Lately, however, the changes being tested and implemented into the game have just been too cool to stay hushed about. Housing is receiving wonderful, wonderful updates that will allow for complete creative freedom that is rarely seen in MMO housing. The UI is transforming as well, and new skills and creatures are being introduced.
Beta or not, there is some crazy-cool stuff going on in the land of Ur. In fact, check out these brand new patch notes!
"Players will be able to add new levels to their houses, meaning more vertical room for more stuff. Furniture, chairs, tables, shelving units and many other common household decorations can be upgraded and changed."
I can picture entire floors dedicated to crafting, cooking, art, or player-made displays. There are very few MMOs I can think of that have allowed for this amount of creativity. Free Realms is pretty good about giving players the ability to build entire themeparks out of their lots. The only other titles coming to mind that allowed players to literally drag items from their inventories would be Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. We also have sandboxes like Second Life that allow this as well, but it's easy to argue that games like that are not games but living worlds. There is a difference between a world like Linden Lab's and one that has a set of rules and a background of lore like Glitch.
Players can also change the size of their housing plots, switch out the themes and settings, and even cultivate their land to include garden plots, mining nodes, and firefly hives! Does this mean players will never leave their houses? I don't think so, but it does encourage players to use their houses for much, much more than storage for piggy plops and a dozen garden plots. There are many more changes, but let's switch topics to iMG, or imagination.
Let me reiterate something I've said many times before: If there is one thing a game can do to make money, it's sell customization. Allowing players to buy or grind their way to a unique character is almost always seen as harmless because all it does is make for more variety in the game world. The brilliant thing is that I have never met a player who would rather have a generic character. Everyone would like to stand out or to be unique, somehow, either by being the toughest damage-dealer or the best-dressed. If I grind away on missions or gardening in Glitch now, it is actually going to make a difference to my character.
At this point in my gaming life, I really don't care about being the best or the toughest. It's hard to say that I ever wanted to be those. But I have always wanted to be unique. Even as a kid I would try my hardest to stick out and to be different. Once I got into gaming, specifically MMO gaming, I wanted nothing more than to make a unique character. Now, thanks to what I have seen so far in these new changes to the world of Ur, I can successfully stick out even in a world of oddities. There are fewer and fewer games that allow for such freedom, so I welcome the chance.
Hopefully by the time you read this, the servers will have reopened. In that case, you can find me in my in-game house. I'll be busy crafting a custom art gallery.
Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.