With Regards to Final Fantasy XIV's Housing

16 Dec 2013


To say that people are unhappy with the housing prices announced for Final Fantasy XIV’s Patch 2.1 would be a grave understatement.

Since the patch notes went live Saturday morning after the most recent Letter from the Producer LIVE, there has been mostly anger, disappointment and questions from the player community regarding the insanely high prices of housing.

We spent a fair amount of time on the last episode of Aetheryte Radio discussing this, but after today’s stream with Naoki Yoshida going through the massive list of patch notes and responding to some of the hotter topics, I feel there is a need to be more vocal about our unhappiness regarding the barrier placed between players and housing.

The Lock Out

Before we start out I think the most important thing to note is the speed at which players desire to experience new content and the speed at which players also wish to defeat, or complete that content. It’s not a secret that some players are feeling bored with Final Fantasy XIV pre 2.1. Some are in the Binding Coil of Bahamut and consistently defeating Twintania and have no other jobs to level. Some players are more casual and may not have the drive, nor party members to go into the more hardcore content and for those players, they are still casually logging in and continuing to grind on F.A.T.ES, leves and dungeons via the Duty Finder.

With Final Fantasy XIV, the developers are purposely drawing out content. The Allagan Tomes of Mythology which are used to acquire ilvl 90 equipment have a cap that resets each week. You can only obtain one piece of gear from Crystal Tower each week. You can only go through Turns 1 through 5 of the Binding Coil each week. Now, with housing, it seems that Square Enix has implemented a new type of lock out, or way to draw out the content: Gil.

When it comes down to it, housing  doesn’t offer benefits to players in the way that Coil, Crystal Tower, and Tomestones do. Housing is simply a place to go and hang out in with friends between the various types of content in the game. Why is it that this content, arguably the most casual thing in the game, so inaccessible? Throughout the past few months since the games release, I have heard on several occasions, people saying that the game is too easy. I think that word isn’t the right one to use in this case, I would say that Yoshida and the development team have made the game accessible. An MMO has a large number of players, and each one of those players has a different play style. The beauty of Final Fantasy XIV’s design is such that no matter if you are a hardcore player, or a casual player, that at some point you’ll be able to (at the very least) access all of the content the game has to offer. Sure, you may not be able to tackle Turn 1 of the Binding Coil, but you can get in and experience it at the very least. With these housing costs for Free Companies, Square Enix has made the most casual element in the game, the least accessible.



The Economy

One thought that had occurred to me weeks back was that crafters might actually have a good use in the game again. With so much of the best in slot items coming from content and not crafting, it’s been difficult (for me at least) to find a way to make a steady income via crafting. I relished in the thought of being able to make furniture for houses once the patch hit.

However, that reality is now months and months away. My worries are that because of the cost of pricing, and the ability to obtain the best gear in the game without buying it with Gil, that people will not be spending their money on the Markets because they’ll be hoarding it for housing. Crafters can make all the furniture they want, and sadly, none of it will sell because no one will have a house to put it in.


Gil Circulation and Saving

In a stream earlier today, Naoki Yoshida read through the patch notes and commented on housing costs. He stated that every day by using the Duty Roulette and getting all of the bonuses, players should be able to make just over 20,000 Gil. This would add up to 140,000 a week per character (assuming that you do these tasks every day). Of course there are other methods to make Gil that have been introduced in Patch 2.1, but unfortunately without having played the new content in the patch yet, its uncertain just how much Gil will be obtainable from doing these new tasks.

Regardless of how much Gil is being created as a reward for these new systems, it’s still worth pointing out that the Gil handed out from these new pieces of content is the same across all worlds. The cost of housing is not. A Free Company could do as Yoshida suggested and farm Gil off of the Duty Roulette and save money for their housing that way. In the end, it would be the servers with the lowest priced houses that acquire the first houses, because prior to the patch that added these new methods of earning Gil, they had the least Gil in circulation. Meanwhile, on the servers with more Gil in circulation (or so Square Enix says) many players are asking “Just who has this money? It certainly isn’t people in my Free Company”.

Eliot Lefebvre at Massively summed up my feelings on this whole thing nicely and I would encourage you all to head over there and check out his latest installment of The Mog Log.

I’ve had a lot of praise over the years for Naoki Yoshida. I believe him to be a smart man, a talented designer, and someone who understands the value of fun. And I believe it’s time for him to take another look at this pricing because this isn’t smart or well-designed. And it’s certainly not fun.

Let’s See How This Goes

We’re going to try and measure the amount of Gil that Free Companies are farming up and putting towards housing in Patch 2.1. Could it be that with the new content and new methods of earning Gil that the prices aren’t as asinine as we think? Let’s work together and pool our data and find out for ourselves!

Please add your data to this google doc each week so we can track progress towards housing costs!
*due to vandalism you will need to request access to edit this spreadsheet. We apologize for this extra step and hope that it does not discourage you from inputting your data.