If you have ever seen any of my other posts on this topic, you are probably saying ‘What You Talken About Woeful!’ right now.
I have made it pretty clear in the past that their ARE performance issue with increasing the furniture slots and I still say that IS true.
However, there is a saying is Software Engineering that ‘Anything Is Possible In Software’.
That is because there is almost always a way ‘cheat’ somehow that gives you something at least close to what you want.
So, what I am going to describe here are to ‘viable’ ways that Zos could increase housing slots ‘In Some Way’.
NOTE: Both of these ‘solutions’ have issues, which is why I doubt Zos would actually do either of them.
Set separate furniture limits for ‘Interior’ and ‘Exterior’ areas:
Ok, so the first one is pretty straight forward, and probably requires the least amount of work from Zos, but it also has the least amount of benefit to players and the amount of benefit a player received depends on the house they bought which makes it ‘unfair’.
The idea is pretty simple.
‘Some’ houses are already divided into isolated areas. Usually they are an interior and an exterior location.
These areas are isolated meaning Furniture you place in one area ‘excluded’ from any rendering or collision detection in other areas.
You can verify this by simply taking a very large object and shoving it though a wall from the inside of a house so that it ‘should’ definitely be protruding outside the house if both areas shared the same ‘object’ list. When you go outside of your house and look at the location where the object should be sticking out, you will see nothing is there.
That is because the object only ‘exists’ in the ‘interior’ area of the house, it is not part of the ‘exterior’ area’s object list.
So… What does that mean?
It means that each area should be able to have a unique object list that allows for the ‘Maximum’ furniture allowed.
So if that max is 700 items you should be able to have 700 items sored in the ‘interior’ and another 700 items stored in the ‘exterior’ without adding any kind of ‘New’ performance issues.
This is because Zos already allows you to have the ‘Max’ item count in ‘either’ area.
You know this because there are players who build massive custom object outside their house then block off the entrance to the ‘interior’ area of their home because they have no more slots to put any furniture in the ‘interior’ area.
There is no reason that would not work and it should not create any ‘new’ performance issue.
However, it does have problems:
1. ) Not all homes have multiple area and some have more than 2 areas which means player who bought a house with more areas get more furniture slots that players who bought a house with less areas. For example if you bought the ‘Cold Harbor’ parking lot you only have 1 exterior area so you only get 700 slots, where as if you bought the ‘Daggerfall Overlook’ it has 4 areas, 1 exterior and 3 unique interiors so it would get 2800 slots.
2. ) If you have already used up all 700 items in one area you would not be able to add more items to that area or ‘trade’ slots with another area. So those players who blocked off their entrances could remove the blocks and decorate ‘inside’ their house now, but they could not expand what they have done outside.
Basically, this would only benefit a small set of customers who have ‘over decorated’ one area of their house and just want to be able to decorate the other area as well.
People who want more slots to build more custom objects in an existing area that is already using max items, would still not get what they want.
Players who are not at the current cap don’t gain anything of value to them.
Even if it is not a lot of work it would at least require some Dev cycles that Zos could be spending on making new dungeons and expansions.
Ok, so what is the other solution?
Segment the entire Home Zone into grid areas where each ‘grid’ has its own furniture limit:
NOTE: This explanation has some technical content regarding game design concepts that I am not going to break down because it would take too much space in an already long thread no one is actually going to read anyway.
This is very similar to the concept of a BSP tree commonly used for object occlusion operations but it would strictly enforce how many object can exist in any 1 node of the tree.
Grid sizes would need to be large enough to ensure you could no move between zones and object limits would need to be small enough to ensure even if a player moves to a location that overlaps any 4 zones they would not have more than saw 200 objects to resolve.
So imaging a grid overlapping your house where each square is about 15ft by 15ft and no square can have more than 50 objects in it.
This basically guarantees you wont have to deal with more than 200 items for collision detection which is usually what leads to catastrophic performance issues that would prevent adding slots.
Now the number of ‘total’ object you can have in your house is dictated by the virtual size of your home.
The more space you have the more objects you can place.
If your house is 10,000 square feet that give you about 45 15ft squares to work with so you would have a slot limit of 2250 items!
Sounds great right?
Ok but now for the bad news.
1. ) Sure you can have 2250 total items but you can never place more than 200 in a 30ft by 30ft square and never more than 50 items in a 15ft by 15ft square. Say good buy to all those beautiful custom built walls, stairways, and structures that take 100+ blocks in a relatively small area. You could easily be stymied in creating even a simple small way because you place too many other small objects near by.
2. ) Don’t expect to be able to place ‘any’ objects outside of the pre-determined housing grid. Say good buy to your floating islands place in the distance of your skybox.
3. ) Expect all the hard work you have already done to place furniture to be erased and you would have to start over from scratch. If they did implement this, all existing furniture placed in houses would need to be reset at least to some degree. Basically any place were furniture is currently place that does no obey these rules would have to have furniture removed until it does meet these rules.
4. ) Even though this solves the 'collision' detection issue when the item counts get this high it could lead to 'rendering' issues, which mean they may have to reduce the visibility in your house. So expect to feel like Mr. Magoo and only be able to see like 45 feet in any direction before a 'fog' obscures your vision. Also expect to see object popping into view sporadically as you move.
5. ) This solution would require a ton of work from Zos to rework how collision detection and rendering is performed just for homes. So instead of doing work to create more dungeons and expansions they would have to spend a great deal of time figuring this out for a small subset of customer who own homes and want ‘more slots’.
Basically this meets the ‘ask’ for ‘More Slots’ but actually benefits almost no one and costs a ton of dev time to implement.
I would actually support the idea of asking Zos to implement the first solution.
However, I don’t think it would appease most of the people asking for more slots.
I did not post this to be 'flippant' I am posting this to give people an idea of what Zos might do if they actually try to give you more slots, and neither of these options sound great to me.
If their is some development savant out their who thinks they have an actually viable solution to this issue they should post it here, or better yet apply for a job at a game company since people have been trying to solve this kind of issue in game design for about 3 decades now.