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The State of Housing: Community Feedback Thread

Sporvan
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I've been thinking it's high time for us to get a comprehensive housing community thread going of issues and feedback. As we've seen the PTS forum seems to have zero effect in reaching ZOS's ears. We've had prominent members like Elara quit the game in frustration. I'm pretty certain that housing accounts for a huge amount of revenue in the game and jokingly people refer to it as the "true end-game" - however, this might actually be true. Housing players incredibly loyal to the game, a bit OCD about building new things and stick around for many years flittering in and out of housing, pve and pvp. They are a pillar of ESO.

So the last PTS cycle really exposed a lot of our community gripes and in an effort to maybe get this all nailed down let's list them - I've written some down and perhaps y'all can add to it.

1. Every new DLC or Chapter should have new furnishing recipes. Dragonhold could easily have exposed more recipes on existing Elsweyr style assets. There are ancient staircases, gongs, walls, rooftops, archways, games, musical instruments are all available and could have pushed our Elsweyr options into a new stratosphere. What a squandered opportunity. Heck I'd even loved Senchal style reskins of the existing walls and things to have different ambient options. They encourage people to stay in a zone and farm it for style items and recipes.

2. By all means update old assets (eg. Elsweyr tents) but do it as new recipe releases or crown store items while retaining the old ones. This allows for players to have more looks to select. I love the updated tents but do it as new items.

3. The housing community needs a council of representatives with direct access to ZOS for feedback. It's become a chip on our shoulders that we are left unheard and fighting for our issues.

4. A better standardisation of item slots in houses needs to be determined. Lucky Cat was a hot topic and we acknowledge there's a 700 item limit but maybe get this all ironed out or at the very least give a justification when you ignore feedback like that. We may not like the answer, but at least we'd feel heard.

5. More Master Furnishing Recipes. As with point #1 we could at least release the unused items as Master Furnishing Recipes on content we've skipped in old DLCs and Chapters. @Carbonised has an excellent compilation thread of so many unused goodies we've been dying to get our hands on. This will encourage more of a writ sink. There should be hundreds of recipes on the Master Furnisher!

6. The price of houses. This is another hot topic, I think the community has reached some sort of fatigue when it comes to new houses. We've decorated so many previous ones that if a new one gets released we want it to be reasonably priced or we'd just stick to our old ones. Simply put the days of 14000+ Crown Notable Homes should be numbered. I'm sure if someone bothered to check the experiment of giving away Grand Psijiic Villa for free might actually have lead to more sales than selling the actual house as players bought crown store furnishings and packs. I'm not proposing free houses but at least drop them to more reasonable price levels like you did with Tel Galen which remains hugely popular.

7. More small to medium homes. A nice little home in Hew's Bane, Clockwork City, Limoth, Anvil, etc. there are so many cool locales. Not everything has to be noble and massive.

There's so many other gripes but I think it's long overdue for ZOS to acknowledge that housing is not where it should be. We have so many requests and keep the economy of this game humming whether in gold or crowns.


Edited by Sporvan on October 29, 2019 7:52PM
  • sueblue
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    Is it possible that Zenimax loses money on the housing portion of the game? After reading what @Zypheran had to say, it dawned on me that maybe we are overestimating our monetary contribution. Why else would we all feel so ignored?
    Awake/Asleep, I dream.
  • Araneae6537
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    @Zypheran Your posts are very insightful and I would have hoped that such a healthy housing “ecosystem” as you outlined would be the goal, but the evidence does seem to point toward a limited whale-centric market being the goal (I would not disparage how much people choose to spend on their entertainment, but if that “entertainment” consists chiefly of amassing a hoard no one else has but which otherwise brings them no pleasure, something is not right. :unamused: ). I hope this isn’t the case but fits with high-priced homes with limited availability and no extra features (not even extra item slots) to recommend them. And it fits the silence; ZOS would not very well say that they intend few people to buy these homes and even fewer people to actually use and enjoy them. 😟
  • Cireous
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    Sporvan wrote: »
    musical instruments are all available and could have pushed our Elsweyr options into a new stratosphere. What a squandered opportunity.
    LiEcxNn.png
    Apparently this fine kitten bed on the table to the left is a musical instrument. If not available as a recipe in the Elsweyr chapter, why was it not included in the Elsweyr DLC? Stop breaking my kittens heart, she needs a precious bed to stretch out on.
    nUVlYpH.jpg
  • sueblue
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    Zypheran wrote: »
    Now ZOS say that they have 8million players, lets say that even only 1million are active across the 3 platforms. Even if only 1% of players buy these houses, which is very conservative, that's 10,000 players x €$50 per house and they bring out about 4 of these per year. And that's even before you count all the crown store furniture people buy to put into these houses. I would be surprised if the figure isn't double.
    To put that in context you have to consider what each of these houses costs ZOS to make. Now I'm not a developer at ZOS and I don't know how much they get paid but given the fact that almost all of the houses are copy and paste and seem rushed, I would be very surprised if a these houses took more than 2-3weeks of time to do up. ...
    To be honest I think the reason we are being apparently ignored is more to do with the fact that it really doesn't matter what the majority of people think about housing. As long as there is a small fraction of players who buy these houses, its very profitable.
    ...
    But my point was that you need to have both groups to make the system work. If the 99% abandon the system out of frustration, then the 1% who finance it all, don't bother because they have nobody to impress with their purchases.

