If there’s one MMORPG tradition that fans of the genre hate more than any other, it’s the inescapable server disasters that occur during the launches of major expansions. This time-honored tradition has occurred in most large MMORPGs, with players coming to expect that downtime is a necessary evil when most of a game’s millions of subscribers are all trying to log on at similar times. To alleviate that problem, and to showcase the new content it is so proud of, Square Enix attempted to host a Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood early access weekend for select players, offering people the chance to experience Stormblood‘s new content while dealing with shorter wait times.
Unfortunately, however, that isn’t how things played out last weekend. By far the most common observation about Stormblood coming out of last weekend was that the expansion has an aesthetically pleasing login screen – at times on Saturday and Sunday, the queues to join the early access festivities in Final Fantasy 14 were over 6,000 people long, which resulted in wait times ranging from 20-40 minutes depending on the time of day. Game director Naoki Yoshida acknowledged the problems late Sunday:
“We are continuing to assess and work on ways we can increase the number of players that are able to log in without the World crashing. However, as this requires extremely precise adjustments, we currently need a bit more time.”
If that had been all, it would’ve been yet another launch period bogging down servers in a tradition that goes back decades at this point – not the biggest deal, although a major inconvenience. The problems didn’t stop at the login screen, though, and players were routinely halted during their pursuit of the expansion’s main storyline by invisible walls that blocked progress, barring them from experiencing Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood‘s storyline. At multiple points during the early access weekend, entire zones or servers were taken down while the Final Fantasy 14 dev team attempted to patch up bugs and salvage the early access period.
Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood launches officially today, so hopefully the dev team has either fixed the outstanding issues or is close to fixing them. If Square Enix wants to take any positives away from the early access weekend debacle, though, it’s that Final Fantasy 14 is clearly growing as a game and its player population, which was reported as surpassing six million earlier this year, is both passionate and excited for the game’s new content.
Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood releases today, June 20, 2017, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: The Lodestone