It appears that player housing is coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic, or so this teaser video for SWTOR‘s SSHP seems to promise.
SSHP is likely short for Super Secret Housing Project, which unlike the Super Secret Space Project (which became the Galactic Starfighter expansion) actually was a secret. The reveal was shocking, but given how often people on the SWTOR forums have brought up Wildstar‘s housing options as being a reason to jump ship when that game is released this year, it’s not so surprising that EA and BioWare are making this addition.
Still, all we know about housing is in that video as no official explanation has yet come down. The teaser shows a Coruscant apartment that features a mailbox and character customisation console. Each character in SWTOR receives his or her own space ship at their respective faction’s capital planet, and that ship has always been perceived as a home of sorts, though it lacked customisation options beyond unlocks like a mailbox or an auction house terminal. It had long been expected by many (including myself) that the ability to decorate and fancify the inside of your ship would come before housing.
But, hey, maybe it’s easier to build a new space geared toward customisation than to change the existing one to accommodate it. In any case, housing is exciting; but it still warrants some scepticism until we see just how much we can do to these new homes.
I wouldn’t expect something as deep as the Hearthfire expansion for Skyrim here, but in order to satisfy the players who have been wanting housing, we’ll have to be able to have many options for decorating our new homes, something on par with a high-rise loft in The Sims 3 — maybe we can’t change the floorplan but otherwise how it looks inside should be up the the player.
What SWTOR has long needed is new time-consuming activities that are different from all the existing time-consuming activities. Housing can provide one, but it may not if there aren’t enough options.
But it’s clear that BioWare is aiming to please by introducing housing, which is one of the oldest requests in the game alongside the ability to play as a togruta and a toggle for hoods. Its heart may be in the right place, but it still has to deliver something worthwhile if folks are going to be happy.