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…


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.


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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.


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…….

Loyal Patron

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.


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

Loyal Patron

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?


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.

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.

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.

Jonny Sage

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

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.

Patreon Donor

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.


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.

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
Andrew Ross

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


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.