Given the complexity of the Housing System in Ashes of Creation, certain specific terms must be used in order to avoid confusion. One example of this is In-Node Housing. The term In-Node Housing refers to, very specifically the houses inside the actual node. It is also possible to put a house on a Freehold, but since you don’t have to put a house on it, I want to keep terms in their own lane.
When it comes to In-Node houses, you are allowed to have one per server. All of the characters on your account can access your housing, which is a benefit, but you will not have people making a bunch of alts to hold onto as many houses as they can. Now, granted they can do this with alternative accounts, but that is a different problem in and of itself.
While 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.
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.
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, there will be a total of 40 Mansions per server.
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.
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.
In-node housing can be destroyed if a Node is sieged and the siege is successful. If your house is destroyed, you won't lose any of the furniture that you put in the house, all that will be returned to you.
We are currently waiting to find out what happens to the things in storage at the house when it is destroyed during a siege. Right now the understanding is that the gatherables that are in storage would be lootable, but all the gear would be returned. Also we are not sure if houses can be specifically targeted and destroyed during sieges.