First, I want to congratulate Zos on a wonderful addition to the game. I'm absolutely thrilled with this patch. Both the variety of the homes and the ability to customize them is very exciting. However, there are some pretty obvious flaws that could EASILY be fixed to make the patch so much better.
1) Missing PvP Achievement Furnishings.
There is no furnishing for the Emperor SLAYER achievement or the Warlord slayer achievement. I know it takes a lot of dedication and effort to get emperor, but some players take great pride in their slayer achievements as well.
A broken, soiled and damaged crown picked up from the battlefield after slaying the enemy emperor!
Nothing as grand as a throne, but still something very cool for players that are very proud of taking on these emperors with their powerful buffs often surrounded by many cohorts.
2) Surplus Siege Does Not Fire.
I had this vision of placing a banner of the enemy faction on the far wall of my compound and using it as a target for a bank of ballistas. Except they don't fire. At all.
Make them work. It can't be hard. It would easier than purposefully breaking them as was done. I can't see the possible harm.
(Cool things arbitrarily made less useful for no reason is an ongoing theme)
3) Properties are Lifeless and Dead
It doesn't take very long before it dawns on you how hauntingly devoid of life these houses are. Nothing moves. Nothing. At all.
: Have the small non-combat animals that spawn everywhere else in Tamriel also spawn on our properties (squirrels, rabbits, crawlers, birds, etc)
I think this is the easiest possible solution because I'm sure this is just a “toggle” option for the Devs for each zone (new houses are zones).
4) All Animals are.....Lifeless and Dead
Okay, this is kinda the same thing, but mounts and pets don't move. Forget “wandering” - they don't so much as lay down, yawn, or shake their heads. Everything looks like taxidermy.
If these are coded specifically to follow the players and don't have any pathing of their own, maybe Zos could give us furnishing that would act as a player-like "beacon" that we could place in select areas and the animals could "wander" to the beacons we place.
5) Price Too High....w/Limited Functionality
One argument I've read is that the largest and most expensive homes are going to be most frequently used as guild halls for people pooling their money. Bah! What kind of guild wants a guild hall where you can't even access the guild bank? Can't access the guild trader listing? A place with a merchant that can't even repair armor?
People are talking about having “auctions” in the manors. How are the leaders going to bank all those bids?
: Add existing funtionality BACK into the existing assistants that you already sell for big bucks in the crown store. There is no reason why my merchant or banker can't have full functionality AT LEAST INSIDE the home. At the very least, Zos should make the assistants act like full bankers/merchants while parked stationary inside the houses, even if they can't allow those features when summoned in the open world.
Note on prices: It's not about “having the money”. I can't justify spending 3 million gold on a house when I still need to port to city to access a guild bank, list items for sale, repair armor, etc. There is a big difference between 3 million for a useful, time saving central hub and useless pretty view.
6) Can't Sell Old/Unwanted Real Estate
I think both new and veteran players would be interested in the option of getting some kind of credit for unwanted housing instead of simply gathering more and more properties. I would think a newer player with 500k in the bank would be more likely to buy several houses and upgrade along the way if they could get some type of credit. Otherwise, I know at least some will simply ignore the feature completely until they save up enough money for their top choice. But this is bad for Zos also, because what happens if they lose interest in ESO between now and then. Zos should want to engage players at all ranges.
Allow the player to sell real estate back to the game for 70% of what they paid initially or give them a credit towards an upgrade property.
Example: If you bought a home for 1.3 million in February you could get a 910k gold credit on your 3.8 million manor you finally buy six months later in August, making the manor cost only 3 millon but your TOTAL paid 4.2 million.
7) More Inventory Nightmares
The last patch made most of the items in the game bound and created an inventory nightmare for many players. Now they are adding 2000+ more items into the game. Dealing with space is a huge problem.
Add a new tab for furnishings that is nearly unlimited like the subscriber craft bag and doesn't take up inventory space. Give everyone the new tab. For free.
