Given the complexity of the Housing System in Ashes of Creation, certain specific terms must be used in order to avoid confusion. For Freeholds, your freehold is a piece of property, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a home. There are going to be lots of things you can do on Freeholds. More on that in the Customization Section.
A special note, you can only have one Freehold Per account. Unlike the other two which is limited by server, only one account can own a Freehold at a time.
The number of Freeholds per Node is limited only by the size of the Zone of Influence of that Freehold. As the Zone of Influence grows, the more Freeholds that can be placed inside of that ZOI. There are some limits to the placement of Freeholds. This is discussed in customization.
The only thing we know about Freehold acquisition is that you have to purchase the deed to a plot of land from a Stage 3 Node. After that you can place down your claim and start building out your freehold.
It is not possible to sell freeholds.
Freeholds are roughly half an acre in space. That is the static footprint of the deed. Each freehold has a stand-off distance so you cannot create player communities by putting the freeholds right next to each other. Additionally you cannot place a freehold anywhere that a POI (Point of Interest) might spawn as the Node grows. This means there will be a minimum distance from town before you can place it, because you must leave enough space for the Node to reach the Metropolis Stage. Additionally, anywhere a bridge, road, or dungeon might spawn will be a null spot for freehold placement.
Freeholds themselves do not have levels, but structures on the Freehold do have levels. So as your Tavern levels from Level 1 to Level 2 different options become available. While the freehold footprint does not grow, the building elevation can.
While we do not know a lot about the customization of freeholds, we do know that you cannot take up 100% of the space with just a single house. You will be able to take up about 50% of your freehold space with a single home.
There are a number of different buildings that can be placed on a freehold. At the present time, instead of duplicating efforts, I suggest you check out the wiki article for freehold buildings. As we get more information I will refine the Ashes 101 content to be more on point with the usual deep dive.
Players will be able to pick which buildings they want to put on their freehold, so you might want a house, a tavern, and a stable. Or you might want a House, a farm, a smelter. All in all you will be able to fit around 6 buildings on your freehold, although that is subject to change.
There are going to be Guild Freeholds/Guild Halls on Freeholds. I want to acknowledge these exist, but since we don’t know what is going to happen with them, I’m just noting the concept here with future updates to come.
However their destruction mechanics are different from the housing mechanics for the in-node locations.
A freehold is only vulnerable to attack after a successful siege attempt (or a failed siege defense). For a 2 hour window after that siege, every freehold is vulnerable to attack. If the freeholds are attacked and destroyed, then they are gone. The freehold plan gets delivered to the owner and they need to find a new place to put it down. So, in this case the freehold is “destroyed” but you get the blueprint back.
In that situation it's also possible that the 2 hour window can roll through and not be attacked, or if it is attacked it can be successfully defended. If that happens the freehold is not safe, but it has a 7 day grace period.
If at the end of the seven day period, the Freehold is under the Zone of Influence of a different Stage 3 Node, then the freehold will continue on as if nothing happened.
If, however, at the end of the seven day period the Freehold is not under the Zone of Influence of a Stage 3 Node, then the freehold will be removed and the blueprint returned to the owner.
The video to the right is on Nodes, with the last section of that video being on Freeholds. The video set to jump you to just before the section on Freeholds and their destruction.