Just as with all my articles I posted on FFXIV4GIL news page, everything I say just reflects my own experience on my server, your mileage might different and I am pretty sure that there will be people in the comments vehemently and denying what I experience and what I say. That said, now, can we talk about FFXIV Housing for a moment?
The server I mainly play on is Leviathan, on the Primal Datacenter, which happens to be quite congested, along with five other serves out of the eight total servers. Now you know that I play on an extremely populated server within a highly populated datacenter. Personally, I would not have any other choices, however, this is a personal choice, and I have to admit that I like high population servers. And sadly, that also means housing is pretty much off-limits to me, just like massive players in my position.
Getting down to this nitty-gritty, then you should know that housing in Final Fantasy XIV is purely cosmetic. Of course, there exist some mechanics such as gardening, etc., but overwhelmingly it's just a cosmetic place to go and have fun decorating and showing off to other players. Being so highly cosmetic, why did Enix Square still make its mind to limit the number of houses at all? Certainly. there's a total of 4,320 plots per server, Apartments not included, but apparently it's far from adequate. With the capability to generate infinite housing plots, why limit us to the point many, if not most, can not obtain a house if they so select to?
Now, with knowing this game better as I explore this game furtherly, I get it, there are Apartments, 90 per building, and one building per ward. It is no doubt that I can get an Apartment on my server, it might not be precisely where I want it, but, at least, I can get one. I also have a Free Companies (which usually abbreviated as FC) with an FC house, so why would I dish out the 500K FFXIV Gil to buy an Apartment? Apartments are the exact same room size as a private FC room, making them a really controversial point. Therefore, yes, there is a selection out there if you absolutely MUST have a "ROOM" and not a house to decorate, but, in here, that is not why I am bringing this up.
Take a look at this video posted to twitter above and also check out this post, and that is why people love housing in Final Fantasy XIV. This is also the reason many of us want a house, and I have to say it really saddens me to know that I have literally no opportunity at obtaining a plot to do anything remotely like this.
Now it's time to put in perspective and that is when Shirogane came out, then all plots were taken immediately. Due to the long queues, I was not even able to log into the server immediately, therefore, no chance for me. Right now I am in the position many hundreds, if not thousands of players are in, sincerely hope a plot comes up for sale while I happen to be there.
You may be asking, why do not transfer then? Yes, this seems like a perfect solution, and in the meantime, it will be extremely much easier on much lower populated servers to obtain a house to have fun with, but the real question is, where is the fun in that? I just play on my server for just two important reasons: Friends and queues. Playing on a populated data center translates into more players in the queue pool, more options for static runs, more people to play with. Due to these reasons, my friends also play on these servers, not mention the bonds I made while playing on them. It is not as simple as "just transfer to a much lower populated server!"
I'll give credit where it's due, the developer Enix Square now has put in measures to help out with this issue, to a small degree. Now players can only own one housing plot per account per server. Also, this includes one Free Companies housing plot, which comes into play within just one minute. They have also made it so that you can not sell your house now, instead, you must demolish the house for the plot to go open to sell out again. Most important is when you demolish the house the plot is not available for purchase immediately. Right now, there is some hidden timer that must expire firstly, therefore purchasing a plot from someone can be quite dangerous because there is nothing stopping someone from seeing it as empty and merely trying to buy it, the worst-case scenario is, if they hit the timer lotto, then you are totally screwed. This is a 45-day inactivity limit where houses are auto-demolished if you do not login the house with 45 days, but I do not think this is a quite good system at all. Cause I have seen a lot of people log-in just to reset the timer, not play this game.
The whole one Free Companies house per account per server is something that bothers me a bit. Cause you just can not sell your house or plot, now players are buying plots for FC houses, building the FC house, and then selling the FC to other players from 80 million Final Fantasy 14 Gil up, I have seen it as high as 500 million, it even could be more. It's a created a grey market of people purchasing FC plots just to flip them. The problem is that is a legitimate market, and people are really purchasing these up. As a matter of fact, it's not a legal method, according to Enix Square says, but they have not stopped it either. They have already tried to stop people from hoarding houses to sell, yet they are letting players to still do it by the method of FC houses, and that, unfortunately, makes no sense to me.
I simply just do not understand the reason behind limiting us so severely with housing. Working as a purely cosmetic feature, with the ability to make as many plots as you want, why do not allow your entire player base to enjoy this amazing feature you created?
Sincerely hope Enix Square is looking into more methods to make housing way much more accessible for everyone in the future. For now, all we can do is complain and then envy the masterwork of the players that do have houses.
What problems do you have with the current housing system? It does not have to be that you can not get one, in fact, it can be anything, let us know your idea below.