Neriak: The New Real Estate Boomtown?

Posted: May 29, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

NOTE:  Well, seems I missed out that Kelethin did get new 5 room housing with Update 35 (thanks for the comments, everyone – keep it coming).  I’ve edited the article to take this into account. It’s apparantly similar in pricing to Kelethin.  Though this does mitigate part of my point regarding balacing good vs. evil, it does not affect my point regarding old content vs. new.  Status costs should remain part of high end housing across the board…or not at all; and it shouldn’t require less than half the cost of old housing for new housing.  

In Game Update 35, the long lost city of Neriak was found.  Apparantly, so was the long lost pre-bubble Norrathian real estate market.  Judging by the firesale prices on Neriak housing, one would think that Queen Cristanos is hurting for residents. 

Don’t know what I mean? 

Before I can explain, we need to step back and compare.  For example, look at Qeynos and Freeport.  The best housing in the starting cities is only available to members of level 30 guilds, and requires a cost of more than 4.8 platinum and 300,000 status just to move in.  After that, the upkeep costs nearly 20 gold and another 60,000 personal status every week. 

Compare this to Neriak’s new five room digs.  Not only do you only have to spend 1.7pp to close on the place, but you don’t require any of those pesky guild level checks, either.  No status down, either…as the place comes without any status costs at all.  That’s right, just slide 1.7 platinum across the table, and you can own your own five room house without any additional hassle. 

Sound too good to be true?  Just wait, there’s more.  Your weekly upkeep costs only 7gold.  That’s it.  No status – just 7 gold pieces.

I’d tell you what the Kelethin five room housing cost by comparison – except I can’t find any. (see n0te above). 

So, just to recap:

South Qeynos
2 & 4 Bayle Court
Price: 4p,83g,84s 300,000 Status
Upkeep: 19g,35s,36c 60,000 Status
Slots: 6
Must have guild lvl 30
5 & 8 Erollisi Lane & 5 Karana Court
Price: 3p,87g,24s 250,000 Status
Upkeep: 15g, 48s 96c 50,000 Status
Slots: 5
Must have guild lvl 30

North Freeport
1 Compassion Road
Price: 4p,83g,84s 300,000 Status
Upkeep: 19g, 35s, 36c 60,000 Status
Slots: 6
Must have guild lvl 30

3, 5, & 7 Compassion Road
Price: 3p,87g,24s 250,000 Status
Upkeep: 15g, 48s, 96c 50,000 Status
Slots: 5
Must have guild lvl 30

3 Walk of the Dead
Price: 1p, 70g
Upkeep: 7g
Slots: 5
No status or guild lvl listed

Price: 1p, 70g
Upkeep: 7g
Slots: 5
No status or guild lvl listed 

Now, if your guildmates are like my guildmates, they take that guild level seriously.  They worked hard to earn that level and they’re proud of it.  They spent a lot of time working on quests, writs, and buying/collecting status items to get us to the level we’re at.  Once they bought their status housing, they then spent the time to pick up lots of status furniture to keep the costs down. 

Now, I’m not a believer that all things need to be made equal in a MMO to retain balance, especially regarding online economies.  However, in most MMO’s now, the economy referred to is player controlled for the most part – an open market.  In such a system, the capitalist concepts of supply and demand largely keep prices in check, and the world goes round and round.

However, the housing market in  Everquest 2 is completely controlled by the developers.  There are is no player control over housing costs in Everquest 2.  The only level of control players can exert is where to move to…which isn’t always an option for 1/3 of the playerbase at any given time.  Nevermind immersion or “roleplaying” justifications.  The way Everquest 2 is designed, 8 of the 24 classes are “good” (Qeynos/Kelethin only) and 8 of the 24 classes are “evil” (Freeport/Neriak only).  What this means is that if you’re a Qeynos Swashbuckler or a Kelethin Ranger, good luck moving to your new, cheaper Neriak abode. 

This really is one of those issues that deserves some deeper discussion, at the very least.  Either the Neriak housing needs a revamp on pricing (add in status costs and guild levels at the very least) or the rest of the housing currently on the market needs a revamp on pricing (cut costs and remove status/level requirements) to bring it inline with the new cost model in Neriak. 

Honestly, I can’t imagine that Neriak has a massive housing boom right now.  It’s not as if the Neriak Tier’Dal WANT new residents in their city (in fact, the quest text tends to say exactly the opposite).  It would be like the New Tunarians opening the gates and asking for a boost in immigration.  Don’t get me wrong – I like the idea from a mechanics standpoint, but it still doesn’t gel with the current storyline.  

