Update: New information from Square Enix regarding server congestion can be found at the bottom of the post.
Over the weekend and into the official launch, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn players have been experiencing a number of server problems. If you’ve ever played an MMO at launch before, you know server problems are a given, so none of this should come as a surprise.
What is surprising, however, is how poorly Square Enix has been handling some of these issues.
In certain cases, Square Enix was relatively quick to stamp out server problems; during the early access period over the weekend, for example, the “instance” servers were being overloaded, and the networking team had it (mostly) fixed by the end of the day. Unfortunately for fans of the game, that particular issue was – and still is – the least of their worries.
The most prevalent issue in North America and European servers is that players simply aren’t able to log into the game. Rather than putting players into a queue, as is the norm for just about every other MMO out there, you’re greeted with the now-infamous error 1017, which simply states that the world is full.
The problem doesn’t stop there, either. During periods of high server congestion, players may be put into a queue, only to receive error 1017 when their turn to enter the game is up – and this is where Square Enix is doing a poor job of managing the situation.
Square Enix hasn’t officially released a statement on the matter, but the network team posted an update on the game’s forums that describes in some small detail what, exactly, is going on. The post reads:
“As we approach the peak North American play hours, the North American and European servers listed below in will have their login restrictions adjusted with particular scrutiny in order to ensure a pleasant play experience for all players.
“As we continue to monitor the situation, we will be allowing players to log in sequentially. This will unfortunately have the effect of causing wait times for logins to these worlds, but this is a necessary step for the sake of server stability, and we ask for your understanding and patience during this time.”
Not only is the networking team restricting log-ins, character creation is also being locked on servers with high population. As of this afternoon, only one server allowed new character creation. As a test I created a character on that server, but I was once again met with error 1017.
This is all very unfortunate; although I never played the original incarnation of Final Fantasy XIV, I’ve been enjoying my time with A Realm Reborn (part one of The Inquisitr’s review will go up in about a week, give or take a few days), so it’s a shame that many players are missing out on the finer points of the game.
Locking down servers without offering a glimmer of hope that the issues will be resolved has the potential to damage the game’s reputation among some players. Considering how damaged the reputation of Final Fantasy XIV was during its initial launch, the game could do without any more controversy.
Updated information: Square Enix has confirmed that it will be expanding the capacity of its data centers in Japan, North America, and Europe. According to the update, new servers will be added by early next week.
Until that time, Square Enix will continue to limit log-ins and character creation.