Announcing LOTRO Total Housing Redesign!
Please Note - This is NOT an official announcement! It is a Suggestion.
Sometime within the next year, we will be completely redesigning the housing in LOTRO! There are many reasons for this total revamp, but the major issues are as follows:
There are many other reasons for our decision to redesign the housing system, but instead of beating dead horses, here instead is what you can expect to find in the all new LOTRO Housing Sytem…
- We have come to the realization that the current hook system doesn’t work because it so drastically hinders any creative designing by players of their own houses. Well, actually, “hinder’ isn’t quite the correct word since it completely blocks player creativity. Another problem with the hook system is that besides limiting player creativity, houses and yards tend to look empty even though there is an over-abundance of housing items. Even the new Housing Guards take up a small yard hook, further compounding the empty feeling.
- Along the same line, the categorizing of decorations into a multitude of different sizes is being discarded also. We couldn’t quite get the sizes right anyway. For instance, the Short Scholar Table and the Long Scholar Table ended up being the same large size even though no one here could quite explain why. The quest obtained Large Bear Rug reward is another good example… for some reason it was originally coded into the game as a large floor item even though the majority of homes are Standard size and these only have two small floor hooks (Note that this has been fixed but it is still a good example). Again, we can’t quite explain why and no one seems to know who coded this item.
- No one here seems to be able to explain why chairs can’t be put around tables or why they can’t be set along a wall, nor can we, as stated earlier, find an explanation for huge halls and rooms being nearly empty even with all available hooks filled. The same goes for arrangement of tables/chairs/candles beside beds, or trophy groupings within a room, etc., etc.
Right up front we want to emphasize that current home owners and kinships with Kinship Halls WILL NOT need to buy a new home. Current owners will be given a home/hall in the new system equivelant to their current home (or as close as possible) and all items in the current home will be put into escrow with a two week grace period to remove to allow you time to get acquainted with the new system and redecorate as you wish.
Purchasing a Home
Buying a home in Middle Earth is easy to do, and every Character may own a home! (This feature will require a VIP account or may be unlocked through the LOTRO Store). No longer does your Man have to live in the tiny abode of your Hobbit, nor does your Elf need to live in the cold confines of a Dwarven home, unless of course you wish to or simply want to save money by sharing. Of course not everyone will want the responsibility and cost of multiple homes but if you really want to, you will have that option but with a few rules and restrictions that will be further discussed in the outline below.
There are two ways in which to purchase a home:
Every level of home type is available at all times. If the level that you choose is completely sold-out, your purchase instantly opens a new neighborhood. No more waiting for new neighborhoods to open! Please note though that a new instance will NOT open if a particular floor-plan or the location of a house within a neighborhood is not available. New instances will only open if the house type and level are sold-out. If you really have your heart set on the level, floor-plan, and location, and they are all currently taken, you will have to wait until one opens up. But even this has been made easier… You may leave your name with the Broker if your particular house is not immediately available and when one does open up, you will receive a message in your mailbox. Note that there may be others waiting for the same house and they will be sold on a first-come, first serve basis.
- Simply visit the Broker of the Housing area in which you wish to live, peruse the list of available homes types for that neighborhood, and make your purchase.
- Or, Visit the neighborhood itself, and once you have found the ideal house for you, access the information on the For Sale sign and use the buy this home button. If the particular home level that you want is completely sold-out, then you will need to use option one (visit the Broker).
When searching for a home using the Broker's listings, Neighborhoods will now show two additional stats - Community Age and Homeowner Activity.
Community Age will show how old or new the community is. This stat will increment starting with New, then will update as 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 3 Weeks, 4 Weeks/1 Month, and then change to a monthly (4-week) stat - i.e. 2 Month, 3 Month, etc. Each year, the stat will increment as 1 Year, 3 Months, 1 Year, 6 Months, etc.
