Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMO Housing of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMO Housing, which was awarded to WildStar last year. MMORPGs eligible for this award can have launched in any year as long as they are still alive and still offer player housing; nominees should be judged based on the quality and depth of that feature and that feature alone. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMO Housing of 2017 is…

WILDSTAR

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Elder Scrolls Online. It’s not just the options it grants but the tech tying it into the world in ways that seem non-instanced but, well, kinda is. I’m someone who enjoys non-instanced housing for guild vs. guild wars, but if more companies followed ZeniMax’s example, I might be able to get behind instanced housing for PvP games as well as PvE. Runner up: ArcheAge. It’s let me down in tons of ways, but it’s still given birth to farming and animal husbandry in persistent worlds. I just wish it were monetized better so it didn’t feel like such much whale-bait.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): EQ2 still. Best housing designer ever!

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna): I am good with WildStar getting the nod again this year. I think games like RIFT and EverQuest II have phenomenal housing systems, and I had a lot of fun with Elder Scrolls Online’s housing this year too, but the business model for its housing is extremely frustrating (and am I the only one who remembers when ZeniMax executives declared MMORPG housing too hard to implement?). WildStar focused an entire patch on buffing the system, and it’s just a shame that it didn’t play to its clear strengths much earlier on in its career.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre): Look, WildStar almost certainly has one foot in the grave and the other one is teasing close to the end. But the whole community feature is neat and really cool. I’m very impressed by this.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster): WildStar. WildStar would have won it this year even if it didn’t release its long-awaited communities feature that allowed players to collaborate on connected plots of land, because this game simply trumps all the rest with its amazing housing system. I just wish I could take it with me wherever it went. But props for ESO too, I’m glad that game got a really nice housing system this year.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe): How can I not say Elder Scrolls Online? It’s instanced housing, which is generally a turn off for those who like housing, but the way ESO did it is pretty innovative. The instances are available within a city or some other place actually in the larger world. So the houses are instanced, but they feel like they are actually in the open world. On top of that, the editor is good for those not that familiar with decorating, but at the same time, those who really like decorating have a wide breadth of tools to make some of the most interesting housing designs. Oh, not to mention, you can purchase a fully decorated house if you want to.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie): Nothing has come close to toppling EverQuest II from its perch on top. There is just way too much variety, both in houses and decorations, and new decorations and houses are always being added. However, ESO adding housing this year gets a hearty cheer and second place.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): WildStar pips it for me, though housing isn’t one of my coveted MMO features. The entire system just oozes fun, which is precisely what housing should add to MMOs in my book. There is so much well-presented, meaningful choice in the system as well, which is sure to appeal to housing fans.

WildStar won our award for Best MMO Housing of 2017. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: Which MMORPG has the best housing in 2017?

  • WildStar (26%, 166 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (12%, 77 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (20%, 130 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (4%, 23 Votes)
  • RIFT (6%, 39 Votes)
  • Black Desert (6%, 37 Votes)
  • SWTOR (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Wurm Online (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (5%, 33 Votes)
  • Ultima Online (4%, 24 Votes)
  • LOTRO (4%, 28 Votes)
  • Aion (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Trove (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Nothing (5%, 35 Votes)
  • Something else (let us know in the comments!) (3%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 637

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Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought would be worthy.

MOP’S 2017 AWARDS (SO FAR)
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41 Comments on "Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMO Housing of 2017"

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Mr_Fester

Has ESO housing changed, because last time I saw it, you buy this canned unit and thats about it. What you see is what you get. Can’t do much decorating to it.

Reader
Zora

Wildstar because it just deserves it, although how it is still alive is a mystery to me. And I say that as a fan.

ESO comes a decent close (and a first if we want to talk about healthy titles) because let’s be honest, it’s pretty well damn realized and in harmony with the aesthetic of the game. They did’t just tack on something for the heck of it and I appreciate that.

I’ll just go and play The Sims some more anyway…….

Reader
jay

I voted for ESO, not because it has the best housing system flat out, but because it has the best housing system in any MMO worth playing. Wildstar, Rift, EQ2 all have better housing systems, but all are a dumpster fire at this point in their lifespan.

Where as ESO is still wildly popular and successful.

Reader
keyvis

WildStar is doing quite good since Primal Matrix release, earlier this year.

Reader
jay

Hmmm interesting.. I logged in about a month ago and spend almost 2 hours looking for a group, then left. Sat in the city the whole time and saw about 10 people.

We must have very different experiences?

