Have you ever wanted to watch how one of the best decorators in Everquest 2 builds a house? Have you ever wondered what kind of tricks and techniques they might use?
If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then Jazabelle, one of the best decorators in Antonia Bayle, I'd say even in the entire game, has been doing videos where she decorates a place and goes explaining what she is doing while at it.
It is not a formal tutorial about decoration or how to use the Layout Editor (for that, you can find some links here) but it is a pretty good way to learn some new techniques and tips, whether you are a completely newbie or a veteran of decoration already.
If you are interested in housing on MMOs or just never tried and are curious about it then I highly suggest to give all the posts a read. They are pretty good at introducing the different housing systems in each game and may help to decide which one has the best features for you. 🙂
Of course there are other games with housing in there too. Those are the only ones Paeroka had some personal experience with or someone else offered to write a guest post about it. In fact, if someone wants to write a guest post for Nerdy Bookahs about housing in a game that hasn't been covered I am pretty sure Paeroka would be very happy to accept it. Just head over their blog and check their contact page.
Many thanks to Paeroka for allowing me this opportunity and for all her patience throughout this. 🙂
Some of my friends had decided to go back to Everquest 2. With that and the changes to their subscription matrix, I decided to check it again.
If all you want to decorate it is pretty much viable to do it now as a free player which is exactly what I intent to do. And well, even if I wanted to do anything else my connection has been so horrible as of late that it is practically the only thing I can do safely in there.
So, if you see a house post in the near future don't be surprised.
A long time ago, I came up with the idea of a sort of "Secret Santa" with a couple of decorator friends. My idea was basically for each one to decorate a house for each other. That never did go anywhere for a lot of reasons. Still I wanted for something to come out of it so I offered to decorate a house for Jazabelle, one of the people involved on this crazy idea.
Jazabelle was very kind and patient. She only asked for a few features, letting me free to build the rest of the house anyway I saw fit. She also always found some time to come check something that I had some doubts to give her opinion on.
Ironically this turned out to be a double edged sword. For months I had decorator's block since I couldn't figure the best way to use all the space available in a way that made sense for Jazabelle's character. Eventually I decided to settle with a small apartment since I figured out she already have houses her character actually lived in other places. An apartment in Qeynos made more sense if she wouldn't be creating roots in the city. To this end I did a break out of the actual house and built everything inside the fake house next to it.
The result was pretty good in my opinion and Jazabelle seemed to like it.
Since guild halls were introduced to Everquest 2 I've been wanting to decorate one. I wanted it so much that I decided that the only way I would be able to do it would be by making my own one-man guild and getting a hall. Well, eventually it became a 3-person guild as a couple of friends who were returning to the game asked if they could join my guild. They were also kind enough to help get the guild level and status to buy the hall, despite all my protests against it. I think they regretted that a little though due to my constant changes to the hall while I was trying to decorate it. Although they probably forgave me once it was finished since they still speak to me. 🙂
Anyhoo, the idea for Deus Ex Arcana is that it is a group of evil people who got together for the convenience of sharing resources to advance their own agendas. It is disguised as a sort of "gentleman's club" as to not attract the attention of the powers in charge since they probably wouldn't like too much what the guild was doing. This meant that the hall should been elegant, a place that looked like it was built for social gathering and with some secret places here and there. Putting it in practice was very challenging and I had to cut a few ideas due to item count and physical space limitations. Still I love the place. All the effort we put to get it was worth it. I will also be eternally thankful for all the help my friends gave to me in getting that hall, for letting me being egoistical and decorate it all by myself and having tolerating my constant changes to the design.
With all that explained let's get to the hall, shall we?
After I got more comfortable with editing layouts to do my house decorations it was time to go back to Rakuno's house and upgrade it to the new times. With this house certain features of Rakuno house solidified. Now I can't imagine Rakuno living in a house without a bar or without some kind of treasure vault.
Another interesting tidbit is that... I don't remember, if it it was in the middle of it or shortly after I finished it, but at some point they added an outdoor patio to the biggest Qeynos and Freeport houses. The door to that outdoor area just happened to be right at the back of the original bar I built for Rakuno. After some thinking I decided I wanted to do something with that outdoors area and remade the entire bar. The screenshots below are from the final version. So there might be some discrepancies with some screenshots. I put the original screenshots at the end of the post for historical purposes. 🙂
After some testing in editing the layout file to decorate houses, I decided it was time to actually tackle a real project. That project turned to be Ramalis house. I had been craving for a long time to work on a Neriak house and Ramalis had been leaving on a "warehouse" for so long that it was about time to work on it.
This is still one of my favorite houses. Unfortunately at some point I decided to fix some things on its design and due to a combination of stupidity and technical problems end up losing the layout files with the original design. So if I were going to remake it I would have to do it from scratch! /sigh
One last note, the screenshots of this house were taken from the point of view of Ramalis. So things look way bigger than they actually were.
After just working with inn rooms I really wanted to work on one of the bigger houses. Since Rakuno as my favorite character as well as my carpenter it just felt natural for him to be the first to get a 5 room house. Thus he moved from his small house in Netleville to South Qeynos.
This house was a mixed bag. There were some parts that I knew right from the beginning what I wanted to do with it while other areas I just didn't have any idea or found the ideas I had not working as well as I expected. The theme of the house was to be a sort of monk evolution thing. The lower parts of the house would serve as the living areas as well as being more rough. Then as the floors went going up, closer to heaven, things would get less crude, more peaceful and closer to the divine. Well, that was the basic idea. It didn't go as well as I hoped for but it was a fun house to work in anyway. 🙂
Everybody has a period in their life where they go through a crisis. For Ramalis, my Shadow Knight, during that period he end up becoming a Paladin. I know this sounds like a terrible attempt at a some sort of joke but there were some quite serious reasons for it both for me personally and for roleplay purposes. The point is, during that phase he end up living in Kelethin.
This was a hard house to do because for a long period I was going through Decorator's Block (no, I am serious) and working on this house was my way to try to get through it. The result was a very weak house design, if I am going to be honest. But it is part of my history as a decorator so therefore I am putting it here.
Oh, yeah. I did some changes to the house after I posted it to the EQ2 Homeshow forums. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like I have the original screenshots only the ones after the changes. So there might be some discrepancies between the pictures.
With my first house my biggest constraint was definitely not being able to craft my own furniture. So I didn't work on Rakuno's house until I felt he had enough carpenter levels to craft all the furniture he would need. It was also somewhat of a pride thing: after all, a carpenter who decorated his house with items he didn't craft himself just didn't feel right for me. I did allow me a few exceptions though for furniture that came from quest rewards or that were exclusive from NPCs.
For theme I tried to go with a wood and stone feel to it. The wood part I think is pretty obvious, with him being a carpenter and all that. The stone part is both because he was a ratonga (his ancestors supposedly came from somewhere underground) and because he was a follower of Brell (because of the booze! Ok, that and because he also believed in working hard).
It was with this one that I started to make the house looks lived in. I think I got close enough with in this case.