Homeowner Activity - As homes are sold within the community, each time a player enters the gate or uses the home-map, the community activity counter/timer begins with '1' added to the character count, and conversely, when that character leaves, the timer stops and the time is added to the total usage for the community, This counter/timer simply records the number of characters entering the neighborhood (one count for each new character and one count for repeat characters) and records the time of use for the community, NOT of the individual character, so it has no effect on your character. Every character's entrance and exit will effect the Homeowner Activity stat for that neighborhood on a per day, 24-hour basis with the new individual character counter weighing the heaviest in category determination (See below) (For example - 5 new characters spending 8 hours total would still be listed as a 'Brown Hills' community since the players were by all likelyhood decorating new homes, but if a day showed 24 new characters but only 2 hours total time, the rating would drop to a lower level category since this was obviously a Kinship function of some kind and not the norm. As a community ages, these totals will be averaged on a weekly, then a monthly, and finally 3-month basis, updating on a daily basis as stated. At the end of each week, the total time will be averaged by the total players and the category will be set to the new total to begin the new week. In this way, a player will be able to see at a glance if the neighborhood where he or she is considering a purchase is an active community or a relative ghost town. The counter/time (#New/Total with repeat characters; total time) stat will be displayed as one of the following categories:
- Alternate Neighborhood - (See description below)
- New Community (New/None) - Newly opened community with no homes sold.
- Brown Hills (0-5/5; 0-2 hours) - This is esentially a barren, lifeless community.
- Lone Lands (3-8/10; 2-3 hours) - Slightly better than the Brown Hills, but not much.
- Buckland (5-12/20; 3-8 hours) - Good activity, but still kind of quiet. You will probably see some of your neighbors during the week.
- Shire (10-17/30; 6-12 hours) - Healthy activity - Players are active here. You should see a few neighbors daily.
- Thorin's Hall (15-22/40; 10-15 hours) - Characters are coming and going here a lot. You won't spend much time alone here.
- Rivendell (20-30/50; 15-24 hours) - A hub of activty. Players are probably doing things together and/or there is one or more active kinships here.
- Bree (30+/50+; 24+ hours) - This is what community is all about. It doesn't get any better than this. Activities are nearly round-the-clock.
As mentioned above, every character may own a home. Upon purchasing a second home on one player's account, the player will designate which home is the main character's home. Any future home purchases on that account will again give the choice with all of the homes again being listed as an option. Once designated, the alternate homes will be set on timers where each visit will start a clock and the time spent there would be logged for that home. When the character leaves the home, the timer will stop and the elapsed time added to any previous visits. (Note that this timer WILL NOT apply to homes that are located in an Alternate Neighborhood already.)
At the end of one month, if the total of time spent at the home is more than or equal to a predetermined minimum, nothing happens and things go on as usual. If, at the end of that month, the total is less than that predetermined minimum, the player is given a warning that the home is not being used enough, and that the neighborhood is not a vacation home community. The home is then set on a probation of sorts in that over the next two weeks, if the homeowner fails to use the home on par with that needed to reach the minimum, at the end of that two weeks, the home will be automatically relocated to a neighborhood for alts. These 'alternate neighborhoods' will be populated only by players' alternate homes that are rarely used, where no one will really care if it is a ghost town or not. Once a home is moved to an Alternate neighborhood, it CANNOT be moved back. If you want your home in another type of neighborhood, your only option would be to sell and buy another home (See Selling Your Homebelow for more details).
Players will have the opportunity at the time of purchase, to actually buy a home in one of these neighborrhoods if they know at purchase that the home will not be used often, thus avoiding having the home relocated at a future date. When searching neighborhoods for a home, these neighborhoods will be clearly designated as alternate neighborhoods.