Reader
keyvis

Have you tried it using content finder? For me it usually takes not more than 10 minutes to find/make group for dungeons using Nexus chat. Yes, there are not many players AFKing in main cities currently, because most on the players are doing prime expeditions and dungeons now. If you can see players in main cities now: you should check it just before daily essence resets, players group up there to go for World Bosses with a new bonus after.

Reader
Ben Stone

EQ2 still has the best housing to me. Wildstar second and ESO a distant third. Sad thing is that if either Vanguard or SWG still existed those would still be winning this award.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I know it doesn’t get coverage/mentions here, but gee, you’d think a game where you can build literally anything you want (Taj Mahal? Log cabin? Antebellum with roman columns?) and then furnish it from the thousands of pre-made furniture shops, or just make your own furniture from scratch, the ability to upload your own pictures, textures, so that a Persian rug looks correct, or that painting of Blue Boy on the wall is photorealistic, the ability to create your own lighting, and the ability to script items so that your television, radio, or home entertainment center streams web media, well, yeah, you’d think housing of that scope, scale, freedom, and quality would get a mention. I’m talking, of course, about Second Life.

Reader
Jonny Sage

And yet, for some reason, everyone just builds sex dungeons. ;)

Reader
Maggie May

I have to agree that eso probably doesn’t have the BEST system but I am looking forward to getting my castle and taking my time decorating it.I also use all my rooms for quick and easy teleportation. Most housing which sits in instanced housing areas end up looking empty most of the time, like FFXIV and LOTRO.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

I voted AA, because despite all its flaws, real open world housing will always be far above instanced systems to me. I didn’t even play AA for long, for other reasons, but I still have fond memories of my neighborhood and the people that “lived” right next to me. That’s something I did not experience in any other MMO.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

Pirate101 & Wizard101. Huge sprawling landscapes with multiple mansions and hidden areas underneath with many hundreds of different placeable objects, animals, etc, and they cost only $10-$15 each. I’m bummed you didn’t add Pirate101 or Wizard101 with just how big their housing systems are. It shows limited thinking as far as radar for these types of things. Yes they are a “family” games but still they do housing better than any of these other games.

Reader
Robert Mann

Rift/EQ2 style, although the community thing is cool. It just feels like there are more options to work with, all in all, from my admittedly limited experiences with Wildstar. As noted, that may just be because I never went very far with Wildstar due to other things I did not like.

Andrew Ross
Staff
Andrew Ross

Can I vote Animal Cross: A New Leaf if Raph Koster somehow swoops in and declares it an MMO? ^_^;

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

One great idea related to housing in AC:NL is the ability to purchase museum wings so you can make your own custom exhibits. It’s a great way to deal with collections and themed objects you don’t want to throw away but have no place for in your house.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

My ideal doesn’t exist, it would be something between Rift and SWG :) I live in hope..

Reader
Sally Bowls

I agree with the Wildstar choice here.
Although for me personally, SWTOR housing is, by a considerable margin, my favorite because it is the most useful. From anywhere, I can instatravel to my housing, move a step and then be where I can access without moving my toon and account bank, vendor to sell, and the GTN. Afterwards, I can instatravel back to whatever hinterlands I left from. Extra credit is Twilek “dancers” can be your housing decoration.
——
https://www.eater.com/2017/12/12/16757660/doomsday-biscuit-all-purpose-survival-cracker
Shouldn’t player housing be prepared for disasters as well?
2017 will not be missed! Did you know that Hawaii now tests their nuclear warning sirens monthly and “Vladimir Putin sat down last month to practice the forgotten art of nuclear war, personally pushing the button to launch three ballistic missiles during a military drill,”

fallout5.jpg
Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

You know they made a big deal about Hawaii running their air raid sirens but I live a few hundred yards away from an elementary school that tests their air raid/war strike sirens the first weekend of every single month. I am landlocked in a spread out city of 7M people. Not a first strike taregt most likely but possibly a second strike opportunity due to a reasonably sized air base and commercial airport. Nothing special for military targets in case of a global battle.

I believe Hawaii never stopped testing their sirens and a reporter invented a story out of normal preparedness. WTF wouldn’t Hawaii test out their sirens every single month? They are first contact for half the world.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
mike foster

I love FFXIV’s housing but I CAN’T BUY A DAMN PLOT

Reader
Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

.

Casa de Chua.gif
Reader
rafael12104

Hmm. Can’t vote this year. Literally can’t vote because the games that I played, primarily, didn’t have housing.

I played a bit of BDO. I like that instant-instance housing. Lol. You are in an open world until you walk through that door. It is seamless. But I didn’t play BDO enough this year to give a good opinion on that front.

