- For an overview on house ownership see Housing
Decorating a House or home is when a player makes, buys, or uses furniture to customize housing for characters in the world of Norrath. The actual activity is often referred to as "decorating" on the official EQ2 forums, in game Chat Channels, and on external websites that have databases of furniture and information about the activity.
For the purpose of simplicity, this article refers to the general activity as decorating, its enthusiasts as decorators, and all house items as furniture. The term "decorating system" refers to any features in the game that allow players to place furniture and customize the appearance of a house.
Decorating is an activity in Everquest 2 that makes it unique when compared to other Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) in the fantasy genre. This is because EQ2 has a team of developers dedicated to this activity and the furniture created for its purpose. The decorating system and variety of furniture is robust, offering countless ways to customize housing. EQ2 has a loyal following of decorators who spend hours working on "normal" looking homes or who build incredible things like mini-cities and ships.
Why do players like to decorate? It can be a relaxing activity when you grow tired of fighting monsters in Norath. Decorators have a vibrant, friendly community. Players who like to roleplay create themed houses to suit their characters or to meet with other roleplayers, like taverns or militia houses.
How to Decorate a HouseEdit
In order to decorate a house you must either own the house or have the owner grant your character Friend or Trustee access. If you have access you can begin by getting furniture to place in the house. Many decorators use images of real-world homes for inspiration by visiting decor websites and using image searches.
Housing and Item CountEdit
All houses have a limit on the number of items that can be placed in them while decorating. Prior to November 2013 all furniture, with the exception of most books, would count toward the item limit when placed from player-inventory or a moving crate. For example, a chair placed in a house with a 300 item limit would reduce the available item limit by 1 (to 299).
In November 2013 furniture and building blocks were granted their own, equal item limits. Therefore, a house that previously had an item limit of 300, now has a limit of 300 Counted Items (furniture and other decor items) and 300 building blocks. The building block category includes a variety of floor tiles, room dividers (walls), single stairs, single railing pieces, columns, and actual (cubed) blocks and half-blocks. All items that count as building blocks have a new descriptive tag that can be viewed by right clicking on the item in inventory and examining them.
Getting Furniture to Decorate a HouseEdit
There are several way to get furniture to put in a house.
- The majority of furniture in EQ2 can be made by a player who has taken up the profession of carpenter. You can make your own furniture or go to the broker to get it from other players.
Quests for a wide variety of items you can place in your house have been (and continue to be) added to Everquest 2 over the years. There are so many that a complete list would be enormous, so a few that aid new and returning players the most are listed here instead:
- When you buy your first small house, you can get a quest from a NPC standing just outside of the small houses. The quest First Time Buyer will reward you with 4 furniture items for your house.
- In 2011, several quests were added to the low level adventuring zones and cities that give furniture as a quest reward. Even if you are a returning player, your previously created characters can visit the and of the starting zones and follow the early questlines to get these new items.
- After updates were made to the The City of Freeport all "evil" aligned character can take the quest Slums to Riches.
- After the revamp of The City of Qeynos all "good" aligned characters with the addition Winds of Change.
- In 2013, all characters can complete Daily Objectives in their quest journal, in order to get Loyalty Point Tokens, which act as a special currency. Furniture that was available in the past only during some World Events and some Veteran's Rewards are offered by the Noble Tark Validus.
Faction Faction is a type of reputation you can improve in order earn the respect and trust a group of NPCs (Non Player Characters). This is typically done by taking quests or completing tasks that offer (positive) faction as part of or as the entire reward. For example, one quest or task may reward you with a gain of 500 (positive) faction for your success, while others may reward several thousand. Some are adventure quests that require you to fight the enemies of that faction, while others may ask you to craft items using your Tradeskill abilities. There are numerous factions in the world and some zones may even have multiple factions.
After you have sufficient faction and in almost every zone you spend a great deal of time in as you gain levels, you are likely to find faction merchants.
- If you have status points to spend, you can visit a city merchant.
- If you have sufficient Faction with the right allies, they will sell you some furniture.
Ways of obtaining furniture:
- You can get some furniture at special merchants located near the standard housing in cities for a low coin cost.
- Holiday and city-themed furniture and house items like plants and tress can be obtained in many ways at a variety of Live Events
- Many heritage quests rewards, like the Legendary Journeyman's Boots, can be turned into a furniture item by right clicking on it and examining it in your inventory. This should be done only if you no longer have a use for the item if it is equitable.
- Some collections have a furniture reward that can be placed in your house.
- Some furniture is offered by opening the /claim window.
- Some furniture can only be purchased using Station Cash (for real-world money).
- Some items are plundered ("looted") in dungeons or gathered, like the Frosty Vesspyr Willow.
- For further details on types of furniture its function see the Housing article.
