Commentary: Why EQ2′s Decorating Leads to Hoarding and Why Landmark’s Doesn’t

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Commentary, EQ2

housing_blueprint

EverQuest II has one of the most advanced decorating systems of any MMORPG. It likely has more house items than any other game, as evidenced by the frequently updated, screen-busting fansite EQ2Furniture which allows players to see a spinning preview of all 16,325 house items in Norrath. However this paradise of customization has become a huge data storage problem for the EQ2 team and players alike.

Although the Dungeon Maker feature never lived up to its hype or even the lowest expectations due to the anemic customization and storytelling options it offered, it provided mass storage and an almost unbelievable scale for house decorators. All told, each EQ2 character can own 25 houses and 20 dungeons. With an average limit of 1,000 items (plus 1,000 books, plus 1,000 building blocks), that’s an eye-watering 135000 house items per character.

Any MMO is going to have some degree of hoarding. Unique event-, quest-, and expansion-specific items will always exist and people will want to seek them out and then store them somewhere. But what has really tipped over the apple cart are repeatable yet time-limited quests and events that grant “building block” type items. Sometimes, hundreds of these items are needed to create an architectural feature, staircase, etc. yet players are only able to acquire these items for a few days or weeks per year. As a result, players mass-produce these items and then must pack them away somewhere. If I decide I want to make an item that requires Nights of the Dead items, I can only get those items in October. City Festivals and Moonlight Enchantments are just a couple other examples.

Say what you will about EQNL Landmark, but that game has largely solved this problem with a Toolbox system. At any time of year, players are able to build using materials and props they’ve acquired. As a result, there is no mad dash during specific events to stockpile items for some eventual future build that might never happen.

My Proposal

I would allow these items to all be purchased (or crafted) year round, but to require the event-specific tokens. This way, players can spend time earning tokens during all these events, but they won’t buy (and stockpile) zillions of building blocks, stone benches, food, etc. until they actually need them for a specific house layout.

This issue is timely and relevant because player-owned Dungeon Maker dungeons continue to give the Server Transfer Tokens fits. There would be less need for these warehouses of stuff if an alternative could be found.

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Comments (8)

  • Wilhelm Arcturus

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    I tend to agree with you about the rush to get special items during holidays, because otherwise you might go wanting during the rest of the year. But I am not sure I would hold up the still languishing in development Landmark as the counter example. We don’t know how that will eventually turn out and it is quite possible it may end up with similar limited materials mechanics when DGC lets it go live.

    Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    As an avid crafter and decorator who owns far more houses than she can manage, I can relate to this article. I have a vast amount of stuff stored – half my homes aren’t decorated properly simply because I need them for storage!

    I do wish so very, very much that I could store my spare house items as a ‘list’ that is accessible from and shared across every house I own. Kinda a shared moving crate with a huge item limit – maybe even sortable or (even better) with customisable sections that you can sort your stuff into yourself – that would be amazing.

    Thankfully most event specific stuff these days can be made all year round – you buy the recipe books and so long as you have stockpiled festival/event specific tokens (and fuel if needed) you can make things all year – even for Frostfell now with the introduction of the home versions of the Frostfell craft tables.

    These days very few event-specific house items are non-craftable, and those that aren’t are rarely stock-pile type things – mostly they are house pets or plushies.

    The City Festival stuff is the only stuff I wish I could get more often/easily and tend to over-buy “just in case” – there are no recipes for all those lovely things and I always end up needing something just after the festival was at the city whose style I wanted!

    Reply

  • GriffonLady

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    Most of my hoarding is collection/quest rewards that are one-per character. I buy them up when people who don’t decorate sell them. Each expansion has a treasure trove of items that a lot of adventurers don’t want, and those items become scarce as the herd moves to the newest content.
    I would love to have a tool box, but I also love being able to wander through a DM and see what sizes items can be shrunk or stretched to, what colors they are, what the bottom looks like (or if it’s even got a surface there).
    I’m not sure if you tour houses much, but we use items in unique ways. Items may be upside down or tilted so only the part we want to use is showing, etc. Dungeon Maker is not only a wonderful place to store our supplies for decorating, but a fantastic area to get a visual before we even start decorating.
    I will say it wa a tremendous relief when we finally got Frostfell Workstations. I had cleaned out alt houses and started hoarding the crafted stuff before the workstations.. and I had 5 DMs full of Frostfell stuff.
    But yah, makeing house items lore sucks, I mean SUCKS, and no-trade is a pain, but not really a deterant.

    Keep in mind also, decorators probably spend a lot more cash on Marketplace items, so try and find a reasonable answer to the problem. If my house items start disappearing, or it starts getting difficult attaining house items some how…. Well, that wouldn’t be good for business, irritating decorators. Other games are catching on to the decorator style, you know? Have you see some of the things people have made in Wildstar? Or Rift (Already lost one of my favorite fellow decorators to Rift).

