I think one of the things that I love about LotRO – and one thing that keeps drawing me back – is the housing system. Housing in LotRO has been hotly argued about for years now; the system is extremely antiquated compared to newer, more robust housing in RIFT and the expected new hotness of EverQuest Next. Still, a part of me loves the little neighborhoods, the excitement of picking a neighborhood name and location, and decorating the uniform, standard issue houses in a way that my characters would enjoy.
Of course, one of the first things I had to do upon logging back into Landroval was check out the housing situation. My old Landroval house had been foreclosed upon and all my belongings sent into escrow, so I was free to start from scratch. Seeing as how I’ve had a Hobbit Hole and an Elf…shrine? in the past, it was time to go with a house in Bree-land.
There’s a few things I look for in a location – close to water, nice trees, lots of flowers in the grass, things a hobbit would probably like. More importantly, good yard decoration placement – I don’t like houses that have symmetrical decoration placement, it just looks unnatural. 6 Chestnut Street quickly became an obvious favorite – lots of purple flowers, a large yard hook right in front of the house for a big tree and another one to one side along the walkway, perfect for the anniversary windmill. It’s not terribly close to water, but that’s okay because it’s on top of a hill with nice views. Even better: it was right next to 1 High Street, a kin house with MORE purple flowers, even better views, and decent yard decoration placement.
Did I mention that I started an alt kin on Landroval before I left? Applebottom (hee!) Farm, named after the last name of my hobbits. Yes, these side-by-side properties would do nicely. Now the kicker: to find a neighborhood with both of these properties available. It doesn’t help that these locations seem to be a favorite and one or both were taken in most neighborhoods. It finally came down to two choices, Pimbleborough or Wildore.
Now, if you don’t know the history on Landroval, this wouldn’t seem like a big deal. Just pick one. However, several years ago some community members on Landroval tried to start an unofficial RP neighborhood. Wildore just happened to open up and RPers quickly bought out the neighborhood, and it was home to concerts, faires, and other RP events for several months. However, as these things normally go, interest eventually waned and people either stopped playing or moved out. When foreclosures happened a couple of months ago, almost all of the neighborhood opened back up.
So… a neighborhood with a cool history? Or a neighborhood that could be nicknamed Pimpleburg? I went with Wildore, and by the end of the night I had a deluxe home AND a kinship house. The next night, my husband updated his copy of LotRO, and he moved in to 4 Chestnut Street, which is a deluxe house in an autumn/mountainous area of the neighborhood and conveniently right behind my house and the kin house. We’ve claimed a little triangle of domestic tranquility.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it also looks like I have a kinmate with an alt-kin house in the neighborhood as well – Nevanna/Lynxa owns the home at 5 Long Street for the Lights of Valacirca. Nifty!