Final Fantasy XIV Producer Responds To Critricism on the Mind Boggling Prices of Housing

on December 17, 2013 3:43 PM

The mind boggling prices of housing in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn‘s recently implemented patch “A Realm Awoken,” stirred a wave of malcontent and criticism across the community (including yours truly), and between yesterday and today Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida issued two responses to try and calm the storm.

The first, published yesterday on the official forums explained the general philosophy behind the controversial design decision:

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.

The second, released today, went more in detail about the ins and outs of the issue, and promises some future changes.

Regarding Housing Price

This is FFXIV: ARR Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida. First of all, allow me to express my thanks to all of you who have offered feedback on the matter of housing prices. Needless to say, I have been following the discussion very closely.

In this post, I would like to clarify our fundamental stance toward housing prices, and offer a better picture of how players can expect prices to fall in the near future.
(My apologies in advance if this post gets a bit wordy.)

Fundamental Pricing Stance

Our fundamental stance toward housing prices was that we wanted to ensure that plots would be evenly distributed, avoiding a situation in which the wealthiest players could easily buy up all available plots of land. Please understand that while we will be adding servers and expanding housing areas as soon as we can, it is simply physically impossible for us to accomplish this easily, in a matter of one or two weeks.

If the initial price of land was easily within the means of wealthy players, one can envision all available plots of land being snatched up immediately, leaving other players—even those possessing the necessary gil—unable to purchase land for an extended period of time. Seeking to avoid this, we made the difficult decision to go forward with the pricing scheme we presented, aware that many players would be unable to afford housing for a while.

Eorzean Economy Review

Before determining the initial (or maximum) prices for land, we conducted an extensive survey of the Eorzean economy across multiple Worlds, including:

  • The total amount of gil possessed by all players
  • The total amount of gil possessed by all active players on each World
  • The number of active free companies and members on each World
  • The total amount of gil owned by all active players belonging to each free company on all Worlds
  • The amount of gil entering the economy and circulating in the market on a given day in each World
  • Distribution of the above (X% belonging to the most wealthy, Y% belonging to the middle class, Z% to the less wealthy, etc.)

Needless to say, RMT traders are served with immediate bans and their gil removed from circulation, so these figures are not included in the above. In addition, to account for gil generated by RMT abuses that might still be in circulation, an additional 10% or so was subtracted from the figures we arrived at.

What we realized from this survey was that the wealthiest players in each world had at their disposal an amount of gil that was considerably higherthan one would imagine. In each legacy World, there are more than ten players in possession of over one hundred million gil. Even in non-legacy Worlds, there are a significant number of players with several million gil.

The Future Price of Housing

In conducting this survey, we created a forecast for gil distribution in the three-month period following the release of patch 2.1. In doing so, we anticipated that:

  • Players will be seeking to earn more gil than they have thus far, and
  • The overall amount of gil generated each day will be higher (in fact, considerably higher) with the release of patch 2.1

…and adjusted our forecast accordingly.

The results of this forecast, with the necessary adjustments for differences between the various Worlds, formed the basis for the depreciated “XX Days Later” prices presented in the patch notes.

With this pricing scheme, we sought a balance in which roughly 80% of all existing free companies will be able to purchase at least a small-sized plot in three months’ time.

I understand that, in taking these measures to ensure even distribution of land, we are asking for considerable patience from those players who are eager to enjoy housing right away. While I sympathize with players concerns, we believe that this is in the best long-term interests of the game.

The Regulation of Starting and Final Prices

As mentioned within the patch notes, we will closely monitor land purchases, and consider revising prices as necessary according to World population and economy. Please keep in mind that prices will decrease every six hours from the opening of the servers, and will continue to drop even during maintenance. Furthermore, plots of land released in the future will never be more expensive.

Legacy World Price Adjustments

Due to the prodigious amount of gil in circulation in legacy Worlds, we regret that current housing prices may be prohibitive to the following players:

  • Those new to the game who started on legacy Worlds
  • Those returning to a legacy World after taking an extended break
  • Those on a legacy World who have been unable to save gil

Upon considering the feedback we have received since the release of the patch notes, we have decided to make the following adjustments:

  • Land prices will start at the figures indicated in the patch notes
  • From January 2014, devaluation will be adjusted every two weeks
  • After three months, final land prices will match those of World Group 3

* World Group 3 (third listed in the patch notes)
Bahamut / Behemoth / Cactuar / Carbuncle / Chocobo / Diabolos / Fenrir / Garuda / Gilgamesh / Ifrit / Leviathan / Mandragora / Midgardsormr / Odin / Ramuh / Shiva / Siren / Tiamat / Titan / Tonberry / Ultros

Although this takes place over the course of three months, land prices in legacy Worlds will eventually fall to match those of World Group 3. In the event that pricing changes are made to this group, the same will be applied to legacy Worlds.

By adjusting devaluation at set intervals rather than in one go, we hope to prevent a sudden rash of purchases.

The introduction of housing will help to unify the perceived value of gil in each individual World. Furthermore, it has presented an opportunity for us to consider the lifting of restrictions on transfers between between legacy and non-legacy Worlds.

Personal Housing

While I cannot give a specific date on when personal housing will be implemented, I can say that prices will be completely separate from free company housing, and, naturally, far more affordable.

In Summary

  • The final price of land on all Worlds is subject to adjustments, and may fall lower
  • Over the course of three months, prices on legacy Worlds will fall to match those of World Group 3
  • Personal housing will be far more affordable than free company housing

We realize that these measures will not immediately satisfy all players, especially those on legacy Worlds who are either new to the game or returning from extended absences. We ask for your patience and understanding as we strive to create a balanced housing system.

While Yoshida-san does promise some improvements down the line, they don’t seem to have calmed a sizable amount of the malcontents, especially because many aren’t happy to have to wait for three months to enjoy a feature that was promised (and hyped probably way more than it should have been) for today.

It’s hard to blame them, since some of the problems mentioned by Yoshida-san could be solved simply by temporarily limiting the amount of purchasable land to one plot per free company, instead of allowing the richest players to just land grab as much as they want.

In the meanwhile the discussion continues on the official forums and in other related environments. We’ll keep you updated if the community manages to obtain further concessions.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.