I recently submitted a fairly lengthy post about player housing to the Guild Wars 2 sugesstion fourms and thought it a good enough post to put up here. I will be using this site for some of my more wild tin foil hat ramblings letting Relics of Orr focus more on news analysis and community events. Below is my design idea reposted in its entirety.
I wanted to talk about guild and player housing on Relics of Orr, but since we probably won’t see either for six months to a year I figure it’s not great content for the show right now. However I’ve been thinking about how they could implement it. Now is the best time to discuss housing on the forums as any input we give could influence the design document before they start coding it. Once they have an initial design document radical change becomes much more difficult. I personally would like to see open world housing in GW2 and to that end, I think they have a few interesting options open to them.
Current World Housing
There are many buildings scattered around the game world both in cities and the open world that are currently closed with no interior. I think it would be very cool if ANet opened those buildings up and created a player market to buy and sell rental contracts. Some buildings could be set up as condos with multiple players each renting a small room. Furniture and decorations could be placed using a similar system to siege blueprints in WvW. I am especially fond of this idea because it does not require massive redesigns of maps and does not pull players out of the open world.
In the open world some towns occasionally get taken over by enemy npcs. Houses in these towns could be cheaper to rent due to local hazards driving down property values. In addition to that perhaps the invaders would destroy furniture forcing players to replace what was destroyed. Furniture would be a great addition to the current crafting disciplines and the cash shop. Make recipes for racial furniture (Charr, Sylvari, Asura, etc…) available in the main cities while recipes for special furniture (Pact, Nightmare, ghostly) can only be bought from the cash shop.
Logged Out NPC and Rested Buffs
Since I’m making a list of things I want with housing. Allow player to designate one of their characters as the owner of the house and if they log out in the house that character will spawn as an npc and wander around the town, clean the house, shout at passing players based on their personality, and defend open world towns. To encourage players to visit their house ANnet could make it free to fast travel to your home and grant buffs(XP,Karma, magic find) for logging out in your house. Buffs could be generalized or based on what kind of furniture and decorations you put in your home.
If a guild of players purchase houses nearby each other in a town outside the city their logged out NPCs could receive a boost based on how much influence they have provided the guild(normal >veteran>champion>legendary). Any NPCs that they kill defending the town could add a small amount of gold to the guild bank. Guild NPCs would count as part of event scaling and if the town is taken players could lose their housing buffs, some furniture and there would be no income from them to the guild.
Since housing would be server based, a new, sever specific, rental contract broker could be added to lion’s arch. It would function similar to the Trading Post with rentals searchable by zone (Divinties reach, Plains of Ashford, Metrica Province, etc…). Rent could be pulled from your bank every week. If you failed to pay rent for, say, three weeks your rental contract would be revoked and returned to the market at default value. Players could be limited to one or two houses per account and have the ability to resell their rental contracts. Buying and selling rentals between players would function like current TP system with players putting up sell orders and buy orders. If a property returns to the market due to delinquent rent and it has several players who have made deposits to purchase it the highest bidder would receive the contract.
I have more Ideas, but this is a rather long post so I’ll stop here for now. What sorts of issues do you see with this system? What would you like to see as housing in GW2?
TLDR; Now is the time to try and influence ANet’s housing design. I think they should make all the closed buildings around the maps into player rentable houses. Make city houses safe while open world houses could be attacked by NPCs. All furniture would be made through crafting with special recipes in the gem shop. Guild members who buy houses close to each other would gain bonuses. The Market would be like the Black Lion Trading Post, but server specific. When a player logs out their character spawns at their house as an NPC.