Types of FurnitureEdit
- Decorative items come from quests, or city merchants. These items are purely functional and do not offer status reduction.
- Rent Status Reduction items will reduce the number of status points required to pay weekly upkeep on a standard house with a status coin and status cost. Players can make a wide variety of items that reduce status. The more carpentry skill created to make the item, the more status reduction it offers. Items that take a rare material to craft have a greater status reduction effect.
- Building Blocks include floor tiles, room dividers (walls), stairs, railings, columns, and actual (cubed) blocks are used to alter the surfaces of homes or build free-style structures. As of November 2013 these items have a separate item count from other furniture and decor items when placed in a house. They are primarily player-made, but many are from city festivals. Some come from Live Events and others can be purchased using Station Cash. Status reduction is uncommon or extremely low for these items.
- Pets can come from a pet merchant, quest rewards, collection rewards, or come from fighting in the Arena. Some pets can be claimed as a veteran's reward. Pets will wander around the house and typically have several interaction options (such as play dead, dance, etc) when you right click on them after they are placed in a house. Most of the interactions include an animation.
- Tradeskill stations can be purchased from city merchants. The quality of these tables varies, but only the Elaborate quality can be used for crafting in your house. The lower qualities of tradekill stations are best suited as decorative items only.
- Sales displays can be placed in a house like furniture, allowing other players to come to your house to shop. Doing so eliminates the broker fee for shoppers. If you place a sales display in your house and it has items for sale in it, your address will appear on the broker.
- Books - both books written by the developers and player-written books are popular items to place in a house. In some cases large numbers or books may be used to create library.
Once you have furniture in your inventory while you are inside the house, you're ready to begin placing it. To place furniture:
- Right-click on the furniture in your inventory. Doing so will bring up a list of options.
- Choose Place from the list and the furniture will appear in the room.
- Use your mouse to move it to the location you want it in.
- Left-click to set it down.
Not all items can be placed anywhere in the house. Some items are only placeable on the floor, while others must be placed on walls or the ceiling. The limits are (generally) as follow:
- You can only place an item when it turns green
- If an item is red you can not place it in that location
There are ways around placement limitations using the Layout Editor described later in this article.
Moving Furniture Inside a HouseEdit
Once you have placed furniture you can still move it around inside the house. There are two ways to do this in EQ2.
The standard way to move items is done as follows:
- Mouse over the furniture you want to move
- Right-click on the furniture and select Move from the options list. The item will turn green when it is active.
- Move it with to the desired location with your mouse.
- Left-click to place it again.
Pressing ESC on your keybaord at any time will cancel the placement process. This is helpful if you decide that you like the original location better, because the furniture will automatically return the the previous location.
The second option for moving house items was added in early 2012. It is a special decorating system that allows for movement in smaller increments and greater control. Unlike the standard way of moving furniture, this system uses a special interface. You activate and deactivate the new decorating system by pressing CTRL and E at the same time.
The new system to move things is done as follows:
- Press CTRL and E on your keyboard at the same time.
- Click on the furniture you want to move and a ring will appear in front of it. You will see 5 icons on the ring that have different functions (described after these directions).
- Choose the icon that suits they way you want to change or move the furniture.
- When you are satisfied with the change, left-click to place it.
You can also use your mouse to click the furniture icon on the Housing UI shortcut. It will also toggle Decorator Mode on and off like CTRL and E. The icon is near the top of the screen when you are in a house.
How the 7 icons in new system allows you to move furniture:
- Pitch: moves an item at an angle to the floor, like the pitch in a roof on a real house. Using Pitch can cause some items to have a graphical glitch, resulting in spinning (common with tiles) or flashing. For this reason, Roll is preferred over the use of Pitch when the texture of an item still looks good with Roll. The Pitch icon has a blue arrow.
- Roll: similar to Pitch, this will angle the item much like pitch, but on the opposite axis. The Roll icon has two red arrows. A rhyme to help remember that Roll usually work best is "Roll, rolls with it. Pitch, pitches a fit."
- Heading: rotates items in a circle while it remains in the same location. The Heading icon has a green arrow.
- Up and Down: allows an item to be raised up or down, using the icon that has a set of arrows in red and blue (one points up,one points down)
- Scale: changes the size of an item, using the icon of boxes with a green arrow between them.
- Pick Up returns an item to your bag, using the treasure chest icon
- Move allows you to carry the item to a new location in a house, using the icon that looks like group of 4 arrows in green, pointing in 4 directions
All of the functions in the new system listed above are still available using the standard means of moving furniture. The following keyboard/mouse shortcuts can still be used instead:
- Up and Down: Hold down the CTRL Key and use your middle mouse wheel to raise and lower furniture
- Change the scale (size) of the item: Hold down the Shift Key and use your middle mouse wheel to make it smaller or larger.
