Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Defeating Final Fantasy XIV's Hardest Boss, Endwalker Edition

Yesterday, the time I usually use to write blog posts instead was taken up by battling Final Fantasy XIV's hardest boss. That's right, I had a billing issue and needed to use the Square Enix website.

The billing issue came about due to a confluence of issues. First, the state of Illinois charges sales tax on video game services. The second is that Square Enix' previous collection's vendor did not collect the sales tax and the new one hired in February does. The whole tax issue comes into effect due to Steam putting a limit on how much Square Enix can charge my credit card.

The issue, I think

Okay, no problem, right. All I have to do is renew my subscription. Just click a couple of buttons, maybe fill out a form, and I'm done and back in business. Except, I'm dealing with a Square Enix website. While improved from when I started playing FFXIV, the website still has issues.

How hard can clicking on an icon be?

For instance, pressing the Steam Account button resulted in having to enter my id, password, and authentication string again. Of course, because I didn't realize the root cause of the problem, the payment never went through. At least, that's what I think happened. But the behavior of the website for other things makes be believe the site wasn't working fully. Because I went into endless loops of click, enter login information, and return to the Service Account Dashboard. And after a certain number of times, I had to add doing capchas to the list of tasks to attempt to get to the next page.

I did contact support and the representative suggested a way to bypass paying through Steam and using my credit card directly. After going through the looping behavior several times, I finally was able to enter my credit card information, only to receive an error upon submission. But I was given a vital clue: change the automatic payment to a one-time payment.

I still had to zerg the boss, but I succeeded renewing my subscription after about 15 minutes of additional effort. Then I had to go through the same procedure to reactivate my army of retainers. I succeeded after about 10 minutes of effort, only to realize I had only reactivated one of my six. So into the breach I went again to reactive the other five. Thankfully, I did not need to go through a third round of activity to renew my FFXIV Companion App, which gives a free teleport site in the game.

Having gone through the experience, I can report on a couple of items of interest. First, I kept my cottage despite becoming unsubbed. The housing rules indicate one only loses a house by not entering the house for 45 days. Yesterday's incident proved that is the case. Second, if you become unsubbed and then resub before your retainers venture time concludes, you get your venture rewards. I don't know if I would have if the time expired, and I don't have the desire to find out. And finally, as mentioned before, no need to worry about connecting the companion app. All benefits were present when I logged back in.

Thankfully, due to a desire to pre-load patch 6.4 before going to work, I discovered the problem in time to regain access to my account and play the first day of the patch. But honestly, the process shouldn't have taken 3 hours, including contacting support. The website once again lived up to its reputation of being FFXIV's hardest boss.

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