Final Fantasy 14's New Expansion Off To A Predictably Rocky Start

Stormblood launched in early access today, and the servers are getting bodied. As I see it, we wouldn't have constant lag, frequent disconnects. and players forming massive lines in a desperate attempt to get a quest done if Final Fantasy 14 didn't make such attractive expansion packs.

Source: Stuart Jingles on YouTube

What seems completely ridiculous to folks who haven't played Final Fantasy 14 during its relaunch or previous expansion pack launch isn't an unfamiliar sight to players who've been doing this for a while. Everyone with an active account is trying to get online at once to venture into new lands, complete new quests, and play a couple of new job classes. Lapsed players are back, as well as new players caught up in the excitement.

The line above, posted to YouTube by Stuart Jingles (via NeoGAF), is a result of the massive server congestion. At the end of the line is an NPC who starts the expansion's first big instanced singleplayer quest. Once activated, the player is pulled into a new story instance created just for them. Get 20 or 30 players trying to do that at once and things break. When I tried to access the quest earlier, I got a cinematic cutscene and was spit right back out.

So players form lines, hoping that if they start the quest one at a time, they will get through. Does it work? Eh. Is it entertaining? Most definitely. Frustrating? Oh God, yes. Having spent an hour trying to log in to the game and getting kicked out due to data server errors, and getting in only to freeze constantly, disconnect and die due to lag is just the worst.

By the time I got to the NPC for the quest it was just a desperate mob.

Even better, in my case, I was bit behind on my main, so I levelled a Black Mage up to 60. I've never played a Black Mage past level 10.

She sure is pretty, even if she is technically disconnected here.

The only thing better than being a fragile class dealing with lag is being a fragile class you don't know how to play dealing with lag. A lot of players are finding themselves in the same boat though, as sweeping changes to how each class works has them relearning how to play under some pretty horrible conditions.

I eventually gave up attempting the quest and went off in search of my new job class, Red Mage.

It's a neat class. The player has to maintain a balance of white and black magic in order to fill a gauge on the screen. Filling that gauge powers up sword attacks, doing major damage to enemies. Then the mage dances back and starts the cycle anew.

I think I'm going to like the Red Mage, at least once the servers stabilise. These early access periods are often more stress test than anything, and right now Final Fantasy 14 is having trouble handling that stress.

Oh well, at least I can finish my Red Mage training without...

... well, fuck.

This will all be ironed out by Tuesday, when Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood launches in earnest.


Comments

    I really wanted to continue playing this, but literally every console game I try to play has absolutely horrendous ping for no reason whatsoever. PC? No problemo, everything's A-okay. PS4 or Xbox? 3000+ MS, sometimes 10k+. Insane. I've just given up ever playing console games online.

    Like all online games, give it time. I would be more cpncerned if it was all working. Heh. Been reading some comments elsewhere it's like the people who write them have never played an MMO. The first few days are ALWAYS cactus! Both hilariously and annoyingly but predictably.

      I felt that wow legion had a pretty solid launch, Warlords of Draenor however was bloody atrocious, 36 hour queues to get onto some servers.

        Legion launch was amazing, I've been there for every WoW expansion as well as a bunch of expansions for other MMOs and I've never seen one go as smoothly as Legion did.

        WoD was awful, absolutely agreed.

    its early access, so official launch isn't until the 20th, they had some minor issues with instances not working (any instance not just dungeons this included MSQ and job instances) for about 2 hours after live time, but has been worked great since.
    I've heard of a few people getting random DC's but overall a very smooth launch so far, nothing game breaking and nothing that requires a panic.

      It might depend on which worlds you're on, because at least for me, it hasn't worked all day. Not even trying to do the Stormblood MSQ, I re-rolled on a new account and can't even complete the first MSQ or Job quests that go into instances.

        I was fine yesterday on Tonberry, did a couple of POTD for my Samurai. Today though I waited in queue for 40 minutes, queued for POTD, entered and immediately disconnect. Queue was the same length only moving slower. Decided to give up for the weekend seeing though there is no grace period for logging in after being disconnected.

          I eventually was able to do the early MSQ and Job quests for my class but it took until around 1am PST before you could guarantee entry.

          It's frustrating because I remember problems like these happening previously, plus you'd think it would have been pretty obvious they'd hit this issue. It's only going to get worse when general release hits I think. :( Don't know why they don't have a queue system for instanced story content, just drop you on the floor if the server's full.

    I can't even get to lvl 60 in FF14

    The MSQs are so brutally bad.

    I hope those playing Stormblood aren't going to be victims of Square saying, "we want the MSQ to be 150 quests long" simply for the sake of it being 150 quests, which is what they did with Heavensward "hey let's make it 100 MSQ long so we can say it's 100 quests! Damn storytelling quality. Oh the wasted time will also burn through more of their subscription time, BONUS!!!"

      It's like you hate the fact that the game which advertises it is heavy on the story is in fact, heavy on its story. God forbid you are "wasting" your subscription time by playing the game. Perhaps going AFK in Dalaran and complaining about a lack of things to do is more up your alley.

        I love games that are heavy on story.
        I love games or anything that tells a story well - whether it's an epic story or a simple one. This is where FF14 fails heavily - it has a decent story but tells it so badly. Square sacrifice good storytelling properties in favour of marketability and time burning. For me that is one of the worst things a game can do (and generally speaking any art form).

        Perhaps if you properly considered my statement you would have realised that I am hoping that Square do not repeat their past mistakes of telling their story to fit a quota instead of making the quota fit their story (and if the quota can't be met that's not necessarily a bad thing so long as the story they have is told well).

        Instead you mention Dalaran, a place in another game and performing an activity which I have never done. I don't know what your personal speculation which is incorrect serves.

        A response like this would really inform me about the current state of the expansion and possibly sway me to giving FF14 a retake, "So far Stormblood MSQ is going a lot better. The storytelling is improved and not deliberately written in a way to meet a total quest number quota. Things have gotten better you should give FF14 another chance."

        You however have done no such thing which makes me think that nothing has changed.

          The game will be better off without one more negative nancy. Stick to poorly conveying your meaning and being upset when people can't read your mind instead of adding to the login queues.

        I do not have an issue with story driven games. In general, the story is the only thing that will keep me interested in the game. However, FF14's story is just a bad, bad story. The biggest problem is that the dialogue is just terrible. If we watched a TV show or movie with dialogue this bad it would be considered one of the worst ever, yet in a video game it's acceptable? Nay, sorry folks, it takes a true fanboy to be able to put up with the deficient story and writing.

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