Even mainstream sites are starting to notice Final Fantasy XIV’s housing problems

Did you know that Final Fantasy XIV has a housing system that’s particularly restrictive and makes it unnecessarily difficult to own a house? Probably, seeing as how we’ve been talking about it here on MOP for years. This is not new information. But with the new server transfers in place and people noting that two players have taken up an entire district of the game’s limited housing on the basis of “we really like decorating and we need thirty houses of varying sizes to do that,” even mainstream sites are noticing that maybe this system is not a great one.

Of course, if you already know that the game’s housing system is unnecessarily difficult to work with and makes it difficult for players to get any housing plot, there’s little to be said here that you won’t already be intimately familiar with. It’s been a refrain for quite some time. And if you haven’t already seen that elsewhere… well, welcome to here.

Source: Gamasutra
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

47 Comments on "Even mainstream sites are starting to notice Final Fantasy XIV’s housing problems"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
styopa
Reader
styopa

The idea that some AAA computer games – where there is no functional limit to the amount of territory that can be available, and where the instancing paradigm is well-established – can’t seem to figure out how to allow people to have spaces of their own to occupy is really astonishing.

Rift and Wildstar seem to have fundamentally “gotten it”, tying the living space to the individual toon.

Reader
Mr Poolaty

Um YoshiP said that 14 is a have you can play for awhile leave and then come back to. Well you have to be subbed every other month and sign in or you lose your house… That is dumb as Fuck!!

Reader
mcsleaz

It has one of the worst, if not THE WORST housing setup I have ever experienced in an MMO.

Reader
Michael18

What’s so bizarre about this situation is that the game and esp. housing seems highly instanced anyway, so there seems to be no reason for creating this shortage, aside from a deliberately generated exclusivity.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

All being said, gamasutra isn’t a mainstream site. It’s an academic gaming site, which has even narrower audience than massively imo.

Reader
mcsleaz

Everyone I know knows of the site, I’d say it’s totally mainstream.

April-Rain
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

I was actually looked into buying gold so I could buy an house in game as my playtime is limited and just have no chance of doing it through the game, but even that was too much and beyond my means.

I just accepted I would never own a house in ffxiv, but I have not played in sometime now and its unlikely I will go back, I always enjoy it for the first week back and usually not playing it and unsubbing by the 3rd week, it just cant keep its hooks in me.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

One of the problems is that people who had actually been playing on the lesser populated server slowly building up to get their homes suddenly were invaded by rich overly dedicated players with the server transfer system who bought up all these homes from under their noses. They were never there to worry about, the homes were always open and available, and suddenly these two people who live in game come and claim a huge swath of homes they don’t need.

And then you come down to this – yes they’re being rude and selfish for sure, but they’re just following the rules and systems set out by the game, so who’s fault is it really? We know that people don’t control themselves. While they’re basically like the high level gankers who come and kill low level people and think it’s totally fine because it’s within the game rules – while those people are selfish jerks they have a point too, it really is within the game rules. At least with ganker other high level people can get together and make patrols to fight them, with these two rudely buying up all those homes and hanging on to them there really is no recourse to fight back.

Being that it’s something Squeenix created, it’s up to them to fix it. It never should have came down to this to begin with, though it can still be fixed now. I get that they are working to make more homes now to appease people but if so much trouble can be caused by just two lifers doing this, is making a few more homes going to really solve the issue? I guess we’ll see, but I think this just delays it happening again and more.

They’re oblivious about what they’ve done even. One comment one of them said:

““Not everyone needs everything in-game,” she told d’Anastasio in an interview. “For example, not everyone deserves the Savage raiding mounts if they don’t do Alexander.””

This is nothing at all like that. She’s talking about content anybody can do to get a reward and comparing it to something that’s limited. I’m sure that if these mounts were limited, her and her friend would have taken up all they could and screwed everybody else too, they have no social graces and only care for themselves so if the game lets them do it they will. But it’s not at all the same thing, being that anybody doing that content can get the mounts in the future, but the houses are taken up now and so even when people do build up to have as much money in game as she does they can’t get them because they bought up so many across their alts.

Again it’s all a system that Square Enix made possible. There will always be people who won’t limit themselves or care how what they do affects others. You can’t just make an open system and think everybody will share, you have to put limits on it or make it fair somehow within the program itself.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Cindy M

Hrrrmmm While I agree there’s a problem, that opinion piece is on the dramatic side. You can get a house still you just have to watch for one and have the gil ready. This is only possible due to housing that expires however, which is the only saving grace at this point. I’m not sure why instanced housing is still not a thing but it really needs to be, in addition to our existing neighborhoods.
I’ve always wanted a mog style home inside the city walls, a lot of people want to see this and yet…..