    My original worry was that it even if all of your speculation is right, maybe the monetary contribution doesn't outweigh the server space and salaries it costs to make Housing a reality.

    If it is the speculative cash-cow we have been assuming it is, then why do we feel so ignored?

    All we are asking for is acknowledgement for the recurrent and seemingly reasonable requests.

    The "wall of silence" makes it feel like we are community of customers that isn't profitable enough to pay attention to.

    I really don't like being so negative about something I truly enjoy. I joined the forums to connect with a wide-array of designers. That's exactly what I found. It's so frustrating that we still have a tiny voice as such a large group.
    Edited by sueblue on October 31, 2019 5:35AM
    Awake/Asleep, I dream.
  • sueblue
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    @Sporvan, I bet you weren't expecting such a verbose reaction :D
    Awake/Asleep, I dream.
  • Sporvan
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    sueblue wrote: »
    @Sporvan, I bet you weren't expecting such a verbose reaction :D

    Heheh naw, I expected it - the community is passionate to say the least!
  • Tigerseye
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    I agree, although I would prefer mainly large sized houses, with Manor sized furnishing limits, personally.

    Alinor Townhouse with a basement, or Hunding's sized houses with a 700 limit, in other words.

  • Tigerseye
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    Also, I need more Decorative Wax drops from completing normal content.

    The droprate is ridiculous, unless you go and farm it religiously.
  • Tigerseye
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    Soella wrote: »

    I think most buyers of these houses are subscribers, so no additional crown sells and no additional income for ZOS.

    Could be, but even then - if it keeps players subbed and playing for longer than they otherwise would, it's still worth it, right?

    I doubt I would still be playing this game if it hadn't been for housing.

  • MrGhosty
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    I'm still quite new to the housing portion of the game as I had previously left prior to its release, but I've also come across some of these same pain points as mentioned above since returning and engaging deeply with the housing system.

    One thing that I could add is that if whether or not the system that we have currently is earning them a good bit of revenue, they could increase that exponentially if they were to add more functionality to the housing system.

    As an example I recently completed a renovation of the ampile domicile to convert it into a utility hub, it's location to a bank and daily writ boards being a big consideration. As I was placing my crafting station, and setting up my target dummy for rotation practice I couldn't help but wish that I could add things like a daily writ pickup board.

    I've done building stuff in all sorts of games, but the ones where I could mesh function with form got the most long term attention from. For example, in Ark, your base's function is all about utility but building something that is visually striking while still maintaining that utility is a fun challenge and encourages you to consistently renovate and modify existing structures. In most of my houses in ESO once I have completed a build, I'll show it off a few times and then likely do nothing else with it save for a fast travel point.

    Another good example comes from GW2, while I don't love their approach to housing as a whole one aspect that I really liked was the sense of building up a space over time with some cash shop options added in. In that game, players can purchase harvest nodes that show up in their home, these nodes can be harvested once a day and drop a bit more than one or two nodes of the same type in the open world. There are also seasonal nodes (halloween/christmas) that give materials related to achievements/vendor items. These nodes are definitely not going to replace a farming run, but they add a nice of extra to your daily collection tasks and do add up over a long period of time. They recently added flower beds as well that allow you to get some additional materials that could be used to craft dyes, rare foods, etc. These housing instances could also be easily visited by grouping with a hosting player and most of the nodes could be harvested by players who didn't own the nodes. This led to a beautiful bit of community building where certain people would spend time each day ferrying in players at no cost though accepting tips.

