|Gamespot has posted a hands-on preview of Horizons: Empire of Istaria. The article is based on some time spent in beta and here's a snip:|
Our last stop on the tour was a housing area on a southern continent, home to the catlike saris race. Housing plots all have fixed sizes, and players control only one plot per character. However, groups of players who coordinate their building efforts may construct entire towns of private houses, crafting stations (like smithies), and merchant shops (that sell crafted and looted goods). Empty plots of land are indicated by placards, which, when clicked, reveal the plot's current price. Buying a plot lets you add just about anything to it that will fit, including housing structures that require raw materials and craftsmanship to build. Buildings in progress are indicated by bare frameworks surrounded by scaffolding. Clicking on the scaffolding shows how far along the house is and how much, in the way of resources and labor, is required for completion. Interestingly, prospective homeowners can actually include automatic salary rewards for freelance crafters who work on their unfinished homes. If you don't have the time or the inclination to build a home yourself, you can post a notice on your property that invites other crafters to stop by and contribute to its building. They're even automatically paid for their efforts out of your character's own coinpurse.