Enter the House

“Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that:
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.”
– Shylock, The Merchant of Venice
I confess, I’ve never played an MMO featuring player housing. I hear the stories of Ultima Online and the crazy player-created housing market and all that it entailed. Once again, however, WildStar has thrown down the gauntlet for implementing layered mechanics and content, demonstrating that the conceptualization of player housing holds more than just a hilarious promo video.
So not only do we have customizable personal space, gameplay mechanic benefits, and social platforming aids, but we have dynamic resource plots, crafting aids, questing hubs, portals, and who knows what else. I can easily see this taking the place of a banking system for those players with homes. If Carbine wants an inter-player economy, you could easily have a storefront option.
As long as this aspect doesn’t reflect Farmville too much, I think I’ll be happy.
Throughout the exposé, I was once again struck by the layering aspect of WildStar. This really looks like a game that wants everything to affect everything, and for players to constantly be exposed to different parts of the game without forcing them to pursue all of them. It stands to reason that someone who finds a housing decoration from killing a random critter is going to be more likely to try out the whole homeowner thing — and if they can put a resource node on their property, then why not see what this whole “crafting” thing is all about? And, oh wait, I can have friends over? Well, why not make some more friends and show this place off to them?
It’s objectively fantastic, at least for my personal value of objectively.

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