Housing & Farming
In ArcheAge, you can build your own houses, manors, farms (and eventually castles!) across the open world. Your properties are not instanced, meaning they are visible to anyone passing by; they have a real location, like “across the road from Windshade Village” or “on the south coast of Villanelle”. Choosing where to live involves weighing your access to desirable resources, conveniences, climates, environments, and the availability of land!
There are various farm sizes, including 8×8, 16×16, and 24×24. These come from a set of farming quests offered very early in the game by the Blue Salt Brotherhood (you’ll get the quest for the 8×8 farm first). Once placed, farms have a single step of construction requiring specific resources (like boards or a lumber pack). After you finish this step and complete the farm, you will have exclusive access to the land within its plot. In addition, you will be able to upgrade your basic farms into more advanced farms like the Improved Scarecrow Farm or Pavilion Farm.
Aquafarms are unique 16×16 plots that can only be placed underwater in specified areas, usually near the coastline. Aquafarms have a central air supply rather than a scarecrow, which allows you to stay underwater longer. This type of farm allows for the cultivation of corals, kelps, and shells that won’t grow on land.
Houses come in a variety of pre-made designs that fit into the following categories:
- Small: 16×16
- Farmhouse: 24×24 (a small house on a medium plot of land)
- Medium: 24×24
- Large: 28×28
- Mansion: 44×44
To buy a house, head to Mirage Isle, where you can take a tour through life-sized demos for each layout, see mini-models of the different color and material options available for each type of house, and see deed details like the amount and type of resources needed to actually build the house once placed.
Certain types of houses can be upgraded in various ways. For example, Thatched Farmhouses can be upgraded to support harvesting skills, while Medium and Large Luxury Houses can be upgraded to support processing and production skills.
Throughout Erenor, you’ll find large areas of land where houses and farms can be placed. You’ll see some of these indicated by icons on the map, but just as many are unmarked, left to be found by enterprising explorers.
There are many factors that determine how desirable a particular housing area is, and different players will have different priorities!
- Housing areas are available in protected zones, contested zones, and open PvP lands.
- Some housing areas have a small crafting and NPC hub that will feature some combination of water wells, farming seed vendors, basic crafting stations, auctioneers, mail and warehouse NPCs, or Mirage Island portals.
- Regional Specialties, the crafts used in trade routes, can only be made at specified crafting stations (typically two per zone) or player-owned Fellowship Plazas.
- Ocean access is often a priority for loading merchant ships (and required for building Marine Housing that includes space for an underwater aquafarm).
- A zone’s climate (temperate, tropical, arid, etc.) impacts growth of certain different crops.
- Naturally appearing resources vary widely between zones.
- Many players have a preference in what they want the area around their land to look like.
- In a nutshell: location, location, location!
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, right clicking the deed in your inventory puts you into placement mode. At your cursor will be a full size representation of the completed property and the borders of its footprint, which will highlight as red until you’ve fit it into a valid placement location. In this mode you will also see vertical posts that designate the border of a housing area. There’s a grid system that determines the facing of the square property footprint, but once you’ve clicked to select the location of the property, you can rotate the house or scarecrow within that square however you wish.
Building Your Dream Home
Farms have a very simple construction phase: a few boards for the small one, a single pack of lumber for the large. Houses get more complex, with different materials required in a specific order and multiple construction stages.
Building materials are measured in “packs,” which is a backpack of 100 refined materials (lumber from logs, stone bricks from raw stone, ingots from iron ore, etc.). A player can carry a single backpack at any given time, and the act of carrying one restricts your movement speed and ability to teleport or glide. In the case of larger house build projects, you might want to bring some friends! Anyone can bring a pack to a home under construction and add to the progress if they so choose.
Remember that you can only have 2 unbuilt structures at a time. This is to prevent players from claiming the majority of an area by using unbuilt residences as placeholder properties. If you want to claim multiple pieces of land, you need to use them!
The Cost of Ownership
Property taxes are due weekly and are paid in advance. The bill is received and paid through the in-game mail system, so you can pay your balance from almost anywhere!
Taxes start out fairly small, but increase with larger house sizes and ownership of more than three properties. Medium and larger homes really are “luxury” housing; you’d best make sure you can afford the upkeep if you want to build one!
Should you fail to pay your taxes for a week, you’ll owe a late payment penalty but your property will remain safe. If you fail to pay them for 2 weeks in a row, the house will go unprotected and eventually disappear, perhaps quite rapidly with a little “help” from someone looking to take over the location!
Don’t worry if you’re anticipating needing to be away from Erenor for a bit! As long as your building is in good standing, it’s possible to prepay up to 5 weeks’ worth of property taxes.
If you’re looking to get rid of a property in a more profitable manner, ArcheAge offers a secure house sale system. You set the price and whether the sale is intended for a specific buyer (as in a pre-arranged sale) or offered to anyone passing by.
Upgrading Your Home
Just building your house doesn’t have to be the end. By visiting the building management plaque, you are able to upgrade the structure and gain additional benefits. Upgrades typically require additional construction materials, Building Management Titles, and designs that can be obtained by deconstructing other house designs.
In the event that your property taxes are not paid during the required period, your house will be demolished by the game and another player will be able to claim the land it was built on. When demolished, the structure design, along with any bound materials, will be returned to you.
If you demolish your house intentionally, any tax down payments you’ve paid will be returned through the mail.
Should you wish to move your house, you can recover it using the “Full Kit” feature. By spending Building Management Titles, the house can be reclaimed in a pre-built form, meaning no materials will be required to build it the next time you place it.
You can also sell your house to other players – either directly or to the general public for a fixed price – by using Building Management Titles.
Furnishings & Features
A wide variety of furnishings can be used to decorate or customize your space. Some are placed outdoors, like planters or fences. Other items, like chairs or bookshelves, can only be placed inside of a house. Furniture can be crafted and sold among players, or bought from the demo homes on Mirage Isle (and some decorative items are found as random drops in the world). Farms and houses both have a limit on the number of decorative items they can hold based on the size of the property, though that number can be increased by using a Decor Limit Expansion.
Depending on its type and size, a house can hold two to five storage chests. Chests come in different sizes (number of storage slots) and can also be crafted or purchased. A fireplace is also extremely useful: when lit, it can be used as a cooking workstation or recorded in a player’s list of teleport locations for easy return trips.
Homes can also hold Regal Workstations – special crafting stations required for higher-level recipes – and furnishings that provide a bonus to specific crafting skills when they’re placed in a house with a crafting station.
Houses and farms offer a few different access levels. They default to private, owner-only access, but through the house information menu you can adjust this to include members of your family, members of your guild, or the general public. This allows other players to plant, tend, and harvest crops, open doors and windows, and use your crafting stations or other general installations. Only the owner, however, can pick up furnishings at any access level.