The Daily Grind: Rank the top three housing MMOs ever made

    
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WildStar. RIFT. EverQuest II.

If I had to choose three MMORPGs that contained the best housing systems and then rank them, that list up there is probably the titles and order in which I would arrange it. All three of these games have hugely robust systems that offer a lot of flexibility and personal creativity. Of course, that list is heavily weighted toward my experience and personal observation in games, so I’m much less familiar with other touted housing systems found in, say, Star Wars Galaxies or Elder Scrolls Online.

For fun, come up with your own ranked top three and explain in the comments why you picked those titles and ordered them the way you did!

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Ben Stone

EQ2 if you really want some crazy creations. The other two are fairly limited in placement and ability to create out of the box ideas.

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Pingly

I loved the way Trade tied into Dark Age of Camelots Housing. I felt really proud of my shop.

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Dividion

For the reasons that Castagere Shaikura mentioned below, I’m going to agree with Anarchy Online being #1. It was also the first housing I used where you had freedom to place objects wherever you wanted, rather than on hooks like Asheron’s Call and later Lord of the Rings Online. AO also released the player cities for the Alien Invasion expansion, and it was a great extension to housing, with members of the organization being able to choose which buildings went where and be able decorate and set up player shops and such.

For #2, I’m going to go with Shroud of the Avatar, because once again it’s a fantastic system that really lets you get creative and design it the way you want. Sadly its affiliation with the cash shop has put a pretty negative spin on it. It’s also not instanced (except for basements), so the decorations show up for everyone in the real world. Again that’s both a blessing and a curse though.

For #3, I’ve got to say ArcheAge. It can be a real trial to obtain land to begin with, but once you’ve got it you can do a lot with it, and the farming (if you’re into that) can be really relaxing and rewarding. At least until the bastards at Trion take it away for a server merge, and server login issues prevent you from having a chance to get it back, causing you to stop giving Trion any money at all due to their poor mismanagement of the game.

I’m going to go with LotRO as an honorable mention. Even though items are on hooks, they’ve now given us the ability to shift things in the X,Y,Z planes to give the illusion that they’re not using hooks. That makes it a lot better, but the best part of the LotRO housing system is just how many trophies you can acquire out in the world, so no two houses seem to be alike, and each one seems to tell a story of the adventures its owner went on. Plus you can teleport to your house, and the guild house, for free.

And a second honorable mention to Minecraft. Just because.

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Denice J. Cook

EQ2 is # 1 by far.

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nobleeinherjar

EverQuest 2 was my introduction into what I think housing should be in that kind of MMO. Everyone could get a house, and the more you played, the bigger and better houses you could afford. My only experiences with housing up to that point were with UO, where scarcity of land meant not everybody could have a house, and FFXI where everyone got a Mog House but crafting and the economy was so hardcore (and overrun with RMTs) that furnishing it was near impossible for a player like me. (For the record, I have a killer Mog House these days.)

But EverQuest 2 just brought everything together so well when it came to housing. You could craft furniture, you could find furniture out in the world, quests gave trophies you could show off in your house, and once you finished with that awesome piece of gear you got from that heritage quest that dragged you all over Norrath and back, you could mount it and display it. Housing didn’t exist in a bubble by itself. Questing fed back into the system if you wanted it to. And of course it goes without saying that it facilitated RP.

I never really got into housing in other MMOs even when the housing was good. I didn’t stick around WildStar, Rift, SWG, SWTOR, or ESO long enough to get a feel for them, but what I’ve seen has been impressive.

If it weren’t for the awful way they implemented it, I’d probably rank FFXIV up there with the best of MMO housing.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Star Wars Galaxies. Ultima Online. Anything else that actually made an effort to include housing.

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Sorenthaz

Rift, XIV, and ESO are the only ones I’ve really touched. Though obviously I hear good things about Wildstar/EQ2 ‘cept I’ve never touched those or really looked at housing videos from them.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

I’ve seen housings in EQ2, Rift and FFXIV and all of them have pretty neat customization/decoration systems, as well as aesthetically beautiful designs (especially FFXIV). But in terms of the overall size, most practicality and “usability” I think EVE beats them all since you can build an Upwell structure (a player-owned station) for personal use, and these things can do MUCH more than just “look pretty” or serve as “a place to do your crafting at”. Too bad CCP did not want to implement the proper character walking system for all stations and instead just removed it altogether – they could’ve made A LOT of money just selling the cosmetic decorations/furniture for your station’s interiors, same goes for character outfits.

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Bel ? Floors 51-60

I feel like Everquest II, Wildstar and Rift all showed me just how amazing player housing could be in the hands of very creative people given a lot of freedom. Final Fantasy XIV has its moments but the scope of what you can do with that housing system is just too limited for pulling off the crazy feats you could in the first three.

Personally my current favorite is probably Elder Scrolls Online because it seems to be a happy medium between having no rails at all… and having fixed points you can attach things aka SWTOR. EQ2 guild housing though… will always be the king of player housing far as I am concerned just because it created an awesome shared space that you could actually do useful things in and gave guild members a constant reason to be bumping into one another.

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Jeffery Witman

It’s such a rare option in the genre now that I think many people have never experienced it. For me, there’s only a few games I’ve played that offered it in any form at all.

1) SWG. Not just housing, but city building. Cantinas and medical centers and shuttle ports and government buildings. It was by far the most customizable and precise housing system I’ve ever seen.

2) CoH/DCUO bases. Much less customization, and not quite housing, but more fitting for the theme of the games. They were fun for what they offered, but you could never have your own Batcave with the giant penny.

3) Tibia. It wasn’t much more than a storage closet, and you needed to pay real world money for it, but it’s better than nothing, which is what most games offer these days.