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Housing Discussion

Owyn

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Staff member
#1
We have reached that point, after a year online! Outlands is nearly at max capacity for player housing. It is still very much possible for you to find the space for an 8x8, though it is typically obscure and off the beaten path. This can be frustrating for someone looking to place a house. This is obviously discouraging and disadvantageous for new players looking to call Outlands home and something we are looking to change.

This is one of the only downsides of having a smaller map. Expanding the map is, of course, possible, however I would like to begin a discussion with the playerbase to gather ideas or approaches to freeing up some housing space within the world.

Here are some of the ideas currently being discussed:
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
  • New land masses only available for house placement to newer players, based on account age
  • Taxes/fees related to owning houses
  • Perks for only owning 1 house per account group
  • Ability to lock doors in public houses

None of the above are set in stone by any means, nor will they be implemented with any certainty, but that is the latest from community feedback. Have you encountered positive housing situations in other games which you think would be great ported into Outlands? What are your thoughts?
 
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#2
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
  • New land masses only available for house placement to newer players, based on account age
  • Taxes/fees related to owning houses
  • Perks for only owning 1 house per account group
The three I highlighted green above are the three I like from that list. I'm neutral on the yellow ones and dislike the red one (I'm not opposed to new land mass, I dislike the restricted access to it).

I'll still continue to advocate for the ability to lock doors in public houses. For a lot of players it would reduce the number of houses they feel they need to maintain (because they could safely live out of their vendor house without the hassle of using lockdowns to make interior barriers.
 
#3
honestly, I think if you make the first 4 options it frees up a lot of space, I know 2 big houses that are being kept by friend, because the owner doesn't play anymore.

I already played on a server that paid fee I find very annoying, some people just play for pvp and do not care much for gold has, can demotivate this type of player.
 
#4
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
  • New land masses only available for house placement to newer players, based on account age
  • Taxes/fees related to owning houses
  • Perks for only owning 1 house per account group
The three I highlighted green above are the three I like from that list. I'm neutral on the yellow ones and dislike the red one (I'm not opposed to new land mass, I dislike the restricted access to it).

I'll still continue to advocate for the ability to lock doors in public houses. For a lot of players it would reduce the number of houses they feel they need to maintain (because they could safely live out of their vendor house without the hassle of using lockdowns to make interior barriers.

If they create a new space for everyone, people with a lot of money will put houses there to sell later, which will remain the same.
 
#5
For me the ones below are the best options.

  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
  • Ability to lock doors in public houses
Maybe reduced IDOC but I wouldnt combine that with only owners being able to refresh. Would cause issues for people taking a small break. I also think more land mass would be great but not if its purely for housing, would like to combine it with more content to keep it part of the landscape (but realise thats alot of work for you guys).
 
#6
Make a new land mass, and make it absolute trash, ie a slums, so that it operates more often as a stepping stone out into the beautiful Avadon, and doesn't depreciate the housing currently owned. Enforce a size limit in the slums to further this vision. No need to do account age restrictions, as everyone would want to upgrade to bigger houses outside of the slums.
 
#7
30 days timer is fine. if you do that just dont combine it with "only owners can refresh".

unsolicited sale offers are fine - also different house signs (it doesnt hurt anyone). maybe even force show the owner of the house?

i dont like taxes

Perks for only owning 1 house per account group is okayish
 
#8
We have reached that point, after a year online! Outlands is nearly at max capacity for player housing. It is still very much possible for you to find the space for an 8x8, though it is typically obscure and off the beaten path. This can be frustrating for someone looking to place a house. This is obviously discouraging and disadvantageous for new players looking to call Outlands home and something we are looking to change.

This is one of the only downsides of having a smaller map. Expanding the map is, of course, possible, however I would like to begin a discussion with the playerbase to gather ideas or approaches to freeing up some housing space within the world.

Here are some of the ideas currently being discussed:
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
  • New land masses only available for house placement to newer players, based on account age
  • Taxes/fees related to owning houses
  • Perks for only owning 1 house per account group
  • Ability to lock doors in public houses

None of the above are set in stone by any means, nor will they be implemented with any certainty, but that is the latest from community feedback. Have you encountered positive housing situations in other games which you think would be great ported into Outlands? What are your thoughts?
I believe that a shorter time frame for a house turning IDOC is required. If you are not active or cannot refresh your house yourself within 30 days or less, your house should be given up to the people seeking to profit or place. This keeps the shard fresh and free of people holding goods who no longer have an interest in the game.

