I did not read all the pages of this discussion so forgive me if this has been suggested but why not just place a certificate good for a replacement home in the escrow account ? To me that would be a good compromise.
Also I have to agree that in ways I liked EQII's housing better but I do like having a lawn that never needs cutting also
Last edited by CaptainJack; Oct 04 2010 at 02:08 PM. Reason: EQII comment
Well there you have it. Turbine has their answer on how to implement the inevitable home foreclosure system.
Do whatever is necessary. The few here that oppose it will not bend an inch. Foreclose on the homes of players, most of whom LotRO is likely to never see again, and you will never see them again (since really one of the main things that would bring a person back to the game and keep them interested is their digital home sitting in a sea of abandoned homes, still being there just as they left it with several gold of unlocking and maintenance fees to pay).
The handful of people who post here adamantly objecting to ever foreclosing on homes (virtually none of them having ever been away from the game over 12 months, a few of them seemingly under the impression that such foreclosures would result in losing everything in the home and unable to conceive of the possibility of Turbine keeping such items indefinitely in escrow, and most with a peculiar lack of concern at the notion of their neighborhoods having ONLY themselves as the active player using it), those people don't seem to want to even conceive of the notion that abandoned homes could be foreclosed on.
But as I stated, it is a foregone conclusion that Turbine will have to do something eventually. I'm not making some slippery slope argument here. The day will come that Turbine will have had to have created dozens and hundreds of neighborhood names, where a sizeable portion of those neighborhoods are occupied entirely by the homes of players who haven't logged into the game in ages, while many more are inhabited by a measly two or three active or semi-active players.
I see a few are STILL trying to make the facetious straw-man argument that the inactivity found in housing neighborhoods is due to a mere 30 homes being in each one and the unlikelihood of bumping into one's neighbors due to that. While you are far less likely to see neighbors in a neighborhood with 6 active players in them, than 30 active players, that is NOT the only indicator of inactivity. The bulk of the visual aspect of a neighborhood is player's yards. When the vast majority of those remain static forever, that creates more of the feel of a dead neighborhood than not seeing other players there. And you don't even need to be the fabled Aunt Bertha to notice it.
Personally I would say Turbine should be as heavy handed as they need to be, I don't think this issue is a major factor in your subscription numbers (and any loss would be offset by more vibrant noticeably occupied neighborhoods for players to enjoy) , but I'm a compassionate guy as well, so I would recommed using some of the suggestions I made earlier to alleviate any bad feelings (ESPECIALLY keeping players housing items and chests indefinitely in Escrow should they ever return).
haha... you guys crack me up.
I started playign MMO's in Ultima Online.
On crowded UO servers not only was it nearly impossible to find a place to put your house sometimes, but if it decayed you also lost everything inside. Not to mention there were numerous ways for cheaters to get into your house and steal your stuff!
Fact is, this is a video game. If Turbine did put in a decay model for houses, what is the worst that would happen?
The house would decay.
Your stuff would be put in the escrow account.
You'd have to buy another house and redecorate.
Big stinkin deal. After traveling to a foreign country, being shot at and exposed to a whole variety of nasty things my last worry is going to be buying a new house in a video game and having to redecorate it.
I have total respect for the military and those who serve, but seriously, I don't understand how video game housing is a real concern whatsoever. Especially when you don't lose the stuff inside the house, and its super easy to get another one. Get your priorities straight, this should be the last thing on your mind if you are called to active duty.
Freeing up an abandoned house by putting its items escrow, with a voucher to get another house and the items all back, seems like a no-brainer--while granted it wouldn't turn the neighborhoods into hives of activity, it just makes sense to make room for new people and make it easier to have friends/kinnies in the same neighborhood.
Above and beyond that issue though---changes are needed. While getting rid of hooks or the instances themselves might be more than Turbine is willing to put into it time wise, some of the simpler suggestions already posted seem like great ideas:
Horse stabling, pets, maybe in-house crafting--would all certainly be implementable without major changes to the existing infrastructure. Each would go along way to making houses worthwhile again (though I can see an argument that crafting, alone in your house, is not something Turbine wants to encourage).
