Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s lingering quality-of-life issues

    
40
Dungeons!
The next big Final Fantasy XIV patch is bringing us flowerpots and new housing plots. These are both good things. The housing plot prices are being normalized across all servers, which is also a good thing. And considering the intense amount of work and care that’s going into every single patch for the game, complaining about the quality of life within Eorzea sometimes feels intensely unkind. There are games that I can only dream of getting this level of attention from their development teams, regardless of size.

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

If you can kill this, maybe you can get a house.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.

Storage space

My alts do not have quite this problem.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.

Glamour restrictions

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.

UI layouts

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 eliot@massivelyop.com. 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.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.

40
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
bdew
Guest
bdew

MilitiaMasterV I for one, would prefer a house that no one visits over not being able to have a house.

AngelBlack
Guest
AngelBlack

I just want cooldowns to reset in Savage after a wipe. Yoshi please.

MilitiaMasterV
Guest
MilitiaMasterV

I agree on the storage space front.
As a newer player (Been playing about 4 months) who’s been doing every job…when I hit 45 and did those class quests, it gave me a set of lvl 50 required items (helm/gloves/pants/boots which did not go in the armoire) also alongside the 45 gear I earned when I turned it in…this basically fried my armory space with all the job’s worth in there for at least 5 levels.
(Count em up..10 ARR jobs…11 crafting/gathering)
That means I had 20+ gear sets at one point…
Even if you figure some of those are wearing the same gear as another, that’s still way too little space left over.
Trying to charge me more money per month for another retainer also isn’t happening because I’m on a limited budget with only so much per month (I make miracles happen with my limited money and save enough for splurges here or there…like buying the game, or buying a permanent storage expansion for all characters, or some wardrobe feature or something.)

I’m not even going into the whole fact that any time I made a extra weapon for an upgrade, it burned the last couple armory weapon slots.
Now, I get that I’m not your ‘average’ player…and way over-do/end up with more than the average joe blow walking around in the game…but if I’m having troubles at this early stage, then imagine what the longer term players are feeling like with all their piles of extra cool toys and whatnot…relics that they spent a ton of effort on, some kind of unique item they loved the look of, and wanted to keep for using a glamour image of, other little doodads they came across/weren’t sure of the purpose/had to keep for some reason or another.
When you get right down to it, in this game, everyone’s basically wearing the same gear, and just using ‘illusion magic’ to make it look different. Why not just make it a unlocking images feature if you’ve come across the item somewhere in your travels? Or allow us to stash a pile of each crafting material in a crafting window so we can stop using our bag space for it…or like he said a glamour storage…
I already was forced to leave a game that put in way too many items without thinking of the storage problem. (GW2 and dyes…yes, I know they went account bound…after I ran a thread on the matter for the majority of my time playing it and they ignored it and left them character specific…until I literally ran out of space and couldn’t play my characters anymore…even after buying every account storage upgrade in the game…what do you expect with over 500+ dyes.)
I’m hoping I didn’t invest these few months into this just to run out of space/be unable to play.
As for the housing, I honestly don’t care. I have zero intention of ever doing instanced housing after playing LOTRO and using their instanced housing…which a whopping 1 neighbor of mine ever even visited when I had like every little holiday event doodad/fun toy for it. So far, I haven’t even bothered to join a FC…but when I do, I can just use their housing.
Instanced housing sucks, because most people never visit/don’t see it.

imolnar
Guest
imolnar

One of my biggest FFXIV QoL beefs is just how lazy some of the programming feels.
For instance: my wife and I were queued for a dungeon, about 10 mins in and one of us accidentally pops a chocobo. Boom, registration withdrawn and we start again. 

Would it really be that hard to let you queue with a companion but flag it as an NPC? 
if companion_summoned == 1
    withdraw whatever the code is
end

There’s loads of instances where its a pain to manually dismiss your companion when there’s 0 reason the game can’t just do it for you.

MrPoolaty
Guest
MrPoolaty

Totally new job is certainly a QoL problem when its the main job you’ve been waiting on!

FVerret
Guest
FVerret

Eliot_Lefebvre MrPoolaty I am guessing it was a suggestion for your next column, since you announced you will be discussing jobs.

Krenian
Guest
Krenian

I would agree with everything you said Eliot. The housing situation really is a mess, still. While I completely understand the idea behind why they wanted to do it, truth be told, the districts are not working. Not only because people are being shut out of that part of the game, but the district to have their own little world and community isn’t working either. Most of the time, you walk in there and it’s dead. People keep to themselves and only on the rare occasion do you see people organize some events themselves for the server to come into the districts. 

As such, it almost feels like the housing system, the way they wanted it, failed. They can’t get apartments into the game soon enough. That should ‘hopefully’ alleviate this situation for most of the people that are still without housing.

And yeah, I’m starting to feel the crunch of the armory limitations. I’ve had to get rid of some gear that I simply did not have the space for and was keeping for x or y reason. Hopefully at some point they decide to put some money into the technology to increase that disk space. It’s also pretty poor form on S-E to tell people to get more retainers when they cost money which should be included in the game as we pay a subscription. Very poor form. It’s one of the few disappointments they have had with me when it comes to that: They offer bandaid solutions when they should be fixing the issue as most other games can easily fix that. 

Granted, I can understand sometimes some of them going “Wow..really?” as if you think about it, you have 300 slots from your retainers, plus 25 slots per gearslot to fill out. The problem is that the dynamic switching of classes requires us to keep the gear in our bags so we are constantly having to switch in and out of different gear and that doesn’t allow us to simply keep it in the retainers. There’s definitely a dissonance in the form of understanding our situation in regards to storage…

xania
Guest
xania

The restriction I hate most about glamours isn’t the job restriction – although yes I dislike that too – but that it’s tied per item. So if two jobs share gear, they share (or don’t share, again thanks job restrictions) the glamour, too. This means that either all my jobs of the same role have the same glamours, which is boring as hell, or one job per role has a nice glamour and the rest are horrific messes. I hate it so much! I just want to play dress up with all my jobs, is that too much to ask??

And the ‘database restrictions’ for inventory are bullshit. Utter bullshit. If there’s enough room for everyone to BUY 8(!) retainers, they can unlock an extra free one or two for everyone. The only reason they aren’t is money, pure and simple. If they don’t give us the glamour book (or similar) they need to give us more retainers, and not for a bullshit extra subscription cost.

Liraven
Guest
Liraven

wolfyseyes I’ve spent the last couple months saving for a house, but I’ve never seen a plot open up anywhere on my server. If the new 3.3 plots fill up before I can get one, I’ll probably take a break from the game for awhile. Maybe the apartments will be decent, but won’t there be a limited amount of those as well? So frustrating.

Khalith
Guest
Khalith

The data issues being the reason they can’t increase storage space comes across as extremely disingenuous when you can simply buy another retainer easily enough.  I’d rather they just came out and say “if you want more storage place please purchase additional retainers” and be done with it.