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The State of Eorzea's Housing

By Victor Barreiro Jr. on September 19, 2014 | Columns | Comments

The State of Eorzea's Housing

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FFXIV: ARR)  has a bit of a problem with housing, it seems. The recently released patch 2.38 (notes available here) introduced housing for players of the game to enjoy, but it was implemented in such a way that it became the focal point of a lot of resentment among players, despite the quality-of-life additions to the patch.

Today we’ll be discussing the Great Eorzean Housing Crisis. We’ll be tackling what happened, what went wrong, and what Square Enix is doing to lessen the sting individual housing news has brought.

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Free Company Housing

We first have to begin with Free Company Housing, which is directly related to the current events.

Introduced in Patch 2.1, Free Company Housing allowed groups of players – those who could pool their resources and amass millions of gil, at least – to purchase a home in one of three locations, of which there were a limited number of Wards (housing instances) available.

Each ward is an instance all its own, essentially barren maps where people could place their houses on. The prices of the houses then were a bit of a stretch for all but the super wealthy guilds, which created a bit of disparity, as larger guilds could more readily pool their money to buy the biggest, best locations to place their homes on.

Eventually, the discontent would shift into its current form, as free company housing became the start of a system that wasn’t going to end up being entirely great for fans of the game.

Individual Housing is Free Company Housing

In the run-up to FFXIV: ARR patch 2.38, some folks, in a bid to make money, already tried to sell their free companies with the housing as leverage for people to take advantage of.

They may have been either the best or worst-prepared of the bunch, as they would eventually be part of a second land rush to earn a home.

Players were likely expecting individual housing to be a separate ward or plot from the game’s free company land plots. Instead, prices were reverted back to a semblance of 2.1 housing prices (slightly less I think, but still rather high), only this time, two new wards were added per server.

Personally, the worst part about the 2.38 implementation was this: here was also no distinction between free company housing plots and individual housing plots.

What this means is that the battle for land became a free-for-all between free companies who wanted houses and individuals who could afford housing. Smaller plots were quickly snatched up after 2.38 went live, leading many to hate the current system implemented because it became a matter of strategy (such as parking in front of the house you want and logging in immediately) to get land and keep it.

Technical Limitations

One noteworthy occurrence from this is that Square Enix knows what the problem is, and actually implemented the current system in an apparent attempt to appease players who wanted housing rather than anger them.

According to this post on the forums, which I’ll quote for accuracy’s sake:

The development team has been making the most of limited server resources to develop a new system that will allow us to add as many new housing plots as possible, but as we need to perform extensive optimization and debugging operations, we will not be able to implement this until Patch 2.4.

Some of you may be thinking it would have been better to simply wait until the release of Patch 2.4 instead of adding just a couple of housing wards, but please understand that we would like to do our utmost to ensure that new land is opened up as soon as possible, even if that means adding only a small number.

Technical limitations are hindering the process of adding new land for players to enjoy, and they’re trying their best to release land to make up for lost time.

In addition, the post noted that there would essentially be twice the number of wards in 2.4 compared to 2.38, if their current work on improving the system is met without technical issues.

That still leaves many players without housing, but I’m certainly hoping there will be an improved system as time goes on.

One more thing…

It seems we have one more thing to add to today’s FFXIV column. Patch 2.4 has been formally announced with the above graphic (courtesy of this link), and it seems the expected launch date is sometime in mid-October.

The Mid-October launch date comes from the earlier link I posted about technical limitations, with Producer Naoki Yoshida said:

Once again, I’d like to share my sincerest apologies to all our players who have been unable to purchase land in the latest patch. Please hold on for another month or so until the release of Patch 2.4.

It’s not the best news, but given that I still can’t afford housing and thought it would be in the realm of a million gil instead of 4 million on Gilgamesh for a small plot of land, I’ll take what good news I can get right now.

Please look forward to it!


LINKS

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the the Landmark/Everquest Next and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler (Rappler.com) as a technology reporter.
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