Furnishing & Decorating Your Home
The new housing system will impliment either a totally free-style system of item placement or use a hybrid system utilizing both free-style and a modified hook system which will allow movement of the hooks to wherever you wish to place it within your home or yard. We haven’t quite decided which method to use just yet (although we are leaning toward the free-style system), but rest assured, the old limited, static hook system will be a thing of the past. The following is a description of the two aforementioned options that we’re exploring…
OPTION #1 - The free-style system is pretty self explanatory. In such a system, any item obtained for your home can be placed at any location within the house. If you wish to line everything along one wall, that is your perogative. If you want everything sitting in the middle of the room, have at it. Want to pile everything into a corner? Go for it. And of course, if you want to creatively decorate your home into a showcase complete with a single wall of trophies, a bedroom corner or room, a breakfast/meal nook with cooking area, and a study, then by all means, do it. Naturally there will be some limitations such as only items equipped with hanging hooks may be hung from ceilings, but most anything else goes. That Large Bear Rug, lay it anywhere you want to… in front of the fireplace, beside the bed or ON the bed!), or even hang it on the wall! There will be a limit as to the number of items that can be placed within a certain level/type/floorplan but those limits will be realistic and high enough that even the most dedicated packrat will have a hard time reaching the limit.
OPTION #2 - The modified-hook free-style system works a little differently. The hooks are still there just like you see them in-game now, but the hooks themselves can be placed anywhere on your property. When you purchase your home, you will have a list of hooks available to that particular house plan. This list will have three categories – inside, outside, and special, and three sizes within each category – large, medium, and small. Period. The thin furniture, small and large wall, large and small, large and small yard, etc., are all gone. These three categories and sizes will cover every aspect of your home and yard. The list will give you a number of choices which you will be able to modify throughout your ownership of the home, and each level of home and floor-plan will have a set amount of housing points which you will use to determine how many items will go into your home. For instance, the most abundant level home – Homestead, floor-plan #1 (there will be at least 4 floor-plans for each of the five levels of houses) - will give you the following options:
- A total of 300 housing points are used in this home – 200 points for inside, 100 points for outside.
- Every small item equals ½ housing point (2 items uses 1 point).
- Every medium item equals 1 housing point (1 item uses 1 point).
- Every large item equals 2 housing points (1 item uses 2 points).
- Items in the Special category will include:
- Decorations that can be placed both inside and outside, such as benches, flower boxes, barrels & boxes, certain lighting items, etc.
- Simple items that are too small to be considered a small item such as utensils, small indoor decorations, etc. These items will be grouped together to equal a set amount of points. For example, a collection of 12 table utensils (4 each – knife, fork, & spoon) would equal ½ point while each one individually would not add to your point total until a full 12 pieces (in any combination) were assembled.
- Unique items such as a shed, stable, fountains (indoor & outside), special trophies, etc. These will have a size, but will have the housing point cost listed within it’s description. For instance a stable will be a large / Special but will use 20 outside points.
House Types & Prices
As stated, housing will have five levels and each level will have at least four floor-plans, although not every floor-plan will be available at all locations and some floor plans will be VIP exclusive (or possibly unlockable via the LOTRO Store). The Level-1 homes are Racially exclusive, as will be one floor-plan from each of the other four levels. These may only be purchased by the indicated race, but may of course be shared with characters of other races on your account:
Upkeep on homes will be paid on a 4-week basis. This upkeep will vary depending on the level, floor-plan, and location of your home, and will generally be in the range of 50silver for the simplest Level-1 home up to 5gold for the most elaborate Kinship Halls. These upkeep costs can be paid as far as one year in advance, but once paid, they are not refundable, even if you decide to move to a new location. In the event that you do not pay your maintenance fee, you will still have access, BUT areas of the house and decorations will begin to deteriorate. The very first item affected by lack of maintenance is your storage chests. You will notice that the hinges and locks have become rusted and refuse to open. Decoration items around the house and property will become broken and unusable while some will simply disappear. A broken item or one that disappears is not recoverable (Note - We are considering allowing these items to be repaired after the maintenance fees have been brought up-to-date). Rooms will develope holes in the roof or cracks in the walls and eventually will become inaccessable. These signs of deterioration will become obvious on a daily and weekly basis. If your maintenance falls three payments behind, the dwelling becomes uninhabitable and you may no longer enter nor remove anything. At four months, any items that have not been affected are placed into an escrow for a period of two months. If not recovered within that time-frame, they are sold at auction and the monies used to repair the home for resale. At any time before this final auction, you may pay the back maintenance fees plus 10% per every 4 weeks in arrears (1 second past a 4-week period counts as a new 4 weeks) of the initial cost of the home to restore the home and regain access, but, as stated, no broken or lost items will be restored (See the Note above).
