FFXIV: housing prices sky-high

Well I read yesterday via Massively’s Mog Log article that highlights the severely high prices for the announced housing in Final Fantasy XIV. This is guild housing (guilds are called Free Companies in the game) so in a sense it’s not that relevant to my character as he never joined such a group. Prices seem to be ranging between 4 and 60 million gil (gil = gold coin in Final Fantasy speak) according to the article; that’s pretty crazy! These costs are for the plot of land and basic building, I presume it’ll cost a significant amount on top to decorate the house after you purchase it.

The article talks about the Balmung server on which my character resides so this is the exact situation I would face if I returned to the game. It seems like a move aimed at punishing the minority of legacy players who managed to save up a lot of gil before the game was frozen for the A Realm Reborn remake. There’s an open letter with ~600 replies on the game’s forums calling for a zero to be taken off the price of housing plots (link). As the original poster (Abriael) states:

And this is another of the elements that maybe hasn’t been considered when setting the housing prices: many MMORPG players don’t like being part of large, sprawling guilds. Many like medium sized guilds with 20-30 close-knit members. Others like family-sized groups of 8-10 members

This is an important point. Some players, myself included, prefer to be in smaller guilds. The pricing of the housing system (which is also lacking personal housing at present) is biased towards larger grinding-guilds. It reminds me of the pressure to farm money and status inherent to Tera’s old political system – my time in a largish guild there was dominated by the unwritten pressure to contribute towards the guild’s requirements for maintaining Vanarchy (political leadership of a zone). This inequity also smacks of the original problems with the revamped guild system in WoW or the guild mission system as introduced in Guild Wars 2.

Developers shouldn’t engage in social engineering like this, whether by design or by accident. Even if this is aimed at fixing the problems with gil-sellers during the game’s earlier period, punishing the whole playerbase is wrong. I’d much rather see a very wide range of housing, including some available for individuals to own, with highly prestigious and expensive larger housing providing the longer term goal for big guilds to aim for.

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3 Responses to FFXIV: housing prices sky-high

  1. Jonny 5iVe says:

    “I’d much rather see a very wide range of housing, including some available for individuals to own, with highly prestigious and expensive larger housing providing the longer term goal for big guilds to aim for.”

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and patience is a virtue.

    I’d consider this stage 1.

    I imagine the developers are looking at the games economy, and realising that it needs some kind of substantial cash sink at the moment.

    So, you implement what you can immediately, before huge inflation sets in. Then once the economy is under control a little bit, you can begin to create the less necessary online world mechanics.

    I would imagine that this was the only thing released at the moment as that was the only style of housing that was finished, and ready to go.

    Unfortunately, as an economy is happening live, and you, as a developer, can’t directly control it, if they waited until a whole range of housing was developed, polished, and ready for mass deployment, the inflation problem could already be too far along to reasonably save.

    I’d say this was definitely the correct move, and the correct time to make it. Kudos to Square for taking the plunge, knowing full well that people are going to backlash against it. Classic case of people not knowing/realising what’s good for them in the grand scheme of things.

    As for 600 people, I wouldn’t consider that a lot. I’d also consider that many of those are likely repeat posters, and that there are probably only 200 individual users complaining about the change… Which is small fry really.

  2. Awesome post, thanks for sharing!

    It seems like FFXIV is beginning to suffer from the same problem as GW2, my MMO of choice. I prefer smaller guilds, more family sized units where you know everybody like a brother/sister. It suits me better personally but also fits with the lore better in my head. Big Guilds tend to resemble something closer to a network in the ‘Facebook age’ rather than an actual Guild of companions.

    In GW2 my small guild has problems, even though the developers have always said that guild size shouldn’t matter. I have had to join a bigger guild which is kind enough to understand that I can’t always represent (99.9% of guilds will require full representation for the grinding of influence that you mention is present in many MMOs). I joined the guild so that I could do Guild Missions, as well as make enough contacts to finally defeat Tequatl.

    We’ve been a small but pretty dedicated guild for over a year on GW2, and we’ve managed to save up enough influence to afford guild missions of our own – much more than most small guilds can afford. Trouble is, whenever you do this expensive Guild based content it always requires a group of 50+ to actually complete! As a group of under 10 we simply can’t chase down a target on more than one map in 15mins as guild missions require – it’s not possible!

    I think there does need to be some more love for smaller guilds in MMOs.

    FFXIV seems to be playing with fire here though, having guild based player housing. Interesting to see how that develops over time, I’m sure there’ll be some updates to the mechanic pretty soon.

  3. Reblogged this on Twisted Game Development and commented:
    Nice post, I can relate since I’m also on the Balmung server!

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