Hello everyone, this is Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of FINAL FANTASY XIV.
I would like to apologize for my explanation in our earlier news announcement, “Issue with the Housing Lottery System (Apr. 16): Follow-up,” which has caused confusion for some of our players.
In the news announcement, I had mentioned "there are many patterns involved for the lottery conditions" to which we’ve received comments such as, “Are they manipulating the lottery method somehow?” I apologize for my vague wording, which came about from my haste to publish a follow-up announcement.
What I should have said was “there are many patterns involved for the lottery entry conditions”; my blunder was in writing this simply as “lottery conditions.” The housing lottery system implemented in Patch 6.1 uses a plain randomization method and conducts a simple process regardless of lottery entry conditions.
Although the Development team is continuing to put their full effort into investigating and verifying the housing lottery issue, we have yet to identify the root cause, and it appears we will require additional time to do so.
While some plots underwent the lottery process and are displaying the results as intended, other plots are experiencing the following issues:
- Cases where the lottery was properly conducted internally and a winner exists, but the results display the winning number as 0.
- Cases where there was a single entry in the lottery, but the results display that there was no entrant or winner.
- Cases where there is no winner despite entries being made by multiple friends or free company members.
We will continue to carefully investigate and address the causes of these types of occurrences. We still have the lottery data, and it is possible for us to confirm the status of entry applications through our database server logs. These logs will be referenced to ensure that players who have accepted their gil refund from losing the lottery will not be negatively affected by the measures we will be taking afterwards. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by these issues, but please rest assured regarding this point.
We will continue to follow up with further details regarding the investigation and our measures for this matter as soon as possible. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.
* The following is a long and complex explanation regarding the cause of the display error. Please feel free to skip this section if you would like.
Below is an explanation of the cause behind the display error, the lottery system itself, and the “many patterns involved for the lottery entry conditions.” As this is an extremely complex topic, I have included some metaphors to try and make it easier to understand. Furthermore, please note that I cannot list out all of the entry conditions and their processes.
Housing Lottery SystemThe housing lottery system uses a very straightforward lottery method, which I’ve described metaphorically below:
- Every available plot has its own lottery box.
- Players who enter a lottery are given a ball with their lottery number written on it.
- Players place their numbered ball into the lottery box. (All players have a unique number.)
- Once the entry period has concluded, a program will pick a ball from the box at random.
- The player whose ball was selected is granted the right to purchase the plot of land. (The program does not know who the ball belongs to.)
Lottery Entry Conditions Part 1: From the perspective of the applicantThe housing lottery system implemented in Patch 6.1 has a wide variety of verifications to determine whether or not an applicant is eligible for lottery entry. Some of the condition patterns are briefly described below.
Lottery entry condition patterns for “Character A” (wherein there is another character, “Character B,” on the same service account):
- Neither Character A nor Character B owns a plot of land.
⇒ In this case, Character A may enter a lottery.
- Character A owns a plot of land and Character B does not own one.
⇒ In this case, Character A may enter a lottery for the purposes of relocation.
- Character A does not own a plot of land but Character B owns one.
⇒ In this case, Character A may not enter a lottery.
- Character A and Character B both own a plot of land.
⇒ In this case, Character A may enter a lottery for the purposes of relocation.*
In these ways, FFXIV not only verifies on a per character basis, but also confirms the land ownership status of other characters on the same service account beforehand to determine whether or not a character may enter a lottery, as well as if they may enter to purchase land for acquisition or for relocation, which are referred to as “lottery entry condition patterns.”
In practice, in addition to the above, whether or not the plot in possession is free company housing is also considered during verification (as well as whether the character has the right to purchase land, etc.). This does not apply to how the lottery process is conducted, but rather whether or not a character is eligible to apply for a lottery entry in the first place.
* An error in this condition pattern was corrected in the emergency maintenance which concluded on April 14. The emergency maintenance was based on our decision that the inability to enter a lottery even for the purposes of relocation would be largely detrimental for players.
Lottery Entry Conditions Part 2: From the perspective of the plot itselfThough unrelated to the lottery process itself, there is also an extremely wide variety of patterns for plots of land being lotted on. These are not from the perspective of the applicants, but from the perspective of the plot itself.
Lottery entry condition patterns for “Plot A,” which is being lotted on
- There were no entry applications for Plot A.
- There was only one lottery application for Plot A.
- There were multiple lottery applications for Plot A.
- There were multiple lottery applications for Plot A, but all belonged to the same free company.
- There were multiple lottery applications for Plot A, but the applicants vary.
- Various other cases
As mentioned above, the current issue is not a 100% occurrence, but a mixture of cases where some underwent the lottery process and have granted the purchase permissions as intended, while others did not. While investigating the cause of the issue, it is necessary to examine every case and unexpected factors in an exhaustive manner to see if a particular condition may have triggered the problem. The above conditions are lottery entry condition patterns from the perspective of the plots of land, which should have no bearing on the lottery process. However, they may provide leads in identifying the issue, and so rather than trust the program, we are looking for similarities in the cases of erroneous occurrences to try and narrow down the problematic points.
I am also participating in the investigation, theorizing, as well as proposing how to analyze the log data and sort through cases. Even with the emergency maintenance which concluded on April 14, I determined whether maintenance should take place after reconfirming the pattern of entry requirements. For this issue, I am looking into if there are any leads in the lottery entry condition patterns from the plots’ perspective, which shouldn’t have any relevance to the process. (Even if it turns out to be in vain, confirming that something is definitely unrelated is important when pinpointing an issue.)
During the investigation, I was in charge of inferring the types of applicants from the plots’ perspective; therefore, in my mind, I was thinking "plot of land = applicants’ perspective" and this resulted in my previous hasty statement which mentioned "many patterns involved for the lottery conditions.” Although I was in a hurry, I should have been more careful with my choice of words, even moreso because there were ongoing issues. I apologize for the confusion caused by my statement.
In any case, we recognize that this is an especially egregious issue, even throughout our history of service, as this is one of the larger additions to housing and the introduction of the lottery system our players were looking forward to. We will follow up with the measures we will be taking to ensure the issue does not reoccur, but for now, we will do our utmost to identify and address the cause as soon as possible.
Once again, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this is causing and appreciate your understanding.