Wherever I lay my hat …

I love my hearthstone. Every MMO I have played has its own version. Wherever I am in the world, whatever I am doing, I am always just one click away from teleporting my character back to its home.

(Note: in MUSH terms, the command for doing the same thing was @home. So we’ve had this notion of your character’s home location for years.)

Home may be temporary, a location near to wherever I am questing at the moment. It may be a city, somewhere with lots of shops and facilities. It may be a travel hub, somewhere from where I can get easily to the rest of the game world. It may even be my character’s house (or guildhall), a building which I ‘own’.

So I will always pick a bindspot for convenience, but I still get a feeling of being home again when I port back there and appear in the same spot as usual.

There are other places that feel like ‘home’ too. Sometimes a low level town, maybe even the first town your character ever encounters in its game life, can feel homely. When you go back there now, you get a sense of nostalgia similar to revisiting a childhood home in real life. You know the streets. Walking through them brings back memories. Old quests, old glories.

Some games find excuses to keep sending you back to these lowbie towns. Maybe in-game festivals or higher level dungeon quests are given out there. However much people complain about the travel, the odd sense of nostalgia is quite fun.

Others like WAR keep you moving on, never staying in any lowbie zone long enough to form an attachment to it.

Is there a location that feels like home to you? And if you do have an in game house, does it feel like home or is it just a place to store your stuff when you aren’t adventuring? (Admission: I liked the LOTRO housing but I never had much reason to hang around in mine, it was just an extra bank vault with some decoration attached.)

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11 thoughts on “Wherever I lay my hat …

  1. What, your home is NOT Dalaran? :)

    I only had various bindspots Pre-TBC, as my mobility (no flying mount, even no mount at all) was limited. In TBC and later WOTLK, it was always Shattrath and Dalaran for obvious reasons.

    In WoW, my home is somewhere between Stormwind, Goldshire and Northshire Abbey. Yeah, I am an Ally. Maybe this feeling of “home” is why I never felt at home as a Horde player. I never really embraced Durotar and I hated the Barrens and Stonetalon Peak and so on.

    Guild Wars also has a very popular “home” area: Pre-Searing Ascalon. This area gets destroyed and you cannot get back to it, it gets turned into some kind of nuclear wasteland! This totally disturbed some players. Ascalon is basically a lush, green idyllic paradise. Then some beasts come and turn it into a brownish landscape with craters and monsters!

    Besides that, I have two favorite spots: Beetletun (a small village with crafters and merchants) and my own guild hall. Located somewhere on the Battle Isles, according to lore, basically you just get teleported there on mouseclick.

    In EVE, the Penirgman system. It is a major industrial hub next to the starter system Chaven and Amarr. I do not want to reveal my base of operations in the southern galaxy, and it does not feel like “home” anyways.

    In Ultima Online, the place I felt the most connected with was on a freeshard that used the same map of Britannia. The town of Vesper was the starting city there and it remained my favorite place.

  2. Yesterday, I was farming herbs in Durotar, because I had run out of low-level herbs for Minor Inscription Research. As I rode around Durotar, this feeling of absolute familiarity struck me. I have been playing horde since 2005, orcs are my favorite race, so I have played through this zone many times.

    I get the same feeling in the Barrens. Hated by many, it reminds me of times when the game was still new, deaths were aplenty, and I only need to turn on the in-game music to let out a wistful sigh.

    Dalaran is no home for me, it’s that crowded laggy place where I am hearthed in the sewers. However, I am sure this will change with the next expansion, because I do get wistful whenever I pass through deserted Shattrath, a ghost town.

    • You know what I really liked about Shattrath? It actually had social issues, refugees, immigrants, housing problems.

      They didn’t really do much with them but I thought it was very cool that they were there. Much more interesting than Dalaran (which really is a random collection of shops).

  3. I know it’s not exactly fashionable but I am still so in love with Silvermoon. I like the fact it’s so over the top (magic brooms! floating plantpots!) and quite beautiful in its excessively ornate way but there’s all kinds of messed up stuff going on in there. There’s mana crack / opium den, and murder row, and they Dystopian guardians, and all the denizens are basically horrible. My bank alt (an exquisite blood elf, naturally) was ‘housed’ there for a very long time and whenever I go back there (which isn’t often enough, alas) I get that warm glowy feeling you describe.

  4. In Wizard 101, everyone has their own ‘room’ in the dormitories.
    Recently we got the option to buy our own properties, and quests/mobs now give you all sorts of items that you can stock your home with.
    I am not playing along with this, though. My room is completely empty, as I have sold all the stuff in it, and I am not buying a property either.
    The reason for this is that decent gear costs a lot of money, and unless you are willing to use RMT, saving up Crowns for gear is more important in my opinion.

  5. My HS is in the crashed zeppelin of Storm Peaks. The closest spot to Ulduar.

    My home is TB, I make all the business there.

    The only reason I set foot to Dalaran is buying inks from Jessica. These cases I use my ring to get there.

  6. My WoW home will always be Thunder Bluff. I may bind elsewhere, but even when I play Alliance, Thunder Bluff is where I’d want to go “home” to.

    I’ll second Longasc on GW, too. I love Presearing Ascalon.

  7. Way back in my AC days, “home” was a location called “Adventurers’ Haven” — it was just a large underground hall and some rooms off it, but it was out in the middle of nowhere and you had to know about it (and care enough to visit it). No shops or anything, but it did have a lifestone and that was all you needed to bind to.

    It wasn’t exactly packed but I’d say a few dozen players of varying guilds used the place regularly, and chances were if you needed help with a nasty corpse run, you could find someone in there at just about any time of day.

    Plus, it was just a great place to hang out and chat — something I haven’t done in games in a long, LONG time now.

  8. I don’t really feel like home anywhere in any MMO. I guess I usually just keep myself bound to a major city for easy access to brokers and trainers.

    Nostaliga moment: selling ‘binds’ in Everquest for 1pp. Ahh those were the days. Now that was a hardcore ;)

  9. Yeah, I can’t stop thinking of Org as home. I do my AH things there, often just port there to use the bank, and just kind of hang there. *My* Orgrimmar :) People watching there is sp much fun – people /say and /yell the silliest things. Love it.

  10. My druid’s home is, appropriately, Moonglade. I love the serenity of the zone and how hardly anyone ever goes there. It’s great for RP, if a bit empty like most old settlements (more scripted NPC action and interaction everywhere would be grand), and I hope to Cenarius they’ll never make it a free-for-all quest hub with an inn and mailbox. It’s for druids and their closest allies, and that’s it.

    Other zones I feel at home in are Darkshore, the Barrens, Mulgore and Thunder Bluff. To a lesser extent, Ashenvale and, with my dwarf, Dun Morogh. Since I don’t like Teldrassil’s background, I consider Thunder Bluff the closest thing to a home-city even though I rarely ever play Horde. But tauren are awesome, and Thunder Bluff is relaxing, serene and beautiful, with the added bonus of not being overrun by idiots.

    And I share the wistfulness of going back to Shattrath. It wasn’t much of a city, but it still had much more atmosphere than that cramped eyesore Dalaran ever will … and I’m not just saying that because it’s stupidly OOC for my druid to have anything to do with mages and I loathe what Blizzard did with Malygos and put Rhonin Sue in charge. Plus, you could fly in Shattrath! I guess flying in Dalaran would make the already horrible lag even worse, but seriously. How silly is it that you can’t fly in a flying city?

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