A while back before I had ever even experienced or read anything about farms I had a dream about player housing being added in 6.0. You can read it here. Now, having played around with my farm I am 100% certain that I was right, player housing is coming so hold on to your hats everyone, it is less than 2 years away now.
There are a few things that need to be done if they are going to make player housing work.
1) Move the Farm:
First off, they need to update farming after this expansion is over and give it the love that it deserves. They need to make it world wide and not just something confined to the valley. I guess we can get farms on our personal property after we "learn" how to farm in MoP. The Tillers could give us a quest after best friends and exalted where they teach us how to start a farm on our own property after we leave the area.
This way they can phase it that once you do the quest that moves the farm to your house you can no longer farm in Pandaria. Or make that that anything you do on one happens to both, so you do not double dip on farming. Like I said, they need to give it some love. They really messed up tying farming to only MoP, it should have been done much better and tied into the game as a whole and not just one expansion.
2) Cross Realm Footlocker:
Have you ever played diablo 3? That one footlocker that all your characters share. Well, with player housing they need to add a footlocker, it could be at the foot of your bed in your bedroom or out back in the barn, or wherever, but it needs to be somewhere.
The footlocker should be for bind on account items only. Nothing else can be put in it. That locker would be able to be accessed by any character that is tied to your account no matter what server they are on. And it needs to ignore their stupid bag limits. If there are 600 BoA items, you can put 600 BoA items in there. Simple as that. Have it expand as needed.
Even if it is only a 20 slot footlocker and they charge you 500 gold for each additional 20 slots and that would work fine. Just make it so that there is no way you can exceed the number of BoA items you own to the available space. It should always be upgradeable to the point where if you managed to collect every BoA item in the game, and multiples thanks to things like archeology, it can still hold them all.
3) Other Shared Storage:
Anyone that is farming lately and leveling cooking knows that you will be overwhelmed with food. It has happened so much so to me that I have one of my characters as a catch all for food now and she has her entire bank, with all the largest bags in the game, almost completely full.
They are adding cooking bags next patch but that does not solve the problem because that food is still clogging up space bigger bags or not. The whole bag thing is an antiquated idea and needs to change, big time.
So with our new homes and their desire to share tons of things now between characters let us have some space in our home for food items. It would not be cross realm like the footlocker, only tied to realm, but an icebox for meats and a pantry for vegetable or anything where we can keep cooking supplies and let everyone have access to it.
Not only would it make it easier instead of having to make a catch all for food because lets face it, not everyone is an alt-a-holic like me with that option, there is just too much food needed at least at the MoP level.
Have all those storage options be expandable, like the same 500 gold per 20 slots, and make it have no limit, or a high one at least, like a maximum of 20 of those 20 slot options. Even increase the cost per addition as a gold sink if you must but something like this is needed, even more so if they want to keep cooking as it is in MoP and not make it one simple level up system and something that requires massive amounts of food all the time. Our player housing is a great place for this.
4) Add Content to Player Housing:
As I mentioned in my dream. Adding content to player housing with new professions can really add more to the idea than just a place to chill out when you are done with your questing and waiting for raid time. Let you build your land, get more plots for farming over time, add furniture to your liking so you can style it to look like you want it to.
So much can be done with it to make your player housing more than just a place to hang out and to make it worthwhile to add to the game they will need to make it more than just a place to chill.
How about raising chickens for eggs, cows for milk, yaks for milk, etc. Remove things like that as drops from mobs and sales from vendors and make the community make them. We have a farm, lets raise things on it and let the community supply itself. Make them weekly things or even bi weekly or monthly to control the market from being flooded with it. Monthly might be best, at the beginning of each month you go collect from all your animals.
Make dailies to care for them, the more dailies you complete the more return you get from your animals each month. Let say for example you get 2 milk from each cow each month, you would get 10 from each if you kept them fed and clean by doing at least 1 daily each week. Not much more, you do not want to penalize people that do not log on daily but having people log on once a week to get the maximum should never be a problem for most players, even the most casual of casual ones.
Of course there would be a limit to how many cows and chickens and yaks and other things you can have. Perhaps a maximum of 20 animals of any sort at one time. This would make the player have to make a choice on what to raise on their farm. Do they want to make new ingredients, or older ones, that adds to the game dynamic.
In time they could raise the cap of how many and what type of animals with some other type of reputation they add in future expansions or by having new pens built for small upgrades of 2 animals and such. This would make player housing actual content. Each expansion you would need to do a quest line to learn how to care for the new animals you might want to raise from that expansion before you are allowed to add them to your home.
You could also add a breeding area, as a friend in my guild that I mentioned this to said. He used to play pokeman and he said the wow version needs breeding like that. I have never played that so I have no frame of reference but he said you can breed two animals together to get different animals and sometimes get really rare, or even epic, animals that have the best abilities of both. Something like this could only be done with a fully upgraded area in your personal housing area, which would of course require some serious work if you used the ideas in my other post to upgrade it.
Blues said that they would not add player housing until they could figure out a way to make it actual content and not just a place to hang out. I believe I have given more than a few ideas that will make it actual content.
They would need to add a way to allow people to visit your housing area. Perhaps if grouped with others when they went into the phased area they would always go to the leader of the groups housing. Not ideal and it would need some work but I do believe that for player housing to take off as an actual idea that they will add to the game they would need a way to allow people to visit one another at their home.
For role play servers the importance of this is a lot greater than anywhere else I am sure but for social people or people that just want to show off how they decorated their home there needs to be some way to do it in game.
I remember when I finished decking out my farm I said to a few people what was on it and they said, I want to see it, but I could not show them. That will be a huge key to making player housing a reality and that is the next and last step that needs to be worked out before we see how simple farms turn into a more complex player housing system.
So while we are really no closer to player housing than we were before I think the farms and there amazing success thus far prove that there can be a way to allow us all the have a phased area we would call player housing. I would be more excited if farming was not linked only to one area and is not game wide, as it would make player housing even more believable if it were, but you can not escape the fact that they have proved that housing can be done. Now to make sure we get it in 6.0 and make that dream I had come true.