I’ve always thought it was important that games play upon their strong points. The strong points are what set them apart from other games, and cause them to be ‘unique’ even if the remainder of the game duplicates something else. In EverQuest 2 I feel that this is player housing. The latest update allows players to own up to 10 homes at one time, and if you own a prestige home you are able to link all of these together via portals. Prestige homes come in a variety of ways, you can earn them from veteran rewards and you can purchase them from the station cash store, as well as earn them through legends of Norrath.
I’m really excited about this feature even though I haven’t been playing that much EQ2. I have my Norrathian museum on the Antonia Bayle server and it takes up the entire 7-year veteran reward home that I own. Thanks to these linked portals I will be able to link a ‘regular’ house to the museum, allowing players (and myself of course) to tour each of them. Decorating homes and “owning” a piece of the game is a really big deal to some players (not all of them, there are always those who are simply not interested) and I think the fact that EQ2 is willing to explore and upgrade these features is fantastic. There is a LOT of housing available in the game, and a lot of housing items. In fact even if you don’t enjoy housing at all it’s almost impossible to avoid that potion of the game because you get housing rewards for numerous quests, there are vendors all over, and the station cash store is filled with awesome furniture you can purchase. Having an option of ‘something else’ to do in game aside from slaughter creatures is a really important ‘hook’ to keep people in game.
If you are into housing, don’t forget to /join antonia_bayle.homeshow for great discussions with other designers. Have you decided what you’re going to do with this new feature yet? Let me know in comments!
Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.