Brainblurt: Portable Player Housing

October 12, 2008

While I’m sure player housing isn’t at the top of Mythic’s content concerns, it remains, as always, one of the most requested features by players in any MMO you examine. It may be nothing more than a second avatar to decorate with trophies and whatnot, but that’s important to immersion and ownership to some players.

Here’s an idea: why not portable player housing? When I first ordered the Collector’s Edition and saw that I’d be getting a “portable camp” or something like that, I envisioned my character pitching a tent in the middle of a wasteland, sitting on a log and whittling away. Of course, the item turned out to be a weak HOT in the form of a glowing campfire — nice, but not nearly as grand as I imagined.

But still, why couldn’t Mythic take a different approach to this feature than how most games handle it (by either instancing a house in a city or letting players construct houses that quickly uglify the landscape)? What if at, say, rank 30 you could blow a chunk of money to buy a basic tent that you could set up anywhere you’d like as long as you weren’t in combat, and whenever you moved far enough away or got into combat it would vanish.

It could just be a piece of virtual scenery or something people could actually enter (a mini-instance, although that might bee too complex). Like a player and their trophies, you could dye the tent, purchase (or find/loot) decals for it, hang up tent-loot items you find in your journeys, and maybe deck the thing out with a firepit or whatever. I can imagine groups of players waiting for their scenarios to pop, or warbands waiting for people to assemble in the zone, pitching tents and making a nice campground.

Could this work?  What upsides and downsides could you see?



  1. Really think this is a great idea, and would be awesome to see a trailer.. I mean tent parks outside big cities and war camps.

  2. I think that a portable tent would be a great idea. Except that it should be a pocket dimension and not graphically represented on the landscape. Visitation can be invite/group only.

  3. I like the idea, having a tent rather than an actual house solves all the issues you would encounter with player housing in SWG (Ghost towns on the coronet outskirts…)

    Unfortunately a simple tent could never satiate the greed for an actual house. Either way I’d much prefer a un-instanced guild hall system beyond that of the taverns, and perhaps a couple “open world maps” place outside of the tier system where only open world rvr and building placement can occur.

  4. That’s what I thought the collector’s edition thing was too 🙂

  5. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but for me, housing is about immersion and the whole “calling this my own”

    When I plop down a house I claim that peice of land as mine. I own it. If it were portable.. that really wouldn’t excite me at all.

    Also, I’m a big fan of player owned vendors, and if you have a portable shop.. always moving around will just piss off your customers.

    I really don’t see housing in Warhammer working at all, but if they did decide to implement it, I would say something along your idea would work well.

  6. Well runescape pops to my mind people spammed the fires everywhere so it might get even more cluttered if they could drop a tent in a city or something
    Nice idea though perhaps have a rule saying no tent can be dropped within 20yards of another tent or something?

  7. I would love to see something like this implemented, but I would imagine that the first problem to arise will be collision detection. If, as will inevitably happen, we start to see cities of tents popping up across the countryside, it will cause a lot of issues for players attempting to pass through the camp. Taking this further, what would be to stop groups of players creating barricades across roads. Open World RVR shouldn’t pose a problem if, as suggested, the tents disappear if you stray to far or enter combat, but outside of that there could be a problem.

  8. great idea, i think they should be a bit more perminant though, like you place your tent for a minimum of 24 hours and its your resurrection spot for that time. the mini instance WOULD work thought, Guild Wars has been doing this kind of thing for ages with the hall of monuments.

    and it would be great to go adventuring around the PvE environment to see randomly placed tents and people in their Pyjamas lol.

  9. The portable & customizable tent idea is really great. I like it. Instanced homes are easiest to realize i guess. In EQ II it started with rooms you could rent in a tavern and later houses. But instanced neighbourhoods (like in LOTRO) are usually boring and not full of life. Set up some tents is a cool approach, although what will happen if a large warband sets up all their tents before raiding a city or something – performance could take a hit then.

  10. This sounds almost like what Gods and Heroes was trying to do. I see it as decent content for most MMOG’s but not WAR. If we aren’t going to have holidays and other fluffy content I don’t see a reason for housing.

    It’s definitely doable. They’d just need to have a stationary interactive object maybe in Altdorf or in every quest hub to allow you to enter.

  11. If we weren’t both married, I’d have your children. Or at least think really hard about it.

    Housing! That I carry with me! I absolutely don’t care if nobody else can see it. Housing! The rest is details, and I don’t do details.

    There is nothing better. All hail Zuul.

  12. I too envisioned the portable camp item as some sort of a tent that would provide some sort of bonus or at the very least be a fluff type of an item.

    I think we can all see the reason why there was so little detailed information available about the pre-order items prior to launch.

  13. Yeah, I’d like to see portable housing in the form of tents.

    Player created warcamps in RvR areas would be something if enough people gathered together.

    Could look really epic.. make your way into an RvR lake and an army is camped out ready to attack the keep or something.

  14. Immersion wise this is totally in keeping with the concept of War. Look back to previous ground campaigns and see the moving camps of armies. From the Grand pavilions of generals and the commandeered local housing for mercenary captains.

    Maybe the occassional farmhouse could become and instanced door for someone of high enough rank or a large enough warband commander, allowing the warband to have a safe place to plan and prepare.

    As for us common grunts (I have way too many characters to have anything high and lofty) we should be able to pitch a tent or light a fire and have a small place that we can temporarily call our own.

    Whether it should be shown or not? Only (and I do mean ONLY) if it does not add to any server lag or strain the lower systems requirements.


  15. Why not? I say good chap, mighty fine brain you’ve got yourself there.

  16. Yeah I got that campfire too. Works well if you’re in a hot spot of RVR action.

  17. Issue is, since they’re really focusing on the idea that this is War, and we’re all heroes marching to war, the chance of them providing people the chance to set up a nice little cottage somewhere and settle down doesn’t seem too likely.

    I think the guild halls are about the best we’re going to get, which makes sense, since your typical adventurer would be a lot more likely to have a favored inn they fall back to when the need to sit around a fire and tell stories comes up, than a house somewhere.

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