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+1 to purchase as well. Sometimes life happens and you can't get into a game for a while, if you risk losing your hideout because of that it's likely to become a less-used feature.
A hybrid-system may work, FFXIV has player homes that are lost if not logged into for a period, but apartments that aren't lost if not used.
SWTOR uses a system where you buy and own, if you don't log in for a while your base is still there.
Another vote for the buy over rent option 🙂
I'll add my voice to buy over rent. If I have to constantly grind just to afford to keep housing, it's going to be an aspect of the game I skip.
When I bought New World several months ago, one of the aspects I liked was the idea of player housing. Sadly, the taxation system in that game was instantly abused by the guilds owning the settlements, and made housing a grindy chore that forced you to constantly log in to farm gold to keep your home(s). That quickly became the province of the rich players who were abusing the taxes. I ended up abandoning the house because I didn't want to feel like I absolutely HAD to log in and grind out exploitative tax payments to keep something that was already expensive to purchase and furnish to start with.
Similar situation in Elite Dangerous when they introduced Fleet Carriers, which are essentially player housing. They cost billions of credits to purchase, and hundreds of millions to billions more to outfit, and then you have to constantly grind to pay 'upkeep'. If you go on vacation, get deployed, or otherwise take a break from the game, you'll come back to your carrier having been decommissioned and deleted, unless you have a huge bank balance to cover 'maintenance' while you're gone.
I'd much rather pay for housing outright, even if the cost is a bit higher, than be forced to grind out resources to pay 'upkeep' or 'rent' on something I already busted my ass to purchase to begin with.
~Future founder of Feral Storm, once animal options are available!~
Sometimes You Feel Like a Tank, Sometimes You Don't
Because of that, I never built anything ever, when City of Heroes was actually live.
Homecoming completely ditched old Prestige system and made things completely free for builders. They also made a way to build outside the base plot - which meant one can make bases were less constrained. This has allowed Homecoming to have some bases that are absolutely incredible.
I'd really like to see bases be affordable, without add-ons that require you to grind to keep your base after it's built. Personally, I hate forced grinding. It's much better to have an up front cost for the plot, then let people build as they please - especially since any base editor is likely to have quirks and a learning curve to learn the tricks. Most would want to be able to concentrate on actually building when the time comes. Having to initially pay for your plot - or even building on it is fine, but I really hated maintenance costs. And personally, I'd prefer not needing a large active group to even begin making a base. It might be easier to get a group together if you already had base to show.
If it's relatively affordable, that could become an entire game-within-the-game - and you might get some amazing base creators and creations.
It would also be good if item clipping is allowed, so combining things to make new things (that likely have nothing to do with the objects used!) is possible. That makes a huge difference in making a base unique. A grid is also good - that you can disable for detail work, but can use for things like placing walls. The same with allowing items to be turned at any angle. That would allow making things like spiral staircases.
Allowing bases to be public with a passcode seems like a good idea too. That way, those with the inclination could share their creations with everyone, and it would give people a reason to make more elaborate places.