there is such a demand that players dispute the evicted

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Within Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix’s hit MMO, there are many systems that interconnect to create one of the most massive titles in the industry. Ideally, they should all be equally well done, and in the vast majority of cases they are. The incredible story is at the height of its deep but accessible gameplay, the crafting and collecting classes have a lot to offer at the variety level and among their mini-games there is a lot of variety and fun. But there is a facet of this title that is infamously misused..

For older players, one of the most rewarding things to get is a home. For those same older players, one of the most frustrating things is the process of getting a house. Playing on Moogle, one of the most populated servers in Europe, I had already heard stories about how difficult it was to get one, and that was one of the reasons why I was not very interested in doing it. Unfortunately for me, I tend to change my mind more than underwear.

Those of you who don’t play Final Fantasy XIV may be thinking “But is this really so bad?” Those of you who do play, most likely have said something like “Haha, Ivan, you have entered the wolf’s mouth. You are a buffoon, an absolute buffoon“And it is not for less.

Throughout my almost 3000 hours of play, I have done many things that consumed time, money and mental health in the game: I have uploaded all the classes, including crafters and gatherers; I have thrown extremes and savages, the most difficult fights of the title; I have farmed glamours (the true endgame of XIV) for hours; I have spent days fishing; I’ve searched for the most beautiful views of Eorzea and beyond … Not all of that has always been fun or rewarding, but I can assure you that it felt fairer than looking for a home to decorate.

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Let’s start with the basics: what is the use of a house in the famous MMORPG that you cannot buy right now? Well … a bit for nothing, really. At a purely utilitarian level, it is not going to give you an offer that you cannot have in the game. There are no new fights or dungeons, exclusive classes or rewards beyond the satisfaction of having your own space and decorating it however you want. What’s more, the most normal thing is that it takes you to spend a few million guiles.

A private means of expression and personalization is, in fact, far more important than I thought.

And it is that in its futility is its charm. In a title like this, where practically everything is based on loops of tasks and rewards, that there is something whose sole purpose is to give you a private means of expression and personalization is, in fact, far more important than I thought the first time I learned about it. It is so important that now I am even more outraged by how badly the process of accessing it is carried out.

The theory is simple: there are a limited number of houses in each city: 1440 per city, making a total of 5760 per server currently. Although it may seem like a high number, considering the population density of this title (and more if we talk about Moogle, the world where I play), it is a fairly miniscule amount.

But then what happens when they all get busy? Good, the game also has an eviction system. If a player with a house does not get into it for 45 days, it is demolished and put up for sale. This, in theory, helps to have more houses available. It’s a fair measure, yes, although I can’t help but think about the obscurity of having a ton of players fighting over an expropriation. Total, thanks to this it is possible to avoid, to a greater or lesser extent, the market stagnation. In theory, of course.

As a short parenthesis, it should be noted that the self-demolition system has been interrupted several times and, in fact, is currently paused. At the end of last year, the leaders of the title decided to stop the evictions due to the pandemic situation that was being experienced, something commendable. After re-enabling them, they had to stop them again due to the exaggerated waiting times that the title was suffering during the launch of Endwalker. This, despite being fair, has had consequences: if more and more people are active, but there are no houses available, the supply is far, far below the demand. That, unsurprisingly, brings a lot of problems.

Once a house is demolished, the real odyssey begins. The plot is released and anyone can buy it, right? Well more or less. Since this happens, everyone can see that the ground is clear, but, for it to be put on sale there is an invisible countdown that normally lasts between 6 and 8 hours, although it can be more or less. Without going any further, yesterday I was aware of a house whose internal meter took more than 14 hours to reach its end. This means that the current modus operandi to get a house is simply to show up there, walk the field and spend hours clicking. That is: hours, and hours, and hours, and hours trying to buy a house that is not for sale.

Housing Ffxiv

In practice, it goes something like this: you arrive at the plot with the hope that there is no one else there, but there is. Several people crowd around a poster and you can feel the tension in the air. Nobody says hello, nobody wants you to be there. You start clicking and you see the message “This plot of land is not yet ready for purchase.” and again. You look at the “For Sale” sign, interact, “Purchase land”, “Private Individual”, “Yes”, sigh and repeat the process. You do it again, and another, and another, and another … and another. You question your decisions, you question whether this is worth it. You could be farming an extreme, making roulettes, getting saddles or playing Triple Triad. But no, you’re at Plot 15 of Ward 14 in Shirogane and it’s 9 AM, then 12 noon, later 5 PM, and you’re still on the loop.

