The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

February 1, 2011

A Nice House in the Shire (LotRO)

Filed under: LOTRO — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:09 am

I don’t know what possessed me, but yesterday evening, I plunked down 7 gold and bought a house in the Shire. If you come visit, it’s 6 Myrtle Ct in the Berrybridge neighborhood (Riddermark server). I’ve already filled the house with junk.

Housing in LotRO is implemented well. My only other experience with housing is in Runes of Magic, so that’s where I’ll draw my comparisons from. The first thing you’ll notice about the housing is that it’s “instanced”. Each instance has about 30 houses, and they add more instances as people buy more houses. Each instance is named and called a neighborhood. So there are many “6 Myrtle Ct” houses, but only one per instance. When you enter the housing instance, a list of neighborhoods pops up and you choose which one you want to enter. Houses which are available for sale in that neighborhood will have a “for sale” sign at the entrance. You click on the sign and follow the prompts to buy the house if you so desire.

There is a lot to like about LotRO housing. When you buy a house, it has a view and a yard to decorate with lawn ornaments, tables, and benches (which actually function). You can decorate the inside as well with various items. You can paint the walls and floors. You can also change the texture of the walls and floors. The best practical aspects are that you get a free “port” to your house every hour, and you get either 30 or 60 shared inventory spaces depending on the size of your house in the form of chests.

The furniture and decorations can come to you in many ways. They can be bought, crafted, dropped in dungeons, and made by taxidermists (from rare drops). So a decoration can say something about your accomplishments in-game.

There are a few things that are annoying (to me) about the housing. There are a set number of “hooks” to hang decorations on. My deluxe home has about 6 outside hooks and lots of inside hooks. The hooks are in a fixed position, which means I can’t arrange my house exactly as I want. Runes of Magic uses a dynamic placement system and limits the amount of items based on the size of the house. The items in LotRO are all purely decorative. Aside from the chests that come with the house, you get no buffs and no function from the furniture. RoM maybe goes to far in that almost every piece of furniture adds an experience or skill point bonus. RoM also allows you to craft in your house. That would be an amazing time saver. Many pieces of furniture in RoM have inventory slots (one or two usually). This would be a great addition to LotRO housing.

There are deficiencies in Runes of Magic housing. In my opinion, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as LotRO housing. There is no yard or neighborhood, so to me it doesn’t really feel like a home. It’s just a place for my tables to buff my TP/hour. Decorations are mostly purchased through the cash shop in RoM, so the decorations mostly say something about how much money you have. As I alluded to above, having buffs on furniture means many folks will just purchase the most efficient furniture and slot it for the bonus without regard for aesthetics. I think evening out the bonuses would resolve this problem.

Over all, I like LotRO housing a lot, and I’ll probably spend too much time arranging things and sitting on my bench looking at the falls.

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