The Final Fantasy XIV Server Congestion Relief Effort Has Begun

The Final Fantasy XIV Server Congestion Relief Effort Has Begun

After a little bit of overnight maintenance, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is back, with reduced load on its Duty Finder and three fresh servers, with Square Enix poised to add more as the need arises. Our connection nightmares should soon be over.

I called the re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV a disaster, and I stand by that. A week and a half of horrible server congestion and hiccups is not a good launch. Some very vocal folks have claimed to me that they've had no trouble at all getting into the game since it went live, and that's great -- I'm jealous, even. Still, a good percentage of the game's player base has not had such luck. Square Enix has acknowledged it, they're giving everyone seven more days free game time, and now the server expansion begins.

They're starting with just three new servers, one for each region. Japan gets Pandemonium, North America has Famfrit, and the Euro-recommended server is Lich. Square Enix will be monitoring the situation, adding additional servers as the need arises. I've a feeling the server list is going to be huge by the time the weekend is over.

New servers plus a change in the way the game's party-making Duty Finder works -- it was region wide, now restricted to certain server groups -- should make for a better experience all around.

Hopefully we'll be able to spend this weekend playing together instead of trying to set me on fire with your mind. I'll either be on Durandal in Japan, working on Back Clawtooth the potential Bard, or lancing my way toward Dragoon on Sargatanas in North America with Mister Fahey.

It'll be a bumpy ride, but there's hope at the end of the line. Well, Lightning, at least.

The Final Fantasy XIV Server Congestion Relief Effort Has Begun

OK, close enough.


    Well it's good to see that things are progressing in the right direction.. it will be curious to see how many servers they end up with at the end of all this.

      you can macro your way into majority of servers in under 30 minutes, after the 10 hour DT it takes less than 5 minutes to macro in with a script, i got sick of pressing login like a peasant...PS3 users are using third party turbo controllers...atleast in a queue you're told a time frame and you can assess if you'd be willing to wait that long but the queue currently seems frail and it usually defaults to 1017, if you're simply told nothing the whole situation feels arduous because your next attempt could very well let you in..

    Does anyone know if they run tests before launching games like this?? It's happened so many times (Diablo, Sim City, etc) and made such a harumph that you think they would have found out how not to balls it up.

      Yes, they run tests, but it's impossible to recreate the sheer volume of traffic when an online game goes live

      They actually didnt expect the numbers to be as high as they were at launch, they were apparently almost double what was expected.

      Given the failure of 1.0 they couldnt have expected so many people to still be interested, they appologised for the oversight and offered every 1.0 account a couple of free weeks play to make up for it as well as early access.

      So they are trying, and even with the server issues the game is great.

      The issue here is that it's a re-launch of a game that was terrible, and that they offered access to everyone who had purchased the original version. It'd be quite hard to extrapolate open beta numbers to release numbers - other MMOs did that and it ends up backfiring a month or so later when everyone moves on to something else and servers end up being ghost towns. So it wasn't really until Early Access started 3 days before release that they really had an idea how much capacity they'd need.

      They probably should have had early access running longer to give them more breathing room for ramping up servers.

      Additionally they optimized everything such that the experience if you got in was smooth and relatively lag-free, at the expense of making it frustrating for players who couldn't log in. I think that was probably a better decision than letting everyone flood the servers and making the experience unstable for everyone.

      MMOs and other big online games have these problems just about every time because doing it right is extremely hard, and no matter what decisions you make it will always be a tradeoff between one thing and another, and someone will be upset by your decisions regardless.

    No malice intended here but, with all the recent online launches, successful and.... not so successful (Im looking at you Sim City), is there really any excuse for botching a release like this anymore?
    Especially a re-release?

      It's not really an excuse, but it's a reason. It's hard to justify spending money on servers that, two months after launch, are going to be empty. Especially when it's a re-release where the game may flop.
      It's not like they brought dodgy servers or anything, they're just seeing more traffic than they were prepared for.

      Really though that's a flaw in the model. In 2013 your characters shouldn't be linked to any specific server. From day one they should be setting this stuff up so that they can seamlessly add and remove servers.

      Additionally, they wouldn't have known purely from registrations (which don't mean a thing - think of them as likes for facebook party announcements) like a lot of folks accuse them of.

      What gets sold in a physical or online retailer doesn't make it back to them until it's too late. ESPECIALLY if people who start reviewing or taking a punt on the thing in early access or launch suddenly start telling all their friends, "Oh wow, holy shit this is actually good, not like the original at all!" and everyone goes, "Really? I guess I'll give it a punt, then," and picks up a digital key or retail copy.

      They don't know about that demand until after you've already bought it and registered it, and the week before launch day is WAY too late to go through the purchasing, installation, coding, and testing for new or upgraded servers/capacity. That shit takes time. Having it happen on launch day itself? No kidding things went down the way they did.

      They couldn't have known. They had more launch players than they had open beta players.
      For a buy-to-play, subscription service.
      That shit doesn't happen in MMO land.
      Except it did for FF14.

        I can see both sides of the argument here, but honestly, I dont see that any of the above is acceptable,

        Plan for success!

        Have enough server/network capacity for estimated numbers + contingency
        How much has this botched, and I will continue to call it batched, re-release cost them?
        How many potential clients will now not subscribe due to these issues?
        I know for a fact that I was on the doubtful side of Sim City, and when the release came and was so poorly implemented, I fall on the wrong side of that decision fence for EA.

        I work in IT, and have done so for many years, I know how readily available infrastructure is, even on short term leasing agreements if that is what is required.
        For a title that had to be re-released because the initial product was so poor, and the promises that were made to their clients to "Be better", the bad PR that this poorly planned launch is worth much more than infrastructure costs

          Guess we'll find out when they re-open the store for digital sales.
          Given that the overwhelming press response has been, "Man, it's frickin' great! When you can play it. *huff!* *pout*" I strongly suspect there'll be a massive influx. As far as bad PR goes, 'Man it's great but I can't play it' is pretty far from the worst kind of PR you can get.

            Have they given any indication when the digital sales might re-open again?

              None that I've heard.

              Educated guess, I'd say 1-2 weeks.
              Essentially: after they've seen the US response to the new servers this weekend. Stuff was fine last night and today, but it's been a school night. The real test to their infrastructure will be the weekend.

              If that holds up, I'd personally expect resumption of sales. If people are still complaining about 1017 errors, I'd expect rapid implementation of new servers, and another weekend to test those for stability and population spreading before they go resuming sales.

              They already talked about population spread as a reason they locked down some servers for new character creation. The servers can handle a large number of players, but they can't handle that many players all being in the starting zone.

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