Getting Australian servers for MMOs has always been an uphill battle. But as of next year, Final Fantasy XIV will be one of the few major MMOs to have an Australian data centre.
The local server will open by patch 6.1, according to the official Final Fantasy XIV account. The new server was revealed over the weekend during the game’s Fan Festival, where more details about Endwalker were revealed. Endwalker is expected to launch on November 23 this year, and will raise the game’s level cap to 90 while introducing new zones including the actual Moon.
The Oceanic server should result in a massive improvement for Australians and New Zealanders, who have been forced to connect to servers in Japan or North America until now. That hasn’t stopped the game from being playable, obviously — Australians are well accustomed to playing popular games on foreign servers, whether it be MMOs like World of Warcraft (which eventually opened local shards) or, in the early years, competitive titles like League of Legends.
Final Fantasy XIV isn’t the first MMO to offer Australian servers. The Old Republic, BioWare’s ongoing Star Wars MMO, launched Australian servers a few months after release. But a lack of population forced the studio to shut the servers down in the middle of 2013. World of Warcraft eventually introduced Australian servers ahead of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, almost a full decade after the game’s original release.
Along with the new server, the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest revealed the Reaper as a new melee DPS class, equipped with a stereotypical dual-handed scythe. Thavnair, Garlemald and Labryinthos were announced as new areas, although none of those sound anywhere as interesting as the Moon (or Mare Lamentorum, as seen above). Male Viera is also being added for everyone who was begging for a race of rabbit boys since the Shadowbringers expansion — and if that sentence doesn’t make much sense, the video below will explain all.
FFXIV has always had a strong, inclusive fanbase in Australia and New Zealand — the local community went and held a FFXIV float at the last Sydney Mardi Gras. So it’s great to see that support rewarded with local servers, and I imagine it’ll come in handy if Square ever decides to repeat that awesome pizza deal.