    Now, i'm not suggesting ESO should straight across copy this, but it's a system that I've seen people engage with. That includes spending actual money in the cash shop to buy additional nodes so that they could have "the full set".

    As for the cost of the homes themselves, I believe the homes are far too expensive. The high cost to buy the home in crowns, but with an option to buy with gold made me feel a little better as I viewed the higher price a tax for those too impatient to save up the gold. Yet we keep getting new homes added at that price or higher with no option for in-game gold. Again I see no issue having a few "top tier" homes that are as much about perceived status as anything, but there is not a healthy enough mix of the other homes to compensate. The other issue that really bothers me personally is the time limited home offerings with no clear time table on when/if they'll return. I'm not going to overspend and buy digital homes that I can't justify the cost for, so when these homes are released in a limited window and I can't afford to buy them, I just don't bother remembering them going forward when I otherwise would like spend out a fair portion each year buying homes.

    If location in the world is a problem to creating decent sized homes in the overland, it should be no problem to simply create little pockets of oblivion for players to setup their homes in (something I once suggested before housing was ever announced)

    To further touch on the functionality aspect, I would also suggest that there is much more to be done in the way of making these spaces a lot more fun to engage with. This includes adding the option to mount up in the larger homes (another selling features!) in built functionality to allow players to setup private pvp arenas (including props that would allow for capture the flag and relic game types to be played) Better housing tools, the ability to fly while in build mode, control over time of day and weather, etc. This is in addition to all the other things I've seen suggested such as mannequins, weapon displays, etc.

    I honestly feel that if zos were to make housing something everyone wanted to do by adding this functionality, we might see more attention paid. Anyone can learn to place down a few chests/stations/dummies and more stuff like this that was a mix of achievement based, gold purchased, and crown purchased could get a much larger segment of the playerbase involved and interested. Most of these people will think those chests look ugly all by themselves so they would be likely splash out on some furnishings and do a bit of decorating as well further stimulating both in-game and crown store economies. I apologize in advance for the wall of text, but this is an issue that I find very disturbing and the solutions to fix it seem very straightforward and common sense.
    "It is a time of strife and unrest. Armies of revenants and dark spirits manifest in every corner of Tamriel. Winters grow colder and crops fail. Mystics are plagued by nightmares and portents of doom."
  • OolongSnakeTea
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    As someone who is toe deep in housing, and just getting into it- I really appreciate this thread. i mostly just feel overwhelemed and exhausted by all the microtransaction aspect for all the 'cool stuff' thats in the crown or housing store tabs, meanwhile I'm putting mud balls and daedric thrones together to try to make a house with just gold.
    "I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose."– Stephen King



  • katanagirl1
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    As someone who is toe deep in housing, and just getting into it- I really appreciate this thread. i mostly just feel overwhelemed and exhausted by all the microtransaction aspect for all the 'cool stuff' thats in the crown or housing store tabs, meanwhile I'm putting mud balls and daedric thrones together to try to make a house with just gold.

    Don’t get discouraged, you don’t have to spend a single Crown to have nice home furnishings! It takes time, but you can farm furnishing recipes and level up your crafting. Check guild traders frequently for good deals on furnishing plans - I picked up a purple Elsweyr Chest, Peaked Floral the other day for 649 gold!
    Khajiit Stamblade
    Dark Elf Magsorc
    Redguard Stamina Dragonknight
    Orc Stamplar PVP
    Breton Magsorc PVP

    PS5 NA

  • Raideen
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    I would venture to guess that housing does not make ZO$ the kind of money they hoped it would, so they have little interest in updating it. I feel the devs are passionate about it, but this game is not designed to be fun first, everything must pass the monetization approval.

    Its sad, but this is what Bethesda/Zenimax has become. Look at what they are doing to Fallout 76. Most of what we hear from them is PR speak when it comes to what the customer wants.

    I understand that companies are in business to make money, the difference between the video game industry and every other industry is that video game customers are easily taken advantage of because all of the products and services are digital. Right now it seems that zenimax is going for a cash grab, to make as much as possible from all their games. As long as the investors get their money, they could care less what happens to the company or the customers.
  • Araneae6537
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    Raideen wrote: »
    I would venture to guess that housing does not make ZO$ the kind of money they hoped it would, so they have little interest in updating it. I feel the devs are passionate about it, but this game is not designed to be fun first, everything must pass the monetization approval.

