Smudge and I have spent much of the last couple weeks fiddling with player housing. This is something that most of our other MMOs have not had. Wildstar has a pretty good housing system, but I never got much into it, and Wildstar‘s UI problems meant that it was not a long-term game for us. I understand that WoW has a system now, but that was long after I left, and I don’t even know how it did.

In FF XIV, there’s effectively two and two halves types of housing. There’s apartments, which are effectively infinite, and purchasing one is permanent (other than giving it up so you can get a different one elsewhere), and there are houses, which can either be owned privately or by a Free Company. The housing lots are limited, and exist in one of four areas which have a number of instances (and the building which houses the apartments exist in this zone); a private lot will be demolished and reclaimed if your subscription ends, while a FC house will stay active as long as it is. FC houses can also have ‘private rooms’ for individual members (which will also go away if the subscription lapses, or the player leaves the FC), which is basically an instanced apartment inside the house.

Thayrin had bought an apartment some time back, and decorated it out as the Twin Adder Library. I’d been, for reasons I don’t really understand, resisting doing the same, but a couple weeks ago, Rylea finally paid out the 600K Gil and took an apartment near Thayrin’s (in the same instance). The basic furnishing is a small wooden square room with a single door out, and non-functioning windows along one wall.

Thayrin provided a futon and a basket of yarn as housewarming presents.

Plans to furnish it more elaborately have proceeded more slowly than expected, as a couple days later, Thayrin bought a lot in the same instance that had become available. Square Enix recently expanded housing by creating new instances in all the housing zones, and let the FCs at them first. We’re in one of the older instances, so I’m guessing that the former tenant moved from that small plot to a medium or large in one of the new ones. Lots work in a kind of reverse auction, where they start high, and then go down slightly every six hours until they reach about half price, and Thayrin could afford maybe 75% of the 1.5M Gil minimum price, but I was able to make up the difference for him. (Which, right after the apartment, drained my finances pretty dry too.)

After buying the empty lot, Thayrin needed a ‘building permit’ which puts up the actual building. That was another 450K Gil, which we managed to raise in about two days. There’s three main styles of building, and variants within them, and you can craft all of these for remodeling, but it turns out you build the initial form without crafting by purchasing the permit. Thayrin went for the Glade style that he’s been preferring in a lot of furnishings in the ‘stone’ version.

The main building and roof can be remodeled separately, along with different styles for the door and windows (compare the windows above and below), and there’s four exterior options that can be added, in the form of a roof decoration (weathervane or chimney), external decor (awning or external chimneys that all look artificial… or maybe for an external oven), a placard, and a fence.

The small house is about the same area as the apartment, but has a basement as well. The medium seems to be about the same size as well (possibly a bit bigger), and adds an upper floor. I haven’t seen a mansion yet, but I understand they’re very large.

The main floor has been outfitted as a workshop, with some convenient NPC sellers that Thayrin had had in the apartment, while the basement is being done more ‘comfy’.

The other thing we’ve occupied time with recently is Palace of the Dead. It’s FF XIV‘s tribute to 8-bit games, where loot consists of high-quality potions and items just for use in the Palace, and you go through a dungeon, 10 procedurally-generated floors at a time. They start you at level 1 of whatever class you register as (no matter where you are normally), and advance pretty quickly. Getting through a full set of 10 gets you a bunch of experience in that class when you exit, and apparently it’s been used to level new classes a lot.

Thayrin and Rylea are currently going through as a Scholar/Summoner pair and doing pretty well. But we’ve failed the floor 30 boss three times now. During that, we also failed once due to being ambushed and constantly slept by a pair of the nastier monsters, but the three boss failures have occurred due to sudden disconnects in the middle of the fight. Since we’ve never seen disconnects like this elsewhere, we’re thinking there’s an actual technical problem there, which is highly annoying with how much we’ve enjoyed it.