Given the complexity of the Housing System in Ashes of Creation, certain specific terms must be used to avoid confusion. One example of this is In-Node House. The term In-Node House refers to, very specifically, the houses which can be acquired inside the physical footprint of the Node (the center of civilization; not the Zone of Influence).
It is possible to put a “house” on a Freehold; however, that is not In-Node housing, as that home would fall under the Freehold system. Given those two types of housing are acquired differently, it is vital that we keep terms in their own lane.
Regarding In-Node Houses. Each account is allowed to have one In-Node house per server, with no restriction on having an In-Node House on multiple servers. Note this is one per account, not one per character. All of the characters on an account can access that housing; which prevents people from making numerous alts on their account in order to acquire as many In-Node houses as they can. The drawback to this is it limits each account to three pieces of housing per server.
Number of Houses Per Node
We do not have the total number of houses per Node, but we do know that there are 8 houses in a Stage 3 node. If this were to grow in a linear fashion adding 8 per stage, that would mean a total of 32 in-node houses in a Level 6 Node. If the number is going to stay that low or not, we do not know. If it were to stay that low, it would mean that In-Node houses would be restrictive; however, until we have more concrete details it is best to avoid rampant speculation.
Initial Housing Acquistion
The initial houses are purchased from the Node directly. When a node first hits stage 3 there is going to be an auction/lotto mechanic to ensure all the houses are not immediately scooped up during off hours if the server makes its transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 in the middle of the night or other awkward times of day.
Real Estate Mechanics
After the initial acquisition from the Node, players will be able to sell their housing to other players. Intrepid is not planning on any artificial caps for this, so the sky will be the limit when it comes to housing prices. Of course, in a player driven economy this will make for an interesting dynamic especially since houses can be lost under different circumstances.
Since there are 8 cottages in a Level 3 Node, that means when the five nodes per server that can reach the Metropolis stage do reach that stage, it will mean 40 Mansions per server.
In-Node Houses Mechanics
The In-Node houses function as houses (places of residence). They do have gardens attached to them so you can do some crop raising. We do not have details as to what limitations there are on these gardens.
In-Node houses cannot become anything else other than residence. They cannot become Shops and Taverns. Shops are a different mechanic that will be discussed in the Economic Nodes Section. In-Node Taverns are due to be a thing, yet how they are acquired is unknown at this time.
In-Node Houses Customization
There is a little bit of customization you can do with your In-Node house.
You will be able to decorate it, both inside and outside. There will be limitations on the customization, however, you cannot put chairs on roofs, or paintings on the floor. Each decor item will have a placement location.
You also cannot make organic changes to the houses. So no adding walls, windows, doors, etc.
One thing to keep in mind about your house, is that the racial makeup of your house will be based upon the racial makeup of your node. So you might have a Vek house when your Node is Stage 3 (Village), but based on racial xp contribution to your Node, when that node hits Stage 4 (Town), if the race that provides the majority of the xp is Py’rai, you suddenly find your home modeled in Elven architecture.
I know this will be annoying for some people, that there is no way to lock the racial design of your house, however, that is the design decision that Intrepid has gone with. If you want to keep a certain type of architecture in your node, you are responsible for ensuring your race is doing the lion’s share of the xp contribution.
One thing we have recently found out is that when you live in a cottage at Node Stage 3 you can lock your cottage so it does not upgrade in size when the Node Levels. If you wanted to keep a cottage and not get a bigger house this would be an option. This might be something a player would want to do if they just want the house for citizenship and do not want to incur more taxes based on a bigger house.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can In-Node Houses be Destroyed?
Yes, both temporarily and permanently, and this is all tied to the Node Siege System.
During a Node Siege your In-Node house can be targeted and destroyed. The fate of your home is tied to the outcome of the Node Siege.
There are ultimately three conditions that can occurring during the Node Siege: 1: The defenders successfully defend the Node, your home was not destroyed and immediately after the siege you begin living life as normal. 2: The defenders successfully defend the Node, but during the Node Siege your home was independently targeted and destroyed. Your home at this point is only temporarily destroyed. You will need to invest gatherables and/or processed goods to rebuild your home. You lose nothing if this occurs. 3: The defenders fail to defend the Node. Your home at this point is permanently destroyed as the Node is reduced to Stage 0. Any finished goods (weapons, armor, potions, food, other crafted goods) along with any furnishings and décor items will be returned to you. Any gatherables or processed goods will be lost, and will become spoils for the invaders who won the Node Siege.