Where would you live?

Since I try to think about this failed expansion as little as possible, I find myself more and more thinking about what I would like to see in the next one. Lately I have been thinking about player housing. It is in the top 5 things I would like to see in Patch 7.0. (The full list is something I am saving for another post.)

When I say player housing, I am talking about something in between — but better than — Sunsong Ranch and a Base of Military Operations. I am of the opinion that our current garrisons are Blizz’s response to previous requests for player housing. In typical Blizz fashion, they completely misunderstood what we were asking for. The Good Idea Fairy went berserk with the fairy dust at the dev meetings, and we ended up with such an over-the-top answer to player housing that they completely lost sight of, well, actual housing. I am not sure why the desire for a home to call one’s own is such a complicated thing for Blizz to understand. It is a basic thing nearly everyone wants IRL, and it is a thing that other games have figured out.

Anyway, here are some of my random ideas for player housing in the next expansion.

First, you would be allowed to pick any zone you want for your house. Want to go back to your humble beginnings and have a house in Elwynn Forest or Teldrassil or Dun Morogh or Azuremyst Isle? Go for it. Want to be a beach comber and have a shack on the beautiful endless beachfront in Krasarang Wilds? All yours. Are you a dark perverted person who shies away from sunshine and loves the shadows? Duskwood may be for you. City dweller? How about a nice place in Stormwind? You get the idea.

Second, you could pick the racial style for your house. After all, the idea is to feel at home, and nothing says at home more than a welcoming architecture. Along with the racial style, you could pick from a set list of color schemes, which would include several treatments of things like roof style, window and door casements, mailbox, front and back porches, etc. There would be enough possible combinations that your house would almost never look just like everyone else’s.

Third, you could decorate the inside of your house, which would by the way have something like 2-3 rooms, maybe an entryway, a bedroom, and a great room. You could collect and hang/display things like paintings and trophies. You could upgrade your furniture, maybe by recruiting an interior decorator follower, or maybe some of the professions could craft household items for sale in the AH. It would be possible to have a theme for your house interior, something like “Early fish camp” or “Pink foo-foo” or “Baroque bomb” or “Party central”.

Fourth, you would have a yard that you could configure. If your house was in a city, it would be a small yard, but if it was in the country somewhere it might be a bigger yard. Basically, the size would depend on the zone you picked. You would have options kind of like the current garrison building areas as to what you wanted to put in your yard. Maybe a garden would be one — flower or vegetable or meditation. A patio complete with seating and grill might be another. Or a pool area. Or maybe just plush grass, possibly with a pink flamingo option, would be another. There would be minor toy-like perks to each area, for example if you had a grill area you could actually click the grill and get some food, or click a side table and get some wine or beer, and your guests could do this also.

Fifth, you could invite others to your home, up to a large raid size (40). This would work basically like the current garrison invites work. But the purpose of the invites would be purely social, just to hang out or see others’ houses, or chat.

Sixth, your home would not be a base of operations, it would not be a quest hub. It would be a purely fun, resting, cosmetic place. As such, it would have a portal to wherever the current quest hub was, along with a separate home hearthstone like our garrisons have. If the hearthstone had a cooldown, there would also be some sort of “phone home” portal back to it in the quest hub. And you could get rested status from it, just like inns or garrisons.

Seventh, you would have the option to move. It would not be convenient or cheap, but if you decided you hated Stormwind and wanted to build a little place in the windswept sands of Uldum, you could do so, but it would cost you gold, and you could only take some of your personal things with you. You would mostly be starting over again with a new place.

I’m sure there are other things that would be great to have in player housing, but these are the ones that seem important to me off the top of my head.

Come on, Blizz, it’s time for real player housing.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

6 Responses to Where would you live?

  1. Casually Odd says:

    I like this idea, although I’m a bit pessimistic it would ever happen. Still, it is fun to think about.

    Since I have so many mains and a few alts, that would be tough. I actually had a post up yesterday about where my characters might log off for good when a subscription ends and the answers would be very similar. The short answer is that most of them would have pretty different areas in mind and it would be something that would fit their individual “story” (specific post in my linked name if you care to see the long answer).

