Ok, this really has nothing to do with MMO’s, but I ran across this about people of the Loess Plateau in NW China:
Like millions of other Chinese, Li Zhanjun lives in a dwelling that is fireproof, noise proof, warm in winter, cool in summer and the epitome of an eco-friendly design. Moreover, it’s cheap.
Li lives in a cave.
Some of the caves have been passed down for generations, with hard-packed earthen walls, electrical wiring, piped-in plumbing and other modern conveniences, including cable television.
In Tolkien, Bilbo/Frodo’s house, Bag End, is quite specifically described as dug into a hillside and extremely comfortable and dry. Just like these Chinese caves.
This is reproduced in Baubleshire, where several of the hobbit residences and one inn are dug into a hillside. And in LOTRO, Bag End indeed goes into the hillside, though I’m not so sure about the one in the recent movies, as the window outside of which Sam is listening certainly seemed to be one in the back of the house, not the front.