Friday, October 8, 2021

I Was looking For More Of A Fixer-Upper. Do You Have Anything In The 5k Range? An Overview Of How Housing Works In New World.

That's not my house up there, before you ask. God forbid I'd ever live in anything so gaudy. It's not even the house I plan on buying or, I should say, the plot, although it is in the same settlement, Everfall.

The one below is the one I thought I was going to get. It's slightly more tastefully decorated, although if you look carefully you can see some of the same items, just a little less ostentatiously placed.

My house most definitely won't look like anything like either of them, when I get my hands on it but unfortunately you'll never know that if you walk down my street. It will still look much the same from the outside, no matter what I do to it.

That's because New World has something I've never seen in mmorpg housing before: a ranking system to decide which player's decor gets used by the server as the default for the street view.

It might be nice if the winner was decided by something like EverQuest II's voting system, although given the rampant gerrymandering, ballot-stuffing and downright, shameless, blatant cheating that went on when that was first introduced (/em raises hand, guiltily) perhaps not. The way it works in New World is very simple: the game uses a combination of the value of the placed decorations and the owner's territory standing to decide who gets to show off their execrable taste. 

Apparently you can even see a list of the highest-ranked players for each plot. Minimalists and anyone with any sense of subtlety needn't bother looking. Their names won't be on it.

I spent some time this morning reading up about housing in the game. I learned a lot but not what I needed to know, which is where to find the houses that cost 5,000 gold.  

If you look at the picture above, you might wonder what I'm talking about. Doesn't it say "5,000" right there? Yes. Yes it does. But it means 10,000.

Points mean publicity.

When you buy your first house, wherever and whichever it is, as a first-time buyer you're entitled to a massive 50% discount. That 5,000 you see is the price after the discount has been applied. That house goes for 10k at market rates.

It took me a while to figure that out. When I finally did, it explained something else that had been puzzling me, which was how come the game tells you you're entitled to buy a house when your Standing hits Level 10 but the housing interface says it needs to be Level 15.

The answer to that one is obvious but only if you realize there are cheaper houses somewhere. That one you're looking at, which you thought represented the first step on the ladder, is actually the second rung. 

There are four grades of house altogether. There's a detailed breakdown of the differences in this guide but the crucial requirments for prospective buyers to be aware of are the cost and the standing. 

The cheapest house costs 5,000 gold, which means when you look at it in the housing interface as a first-time buyer, what you'll see is 2,500 gold. That house also requires you to have Level 10 Standing in that settlement and be Level 15 in real levels. You have to be at least  level fifteen to buy any house.

I'm Level 26, I have five and a half thousand gold and Level 10 standing in both Everfall and Monarch's Bluffs, so I'm covered all ways round. Actually, I'm Level 13 in the Bluffs but it's Everfall where I've decided to settle. It's a compact little town with an eternally autumnal feel to it. 

It is literally always autumn in Everfall, hence the name. That would suit me perfectly in real life, provided it was the kind of crisp, dry, golden season Aeternum enjoys. I've never seen it rain yet. In game, Everfall's the obvious place for me to live. It's also very handily placed in the center of the map so there are practical considerations as well as aesthetic ones.

Of course, if I play long enough I should be able to live in several places. Three, to be precise. You can have up to three properties if you can afford the weekly propery tax, which in my opinion looks pretty damn steep at a base rate of around 10% of the price of the house at the bottom end, falling to 5% for the top-rated properties. Player-governors can raise that somewhat, too, so watch your landlord.

The good thing is that you don't get evicted or even locked out if you come up late one month. The penalty for missing a payment is relatively light. All that happens is you can no longer place new decorations or move old ones, you can't use the housing-based fast travel system and any buffs you have from trophies stop working.

You can still go in and out and, most importantly, carry on using your storage, which is probably the main reason most people will want houses in the first place. I've seen worse penalties in other games. I can definitely live with those.

Or I could if I had a house. I thought I was going to buy one today but with what I've learned, I'm having to rethink. I have a couple of problems to resolve before I decide what to do.

For now I'll just camp here, outside the walls.

The first is simple: I can't buy the house I'm allowed to buy, the Tier 1, 5k/10 Standing option, until I can find someone willing to sell me one. If there are any genuine starter homes in Everfall, I can't find them. I suspect there aren't any.

I could go look in other places to see if there's some dingy back street with a clapped-out shack I could afford but I want to live somewhere at least halfway respectable and I really want it to be Everfall. I am curious, though, to see where those cheap houses are and what they look like, even if I end up walking away.

The other factor is that hefty half-off one-time-only first home discount. All the guides recommend saving up to buy the biggest house you can afford because that discount doesn't just apply to the initial purchase, it applies to the rent you pay forever after. For someone who plays for a few years that's going to run into millions. Even if you end up with the maximum property portfolio, it makes sense to make your first home a mansion.

