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A Housing Revolution


TLDR: Phase out all individual houses with rented 'semi-instanced' off-map houses with the full functionality of present houses. Persistant on-map houses are only for guild achievements.

All successful UO servers have a housing problem. Of all contentious UO issues, housing used to be the one with the least creative dev solutions. Here comes UOO, and already does better than any of them: Rentable rooms! If I understand the technical side correctly, the rooms are persistant on a huge black extra map, but they disappear if the rent is not paid (and the content is transferred to the bank).

However, the rooms are ugly and suspend disbelief (they sit in a sea of black) and they do not have the same efficiency enhancing features as true houses (cannot friend your other characters, share storage over several accounts, share runebooks etc). At present, they are intended as a stepping stone to a true house, which however will be extremely expensive, as the map is and will continue to be completely full.

What comes next is heavily inspired by ESO and Black Desert Online, both of which don't have a problem with ugly clutter, nor with social housing issues. My proposal:

Rent out (or sell) true houses on several big 'make-believe' maps. E.g.on tiny islands on a big map of blue waves. And on a tiny clearanc in a big map of forest. And on a tiny square in a big 'city-map'. These houses have the same funcionality for friending as present houses. Vendors are put in server-owned 'shopping centers' and in the guild-houses.

Nice to have: Recall from and to the house? If rent isn't paid anymore, put everything in a seperate bank account? Allow the OSI system of selfmade houses, because those despicable neon-houses won't annoy anyone but the owner? Have new add-ons 'outside the house, on your little island/forest clearing?

Now comes the housing revolution:

This 'semi-instanced' system replaces all new individual houses. The house brokers disappear. When an IDOC falls, nothing new can be placed there anymore. Selling houses (i.e. transfer of ownership) is disabled. New persistant houses on the normal map are only for guilds (or guild accomplishments), or maybe for communal RP 'towns'.

Eventually the present situation of the horribly ugly but still liveless urban slum, coupled with equally horrible camp-out wagons in swamps, goes away. The map is returned to something worth looking at. The guilds still have something to brag about. As an individual, it is no longer necessary to log-in for years and years without actually playing, or plan long vacations primarily with your UO house in mind.

Who will hate this: The IDOC crowd. And the crazy rich of today maybe won't like it, but then, they can keep their houses for now, until they let it fall.

A step down from my housing revolution would be a social housing reform:

Don't allow new smallish houses on the persistant map. If a wagon or an 9x10 falls, it can't be replaced. The crazy rich keep their big houses, the little guy can still dream of becoming crazy rich, but the guy who doesn't care about big houses or just stays for 5 months every two years doesn't clog the future housing market and can invest his hard-earned cash into skill scrolls and aspect stuff.


Who'll hate this? How bout anyone who enjoys the interaction of having neighbors around? or anyone who feels like owning a plot of land, on Avadon, helps tie them to the game.. or all those players who've decorated their houses off to be masterpieces, to show off to others, the casual person wandering by, not just friends. Two of my three houses are public - one a stables, the other an Academy/Library - so that people can wander in, and look around, with books, and other items on display - but that's probably the roleplayer in me, housing is probably the biggest draw on any server - which is why I'm always so adamant about getting it back in the hands of active players. There are some groups of houses out there, that belong to guilds, who've worked their asses off to create player run towns - this is truly the beauty of UO and persistent housing.

There are definitely a lot of problems with housing, and games like ESO avoided those problems by making them instanced - but that's also why I don't play ESO anymore - even though I've gone back to it about 5 times now.. I feel no attachment to the lands there - hell I own about 12 homes there, and have decorated a couple very nicely, but it still doesn't feel the same when it's not persistent in the world, it just feels like a pointless minigame.

Instanced housing is horrible and meaningless - semi instanced is better - as long as you can keep activity around the players - persistent housing is the dream - yet a nightmare at the same time as well, because of some people and their tastes, and because of people who hang on far too long when they've moved on from the game.. Yet, I'd rather be living the dream, with a little nightmare, than not experience it at all.
I don't like this idea. This is just instanced housing without the black screen. I already don't like the inn rental system because it is instanced, but I completely understand the need for it. I would love for the inn rental system to be brought into the cities of outlands and maybe give people the option of actually owning it.
One house per IP

*You begin looking for the dislike button*
I rather vote for more land, like one new facet with different geography but without cities, PVM spots, dungeons, etc. to keep people interacting with each other in the existing cities and other places. Maybe a land with a huge forest and housing areas between the trees and mountains. I am not sure if I like the idea of one house per person, but IP binding I feel is not a good idea. IP's can be changed really easy and I personally login in Outlands from at least 3 different locations with 3 different internet contracts. And let's not stat talking here about VPN's.


There are some groups of houses out there, that belong to guilds, who've worked their asses off to create player run towns - this is truly the beauty of UO and persistent housing.
Guilds and RP-groups would continue to be on the main map. They could get more space than just one big house, actually, to be creative with functions and buildings and public services. Wouldn't want to kill the public taverns and player malls and rune-libs. Just no longer for the individual. And btw you would keep all your three houses... unless you leave and let them decay. Then your space would revert to public land.

Of course it's a big shift away from something special in UO, to have semi-instanced houses. But it's the one big feature that has proven again and again that it is very problematic, and never has been successfully tackled (the other problematic feature being the PK-carebear balance, for which a new equilibrium was enevtually found).

Say, I saw your proposal somewhere for a tax system. with a spreadsheet. Can't find the post (or was it on Discord?). I have an idea to build on that, but need to read it again first.