- Cabin/Cottage/Hole/Cave - (These are Racially exclusive! Man/Elf/Hobbit/Dwarf respectively) – 1 large room or 1 large room with a very small storage room – 400 silver to 650 silver
- Homestead – 2 or 3 rooms – 750 silver to 1 gold, 250 silver
- Standard & Standard Deluxe – 3, 4, or 5 rooms (possibly with a loft) – 2 gold to 6 gold, 500 silver
- Manor – 4 to 7 rooms, either single story with or without a loft, or full double story, some with a below-ground, 2nd or 3rd floor – 7 gold, 250 silver to 13 gold
- Kinship Hall – 6 to 12+ rooms, single, double, or triple story, some with a below-ground, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floor – 11 gold, 500 silver to 35+ gold
NOTE – The penalties will be used to alleviate the ghost towns and abandoned homes caused by players who just decide to quit paying their upkeep or who have left the game for reasons other than those listed below. Certain circumstances will be taken into consideration for having the penalties of non-payment removed, including the extra 10% charge and the loss of items. These circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis if they are brought to our attention in a timely manner and with some kind of proof (to be determined per case), and may include any of the following conditions (the following list is NOT all inclusive nor is it set in stone)…
Selling Your Home
- Military Duty
- Extreme illness, disability, &/or extended hospital stay
- A new addition to the family (no, we aren’t talking about a new dog, cat, or hamster here)
- Work/career related issues such as extended travel or permanent relocation, job loss, etc.
- Personal crisis such as divorce, loss of a family member, etc.
Homes may be sold if you desire to move, or simply wish to live under the stars for awhile, but you may not sell a home that is more than one 4-week period in arrears for the maintenance fees. To sell your home, simply visit the broker for your Housing area. Any permanent upgrades you made to your home (see below for more about improving your home) will be lost, including any chests that you may have purchased. The broker will offer you three options –
Once you have sold your home by whichever option you chose, all personal items still within the dwelling at sale (including within chests) are immediately transferred to escrow. This escrow is accessable at any Vault location (including within the housing areas of course) and is separate from your normal vault space. Regardless of your sale option, you have one week to empty the escrow vault, or all items within it will be sold at a 2-day auction if not bound items. Anything that does not sell and all bound items will be sold to the vendors. The returns of the sale will be added to your cash minus a storage & handling and seller’s fee in the amount of 15% of the total return. Thus, if you sold your house for cash you have one week to dispose of the items however you see fit, or if you have a voucher, you have that week to purchase another home. Once you purchase a home, the vault is immediately transferred tempoarily to your new residence, directly inside the front door. You may then remove the items and place them within your new home, but nothing may be put into this temporary vault – once an item is removed, it cannot be put back into the vault, nor may anything else be put into it. Also be aware that if you have items in the temporary vault that were in chests in the old home (other than the chest that is included with the house – see below), you will need to purchase new chests to store them in (or have alternative storage available) since the chests DO NOT move with you.
- Option #1 is a voucher which may be applied to the purchase of another home within the same community. This gives you the greatest return since the voucher is for the purchase price minus 3% broker’s fee.
- Option #2 is a voucher for a home in any other community. This option gives you your purchase price minus a 7% broker’s fee.
