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Square Enix Responds To Long 'Final Fantasy XIV' Login Queues

Final Fantasy XIV received an increase in players last week after the release of its latest expansion, Stormblood. This rise in the number of players means some of the game’s servers, a.k.a. Worlds, reached their cap of active players, which left others waiting in long queues in order to log in. Square Enix announced today that it’s implementing a new system to alleviate the long queues and give everyone a chance to play.

By default, Final Fantasy XIV will kick you out of the server if you’re idle for more than 30 minutes. However, it seems that some players found a method of circumventing that system, which means those still waiting in the login queue will have to wait even longer to play. Instead of kicking a small group of idle players after 30 minutes, Square Enix’s new, and temporary, plan is to log all players out of the game across all servers once a day. During this time, no one will be able to log on for 10 minutes. When the time limit is over, players can log in again. Some will be able to play the game; others might have to wait in the queues. Players will receive an in-game notification one hour before the mass logout happens.

The issue of so-called “Congested Worlds” isn’t a significant problem for Final Fantasy XIV's North American or European data centers, with each region listing only two worlds as Congested. However, the game is a major hit in Japan, and it shows. The Japanese data center alone has a total of six Congested servers. Square Enix's temporary solution allows everyone to have a fair chance to log in and play, but there will still be many players, especially on Congested servers, waiting in line to get back into the world of Eorzea.

In addition to the new method, Square Enix also started an incentive program during Stormblood’s early access periodto get players to either create a new character or transfer their existing character to a different world. Rewards include a waived fee in character transfers (the usual fee is $18), a boost in experience points all the way up to level 60, and even free play time.

NameFinal Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornFinal Fantasy XIV: HeavenswardFinal Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
TypeMMORPGMMORPGMMORPG
DeveloperSquare EnixSquare EnixSquare Enix
PublisherSquare EnixSquare EnixSquare Enix
PlatformsPCMacPlayStation 4PCMacPlayStation 4PCMacPlayStation 4
Where To BuySquare EnixAmazonSteamGameStopWalmartSquare EnixAmazonSteamGameStopWalmartSquare EnixAmazonSteamGameStopWalmart
Release DateAugust 24, 2013June 23, 2015June 20, 2017
  • derekullo
    Much cheaper to log everyone out than to buy more xeons and ram.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    19876065 said:
    Much cheaper to log everyone out than to buy more xeons and ram.

    LOL. Unfortunately, it's often a more complex issue, if they don't have a very flexible server on the software side of things. But even so this "fix" is absolutely hilarious. The thing is though, most of the affected players are in Japan, and they'll likely grin and bear it without much complaint.
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    This is absolutely unacceptable for a paid service. Back-end hardware and bandwidth are dirt-cheap, relative to the start-up costs and regular incomes. I hate that they are trying to frame it as a problem with some users displacing others, instead of Square's dismal failure to plan, maintain, and support their service.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    When Diablo 3 / Guild Wars 2 launched there was a long wait to log in due to more customers logging on than expected.

    But you can't use that excuse when your game is 4 years old.

    If you are creating a software engine for an MMO, which by definition is massive, logic would dictate that you would create an engine that was flexible / able to scale to meet the needs of your customer base.
    Reply
  • jeremy2020
    There's a few things to consider before teeing off on Square.

    1. It's the launch of a new expansion. Same thing happens to WoW, GW2, etc, etc. The idea that these games should accommodate a 1-2 week surge in players doesn't really support the reality of the economics.

    2. The servers experiencing the obscenely long wait times were offered free transfers off of the server to less populated servers. Not only were the transfers free, players got in-game rewards for transferring from an overpopulated world to a less populated one. SE made no secret that if you were on one of these worlds, you should expect long queues and transferring would be in your interest.

    3. The importance of being on a "particular" server is pretty low for most players given the game has a "group finder" *and* a "party finder" that allows anyone in the same data center to group up for most of the game's content. Social would be the only concern. If your guild is important to you then you're probably close enough to coordinate everyone transfer to a less congested server. If you're one of the "single player" in an MMO players then it shouldn't matter.

    4. The game isn't 4 years old. It was released in 2010. It got a major overhaul, but the very base of the game (engine, database, etc) is the same. The game was already in development in 2006 before easily scalable development platforms were in full swing.

    5. Their decision to just log people off may or may not be the right one, but the alternative is ban people who set up something like a macro on a naga mouse or something similiar to move their character. It's even fairly simple to make an auto login macro on these devices.

    tl;dr

    Square took measures in accordance with the industry in regards to server congestion. Whether that should be acceptable or not industry wide is another thing.
    Reply