All sorts of things have appeared on the forums for Chronicles of Elyria in the last few days that are worthy of a blog post, but some of them will have to wait. Housing was confirmed. Okay, of the regular forum goers it may just have been me that didn’t realise it was definitely in, but I am going to celebrate none the less. So I have combed the forums and pulled together all the scraps we have so far.
Houses will be available at launch. Houses are absolutely essential. Cheers!
So there we have the official confirmation from The Caspian himself, Jeromy Walsh, in a thread about in-game lore started by community member Luccheno. It also mentions that they are essential. In fact not just essential, absolutely essential. Which is one of those phrases that makes my heart all a flutter. It could mean so many different things, and we just will not know for sure until they spill all the beans. However it certainly means that most of us will want, or perhaps even need, to have homes. Homes may well turn out to be a central point for our characters, often going out from them and then returning after a great adventure. There is a lot of scope for housing playing interesting roles such as buffs, storage, crafting, who knows!
One of the first questions I have about housing is how you handle the ‘where’ of it. Where are you going to put all these houses? Some games let players build houses in particular areas of the map, others in large instanced areas, some in small instanced neighbourhoods. A few have let you build them wherever you want, and it looks like that is the choice made for Chronicles of Elyria. From a thread actually about player housing created by forum DerryFH, we get this snappy quote; though there are no prizes for guessing which Soulbound Studios Creative/Technical Director it comes from:
It’s your land. Create houses where you want.
So houses everywhere! Messy? Chaos? Or is there going to be ways to allow you to build anywhere but really encourage neighbourhoods, hamlets, villages to develop? Benefits that come from living close together in ever expanding in player ran towns? The carrot drawing you in together, rather than the stick forcing you to build in certain ‘town’ spaces. We have heard the terms villages, duchies, even kingdoms, bandied about and it would be great so see that housing actually formed a part of building those communities, literally, from the ground up.
It is all really speculation apart from the bare bones but for those of us that love housing, it seems like an interesting starting point. A system that, if given as much depth as some of the other areas we know more about, could really flourish and make the game have a certain longevity. Housing ties people to the game, it makes that game their home. Having features like this really brings in the long term player and encourages a community. Communities make MMOs so I am glad they are being nurtured.
Oh and just for fun, why not get hyped about the first expansion now as well. When asked about underground areas we got a sneak peak at future, future housing developments:
It’s planned. It falls under the terraforming we want to do and is kind of vital to some of the housing stuff we’re doing. But we’ve not started on that system yet, so it may not be available at launch.
So hopefully, it is not so vital that housing doesn’t function well enough without it, but is also interesting enough so that when the first expansion does hit (I am sure we will get there some day) we will all be this hyped all over again!