Player housing (aka Guild housing), are theoretical features that would give players a place to store items and have a place to call home. Introducing housing into the game could have many primary and secondary effects.
While there are models and spells in the game files related to player housing, these are more likely from the alpha version of World of Warcraft but never made it live.
Potential types of player housing
- Common building or room with a private (maybe expandable) storage area similar to a bank.
- Instanced building or room that allows a player to enter their "house".
- ...and party members or guild members.
- Separate building or room with a "lockable" door that only the player has a "key" to, but other players can enter when the door is open.
- Private area (instanced or not) that allows "furnishing".
- A soulbound item similar to a Hearthstone that transports you to your house.
The player-driven debate
Throughout the years, the players have discussed and debated how the features of Player Housing (PH) or Guild Housing (GH) could be implemented within WoW. Most are in agreement that the Housing feature will inevitably make it into the game.
Reasons to add housing for players
- While banks are good for storing the things you don't need right now, a demand for displaying the accrued equipment or special items has not been addressed directly.
- Players have requested gear racks so that a complete armor set could be displayed properly.
- A players house could help remove the clutter of one's inventory, provide a meeting space that friends can visit, and increase the in-game feel of WoW.
- It would be ideal for roleplaying and taking care of your house would add a whole new dimension to the game.
Reasons to not add player housing
- The development costs and added storage requirements for player housing could be detrimental to the continuous demand of developer's time and the infrastructure's resources.
- Player-based housing only creates more management and frustration. Players already forget important items and gear in the bank. Adding PH will force them to remember where they stored the items (though a "Warehouse" addon, similar to the one Carbonite provides, could help to fix some of the confusion)
- Adding storage space within a house duplicates city-based services (the bank)
- The lore implications of the background of the character changes from its current background as a nomadic hero.
Reasons for guild housing
- Guilds need a common meeting place. Guild Halls would be perfect
- Guilds need help fostering a sense of cohesiveness and loyalty, providing player housing within a guild-based, instanced housing community would do that.
- Housing provides the developers with an excellent opportunity to add to the professions.
- Guild vs Guild PVP has been in demand, GH provides an opportunity to implement that.
- Guild Housing can become an important recruiting tool, as one-day passes could be crafted.
Reason to not add guild housing
- Allowing guilds to congregate inside guild-only instanced areas will remove those guilded players from the major cities. The end result could turn the major cities into Ghost towns.
- If GH was implemented in a way that the city's services are duplicated inside the instanced GH area, guilded players will have another incentive not to leave their specialized area.
- The developer hours and resourced dedication aren't worth the reward/detriment that GH causes.
Housing's effect on professions
The advent of Player and/or guild housing in WoW, provides the developers an opportunity to add new professions and augment the current professions with more recipes. The mechanism for acquiring housing could be a mass resource turn in. Implementing housing in this way will promote the crafting economy as the resource gathering will have to be repeated for new and rerolled characters or if you want to change your house-style. Every profession could possibly be augmented
- Large potion powders to apply to communal fountains
- Special scents for decorative smoke
- Coat-of-Arm pieces (armor assembled to look like stationary guards)
- Cannon casings
- Spikes, hinges, other door pieces.
- Beer Mugs
- Furniture (eg: tables/chairs barring the potential addition of Carpentry as a profession)
- enchants for stationary objects.
- portkeys to take you from one end to another
- Robot guards
- motion sensors, behavior components, arms, legs, chest, head
- arrow shooters
- door locks
- Crown Jewels, Thrown jewels, jeweled cups
- Rugs, Canvas, and rope
- Tanned Banners
- Banners and Flags
- tablecloth, runners, chair decorations
- specialized guild-only garments for cloth wearers
- Will this ever come? I googled alot, but i cant find a post of a Blizzard official denying this could be coming. (2011-7-25)
- Takralus : "I'm afraid there's no update since the last time we spoke about it. We know it's a feature that some players would be interested in, but consider the fact that players are sad to see the world outside the city is quieter since the introduction of things like the LFD tool and flying mounts etc. I'm speculating here, but player housing may take yet more people out of the world, and even cities.
Plus there's also the continuous weighing-up we have to do when it comes to development time. I imagine it would be a huge task, taking the devs away from creating new encounters and other features."
- Are we going to see guild houses someday so we could finally get a special gather place for the guild, to meet and interact easily? (2011-4-27)
- Draztal : "Guild housing is something we have discussed many times. It would be neat to have a place for people to hang out, but every time it has come up as a possibility we don't think that is worth the amount of time and resources it would take to implement (and do it right). This is one of those features where if we ever decided to do it, the benefit would have to outweigh other content we could be working on. Also, we don't feel that we need any new ways for players to hide themselves away. If possible we at least like people to be hanging around in the cities, if not out in the world. We know that many guilds, despite lack of official guild housing, have designated meeting locations throughout the world, which we think is really cool. If you don't have one yet it might be something to explore."
- Is there a feature in another MMO that you admire and would like to see in WoW? (2008-9-01)
- Tom Chilton : "Sure! Right now, for example, we don't have a housing system. Other MMOs have it and it's a system that we've talked about since before the launch of the original WoW. We've talked about housing and how we'd do it and how it might work for at least five years."
- Is it something you're actively working on?
- Tom Chilton : "No, we're not working on right now, but it's incredibly complex to do right and we're not sure yet if it's going to be the right thing for WoW in the long run. It has major implications for the game itself and again I wouldn't go out of my way and say never but it's not on the immediately of things to do."
- Drysc : "Heh, well skimming through it seems not everyone wants player housing at the moment. Not that we use the forums as a barometer for popular opinion, but anyway...Player housing is still something that intrigues us. If the place and time are right, and we can add player housing and make it a meaningful addition to the game, make it cool, we'll do so."
- Nethaera : "These were not promised at any particular time . I don't believe we even used the word "promise" in any statements about these. We have said in the past , however, that these are things we would like to see added to the game. I can't give you an ETA since we don't have one as of yet.
We'd like them added in, sure, but beyond that we couldn't tell you more. When we get close to a point where we actually are implementing these things, we'll do what we can to give you all a heads-up."
- Nethaera : "The word is that we like the idea of player housing and would like to implement it at some point in the future, however we don't have any particular ETA of when we will. There is a laundry list of things we still would like to add to World of Warcraft and this is just one of them."
- Tigole : "You've posted some really cool ideas on Guild Halls.
Player and guild housing is something we've always been interested in pursuing. While we won't be including those features in the Burning Crusade, that doesn't mean we've abandoned our hope to include housing in the game sometime in the future."
- Katricia : "Player housing will not be available until after World of Warcraft has been released. Our plan is to add player housing in a future live update or expansion. Our current idea (which could change) is to extend the cities to have player housing neighborhoods. For example, in the canal area of Stormwind players can see a blue instance portal behind a large portcullis; this is the entrance to the player housing neighborhood in Stormwind."
- Katricia : "Guild Halls will most likely not be implemented before World of Warcraft is released. They are very similar to Player Housing (which also will not make the release).
Both 'layer Housing and Guild Halls will be implemented as soon as possible after release.
I have no information available regarding the functions of either Guild Halls or Player Housing.
- Caydiem : "Housing is a huge feature with a lot of dedicated time needed. While we definitely want to do housing, and it is something 'on the list', it's not a 'soon after release' feature. It's more of an 'on the horizon' feature. :)"