NB New Information Now that housing is out in the USA I realise that some of my thoughts below are based on wrong data. According to this thread on the US forums discounts do not stack so there is no game play advantage to having a house in the same location as your kin house. Also the deluxe house gives a higher discount(20%) than either kin house (15%) or small house (10%). At high levels the discount on hefty repair bills could go some way towards mitigating the higher rent of a deluxe house. Site meter tells me that this is one of my most read posts ever - And now I realise that it has fundamental errors in it. Typical!
The Chapter 11 content patch is due out this week and it will introduce player housing into Lotro. Up to now I have ignored the hullabaloo about housing but seeing as it is so close I thought I had better look into it. Almost everything I know about housing comes from here[ (official) and here (unofficial).
Some questions that spring to mind:
Q1. Why do I want a personal house? Because I just do! It looks like houses will convey two game play advantages: Extra storage and a new fast travel option. However I believe that these advantages are balanced by the cost especially the weekly rental fee. The real reason to get a house is because its fun and you can have more fun decorating it and inviting people around.
Q2. Should I get a big or small house? A big house has "Bragging Rights" and the option of having twice as much storage. If you are buying a bigger house just for additional storage you are making a bad bargain. The luxury house costs an additional 6G up front and 100 silver per week extra in rent. That money could open up a lot of additional storage space in the bank or it could be used to post stuff to alts. I guess each player needs to make their own mind up about how important bragging rights are.
Q3. Where should I get a house? Everyone has their own opinion of which is the prettiest house. Here are some videos:
Men And Elf
Hobbit and Dwarf
Personally I think Bree townships look the nicest but Throg is a dwarf and I think he would be happiest settling with his fellows in Ered Luin.
If you want a house in the most convenient location from a gameplay point of view then you need to consider the following:
a. You will be able to fast travel to your own house and to the kinship house. If you choose a house in a different spot to the kinship house then you will have two new fast travel destinations.
b. On the other hand having a house or a kinship house in a location will earn a discount from local traders. Having both personal house and kinship house in the same location earns double the discount.
c. In terms of locations none of them are right beside a main travel hub. Hobbit houses are probably the closest (to Michel Delving) while Elf housing is probably the most remote (its not actually in Rivendell it's in Falathlorn).
Q4. What if I take a break from playing? The rent even for a big house will not be a problem for regular players (above mid 30's level anyway) but what if I want to stop playing for a while? Well just like in the real world if you don't pay rent you can lose your house and you don't get your money back. Most worryingly you could lose any stuff stored in the house if you don't collect it within a 6 day escrow period. Apparently you an pay rent up to 6 weeks in advance but assuming all this is true then having a house will require a solid commitment to log on at least once every six weeks in order to earn the rent and pay it.
So where does all this lead me? Throg has the cash to pay for a big house but at the moment I don't think it is worth it. My current thinking is to get a standard house in the dwarf district. My kinship is also likely to get a dwarf house so that should allow Throg to avail of a double discount - handy for armour repair bills.