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I love housing in games, and I hate it in FFXIV. Mostly because it’s completely unrealistic for me to be able to afford a house and upkeep it then on top of that, the decoration system is just about the most limited of any game.

The housing system I’m most invested in is probably still EQ2. It’s instanced, but just playing the game I got believable things to populate it with that made it feel distinctly mine. Completing Lore and Legends, certain quests, being able to put crafting stations and vendors and all this other cool stuff in them. They just always felt the best to me.

I think Wildstar would be up there for me too if I could get into the rest of the game. I’ve barely scratched the surface of TESO, but seems promising … maybe?

Reader
Danny Smith

Honestly i think i would care more if they served a purpose. Housing areas are dead, the scant tools added in to try and turn your home into an item shop or cafe or something are obscenely expensive and never ever used when the market board exists.

Right now lack of housing is a lack of expensive item racks since they are good for bugger all else.

Loyheta
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyheta

FFXIV has always been really bad with this. Instead of being inclusive they opted to make it exorbitant, limited, and just… limiting. Great game with an extremely disappointing mindset.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

.

Subterranean Blues.jpg
Reader
Sorenthaz

The mistake is letting people own more than one house.

Like I doubt I’ll ever be able to get into housing because of that, even though it’d be nice to get a garden going.

In general the way their game’s infrastructure works with databases and stuff just seems all sorts of unintuitive and difficult to iterate on. It took us this long just to get a small amount of new storage space for our inventories and such… But they can’t even add more housing instances and on top of that allow people to literally buy dozens of plots? Really?

Like… what’s to stop a guild from amassing gil (or buying it off of gil-sellers because this gives great motivation for doing such BS) and then holding a huge chunk of plots hostage and selling them off for 2-3x greater than they already cost? Literally just split up the gil among a few dozen players who’re dedicated to the long con, have them all camp out spots, then purchase the plots up and force people to give them enough gil to make a good profit.

Reader
Matt Redding

They don’t. Each character can own 1 house. What happened here is that this duo of players handed their money to alts. Each alt also created an empty free company (guild) and then purchased 1 guild house and 1 personal house. Essentially 2 people have created the mmo equivalent of a network of holding corporations.

In this particular case it seems they’ve been buying up property over a couple years, starting where there were a few plots open and then snapping up each new one as it becomes free. They have 28 lots, a housing district has 30 in its main area and another in its subdivision (a 2nd instance of the same area). So it’s not accurate to characterize them as a sudden invasion. However due to server balancing a lot of players moved to their world and discovered this weird situation and they’re pissed.

Personally I play on a medium-low pop world and there are no lots available. When they first went in there were vacancies for a long time but now that the market has aged, there’s nothing. When the new area opens there’s going to be a massive land rush.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

Reader
Sushi Maru

FFXIV housing system is great. It makes housing actually worth something. Time and effort goes into acquiring one. Other MMOs just give you an instanced house, for basically nothing, everyone has one (or multiple) and no one else really cares about it other than yourself.

I personally don’t have a FFXIV house, I’d like one, but I’ve spent 0 effort in trying to acquire one, so I’m not expecting to be handed something. If you put in the time, you’ll be able to get it. More than likely you belong to a FC with a house, which you can utilize with your own room there in the interim until you get your own home.

tldr; Sometimes value is created by not giving things away for nothing to everyone, and kudos for a game trying not to make instanced versions of everything.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

Artificial scarcity for housing in a game like FF14 does not make sense. It also does not make sense to allow people to own more than one house, under its current system. You aren’t the only one spent 0 effort in trying to acquire a house, so did I because the effort doesn’t worth the reward, which in a wholly themepark game, is a bad design, because it disengages players from content.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I think there’s a really important aspect to this though – it’s not just “put in some effort,” it’s “put in a shit ton of effort to barely be able to afford a plot, providing you can even find one for sale, meaning that you might have worked for months to get something only to get to the end and find out 2 asshats bought everything because they wanted to start Trading Spaces: Eorzea Edition.”

There’s a balance to be struck between putting the effort in and getting a reward, or putting in a ton of effort and not be able to get the reward.

Reader
thirtymil

So gaming isn’t supposed to be something you relax with, but something you work at?

And things are only worth having if other people don’t have them?