    Would it have access to your bank or anything like that? I wouldn’t want to go too close to the garrisons, but they do have some things that I think would go well. Being able to see your pets and mounts walk around is pretty cool. Also, having transmog and personal bank access would be an important part. Gotta get dressed before you leave the house.

    • Fiannor says:

      Definitely parts of it can get very complex very quickly. Probably the most technically complicated part would be creating the number of phased instances necessary to support a homestead in every zone. Remember Blizz had first said that we would be able to create our garrisons in any Draenor zone we wished, but they eventually decided that would be in the “too hard” bin. So creating such instances in every part of Azeroth likely would end up in the same bin, especially since Blizz has moved to the “as cheap as possible” mode for expansions. Still, even if housing were limited to a few zones, it would be nice.

      But I think the rest of it is very doable. It is not much more complicated than the way we customize our characters, with a dash of the current garrison code thrown in. And like I said, other MMOs have figured it out, surely the Great and Powerful Blizz can do it, too.

      My thought was that the homestead would be purely social and cosmetic, not truly “functional” in terms of game activities. I would like to see a return to cities as quest and activity hubs. So the homestead should include an easy portal to the current faction hub, like the garrison portal to Stormshield. You would probably spend most of your active playing time in a faction city, like we used to, but maybe duck home to tidy up a few things, socialize with friends, or log out.

      Most important, this would be truly optional — Webster’s definition, not Blizz’s, of the word. It would be just a fun thing, a little side game, that you could do if it interested you but ignore if it didn’t. It’s not like Blizz is against side games (Hearthstone? Pet battles? Tune hunting for jukeboxes? Twitter? Selfies?) It would not be a prerequisite for anything, would not even help anyone do profession crafting or gathering, would not grant any game advantages. It really would be more on the Sunsong Ranch model than the garrison one.

  2. Grumsta says:

    Love the idea, and I’d extend it to your Guild having a Great Hall or similar. No problem if this was in Stormwind for the Alliance, it doesn’t need the personal choice that player housing would have.

    A Great Hall lined with trophies for the Guild Achievements, somewhere for everyone in the guild to hang out and…… oh what’s that word? I haven’t used it for a while….. of yes, socialize in game. Like we used to in the Shrine (oh happy days).

    You could even put the Guild Bank in there (radical I know).

    Garrisons should (and easily could) have been better, and the #1 change I’d have made is that it and all your followers should have been account bound. Just like mounts & pets. Then the Garrison would be where your main and all your alts live, arguing over whose turn it is to wash the pots, sweep the floors, and who keeps changing the damn housekeeping rota.

    Well, you don’t think your garrison empoyees are going to do all that mundane stuff for you do you? They’re only there to salute as you run off to do your own mining remember 😉

  3. I was really inspired by the Tiller’s farm. It was pretty fun and ownership (sorry Yoon) looked great when it was cleaned up.
    Immediately I wondered why I could not make a still or brew my own beer. It felt so obvious to me as this was Pandaria, after all.
    My Guild Hall would look a lot like our garrisons.

  4. Fiannor says:

    @Grumsta @wrathofkublakhan

    Couldn’t agree more on the guild hall thing. I wrote a piece on it about a month or so ago, think it was called “Guild-y thoughts”. WoD has destroyed many guilds, in my opinion, and a guild hall implementation would go a long way towards repairing some of them.

    I also really like the idea of garrisons and followers having been account bound. If Blizz had done so, it would have pretty much eliminated all the complaints about how time consuming it was to maintain them. Would have also limited the huge windfall of gold that Blizz figured out was a mistake. And account wide garrison would mean that there was only one mine, one herb garden to collect from every day — you could use any character to do it. Similarly, there would be only one common mission table using the common followers. Any salvaged gear that dropped Would be tagged cloth, mail, etc. and you could give it to whichever character that could use it — like the way Timeless gear worked in Mists.

    • Fiannor says:

      (Stupid browser listed comment before I was done.) last thing I wanted to add is that to accommodate an entire account, you could have also had a small profession building for each profession you had, and profession cooldown mats would be account wide.