Nintendo was given a license to print money: In an absolutely unique chain of coincidences, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released through a delay in March 2020, the same month it became clear that COVID-19 would turn us all into hermits for the unforeseeable future. The game was tailor-made for this point in time, as the combination of exploration, creativity, and relaxation was the perfect counterpoint to the rather grim situation outside of our own four walls. New Horizons accordingly represented the first exposure to the Animal Crossing series for a great many players. And even many hardcore, competitive elite gamers were at that moment planting zen gardens, pushing armchairs around their living room, and pondering the perfect color for their curtains! The whole situation shows us that you don't have to be a "casual gamer" to get excited about a really well executed housing concept."But then everyone stays home!"
A big problem with WoD garrisons at the time was the fact that players could just sit in their living room and bring in sack after sack of gold. To prevent that from happening, simple player houses were supposed to be good for one thing: Decoration and their own pastime. In higher price ranges, slowly but surely, functional items can be added, such as mailboxes, cooking stoves, and a transmog wardrobe. And only the richest of the rich would be able to afford their own auctioneer or mission table, which would include all of the previous upgrades. Also conceivable would be a stable where select mounts could be displayed. One thing is clear, though: for a housing system to be successful when it's implemented, it absolutely must avoid the mistakes of Warlords of Draenor. The Garrison was one of the first Housing attempts. Good in itself - if the damn thing was in Azeroth, though, we'd be significantly happier! Source: buffed Constructing and furnishing your own MMORPG house not only serves as a stress-free way to relax and live out your creativity, it also anchors us more firmly in our favorite world. It's not for nothing that even ultra-competitive games like Dead by Daylight and League of Legends desperately try to bring a story to their players: The fewer numbers the average player sees in front of them, and the more the cold digits and characters turn into a coherent world, the more long-term attachment is created. Setting up your own home is the culmination of that attachment. Every time we log in, we not only look back at our character that has been nurtured over the years, but we return, quite literally, home. Of course, the whole thing sounds very turgid and pompous at first glance, but this is exactly how our brains work.
We very quickly associate experiences, attributes and ideas with certain objects - whether they are virtual or not. This is evident in real life, for example, in that famous moment when we want to throw away a box of pictures that we haven't looked at in twenty years and haven't missed during that time. However, the moment we take a look at the pictures and the memories associated with them resurface, the box goes back into the closet. The more opportunities we have to build these kinds of bonds in WoW, the more we feel like returning. Sure, this works in a limited way with the ancient raid armor that's rotting in your void storage. But a house that we interact with more often and can set up ourselves is in a completely different league in terms of attachment. Alright, so that does explain the ways in which long-term features like housing affect our thought processes... but WHY introduce housing into WoW? What are the gameplay benefits of a housing system? The ultimate resting place: Setting up your own home is relaxing, makes for a more vibrant world, and jumpstarts the online economy. Source: buffed
So let's imagine that housing exists in WoW. So that we don't squat down in an empty white room and pass out there after our work is done, the whole thing has to look a bit nice, of course. And what better way to make a room both functional and comfortable than with furniture. What works in real life also works in Azeroth! Newcomers and lazy homeowners simply make a pilgrimage to the nearest goblin furniture store and buy a simple table made of particle board, two chairs, a bed, and two torches. So far, so good. But to make sure our home doesn't look like the den of an IKEA native, we need some furnishings that look like more than a bunch of hastily glued-together boards. And where do we find rare furniture that has been painstakingly crafted into beautiful shape? Correct: at the auction house!
A housing system is the perfect way to make WoW's professions worthwhile again. While developers desperately try to save crafting from irrelevance in every expansion, the solution would be simple, because even players who have absolutely no interest in housing could benefit from the new feature. Blacksmiths could offer cast iron fences and heavy chandeliers, while engineers craft whacky furniture and inscription artists create masterful oil paintings with their pigments. Now those who worry about rising inflation are not taking into account the cost of selling to the auction house, which basically takes a five percent cut of all sales. More money is put into circulation and more of it is removed from the economic cycle. A little beginner's shack, complete with convenient odds and ends. All of these objects are already in the game, as you can see here. What are you waiting for, Blizzard? Source: buffed Also, of course, you've done the math without the broker! You need a place to park all your new luxury furniture, so you spit in your hands and start your viewing tour. Want to move into a little cottage in Elwynn? No problem, the cottage only costs one thousand gold pieces - a price that even newcomers can afford. You're more interested in a floating luxury city palace in the noble district of Suramar, including your own workshop, portal room and dragon landing pad? Ah, a connoisseur! For a measly fifty million gold coins, you can call your own palace your own. Perfect for the long-term player who already owns everything else. Gold sinks of various sizes are immensely important to keeping Azeroth's economy healthy, and a housing system is perfect for that: it doesn't create unfair advantages, gives both users and profiteers something to do, and doesn't present what feels like the two hundredth mount with underbody lighting, a built-in sink, and its own auction house.