Reader
Phubarrh

Yeah, it makes it worth having to subscribe every month in order to keep that housing you labored for, or else lose everything. Not bitter, no.

bereman99
Reader
bereman99

That change was one demanded by the players, just thought you’d like to know. With their original player housing launch, the only way to lose a house was to let go of it yourself.

The playerbase wanted it the way it is now, such that if you didn’t continue subscribing you lost your housing plot. SE eventually acquiesced to that demand.

Reader
athiev

Note: the playerbase wanted housing to be lost if not used because that was the only way most of us could ever have access to a house. If deceased accounts could keep houses, all of them would be gone forever.

Reader
Slaasher

After living through Archeage and reading stories like this one I am really turned off to the whole idea of open world housing. Just a terrible system

Reader
Sorenthaz

This isn’t even open world housing though. It’s instanced neighborhoods like LotRO.

bereman99
Reader
bereman99

You mean the system that also has a cap on number of neighborhoods and houses, but made that cap much larger by severely restricting the amount of customization possible with any given home. Years ago players asked why they were so restricted to just certain types of hooks and why they couldn’t do free-form placement, and server impact was part of the answer as I recall.

That LOTRO, right?

I would think that right there is additional proof that server impact is a consideration when it comes housing – LOTRO goes for the low impact per individual house, high amount of individual houses. FFXIV goes for a higher impact per individual house (free-form placement of items and a larger cap, active systems like the MB, chocobo stables, etc), which currently leads to a lower overall amount of servers.

Two approaches essentially made for similar reasons.

Reader
Nemui Byakko

Now look at EQ2 or RIFT. No hooks, freeform placement, everybody can have as many houses as he wants. Zero server problems. Interesting, no?

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Cindy M

They are instanced….

Reader
Nemui Byakko

yes, but in huge unmanageable groups. This idea of “neighborhoods” simply doesn’t work. And it is evidently very poorly implemented on server side.

Purewitz
Reader
Purewitz

You’d think these modern MMORPGs would learn from the mistakes of Star Wars Galaxies. When it comes to the issues of open world housing, but I guess they didn’t.

Reader
Sally Bowls

IIRC, there was a good article on this site ( Bree?) during the – I mean an – AA mess along the lines of “this is a mistake and we have known it is a mistake for years”

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce
aYates
Reader
aYates

Not the only reason I stopped playing after trying out the game, but their housing system definitely was one of the big problems I had w/ FFXIV.
I still think it’s a great game in many ways and if changes are made to housing to allow more folks to enjoy it, I could see giving it another shot, but not holding my breath..

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Ashfyn Ninegold

Me, as well. I was wavering, then I saw the prices, and realized I would never, ever afford a house and I took a step away and never really went back to it.

Reader
Nemui Byakko

Ha! Prices! the problem is, there are no free houses AT ALL! ))

Reader
Leviathonlx

Square moves at the speed of a snail when it comes to fixing or finishing things

Reader
Sorenthaz

Their database infrastructure is shit-tastic, that’s why. Or at least that’s the excuse they give. It took them FOUR YEARS just to add a BIT more storage space, not even a full new bag’s worth of inventory and 10 slots per armory chest page which already gets clogged up if you try to save gear in advance or like to collect stuff for their horridly outdated glamour system.

Like for everything that’s amazing about FFXIV and really well done, it seems like the management of data across the board seems almost like an afterthought or something that clearly wasn’t the dev team’s strong suit. They made it very difficult to actually expand and iterate for the long-term with some of their systems, and it shows so horribly in all the worst ways – from server/zone congestion to not being able to even create characters on certain servers to the inventory problems, housing, etc…

That or they designed all of this stuff with the thought that the game wouldn’t be as big as it has become, and they’re lagging hard in supplies for the demands.

bereman99
Reader
bereman99

“A bit” that still places them, on a per-character basis, near the top of of inventory slots available in an MMO.

WoW, with all it’s money and time and server upgrades, manages about 700 inventory slots available to a single character, and includes bag upgrades, personal bank slots, void storage.

Most are well below that, in the 100-400 range (and too many of those are F2P crap-fests where getting 300 inventory slots total – including bank space – will run you $100 of real money).

This may come as a shock, but FFXIV currently offers over 900 inventory slots – including the armory chest, which is part of the inventory system – at no extra charge (just hiring a second retainer with 2k gil in-game), not counting FC storage (which, if you’re not in a solo FC, is a communal thing).

