After gushing about Star Wars: The Old Republic’s starships, it’s only fair to take a closer look at Guild Wars 2’s concept of player housing. It’s amusing and heartening to me to see that both of these high-profile games are not only coming standard with housing, but are taking basic player housing concepts and moving them forward.
Massively’s Jef found a neat video that compiled all of the key points that ArenaNet developers have stated about GW2’s “home instances,” as they’re being called. The concept here is that instead of getting just a building to decorate, you’ll get a whole neighborhood to call your very own. As you progress through your story in the game and make choices, the instance will start to change — characters you save can move in next door, merchants can be added, buildings can be demolished, and presumably all sorts of other types of customization will occur.
I love this for two reasons. One, it’s not just ArenaNet throwing a bone to the player housing community, but instead the studio’s putting what looks like a whole lot of time and effort into making this something special and somewhat different. The second reason is that it’s going to keep me coming back to this instance to see what’s happening now versus other games where I know my house is static and unchanging.
There’s still a heapload we don’t know about this, but hot diggity dog does it get my imagination racing to contemplate the possibilities. As with any MMO housing, my fondest hope is that there will be things to actually do there above just sightseeing and decorating. I’d love to have a good reason to end my gaming sessions “heading home” instead of just logging out in limbo.
Beyond just Guild Wars 2, if this type of housing is widely successful and embraced by the players, it could infect other parts of the industry and help convince developers that player housing can and should be a valuable part of the game instead of something that’s relegated to the backseat.
(So fighting the urge to make a dig at Blizzard here… be good, Syp, be good!)