Saving and Loading House LayoutsEdit
Once you are satisfied with the decoration of your house, you can save the layout. Layouts are special files that EQ2 saves that can be manipulated in a variety of ways; more details on how to manipulate layout files are described later in this article.
The Save Layout/Load Layout feature was added to make it easy to recreate the same home in a location with the same floor plan. This is helpful if you choose to move from a house that has a mixed coin and status cost, to a home that only requires a coin payment for weekly upkeep. Rather than starting from scratch you can move to the new house (as described earlier in this article) and load the new layout to automatically place everything in the same manner as the old house.
How to Save a Layout File
- You can save the layout or load it by doing the following:
- Go to the (inside) front door of a house and right click on it to or type /house to open the housing window.
- Choose Access from the options that appear.
- Click on the icon with a blueprint and downward facing arrow. This will open a smaller window with a list.
- If you are saving a new layout, give it a name that's easy to remember. If you are saving the same layout again, select it from the list.
- Click the OK button to save the layout file
The process above applies to loading layouts from previous save points, except you will choose a file to load from the list, instead of creating a new name for the layout.
The Benefits of Saving Layouts
- You can experiment with furniture placement in a house. If you don't save a new version of the layout file, you can load the old layout and you won't loose the work you have done. All of your furniture will return to the same locations you had them in before you changed the house when you load the old layout again.
- It is not uncommon for house owners to accidentally move or pick up an piece of furniture in their house. This system allows you to replace it automatically, using the saved layout file.
- If someone really likes the way you decorated a house, you can buy duplicate items (all the same things in your house) and use a saved layout to automatically recreate the same house. Both houses must have the same floor plan as each other for this to work
The House Layout EditorEdit
In addition to the internal decorating systems in EQ2, a player (and decorator) named JesDyr, developed a third-party program that makes it possible to do almost anything you can dream with a house and furniture. The program is known as the Layout Editor. The program uses an interface similar to Microsoft Excel; it gives the decorator using it the freedom to adjust the placement of furniture using very specific coordinates: the North/South, East/West, Up/Down locations of furniture.
Though it is not officially endorsed by SOE it is widely used and/or accepted as a powerful means of creating amazing designs, with some houses created using it winning awards and appearing on the Housing Leaderboard as developer picks.
The Layout Editor has risen in popularity since its introduction and information on using it can now be found in the Official Everquest 2 forums in the Norrathian Homeshow section of the EQ2 official forums. Look for the "stickies" near the top of the forum with Layout Editor in the name.
The Layout Editor allows you to decorate with extreme precision; players can move furniture by decimals in the layout editor interface. It also allows players to move things in ways that are extremely difficult or not possible otherwise.
Some of the most exciting things the Layout Editor can be used to do include:
- Flipping furniture on its side.
- Turning furniture completely upside down.
- Turning furniture so that it sits an angle, like 45 degrees.
- Placing one item inside of another--which is not always possible with the in-game decorating features.
- Scaling (resize) items in decimal increments.
You can watch a video of JesDyr using the Layout Editor and you will also find tutorials on his channel.
An entire collection of both written and video tutorials can teach you to do several amazing things using the editor. See the list (and thank Jazabelle) in this post on the Official forums.
The Layout Editor may sound complicated to use at first, but with a little practice you will begin to surprise yourself before you know it.
Visit the Layout Editor website for more information.
"Breaking Out" of a HouseEdit
- Main article: for a list of homes you can break out of on the wiki and breakout locations, see the Housing Breakout Guide.
The term "breaking out" or "breakout" is used when a decorator is able to place teleportation pad (a means of transportation within a house) outside of the normal boundaries of the walls and floors in a house or guild hall. This has lead to several decorators creating entirely new structures in the zone surrounding the house. Breaking out can be achieved by placing a teleportation pad in a spot where a "hole" exists in a wall or on a balcony. Once it is in the right spot a second teleportation pad is placed, so the decorator can move around in the area beyond the house.
The breakout area around a house varies by its location and is (usually) the nearest zone adjacent to the housing area. For example, breakouts in Gorowyn allow players to build on the hillsides and beaches of Timorous Deep and a breakouts in New Halas allows players to build in the region where the New Halas dock is located.
The layout editor described in the section above made breaking out of a home even easier. The interface of the layout editor uses the coordinates for precision placement. Once a player has reported the layout coordinates on the forums or EQ2 related website, it is just a matter of putting them into the layout editor, saving the layout editor file and reloading the layout again with the telepotation pad outside of the house.
Reminder: the use of the layout editor and breaking out is not endorsed by Daybreak Game Company, LLC. Any issues that arise from using the layout editor or from breaking out likely cannot be solved by a GM.
If you need help with breaking out or issues created by it, reach out to the Homeshow Channel and other through other community, as other players often have answers if you run into problems. See the section on the Decorating Community below for directions on meeting and talking to the larger community.
