FFXIV honestly surprised me the other night when I saw a cozy fireplace and thought about taking a picture next to it. I used the /sit command, and instead of my character plopping down in some sort of default sitting animation, she actually took a seat on the couch. This made me blink hard. Not many MMOs yank you into a seat when you go to sit, oddly enough. So good for this game.
I had a slightly unusual weekend, now that I’m into the realm of Heavensward. I didn’t really follow that expansion closely when it first came out, so I don’t think it ever registered that this was a snowy realm that we’d be adventuring through (which is a good thing, at least in my book). All I remembered was “dragons something elves something Catholic church substitute something.
I jumped over to join Aywren’s guild, because they certainly seemed like a lively and engaged group of players. And sure enough, they were quite welcoming and helped buoy my spirits in the game. A quiet or non-existent guild hampers my play experience in ways that are kind of difficult to articulate. Conversely, a great guild can make logging in a joy and add deeper dimension to the game.
I met her! I’m in the presence of internet fame! I think her plumage was happy to see me too.
With a free company established, my thoughts turned to exploring one feature of the game that has yet escaped me, which was player housing. Let me say that first off, I’m glad that FFXIV saw that housing was important enough to include, and it does seem like the community gets into it. I’m always a housing nut in MMOs that allow for it, so it felt like my play experience was incomplete in FFXIV until I got to check this out.
But that was really easier thought than done. Unlike some other MMOs I could name — RIFT, WildStar come quickly to mind — FFXIV puts as many obstacles between you and owning your own slice of space as possible. Again, props that the game has housing, but it doesn’t excuse it for being, quite frankly, a prohibitive and restrictive system.
Buying a real house was far outside of my budget. I had about 650K gil, whereas houses (if you could even find ones available to purchase) were in the millions. The most economical option was a 300K single-room apartment in the free company house, which I felt was fine. I wouldn’t have a yard or outside decorations, but oh well. It was something, it was a one-time fee, and I could afford it.
But I couldn’t access it, not yet, not even with the money in my pocket. Oh no. That would be too EASY. The game informed me that I also, for some reason, had to be second lieutenant in my grand company, which was a game feature that I had stopped paying attention to a long time ago.
Sigh, fine. So I plodded over there, saw that I had a lot of seals for the promotion, but that there were additional hoops through which to jump. Company hunting logs to complete! Two fun dungeon trials to run! It took the better part of an evening to get all of this sorted out and meet the requirements, but eventually I was allowed the privilege of sinking half of my wallet into this system.
People informed me that most furnishings either came from the marketboard or by making them, so I did a little shopping to spend a large chunk of my remaining funds on various fixtures. I would have appreciated a preview picture for these items, but such is life.
The whole “functional but not necessarily user friendly” theme continued as I went to my room for the first time and then felt like a fool trying to figure out how to actually decorate it. Apparently you have to access housing options from one of the little sub-menus to open up that interface, which I can’t recall the game every informing me about. Thank you, internet.
And while I was able to cobble together a room without too much difficulty, in truth, I was pretty underwhelmed. The interface to move items is incredibly clunky (a casualty of console controls?) and I couldn’t figure out how to rotate items and then make them stay rotated without resetting. I’ve seen much, much better systems in other games, but this is only the start of my working on this, so here’s hoping that there’s more going on here.
I did like the guild house and what they did there. It was pretty cute ‘n’ cozy, although we’re reportedly moving to bigger digs in the near future.