Written by. Ryuki Ishii based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2021-12-16 16:43 JST)
Final Fantasy XIV‘s player count saw a substantial increase following the release of the Endwalker expansion, causing server congestion and long queue times. FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida has posted notices regarding the current situation over the past few days, and now on December 15, Yoshida has stated that they are extending the free game time that was granted as compensation and suspending the sales of the game itself.
It’s been about two weeks since the start of Endwalker’s Early Access, and FFXIV is still experiencing login issues. In addition to the extremely long login queue times during peak hours, the game client would sometimes crash due to “Error 2002,” causing multiple complaints from players.
To compensate for the inability to play the game, the developer recently granted 7 days of game time. And now, they are granting an additional 14 days to “all players (including those with multiple accounts) who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription as of Tuesday, December 21, at 12:00 a.m. (PST), which is the scheduled release date for Patch 6.01.” Yoshida added that they will also “temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial.”
Furthermore, due to the extremely long wait times that are happening as a result of the dense concentration of play hours which exceed the server capacity, they are temporarily suspending “the sale and delivery of FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition.” Yoshida mentions that they are suspending all new advertisements as well, although “it will not be possible to suspend some of the advertisements due to the nature of how they were set up.”
Basically, the game has become so popular that they have to reduce the influx of new players and reduce the exposure of the game.
Judging from user comments on the official forum and social media, players who own the full version of the game are not happy about how the developers are treating the Free Trial players. In regard to the login queue, the game prioritizes players with the full version over the Free Trial players, but the game doesn’t force Free Trial players to log out in order to allow full version players to log in. Due to the server congestion, there are instances where players cannot log in until someone on the server logs out, regardless of their game ownership status. So it’s easy to understand why the frustration of the players who own the full game is directed at the Free Trial players.
As a company running a service, it’s not unlikely that they will place further restrictions on Free Trial players if the current situation continues to negatively affect paying players. As mentioned above, the sales of the full game will be suspended in the coming days, but some online stores and retailers still have it available for purchase. If you are playing the game with the free trial version, you may want to consider purchasing the full version while you still can.
Regarding the upcoming patch schedule, Yoshida states that the team plans to release patch 6.05 as scheduled, as long as there are no major issues. Meaning, Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage) will arrive on January 4, 2022 as planned.
Some players are worried that the long login queue might affect the World First race by not being able to log in. That said, Yoshida states that “Many players are looking forward to content aside from high-end duties, and furthermore, considering the balance of the rewards and item levels from said content, we cannot withhold only Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage), and rebalancing these would delay the patch release by several weeks and would affect Patch 6.1 and beyond.”
The team has been working towards adding new servers since July, but they have not been able to “due to suspension of semiconductor production at manufacturing factories, decrease in production quantities, as well as a shortage of raw materials.” It sounds like the current server congestion will take a while to mitigate, but they do plan to provide a roadmap by the end of January 2022.
You can check out the full notice here.
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