- Option #3 is cash in hand, but at a considerable loss on your investment. Due to aging of your home, and normal wear and tear above and beyond the normal maintenance, the dwelling will need to be refurbished, then resold, plus they are losing you as a customer. Therefore, you only receive 75% of your initial purchase price if the maintenance is up-to-date, or 50% if you are behind up to one 4-week period.
We are also looking into two additional options to sell your home or Kinship Hall –
These options would facilitate members of a Kinship who wish to own a home near their Kinship Hall or within the same community, would allow players to have homes near their friends or family members if they wish, and would allow players who are in arrears on maintenance payments to sell their home to someone who wants to be an active community member. We are still working out the details but here are some of the basics that may be implemented…
- Option #4 - Sell it to another player or Kinship on a one-to-one basis
- Option #5 - List it on the Auction House
- A new section of the Housing Panel will allow a secure transaction between two players.
- There will be a Price Cap for resale to another player on a one-to-one basis of 2x the original cost of the home plus any improvements. Any maintenance funds in arrears will be automatically deducted from the seller’s account at the conclusion of the sale.
- A sale in the Auction House will go through the Housing Broker who will set the opening Bid Price for the home but allow you to set the Buyout Price at whatever you wish (no Cap on an Auction sale).
- A home sold in the AH will have an initial fee of 5% of the opening Bid Price plus a 10% closing fee if the home is sold.
- In either type of sale, all personal items within the home will go to the Escrow Agent immediately upon sale with the exception of improvements which WILL transfer with the home since they will be taken into account in the opening Bid Price or the Price Cap.
In addition to the five levels of houses, there will be a sixth option open to everyone beginning at character level 10. Found in various hamlets, towns, and cities throughout Middle Earth will be in-town rental units. These Inn Rooms (and possibly a few rooms in homes!) will be either a simple 1-room or a 2-room unit which will require an initial modest sum and a weekly rental payment. The rental payments may be made up to 6 weeks in advance, but if you decide to move on, the rental fee is NOT refundable. Being rather small and having limited options for decorating (some may even be furnished to some degree), these will serve more as a temporary base than as a permanent home (although the more frugal amoung us or those who aren’t really into the larger homes may opt to live in one of these permanently and may do so if they wish).
The rentals will be instances, so the same door will lead to many different player rooms, and these will be found in buildings already existing in the game (although new establishments may be added in the future). As an example, within the Prancing Pony in Bree you will find 4 doors which will lead to rental rooms. These will be one 2-room, and three 1-room, each with a slightly different floor plan and each with different initial and weekly rates ranging from 50 silver/ 25 silver per week up to 100 silver/ 75 silver per week. The prices will vary depending on the location of the town in which it is found and the quality of the establishment. The Forsaken Inn for instance, may have a room with only a partial roof! This room would of course be considerably cheaper than one with a full roof. (See the next section below – Storage- for storage options in rentals.)
Rooms may be rented by each and every character and they Do Not have to be the same room in the same location. Also, a character on a VIP account may have up to three rentals at various locations with 2 additional locations available through the LOTRO Store (for a total of 5). F2P accounts may unlock up to 2 additional rentals through the LOTRO Store (for a total of 3).
The storage within the homes has been remodeled also. All items may now be placed in your personal storage chest (which is included in your initial purchase) within your home, including bound items, but only you may access this chest. Each character on the same account may purchase storage within a house, but is limited to owning chests within one home (with the exception of Kinship Halls – see below). If a character owns a home, then that character must use the chest within that home and may NOT purchase a chest in another character’s home (on the same account). If, after purchasing a chest within another character’s home (on the same account), a character buys their own home, their items will immediately transfer to the new home and the old chest will be inaccessible. If any of a player’s characters sells a home, the option to purchase a chest within another of that player’s characters’ homes becomes available again.
