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FF14 director says glitched housing lottery will be fixed shortly

Developers have found out what was breaking the random draws of scarce housing plots

The Empyreum housing district in Ishgard Image: Square Enix
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Final Fantasy 14 developers say they’ve figured out what was glitching the MMO’s housing lottery and will be correcting the problem shortly. The good news, said producer and director Naoki Yoshida, is the results of lotteries already run over the past week have been preserved, and can be implemented during regular server maintenance.

Additionally, players who won a housing plot in a lottery without bugs or problems won’t be forced to redo the process or enter another lottery. That said, Yoshida asked anyone who has been awarded a housing plot to claim it in-game ASAP to make the maintenance go smoother.

The glitch entered the game on April 12 with patch 6.1, which changed the way housing plots are awarded in the game. Before, everything was first-come/first-served, requiring players to sit through some ungodly waiting times before trying to buy a house. The lottery is supposed to work by awarding plots at random over a nine-day stretch. Players have five days to put in for an empty plot; a drawing is held and the winner, chosen at random, has four days to claim the plot.

Instead, users reported the lottery spit out “winners” with the number 0 (supposedly impossible under the system) or did not award the plot to anyone. In other examples, a single player entered the lottery for a plot, and yet was told there was no winner.

Yoshida on Saturday acknowledged the problems and apologized for the frustration they’ve caused. He also explained in greater detail how the lottery works, or is supposed to. The housing lottery is a “plain randomization method,” but because players may have multiple characters on the same account, the game must set complicated conditions for whether they may enter, or win, the lottery. It took all weekend for developers to untangle what the lottery administration was seeing that caused the bugged outcomes.

Meantime, the “result announcement period,” for the first lottery, originally expected to end on Wednesday, will now be extended to an unspecified time. Further, the developers aren’t holding any new lotteries until the problems with the first one is fixed.

Getting a house in Final Fantasy 14 “has always been an awful experience,” says Polygon’s official guide. The housing lottery changes come as the new Empyreum housing area has opened in-game in Ishgard. The guide has more details on how the process is supposed to work.

In 2020, Square Enix added 720 plots per server to keep up with demand, effectively doubling a housing supply that had already been expanded the year before. At the height of the pandemic, the game placed a moratorium on in-world evictions (and demolitions) if players couldn’t maintain their properties.

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