If you’ve followed my articles in the past three years, you probably know that I’m pretty enthusiastic for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and quite impressed by what Square Enix managed to do with the rebirth of the once failed MMORPG, but every MMO player experiences, more often than he’d like to admit, those moments in which he really doesn’t understand what a developer is thinking. For me this is one of those moments.
Today Square Enix revealed the pricing of housing in the game. It will vary by server depending on the economy, and that’s a good idea. What doesn’t seem a good idea at all is that the prices for the land are prohibitive, as you can see in the table at the bottom of this post.
Especially in some of the legacy servers players will have to pay between 20 and 40 million gil for the smallest plot in the least desirable land, up to 625 million for the most desirable large plots in the most desirable areas. The price of the land will decrease over time when not purchased, but it’ll never go under 50% of the original price.
Just to give you an idea, as an average veteran since the first day of the original version of Final Fantasy XIV, I have a little north of 300,000 gil to my name. Of course there is a minority of super-rich players with hundreds of millions in their pocket, but that’s most definitely not the norm.
Of course most of the community had a similar reaction to the one displayed in the picture above, with multiple not exactly positive threads in the official forums and the chat in game lighting up with angry shouts. Quite obviously there are also people defending the design choice, but they don’t really seem to represent a majority at the moment.
While the feature, at least for now, is destined to free companies (the game’s version of guilds), and personal housing will come later, this kind of pricing really penalizes smaller, family-sized ones, for which the feature may as well not exist. That’s a pity, because for many it was one of the most anticipated of patch 2.1.
Square Enix promised more ways to make money in the game coming with this patch, but we’ll have to see just how effective they’ll be. As things stand, I really don’t see the shiny new housing districts getting very populated any time soon.
Update: Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida released a statement to the community on the topic. Unfortunately it isn’t exactly what many hoped to hear from him, and the issue remains unsolved.
One thing we wanted to avoid was situations where free companies wanted to build a house but couldn’t because the land was sold out. We also examined all of the free companies across all Worlds, how many members there were, and how much gil each member possessed. We’ve been proactively removing RMT, but there is still a bit of RMT gil left in the economy which we’ve accounted for when creating the pricing.
In patch 2.1 you’ll be able to generate a bit more gil. Battle classes can earn an average of 15,000-18,000 gil per day, and with role bonuses in the Duty Roulette this can exceed 20,000 gil. Doing this several days a week you can save up quite a bit of gil, and if all FC members do the same, it will become a considerable amount. We estimate that by doing this for around three months you should be able to purchase land.
For new users playing on Legacy servers, there were questions about how they would be able to purchase land as it’s much more expensive, so moving forward we will be making adjustments to the lower limits. The prices listed in the patch notes are the high prices, and there have been comments that no one will buy them, but again, we will look at conditions and look into reducing the lower limits. We’ll be keeping a close on eye on how everyone is making gil and on the economic conditions for each World.
We understand that the initial prices for housing are extremely high, but this is a patch filled with a lot of content, so as you are having fun and enjoying everything the price will come down.