A tax on players owning houses I think is not something I would be happy with considering I have never played a server that made you pay for playing and having high end property like myself.

Ability to lock doors would be amazing in public housing due to the fact I like to use my vendor house, but never spend much time in it due to players being able to just walk in and kill me if I go afk.

New land mass only for players within a certain account age is a good idea, but those people in that account age will abuse it and keep a house forever, becoming full eventually and new players would not have a new player house area to place in, or players no longer in that grace period would be forced to move and have nowhere to go if they couldn't find housing in the regular world.

I LOVE the idea of house signs showing up a different color or look for those up for sale... this would allow people to look for plots much easier and house sales become a regular thing using the sign mechanic. Also only allowing the house owner to refresh is another great idea due to the fact that I have seen houses still exist after the original owner has already quit or moved on, but people who are friended abuse the access to time the idoc for self gains. This shouldn't be allowed.

PLEASE change idoc times, make people play the game or forfeit their land ownership to those who do. This is the ultimate solution to the problem.
 
#9
I would love to see bullet points 3 and 4 implemented.
There's already a lot of potential on the map for expanding housing, but it would require cleaning up areas where atheistic foliage and uneven ground has been implemented. Swamp/Desert locations and the Grasslands are some that come to mind. As far as changing the time to IDOC, I would be on board with this, but there are people who are military/first responders, etc who may get deployed/sent out of town for long periods of time that may not have access to log in to refresh.
 
#12
  • Only owners can refresh
Only owners being able to refresh would absolutely cut down on ghost houses. I've seen some backlash from this regarding if someone is given a job assignment, military, or will be gone for a certain amount of time, however staff is very reasonable and i would almost bet if you contacted staff, they would make accommodations for your situation or deployment.
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
This would be a great option to the existing housing system. Half of the real estate post are folks trying to find who owns certain houses.
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
Great addition as well, make it clear that a house is for sale.
  • Ability to lock doors in public houses
The ability to lock doors and set security options on public houses is great as well. It would be nice to be able to live out of your house as well as have a vendor offering your goods for sale.

Also, perhaps opening up land on Nusero would be an option, there's a lot of space that that is covered by wilderness and implacable. While its beautiful (maybe i'm the only nerd that occasionally walks around the island just to adore it) it could certainly open up many housing spots.

I have my forever plot, and will never leave for any reason, the above is merely in consideration for the health of the shard. I strongly feel we do anything necessary to keep the map the same size it is now to keep player interaction at a maximum.
 
#13
I'm glad this is a consideration. Finding a house as a new player was a bit frustrating. It seems like there would be plenty of space but the landscape is dotted with completely empty 8x8 plots that don't seem to on sale or even used.
 
#14
Ideas for fixing:
  • Drop the price of the houses currently by at least 1/3 of the price. So the 10m house would now be aroudn 6-7m.
  • Smooth over some of the odd land elevations/trees blocking houses from being places.
  • Increase the lockdown/secure limits.

Part of the problem is you created prices so high that people have buddies who dont even play UO log in and hold houses for them. This may not sound too bad or too common but its a much larger problem than you think. Look at Zera in discord(not that it is illegal or against the rules). Seen many times where they are advertising they own 5-6 houses and all are for sale might I add at some absurd price. With the house prices so high it created the need for people to secure the spots they wanted early for fear of someone else coming along and hoarding/holding plots for even more money. So they may have 5-6 houses that hold down one large spot. What you dont realize is that the 5-6 houses may actually be holding a spot much larger than the one they intend to place or that the 5-6 isnt even all the houses they need and have to wait for more.

I can personally tell you there are many many house spots. I am happy to escort new players to these locations. I can usually find a location that fits their specific needs. What you should look at doing is possibly smoothing out some of the spots you currently have that have large areas but silly shapes for houses that do not exist or trees that may ruin a much larger placement. I can show you spots where houses could fit if only 1-2 tiles were smoothed over.

Increase the lockdown/secure limits. I understand you gave the option to increase it but not all players can afford these options. Youll find quite a few new players that have shelves in a small 8x8 house then own 2 more 8x8 houses because they cant afford large houses yet or to increase the limits due to saving for a larger house.

PS I would never say only the owner can refresh because I know there are people who serve and get deployed for months on end. Which would mean an automatic loss of their house/s. Obviously there are other cases as well for extended times away. The unsolicited offer is a great idea as well as house sign being a different color if its for sale. Both of those things have absolutely no direct impact on the game mechanics of housing but could possibly make it easier to communicate with people from another timezone/side of the earth.
 
