This is a re-post of an idea had 3 years ago or so, and that was originally posted over at the CodeMasters forums.
Kinship House Rethink
Kinship houses often seem to sit there full of trophies no-one really looks at. For most Kins the house is somewhere to have just 3 extra storage chests and a place to display the Kin's progress through the world by having a few trophies on the wall.
With a bit of a rethink the Kin House could become the central defining point of a Kin. It could become a reason for people want to join a Kin and the reason they are happy to stay with a kin. What would bring about this change? Utility, or usefulness.
At the moment if you have a Kin House or a Personal House you get a slight reduction in services in the neighbourhood of your house. In reality this discount does not even cover the cost of a the weekly upkeep. The ideas I have are an attempt to change that, to make a kin House (and to a lesser extent a personal house) a focus of the game and an essential part of maintaining progression through the game world; Kin Houses would also become a bit like academies for newer characters to help through some of the early stages, but only if their Kin has done the ground work.
The first change should come to crafting. This will have knock-on effects to the current "Hook" system.
A Kin house should have several "hooks" for crafting facilities. Large Hooks would be for the facility itself, Small Hooks would add a storage container specific to that craft.
A "Large Yard" Hook could become a "field" for the Farming Craft, a connected Small Yard Hook would become a storage shed for the materials used in Farming.
A "Large yard" could also be used to add Forge facilities for Weapon and metal Smiths. The accompanying Storage Shed would only accept material used in those professions.
A Large Yard could have drying racks for leather and timer for Forretsers.
Inside the house you could have:
Large Wall = Scholars Bookshelf - For Scholars.
Large Wall = "Kitchen" - for Cooks.
Large Furniture = Tailors Station, Jewel Cutters Desk etc.
These Crafting facilities would only "unlock" once a Kin had a member with "Master" level ability with that craft AND Ally status with the appropriate Crafting Guild; only then would he/she be able to "pass on" their skills by setting up such an academy.
The Kin would need to appoint one Member to be the Craft Mentor for each Craft. If that member leaves and can not be replaced by another similarly skilled member within one week (payment cycle on the house) then that academy would lose the support of the associated Craft Guild and would close.
These Craft Facilites would only be useable for crafting items up to Artisan level.
However, once the Craft Mentor had become a Supreme Master and attained Kindred status with the Craft Guild the facilitles could be "upgraded" to allow carfting at higher levels.
A Basic Craft Station would add a small amount to the "Upkeep" of the Kin House, an advanced Craft Station would add a little more.
An "Extra Large Yard" hook could be used to add a Stables, with an NPC Stable Master.
This would permit all Kin Members to gain a 5% or 10% bonus to mount movement speeds, this would reflect the extra care, attention and good animal husbandry the Kin was able to provide for its mounts. Again, there would be a small addition to the Upkeep fee for this facility.
Once a Kin had attained one, or more, Advanced Crafting Facilities they could then employ their own Storemaster. He would offer greatly reduced prices for all repairs. In addition he would have a Storage Chest specifically for Potions, Trail Food and Oils and Chants etc. The Kin would have to stock this Storage Chest, and all members could both contribute to it and take from it. Again, there would be a small addition to the Upkeep fee for this facility.
The Bedroom would come with an NPC Housekeeper. What use could a Bedroom be in a Kin House? Rested XP. Currently when we log out we accrue "rested XP" at a certain rate. Now to make being in a Kin truly desirable to lower level characters the Bedrooms could give a slight (5% ?) bonus to how fast Rested XP is accumulated. But ONLY if the Character in question Logged Out of the game in His Kin House's Bedroom. Again, there would be a small addition to the Upkeep fee for this facility.
How about having seats we can sit on, and table we can sit at? Simple enough really.
OK, so I have made some changes to the Upkeep costs, and this will have to be paid for somehow.
First of all there would be two levels of permission in a Kin House, Basic & Advanced.
Basic would permit the current level of access, use of the three Storage Lockers, and beer kegs etc.
The Advanced would permit usage of any of these new features I have proposed.
Each Kin member could decide for themselves what level of commitment, and thereby support, they are prepared to pay for.
Each member would tick his or her own Basic or Advanced tick-box.
The Upkeep tab would then workout the price each member would need to pay each week and a meeage would be sent to each player when that amout became due asking them to permit that deduction from their own cash. There would, of course, be an option to pay up-front for a period of time, just like there is now. You could even add in a weighting system so that Officers pay a little more than normal members, and recruits pay a nominal fee.
The Upkeep Tab could also allow the Kin leader to set a One Off joining Fee, this money would then be "banked" to cover a shortfall in the Upkeep costs if such a thing occured, sat beacuse a few people left and the income did not quite cover the fees.
These changes would make the Kin House a central part of each kin, rather than an "ornament" of no real in-game value. If we are going to invest money in our Kin Houses as we must do in real life, then surely just as in real life we should get some real benefit from doing so.
As an after thought I thought it might be appropriate to have some of these things linked.
"The Stables" only unlocks once the Kin House has an advanced "Farmer's Field".
"The Bedroom / Housekeeper" only unlocks once the Kin House has an advanced "Kitchen".
This way the Kin House "grows" in to a small community to support the Kin.
All The Best