Final Fantasy XIV's Play-Limiting Fatigue System Explained

A game mechanic that drops the amount of experience points earned after a set amount of play time has Final Fantasy XIV fans in an uproar. Game director Nobuaki Komoto explains the eight hour a week limit.

Fans have been railing against the Final Fantasy XIV experience limiting system for a while now, but Komoto was too busy getting interviewed at Gamescom in Germany last week to respond. Now he's back in Japan and has issued a statement regarding the system on the Japanese beta test website, translated by FFXIVcore's Savalithos.

Massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft have systems in place to reward players for taking a little time away from the game, but few if any have directly penalised players for playing too long. That seems to be exactly what the Final Fantasy XIV game mechanic is doing. Komoto's message begins with an explanation of why this system is in place.

First off, the main concept behind FFXIV is allowing those players with little time on their hands to play effectively, and game balance is based off of that. Furthermore, it is being designed to not give those with more time on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian's favour (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to make leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term.

He says to think of the experience limiting system as a counterpart to real-world fatigue. "No one could train ad nauseam in the real world with no ill effects." That's true, of course, but we don't play MMO games to be burdened with real-world limitations, now do we?

Here's how the whole thing works. Once you begin training in a class, you have eight hours in which you can earn full experience. Once those eight hours is up, the amount of experience you earn will lower over the course of seven hours. At the end of those seven hours you will no longer be earning experience.

Final Fantasy XIV's job system allows players to switch classes on the fly, however, so if you begin to approach the threshold on one class, you can switch to another class and play that instead. The system is on a weekly timer, so seven days from the time you begin training your skills, you'll be able to start again with full experience.

OF course this is all still being tweaked and tested. Komoto says they are still looking into tweaking the rate at which experience points begin to drop off to make the system a little bit friendlier.

I can understand how players could be outraged over such a system. It effectively limits one class to an hour and change per day of full experience in any given week. That seems awfully low, and won't sit well with players hoping to focus on a single class.

Asking folks to pay you a monthly fee to play your game and then dictating how long they can play their favourite class without penalties seems like a very bad idea indeed.

It works out for me, though. I'm going to have to review this beast, and get a taste of every class while doing it, so chances are I'll be switching up so much the system will never touch me.

But for your average MMO player? This could be a deal breaker.

We've contacted Square Enix for comment on the mechanic, and will update should we receive further information.

Surplus and You: Komoto Speaks! [FFXIV Core - Thanks Steven!]


    I have this game all pre-ordered up but if I don't read that they have seriously tweaked/removed this feature from the game in the next few weeks i'll be getting my money back. Limiting people to 1 hour a day? Holy crap how insane is that to think people would understand and go with that idea?

    I like it. I have friends who rush through games (MMO's) who also happen to have copious amounts of time on their hands. As someone who works a 9-5 I like the idea.

    Can equally understand peoples disappointment however.

      I have to agree. At most I probably get 2 hours of gaming in a night. I would thinking anything more than that is unhealthy; I would know, I was one of many WoW addicts.

      I think it should be a more gradual decrease in experience though. Might give people who really want to play their favourite class a challenge.

      I agree as well. It might need extra work but this is a great way to balance the free time challenged people that can only really get 2 hours or so a night since they work full-time (Like myself) towards the more hardcore ones that have the capability to play for so many more hours per day.

      True that many may complain, but I think this will give much more value to the full-time employed towards MMOs.

      Yea I think the concept is pretty good.

      I avoid all MMORPGs specifically because its too much of an effort just to keep up with people. I don't have that kind of time.

      This idea might actually garner some buyers from the not-so-hardcore market.

      Now we just have to wait to see what the monthly fee is like. For all we know it could be totally reasonable.

    i agree with the idea on the whole, but i also agree with Rich, having it limited to 7 hours a week of full experience is a bit rough, i would think 20-25 hour a week (which breaks down to just over 3 hours a day) is fine, because it would allow people with the time to still get a good start on each class/character, but also allow those with limited time to not lag too far behind on levelling their characters.

    1st time I have seen responsible gaming development from an mmo company

    I'm quite tempted to pick this up now

    Pay more to play less?