If before there were few people, now there are more. The invisible countdown continues, and in the meantime, over time, you begin to notice the rock around you. That’s when you start to notice things. As if this whole system was not anodyne in itself, there are always those who try to set their own rules and overcome the rest in illegal ways. Yes, there are also bots that participate in this process. Making use of small scripts, it is very likely that whenever you go for a house (no matter where or when) there is someone doing autoclices to be able to keep the coveted plot. And trust me, it’s something that happens a lot. Don’t ask me how I know because my vein swells, but it happens a lot.

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The good side of this is that sometimes they fail in their mission and people smarter than they are taken advantage of, using their ingenuity and knowing how these scripts work, steal all their money by making them buy stupid things at exorbitant prices. A little divine justice and all that. It happens little, but it is very beautiful.

Trying to find something positive about this heavy mission that I have imposed on myself, I have to admit that at times it has been fun. The tension that is breathed waiting for the plot to deign to be put up for sale has sometimes been interrupted by people who have recognized me, people I’ve chatted with to hang out and the many memes that are in my group of friends about lalafell that has nowhere to drop dead. Is it possible that the real houses are the friends I made along the way? Well, yes, because I still don’t have my damned chalet.

Total, that in my adventure to get a house I have had, have and will have to deal with: an obtuse system that works regularly, a player base that is addicted to this type of content and cheaters who are difficult to report on time. And the issue is the following: I do not know a person, with or without a house, who is not frustrated with how this face of the game is carried.

Housing Ffxiv

A few years ago, in an interview with Yoshi-P, the director and producer of the game, it was said that Final Fantasy XIV is designed to be a game that allows players to have a life outside of it, without demanding a total devotion of their time. In most cases, this is usually true. Completing the history of the game does not take much time, reaching the maximum level is something very accessible thanks to roulettes, and even raiding Savage (unless you are looking for a very hardcore experience) can be done by dedicating 4-6 hours a week. Spending 6, 8 or even 10 hours in the same day in front of a poster, feels diametrically opposed to this philosophy.

Square Enix knows that their system falls short of the rest of the title.

Luckily for everyone Square Enix knows that their system falls short of the rest of the title. When patch 6.1 arrives (which is not yet dated) and they implement the new residential area, a lottery system will also arrive whereby players can make a deposit to have the possibility of being randomly chosen to buy the house. Yes, this is very good if we take the disastrous current system as a reference, but it only highlights two major problems with the housing scene of this game.

On the one hand, and more obviously: Why is this measure so late? People have been complaining for years and years about the current system (private houses having been implemented in the days of A Realm Reborn) and the solutions arrive after the 4th expansion of the game. While it is true that there are floors (small rooms that allow customization and use of furniture, but without being able to modify anything of its exterior), this feels like a band-aid put on a wound rather than a long-term answer. I understand that it is difficult to come up with alternatives, but being the way to get a property right now so dire, it is surprising to see that the answers have taken so long to arrive.

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On the other hand, in a less obvious way, it also makes the system pale to other MMORPGs. Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare’s MMORPG, for example, uses an instanced housing system. This means that everyone can have a home, as there is no artificial shortage of housing. Turning into the section of personalization rather than exclusivity, have managed to find something special, unique, effective and satisfying, while managing to reduce inflation in their game.

But hey, better late than never, I guess. It remains to be seen how these measures are applied in patch 6.1, as it seems that it will not be implemented in all residential areas and it is not known if this is definitive, a pilot program or what. Of course, is something that Square Enix has been dragging on for a long time and that weighs heavily on what is, almost indisputably, the most important title he has right now.

If you’ve made it this far, I’ll give you a little advice. Try to get a house now it’s difficult, frustrating and unsatisfying. If you are not in any rush, please wait until the new measurements arrive. I don’t know if they will be the answer to all problems, but they will be better than the (sometimes unfair) competition that takes place now. If, like me, you prefer to experience this disaster before it disappears, I am only going to ask you one thing: do not go near Shirogane’s housing, please. Give me a chance to get my own hovel, I’ve never asked you for anything.

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