Thursday, December 16, 2021

Square Enix Halts Sales Of Final Fantasy XIV And Other Endwalker News

Last night Naoki Yoshida, the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV, issued another letter to players explaining the company's actions to address the many issues surrounding the launch of the Endwalker expansion.

First, Square Enix is increasing the amount of game time affected players will receive as compensation for the state of the login servers.

We are aware that the long waiting times to log into the game are preventing players from playing, and for this, we sincerely apologize. In response to this, we recently granted 7 days of game time, but now we will also be granting an additional 14 days.

This will apply to all players (including those with multiple accounts) who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription as of Tuesday, December 21, at 12:00 a.m. (PST), which is the scheduled release date for Patch 6.01. Further details regarding eligibility will be announced separately.

If I read the passage correctly, players subscribed to play FFXIV at the start of early access on 3 December will now receive 21 days of game time as compensation.

Square Enix is also halting all digital sales of FFXIV and suspending new players from taking advantage of the free trial.

Players are currently experiencing extremely long wait times due to the dense concentration of play hours which far exceed our server capacity, especially during the peak times, and so we have decided to temporarily suspend the sale and delivery of FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition. Additionally, although those with an active subscription are prioritized to log in, Free Trial players are unable to log in outside of late night and early morning hours, and so we will also temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial.

These temporary suspensions will be phased in over the next few days as we work with our retail partners. We will be coordinating with them as swiftly as possible, but please bear in mind that this will be a gradual process.

Another reason for an apology is the Error 2002 bug that kicks players out of the login queue. From personal experience, the 2002 error is the most annoying bug of the whole Endwalker launch experience. The requirement to babysit the computer to ensure the ability to login is frustrating. Apparently, the end to the issue is close at hand.

In regards to Error 2002 that occurs during login queues, outside of causes related to unstable connections, we have confirmed a bug. This bug was part of a login-related program created back in FFXIV version 1.0, and thanks to the reports and tests carried out by many of our players, we were able to identify the cause of the problem. We apologize for not being able to identify the issue on our end and thank you all for submitting detailed reports regarding this matter.

Although the code for fixing this bug is already prepared, applying the fix will require patching the game client, which will be addressed in Patch 6.01, scheduled for Tuesday, December 21. As this issue occurs while waiting in the queue for a very long time, we considered releasing the patch ahead of schedule, but in the end decided to include it in Patch 6.01, as there is already a lot of new code in the pipeline for the patch and interrupting the process of verifying them may lead to other bugs. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience a bit longer.

Another issue is the release of Patch 6.05, scheduled for 4 January 2022. The major feature of the patch is release of the savage version of the Endwalker's big raid, Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage). At this point, trying to release the patch without the raid will lead to other issues down the road.

We understand that there are concerns about World First races and first week progression, but Patch 6.05 will add a number of new elements, such as the addition of a new Allagan tomestone, new crafting recipes, as well as the new treasure hunt dungeon, the Excitatron 6000.

Many players are looking forward to content aside from high-end duties, and furthermore, considering the balance of the rewards and item levels from said content, we cannot withhold only Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage), and rebalancing these would delay the patch release by several weeks and would affect Patch 6.1 and beyond.

Yoshida also gave an update on infrastructure updates. Earlier in 2021 he had discussed adding a new data center for Oceania and the addition of new worlds to existing data centers. Due to the world-wide semiconductor shortage, Square Enix has not succeeded in procuring the server equipment necessary to implement the changes.

We are considering adding servers to each region, especially plans for a large-scale addition in North America and Europe, and will be looking at the number of servers, infrastructure construction time, power issues, and server rack situation to see if we should do this sequentially or in one big push. Either way, the plan is to introduce a large number of additions, which we intend to carry out quickly and safely with as minimal inconvenience to our players as possible, and we will follow up regarding this matter as we progress.

Hopefully Square Enix will have a roadmap for the actions it can present to players by the end of January.

Finally, a lot of people have lost their accounts due to using some shady services to access the game.

After reviewing the details of these inquiries, we found that the accounts involved are being accessed from the same environment as those used by a group of people who are believed to be providing suspicious services. As a result, these accounts were determined to be using suspicious services that temporarily access user accounts to log in and make payments or create accounts on their behalf, and were blocked from payment and code registrations as a part of fraud prevention.

Such suspicious services may have a history of theft or other fraudulent credit card activity, and we cannot do anything other than safeguard against such activity and cannot restore those accounts.

As a reminder, we ask you to refrain from using such suspicious services, for your own good.

All things considered, a decent update to keep players informed about the issues and what Square Enix is doing to address them. I wish the issues weren't happening, though.

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