This Final Fantasy XIV guild housing thing is just a forehead-slapping mess. The logic, if I’m following it correctly, is that the developers were worried that rich players would snap up all of the open world housing plots for guilds, so they jacked up the prices so much that pretty much nobody could afford one. And then they said not to worry, that 80% of guilds should be able to afford the smallest-sized plot within three months of this highly anticipated patch feature.
There’s a few stupid gremlins at work here, not the least of which is the feeling that the developers are really out of touch with the purpose of housing. It shouldn’t be a prohibitively expensive feature that requires gobs of grinding and time to achieve or a massive goldsink; it should be as accessible as possible for everyone so that people have a place in the game to call their own. It’s in a studio’s best interests to help players develop “roots” in a game, whether that be terrific social tools, housing, or empowering players to be part of the creation content process.
You *want* to give your guilds a place to congregate, socialize, and decorate. I’m always amazed more games don’t have such places (shifty eyes at Guild Wars 2 and doey eyes at Guild Wars 1). Ever since I was a kid, the concept of a clubhouse for me and my friends had enormous appeal, and that hasn’t really changed.
Another thing that this FFXIV situation has taught me is that open world housing is hardly ever worth the bother. I know it’s becoming more en vogue once again with these sandbox up-and-comers, but I’ve never understood the appeal of large swaths of land that are converted into suburban tracts with 3/4ths abandoned dwellings. Instanced housing is just fine by me, and that way you never run out or have to worry about wealthy players creating a monopoly on plots.
In any case, what should be a day for FFXIV players to celebrate — a major update release day — has become soured by last-minute developments in pricing and the realization that most everyone won’t be enjoying the biggest feature of this patch. That’s just not how housing should be.