It was FF14's housing updates, not Dawntrail's reveal, that I cheered loudest for at Fan Fest

FF14 Fanfest
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Ages before Final Fantasy 14 implemented its infamous housing lottery system I won my first plot of land in a little corner of the Mist neighborhood. Just as patch 3.3 went live, I made a mad dash for a medium-sized home and scooped it up without a second thought. The location was among my least favorite—I absolutely hated the view—but I knew an ounce of hesitation would cost me my one chance at home ownership. I forked over millions of gil sight unseen as other ravenous players claimed every piece of digital real estate on my server within minutes.

That was six years ago, back in the days of Heavensward—when we only had 12 wards instead of 30 and land was sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. The path to FF14 home ownership is often a miserable experience, but if you're lucky, the struggle delivers a brilliant outlet for player creativity. So when Dawntrail debuted at Fan Fest 2023, it's no surprise some of us cheered just as loudly for Final Fantasy 14's plans to increase the number of things you can store in a home as we did for a brand-new expansion reveal.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

And when I say 'cheered,' it's probably more accurate to say a row of folks seated beside me at this year's Fan Fest lost their damn minds over a single line at the bottom of a PowerPoint.

It wasn't even a whole slide. I would have joined in had I not been trying to maintain some modicum of professional composure, although my Discord messages mid-announcement are a window into the brains of housing sickos everywhere.

Prime real estate

More housing slots? More housing slots! There’s good reason for all the hooting and hollering: it's hard to fully decorate FF14 homes with the current limits on furniture, X and X.. Typically hardcore decorators just wall off other floors to focus on arranging more things in a smaller area, which means wasting entire floors of a multimillion-gil home to make just one section look nice. It's like being handed a 10-foot canvas and a shot glass of paint.

FF14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida knows we want the ability to cram more crap into our dwellings, too. So he joked a little, apologized, and promised a solution is on the way. 

"Okay, this last one we will not be able to implement in 7.0, but we are going to plan it for 7.x," Yoshida announced. "Sorry for the long wait. We are currently working on increasing the furniture limit."

"Oh, who uses housing here?" He asked. "The server team is really trying their best, so please just be patient for a little while longer, and you'll have your extra furnishing," Yoshida continued, and the crowd went wild.

If you squint, you'll notice Fan Fest's most exciting announcement. (Image credit: Square Enix)

Yes, those cheers are just for a line that says, "Furnishing Limit Increase!" at some unspecified date. For all we know, 7.x could be a couple of months before the expansion after Dawntrail. I hope it arrives before 2025 or 2026, but there's no guarantee. The technical specifics around FF14's housing system remain an enigma to me, but I've often heard it described as a mess. I don't know if it's unreasonable to cross my fingers for another 100 item slots in my large home, but if that came to pass my Warrior of Light may finally have a kitchen and a bedroom.

So who cares? Why are we allocating more of the MMO's infrastructure to my ability to add more plants in every room? Well, those of us super into the crafty side of the game have been waiting years to take the leash off. I want to use more space without my home looking sad and empty, dammit. Let me live in a future where I can uninstall The Sims. Grant me the power to ensure my Warrior of Light's basement will never be a shitpost on r/MaleLivingSpace.

Housing (Savage)

FF14's community jokingly refers to decorating your fantasy abode as "Housing Savage," and as someone who's been raiding since A Realm Reborn, I'll go ahead and say it: Decorating my mansion in The Goblet is a million times harder than fist-fighting Bahamut. I'm kidding… but also I'm dead serious. 

You see, it's not enough to just buy one of the realm's extremely limited plots; you've got to learn how to work within the oversized spaces without spreading things too thin. I've got years of longing built up from half-executed design ideas that suffered under the furnishing limit. I don't need to pile dishes in sinks and leave cups of coffee everywhere, but I want the space to look lived in.

In every housing district, player homes come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. They all have a limited number of said item slots. Some folks keep furnishings simple, dropping a table, a few chairs for Free Company members to kick back in, maybe a hot tub. Other decorators like a challenge, so they rely on in-game glitches and shoving items close together to make them look like new furnishings.

You can make something easy like a casual bar or get wild and craft an in-universe Taco Bell. Suddenly you're using 10 wine glasses, a wooden crate, and someone's leftover soup bowls to make an elaborate drive-thru window and menu. Those items may take up to 20 housing slots to create one furnishing. The small, medium, and large estates host 200, 300, and 400 slots, respectively. 

It seems easy at a glance: select furniture, place furniture, position to liking, done. That's how every hero begins moonlighting as an interior designer, but then you start snooping around the community for tips and inspiration, and now it's 3 am and your ramshackle Taco Bell warns there are 290 of 300 furnishings used. For reasons unknown, you've got 50 more pillows to place on the floor, and, quite tragically, there's only space for 10. Now you've got to start compromising the vision.

I probably won't make my silly fast food joints under the new, more liberal furnishing limits, but I will add to the little home I've built for my Free Company. I figure that's what most of the players around me were cheering for, too. So many of us use these plots as a place to make memories with friends, roleplay, or just express our style in ways we can't outside of the MMO.

As for you, guy who got hushed by his friends in the crowd at Fan Fest, don't worry—I know why you were yelling like your life depended on it. I'll be grateful if Yoshida expands my furnishing limit by 50 or 500. If he announces a new district for the Dawntrails era, y'all will hear me hollering from my real place in Texas.

Freelance writer