2022 Housing Beta Wrap-Up

May 26, 2022

“Now this place has style. How much for it?” – Meltdown

The May 5th-8th Housing Beta Event has concluded, and it was a huge success! Housing isn't for everyone, but hundreds of people signed up, jumped into Apotheosis City, and play-tested the housing system, not to mention those who shared their stories on the forums, by email, or by answering the post-Beta survey. So, thanks! You're helping us to create the kind of game people will want to play.

The 360 degree view of the city was a popular wall design choice.

Far more people signed up than expected for a narrow event not focused on combat, where most of our missions and raids aren’t available.  The vast majority of participants report that they had fun, despite the bugs that need to be fixed; that’s the main measure of success.  Player comments have been very positive, beyond the usual little hiccups and suggestions for improvements.

Thanks to MJ from Massively Overpowered, who kindly agreed to let us show her home from her livestream of our Beta.

91% of players enjoyed the freedom and creativity of SoH housing. Players praised the option to place anything anywhere, without being limited by hooks. This also led to requests for better placement control. Players also praised the ability to edit many of the objects available.

People had a roughly even split of requests for different kinds of new props and items. 56% of players said that just 1-2x the current number of props would be enough for launch, and we may end up with more than that many at launch. Similarly, the variety of layout and customization of décor was praised, with requests for even more variety ranging from pre-designed homes with furnishings to more layouts of larger sizes to creating new layouts by connecting or creating individual rooms. Obviously, some of these ideas aren’t easy to implement, but you can expect to see many suggestions added to the game in the coming months.

Who knows? Maybe a prefabricated base will look something like this.

Common requests also included a 3rd person view while editing, a way to invite other players to visit one’s house, improved UI, and in-game tutorials. These tutorials will be optional since many other players commented how simple and easy-to-use the system was. We aspire to make a game where everyone feels this way; we plan to add something to address every one of these requests, and the rest of the housing system will also expand over time.

One of the layouts includes a water feature – perfect for creating an outdoor patio look.

This Beta was the first one where we sent all of you to Steam, and that worked out very well. The Steam Launcher and patching system is excellent, so that was a clear upgrade from our process in other Betas. But we had a new problem: Yahoo and a few other ISPs kept blocking the emails we sent out with Beta keys. We were able to get keys to those who contacted Customer Service, but in the four-day event, the scope of the problem was not entirely clear until the end. This is not how we want to run Betas, so we are searching for a solution to this issue. Since some people were excluded from this Beta, we’re going to run Housing Beta Part 2 within 60 days so that anyone who missed part 1 can try it out and experience the improved player housing.

Even with only our beta options, a player can still make something as put together as this.

The survey results also illustrate a very wide range of play styles. Some people like having a different base for each character, while others want just one base that all their characters can share. A few even want to own several bases at once with each character! Apparently, some of our testers desire a real estate empire. It’s an intriguing concept, for sure.

The contrast between the window and holographic wall options can create some really cool visuals… pun intended.

We observed a lot of different things being done, too – some players joined the Housing Beta just to play the Iris Arc again! We’re also pleased to see that people still like playing with our character creator; it has some new costume pieces now compared to previous Betas. But the vast majority of Beta participants expressed at least some interest in housing, evenly split be-tween those who care a lot about it, and those who say it’s a nice feature but not a main focus. It’s clear that there’s a lot of demand for housing in SoH. Best of all, 67% of players said that our system will be among the best in the MMO industry if we implement some fixes and ideas from the Beta, and we will certainly do so.

“If I stand in juuust the right spot, surely this outfit will make me invisible.”

Once again, thank you for participating in the Housing Beta. We hope you had fun. You can look forward to Part 2 in July as we get SoH ready to launch.

Technical Notes

 

    1. The Housing Beta was a free event. It was open to the public from May 5th to May 8th.

 

2. Only a few of those who registered for the event reached out and contacted us with problems by either clinking a link, responding to our emails, or using our website contact form. The most common issues were all fixable, and our tireless Customer Support staff actively responded to everyone, usually within hours. All problems were fixed within the limits of the individual PCs.

 

3. One of the biggest problems we had with the Beta was that Yahoo and several other ISP simply blocked the delivery of our email keys. They claimed that emails from a registration form would reliably be delivered… Players with these accounts were much less likely to participate. We’re going to do a second housing Beta, and in the meantime, we’re evaluating ways to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.

 

4. There’s already a draft list of 15 significant planned improvements, but the survey results are being used to add to and subtract from that list. This list includes:
• Ability to place objects without interference from the character.
• Enhanced precision of prop placement
• More stuff/ props to place in the bases
• More prebuilt bases, especially big ones
• Ability to invite other players into my base

 

5. We received feedback on aspects of the game that are not player housing. This feedback is not covered here, but we pay close attention to everything you guys tell us.

 

6. Implied in the feedback from the survey is a need to publish the minimum and recommended specs for an enjoyable experience playing Ship of Heroes. We will do this before the next Beta.

 

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