A sudden and unexpected spike in popularity combined with a server shortage is wreaking havoc for Final Fantasy 14 fans, but Square Enix is in on it.
Something strange is happening with Final Fantasy 14. Most major MMORPGs go through a pretty typical arc in terms of player numbers: they increase shortly after release, level off, and then slowly decrease over time. However, Final Fantasy 14 is experiencing a rare and sudden spike in population thanks to WoW players leaving the ship.
“Enjoying” may not be the right word, however. Final Fantasy 14 nearly doubled its record for concurrent players on Steam earlier this month, which is way more players than Square Enix could handle on short notice. This led to long connection queues, problems creating new characters, and slow performance in the game.
The obvious answer here is that Square Enix is just buying new servers to handle the extra load, but as explained in a full blog post by Final Fantasy 14 producer Naoki Yoshida, it is not so simple.
“Recently we have seen a record number of users in all regions, with a large amount of new players starting their adventures,” Yoshida wrote. “In particular, the increase in the number of players in the NA and EU regions over the past two weeks has been both so astounding and unexpected that many players are now having difficulty logging in or creating new characters in due to server congestion, and for that, we sincerely apologize. ”
Yoshida goes on to explain that Square Enix has done what it can to increase server connection caps in North American data centers from 18,000 to July 16, but the Japanese publisher has yet to be able. to secure additional European servers thanks to the current semiconductor. shortage. And even with 18,000 additional locations, North American servers “still experienced six to seven hour periods at full connection capacity” last weekend. This led Square to put new character creation on hold and the connection waits for up to 40 minutes.
There are a few things players can do to help, however. Yoshida asked players to log out rather than sit idle when they’re done playing and not try to create new characters during rush hour. Square also implemented a new inactivity timer to automatically log players out if they haven’t done anything after 30 minutes.
Yoshida was unable to say when things will return to normal, but said Square Enix is ”aware of the burden we have placed on our player base and is working diligently to alleviate it in the weeks and weeks. the coming months “.
Square Enix better act fast. Pre-orders for Endwalker, the November expansion of FF14, are up 160% from Shadowbringers, which likely means an even bigger peak in population is in a few months.
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If you hang around for half an hour, expect to get a kick out of it as Square Enix aims to reduce congestion in its hit MMO.
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