Here’s something pretty encouraging to me: When I sat down to work on an article listing MMOs that really could use but lacked proper player housing, I honestly had a hard time coming up with a full 10 titles. The more I looked at the popular titles in our gamespace, the more I realized that most of them — not all, but most — have adopted some sort of personal housing system.
For someone who loves and champions player housing as a vital feature for MMORPGs, I think this is really neat. What is less neat is the fact that I keep playing the few games that don’t have housing. This leaves me grumpy.
So here’s hoping that our list today — 8 current MMOs, one pseudo-MMO, and one deceased MMO — will get its act together and offer individual players their own personal abode. Someday.
1. Guild Wars 2
“But Guild Wars 2 already has housing!” I can hear some of you saying. But it doesn’t, not really. It has this weird home instance thing that the developers seemed to have largely given up on following the initial release, and it has guild housing. But as we’ll see on this list today, half-hearted housing and group housing does not offer the personal agency, creativity, and satisfaction of full-fledged individual character houses.
This is a shame, in this case, because it’s a system that I think ArenaNet could do so, so well if it decided to. And as GW2 was designed to be appealing to the eastern market — where player houses come standard in most MMOs — this feels like a missed opportunity to expand its appeal.
I do not get why Blizzard has been so stubborn for so long on housing. This is even more frustrating when we recently learned that the studio was strongly considering real player housing for WoW before launch.
Now I’m afraid that the now-disliked garrisons — which were not real, proper player housing — will forever offer the studio an easy out when it is asked about instituting housing. “We already did and you hated it!” my strawman Blizzard says arrogantly.
In a game that’s as heavily monetized as Neverwinter, player housing could offer Cryptic all sorts of possibilities to enlarge its coffers. And people would eat it up, too. I could easily envision the same sort of warm reception for housing in this game that ESO enjoyed when that fantasy MMO took the plunge.
Now, we do know that housing is on the long list of future additions for this indie PvE game, but it will be a while coming yet. And I do understand that this is a very small team with a very ambitious feature list, but I would expect housing to be higher on the list considering Gorgon’s propensity for individual customization and options.
The guild airships are, admittedly, cool and different in tone than a lot of what you’d find in other MMO group housing. But where’s my little personal hut or Stormreach apartment? Turbine-now-SSG always seemed very sympathetic to housing, but for whatever reason, it never reached the realm of DDO.
6. EVE Online
That’s fun to bring out every now and then. This MMO gets an unusual entry on this list for the fact that it sort of used to have personal housing with captain’s quarters. But CCP couldn’t make this feature work, and quarters limped along as an unsupported feature before the studio gave up altogether and killed them. Can you think of any other MMO that had housing and then removed it? I can’t.
Years after City of Heroes’ death, Paragon Chat corrected a major oversight and added personal housing to the emulator. It always chafed hard that CoH, what with its amazing customization, didn’t give each player his or her own lair. Would that have really been that difficult?
Toss this into the pile of MMOs where the devs looked at personal housing and then made their own system which was somehow worse and unwanted. The museum of the occult is a far cry from the apartments and houses that players have been asking for since 2010. It’s a double shame that Secret World has a contemporary setting and doesn’t give us awesome contemporary housing.
I guess everyone in this game is too busy running around and slashing massive monsters to stop and settle in a home. Still, doesn’t it seem weird that this is maybe the one fantasy MMO from the east that doesn’t include housing as a standard, day one feature? What’s up with that, Bluehole?
10. Sea of Thieves
As I said in my introduction, I had a terribly hard time getting to a full 10 for today’s topic. So even though Sea of Thieves is not really an MMO, it’s enough for my purposes and remiss in the fact that it lacks player huts, houses, or ships that we can customize. It’s a game where you chase cosmetics, so why didn’t Rare think to add housing — and its associated cosmetic loot — into the mix?