    -.- I will seriously consider filleting people if anything drastic happens and my furniture starts disappearing.

    Reply

  • GriffonLady

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    Although, if this means there would be a merchant in every expansion that sells every house item available from that expansion (and all content released between it and the next expansion) and all you have to do to unlock it is get it once through legitimate means. (And make the items REASONABLY priced like a few plat or a few gold; no more of this 75,000,000 or 300,000,000 status BS) THEN I could see hoarding going away. (Would also be a decent plat sink, vs passing currency around and around like crafting things for the adventurers to buy, then using that money to buy the house items the adventurers don’t want.) I mean, the inflation has gotten pretty wild, from the looks of things. XD

    Or if the tool box did the same, only no need to go find the right merchant… Just search for the item in the toolbox and pay for it there…

    But yah… you want the game to close? Make things difficult or take a lot of things away from the players who spend the most cash. :\

    Reply

  • GriffonLady

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    Or replace item rewards with recipes. Tradeable recipes so Adventurers could get plat out of them, and decorators can get them. And none of that “charges” BS. I hated that about the Vampiric mirrors. :\

    Reply

  • laura

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    First of all, with all due respect, Landmark is in development. Who knows if it will even make it to market.

    Eq2 is a full blown game with a game economy. To force the unfinished system that is landmark onto eq2 would ruin that ingame economy. Some folks have collections of items no longer even available, which makes them special and if they are decorators, even more so.

    And I certainly would not suggest taking away from a live income producing game by taking away the perks the most paying clients of the game have loved for years. And then to replace it with something as unfinished as landmark that doesn’t even have any form of ingame economy. Wow…it would ruin eq2.

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  • Ocarinah

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    I have a hoarding problem for sure! Lots of my friends have to be away from the game for long periods of times and they miss events most of the time. Then they return and want to decorate but they don’t have the recipes or the items and they ask me. Broker prices are crazy or none are available because of the dang no-trade or heirloom tags. It would help greatly if the holiday recipes were completely tradeable. I could buy the recipes for my friends that miss the holiday instead of having to maintain a dungeon for them to raid whenever they need something. I have sleep issues so I have friends playing all sorts of crazy hours and they cannot always wait for me to have another sleepless night. Allow house items to be tradeable….I can then just get them 2 of each thing and wash my hands of it because they can watch the broker. When things cannot be traded then there is no broker as backup so then I just hoard more of those items.

    Having house items only available for say a week or two and they may never ever return is just a killer. That means I will hoard an extreme amount. I never even knew about holidays and world events or guide events, etc. until a couple of years ago. It is just so sad to know all the items I missed out on. I know this is the main reason I hoard. There are so many of us with major health issues that interfer with our play time and it is very sad to miss out on the one time only things. If people could just get a special title for doing the world event but make house items available to everyone no matter what time of the year that would be really awesome. No more lore, no more heirloom, no more no-trade house items. No more uber special cuz you got to play a specific hour one day (eyeballs on GD and EW spire/druid ring event). I understand the epic weapon and heritage quest special house items cause you can do those quests whenever and can buy more of the items anytime. If there was a furniture merchant in my guild hall that I could buy any house item I have unlock ability to buy I wouldn’t hoard so much. So much easier going to my Seating Storage dungeon then running around all over the place trying to buy faction items. Even better than a furniture merchant in guild hall would be a toolbox that you could access ALL unlocked items from any house type that you have trustee access. We can still have crafted items be crafted.

    Summary:

    * Tradeable holiday recipes
    * 99% of house items tradeable and not lore
    * Toolbox or furniture merchant to obtain unlocked items
    * Add all quest reward house items as “unlock items” for toolbox/furniture merchant
    * Add all holiday or world event items to toolbox/furniture merchant year round

    * OR *

    * 1st – 7th every month ALL cities have festival or every other month do good then evil cities.
    * Keep moonlight merchants available all month long just limit when you can do the quests for tokens.

    One last item that would make me uber uber happy….enough with the special holiday currency. Do a quest once to unlock house item and then buy with copper/silver/gold/plat additional items. I wouldn’t have to grind like a mad woman during holiday events. It gets really old and it is a holiday…I would like to spend time outside of game during those times and I want to be able to actually decorate. I am likely if I get more than one house done a year.

    Reply

  • Katz

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    I think it would be great if they could come up with solutions that would eliminate the need for hoarding.

    Perhaps they should engage the people who are affected by this in a conversation and ask for input and find out what would work and what wouldn’t.

    I do know that the items they add for the prequel to the latest expansion caused me to focus on accumulating as many as I could reasonably get before they were gone. I don’t hoard the moonlight grotto items because I know that once a month I can get any of them. Perhaps they can focus on easy to do smaller changes. For example, the city festivals could have all the cities each month. Then people would buy what they needed once an month and not hoard 6 months worth from each festival.

    Reply

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