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What's Going On With Player Housing In Final Fantasy 14?

Player housing has been a commodity enjoyed by MMORPG (massively multiplayer role-playing game) players for years. Allowing players to grab a plot of land or a home and then decorate it to their heart's content, many see their in-game domains as an extension of their character. It's a spot to kick back, relax and take a reprieve from the hostile environments around them — and maybe even a place to hangout with other players. While games will often impose time-consuming challenges or a jaw-dropping price tag between some of the most coveted decor and the aspiring virtual home designer, in "Final Fantasy 14" the biggest problem is just getting a foot in the door — and not just because Square Enix briefly pulled the game from shelves at the end of 2021.

"Final Fantasy 14" has a real estate problem that stretches back to the early days of the MMO, shortly after initially flopping upon its release. The issues have come in different forms, but it's consistently been a nightmare for most players trying to acquire a personal plot of land. First, players had to contend with a first-come-first-serve system that left most of the game's property in the hands of a small group of players with deep pockets. Now, in an effort to offer a fair shot of acquisition to more players, Square Enix has inadvertently further broken the housing system in "Final Fantasy 14."

What was wrong with player housing in Final Fantasy 14?

Though "Final Fantasy 14" has gone on to become one of the most popular MMOs — and is definitely still worth playing — the title isn't without its problems. For many players right now, that problem is the system used in-game for purchasing housing plots. Until recently, players found themselves in a constant economic war with one another as available housing was often quickly swept up by players with access to vast funds and the aim to buy out entire neighborhoods. 

With nothing in-game preventing a single player from owning multiple properties, scores of players would fruitlessly spend hours camping in front of whatever scraps were left or at properties that were about to hit the market. All that work seldom paid off, as all it took was a random passerby to approach right as the sale started to snag the home with sheer luck. As if that wasn't bad enough, some players take advantage of the housing drought and sell in-game real estate for actual cash.

Seeing a clear inequity with player housing, Square Enix finally made a move to remedy the situation — but the attempted fix only served to make it more impossible to secure property in "Final Fantasy 14."

What's wrong with player housing now?

In a move to try and bandage the housing market in "Final Fantasy 14," Square Enix implemented a lottery system players could enter with the goal of giving interested parties more of a fair shot against one another. However, there's one big problem: the new system isn't choosing a winner. 

As one Twitter user pointed out, "Oof the new Final Fantasy 14 housing lottery system has a glitch where 0 can be the winning entry (player entries are numbered starting at 1)." Of course, if players are numbered beginning with one, and the raffle comes up with the zero as the chosen winner, none of the players entering the lottery have a chance at winning. Thankfully this issue isn't the only possible outcome, but it still feels like a slap in the face to any player who participated.

Square Enix has since identified the issue and is working on a fix, but players will have to stand one more insult — the suspension of new purchases and relocations until the glitch is resolved. With most of the transactional side of the housing system offline for the time being, here's hoping Square Enix can successfully give players a fair shot at some property.