And it would be nice to have one of the big houses with the great views and the big gardens. Only they cost four times as much as I've managed to save so far and, more worryingly, a Standing of Level 30. I can't see myself waiting however many weeks, or more likely months, it would take to get to those numbers just by playing the way I'd like to play and equally I can't imagine grinding Everfall rep and scrabbling for gold day after day to get it done faster.

House on the left is T4. House on the right is T3. Worth waiting for, I think.

Either of those would suck the fun out of what is shaping up to be an extremely enjoyable mmorpg. At the moment I'm minded on a compromise. I already have the gold for the Tier 2 house and I'm certain I can easily get my Everfall standing to fifteen. I'm going to do that and see how fast and fun it feels. 

If I'm fed up with it at fifteen I'll buy the Tier 2 house. If I'm still enjoying grinding rep, which is not all that unlikely because it is the sort of thing I tend to get hooked on, I'll carry on to twenty. By then I should have more than the 7,500 gold I need to invest in the property market and I'll buy a Tier 3 home in Everfall.

I suppose there's an outside chance at that point I might decide to carry on until I can get the Standing and gold for the biggest house but I think that would be a mistake. I'm not sure the benefits would outweigh the costs and time spent. 

We'll see how it goes. I really need to take my own advice at this point. I've been dropping comments in various places suggesting people may be in a tad bit of a rush in what is, after all, a game we could be playing for years. It shouldn't be too much to ask that I wait a couple more weeks to get the house I want, should it?

And anyway, there's really no pressure. If I take my time, the houses will all still be there, waiting for me. It's not like anyone's going to swoop in and snatch them out from under my nose. 

This isn't FFXIV!


  1. I thought I had seen one during beta, but I looked up a map and it looks like you’re right. No Tier 1 in Everfall. Possibly because of its central location, as you’ve mentioned.

    I got a house in Brightwood, because of my company. But then company drama has me regretting it and wishing I had gone Everfall first.

    I’m still trying to understand how to make money on the marketplace (I’m grateful that even Flint is valuable right now, developers did a decent job at keeping lower level items valuable). Then I’ll be more confident on paying the taxes for more than one place.

    1. Thanks for the link. That's very interesting - Everfall is the only settlement with no T1 housing at all. I think I was weirdly lucky that I was focused on getting a house there because if I'd happened to spot one of the 5k houses in another town first, reduced to 2.5k with the discount, I very likely might have bought it then and there. Now I've had time to think I would definitely like to get that yellow house at the top of Everfall next to the church. It's in fantastic position and it looks great. It's T3 but with the discount that's only 10k and 20k rep, which I'm sure I can manage in a couple of weeks. Definitely worth the wait.

      As for the TP, it's all over the place at the moment and it's not really all that easy to navigate to get a feel for the market as a whole. I wonder if there's anything like GW2spidy out there yet? I notice food mats are selling for a lot, which doesn't surprise me in the least after my attempts at cooking today. I suspect mats will go up and up as fewer people level up and most of the people out farming are doing it with something specific in mind.

    2. Nothing out of game that I know to help with markets, sadly. You can at least go through the buy menu and select all settlements to see what’s popular, although there are a number of things from the first week rush that are still up and overpriced in their 14 day window.

      Anything needed for leveling a crafting discipline tends to sell for a decent amount, like flint, timber, and iron. Base materials are needed to craft advanced materials, so base materials will always be valuable to some degree, especially iron. I’ve heard rawhide stops dropping in higher level zones in place of a new tier of hide, meaning rawhide from low level zones will likely grow in popularity if it hasn’t already this weekend. Silver and Gold are currently the least cared about, unfortunately. Flux is super important for upgrading iron ingots and anything that can make flux (like the faction material converter) will also sell to a lesser degree.

      Food is based on whatever ingredients will give the best buffs, but food ingredients are tied to untrackable herbs and provision caches. There’s at least a busy map going around for cache positions.

      Traveling to sell in another town does make a difference, which is nice, but it needs to be a place you can get to cheaply, which means a place you have an inn or house recall available.

  2. That discount must be one of the weirdest perverse incentives I've seen this decade (young decade still, but...) so you're basically telling all your new players that small houses are pointless and your first house must be the biggest possible, don't even bother until then. How's that for a property ladder?

    It reminds me of similarly extremely back loaded systems like Diablo II's talent trees (never ever branch out, invest all your early talents into crap to get the good ones at the end) or Eve's learning skills (invest time into skills now, purely for making ll your skills in the future train faster! Don't fly any exciting ships for the first half year while you're doing this!)... But those were both 15-20 years ago, and both learned their follies.


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