With 2014 bearing down on us, it’s a good time to look at what’s on the horizon. Lately the biggest and brightest MMORPGs on the market have been promising a change to how players interact with their virtual world—and how they make their mark.
To appease the ever increasing desire to have a virtual space in the world, many MMOs have revealed player housing options. To show off what’s expected this year, GameOgre has explored the various options emerging from Wildstar, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft.
Wildstar, the upcoming MMO from Carbine, will be launching an odd sort of player housing where the land itself is ripped from the soil and levitated in the air—thus taking advantage of upward growth without (and hiding the instanced nature of housing behind a cute gimmick.) Each plot will be outfit with various sockets to insert plugs that allow players to customize their space with interactive content.
Plugs can permit mining, farming, fighting, and other various activities on the plot. In fact, it’s been cited by the developers that plugs will allow for interesting ways to allow players to make use of their houses to get fighting buffs, craft items, and just have a good time. Since it’s also possible to invite friends, a housing plot could become a ready and fresh source for crafting materials not easily had elsewhere.
A giant number of décor themes are also available—from a rustic interior filled with taxidermed animals to a horrific Gothic motif fitting the Mordesh. Lighting as well has a great deal of opportunities and isn’t just a gamut from light to dark—but also includes environmental effects that could give a room a crisp, brightly lit panorama, a frozen icy chill, or the appearance of a hazy dust-filled attic.
Adding to the interactive incentive, housing will also have Expeditions: a type of dungeon connected to the house that allows players and their friends to explore. The dungeon will scale accordingly.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, an MMORPG from BioWare and EA Games, has been falling all over itself to talk about the new Galactic Strongholds feature that will be coming this year. The Stronghold expansion will allow players to own properties across multiple planets, giving them a space to crash, customize, store items, and express themselves across the galaxy.
Subscribers will get access June 24th; whereas preferred players (those who have spent more than $4.99) will get in on July 29th; and the rest of the unwashed freemium masses will join in August.
The developers at BioWare have hinted at hundreds of decorations and options that can be applied to the strongholds. Players can also level their Prestige score, which will allow them to rank up in Stronghold Directory. Perhaps will will lead to discounts for buying new decorations or make otherwise-unavailable decorations appear on the options list. It is also highly likely that some aesthetic elements of Strongholds will be bought with the SWTOR freemium currency Cartel Coins.
Along with Strongholds, there will also be Guild Flagships—giving guilds a space where members can meet. In space.
World of Warcraft, the dominant yardstick MMORPG from Blizzard, has been hinting at a massive potential for player or guild housing with the implantation of Garrisons with the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor.
With this expansion, players will find themselves directly involved in the conflict between Horde and Alliance (as well as other factions in Azeroth’s universe) and players will take a hand in recruiting, equipping, and training armies to fight those battles. To do this, Garrisons and other housing are needed for the fledging generals that Blizzard is throwing into the expansion by way of player expansion.
Players can build a base that can be located anywhere in Draenor—presumably this will change the look and feel of the base—and at this base followers will be stationed.
Followers are a sort of NPC that allow players to construct more wings/elements onto their Garrion, level up capabilities, and hire more followers. Followers in the base can go on missions, construct and repair, and even earn epic gear for the player who controls them.
Of course, like all player housing, Garrisons will have sub-areas for players to customize and hold trophies from their adventures. It’s thought that this might include rooms filled with shelves for gruesome trophies from campaigns that involved decapitating dragons and foes; as well as a statuary filled with monuments to the player’s glory. One can full expect that the Horde will have a great deal more skulls adoring their walls; whereas the Alliance might go with the more tried-and-true cold-stone busts.