The Housing LeaderboardsEdit
In 2012 a new way to show off your house and to visit the houses of other players was added. Players can choose to publish their home on the Housing Leaderboards so that others can visit it and rate it in the categories of Creativity and Style. To learn more about the interface and other uses for it that go beyond decorating alone, see the Housing & Leaderboards.
Publishing a HouseEdit
You can publish your home at any time by following these steps:
- Right-click on the (inside) front door of your house
- Choose the Access option from the list to open the housing window
- Click on Publish icon (it looks like a book and quill pen)
- Choose a name that will catch the interest of other players; for example "my house" doesn't describe what they might see, but "A druid's garden" might.
- The interface will ask you to take a picture. Move to a spot you like most and use your mouse wheel to scroll all the way in if you want the photo in first-person perspective. Click the Take Picture button.
- Click Publish to complete the process.
Once a house is published, you can not move any items in it, unless you unpublish it. To do this follow fist 3 steps above.
Visiting Houses on the Housing LeaderboardsEdit
Using the Housing Leaderboard is easy. Click on the EQ2 button in your game interface (it looks like the EQ2 logo) and choose Housing Leaderboards from the list. This will open the Housing Leaderboards window.
Houses published by players are listed in the following categories:
- Hall of Fame houses have won awards based on player ratings.
- Small Homes lists houses with 2 rooms or less, like the Personal Dojo prestige home.
- Medium Homes lists houses with 3-4 rooms.
- Large Homes lists houses with 6 rooms or more.
In addition to looking at houses by Category, a drop-down arrow in the middle of the Housing Leaderboards window allows you to sort by Creativity awards (recent or overall), Style awards (recent of overall), and Newly Published houses.
Once you select a house from the list, click on the Visit button in the Housing Leaderboards window. Doing so will automatically teleport your character to the house. When you're ready to leave, you can repeat the process to visit more homes or you can exit the house. Exiting a house you visited via the Housing Leaderboards will send you back to the last location you were at; in other words, this is system can not be used as a way to get around using normal travel methods in Norrath.
How you choose to rate a house was simplified in early 2012. Instead of a 5 star system, you simply click a "like" button if you appreciate the Creativity and Style of the decor. When a house has the most likes in one of those two designations in its category (small, medium, large) it will be moved the the Hall of Fame category. In addition the owner of the house will get a special trophy to display in the house.
To learn more about the various awards associated with having a house that wins see the Housing & Leaderboards Achievements page.
The Decorating CommunityEdit
The decorating community in EQ2 includes people from all kinds of backgrounds, of all ages, and all genders. All you need to participate is an interest in decorating. The community is very friendly, with decorators who encourage and help each other when they undertake projects both big and small. Tips on decorating are freely exchanged and respect is given when due.
Unlike the Roleplay community, there isn't a specific place in the world of Norrath in which decorators meet regularly. Instead, the community gathers on the official forums for the game and communicates using a cross server world chat channel. The decorating channel is one of the most lively and helpful channels you can join.
- To meet other decorators add the chat channel by typing /join Antonia_Bayle.Homeshow if you are not on Antonia Bayle. If you are on Antonia Bayle, type /join Homeshow.
- To talk with other decorators in the channel you will need to type the corresponding channel number (this is shown when other players talk, before the word "Homeshow") and type what you want to say. For example, if the channel is number 12 on your list of channels, you would type /12 Hello homeshow!
The Norrathian Homeshow ForumEdit
The Homeshow forum is a special section on the Official Everquest 2 forums. In this section decorators post screenshots of houses and guild halls they have decorated, give feedback to the EQ2 development team dedicated to decorating, ask each other questions, and more. Anyone with an interest can join the discussions there. Posting your screenshots is encouraged and you will find that your fellow decorators are very supportive of your efforts.
You can locate official Norrathian Homeshow forum by visiting the Official Everquest 2 forums, locating the Everquest 2 Discussion sub section, and clicking on Norrathian Homeshow to read and post.
If you'd like, you can go directly to the Norrathian Homeshow Forum.
Over the years many decorating enthusiasts have created websites that feature comprehensive databases of furniture images and information about decorating. These websites can be extremely helpful when you want to plan ahead before you start decorating, because you can use them to make a list of items you might need. Likewise, when you think you're in a rut and don't know what to use for a decorating project, browsing the images on the such websites can be a source of inspiration.
Popular Decorating Websites
- EQ2 Decorators listings and images of furniture up to 2012.
- EQ2 Furniture has the most up-to-date listing and images of furniture organized into easy-to-sort categories. It uses the EQ2 data feeds to remain current.
- Eq2 Traders Corner covers all topics related to tradeskills, but includes excellent articles on decorating related news as well. This site is especially useful for holiday information and updates related to housing, like new recipes added with game expansions.