As promised, we’re ready to reveal more design details. Based on feedback from the forums we’re revealing some details on housing!
Let me jump right into the stuff you guys really want to hear:
- House maintenance and acquisition can be paid for with in game currency (KS houses have no upkeep cost ever)
- House deeds can be traded between players
- Houses are 100% secure for items stored in them though not always 100% accessible due to nasty sieges by evil forces
- Houses exist in shared spaces (not instanced) and everyone will see your house and its decorations
- Houses can be decorated both inside and out
- Houses will be fairly limited but more will be added over time as we grow the world
- City houses > Town houses > Village houses
- Vendors for houses will be paid a percentage of the item that they sell (KS vendors will not take a cut of the profits)
Ok, hopefully that answered 80% of the housing questions we've received! For the other 20%, here are details, in written and video form:
House ownership involves two main elements, the property deed and the house. The deed is actually the more valuable element and when acquired will come with a house of some sort. The deed is the claim to be a landowner in the game and allows a player to claim a lot and build a house. Once a lot has been claimed with the deed, houses can be constructed and torn down at the player’s whim, for a cost of course, but the player need not fear losing his claimed lot. The player can however choose to unclaim their lot at any point and reclaim their deed. Deeds are NOT tied to the City/Town/Village in which they are sold!
There are several reasons we chose to go with a deed to a lot and make the house itself secondary. First, due to the scarcity, the land is the valuable part, not the house. By going with a property deed we give people the option to upgrade their houses. Maybe they want to go with a house focused on a particular crafting element or one with a larger garden. Maybe they just want to upgrade because new house types were added and think one is dead sexy! Whatever the reason, we want to give people the option to switch houses. Switching houses can also be done through in game currency and will not be cheap but far less than the property deeds.
Second major reason for using property deeds is that the game will grow over time. Though it will be rare, we will occasionally add new villages, towns, and cities with empty lots. This means that players will not be tied to one area. If a new village opens up and you decide you would rather be there then you can pick up and move to the new area.
The deeds are either city, town, or village deeds. City being the rarest and most valuable, followed by towns and then villages. If someone chooses to, they can use their City deed to claim a lot in a town or village and town deeds can claim in villages. Villages are good only for villages.
So what is the advantage of being in a larger town or city? There are a number of reasons players will want to be in a big city. First is safety and accessibility. Big towns are more heavily defended and nearly immune to attacks. When the city/town/village your house is in is under attack, you don’t risk losing the items inside but there could be some period of time in which it is inaccessible. You can of course join in the defense of the town to help clear the attackers or just wait until it is safe.
Another three important reasons for being in a large population center are location, location, and location! Big cities got big for a reason and it is almost always because they are in key map areas that are highly accessible and near important resources.
Players in larger population centers also have much more convenient access to good, crafting areas, services, training, and customers! The customers part is super critical to anyone seeking to be a successful business person. Selling goods in town and Cities not only receive the most traffic but also have the most prime spots for houses. Players can hire vendors to stand on their property and sell their crafted or collected wares to passing strangers.
For crafters who elect not to own a house of their own, there will be bazaars available to sell the goods for a percentage of the profits. The bazaars will only carry goods listed at them and not from throughout the lands. The exceptionally talented homeowners will likely be able to turn a profit by buying low demand goods from one city and reselling them through their house vendors in a city with higher demand.
Houses and their decorations and trophies will be visible to all other players (unless you choose to lock it). We fully expect people to proudly display their exceptionally crafted goods and items from their glorious adventures! What fun is a house if you can’t fully personalize it!
So why should players want to buy a house deed during Kickstarter? Houses acquired during Kickstarter will be maintenance free for life and come with a free vendor who doesn’t take a % of your sales. You will also have access to several house decorations that will only be available to people during kickstarter! Definitely the easiest, lowest maintenance method of acquiring a house.
So what happens if you don't get a property deed during the crowd-funding phase? There will still be some property deeds made available after the game goes live. We are currently looking at what the most fair method of distribution will be. The three main options currently being considered are:
- Put a deed up per week per area with an opening for a 1 week auction using in game currency. This would obviously be VERY competitive!
- Lottery system. Tickets are sold for a week and then we hold a random drawing to give away a few property deeds. This will ensure that more people have a chance and makes it more exciting for the masses but could frustrate some players.
- Land Rush! We would set a very high but fixed in game price for deeds and let people race to get them. This could be too rewarding for the earliest adopters and also could result in some negative side effects like organized groups or farmers working together to buy property deeds purely for resale reasons.
We are also open to suggestions from our backers! No matter what system we choose, we know there will be some people not happy with the method chosen but we will strive to make it as fair as possible.
Houses in the offline single player version of the game will be available in most cities for an appropriate amount of in game currency and will not require a deed or significant maintenance. Obviously, as this is the offline version, the house will not be visible to other players.
I’m sure that this glimpse into housing will prompt even more questions! Be sure to give us your feedback here, and on our forums, and we'll address them in future updates!
Thanks for reading this lengthy piece!
The SotA team