Kinship Neighborhoods

November 3, 2011

Housing & Furniture Guides

Kinship Neighborhoods.  What a lovely idea.  A place where all your kin can live together to decorate your homes, RP for events, share storage space, or just see familiar names when you are walking to the neighborhood vendor.  A great feature right?  But one that Turbine has never provided us.

Do not despair!  After much experience, I have come up with a technique that will virtually guarantee your kinship its own private slice of Middle Earth.  My kinship, The Lonely Mountain Band, has now used this successfully on 4 neighborhoods, one for each racial type.  It takes time, patience, and money to pull off.  Here’s how it works:

A Kinship Neighborhood

The kinship neighborhood technique relies on knowing when a brand new neighborhood will spawn.  This occurs a few hours after there are no more of any type of houses in a particular racial area.  So if there are no more Standard homes in the Falathlorn Estates, then 3 empty neighborhoods will spontaneously appear.  If you can predict when the spawn will occur, your kinship can quickly swoop in to buy up all the property.

Planning for the move

Buying up an entire neighborhoods worth of homes is very difficult to coordinate.  Not all of your kinship may want to move to a Shire neighborhood.  Not everyone is willing to accept a standard size home.  At LMB, we planned our neighborhood in 2 stages.  Stage 1 is where we look for a critical mass of players who want to move into a new neighborhood.  Once we know we can at least buy out the deluxe homes, we’ll move on to the second stage.  In that stage, we allocate an address to each player on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Once we get all the plots (or most of them) allocated its time to start waiting…

The Wait

A set of 3 new neighborhoods is spawned every 2-3 months for each racial neighborhood.  This is a very long time in MMO land.  So the group you have when the neighborhood spawns may not be exactly the buyers who signed up originally.  Make sure to keep up on your address list, checking that your buyers haven’t left the game or purchased homes elsewhere.  Nowadays, most neighborhoods spawn when Deluxe homes are all exhausted.  To find out how many are left in a racial area, check with the housing broker each day and tally up the number of free Deluxe homes in all the neighborhoods.  When this number dips below 5, its time to start planning on a move!  Organize your kin and get ready!

Manipulating the Spawn time

You accelerate spawn time forward or backward in time somewhat by purchasing up the last few Deluxe homes in a racial area to force the spawn.  You can slow it down by having members who already own homes in the racial area abandon homes so that there are more on the market.

Ghost Homes and CDs

Sometimes there will be no homes listed available and no neighborhood will spawn.  This is due to a player abandoning a home that hasn’t shown up on the market yet.   This “Ghost Home” will clog up the spawn until it shows up on the market and gets bought up.  Also, beware of purchase cool downs (CDs).  You can only buy one home every 48 hours.  So if you purchase a home to force a spawn, you cannot immediately abandon it and purchase a home in the new neighborhood.  You need to wait 48 hours.

Moving Day!

Finally the day has come!  Three new neighborhoods have spawned and its time for your kin to get in gear.  First order is to pick a neighborhood your kin wants.  It all comes down to name and if any homes have already been purchased by non-kin members.  Once you pick a neighborhood, its time to start moving in quickly!  Have your members start purchasing their homes ASAP.  Buying out homes not only takes them off the market, it makes your neighborhood look less attractive than the other 2 new neighborhoods because there is less choice.

Tips for holding the neighborhood

Each neighborhood has 4 kin halls, 10 deluxes, and 16 standards.  Its easy to max out the deluxe homes, but harder to fill up the kin halls and standards.  For Standards, we generally put new players and free to play alts in.  Remember, you must be level 15 to purchase a home, and free to play accounts have a gold cap that prevents them from buying deluxe homes.

Kin houses are a little more problematic.  One approach is to form “alt-kins” made up of alts of kin members.  These alt-kins need to be planned well in advance so they can mature for 90-days to reach the rank required to purchase a kin house.  Another approach is to find other kins to move into the neighborhood with you.  When the Lonely Mountain Band purchased our Dwarven neighborhood, we asked our long-time friends and Allies “The Glory of the Longbeards” to join us with a truly Dwarven corner of the neighborhood.

Keeping your neighborhood current

As time goes on, you’ll have players come and go from your kin, and also come and go from LOTRO.  To prevent your neighborhood from becoming a ghost town, try the following guidelines:

  • Open up maintenance permissions so your house doesn’t get condemned
  • Share your vault space with kinship members so your house is worth storage even if you leave the game
  • Give your kinship leader permissions rights to your home in case you leave the game
  • If you leave the game, abandon your home and let a kin member move in

Squatters

Once in a while you’ll get players purchasing an empty home in your neighborhood.  In such cases, its best to be polite and generous.  Find a kin member (or alt account) willing to buy the home and then contact the owner with an offer to buy out the home for double the normal purchase price.  Generosity goes much farther than annoyance here, so make sure to emphasize that you’d like to purchase the home, not that you need them to leave your little corner of Middle Earth.

Turbine may not have given us the tools to create a kinship only neighborhood, but given patience and organization, you can get one put together for your kin.  The benefits of a kinship neighborhood cannot be understated.  It forms a heart for your kin, a space in Middle Earth that many of your kin can be a part of.  The act of creating it is a lesson in team-work.  And the resulting “barn-raising” after purchase is a truly wonderful time as players help each other decorate their homes as a kin.