SWTOR, I love my strongholds but, I don’t know, they are separate and distinct from the game. Or so it seems. They are essentially big trophy rooms you can enjoy by yourself. Lol.

ESO, well it was a big deal when it launched housing and then… not much.

Wildstar, yes. It is great but, I didn’t play Wildstar this year. So does it count?

Nope. I can’t rightly say who has the best housing this year. Maybe I’m over it. Lol.

Reader
Henryk

ESO has the worst player housing in the genre. don’t understand why people vote for this

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

It definitely has the most OVERpriced housing in the genre lol

Reader
Doubleplusgood

Actually some players have been able to create some very interesting houses in ESO. But you basically have to quit your day job and take on ESO housing as your new full time job to achieve that. They killed housing with the insane amount of farming required to gather the long list of rare materials to craft the simplest things, the huge grind to get rare furniture blueprints, the $100 plus limited time only cash shop houses that cant be bought with gold and the limits placed on amount items in houses. Like I bought a medium house with gold and was only allowed to place just 3 pets which is the limit. The was the final straw and I gave up on housing after that. The ESO housing grind is too much for me.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Housing systems in general typically aim at cashing in on whales. RIFT did this very liberally once it went F2P. B2Ps also don’t have much reason to avoid selling out the system for whales.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Because it’s good.

Reader
Henryk

no it’s not good. it’s boring

wildstar’ housing is the best in the whole genre. and rift housing is also very good

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

It can be as good as it can be, pointless if very few people play it.

ESO has good housing. I use our guild house everyday for crafting. It is what you make of it.

Reader
Psi

Easily Wildstar.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

EQ2 imo is still the king of housing. I dont know much about Wildstar housing tho

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Sashaa

I love many things about Elder Scrolls Online, but I would definitely not call its housing system the best available in 2017. As far as I’m concerned, LOTRO is still the best around.

Reader
Maggie May

I haven’t checked out LOTRO housing since it was updated, it used to be pretty limited in what you could place and where.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Sashaa

We’re not speaking about the same thing here. I’m speaking about Housing, you’re speaking about Decorating. While the two are not mutually exclusive, as Star Wars Galaxies has beautifully shown in the past, they’re not exactly the same thing either.

Nowadays on games like SWTOR or ESO, it’s all about decorating, this kind of “housing” serves almost no other purpose then time and/or crowns sink.

If at least owning a house would come with increased storage on ESO, but even there it fails, when it should be the most basic feature.

kofteburger
Reader
kofteburger

To me, It’s always Ultima Online.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

I voted Eve’s walking in stations. Sure, I know it’s gone. Sure I know when it was here it may have been the worst implemented housing in the history of online video games. Yes, yes I realize it showed that CCP really isn’t capable of putting any modern systems in their MMO. But seeing how Brendan is having a momentary lapse of typing Eve for the awards (very temporary to be sure ) I thought I’d place his real vote in his stead.

You are welcome Brendan. EVE WINS AGAIN!

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

Man, not even I would vote for that!

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

You know, you could make a decent argument for player Citadels as a form of housing, since you can dock your ships at them (and definitely should, rather than logging out in space).

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

I haven’t played in a while. Can you do anything but spin ships (or manufacture)?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

They’re a safe place to log out, you can store and switch between ships at them, you can store equipment and loot, you can refit. The usual stuff.

You can also add modules that allow other services, including markets and rudimentary crafting. I think most of the crafting stuff was migrated out of Citadels and toward Engineering Complexes once those were added.

Granted, in practical terms, it’s guild housing rather than personal housing, but it’s probably the best functional housing outside of something like Wurm, even if there’s not all that much cosmetic customisation other than the name and a couple of billboards.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Fun fact about me: one of the reason I quit Eve was because I found it so hard to manufacture something. All of the spaces always being taken up in non guild ports really bugged me – among other things.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

You must have quit a few years ago then? Limited manufacturing slots disappeared back in 2014 with the industry overhaul, we have unlimited slots but scaling manufacturing fees that increase if too many people manufacture in the same place. You can build right in Jita 4-4 if you want, it’ll just cost a little more.

And of course we can now build these upwell structures (Citadels, Engineering Complexes for manufacturing, and Refineries for mining/refining. They can go anywhere in space, you can dock at them just like a station, they have infinite storage for anyone who docks and if they’re blown up the assets are magically transported to safety. Pretty good as far as player-built housing goes, but my vote still goes firmly to EverQuest 2. It’s the standard all other games should be replicating (except EVE).

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