Another simple, easy idea: "invitations" a user could mail their friends that would give them a one time port to your house. That kind of thing would make it much easier to have people over and add to the social aspect of having a house---right now, it's a pain for people to make the trip to someone else's neighborhood so it seldom happens.
Also...shorter timeouts for the house port would be good--not sure why there even -is- a timeout. What purpose does it serve?
Also, data. The size of the home or hood in the graphics engine is not important. Data like this tends to be fairly compact: ID of owner, Table of the housing hooks & ID number of what is in each one + rotation variable, and a vault data structure for the chests. The whole thing can probably be stored in a couple of kilobytes, and that can probably be compressed using standard zip algorithm (and this is a poor algorithm for compression) to 50% or less of THAT. The entire playerbase for all the servers and all the players could probably fit onto a single pen drive with room left over.
Now, the why. One of our kin is in a program aboard ocean going vessels; 6 months on 6 months off is one of the options he can take. While at sea, he has very, very limited network and cannot play a game like this, he is doing well just to do some quick email. Others in the military are in similar situations: one of my RL friends is about to leave on a 1 year deployment. Still others are in school and only play over the summer or off semester/quarter. Others are adults that have other real life things that force a break from the game. Others get bored, play another game for a bit, come back, over and over. The why does not matter, what matters is that taking their stuff away is wrong. There is no in game option to pay a year in advance: its only about 1 month's worth of prepaid rent. If you are gone for more than that, too bad, you lose all your stuff in the chests, all the decorations, the house itself, etc?!
It makes no sense to treat people that way. Its not the real world, its a game, its supposed to be fun. When someone comes back and 50% of their stuff is gone, thats not fun. I went thru this when they did it your way, and it was not fun, thankfully it was a small house so I only lost my decorations, home, and 1 chest of stuff. You do know that escrow also times out and is deleted forever, right? It was uncool. If I paid for the game, I would have called it quits right there, but as a lifetime sub I just went to work, earned some cash and when the rule changed so that we could not lose the home again, I bought a new one (and a kinhouse too).
To do it your way, the following things would have to be offered to those of us who would not own a home under your rules:
1) refund of the price of the house.
2) refund of all rent paid, up to 1 years worth.
3) extended vault space of 100 spaces to hold the things that were in our home.
4) the items in the home(s) moved into the extended vault (NOT ESCROW) for perma storage so nothing is lost.
5) reduced cooldown on our racial port to make up for loss of home.
6) vendor prices at our racial town == to the combined kinhouse/house discount
Otherwise, it is unfair to the folks who own a home, esp folks like me who bought one after the rule change that PROMISED it would not be taken from us a second time.
Here are the whys on the list.
1) We paid this gold with an understanding that the home could not be taken away if we have to leave the game for a bit. A full refund is fair because of broken promise.
2) Same as #1, we paid this rent in good faith, yet the promise was broken, so a refund is due.
3) As we were promised a place to keep our goods forever, and it was taken away, space must be provided to account for this.
4) Escrow destroys the items shortly after they enter it. This cannot be allowed, the items must be preserved for those who were out of game when the rules were changed.
5) as we were promised a home forever, and it was taken away, the benefits of a home must be provided in another way.
6) same as #5
With those changes, I will accept losing the home if I must again put the game aside for a time. Without them, if the rules went back to the old way, I would feel that turbine robbed me or lied to me -- esp since I was victimized by the old system once (fair enough, the rules were clearly stated, but it was still very unpleasent).