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Avatar of Harperella

18 Responses to “Kinship Neighborhoods”

  1. Werit Says:

    You could always go the A-Team route, and be the evil land developer and force them out with a variety of schemes.

    Reply

  2. Elevyr Says:

    Sometimes I really wish there was more reason to go to your house, other than player events. How nice would it be to chance upon someone happily farming in your neighborhood, or playing music at the gazebo?

    Reply

  3. Suzawen (Landroval) Says:

    Tirn en Taur has a neighbourhood as well. One of our officers keeps an eye on it, and we have bought out the odd person to get a house. Some of the kin houses were bought by our kin members, we have one set up as a hospital, one as a library, one as a museum, one as a pub etc. It is a great idea!

    Reply

  4. Ariadneth Says:

    I also thought about this for a while and actually we first bought the deluxe houses, knowing the kin houses remain empty almost always (and it has been, the kin house across mine is still empty and I still dream of buying it) until I found out a big flaw which I cannot understand: if your house and your kin house are in the same neighborhood, you receive only the kin vendor discount, 15%, which is lower than the normal discount you get: 20%. So, not only Turbine hasn’t given us the tools for a “kinship neighborhood”, it has also “punished” us for trying to do so.

    Until now, I haven’t been able to figure out why. If there were indeed concrete benefits in having a kin and a personal house in the same neighborhood it will be understandable but right now I can’t think on a reason for it. Plus, as Elevyr said, I really miss out having some real activities in the housing areas. Right now, the only reason we have to go home is the storage in the house, a particular housing item we found, the vendor discount and we’re off. I made my house cozy and I don’t even have people coming to see it (why would anyone enter housing areas randomly just to see which house is open and which one isn’t? ok, I’ve done it but I stopped doing it when I found out I could not enter most of the houses!).

    I really miss having use for the housing area and mostly, even have a reason to know the fellows who live next door

    Reply

    • Crell Says:

      Be sure you /bug this. At one point it was correctly giving the higher discount of 20%.

      Reply

    • Harperella Says:

      I think this flaw is due to the “fix” from an earlier bug. The bug used to give you both the 15% and 20% discounts for deluxe and kin house both. Now it appears you get just the kinhouse one. That’s good if you have a standard, but not good if you have a deluxe.

      –Harper

      Reply

      • Crell Says:

        Then its a bug that pre-dates me.. how disappointing when I certainly enjoy taking up residence right next to our kin house.. 5% is quite a hefty fee when you do lots of consumable crafting.

        Reply

  5. susan Says:

    sounds like a wonderful idea. me and my family spread out our kinships and houses to gain more ports for our alts, didnt think to consolidate into one mega neighborhood.

    I hate the fact that every neighborhood we move to is soon a ghost town full of locked houses. wish they would just open locked out houses in a more timely fashion (say 2mths). I love to see neighbors at the bank and to-ing and fro-ing. It’s so rare that I stop and stare sometimes. lol

    Reply

  6. Ariadneth Says:

    Is there any place where we can see a list of the houses available to visit? Can we build up something like that? That would be adorable! (Suzawen, I’m curious about your kin housing and would like to check it out :) )

    Reply

  7. Aldarionn Says:

    I’m also intrigued about Suzawen’s neighborhood. May we know where it is and open it to visitors? I also wonder why other kinships haven’t thought of this. Might have to talk to a leader in my kin, The Council of the Secret Fire, to propose a kin neighborhood :)

    Reply

  8. Saelyth Says:

    Hell Slayers kinship’s house is open to the public on Riddermark server, Brombur Neighborhood.

    go check how the trophys look, we have thaurlach sword, thorog skull, goblins statues, bogbereth heads, mordirith’s mirror, our little Nanu’s turtle pet in the garden and a lot more!

    Reply

  9. Brian Says:

    I really wish Turbine would offer special Kinshiphousing areas right off the bat: One kin house and a number of deluxe and standard homes.

    My neighbourhood is really deserted :(
    I’ve already bought the kinhouse next to my home and was thinking to found another (ghost)kin to get the other one across the road.

    If only the housing policy would finally change and abandonned houses would go back on sale …

    Reply

  10. grimbran Says:

    Great article and idea!

    I hate the 90 day wait for kinhouses. If that weren’t there I would’ve already made a personal kin with my storage alts. But I keep procrastinating because of the 3-month wait time. :(

    This would all be more of a moot point if Turbine would just change the housing policy regarding inactive players that default on their weekly maintenance payments. You could simply wait out or buy out the majority of players in a neighborhood.

    Reply

  11. Haldare of Gilrain Says:

    I think the bottom line here is Turbine need to change there policy’s regarding inactive houses. If a house has been abandoned for over, say six months, Its contents placed in escro and the property back up for sale.
    Really six months may sound like a long time but it gives players whom have perhaps been playing another game ample chance to return to Middle Earth and continue but any longer and that’s it house gone. Really it’s quite annoying to see all the good houses taken and no one getting the benefit from them.

    Reply

    • Haldare of Gilrain Says:

      And just to add a simple e-mail from Turbine reminding players to sign in and pay up keep or there housing will be lost would be all it would take to resolve this issue.

      Reply

  12. Kefvinius Says:

    This is such a great idea. My kinship isn’t particularly large. But, if we grow, we’ll definitely be doing this.

    Reply

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