As many of you know, Endwalker is scheduled for release in just six days, and early access starts on Friday! I may or may not have had a revelation about this because I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday and I had to wait longer than I actually do.
Obviously, this is something FFXIV players have all been psyched about for pretty much all of 2021. Though Square Enix has been good about feeding us tidbits of what we can expect with Endwalker since its announcement in February, they’ve also kept a lot of things hush-hush or left things up to conjecture—like when Ishgard housing would show up and whether there would be a lottery system to buy housing plots.
Because those are definitely the most important things!
Just this morning, Square Enix released the preliminary patch notes for 6.0, so now we have a lot of those details. So without further ado, here’s what we know so far.
First things first: Empyreum is opening on Friday.
Like the release of Shirogane with the Stormblood expansion, the new housing area in Ishgard will technically open for early access, and on launch day for players who don’t have early access. However, at first, it’s just available for players to visit—purchasing won’t be allowed until 6.1.
And naturally, we have no idea yet when to expect that, though my theory based on other announced timelines is sometime around the end of January.
To access the new area, players will need to be able to access the main aetheryte in Foundation and will need to complete the level 60 quest Ascending to Empyreum from Gondelimbaud. If you can’t find the quest, make sure you’ve finished the main scenario quest Litany of Peace as well!
Related reading: Don’t forget to save up for a house in Ishgard!
Second: The housing lottery system is a go.
One of the most frustrating things for players on most servers (though I will admit, Famfrit has always seemed to be an exception) is buying a house. Outside of new wards, housing plots all have completely random timers that block players from purchasing for a certain amount of time—a feature introduced to stop the second-hand sales that were rampant in the early days.
Now, players have to spend hours, sometimes days, standing at placards and clicking in the hopes that they’ll be able to buy a plot literally the second the random timer is up.
Of course, relocating an existing plot was always an exception to the rule, and didn’t need to wait for the timer. I once saw a friend on Leviathan spend eight hours trying to get a plot, only for someone to swoop in at the last second and relocate, stealing the plot right out from under them. It was infuriating.
My understanding is that this lottery system is designed to remove that frustration.
The patch notes don’t say much about this new system, which we know from previous comments is designed basically a lot like the offer system in real-life house buying where you put down a certain amount of money and hope you get picked, then get your money back if you aren’t. They don’t even specify whether it’s going to apply to all wards in Empyreum, or whether it will apply to certain wards with others being open for regular purchase as was hinted at in previous comments.
What they do say, however, is that starting in 6.0, plot relocation will no longer be able to override the random timers. Which, honestly, I think is going to make things a lot fairer and gives everyone an equal shot at arguably the most anticipated housing district in the whole game.
And lastly, we’re getting new ways to design.
Of course, every major patch means new furnishings and décor for houses. 6.0 will bring us quite a few submissions from the 2017 and 2019 design contests, including what looks like a corner desk, a tabletop photo frame, and an outdoor hanging bench swing.
New additions of Square Enix’s own design seem to include a new phasmascape tucked in behind the window partition, hanging blinds, a rustic wall shelf, shelf nooks, and even a gorgeous greyscale wood floor.
And of course, they never actually preview everything so there’s likely to be a lot more.
There’s also a new exterior recipe, which might just tempt me to finally switch out my forge walls. I don’t know what it’s called yet, but it looks like just the cutest little suburban house, even on a cottage. I’ll be interested to see whether just the roof gets dyed, or whether the awnings do, too!