    I'm going to side with Rich on this one. If it was free-play mmo it wouldn't be as bad...but monthly fee with a limit...ohh komoto you silly goose

    I don't think there's a problem with the concept. Too many MMO gamers are not mature enough to know when enough is enough and to take a break.

    However, Square are effectively limiting how much time you are allowed to spend gaming the way you want, and charging you monthly for it.

    Get rid of monthly fees, or get rid of the limit.

    Once upon a time there was a gamer looking forward to ff14 but then square enix announced this and he died a little inside

    Well, guess I won't be getting this one then. Wheres my Guild Wars 2

    Limiting a game for the majority because of the choices made by a minority. If this system stays in I don't see this game doing very well.

    Isn't this just semantics? WoW originally did the same thing during the first launch beta. They got the same response, so instead they *increased* the XP if you haven't played for a while.

    Do the same thing as blizzard and swap the attribution around and you now have a "bonus" rather than a "limit".

    What irks me is the public is so easily outraged with these things and yet if the polarity of the mechanic is flipped--keeping the same net result--suddenly people are happy with it.

    Low XP base with bonus applied but attenuates over time is the same as high XP base with limit applied that increases over time.

    Whilst reading this article, I was intrigued, having read about some of the other decisions in FFXIV that have raised some gamers eyebrows. (For example, MP does not regen on it's own. But spells cost less, and you are given spells to siphon MP/regen MP when you take damage.)

    I was liking this idea untill I read, "At the end of those seven hours you will no longer be earning experience."

    That's shocking. Limit? Okay, I can understand that. But NO experience? That's a really harsh penalty. I can't see how they WONT change this and I really hope they do. That is a deal breaker for me.

    I don't pay to earn no exp.

    Alright, I've just had to talk to a friend about how I read this, and people are all "RAWR" about it, so let's look at this:
    8 hours of 100% exp, followed by a 7 hour period of penalised exp, then none, for one class. That's FIFETEEN hours, for one class.

    That "One hour a class" statement was more than likely "Oh, say you play an hour a day for that class, you're not going to hit that penalised exp segment, so changing after an hour is making sure you have time each day"
    This also leaves open the fact you can burn it all in 8 hours straight.
    However, this is only mentioned for EXP, not for gathering and making Gil, which is obviously the other factor you need to take in.
    You're not always a Tank or a Mage, you're any of EIGHTEEN classes for one character!
    So even if you run out of EXP, you can start focusing on collecting materials to gather and sell. Your Gladiator or Conjurer can collect animal drops, like furs and red meat, while your Miner and Fisher can get mineral and seafood.

    And remember guys, this is just Vanilla, this is where you get to know the game, and feel it out.
    By the time the first raid of the game comes out, I doubt we'll even care about the Fatigue system, since we'll know how it works, and even then they'll be giving us a heads up on any changes they make towards the system.

    So, my point is, don't think of those 8 hours as for all your classes, they did mention it's not linked to each class.

    Suck it you unemployed BUMS!!!

    cancelled mine. Not playing and paying for a game that someone tells me I can only play a certain number of hrs a week.

    I totally dis-agree with this idea and think this game is going to tank because of it. They want me to pay for a game that limits how long I can play it?? utter stupidiy describes the minds that is SE . Look, I work a crazy schedule that takes the whole day pretty much ( 1pm-11pm ) sun-thurs, so I dont get any gaming in until my days off and I would like to be able to play for more than a few hours after a long week of work.

    I seen people complaining about "not being able to keep up with players who play 8 hours per day" . MMORPGS are not a timed race to see who lvls the fastest , time and effort gets you to where you want to be. Screw SE and I hope this game flops .

    hmm, useless there is no competition, want to catch up to your friends who are now lvl 20 good luck with that you'll catch up in 2019 if this game lasts that long, the problem is allot of us work at home or don't need to work based on ie. injuries,illnesses,well of in income,etc. So its more like a kick in the balls to us because other people are not having the free time for such, so why should I as a consumer be penalized for Joe Shmoes work schedule limiting him from playing? I should not, and this was the major reason allot of players after this flooded back to FFXI Online.

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