In fact, after players get past the superficial decoration features, which are a blast to play with and are sure to keep Angels busy during the dog days of summer, they will find that having a house will make their life so much easier, they’re going to wonder how they ever lived without it. The biggest convenience has got to be the storage space that players now have. Instead of having to journey to one of the main cities to store their things, they can just talk to Maid Eilian in the house and open their warehouse directly. When the house has been upgraded to a certain level, they can even access their Guild warehouse by talking to her.
Getting past the basic functions that make houses useful, of which there are many, let’s look at them in another light – as a social gathering spot. IGG and AO spend a lot of time and effort promoting the “community” of players they have and the Ball function fits this mold perfectly. By inspiring players to visit other players houses, and rewarding them for doing so, they are not just encouraging friendly gatherings, but also working to strengthen Guild bonds, and move players past the one dimensional “team up and fight” relationships that so often plague MMOGs.
Not that teaming up and fighting isn’t still important, it is, and players who find themselves on at odd hours will love the mercenary system. Simply call on Maid Eilian and she delivers a soldier of fortune to you. She is the Jeeves of AO, bringing players whatever they need, even a grizzled mercenary to watch their back when no one else will. Even Google can’t do that for you!