  1. Thilandril says:

    Interesting post!

    Just FYI, the largest housing option in Kelethin (originally 4 rooms) has been expanded to 6 rooms as of GU 35! They added in a third level below the main (entry) floor. So now there’s a two room basement. I’d have to actually go check, but I think the pricing might be in line with what you indicated for Neriak. My wife and I were thinking about moving our fae characters into bigger digs, and I remember thinking the new 6 room was surprisingly reasonable.

  2. kendricke says:

    If that’s the case, I’d update my entry to reflect the correction.

    However, to be fair, it doesn’t change my basic point, which is essentially that high end housing in every city should have consistent guild level requirements and status costs – either have them or not, but either way make it consistent across the board.

  3. Stargrace says:

    I agree with making it consistent across the board, but I think that’s what they were at least attempting to do for the two “new” cities, Kelethin does indeed have status free 5 room housing, as does Neriak. Yes, this leaves the good people of Qeynos and Freeport out in the lurch. Perhaps they’re paying 60k status a week for those popular maj’dul carpets, since neither of the new cities have one located in their actual city (neriak’s is located in Darklight woods), nor does either city have bells like Qeynos or Freeport that brings you to the docks (Kelethin having none at all, and Neriak’s teleporter brings you to the spires, annoying at best). Either way, the people of Qeynos and Freeport are feeling the bite, and pressure to move to the new homes is present. Why bother working for that guild level 30 home and 60k status when you can, as you put it “…just slide 1.7 platinum across the table, and you can own your own five room house without any additional hassle…”

  4. kendricke says:

    Exactly! What, indeed, is the point of guild level at all when newer, better, and even cheaper housing is readily available.

    Status used to mean a lot. Is it being phased out now?

  5. Jex says:

    I’d just like to mention that the housing in Neriak is very very dark and the locations are incredibly inconvenient for the player on the go. There aren’t many actual people in the city to converse with, even 3 months after the initial launch – just some lowbies and people looking for quests. My guess is that Neriak digs are cheap because they lack the three most important things in real estate: Location, Location, Location.

  6. kadilask says:

    These are the type of questions I ask myself every time I see a new feature.

  7. anon says:

    sorry – I just looked at the acorn housing – compared to freeport and qeynos it stinks; is like comparing Kansas City to New York or San Francisco

  8. Fangs says:

    This morning i woke up and decided it was time to move on from my one-room appartement to bigger and better things… After a google search on the Neriak houses, I came here. I couldn’t believe what i read, so i went to see for myself in game. The weirdest thing i found out is that the smaller houses DO require your guild to be level 30 (we’re just 29 now) and I couldn’t buy them. They are cheaper to buy (50something gold), but more expensive in upkeep (8 gold) AND they require 80 000 status to buy, and 8000 in the upkeep. Amazing… The whole guild came out to Neriak and stocked up on cheap big houses 😀 One of them is moving her stuff for the second day in a row.. Guess she’ll do her research next time! Thank you!

  9. Diputs says:

    Freeport and Qeynos are much more convienent than Neriak and Kelethin. You have to run a good distance to get anywhere from the latter. I think the pricing reflects that.
    One Kelethin house is 6 rooms, 5 Slots under 2 plat to buy and 7ish gold per week no status.
    Why are there guild levels at all? It is a status thing. Most of the stuff (Titles, clothing, etc..with mounts being one obvious exception) you can buy with a guild level or status requirement has no practical impact on gameplay, it is simply something to say Hey, look at what I have!…i.e. status…just like housing really

  10. Kendricke says:

    Guild levels are as much a “status thing” as adventuring levels. Whether or not you’re level 8 or 80, your gameplay isn’t significantly different. Oh sure, you might get some more buttons to push at the higher end, but the basic game is still the same – kill mob X.

    The basic idea behind “levels” is that you’re advancing. That advancement is very much a concept of status – for both yourself and those around you. It’s very much a way to say “hey, look at what I have!”. We can make the same arguments about gear, spell levels, titles, total quests completed, recipes, PVP kill counts, and pretty much any other method by which players measure their advancement within the game.

    So therefore, I tend to put less stock in the “it’s just a way to say look at what I have” argument when I tend to hear it, because that’s really the point of any playstyle, once you boil it down to the actual basics.

    Guild level does matter. There’s a lot of work involved in guild levels. Right now, my guild members are working their tails off to run writs – as a guild, we’re averaging around 50-60 writs per day. When we’re not raiding or grouping together through dungeons, we’re running writs.

    Guild level matters, or at least it matters at least as much to many players as adventuring or tradeskilling levels might to others.

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