The Eorzea Prospect: Housing Woes
As with all my articles, everything I say reflects my own experiences on my server, your mileage may vary and I’m sure there will be people in the comments vehemently denying what I say. That said, can we talk about Housing for a moment?
I play on Leviathan, on the Primal Datacenter, which happens to be congested, along with five other servers out of the eight total servers. Needless to say, I play on a highly populated server within a highly populated datacenter. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but that’s a personal choice, I like high population servers. Unfortunately, that means housing is pretty much off-limits to me, like a lot of players in my position.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, housing in FFXIV is purely cosmetic. Sure, there are some mechanics like gardening, but overwhelmingly it’s just a cosmetic place to go and have fun decorating and showing off. Being so highly cosmetic, why did Square decide to limit the number of houses at all? Sure, there’s a total of 4,320 plots per server, excluding Apartments, but obviously it’s not enough. With the capability to generate infinite housing plots, why limit us to the point many, if not most, can’t obtain a house if they so choose to?
Now, I get it, there are Apartments, 90 per building, one building per ward. Yes, I can get an Apartment on my server, it might not be exactly where I want it, but I can get one. I also have an FC with an FC house, so why would I dish out the 500k for an Apartment? Apartments are the exact same room size as a private FC room, making them a rather moot point really. So yes, there is an option out there if you absolutely MUST have a “room” and not a house to decorate, but that’s not why I’m bringing this up.
Take a look at this video posted to twitter, this, my friends, is why people love housing in FFXIV. This is the reason many of us want a house, and it truly saddens me to know that I have literally no chance at obtaining a plot to do anything remotely like this.
To put in perspective, when Shirogane came out, all plots were taken immediately. I wasn’t even able to log into the server immediately due to queues, I had no chance. Now I’m in the position many hundreds, if not thousands of players are in, hoping a plot comes up for sell while I happen to be there.
You might be asking, why not transfer then? Yes, it will be extremely easier on lower populated servers to obtain a house to have fun with, but where’s the fun in that? I play on my server for two reasons: Friends and queues. Playing on a populated datacenter translates into more players in the queue pool, more options for static runs, just more people to play with. Due to these reasons, my friends also play on these servers, let alone the bonds I made while playing on them. it’s not as easy as “just transfer to a lower populated server!”
I’ll give credit where it’s due, Square has put in measures to help this issue, to a small degree. Players can now only own one housing plot per account per server. This also includes one FC housing plot, which comes into play in a minute. They’ve also made it so that now you can’t just sell your house, instead you must demolish the house for the plot to go open for sell again. The kicker to this is when you demolish the house the plot isn’t immediately available for purchase. Now there is some hidden timer that must expire first, so buying a plot from someone can be extremely risky as there’s nothing stopping someone from seeing it as empty and merely trying to purchase it, if they hit the timer lotto you’re screwed. There is a 45-day inactivity limit where houses are auto-demolished if you don’t login within 45 days, but I don’t think this is a good system at all. I’ve seen many people log-in just to reset the timer, not to play the game.
The whole one FC house per account per server is something that bothers me a bit. Because you cannot sell your house or plot, people are now purchasing plots for FC houses, building the FC house, and then selling the FC to other players from 80 million gil up, I’ve seen it as high as 500 million, could be more. it’s created a grey market of people buying FC plots just to flip them. The problem is that it’s a legitimate market, people are really buying these up. It’s not a legal method, per Square, but they haven’t stopped it either. They’ve tried to stop people from hoarding houses to sell, yet they’re allowing people to still do it by way of FC houses, makes no sense to me.
I just simply don’t understand the reason behind limiting us so severely with housing. As a purely cosmetic feature, with the ability to make as many plots as you want, why not allow your entire playerbase enjoy the awesome feature you created?
Hopefully Square is looking into more ways to make housing way more accessible for everyone in the future. For now, all we can do is complain and envy the masterwork of the players that do have houses.
What issues do you have with the current housing system? It doesn’t have to be that you can’t get one, it can be anything, let us know below!