You know what I liked best about the new “What is WildStar?” trailer? That out of all of the features that the team wanted to promote about the game to potential players (including those who have never heard of it before), player housing was right up there with the rest of it.
That says to me that Carbine takes player housing seriously and how it’s not just an afterthought, but something that the team sees as essential to the game as a whole. I’ve always advocated that housing, along with community, is one of the best ways to encourage a player to plant roots in a game. It encourages creation and design instead of mindless slaughter, and has so much potential for social interaction and useful elements.
If nothing else, when I see a game put a priority on player housing, what it’s saying to me is that we might have created the rest of the world, but this little plot is your turn to shine. You’re welcome to be a part of the world-building. That you don’t just have to conform to the game, but the game can be shaped to mold to you in a way.
It’s so encouraging to see player housing on the rise in MMOs and so many of these games actually putting effort into making robust systems (a la RIFT’s dimensions). I have a suspicion that a game that’s unashamed about the potential of its player housing can and will attract a segment of loyal, passionate players that would not have come otherwise.