Despite being a rather popular MMO that has finally escaped out of the looming spectre of version 1.0, Final fantasy XIV has had a longstanding issue with in-game housing. While housing wasn't the most popular thing when it fist rolled out, it very quickly became necessary. Especially for Free Companies, which are FFXIV's version of a guild system. In order to turn on your FC food and experience buffs, you need an FC house.
And wirh only a few thousand housing plots on each server (720 per housing zone, with four zones total), for over 10 million players… It is nearly impossible to purchase an in-game house.
The first solution to this problem was the addition of small apartments, which could be purchased for a modest price. However, you can't run a Free Company out of an apartment. And many players like to have their own outdoor space for their crafting skills, which require a housing plot.
And so, much of the playerbase is essentially homeless. But finally, we have a response from Game Director Naoki Yoshida.
"Yoshi-P" took to Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV forum to inform players that they will be adding additional Wards and improving servers in Update 4.2:
In light of the feedback we have received, we will be working to bolster our servers in preparation for additional wards in the Lavender Beds, the Goblet, Mist, and Shirogane by patch 4.2.
Even better news to many, they will be switching up how they release the new plots to prevent predatory practices:
We've also received considerable feedback as to how they should be added, and we will be making an announcement outlining the number of new wards and how they will be sold after reviewing said feedback. To prevent speculation, we will refrain from releasing information until absolutely necessary. We ask for your patience and understanding until we can provide you with these details.
While adding new wards to the four housing zones will help create less of an artificial housing crisis, it does not speak to the underlying issue of people using multiple accounts to mass-purchase land. And, chances are this fix will not be coming for some time. Based on the previous gap between updates to the game after the Heavensward expansion, players can expect to see patch 4.2 sometime in February as Stormblood seems to be following the same update pattern (Which is actually taken from the update schedule for version 2.0 A Realm Reborn).
Perhaps the most puzzling piece of this entire problem is that, well, housing spaces are usually popular on just about any MMO. So this really should have been obvious from the start, or at the very least from last year onward. You know, when we first got apartments to help deal with the housing crisis. And while the housing situation kept an artificial limit on the number of Free Companies, it probably wasn't the best way to go about that, considering that each FC is capped at 512 members.