11 Obvious Flaws (and 11 easy fixes) - Housing

willlienellson
willlienellson
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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.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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?
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION:Nuff said.

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.
SOLUTION: BagHousing 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 furnishings.
SOLUTION: 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
Edited by willlienellson on January 12, 2017 1:25AM
Sometimes it's fun to troll the trolls.
  • Elder_III
    Elder_III
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    Other then #6 (which I don't mind either way) I agree 100% with this.
    Semi retired from the trading aspects of the game.
  • TheNuminous1
    TheNuminous1
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    Bump
  • Astanphaeus
    Astanphaeus
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    I do like that the housing is a massive gold sink on the level that it is, but I do agree that a bit more functionality would be nice.

    I do basically agree with everything you said though, particularly with regard to the lifeless pets that are just kind of creepy at the moment.
  • StereoLiz
    StereoLiz
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    5. Actually, you can pick some specific houses to get easy access to bank and merchant. When we exit home, we appear in location where house is, not where we port from (like if we exit dungeon). So, if you need repair, get to the bank or decon loot, you can port to house, exit it and get everything you need, if house is placed in city. Another reason why Hundings hall is the best house in Tamriel ;)
    44e16ca45eaf9b1cbc985522f07ad684.jpg
  • Astanphaeus
    Astanphaeus
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    StereoLiz wrote: »
    5. Actually, you can pick some specific houses to get easy access to bank and merchant. When we exit home, we appear in location where house is, not where we port from (like if we exit dungeon). So, if you need repair, get to the bank or decon loot, you can port to house, exit it and get everything you need, if house is placed in city. Another reason why Hundings hall is the best house in Tamriel ;)

    Hundings has no bank and therefore no guild bank/guild store, so the Rawl'kha house is better for that.
  • agegarton
    agegarton
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    So very much agree! Great post. Player housing has just sooooo much potential, but while I really loved the houses when I took at sneaky peak on the PTS, I couldn't help but feel the attempt was a bit half-arsed. The bit you wrote about houses being "lifeless" is the single reason I might hold back - an example I gave in a post of my own was the lack of fish in houses with large waterways.

    I really do hope that ZoS takes note. Even a promissory note to add some of this stuff next patch would do for me.
    All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost...... some of us are just looking for trouble.
    GM of Merchants of Magnus (formerly Lone Star, established 2014) and Merchants of Magnus II, the no-obligation Trade Guilds on PC/EU. See @agelonestar in game for details.
  • Auricle
    Auricle
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    Well thought out post. I agree with all of these except for selling the houses you buy. I just have this weird image of a terrible reality tv real estate show... but with more lizards and mead.

    ... Actually, wait. Maybe I DO want that.

  • AdamBourke
    AdamBourke
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    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.

    This is exactly how i feel.

    For the most part, housing is really fun on PTS - but it's because we don't have to worry about the PRICE or GRIND aspects that we're going to need to use on live.

    The only one of your points i disagree with is the one about selling houses. I don't think it's necessary, really, and will be detrimental to sales in the crown store.


    I love your idea of having the non-combat small animals in at least the garden areas (but rats could be inside as well - there could be an achievement for killing a rat inside your home!).

    I am sure that the devs working on this will want to work on making NPCs actually walk around and stuff - it's likely that it didn't have time though - Storage would have come first.
    PS4 - EU

    Please put the Eyevea/EarthForge wayshrines back on the map?
  • Shadowshire
    Shadowshire
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    Danikat wrote: »
    Too tired to post much now but I agree with this. Especially that the items introduced with the Justice system to be sold to a fence should also be furniture.

    From a purely moral perspective, and for its potential effects upon game play, that is not a good idea.

    First, acquiring the ability to craft gear and/or consumables with their characters is time-consuming and complex enough that most players will not bother. (It also requires a significant number of Skill Points which most players would rather apply to other abilities instead.) Then there is the time and effort required to acquire the crafting materials, or to acquire the GP to buy them. Given the way that the Guild Store + Guild Trader system operates, there are only a few items which are sufficiently profitable to craft and sell for GP. Consequently, crafting specifically for characters of guild-mates aside, crafted items are more likely to be used for the benefit of the player's own characters, not for the characters of other players.

    From reading the PTS Patch Notes which describe the process for crafting Homestead furnishings, there is no reason to believe that many players are likely to routinely craft them because they expect to profit by selling them for GP -- at least not by selling them through the Guild Store + Guild Trader system. The profit which most furnishing items might generate seems (to me) unlikely to be significant enough to make the time, effort, and expense of crafting them for sale worthwhile.