    Its sad, but this is what Bethesda/Zenimax has become. Look at what they are doing to Fallout 76. Most of what we hear from them is PR speak when it comes to what the customer wants.

    I understand that companies are in business to make money, the difference between the video game industry and every other industry is that video game customers are easily taken advantage of because all of the products and services are digital. Right now it seems that zenimax is going for a cash grab, to make as much as possible from all their games. As long as the investors get their money, they could care less what happens to the company or the customers.

    If that is the case, then I hope they are exploring options to make it more profitable that might also benefit players, like adding some functionality to houses with harvestable resource nodes or ability to store and display weapons and armor sets.

    If it were not for housing, I wouldn’t spend money beyond my sub after some initial extra to get the costumes I wanted. It doesn’t seem like much else of interest to me is released for Crowns and I have zero interest in the crates. Other things like outfit slots I’d be interested in if the cost was a tenth what it is now.
    Edited by Araneae6537 on November 5, 2019 11:42PM
  • D3AKUs
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    Aside from being pretty or just stuffed to the roof with work benches/dummies and absurdely expensive stones houses have zero social functionality.
    There is zero intend for people to spend more time in them then just travel over to watch what someone build or craft a set and begone. Aside from rp maybe or as "chatroom" ... the way houses are implemented into the world sucks. Other games do it better.
    The only plus side eso offers is freedom in building,placement of items for custom stuff. Its cool to build something amazing and the community showing of their work is very nice. But why not offer this community more ways to interact with each other through their work ?

    Theres also a big lack of furnishing that would make sense, like more tools,weapons,static npc for atmosphere ( like the maidens in BDO or FF14 as an example ),structural items and so on. We get so much random stuff at times and the furniture tab and itemlists are full of duplicates or oretty much the same stuff yet we miss so much options in some parts.

    Limited time sales,overpriced stuff,good stuff locked behind rng crates.

    I have spend a huge amount of money and enjoyed housing for good while but looking at the broad picture there is no progression with housing. Nothing new or exciting they add. They dont listen to the community. Theres zero effort to see. All the houses lately were uninspired repetitions. Copy pasted stuff and then its gets thrown at us for ridiculous amounts. Stuff gets canceled and only pops up half a year without a notice ever like Jodes and the furniture pack that come in november now.
    Why is there no housing event or anniversary or anything cool ?

    Its a mostly neglected cashgrab. U cant tell me they work a few month on one or two houses all the time plus the few furniture we occasionally get.
    In the end its obvious that no one really cares or gives a damn and there is no real interest in housing aside from milking its community with rotten carrots on a stick.

    When my sub runs out ill probably leave this dumpster fire for a while and keep an eye out for changes in housing before i migjt think about returning. I cannot justify spending a single cent more atm if theres nothing coming back and housing without eso+ is essentially worthless anyway. The game has nothing else to offer for me. I loved the freedom in building with the housing editor tool and have met so much nice people in the housing community but i have slowly burned out over time and they did nothing to rekindle that fire or get my interest back cause there is no real development in that game aspect.
    And sadly it doesnt look like theres a bright future ahead.
    I havent played for a month now cause i moved and will only get access to internet for gaming back this week finally but i realized that i mostly only missed the people i have come across in the housing community and the inspiration around it and not so much the game itself. Would i like to build atm ? Ofc i would like to kill some time with it here and there. But i will probably run into a lot of stuff again that dampens my mood , like so often in the last time with this game so i will just enjoy my last few month until sub runs out and then move on to something else.
    Edited by D3AKUs on November 5, 2019 5:39PM
  • bayushi2005
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    Raideen wrote: »

    Its sad, but this is what Bethesda/Zenimax has become. Look at what they are doing to Fallout 76. Most of what we hear from them is PR speak when it comes to what the customer wants.

    @Raideen I have an answer to that: Disco Elysium, Death Stranding and The Outer Worlds ... and a new Razer Huntsman Elite. Equivalent of my "housing enthusiast" monthly spendings on ESO. GG Zeni.
    Edited by bayushi2005 on November 5, 2019 11:26PM
  • Cireous
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    More than anything, I just want things to loot and harvest in my homes. I desperately want be more engaged in this content than simply decorating and moving on. It feels like such a waste of energy, and gold and crowns, when there is nothing to do in the home once it's finished.
  • Jayne_Doe
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    Cireous wrote: »
    More than anything, I just want things to loot and harvest in my homes. I desperately want be more engaged in this content than simply decorating and moving on. It feels like such a waste of energy, and gold and crowns, when there is nothing to do in the home once it's finished.