Just something to think about when you’re talking about how that data impacts their servers. There’s a reason other MMOs don’t go that high, and part of that reason has always been the impact on the servers.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Scratches

That’s a false equivalency. You’re comparing games where all that storage space is dedicated to a single class, to a game that asks you to utilize only ~double the space to accommodate, potentially, 26x as many classes.

If you really wanted to shock me, you’d have told me that XIV offers over 2,000 slots of inventory space, across however many gameplay systems, in order to adequately support the player’s ability to play all classes on a single character…

Reader
Nemui Byakko

Good point, but let’s not forget that different game have different needs for the bag space. In FFXIV if you are a crafter, your needs are ENORMOUS. You can make one gathering trip as botanist and easily fill up one page of inventory – or more (providing that all items can be HQ that store in separate place). Then you go crafting as culinarian… and situation becomes only worse. In WoW there is nothing like that! That is the reason why in FFXIV its 900 slots are not something big :((.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Yeah I’ve leveled Fishing/Botany up to 20ish and Mining is sitting at 16 and already a brand new Retainer I got is nearly full on inventory. Meanwhile my other Retainer that I’ve had since forever is nearly full because of all the materials I got simply from leveling and getting drops off NPCs.

And my inventory on my character will get filled up quickly the moment I work on my professions again. Only good thing really is that I’m making sure to gather enough materials in order to support leveling up each crafting class, so while I slowly multi-manage those my storage slowly whittles down until I go out to level my gathering classes some more.

Reader
Leviathonlx

The more bag space thing really irked me since it felt half assed. Hell they couldn’t even give retainers more room. It confounded me how a company like Square using an engine that’s far newer than WoW’s hacked to all hell engine from the year 2000 still couldn’t work out something like a glamour log or letting players craft with items in their bank like WoW/GW2 or have a reagent log like GW2.

At least thankfully there was that bit where Yoshida mentioned something like a glamour log recently but who knows when we’ll see that.

bereman99
Reader
bereman99

I hear that all MMOs use very similar game engines and share server techs/engineers and if one can do something then others can easily do it as well.

Confirm/deny?

Sarcasm aside, you do realize that the engine that is far newer is also one that had to be put together in like half the development time of a normal MMO while continuing to develop and implement content in the previous version of the game? Is there some sort of collective amnesia going around where people forgot that ARR’s development was anything but usual, and by all rights shouldn’t have succeeded the way they did?

Blizzard has had the benefit of many years to push their engine and refine and rework where they can, and many of their bigger changes to game systems took several years to implement (I’d be surprised if the appearance catalog they have didn’t take nearly as long as FFXIV has been out since the relaunch in 2013 to develop).

GW2 likewise announced their game in 2007 and didn’t actually launch it until 2012 – a full five years to get their systems up and running (and they happened to also have some incredibly talented individuals working on their game, which is why they have the ability to patch the game while the servers are still running and just require a client restart).

Kind of important context there when considering what a particular game engine may or may not be currently capable of doing.

plannick
Reader
plannick

well… ff14 doesn’t need to have all the items they have if they can’t manage their database properly. you can either increase space or lower the amount of crap people “need” to store, or preferably both! why the hell are stuff like atma stored in regular storage instead of the important items page for example? or tribal currencies? why can’t you store more unique gear in the armoire? even a shop that sells stuff you have obtained previously (for gil) would be a workaround.

plannick
Reader
plannick

forgot to mention changing houses was a bit of a nightmare. the fc i was in wanted to change to a bigger plot… how to do it? get an alt to setup a different fc…. once they get the bigger plot (after… months?).. switch people over to the new fc.

seriously?

don’t get me wrong.. having your own plot (or at least the fc’s plot) is great. though i’m never entirely certain about the point of a “biggish” housing ward with so few limited instances when most people would not have reason to pop around to someone else’s building frequent enough to warrant the layout (as opposed to what i think they have in wildstar.. self contained area for each house). don’t see why they can’t flip it around. tie housing to character/fc – you find a fc from a list, you can zap to its house.. no visible neighbours..

the fc storage is very very stingy too. they want us to craft airships and all, but the storage for that is miserly.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Yeah, it really doesn’t make sense. These are significant problems that they can’t keep throwing band-aids at between expansions. It’s going to add up and become more tedious and the only option right now is to pay an extra $1 per month per retainer after the first two you get…

I just don’t see how they won’t hit a point soon where they either have to do an item cut-down or some significant restructuring of their groundwork. Because inventory is never not going to be a problem in a game like this.

wpDiscuz