One of the things I love the most about writing for Massively
and WoW Insider
is that I get incredible exposure to what is going on in the MMO world and the ideas that come from the brilliance of the people who make these games we love so much. Some ideas are "me too" ideas that hopscotch from one game to another to another. I think it's safe to say that player housing is one of those. Lots of games have had it, Lord of the Rings
recently introduced it, and I think there's a chance World of Warcraft
may follow suit in the not-so-distant future to some extent. The problem with player housing -- from my experience -- is that you never have enough "stuff" to fill your home. I remember a few Everquest 2
homes I toured that were 98% candles, and others that resembled rat mazes of bookshelves simply because there was nothing more interesting to do with the virtual real estate.
Turbine sure came up with a winner of an idea though... a taxidermist! Lotrolife.com has published a great article
about the taxidermy vendor in Bree near the Vault-Keeper. The premise is simple. Animals now have a chance of dropping a rare undamaged hide when you kill them. If you get one of these hides, you can take it to the taxidermy vendor and get it stuffed into an item you can display in your home! In my opinion, this idea has limitless potential for future development. The undamaged skins are rare drops now, but what about rare creatures? Will they (or should they) always drop a skin? Wouldn't it be cool to have a trophy in your virtual living room of an especially difficult or rare encounter? In my opinion this is a brilliant way to allow players to decorate their homes without needing to pick up a tradeskill or spend a ton of money on player-crafted items.