Players would benefit for obvious reasons and Zos, if you are reading this, your company would benefit by removing one of the obstacles to people taking out their credit card and buying a bunch of furnishings (which is obviously what you had in mind with this entire patch
8) Cannot Port From Cyrodiil Wayshrines
I don't expect to be able to port from anywhere in Cyrodiil, but the actual Wayshrine you use to leave PvP will not let you port to your home. So, you still have to port to a city first. This is such a HUGE PIA. This is exactly what I mean by "obvious" functionality flaws. It's not very convenient to port to a city on the way to home to decon items when I can decon/sell/repair in the "stopover" city.
9) Item Limitations Should Not Be Tied to Home Size Only
Not only is this a big frustration, but it's also lost revenue for Zos. They miss so many opportunities.
I'm fine with having a base item cap that corresponds to the size of the home, but there should be ways to upgrade that cap with in-game gold or crowns...or both. Some players prefer a more cluttered look for roleplaying reasons or some people have elaborate plans for landscaping, etc.
Housing Space Vendor. Pay gold to add X number of items to your total house limit. Zos, if you're reading this, you could also sell this for crowns. $$$
10) Hardly Any 'Found Items' Are Furnishings
I heard a rumor long ago that the stolen items introduced with the Legerdemain skill line would one day be useful for more than fencing, that they would be items we could use to furnish our homes. Pillows, games, paintings, dice, etc. etc.
Sadly, I've found no stolen items on the PTS that are actual furnishings. Even paintings can't be used as...paintings. Part of me thinks this is just a sad missed "obvious opportunity" and another part of me thinks Zos ACTIVELY REMOVED this feature from these items because they realized it might
give someone an alternative to the massive gold sink and crown store push for a few
You don't have to make every single item a furnishing, but I think most of the blue or better quality stolen items that are furnishing-like (paintings, bowls, games) should be usable as furnishings. Otherwise it's going to be frustrating on a cellular level every time someone steals a decorative bowl they can't use and fences it.
11) Massive Gold Sink and Crown Store Push
It's just TOO MUCH. I want Zos to make money. I really do. ESO is great. It deserves to make money and I want to pay them, but this is a bridge too far. We've been playing for almost 3 years with almost nothing to buy, and now suddenly things cost so much that the vast majority of players couldn't buy if they had been saving for the whole 3 years! So, if I've blown all my gold for 3 years am I now to grind until 2020 for things that make me exited about housing today?
I think Zos is making a big bet on player enthusiasm maintaining a grind that I think is going to be enthusiasm CRUSHING. The actual costs of these houses are just the tip of the iceberg, which would be okay if either upfront cost OR the grind gave us additional functionality. Can't repair. Can't list items on a trader. Can't access the guild bank. Can't. Can't. Can't.
Meanwhile, it feels like functionality has been artificially removed from the game for profit. While we are grinding to make a 100k wine goblet, you will steal and fence 3 of them for 200g each.
I love this game. I love this update. I love the house I've picked out. But I'm very depressed at how much better this could be than it actually is.
I can't emphasize this enough. I have some plenty of in-game gold and plenty of crowns to start on the housing adventure, but I won't be buying ANY home when things go live until I truly understand the associated gold sink. If filling my house with items is more expensive and tedious than I can bare, then I'm not interested.
Implement all of the things above and show the players that this patch isn't JUST about pushing people to the crown store. IF the houses had better functionality they would be a good value at their current price. IF they don't get more functionality, then they WOULD BE still tolerable at this price, IF you reduced the price/grind for the furnishings. As it stands now, the price of the entire "package" is way more than the value.
FINAL NOTE: Zos, I believe Homestead offers and opportunity for you to BOTH make tons of money AND make your players love the game for years to come. To take advantage of this opportunity I feel you MUST bring 1 of the 3 following variables more into balance. PRICE. FUNCTIONALITY. GRIND.
High prices with high functionality is okay. Grinding for things when they are functional is okay. If you would prefer to keep things less functional for some reason, then you must reduce the prices and grinds, or you will squander this opportunity imho.
EDIT: If you compare the tone of the beginning of this post with the final paragraph to Zos, I think you'll read an obvious souring in tone. I still like the Homestead update, but that is a pretty accurate reflection of a week spent exploring the limitations and expenses of this update. I think that's going to be a common theme after the update goes live to the general population unless Zos takes some steps to remedy some of these issues.
BTW,If some of this has already been covered I apologize, but I've been working on this post for several days.
Sometimes it's fun to troll the trolls.