At the end of the day, the only real reason you can give to be so harsh is going to be selfish. Any agrument you list can be solved another way. You say you cannot get the specific housing location you want, I say turbine can change the algorithm for creation of new neighborhoods to accomodate that. You say the empty, locked homes are a problem, I say you never see anyone ever even in active neighborhoods, unless you roleplay a town cookout or something that is player organized -- which almost no one did even when homes were under the pay or lose it scheme. You say the server is full, I say its a tiny amount of data. Any supposed problems caused by empty homes can be solved without taking the home from the player by some work by turbine, which means that the take the home solution is designed to punish other players. I cannot see it any other way, for some reason you want the other player to suffer and the only acceptable solution is one that hurts them, because that is your goal. I challenge you to name any goal that cannot be solved another way, something that can only be solved by taking the house away and destroying the player's items. I will counter each one with a simple change that turbine could make to the current system tha allows both your goal and the other player to keep their home.
I hope they never foreclose houses. I think it's perfectly normal to scroll through 5000 empty neighborhoods.
How about this:
- After 6 WEEKS of not logging in (or when your pre-paid rent runs out - whichever comes first), your house is locked out and immediately put back on the market.
- Your items are kept in Escrow for 1 WEEK before being deleted.
- 50% of the cost of the home is removed from your bank for housing authority administrative fees.
- If you didn't have enough gold stores to cover that fee, when you next log in you are restricted from entering any instances or doing skirmishes until you've paid off your debt. Stable horses and vendor prices are doubled (50% of the increase pays down your debt).
- Unless you've paid the fee, you are restricted to the Title "Dead Beat", which you cannot turn off, until you've paid back the fee.
- You are disallowed from purchasing a new home for 90 days.
Okay then... Let's take your idea and mine, and see if we can meet somewhere in the middle.
Jesus dude, did you even experience the original housing before Turbine changed the rules a few years back then completely gave up on housing altogether?
Even THAT wasn't as draconian as your suggestions here to "fix" things..
Good luck with tilting those windmills and all, though.
Foreclosures would be lame. It is already lame that you have to pay upkeep and yet you can not pay it any farther in advance. You should be able to pay a year in advance or more.
It's more necessary, because as more players play for a short while, enough to purchase a home, and then leave the game for extensive periods of time, the housing instances will not only dramatically increase in number, due to homes never being foreclosed on, but many (if not most) of those instances will be entirely filled with abandoned homes. Dead neighborhoods where nobody ever goes (maybe one player) and the homes and yards never change. Even if Turbine never expected neighborhoods (as they exist now) to be full of simultaneous player activity, they certainly never expected them to be full of static, abandoned homes.
AND... it's more viable now, since if there are the few players who are TRULY interested or concerned about keeping their home, then they can log into the game free of charge. No need to wait for an inconveniently timed welcome-back weekend. I'm willing to even go so far as to say Turbine should permit simply logging-in and logging back out, as evidence of activity and continued interest, and therefore reset their foreclosure clock, regardless if they paid to unlock or pay upkeep on the house.
This, in the very least, would make neighborhoods A LITTLE more lively.
I have frequently said I'd never buy a house because there's no real reason to. However, I was toying with the idea the other week and decided to go shopping.
I visited 15 different neighborhoods, looking for a small house. I found only TWO for sale, neither of them in particularly pleasing locations. However, I did see several houses in nice spots, and I noted the addresses.
I then went through EVERY neighborhood and checked those houses. Every single one was closed because the rent wasn't paid. EVERY ONE. That's dozens of houses.
The result was that I gave up on the idea of buying a house.
Now, having been Navy, I'm sympathetic to the plight of those in the military, but come on. You CAN pay a year's rent in advance if you're going away. You CAN access the internet and the game from elsewhere in the world if you have to.
Paying, playing customers HAVE to take priority over non-paying, non-playing or absent customers.
Go to any store and ask them to set something aside for you, and they'll tell you there's a limit to how long they'll hold onto it before putting it back on the shelf. If it goes back on the shelf, you take your chances that it won't be available when you come back for it.
Houses MUST be freed up if the rent isn't paid. Items IN the house can and should be stored in escrow indefinitely, but if you haven't paid the rent, the house should go back on the market.
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