    I totally agree! While I have enjoyed decorating my homes (and I've many more yet to be decorated), once it's complete, there's no reason to go back there other than to use as a port or to access anything in your home storage. I'd love to have other reasons to leave my characters logged off in their homes. Right now, it's basically just for RP - I don't like the idea of just leaving them outside somewhere when I log off. So, I leave them in their houses, but then that just adds additional loading time.

    If only we could get crafting writ functionality, where I can pick up and turn in crafting writs. Or simply wave the gold cost to port to a wayshrine and just let me port directly to a town with a crafting hub for free. A small thing, but it would be appreciated - and no expensive CS-exclusive wayshrines to purchase.

    I think that ZOS is concerned about populations in towns if they provide more functionality in homes, but I think a lot of us are going to finally get utterly bored with housing if all they're really for is a gold/crown sink. Just decorate one and move on to the next - but eventually, fatigue will set in, if it hasn't already.
  • mayasunrising
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    I agree with pretty much everything being said here. My big underscores are (always and forever!) item limits, improved home utility, and availability of small and mid-sized homes along with housing costs - which i think are getting a tad absurd.

    I'd also add furniture stacking/storage as a wish list item. A few people have tried to explain to me why we can't have a furniture bag akin to the craft bag, but I honestly just can't understand it, and in some ways don't buy it. I personally am reaching the point where I've got all the storage containers, maxed bank storage, and eventually I'll have max storage on all my characters. As a housing enthusiast, I AM going to run out of space to store furniture not currently being used at some point. And then what happens? I won't continue to spend crowns on items to increase inventory space when I feel the solution to the furnishing storage dilemma is something that really should have been included when Homestead was released.

    ZOS, I promise you, I will continue to by all the furniture things if we have some sort of dedicated storage. But when I start having to decide between basic character utility items (armor and weapon sets, potions, etc) or housing items I will likely stop buying housing items. And I'm certainly not going to start dropping $50-$100 a clip for crown store only properties just to store more items.

    Anywhozzle, rant done. lol
    Edited by mayasunrising on November 13, 2019 4:35AM
    "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anaïs Nin

    “There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen." Amanda Palmer

    “A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.” Jane McGonigal

    “They'll tell you you're too loud, that you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do it anyway." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • anadandy
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    I'd also like to see some way to incorporate features of things like Port to a Friends House. I have lots of houses - but I can only set one as my "primary" I'd like people on my allowed list to go to any of my houses regardless of whether I'm logged in.

    Each of my characters has their own specially decorated home, I'd like a way to set primary residence per character.

    Finally, I "share" a lot of homes with my gaming partner - I would love some more levels of access. Like Co-Owner, or Decorator Plus - something so that I can go to his homes and add/remove furnishings etc. It's the whole reason we share - he wants homes but has no patience/talent for decorating - but mailing stuff to him with instructions on where to drop it, especially for the multiple cell homes, is a giant PITA.

    I get that one argument against home sharing is the possibility for theft or abuse - but honestly, players have to take some personal responsibility. Put a bunch of warnings on it - only add people you can trust. Perhaps tie it to Pledge of Mara - since that has limited use anyway - and hey they sell those for 1k crowns a pop so win-win... :neutral:
  • mayasunrising
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    anadandy wrote: »
    I'd also like to see some way to incorporate features of things like Port to a Friends House.

    @anadandy , I'm not sure if you're on PC or Platform, but if you're PC the Essential Housing Tools add-on has a portal system that will allow you to do just that! You can create portals to your houses, your friends houses, guild houses, etc. It's pretty rad! I've seen a few folk that have created portal hubs for friends and guild-mates using it!

    Here's a link if you want to check out the add-on: Essential Housing Tools
    Edited by mayasunrising on November 13, 2019 4:39AM
    "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anaïs Nin

    “There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen." Amanda Palmer

    “A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.” Jane McGonigal

    “They'll tell you you're too loud, that you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do it anyway." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • anadandy
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    Thank you! I appreciate the information - but I honestly think this is something that should come base game so people who can't/won't use add ons can do it. :)
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