In addition to the personal storage chests, each house has included in it’s initial cost a small shared chest (just like the shared storage vault) that is usable by all of the owner’s characters, even if that character has his or her own home, or in the case of the Kinship Hall, the shared community chest is usable by all members of the Kinship. Bound items MAY NOT be stored in the shared community chests.
Storage Chests are as follows:
Crafting and Decorations
- Cabin/Cottage/Hole/Cave – The homeowner has one free 20-slot chest. Additionally one free 10-slot community chest is included. Each non-homeowner character on the account may purchase one 15-slot chest for 50 silver.
- Homestead – The homeowner has one free 25-slot chest. Additionally one 12-slot community chest is included. Each non-homeowner character on the account may purchase one 20-slot chest for 75 silver.
- Standard & Standard Deluxe – The homeowner has one free 30-slot chest. Additionally one 15-slot community chest is included. Each non-homeowner character may purchase one 25-slot chest for 100 silver. The homeowner of a Standard Deluxe may also upgrade the personal chest to a 40-slot chest and the community chest to a 20-slot chest for 250 silver.
- Manor – The homeowner has one free 40-slot chest. Additionally one 20-slot community chest is included. Each non-homeowner character may purchase one 30-slot chest for 150 silver. In addition, the homeowner character may upgrade the personal chest to a 60-slot chest and the community chest to a 30-slot chest for 500 silver. Non-homeowner characters may upgrade their personal chests to a 45-slot chest for an additional 150 silver.
- Kinship Hall – The Kin Leader has one free 30-slot chest. Additionally one 30-slot community chest is included. 2 additional 30-slot community chests may be purchased immediately for 500 silver and 1 gold respectively. At certain Kinship levels (as yet to be determined), each of the three may be upgraded to 45-slot chests (cost to be determined).
- The Leader may also upgrade the personnal chest to a 45-slot chest for 300 silver and up to four Officers may purchase personal-use 25-slot chests for 250 silver. The remaining Kinship members may each purchase a 12-slot personal chest for 120 silver.
- These personal chests within the Kinship Hall may be purchased even if the character has a personal home with purchased chests.
- If an Officer is demoted to member rank for whatever reason, and owns one of the four Officer Chests, the chest becomes a 12-slot in 24 hours with no reimbursement of cost. If more than 12 items are within the chest at the time of downgrading, they will be sent to escrow for a period of 1 month. If they are not removed within that time, they will be lost permanently.
- If a member leaves or is removed from a Kinship and still has items within their personal chest, the items will be sent to escrow immediately and will remain for up to 1 month. If they are not removed within that time, they will be lost permanently.
- If a member is upgraded to Officer to fill a vacancy, the chest will remain a 12-slot until the difference of 130 silver is paid to upgrade to a 25-slot, if one is available.
- Rentals – Include a free 5-, 10-, or 15-slot community chest depending on the establishment, all of which can be upgraded to a 10-, 20-, or 30-slot community chest for a RENTAL FEE of 15 to 75 silver per week (again depending on the establishment). If upgraded, the fee is payable up to 6 weeks in advance if the room is paid in advance for the same duration. No personal chest is available in a rental (so no bound items may be put into them) AND if your rent on either the room or the chest is not paid before the lock-out date & time, all items within the chests are forfeited! Innkeepers and room renters are NOT running a charity and often are larcenous at heart! BEWARE!
- Additional Storage – In addition to the above, the LOTRO Store may offer various upgrades periodically, and additional Officer Chests may be made available at certain Kinship ranks for Kinships that wish to have more than four Officers chests.
Many of the items used to decorate your home will also have usable functions such as being able to light the fireplace and wall sconces in the current system. Many, if not nearly all, of these items will come in various shapes and sizes as well as colors and often will accept dyes or paints for customization. The decorations and usable items will come from many sources such as vendors, quests, and craftsman, and will often vary greatly in price, ranging anywhere from free as quest and Reputation rewards to a dozen gold or more for the most exquisite, elaborate, usable, and rare items. The following is a partial list of the many improvements in this area:
- Storage for special items –
- Cloak Pegs will be available to hang your cloaks, hats, and hoods on.
