I’m a big fan of housing in MMOs, so when I heard that housing was coming to ESO, and that it was fairly attractive and well-done, I decided to check it out. Or, at least, check out the free house I heard you get.
Now, to give you some context, I have exactly two characters in ESO, level 5 and level 6, both rolled before One Tamriel came out, and both still in Khenarthi’s Roost. So my knowledge of the game and its areas are extremely limited.
I chose the higher level of the two, a kitty Templar whom I still have no idea how to develop as a solo player, and logged in. The first thing I got was a pop-up that looked like it was from within the ESO store, but it was hard to tell. It prompted me to “purchase” a free quest, which I assumed was the start of the housing quest.
Long and Winding Road
This was correct. The quest instructed me to meet Canthion, and the hint said he’s located in Auridon. I had no idea where that was… having only a working knowledge of Khenarthi’s Roost. So I hit up some online maps and discovered I could take a boat to the place I needed to go.
I did that, and managed to find the guy. However, the key and the deed to the place were in the hands of someone of lesser esteem, whom I then had to track down. To find out where she fled, I had to “talk” to another ruffian, whom I found hiding out in an underground outlaw refuge in the city.
Law enforcement does know about this little manhole hideout, right?
I bribed the guy and he spilled the info I needed. Seems my target fled to Greenshade. Wherever that is.
So I started following the quest icons. I still think this system is fairly confusing without a mini-map. I’m not a huge fan of spinning around and around to try and make sense of quest markers on my compass. But, I figured it out.
The path lead me through several very large zones(!), and I started to get a sense of roughly how expansive the world of ESO is. At least, from a newcomer’s point of view.
I ignored all the quest markers and unlocked all the Wayshrines I found. That was a lucky thing, since I didn’t realize until in the end of the quest, how useful Wayshrines actually are. I did have one death, when I stuck my head in what seemed to be a nice city called Haven, but turned out to be not-so-haven.
Anyhow, this quest led me on and on and on, until I finally found some sort of hideout. When I got inside, I quickly noted there were aggroing NPCs there. Bummer. I did my best to avoid fights, especially after the experience in Haven. But when I was pressed to attack, that’s when I realized I hadn’t actually put any points into any of my skills yet. Oops. Fixed that, kinda.
Eventually, I survived to locate my target and was given the option to kill her and take what I wanted or let her live, by which she’d peacefully give me what I was looking for. Of course, I let her live, since I wasn’t sure if I’d survive the fight! 😀
All that was left to do was get out of that place, which I did in one piece, and return the stuff to the guy who was several zones away. Ugh. Thankfully, I then realized that Wayshrines offer fast travel for free, and utilized this to complete the quest.
Alright. So I had to go find furniture for this house. I’m not a part of any guild, and had never crafted a thing in the game, so naturally, I had to find the housing merchant. Which… wasn’t located anywhere in the town I was in.
Once more, I followed the quest markers, which took me to another city. Seems I’d forgotten to open the Wayshrine there for fast travel earlier. Ah, well.
The housing merchant really didn’t have much of a selection. Not that I had much gold to spend. I picked up a rough little stool and headed back, eager to finally see my new abode.
This pleased my quest giver, and the housing was mine!
That’s when I discovered the place was a little room in a tavern. Alright. That’s fine…
But, by little, I mean… very little!
So, I’m not going to knock it or anything, because the windows are nice and all, but the size of this place makes the starter inn room in EQ2 look like a mansion. Granted, you don’t have to pay upkeep and all, but still. Couldn’t they afford to give you a little bit more space? There’s hardly room for much more than a bed. …If the merchant had a bed for sale.
At least they gave me a free candle, right?
I placed the stool in my room, taking note of the placement system. It seems pretty in-depth in the way you can rotate and move items. This is good, a lot better than some hook system.
It also looks like there’s a full permissions system in place already.
Not to mention, there was a direct window to purchasing furniture from the cash shop. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
From what I’m reading in comments and feedback around the net, it seems crafting housing items requires a bucket-load of materials to the point it’s just silly. So, while crafting is an option, it’s pretty obvious that ESO would prefer you to spend Crowns in their shop.
I will hand it to the team, though, I could sit on the stool I put in my house. You might think that should be a given, but in some games, that’s just not so.
I also like how you can travel to each house and run around in it before choosing to drop cash on it. That’s a nice preview system.
Now, for folks who have a stash of gold and Crowns, I can see this being a nice housing system. It seems functional enough. Getting a tiny, but free, room to mess around with is a nice gesture to us F2P folks, too. So, I can’t really complain. It was just quite the adventure for a little level 6 (now 7) Templar who had never traveled so far before!
Anyone else have any experiences with the new housing system in ESO?