But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore some issues that have just… persisted. Housing changes just sort of shoved this into higher contrast. So with all due respect, I think it’s fair to look at some quality of life issues and mechanics that have glaring issues which still aren’t being addressed, even though these are not new or surprising issues for developers or players by now. We all know about this stuff, but outside of vague acknowledgement we could use some actual words. We got some on egi glamours, at least.
Housing is still a mess
Speaking as someone who has a fairly coveted medium house in the Lavender Beds – housing is still kind of a mess. Adding a whole bunch of additional plots is nice, but it’s not solving the central issue that players really like having a house, but the vast majority of players cannot get one. Not for lack of money but for simple lack of space.
A few vague statements about matters, such as the possibility of Ishgardian housing plots and a new style of housing, seem to be implying that this is something that the development team is considering and looking into. That’s good. But it’s also an issue that wouldn’t exist if not for what is, quite frankly, a very lazy implementation of personal housing. Having personal houses taking up the same space as free company houses was never a good idea, and I’d like to think it only came about due to some programming difficulties with having instanced housing alongside open housing.
Free company estates – buildings which can and should serve as businesses, barracks, and so forth – should definitely be public and somewhat limited. That’s perfectly understandable design. But putting players and free companies in a foot race to determine who gets land is not good design, it’s not fun, and it’s not allowing a large portion fo players to actually see one of the major positives of this game.
I’m glad that we’re getting more housing plots added, and I’m sure the huge number of players who have long been waiting for land will be happy with the 720 additional plots added per server. But on my own server, which has been locked for new character creation basically forever, I don’t think 720 plots is going to last very long against the influx of players who want the plots and can afford them. Adding more plots, over and over, is a possible solution, but not a great one, considering how difficult it is to add new wards (witness the lengthy upcoming maintenance) and how expensive it is in the longer term.
It’s an odd aspect for the developers to have been so quiet about for so long. I’m hoping it actually gets addressed by 3.4 or 3.5, if not sooner.
When the solution for “I’m running out of space in the game” is “buy another retainer,” something has gone awry. Maybe not from the marketing department’s perspective, but they probably don’t read this column. (If I’m wrong about that, hey guys! Maybe you could do a crossover event with Persona 5? I actually want that one, I don’t care about Yo-Kai Watch.)
We’ve been told many times that part of the problem is just a database one, which I would believe. FFXIV characters take up a lot of database space, each and every one of them, and so I can understand that it’s not as easy as just adding in a new quest for bag space. But I know that I, at least, am choking on all of the stuff I have kicking around in my bags and retainers. There’s too much stuff and not enough storage.
The idea of a glamour catalogue of some sort, possibly tied to the armoire, would be a great way to trim down on inventory demands, possibly while taking up less overall inventory space. World of Warcraft is implementing something similar with its next major expansion for the same reason. It’s unclear if that would just introduce a new hassle with inventory space, though.
As it stands, however, we know we’re getting at least two new jobs in the next expansion, and that will mark the point where a character literally cannot have all of the jobs available at any given moment. There will just be too many thing to store in the Armoury Chest at any one time. Something needs to be done about this, and it would not surprise me to learn that something is being done… but since we’re also getting a whole new onslaught of vanity items at the same time, it could be argued that it’s not being done fast enough.
Look, I freely admit that this one is just a personal pet peeve, but one of the coolest parts about FFXIV is the fact that you aren’t just one thing or another. You can play a character who is both a Scholar and a Paladin without having to choose one or the other, aside from gearing a bit more slowly. You can have a main job and a couple of close secondary jobs. But you are, unfortunately, very limited in what you can actually wear on these jobs with glamour.
We’re getting new vanity items added that had been limited to one or two jobs, but an easier solution is similar to the one implemented over in Final Fantasy XI. If you’re eligible to wear the item on any job, you can visually wear it on any job. I don’t imagine this would increase the effort needed for glamouring, and it would open up lots of additional options for players to customize the look and feel of a given character.
Obviously, these restrictions wouldn’t work quite as well with weapons, but I’m fairly certain that could be worked around. Heck, if you could let me have dual blades while tanking, I wouldn’t complain about that either.
This was in my original list of stuff that hasn’t been addressed, since we couldn’t save our HUD setups… but now we’re getting exactly that option with the next patch. So, never mind. That’s awesome.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next time around, I want to speculate about jobs… but not in the usual way. No, I want to speculate about the jobs we’re just never going to see.