Naoki Yoshida apologizes for Final Fantasy XIV housing mess, outlines future plans

If you missed this particular bit of drama, here’s the TL;DR recap. Final Fantasy XIV releases patch 4.1, which includes the new housing wards. Those wards are gone before the first hour has passed, meaning that the vast majority of people who wanted something for housing didn’t get anything. A light is shined, yet again, on the fact that housing in the game has serious design issues for availability. Clear on all that? Great, now you can appreciate the official response from director Naoki Yoshida.

No, this is actually a good thing.

Yoshida’s response explains, in no uncertain terms, that the team vastly underestimated the number of people looking forward to housing in Shirogane and will be working to add additional housing plots for the game’s next major patch. There’s also the implication that sales and even structure for these plots may be notably different, as the team is reviewing a great deal of feedback to prevent the Shirogane issues from showing up again. To avoid speculation, nothing will be announced on this until it is ready. While it’s too early to say exactly what form this will take, it seems clear that the complaints about how badly housing has been handled will result in some changes.

One may wonder how in the world the volume of demand would surprise anyone, but let’s not dwell on that for the moment.

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32 Comments on "Naoki Yoshida apologizes for Final Fantasy XIV housing mess, outlines future plans"

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Mr_Fester

So what was the point in releasing that new housing area so late after the StormBlood update. Wasn’t the whole point to give everyone a fair shot at plots?

Kind of tells me they knew, but didn’t do anything about it.

Reader
Tridus

“Fair shot” means everyone can get to Shirogane, not that everyone would get one. That was their thinking.

The shortage exists becuase they don’t want to spin up the hardware to eliminate it, and they haven’t put in rules to not let one account own 20 houses because reasons. It’s utter foolishness. Hopefully the message got through this time with the two days of nothing else in 4.1 being talked about whatsoever because of housing.

styopa
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styopa

I’m regularly surprised at how complicated devs make this subject.

I mean what, are they going to run out of virtual space? The effort they spend carefully crafting a single pve zine is 100x that needed to build a housing instance.

I look at TSW as an example: for Pete’s sake, they have apartment buildings EVERYWHERE filling space in every city. Build an instance transporter at the door, set X number of floors, with Y number of flats on each floor and *wham* you have player housing in one of the most mmo-dress-up games there is.
Need another because the building is full ? Copy it exactly, and attach to the next door down the block.

Eq2 did housing quite well, this isn’t rocket science.

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Connor

“I mean what, are they going to run out of virtual space?”

Actually, yes. Every house needs space and the hardware must be updated to accommodate for the increased storage and movement of data from said houses and instances. EQ2 runs on a different engine which no doubt stores and pulls its housing data different, and if the FFXIV back end is the same as its front end, I wouldn’t doubt that the housing system in the game is cumbersome and extremely inefficient. Doesn’t make Square less at fault for the shortage though.

styopa
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styopa

It’s just data.
Literally, a house with 64 items in it is little more data than a bank slot with 64 items, plus (basically) the trivial amount of x,y,z and orientation info.

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rafael12104

Hmm… could it be that they are trying to make it non-instanced? Or maybe a solution like BDO? Don’t know.

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Toy Clown

They’re adding hardware upgrades to handle the load of housing they’re putting in coming up. So seems it came down to something of that nature.

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Chestnut Bowl

Yoshida’s response explains, in no uncertain terms, that the team vastly underestimated the number of people looking forward to housing in Shirogane

Really?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
krieglich

Every time, really every.fucking.time, after a patch with some kind of new housing plots, someone at Square Enix apologizes and talks about better plans for the future. LOL

Reader
Toy Clown

They did put in apartments after the last housing release fiasco and player uproar. xD

Hopefully, they’ll get it right soon!

Reader
Robert Mann

How, in the blue blazes, did they not know? This thing has been a constant refrain since housing first appeared. For a team that leans toward the communicative… that’s one impressive bubble.

Reader
Armsbend

Here is a way to firgure out demand in any given MMO. Take your active subs/users. Multiply the number 1. That is how many units of whatever you need at launch.

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Schmidt.Capela

Not when you have players grabbing up to 16 houses on a single account.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Yoshida’s response explains, in no uncertain terms, that the team vastly underestimated the number of people looking forward to housing in Shirogane

Hasn’t this been the line (minus the specific bit on Shirogane) like…every time there’s been a housing rush in FFXIV for years?

I don’t see why folks should need to potentially wake up at an ungodly hour or take a day off from work just for a CHANCE to get a house.

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Kawaii Five-O

Not necessarily. In 2.38 when personal housing was first implemented, it took almost 24 hours for all of the small plots to sell out on Balmung. Of course, people had a lot less money back then, and we didn’t know what the actual prices would be.

6 weeks later, when I got my house in 2.4 with the addition of subdivisions, it took a few hours before all of the small plots were gone, and it was months before the last of the medium and large plots were bought up.

Much, much later in 3.3(?), they added 4 new wards and lowered prices across the board, and then everything was gone in less than 30 minutes. However, that was on Balmung. Even a week after Stormblood launched, Mateus still had plots of every size available even as roleplayers were moving there in droves. And plots were still occasionally being relinquished even after they filled up. I snagged a medium for my FC late one night a week after everything had filled up.

There’s an obvious trend there of housing going out faster and faster as the playerbase increased and accumulated more money with little else to spend it on. Furthermore, since Heavensward, the game has practically thrown gil at players. I know people who started with the launch of Stormblood and had already saved up enough for a large plot.

So, while I can see them perhaps underestimating the demand on some servers, they definitely knew what was going to happen on Balmung and the like. I was prepared for disappointment, and although I won the login lottery on Tuesday, I was still surprised by just how fast everything went on Mateus.

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rafael12104

Heh. This article dovetails nicely with the one on grading studios on a curve.

