The Daily Grind: Do you like building your own MMO house or having the shell created for you?


One thing that I very much like about the current state of Fallout 76 is that the game gives you two options in regards to player housing. You can build an abode from scratch out in the game world — or you can pop into a pre-fabricated underground shelter. As I don’t always want to fiddle with walls and floors, I appreciated the latter option. Just give me a shell and let me decorate!

Another game that offered a choice between these was, unsurprisingly, WildStar. You could buy houses for your island, no problem — or, if you were ambitious, you could make your own from parts and building materials.

Where does your esteemed opinion lie in regards to housing pre-fabrication vs. do-it-yourself projects?

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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I was fine with SWG’s prebuilts, but one reason I go back to 7 Days to Die time and time again is to build whatever I want, block by block.


Prebuilt. My favorite thing about housing is the decorating and creating the theme for various rooms and such. I don’t like having to fuss with a house foundation that clips into the grass or deal with some “you can’t place this here” issue because my wall might anger the polygonal gods.

Toy Clown

I can work with either! But given a preference, I like building structures to suit what I’m attempting to do. In games like SWG:L, I’m always creating false walls and ceilings in order to create more rooms or space. I do the same thing with my apartment in FFXIV. With games like FO76, I’m in paradise!

When I first started playing FO76, the only thing I had in mind was, “My character needs a house.” I wasn’t thinking big or sprawling and had to build and tear down a few camps until I found this little lake, which was perfect because I gated access through a tunnel to keep mobs out, then positioned an ally outside in “in-law” quarters” and they take care of baddies that come by to wreck havoc. Work area inside on ground floor, kitchen on the outer part facing the garden, wash house inside a little room I built off the work area, bedroom and bathroom on 2nd floor. When I got a hottub, I created another floor and made a sort of sun deck area. Then I got this sort of cute, small bar set and built another room up there to accommodate it. I’m fixing to start building in my shelter now as I don’t have room for things like Power Armor. That’s what makes me a happy builder: the freedom to build whatever comes to my imagination.


I love it. Quite cozy.

Toy Clown



Since I mostly play survival/builder games at the moment (Ark, Space Engineers, whatever) it would seem I prefer to build it from scratch.

Space Engineers allows the player to import blueprints of other ships from the workshop – but the Steam search engine is not great, and I’ve never had any luck finding station designs in the workshop. The ones I *can* find are huge, use a ton of mods, or have some other drawback that makes them not really practical for what I need. So if I want someplace to park my little mining ship, I’ll have to make my own.

Ark doesn’t even allow blueprints, so if I want any buildings at all there I’m making them by hand. I do use videos from a couple “build tutorial” creators on YouTube for guidlines though – the Ark construction system is weird at the best of times, and it helps to have an idea of what it’s capable of if you know how to trick it into letting you do what you want. (Instead of what it wants, which is thatch cubes.)

Ardra Diva

digging out a root cellar for my cabin on top of a mountain peak (which i later learned was a PITA) in Landmark was a wonderful experience. Finally settled on a type of west-coast, spanish villa with tile roofing.


I’ve never played an MMO that allows me to design my own house from scratch so I can’t really compare.

That said, given the fun I have had in ARK building my own castles and treehouses, Ive got to say my preference is in designing something from scratch.

Above that though are two more important priorities. The first is that my house should exist in the game world and not be instanced. The second is that my house serves a useful purpose and isn’t just a glorified storage room or display room for my trophies. If my house doesn’t serve a useful purpose then it is unlikely I’ll end up using it at all.

Bruno Brito

Both. Give me the option to have pre-built, open terrain to build everything from the ground up ( including structures ) or just the house without a single furniture.

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Usually a prebuilt guy, but did end up building a house for my camp in FO76 that’s more than just a building with crafting tables…though is still mostly that. I do want to look into shelters a bit more, there seem like there are some much better layouts than the one you start with that are good for both functional use and some fun decorations.

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I personally prefer the house to be pre-built, so I can move in and decorate.

But I think it’s best to have both options for people like me who want to play Barbie Dream House and for the architects and builders out there.

Housing in EverQuest 2 is my favorite – you can buy a cheap, crappy apartment to decorate at low level when you’re poor and you can rent larger, nicer apartments or houses as you increase in wealth. Or you can hand out some Earth-cash for rent-free prestige houses (you get a few as veteran rewards as well), including many that are essentially depopulated zones that you can build to your hearts content in.
And there is no mmo that can complete with the amount of decoration options and objects available in EQ2 – and that’s just counting the in-game earnable stuff. There is tons more on the cash store if you wanted it, but EQ2 makes it unnecessary.

I enjoyed the housing in Fallout 76. I wish there had been more minutia decorations that were available at the time that I played. And WAY too much of the nicer stuff was walled off behind the Earth-cash shop.

Wildstar and Rift are both good, where you get blank flying island or “dimensions”, but can buy and place prefab houses of varying types in them if you don’t want to build. And they both provided early access/entry for housing, like EQ2 does.

FFXIV would be good if their far too limited housing market/system wasn’t the way it is. You can get instanced apartments, but they’re just a giant empty cube you have to do some creative carpentry inside to make them feel like an actual home.
Also, another game that puts up a massive price wall for housing. I think housing should be something that is open to low level characters from the start. Then you can gold-sink them if they want bigger and nicer things.

ESO has some fantastic looking houses, but the furniture crafting system and resources could use some reworking, especially given how awful the “auction house” works in the game. You also get tiny one-room apartments for free, although that may be specifically tied into owning some of the expansions, I’m not sure.
I do have a nitpick that the houses are a bit TOO big and spacious. Try as I might to fill them with the meager furniture I can manage to make and buy, they feel cavernous and empty.

LotRO is the worst. It’s far too pricey and any housing that uses a hook system I’m not going to acknowledge. SWTOR handles it a little better, but it’s still crappy.

Guild Wars 2. Give! Us! Housing!

I’d say the same thing about WoW. But I just don’t care anymore.


Love the term Earth-cash. I also have similar ESO problems. A huge 12,000 coin house can’t hold all the furniture I can put in it. Some are massive and furniture caps ruin it.



I prefer when the game allows me to build things as I want, but provides sensible pre-made options, or templates, that I can use as the basis for my builds and that I can selectively dismantle.

One (non-MMO) example would be building in Sims 4. I can build things from scratch, I can download completed buildings, and I can plop down individual decorated rooms, while being able to move things around and customize (or delete) any part of any pre-built house or room that I used.

(Why I prefer this: I’m not exactly a good builder. I mean, I can optimize functionality with the best, but my “designs” tend to look like shoe boxes. Being able to use well-made templates to freely build upon gets around my limitations without restricting how I can build.)