    Granted, learning how to steal items from NPCs, and to profit from doing so, does require a player to spend time and effort, just as learning how to fight MoBs (or other player characters), or learning how to craft items, require it. And they will find it highly desirable to apply Skill Points for abilities in the Legerdemain category.

    Nonetheless, allowing players to use any items which their characters steal to furnish their Homestead could have the effect of making the players whose characters craft furnishings, and/or buy them for GP -- not to mention those who buy furnishings with Crowns -- look like fools. Even if stolen items per se are different (from crafted and/or from Crown Store furnishing items), the "optics" would be undesirable if stolen items are equivalent with respect to fencing them for GP, or in "decorative value", or in having an actual use.

    In the same vein, as far as I know, players will not be allowed to furnish their homesteads with items obtained as loot, although looted crafting materials can be used to make furnishings. However, any player may furnish their Homestead with some types of items acquired in the course of play, such as Trophies. Such items cannot be transferred to another player's character(s), thus cannot be used to furnish another player's Homestead.

    That said: in my humble opinion, Zenimax Online does not want any serious competition between selling furnishings for Crowns (bought with Dollars), and players crafting furnishings to sell for GP. Allowing players to furnish Homesteads with items which their characters have successfully stolen, or looted, also would be competition for the Crown Store. In that respect, I am not a lawyer, but I suppose that Z.O. is not likely to be held to account in federal court for violating the US Sherman Anti-Trust Act. :wink:

    Enough said.


    Edited by Shadowshire on January 12, 2017 9:57PM
    --- Shadowshire .......... ESO Plus on PC NA

    KEEP PvE SEPARATE FROM PvP!

    NO TO TEL VAR STONES LOOTING! Looting the "corpse" of another player's avatar creates a community of harassment, leeching and griefing. We don't want mechanics that allow any player to feed on another's misfortune or to compound the cost of mistakes they have made in learning!

    nil carborundum illegitimi
  • Shadowshire
    Shadowshire
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    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.
    ....

    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.

    SOLUTION: BagHousing 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. $$$

    Your criticism and your solution assume that the PTS item count limits for the respective Homesteads are significantly less than the space that is available can actually accommodate. That is, you assume that it is feasible to place and use more items than the current furnishings limit. Personally, I have not attempted to furnish a Homestead of any size (on the PTS), so your assumption might be correct. After all, a player who has an active ESO Plus monthly subscription can place and display twice as many items in their Homestead as a player who does not have an active ESO Plus monthly subscription.

    Be that as it may, the entire surface space area(s) of a Homestead cannot be used for furnishings! Else it would just become a warehouse packed with as much as it can possibly hold. Yes, there are players who would do that. What would be the point? Some players will never be satisfied with the amount of "storage" that is available for their use.

    Regardless, the area of the virtual surface space displayed on your computer screen cannot be infinite. The surface spaces in each Homestead have dimensions, thus have fixed areas which are bounded by immovable objects, walls, water, etc. Consequently, there are inherent technical limits as to how many items can be placed, displayed, and used within the areas of Homestead surfaces.

    One must also consider how much surface area each specific item will occupy, thus how feasible it will be to place a particular combination of items within the fixed area of a given space. The more area that a given surface space has, the more items that might be feasibly installed, depending upon their respective sizes and their placement.

    But that area itself cannot be increased without altering the walls and other bounds of the surface space(s); that is, without changing the architecture and grounds of the Homestead. That, in turn, affects how much space the Homestead must occupy on the virtual surface of Tamriel per se.

    Consequently, it is not possible for Z.O. to adopt and implement your suggestion. What is possible is to have a very large amount of "warehouse" storage space for furnishings which are not currently placed and displayed in a Homestead. If memory serves, furnishings will be stored in a separate category in your in-game bank account, along with armor, weapons, consumables, etc. With respect to storing furnishings in the bank, your suggestion has merit.

    So, I suggest that you move a character to an Inn or other comparable structure, and/or in some ruins, delves, and dungeons. Count the number of furniture items which are in place for each surface area. See how much surface space they occupy relative to how much is left open for movement and other actions by player characters, by NPCs ,and MoBs.

    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 excited 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. (who is "you" ??? - Shadowshire)

    You have valid concerns. In my own humble experience, foraging for the materials which are used currently for crafting gear or consumables is already on the verge of becoming infeasible for any player who simply wants to obtain them for their own use or to sell to other players via the Guild Store + Guild Trader system.

