by Burbie52, HSM team writer
There are big changes coming into Home almost weekly now, it seems. We got our first multi-player game with No Man’s Land, with MiniBots shortly thereafter. These were swiftly followed by innovations in personal spaces with Blueprint and the Avalon Keep, and with Mercia scheduled to come out this week, the whole face of Home has undergone a radical change in a few short weeks. There is more to come, however; much more.
We are social creatures. We need a human connection, which comes in many forms. It has been proven time and again that we need this interaction to be healthy and productive. For many people, for various reasons, Home is their only way to have that connection. In the real world many of us connect through videos and music; the popularity and success of You Tube is a testament to that. In Home it is through social interactions in clubs and private estates and even in public, dancing being the chief source of entertainment that can be shared there.
It started as the whisper of a rumor last year: LOOT was working on a portable Entertainment On Demand that could be used anywhere in any estate. The idea was met with excitement by many, but also with a bit of skepticism: would they be able to pull it off with Home’s antiquated foundations? Then it was announced earlier this year that indeed this was their intent and that it would be arriving in the summer sometime. People speculated about the music capability; would it too make the jump into portability? It was the one thing I heard repeated many times, besides simply, “When is it coming?”
Well, it is finally here, and our questions are answered.
Ever since I’ve been around this virtual reality, people in Home have been clamoring for more entertainment choices. When Loot came out with their Sunset Yacht, Hollywood Hills and Space Station, they were huge hits. Many people loved the idea of having friends over to watch a movie. The very idea that I can sit in a space in Home and watch old TV shows, a movie or NASA events with friends that live hundreds or even thousands of miles away is mind-boggling to me. I love that.
When they added the RadioIO, it changed the whole scenario. Having the ability to play high-quality music in Home without burning out your right index finger with an R2 button is fantastic. The variety they offer is huge and covers every like or dislike – they even have Big Band music! This was an enormous step forward in adding entertainment value to the two personal estates that they offered us with the EOD installed.
The only drawback was that you could only have eleven people there if you wanted to throw a movie party or music get together. The twelve-person cap on personal spaces can create a big hurdle when you are wanting to entertain friends. Who do you pick to come to a party? Who do you leave out? It is hard, especially if you have a full friends list.
It has been confirmed now that there will be two different devices used to recreate the functions that the built-in EOD has in our estates
and the theater. The original one without the music added will be coming out on the next update August 30th. The reason behind this is the memory constrictions, which is to be expected. The wonderful thing, though, is that they are also going to bring us the music we have wanted as well, later in the year. They have hinted at a holiday time frame. Imagine the Christmas parties that will sprout up all over Home! I am hoping that they make these “jukeboxes” just that, in a variety of colors and choices. Perhaps some could even look like a stereo cabinet for use in personal spaces. The possibilities are endless if you think about it — even a tabletop version for those of us who built a diner with those pieces that were given us awhile ago. What is a diner without a tabletop jukebox?
This new portable EOD is going to end all of this by allowing us to use them in clubhouses. That alone is going to change the social scene in Home dramatically. As it stands there are DJ’s who have worn their fingers to the bone trying to provide music for people when they have an event or party at their clubs. This will help them take breaks — and for those who don’t know a DJ, they will now have a resource for music at their fingertips.
All of these improvements will not only bring a lot of longed-for content to Home, for those of us who have been waiting here for something like this, but it will also possibly add new people to our rosters and might even bring some back who became disenchanted with Home in the past year or so since the outage. Will this new technology bring these people back? Will it increase our active population? Only time will tell.
No matter how you look at this new innovation coming to us, you have to see that it alone will change the social interactions of many in the Home community. With Home Tycoon coming soon, and all of the other new content we can expect before the end of the year, I believe Home will be a very different place in a few more months, and those who have derided it and said it is only a game will have to rethink their position. Home is much more than a game, as we have said here many times; it is a living, growing community of individuals — and the portable EOD is a great leap forward in our growth.