#15
@Owyn - would there be any possibility of being able to buy or lease apartments/housing in town? Instead of increasing the map?

I would totally live out of one of those tents in north terran
honestly though, there are a lot of Overland Brigand camps and RatmaN slums that no one hunts at.
they are too far out of the city for Nubes and the drops are pretty crappy for everyone else.
I think you should look at opening up some of those existing spots. I think refresh by anyone other than the owner is a little Paul that a lot of people exploit, they are using their buddies houses as their own circumventing the rule of having only three houses per account

30 days is a bit strict in my opinion for the IDOC, things happen in peoples personal lives that may cause them to go out of the game for 30 days, hell I’ve been known to take a 30 day vacat30 days is a bit strict in my opinion for the refresh, things happen in peoples personal lives that may cause them to go out of the game for 30 days. Hell I kno people that take 30 day vacations to visit thier families abroad.
 
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#17
I like the ideas of expanding on the "Sale" system.

What a lot of newer players are missing is the fact that even though there isn't space for new housing, a large chunk of the existing housing is for sale and for barely above deed price.

I often see 8x8's going up for sale for 50k, 60k, 70k etc. At least in discord. I don't even look at the "Houses for sale" gump on the real estate NPCs so there is probably more there. In fact I didn't even know about this feature until fairly recently and I've played since beta.

I'm definitely open to lowering the IDOC timer though. 30 days is plenty to arrange a friend to refresh your house if you are going on a long trip away from a computer. 45 days is overkill.
 
#18
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Unsolicited sale offers (meaning you can be offered to sell even if the house is not for sale)
  • Houses that are for sale have a different house sign to indicate they are for sale
I like these 4 and the the house decay should be shorter than 30 days in my opinion but thats just me :)
 
#19
  • Quicker house decay times (30 days to IDOC)
  • Only owners can refresh
  • Taxes/fees related to owning houses
I like those three points but i would add something a bit evil.
Your house refresh by opening the door but it doesn't repair it. If your house start to decay you have the pay a fee to repair it.
Or maybe add an item to the carpentry skill to repair house. (with a MCD)
 
#20
I think increasing turnover is good:
1) Unsolicited offers - yes.
2) Reduced IDOC timer - yes.
3) Add an owner-refresh system green/yellow/red. A house passes through each color which takes a normal IDOC cycle. If the owner does not refresh before it hits the end of the red cycle, then the house will fall. Friends and Co-owners can still refresh as normal, but can not affect the "refresh" of the green/yellow/red parallell timer.

Reducing incentive to own a house is good:
1) My suggestion is: Add an account bound ticket that respawns every week. A player can chose to spend it in various ways. One way to spend it is to use it to own a house (automatically spends it on that while you own a house.
1a) Alternative ways to spend the ticket could be a weekly bonus of: Increased % society point rewards, increased amount of society jobs, increased % gold and special loot, increased % arena/pvp rewards, boost a guild boss summon by 100k, get a random guild perk bonus (personal this time) for 2 days, increased harvest yield, increased exceptional chance, increased taming chance, increased experience gain, increased chance of finding ship upgrades --- You get the point!
1b) Other things to spend it on (more advanced and harder to code) could be to be able to purchase addons that can be placed outside of your current house (such as a garden - a green house - a pool - light posts - patrolling guards - anything that can spice the area up and make it more ambient). Ideally these advanced addons would be placeable only on spots where currently you cant place a normal house, as to not complete. So in essence you would spend your account slot on one account to enhance the house on another account -- And thus you reduce the total amount of houses in the world.
1c) A third thing to spend it on (AND THIS IS BIG) would be BASEMENTS! If you make really cool Basements for current houses and require it to take One account house slot to enable -- Then you will reduce the total amount of houses by a lot.
1c) And the point is that currently the incentive to NOT OWN A HOUSE is zero (it only costs a few k's to place one assuming you have the spot). Let's instead turn the account/house slot into a type of currency that has a value and can be SPENT ON OTHER THINGS than owning a house --- This will reduce the incentive for players to own trash houses.

Increasing housing spots:
1) Consider making small changes to the current map (nothing that makes it uglier) that will enable more houses to be placed/bigger houses to be placed in areas which already have houses.
2) Consider making a new island with some cool stuff on it (mob spawns and so on as well) which can only accept small houses (to a maximum of 12x12 maybe).

What I dont believe in:
x) I do not believe in special areas for new players (will be abused - very short term)
x) I do not believe in taxes or punishing house owners (house ownership is end game of UO - do not make it suck)