Of course, players wouldn't just get their furniture from the craftsman they trust. Dungeons and raids would also provide new furniture for players in our desired system! Mythic raiders would naturally find the best furniture items, which would also be bound during "set up" so that non-raiders could get their desired furniture for enough gold. Current raids thus present another opportunity to earn gold in the auction house or to spruce up one's refuge. And who knows? Perhaps the ability to earn your own furniture would be reason enough to make raiding appealing to newcomers. After all, the most common less-player argument is "the armor will be devalued in the next patch anyway." Furnishings, on the other hand, are timeless, will still be in your home three expansions from now, and will remind you of a dramatic raid night you were taken to by your guildmates. Speaking of timeless, placing choice furniture in the inventory of old raid bosses would also be perfect. Knowing the Transmog faction, capturing a nice side table would be the perfect justification to send Deathwing to the brink one more time. Your own place, complete with a comfortable living room that you can design yourself? A dream! Create the ultimate fortress for your Orc warrior! Source: buffed
Remember the cultural quirks of the Jinyu from Pandaria? The intricate art of the Highborne of Suramar? Perhaps you remember the skins and shamanistic fetishes of the Gorloc of Northrend? No? That's because the developers at Blizzard have unfortunately adopted a culture of "one and done" with their expansions; that is, new abilities, features, and races are only interesting for two years. After that, everything is thrown over the pile and something new has to come along. A housing system could put a stop to this throwaway culture - if your house is in Azeroth itself or one of the capitals. If that's the case, the feature will survive the tenth expansion without being buried without a trace. Blizzard could also immortalize the cultures and races of times past in this way. The whole thing is ironically reminiscent of colonial England, but Blizzard's art department would love it: put a Suramar dining room set in the den! A Pandaria-style bedroom, a furry Vrykul-style chillout lounge complete with beer tables, and a fishing pond complete with Tuskarr tent and colorful paper kites fluttering in the wind. The sky's the limit when it comes to imagination. Give us a way to celebrate our favorite fantasy cultures! How about furniture from Suramar for your own four walls, for example? You could earn such special furnishings via old raids, for example. Source: buffed Now, for those who object that this would mean an enormous amount of extra work that would take away from the quality of the raids and dungeons, we kindly direct their gaze to all the graphic assets that are already in the game. There's a gigantic selection of pans, cutting boards, beer mugs, weapon holders, double beds, tavern tables, and tactical maps. Warlords of Draenor brought with it (in part due to the implementation of the garrison) a gigantic pile of everyday items, which have been consistently expanded over the past few years. The resources are already there - use them, dear developers!
Money rules the real estate world
A rather unpleasant but realistic consideration is that a housing system would fit perfectly into WoW's monetization model. A desk set for 15 Euros in the ingame shop? Such a use of the concept would be very likely.Looking at the competition, it's even more incomprehensible why WoW doesn't have a housing system yet: Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy 14, Runescape, Albion Online, Black Desert, The Lord of the Rings Online and ArcheAge are just a few of the many games where you can build a solid home. Even the ancient MMORPGs Everquest 2 and Ultima Online have a comprehensive housing system! And before you ask, in each of these games, the feature is used willingly and often, and not all of the games on this list had their own housing system at the beginning of their lifetimes. But which of these variants would be appropriate for a puffing old machine like WoW? Get out your toolbox, because we're taking a look under the hood of Azeroth.
Basically, WoW was built back when railroads still ran on steam, using a heavily modified Warcraft 3 engine. By now, WoW is as technically far removed from Warcraft 3 as a paper airplane is from a Predator fighter drone. However, the fact remains that the WoW engine works better when it doesn't have to pay attention to too many variables. That can always change with a six month effort, but currently systems like Garrison are well suited for our Azeroth: Fixed "building sites" where we place one of several items. This eliminates cumbersome systems like the freely-placeable furniture of Elder Scrolls Online and Black Desert for now. Houses standing in the open world are also difficult to implement for WoW. The technology basically already exists. Our garrisons are also displayed for everyone to see and only change via phasing technology when you enter them yourself. However, since this variant still does not work completely error-free, we plead for instanced housing. The frustrating thing: The developers almost had it made! The Order Halls in Legion would be perfect to expand upon in later expansions, after all. Source: buffed On the one hand, this can be implemented with apartments, such as in Everquest 2, where you enter a large house within a city and then find yourself in your room. Even better, however, is likely to be Lord of the Rings Online's housing system, where you can enter a "neighborhood" and choose a house in a nice location on the spot. While HdRO also offers decoratable front yards and pathways, in WoW you'd just decorate the instanced interior of your house - the perfect blend of meaningful location choice and resource-efficient housing that doesn't unduly torpedo WoW's servers. Also worth considering is SWTOR's "fortress system," which would make houses available to your entire account right away.
We're not giving up hope: A well-implemented housing system would only do WoW good, encourage long-term retention, remove gold from the economic cycle, and on top of that, make the world feel a little livelier again. Even if we visit our garrison every now and then or shuffle melancholically through the order halls, we are currently still nothing more than murdering vagrants with flashing armor - even if we face death ourselves. We, for one, would be happy to return from the Shadowlands and discover that we must rebuild Azeroth; with our own hands if we must. Grab your rocking chair, your dwarven shotgun, and yell at the neighboring gnomes to get the hell off your damn lawn. Ah, the joys of home ownership!Support buffed - it'll only take a minute. Thank you!
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