Final Fantasy XIV server congestion has been a huge problem for the player base as of late, and you probably won’t be surprised to find out the culprits are, in part, difficulties introduced by the covid-19 pandemic.
In a lengthy blog published this morning, Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida acknowledges the long wait times players are having as they try to log into the massively popular MMO, along with the steps his team is taking to alleviate congestion. And while kicking idle players is sure to help, folks chilling in Limsa Lominsa is just one part of a larger problem that won’t be fixed overnight.
Yoshida goes on to explain that Final Fantasy XIV data centers in North America received a substantial boost to their performance on July 16 that increased the number of simultaneous logins by 18,000, but that still wasn’t enough to prevent wait times over the following weekend. Less substantial server upgrades are planned for European data centers in the “immediate future.”
“The team is currently working hard to optimize existing servers in an attempt to increase the caps, if by a smaller amount, and will endeavor to make continued adjustments and improvements while maintaining game stability,” Yoshida adds.
Much like everything else these days, however, the state of the world isn’t doing Final Fantasy XIV any favors. The covid-19 pandemic has thrown two very large obstacles in Square Enix’s way, according to Yoshida.
First, the ongoing chip shortage caused by an “extreme drop” in semiconductor production makes procuring servers a difficult task, especially for a company whose needs are as massive as Square Enix. And second, global travel restrictions have kept the server infrastructure team from visiting data center locations and assessing their challenges, though this may alleviate as employees begin to get vaccinated.
“As producer, the responsibility for being unable to predict the current influx of new players falls to me,” Yoshida continues. “The days before an expansion’s launch are supposed to be ones of excitement, but instead they’ve brought many players grief, and for that I, personally, am extremely sorry. We are aware of the burden we have placed on our player base, and are working diligently to lighten it in the coming weeks and months. We will continue to develop measures to combat server congestion, and will keep you up to date with any and all developments in this area.”
The next major Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Endwalker, is scheduled to release on November 19. Added content is sure to bring with it an influx of new and returning players. As positive an experience as I’ve had with the community during my time playing and covering the game, I don’t envy Square Enix’s position leading up to the highly-anticipated launch one bit.