Posted November 6, 2012 by Cy Cratty in Editorials

Homeless in Tamriel

Housing (1)
Housing (1)

There are quite a lot of words that don’t apply to the characters of The Elder Scrolls – most of which are variants of “conservative” and “peaceful” – and now homeowner is added to the list. In a cover by Game Informer, it was publicized that there would be no player or guild housing at the launch of TESO. I could be an odd man out, but I loved the housing systems in Skyrim and Fallout 3.

If ZeniMax Online is trying to trim some fat from the Elder Scrolls universe I can see why they would choose to give housing the axe, at least early on. It’s nothing but a big, detailed, flashy inventory system after all. Makes total sense from a technical and even design standpoint, but that bloated inventory system of theirs was fun as all hell. I would spend hours deciding how I wanted my house to look. Which weapons to display, where things should be positioned, if everything just kind of flowed together. I would always have meticulously placed junk in my house for no other reason than to make it look better. If you were allowed to turn your house into a hotel in Skyrim, mine would look like something out of Dubai.

All fun and games aside though, it does bring up the question of long-term inventory in TESO. Will there be faction specific item banks, something run by the players, or something else entirely? It’s all speculation, but I would rule out player-run item banks. It would be very complex and unnecessarily tedious to figure out how to reward both the player investing his items and the player storing them. A game-run, faction based system seems like too much interference from the game. I just can’t see a major aspect such as long-term inventory having a centralized bank for each faction.

In-door housing in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim! Can this be in store for TESO post-launch?

There’s also the question of actual stuff in the game. Paul Sage, the Creative Director for TESO, has said that they want to keep the exploration aspect of the series intact. Now of course there will be weapons, armor, and items of power to find, but where does it end? Will there be brooms and baskets scattered about for the players pick up? Possibly – unless there’s a technical limitation, I can’t see why they’d exclude these types of items. People never picked them up in the original franchise, and with even less space to hold your junk, I really can’t see people picking them up in TESO. They’ll most likely be there just for atmosphere.

Of course, ZeniMax Online might forgo long-term inventory all together. This is an MMO, and there is both an in-game economy and technical limitations to keep an eye on.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the standard Elder Scrolls personal inventory was kept, or if they adopted something akin to WOW’s bag system. This is the first MMO for the franchise, and it would be shocking if they tried any dicey new conventions.

[box] What do you think about TESO’s housing? How do you think the inventory system will work? Let us know in the comments![/box]

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Cy Cratty

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