- Weapon Racks that will actually hold and display your usable weapons.
- Mannequins will be available for each race that will hold and display outfits and usable suits of armor.
- Display Cases will be available to hold and show-off your mementos such as your Prized Pie.
- Jewelry Boxes will hold extra jewelry pieces that you just can’t bring yourself to part with or wish to keep for various adventures and raids.
- Cabinets and Pantries as well as an assortment of Racks, Kegs, Barrels, and Crates will be available for food, drink, and cooking supplies.
- Armoirs and Dressers will hold miscellanious outfit pieces and extra clothing and armor.
- Key Hooks will hang on your wall to hold your key collection.
- Instrument Holders of various shapes and sizes will hold your musical instruments.
- Display Racks will be available for items such as a prized Fishing Pole or a special weapon awarded for completing a quest. (Note that a weapon or piece of armor displayed in this manner will no longer be usable as such but will instead become a bound housing decoration.)
- Bookcases, tables, dresser tops, counters, and wall shelves will actually hold small items such as:
- lightable candles
- readable books, papers, & journals of lore and history
- small trophies (some of which may produce special effects when activated)
- mugs, plates, bowls, & utensils
- music boxes that play your ambient music
- wine racks, kegs of ale & beer, and jugs of cider
- pipe holders and bags of pipeweed (Pipeweed will be getting an upgrade as well and will play a somewhat bigger role in LOTRO – watch for a future announcement)
- a wide assortment of games (This will be further discussed in an upcoming announcement in the very near future – Games and Pasttimes of Middle Earth – Enhancements for Gatherings in Homes, Inns, and Taverns)
- Fish Trophies will be displayed on appropriately sized plaques (i.e. the Giant Goldfish will be substantially smaller than Huge Houting for example).
- Fish & Tackle stations for the preparation of custom baits, poles, and tackle. (This will be further discussed in an upcoming announcement in the very near future – Fishing & Other Hobbies – The Expansion of Hobbies in Middle Earth)
- Many, MANY more crafting recipes for housing items for all Professions.
- Simple Craft Stations for every Profession (including farming) for the crafting of all lower-tier items and a selection of recipes from every tier, as well as a few special recipes that can ONLY be crafted at these home stations such as the smaller housing items! The majority of recipes though, will still need the use of the far more advanced facilities found within the public crafting areas. These home stations will include a small storage box (beginning at 10-slots, upgradeable to 15-slot, and 20-slot) attached to it for supplies and finished products.
- Repair stations for the repair of equipment after an adventure (and possibly deteriorated housing items resulting from being in arrears on maintenance fees). The quality of the station and the severety of the damage will determine the cost of repairs.
- Dozens of housing related quests.
- Usable items – water from wells, vegetables from gardens, cooking on the fireplace or stove, and many more.
- Pets (dogs, cats, more exotic creatures) & livestock (chickens, pigs, ducks, etc.)
Upgrading a House
Your home may be upgraded in many ways. Some will be simply cosmetic upgrades while other upgrades will have a definite purpose and usefullness. Some of these items will actually increase your housing points, allowing the use of more decorations. (Note that many of these items will only be available to VIP accounts or unlocked through the LOTRO Store). The following is a partial listing of these items:
- Stables – There will be four tiers of usable stables available for homes. Besides providing varying travel destinations, these will also stable and show your horses. (Note: The level 1 homes - Cabin/Cottage/Hole/Cave - will only have a hitching post or a hitching rail available. The post will display one horse and the rail will display up to four horses, but neither will be functional for swift travel. These will also be available at all other levels in different combinations with or without the stables.)
- Tier 1 will be 1- to 2-stall stables available for Homestead (level 2) homes and up, and will provide swift travel to the nearest city.