    In many instances, there are just too many players relative to the number of nodes and the amounts of material that each node yields. Nodes do not re-spawn often enough, whether that would make foraging more feasible or just increase the amount collected by players with characters which are built to gather as much as possible as quickly as possible. (Occasionally, one or more of those "players" are, in fact, gold-farmer bots.)

    Adding furnishing crafting materials probably will not change the current situation, just perpetuate it, and possibly make matters worse.

    Already Z.O. offers "crafting materials" for purchase from the Crown Store as a feature of each crafting workstation in the game. I don't know how much revenue they have received from doing that. However, I suspect that eventually most players will find it necessary or desirable to buy them (with Crowns, thus Dollars), at least some of the time, instead of foraging for them.

    Suffice it to say, Z.O. has no incentive to increase the availability or the amount of any crafting materials gathered from nodes in Tamriel. That is, they don't unless and until players become frustrated enough by the situation to abandon playing the game. Some folks forget that greed killed the goose which laid the Golden Egg.

    As far as I know, the only crafting materials available from vendor NPCs are armor and weapon style materials, and raw foods from grocers that are used for Provisioning. Vendor NPC pricing is not competitive with foraging, to say the least, and has the effect of capping the price for which a player's character can sell the same item, such as a glyph, via a Guild Store. So far, at least, a player cannot purchase ores, fibers or skins, lumber, runestones, or herbs, mushrooms, solvents and reagents, from NPCs. But they can purchase gear, including jewelry, and some consumables from vendor NPCs.

    Edited by Shadowshire on January 12, 2017 10:35PM
    --- Shadowshire .......... ESO Plus on PC NA

    KEEP PvE SEPARATE FROM PvP!

    NO TO TEL VAR STONES LOOTING! Looting the "corpse" of another player's avatar creates a community of harassment, leeching and griefing. We don't want mechanics that allow any player to feed on another's misfortune or to compound the cost of mistakes they have made in learning!

    nil carborundum illegitimi
  • SirCritical
    SirCritical
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    Announce this thread, please. Thank you.
    Edited by SirCritical on January 12, 2017 3:45PM
  • Shadowshire
    Shadowshire
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    Your criticism and your solution assume that the PTS item count limits for the respective Homesteads are significantly less than the space that is available, for placing and displaying items, can actually accommodate. Personally, I have not attempted to furnish a Homestead of any size (on the PTS), so your assumption might be correct. ....

    It's not an assumption, because I have been on the PTS for many hours.

    You can easily max out the item count just on landscaping without ever walking in your front door.

    Likewise, my idea for a small house for my roguish khajiit was ruined when I realized I couldn't place all my Senche mounts outside even though there was plenty of physical space for them.

    KEY NOTE: This is lost money for Zos. I was going to buy a 2nd house for more Roleplaying reasons to go with this specific character. I would probably be willing to spend gold or some crowns to expand the collectible limit for the small RP home, but without the option I won't be buying it AT ALL. That's one less home sold (either in crowns or gold removed from economy).

    Thank-you for your response. It does not surprise me that you have found that it is feasible to place, display, and use more items in the available space than the current limit to the number of items.

    It does surprise me if you can do that and still have sufficient space for as many as 24 PCs simultaneously gathered at a Manor without anyone stepping on another's toes, or stumbling over the furniture. Can you imagine the scene when all 24 rush outside, summon their respective mounts, and make a mad dash for the gate to the outside zone?

    Should I suppose that they can all be mushed together into a crowd like they are at a bank when the sole teller is busier than a one-armed paper hanger in a windstorm? NPCs are solid as a rock, but PCs are as ephemeral as ghosts. Or are PCs solid, too, while at a Homestead?

    Players want mounts, pets, and servants that move around, which requires vacant areas in which they can do that. But they also want to use more of the available space for static furnishings, too.

    It is not a challenge that is easy to resolve. The software packages used by architects and by interior designers and decorators are expensive to obtain, and have taken thousands of hours of time and effort as well as expertise to develop. So I won't hold my breath in anticipation of the Z.O. development team including a highly sophisticated Housing Editor in a game such as TESO. :neutral:

    --- Shadowshire .......... ESO Plus on PC NA

    KEEP PvE SEPARATE FROM PvP!

    NO TO TEL VAR STONES LOOTING! Looting the "corpse" of another player's avatar creates a community of harassment, leeching and griefing. We don't want mechanics that allow any player to feed on another's misfortune or to compound the cost of mistakes they have made in learning!

    nil carborundum illegitimi
  • luen79rwb17_ESO
    luen79rwb17_ESO
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    100% agree with OP
    PC/DC/NAserver

    V16 sorc - V16 temp - V16 dk - V1 nb - V1 temp - V1 dk
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