Author’s note: This post has been updated as of March 29, 2022, following the release of extensive details on the Lodestone.
With very little ado indeed, Square Enix has finally unveiled details about the new housing area in Ishgard, Empyreum.
One of the issues that’s plagued housing in FFXIV forever is the fact that it’s much like the real housing market, at least in North America. It’s incredibly difficult for newcomers to get in (think waiting outside placards for literal days on end), but easy for those already in to move around. This has historically been thanks to mechanics like the timer override for relocation, which just means that while you might have stood outside a plot for hours waiting for the hidden timer to end, a player who has a house could swoop in and snatch it up in a second without worrying about the timer.
Not that I saw that happen in front of one of my friends’ faces one time…
Anyway. Basically since the original announcement of Empyreum, we’ve seen whispers of what was going to happen to make the market a little fairer for everyone. One of the things the team brought up (with very few details, of course) was the idea of running at least part of Empyreum as a lottery system, where you could enter using a house’s full value as your ticket, and if you won, you’d get to keep that plot. And if not, obviously you got your money back.
Beyond those details, though, we didn’t hear much about how the system would work.
That is, until now.
With little more than a post on Lodestone, Square Enix announced that it’s updated the 6.1 special site with more information about what we can all expect with the new systems in Empyreum. Here’s what we know.
It will be the lottery system.
According to the special site, all plots available on opening day will be sold through lottery. Though it doesn’t really explain how that works, Yoshi-P has explained the rules in interviews.
You’ll need to:
- Be at least lv. 50 in one battle class
- Be a second lieutenant or higher in your grand company
- Not own a plot in that world on that account (or relocate your existing private plot if you do own one)
- Have the amount of gil for your desired plot on hand
Then, you’ll be able to enter for the plot of your choice using the entire cost as your up-front entry fee. If you win the plot, you’ll have a limited time to claim it—and if you don’t, you’ll be able to claim your money back.
One neat thing is that at each house’s placard, which is where you go to enter, you’ll be able to see how many other people have entered and weigh your chances.
You can only enter one lottery at a time.
Though I was hoping for the ability to enter multiple draws simultaneously (I’d heard whispers this would be a thing, and you’d get half your money back if you couldn’t claim because you’d already one), it’s been confirmed that there will be a limit of only entering one draw at a time—so when you’re choosing your plot, choose well.
You won’t be able to save up and maximize your chances, so you’ll likely want to take advantage of the option to see how many people have entered instead.
This lottery will apply to all available plots at first.
Okay, so a few thoughts here.
This is how Square Enix worded it on the special site, and to me, this says one of two things. Either it will apply to all wards, or it means Square Enix is only opening up a handful of wards at first through the lottery system—and then may apply either the lottery or regular purchasing to subsequent rounds of purchasing.
Though it could really go either way, my inclination is that it’ll be the latter. I can’t see Square Enix opening up all 24 wards with an entirely new system with no backup plan right off the bat; they’re far too cautious, especially with new systems, to do something like that.
UPDATE: From what it says on the Lodestone, it looks like I theorized correctly. According to the official post, Empyreum is going to be split up into wards that use the lottery and wards that use the regular purchasing system—but everything that’s available at first will be through the lottery system.
Land devaluation is going away.
In my original post about saving up enough gil for Ishgard housing, I went over the various pricing tiers for houses so you guys could estimate how much you’d need. What I didn’t know at the time is that though the classes of plots will still very much be a thing, land devaluation will not—so the maximums I listed will always be the prices of the plots.
What this means, especially with the lottery system, is that holding out for a better price won’t help; it’ll just keep you out of the draw. And it may keep you out past the house’s drawing date, too.
On the plus side, this may be a good thing for players who are relocating. When you relocate a house, you get a percentage of its price toward your new house. That percentage, which is currently about 30%, has historically been calculated based on a house’s lowest possible devaluation—so with that system gone, it’s possible this will be calculated based on the flat price, which would give players more toward their relocation.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that the percentage will scale down to stay consistent with previous relocation fees, but well, let’s not hope for that.
FCs probably won't be able to buy plots.
This is another thing that isn’t totally clear about Empyreum yet, but it’s come up a few times in interviews that with Patch 6.1, FCs may not be able to purchase houses anymore. Of course, this might be up for a little interpretation, but just for the sake of clarity, here’s what I’ve read:
As much as this sucks for genuine FCs that want to be able to build submarines and run better company actions, it sort of makes sense why this would be a thing. See, there’s a whole secret market for housing where people will create shell FCs, buy up land using botting practices, sell that land to the highest bidder for an exorbitant amount of gil (think 30 million for a small) through a third-party service like Reddit, and then will just promote the buyer to the master of the FC so they get that house.
Obviously, that’s against ToS for FFXIV, and it’s frustrating for people who just want to buy a house because it means many plots are locked up in fake FCs and they don’t stand a chance of getting one.
UPDATE: So I’m not entirely sure what happened here, but this was way off! From what Square Enix has posted on the Lodestone, they’ve actually set it up so plots are designated as either for private purchase or for FC purchase. Now I need to investigate what was really meant by that line from Siliconera!
With 6.1 just around the corner, hopefully this helps you prepare for what we should all expect when Ishgard housing becomes available. The patch is currently scheduled for mid-April, and next week’s live letter should give us more details on it!