- Tier 2 will be 3- to 4-stall stables available for Standard (level 3) and up, and will provide swift travel to the four standard locations - Thorin's Hall, Celondim, Michel Delving, and West Bree.
- Tier 3 will be 5- to 6-stall stables available to Standard Deluxe (level 3) homes and up, and will provide swift travel to the four locations of a Tier 2 stable as well as Forsaken Inn, Trestlebridge, Oatbarton, and Gondamon.
- Tier 4 will be 6- to 10-stall stables available only to Manor (level 4) homes and Kinship Halls, and will provide swift travel to the eight locations of a Tier 3 stable as well as Ost Guruth, Rivendell, and Amon Raith.
- Only a Kinship Hall of a predetermined Rank will be allowed to purchase up to 2 additional stables.
- Additional travel locations may be unlocked at certain levels for characters, certain Kinship ranks, and through purchases in the LOTRO Store.
- Sheds & Small Barns – These will be usable as storage areas for gardening and farming as well as for keeping livestock. Some livestock will require these and some livestock will produce usable items only if one of these is owned (i.e. chickens will lay usable eggs with a medium shed.)
- Ponds, Springs, & Streams – The purchase of an item in this group will require certain property locations and size which will be included in the description of the property. These may also be stocked for a fee to produce fish of various types, depending on the region in which your home is located.
- Docks – these will only be available for purchase if your home has a waterfront.
- Porches – these will be of different sizes and material as well as covered or open.
- Covered Pavillions for outdoor parties
- Reflecting Pool for Kinship Halls. These will operate exactly as any other Pool, but will be limited to Kinship members only and have a cool-down timer of 72 hours.
- An Additional Room or Rooms which may be added at any first floor wall and will become a part of the home, usable just like any other part of the house and will increase the item limit of the home (price as yet to be determined, but they will be expensive).
In addition to the four current homesteading sites, there will be new neighborhoods opening at as yet to be determined locations, and may include:
- Rental rooms at Inns, farms, etc. (as described above)
- A small Elf community near Rivendell
- A small Hobbit community near Oatbarton
- A small Man community near Trestlebridge
- A small Dwarf community near Ost Guruth
- Possible other locations in future expansions
Besides the current benefits of reduced costs at neighborhood vendors and a nearby Vault, homeownership will now have benefits directly related to gameplay.
- Various activities will now give small stat increases for limited amounts of time. A few being looked at are XP bonus for time spent resting and rejuvenating at home, a decrease of dread, fear, and other such effects if within your home for a certain amount of time, additional Hope for a set period, and many others.
- Games & Contests are being designed for use in both public and home settings. (This will be further discussed in an upcoming announcement in the very near future – Games and Pasttimes of Middle Earth – Enhancements for Gatherings in Homes, Inns, and Taverns)
- Events will be planned within the communities that will benefit the members in some way. Some of these will be exclusively for home owners within the neighborhood while others will allow anyone to participate. The annual and seasonal festivals will have some of the celebrations within the communities!
- There will be quests available only to homeowners, some of these will be racially exclusive, with unique rewards.
We are excited about the new Housing System. Looking into the future, we will be developing this even more. Here are some of the ideas being discussed:
- Housing for Creeps!!
- Non-instanced houses that will be actual parts of the landscape within the instanced neighborhoods. This would allow see-thru windows and door openings, and hearing the sounds from outside as well. Nighttime outside would mean the actual need to light fires and candles, and leaving your home would require locking it to preserve your belongings!
- Door locks and keys.
- Legendary items for homes with the Mines of Moria release.
- Built-from-scratch homes
- Castles &/or Towers
- Invasion events with creatures roaming communities in the more remote locations and even Dark Riders appearing in places like the Shire and Bree-Land neighborhoods.
We hope you enjoy your new Middle Earth homes!
For a great addition to these housing ideas, go take a look at New outfits, decorations, and housing room add-ons (DSL warning!)
Please Note - This is NOT an official announcement! It is in the Suggestions Forum folks.