Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has just gotten a new update for its Kickstarter, covering player housing. Here's a snip:
House ownership involves two main elements, the property deed and the house. The deed is actually the more valuable element and when acquired will come with a house of some sort. The deed is the claim to be a landowner in the game and allows a player to claim a lot and build a house. Once a lot has been claimed with the deed, houses can be constructed and torn down at the player's whim, for a cost of course, but the player need not fear losing his claimed lot. The player can however choose to unclaim their lot at any point and reclaim their deed. Deeds are NOT tied to the City/Town/Village in which they are sold!
There are several reasons we chose to go with a deed to a lot and make the house itself secondary. First, due to the scarcity, the land is the valuable part, not the house. By going with a property deed we give people the option to upgrade their houses. Maybe they want to go with a house focused on a particular crafting element or one with a larger garden. Maybe they just want to upgrade because new house types were added and think one is dead sexy! Whatever the reason, we want to give people the option to switch houses. Switching houses can also be done through in game currency and will not be cheap but far less than the property deeds.
Second major reason for using property deeds is that the game will grow over time. Though it will be rare, we will occasionally add new villages, towns, and cities with empty lots. This means that players will not be tied to one area. If a new village opens up and you decide you would rather be there then you can pick up and move to the new area.
The deeds are either city, town, or village deeds. City being the rarest and most valuable, followed by towns and then villages. If someone chooses to, they can use their City deed to claim a lot in a town or village and town deeds can claim in villages. Villages are good only for villages.
So what is the advantage of being in a larger town or city? There are a number of reasons players will want to be in a big city. First is safety and accessibility. Big towns are more heavily defended and nearly immune to attacks. When the city/town/village your house is in is under attack, you don't risk losing the items inside but there could be some period of time in which it is inaccessible. You can of course join in the defense of the town to help clear the attackers or just wait until it is safe.
Another three important reasons for being in a large population center are location, location, and location! Big cities got big for a reason and it is almost always because they are in key map areas that are highly accessible and near important resources.