I could review a game right now, but I feel what I would be reviewing would be a bit too similar to what I’m reviewing next week. So instead, I’m going to tell you a tale of one of my adventures in FF14, the adventure of getting a house… and then getting a bigger house.
First up, one of the many things you can do in FF14 is get a house. They come in 3 sizes, cottage, house and mansion. These can be bought as a private house or a FC house. Housing is in 5 different locations. One for 3 starting cities then 2 more, one in the far eastern location and one in the cold northern location that Heavensward (the one brought up in the memes) is. These housing districts have multiple wards and subwards. Each ward has 30 houses with the same but mirrored for subwards. Roughly there are about 9000 houses each Server. You can imagine with a popular game not everyone on a server has a house, and that’s before you take into account FCs will have bought up some (usually the larger).
To make up for this a character can buy a room in their FC house or buy and apartment in the big building in each location. Of course, those just don’t quite feel the same as having a house.
I got my first Cottage back in HW, in the Goblet location which is part of Ul’dah a desert city. Honestly, it’s probably the worst location but, it was nice to have a house of my own. Not that I did much with it, I had lots of gold but nothing to spend it on and getting a house is often like real life a major achievement.
It’s worth noting that for people that complain about the current lottery system for gaining a house, that before that, it was far more hectic. Houses were on a first come first serve basis. This meant getting one was either an exceedingly lucky quick find, or you were absolutely demented and enslaved a whole team of mates to stock the house waiting for it to go up…the fact the house I first got was in the least desirable region was probably why I was able to get it.
Of course, that was Heavensward and in the next expansion StormBlood we went to the far eastern locations for the first time complete with a new city Kugane which they said would be accompanied by a new housing district for players. This was accompanied with information that people would be able to move their houses to the new location and get a discount. The madness that followed is why I defend the Lottery system currently implemented.
The housing district was implemented some time into the expansion, in a separate patch. I remember the day well. With every player who wanted a house downloading the patch at the same time it caused download issues, having to restart the patch download multiple times. And then logging in to see if the servers were back up, all with panicked breath. Once I was on, the mad dash for houses was on. Everyone rushing to grab what they could. In a matter of minutes, they were gone, and, luckily, I had a new home.
It was a much nicer location, I could go lay on the beach, climb up the lighthouse but still the house felt more like a place to dumb random housing items I collected through the game. And it was that way for quite some time. Expansions moved on, Stormblood into Shadowbringers. I can’t say when it happened, or what inspired it exactly. But at some point, I saw people were doing more than just houses with the houses, and an idea came to me. I could turn what was just a house, into a pub. It was just a cottage but seemed fine for a private owned pub. Sure It would be less likely for people to come by and RP in it. But it was something to work on.
And so I had new life breathed into me. I started to work on things for the pub. I would look for items and though my increased interest in crafting thanks to the Ishgard restoration, I would build or buy items to set out the pub. This went to the point that during Endwalker I actually identified my character as the owner of a pub, leveled up Culinarian primarily to accompany my pub owner status (very limited on drinks that are meant to be alcoholic though).
But eventually I came to the problem all people with houses eventually hit. People complain about the rush to get a house. But getting a cottage isn’t too difficult. 6000 cottages on every server and most FCs want something bigger. But then, after getting a cottage, after a while you start feeling cramped, limited. What’s more after all this time, my gil had increased considerably just from regular activities, and nothing to spend it on.
I basically was stuck. The chance of a medium or large opening up was exceedingly slim. But there was one chance. The Ishgard restoration mentioned earlier was a lead in to housing in Ishgard. That meant a whole bunch of new wards so A LOT of new houses. Now I liked my far eastern house and didn’t want to move to a new housing district, but people moving their houses to Ishgard might open up some new houses. I was in luck, a medium was available in Shirogane (the far eastern location). By now the lottery system was implemented so I put my gil down and waited… and several days later, I lost the bid.
I was quite disappointed, what’s more a house near mine had become a cafe so I didn’t even have the image of a local pub (though I had already set on a theme by now). I went back to a seeming impossible wait. But as Endwalker went on, more wards were added. This meant I had another chance. I went looking and counted my gil, and found something. I found I not only had enough for a house, I could afford a mansion.
I found a nice location and with almost all my gil I put in the bid, and waited for a few days. I counted the number of people competing with me. It was a small number about 1 or 2. And so, at 3pm, I logged back in and did not see a mail icon. That gave me hope. I rushed to the location and to my joy, I had won the mansion. I had little gil left but I have a new thing to work on, a new canvas. The pub was relocated and I’ve been working hard to set things up. Ideas having to be realized, not enough gil to buy things so had to make them, also with lots of new house owners the prices on housing items went up.
But when I won the house I was reminded about why FF14 won best community awards. I was greeted by my new neighbours. We chatted and I even found a bunch of people had put in last minute bids for the mansion. My work continues and it will take a long time. I want to do up the outside of my house. The price went past what I had and to make it requires normally a full FCs worth of item grinding so it’s a long way away. Yet like when I decided to make it a pub it has given me new life.
This journey took around 7 years and now I have a large house, ground floor is a pub, upper is business and home, and the basement… don’t go in the basement. Who knows what will happen after several more years. Maybe I’ll find a new theme, maybe I won’t be playing anymore and that mansion will become someone else’s project. Still it has been a fun journey and one that’s far from over. What journeys will you go on I wonder?