With that in mind, when Naoki Yoshida apologizes and says they will fix it, FFXIV gets a pass from me.

You guys know the story of FFXIV I’m sure. As a result, I have faith.

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Carebear

All the problem starts from their philosophy that not everyone can have a house… they try so hard to mamage how to restrict housing and then they apologize…

Is something wrong with lotro that everyone can have a house? And its a f2p mmo, not a subscription one…

bereman99
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bereman99

Started as a subscription one, and that’s when housing was made available, so the F2P aspect of it now isn’t terribly relevant.

That being said, they do have enough homesteads that everyone can have a house, though it isn’t unlimited – it’s 4 Kinship houses, 10 deluxe houses, and 16 standard houses per instanced neighborhood, with 250 of these instances possible per each of the 4 regions – they basically have the same amount of housing plots available as the potential cap on apartments in FFXIV…

So they have plenty of housing (that you had to wait for all houses in an instanced zone to be purchased before the next one would open could be annoying…having to wait for a single Kinship house to be purchased to get access to more standard houses was a fail, though I don’t know if it still works that way) but there’s a great deal of limitations with the housing system not shared by FFXIV. The amount of exterior decorations allowed is much lower per type of house and they go in predetermined spots instead of wherever you fancy.

You can’t change how the house looks – Dwarf houses are Dwarf houses and only found in the Dwarf homestead. The interiors also have predetermined hooks for decorations – the cheapest house has all of 22 hooks, which are then broken down further by type of hook and include things like floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces (that right there is 3 of the 22).

In comparison, the smallest option in FFXIV, the apartment/FC room, allows four times that amount of furnishings that can be placed just about anywhere you want and doesn’t restrict how many (minus certain functional items that “unlock” a feature like the music rolls or playing Triple Triad in the room and you only need one of anyway). The smallest plot with an exterior lets you place 20 exterior items where you want and change the look of the house, including customizing it so you can have a different roof, walls, windows, door, and fencing…and then gives you a cap of 200 items on the inside (which does not include the walls or floor options).

Then there’s how none of the LOTRO housing zones connect to persistent features (which would change how they interact with their servers and the impact the zones would have), like the Market Board/Auction House.

That’s basically what’s “wrong” with LOTRO (not really wrong of course, just a different approach) – much greater availability of housing, much less complex as a feature as a result.

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Robert Mann

LOTRO has the advantage of all alts sharing a home, which is why it has enough compared to FFXIV. If every LOTRO player with 6 characters had 6 homes (and that’s a small number for many players I believe) there would be outcry for more housing there too…

Well, there is a little anyway, with the premium housing spots. LOTRO’s own little land rush. XD

bereman99
Reader
bereman99

Even without the sharing of land, they have enough as they have (excluding Kinship houses) 26,000 housing plots per server.

My point was they can offer that many housing plots because each individual plot and instanced zone they come in aren’t as complex and don’t connect to specific persistent features like their auction house.

The alt sharing is just a sweet bonus, but it ultimately has no impact on availability (whereas it almost certainly would in FFXIV, and I hope they make that change and do it soon).

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A Dad Supreme

You’d have a better chance to find a cheap apartment in Tokyo than to find housing in FFXIV.

Reader
Major Glitch

So…they still haven’t fixed the housing issue eh? This has been a problem for them for years, and after all this time it looks like they’re still no closer to a working solution. At this point, they might as well just totally overhaul the entire housing system. Although it probably doesn’t help that Yoshi-P believes that player housing is a privilege and not a right.

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Tridus

They didn’t consider it a problem until it blew up in a supernova of rage this week. It’s hitting the bottom line now, people are cancelleing over Shirogane.

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silverlock

Well history has shown that if theirs a dev team willing to completely redo something because the players hate it it’s these guys.

Reader
Nick

The entire ‘limited housing’ experiment has failed miserably. They didn’t limit how many each account could hold. They didn’t earmark certain ones for FC’s.
Any idea of a ‘neighborhood community’ is non existent even in the most active areas. Huge active FC’s right next to apartments which is your best bet and you’d be lucky to see 10 people at once.
Countless plots being snatched up so they can be used for profit or make other players ‘salty’ for sadist enjoyment.
Features being severely hampered or cut off entirely by not being able to have easy access to a proper house.

Perhaps most important of all, an entire set of content that most paying customers simply can not take part in unless they grovel or beg for someone else to let them use their house.

Hopefully they fix this properly and for good.

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Wolfyseyes

I’ve seen more social activity in instanced housing like WildStar than I have in the “open” housing areas of FFXIV, easily. It’s insipid.

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Nick

Yep. If they made it instanced, made 1 ward for each city stat at about 1/4 the size with 1 board and bell by a bunch of ‘doors’ or access points to instance housing there would be MUCH more social activity.

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Kickstarter Donor
Vexia

…the team is reviewing a great deal of feedback…

Seeing this line warms my heart a great deal. Please don’t let us down, development team!

miol
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miol

…we failed to prepare sufficient plots for players … we will be working to bolster our servers in preparation for additional wards in the Lavender Beds, the Goblet, Mist, and Shirogane by patch 4.2. … we will be making an announcement outlining the number of new wards…

That still sounds very much like a limited solution!
The self-admitted “underlying issue” is still considered by him with only a problem of number of plots!
Just like every other solution attempt so far! :/

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Khalith .

The housing wards on Mateus were gone in less than ten minutes when the patch went live. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

“If you have the gil, you should be able to get a house of your choice.” That is the only acceptable outcome.

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Wolfyseyes

Frankly, I’m not holding my breath. Whatever controls they were applying before were so incremental they could only be seen through squinting into an electron microscope. Until the words “instanced housing for all” are uttered, I will continue to be skeptical.

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