Home decorating in Final Fantasy XIV is a glitchy system that needs love over the next decade
Welcome to the fifth episode of Game Design Spotlight, a weekly article where yours truly examines the design elements of various parts of an MMO, such as how upgrade areas become popular with many and new features to make bring out the players. Last week we traveled back in time to discuss Final Fantasy XI’s combat system and its interesting learning curves, and today we’re returning to Final Fantasy XIV to talk about its clunky house decorating feature.
Since its inception, the housing system has been a heated feud for storylines that have only escalated as the game climbed the MMORPG ranks. While most of the attention is directed to the system as a whole, I wanted to put my focus on decorating features to place housing fixtures that are long overdue for some love.
Players have found ways around its limitations to create some of the finest houses and apartments in the game. However, it is only by watching/reading guides to fix functionality that FFXIV players are able to follow meticulously. these workarounds when they should instead be free-form, highly accessible, and fun to use.
Interior decorators beware
After purchasing an estate or apartment in one of FFXIV’s five residential districts, those looking to style their homes will quickly discover just how demanding interior design can be. The sheer scale of furniture needed to remotely craft anything like the cafe you imagined will cost you dearly. For every lavish, modernized home you see on fan sites like XIV Living or Housing Snap, some real efforts were devoted to it during days or months of collecting and saving.
It all sounds pretty daunting (which it is) and is compounded by the hassle needed to get it all working. Do you want to make a custom door? Buy ten wooden stairs and get ready to precisely clip them on top of each other as you please. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the worst (in my opinion) being the stairs and the walls. Also, there are limits on how much furniture you can place depending on your house. Now let the frustration set in.
Certainly, you can skip the clipping/glitch challenge of decorating your magnum opus of a home exactly as you envisioned it. However, what’s the fun of creating rooms the way the developers intended? Much like the fundamental roots of glamor and inventory space, data issues and the ability to maintain a server hold back home decoration in FFXIV. Despite the complications, housing enthusiasts make the most of what’s there.
Welcome to Glitch my home
As mentioned earlier, guides are necessary for housing connoisseurs to create beautiful rooms. And for those new to the scene, you’ll get to grips with terms like “floating” and learn about the ups and downs of decorating. There are written guides but luckily the community has videos on YouTube for newcomers and veterans alike to get some tips.
While advice on how to do one thing or another is helpful, it’s still a lot for anyone hoping to commit. Beautiful rooms are achieved by covering ugly walls and ceiling with furniture, but at the expense of using a basic set of tools. And that backs up my point: the process of creating your home over working hours isn’t terrible, but rather it’s the system that limits creativity.
Long-awaited development over the next decade
Square Enix has already made great strides to improve systems and content from the first era, such as trusts for starting dungeons and revamping trials that have surpassed the quality of the game today. The developers have done a great job of keeping the gameplay elements streamlined and accessible to many players, but the housing has been less than stellar over the years.
While resolving the purchase plots and the lottery system are big issues that will take time, the house decor should receive some improvements over the next decade of FFXIV. Many gamers are excited to style their homes to represent their tastes, create an awesome base of operations for their FC, and create a place to host a crazy in-game party. Giving it a little love here and there will help go a long way to repairing the housing’s notorious reputation and injecting positivity.
This brings us to the end of another Game Design Spotlight. If you own a place and have decorated it, what improvements would you like to see in the years to come? And should there be something already implemented that needs to be removed? Let us know below! Also, thanks for reading another Game Design Spotlight on the site, be sure to comment on any games or features you’d like to see me cover.