1 October, 2006
This time around, let’s pretend that you’re a designer on an MMORPG, and you’ve been tasked with designing the player/guild housing for the game. Your goal is to introduce a new housing feature not found in any other current major game. This is to make the feature more appealing to the players.
Normal restrictions are assumed: You have to use existing technology, you can’t add significantly to the current or post-launch budget (assume you can hire one new team member at a maximum), and you have to work within a standard schedule (30 or so months of development).
So, what would you do? My idea after the break.
I would focus on guild housing, because that’s the most useful. Meridian 59 has nice guild halls that really add to the game. The fight to take and defend guild halls can be really exciting for players, and the source of great tales.
My idea is a slight variation on this theme where you add special items to the guild halls for the guilds to defend. It would be similar to the relic raids from DAoC, where enemies could raid your hall to take your relic. The relic might give the guild some bonus that could be gained/lost with the relic. This doesn’t have to be a huge bonus, but something that would be worth fighting for. For example, maybe you get a +3% better chance to-hit in combat. Or, maybe the guild gets a +5% chance to gain skill improvements during the appropriate check. Not overwhelming, but definitely nice.
Another option would be to allow more customization of the area. This is something we had talked about with M59, but never had the time to do. Maybe you could alter some of the walls to create new rooms or open up some of the area of the hall. Or, allow the players to make small changes like renaming the guild hall. Another cool option would be to allow players to place furniture in the guild hall within certain restrictions; although Asheron’s Call already had something like that in place, if I remember correctly.
So, what’s your idea for housing?