new world

How Buying a House in New World Made Me a Slave of Capitalism

Housing, or the idea of owning an apartment or land, is one of my favorite aspects of video games. Being a homeowner in real life is difficult, so when a video game offers me the opportunity to purchase a space that I can call my own, you can bet I’m going all in. It’s why I’m so drawn to Animal Crossing, and even Final Fantasy XIV, a game in which it’s notoriously hard to secure a plot of land for your future house.

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Then New World happened. I quickly learned that buying a house in New World was much easier than in FFXIV as housing was instanced, and so I started saving. Well, I’m now the proud owner of a beautiful tier 3 house in the glorious region of Brightwood… and I couldn’t be more stressed out about my damn property taxes.

The real kicker is that this game is pretty darn sly in tempting you to purchase a house, too. I’ve already gone over this in a separate guide, but essentially, New World offers all players a 50% discount on their first house purchase. The most expensive houses in the game cost 20,000 coin, and they offer a two-hour free fast travel cooldown, more storage potential, and more furniture slots. Being able to buy the most expensive house at the cost of just 10,000 coin sounds like an absolute steal.

But be warned: there are also property taxes to consider. And it’s here that New World’s housing system starts to baffle me a little bit.

If you take a look at the purchasing menu, you’ll see that the 50% discount also seems to apply to the weekly tax you have to pay. However, what the game doesn’t tell you is that the discount only applies to your first tax payment; every tax payment after that goes back to full price. So, say the property tax has been set to 5% in the region you’re looking to purchase in. Your first tax payment will cost you around 500 coin. After that, you’ll need to pay 1,000 coin every five days.

That 50% jump is massive, and because the game doesn’t make that clear at all, it’s easy for new players to fall into the trap of buying the most expensive house and later realizing that they won’t be able to manage their taxes. And the best part? You can’t sell your damn house. You can abandon it, but you won’t get any of your money back.

Me chilling with my dog in our new house. It’s not much, but it’s home.

Knowing all of this, I decided that I still wanted to buy a house in New World. The benefits were huge, but because I’m not exactly great at making money in this game, I decided to go for the slightly cheaper tier 3 house instead. Even with slightly lower taxes, though, having to pay up every five days has considerably increased my stress levels while playing this game.

While the consequences of not paying your tax aren’t as severe as you might think, it’s still a massive pain. You won’t lose your house, but you will lose all the benefits that come with it, such as the increased storage and free fast travel point. I’ve gotten way too used to having a good fast travel point available to me right in the middle of the map and I don’t want to lose that, and this thinking has drastically changed the way I play the game.

For the past week, I’ve spent less time doing quests and a lot more time poring over a resource map and constantly checking the trading posts in each region to see which items are the most expensive and sought after. Before long, I realized that my Engineering and Stonecutting trade skills were still a bit too low for me to reliably craft good jewelry and tools that would sell for hundreds of coin on the market. The one trade skill that I did excel at –Armoring– was a hard one to make money with before max level, as New World is just constantly pelting players will loot all the time.

As a result, I looked to lower-level materials. Iron ingots will always be needed for every crafting profession, and salt is one of the hardest cooking ingredients to obtain because they can only be gotten through provision crates found in certain regions. With that in mind, I started dedicating at least an hour of my playtime to trawling through the map, just gathering as many resources as I can to sell.

new world

While quests do reward you with a good amount of coin, those will run out eventually, and I wanted a sustainable way of making money in New World. Even this has been a struggle, especially considering that the entire server is constantly competing with each other for iron nodes. Everyone’s a crafter, everyone needs iron ingots, and they don’t want to pay for them if they don’t have to. I’ve fared a lot better with salt runs; after all, food items are consumable, and people will always need to craft more before expeditions and bosses.

Scraping together the money for the property tax is enough of a struggle, and things feel even more hopeless when I think about the money I have to invest into leveling up my own trade skills (everyone needs iron, even me), as well as actually furnishing my own damn house. After all, what’s the point of getting a house in the first place if you’re not gonna deck it out with fancy furniture?

All of this is to say, owning a house in New World is nice, but it’s also beginning to make the game feel like a job. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me just yet, as I still enjoy the gathering aspects of the game and it’s fun leveling up my skills and reveling in the humble beauty of my new home. There’s nothing more satisfying than selling an entire stack of ingots and salt to rake in hundreds of coin, to then be spent on taxes, and using the leftovers on buying other materials that I need for furnishing which I’m too lazy to farm for. Because, y’know, I already spent an hour farming a whole other set of materials just to sell.

Even if I am still enjoying everything the game has to offer, it’s easy to see that this will become an endless loop before too long. With how hard it is to earn money in New World, the grind becomes even more punishing for the average player who just wants to own a house. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up for before I finally throw in the towel and say, “Screw it, I’ll just live on the streets forever.” But for now, the wheel keeps turning.

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Zhiqing Wan
Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.