Final Fantasy XIV players are getting seven free days and possibly more, in compensation for Endwalker congestion issues.
The developers had previously warned fans there was a “high likelihood of congestion.” They also expected Worlds (the game’s servers) to hit maximum capacity, and “a number of logins that is yet to be seen since the launch of FFXIV.” Error 2002 would be used for example; when the number of players waiting to login exceeds 17,000 people. This halts further logins to prevent server crashes.
Sure enough, players have been enduring long queue times, and error codes preventing login. This is due to those having pre-ordered the expansion gaining access to Endwalker on December 3rd; rather than the December 7th release date. Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida (also known as Yoshi-P) issued a statement, apologizing for the issue.
“Across the FFXIV service as a whole, the number of simultaneous logins has reached the hardware limit,” Yoshida explained. “As a result, logging in has required an extremely long time, especially during “peak hours” when we tend to see increased player activity. For this, I am truly sorry.”
As players had been left waiting for so long; all players who own a full version of the game and an active subscription are being compensated. This is with seven free days of game time.
The offer is also applicable to players on the 30-day free play time when registering for the full game, and those with multiple accounts. In addition, additional free game time may come “depending on further developments on the congestion situation.”
Yoshida once again elaborated on Error 2002, explaining it can also arise from network instability. This leads to a momentary disconnect from the server. “At the moment,” Yoshida explains, “we are seeing more cases caused by this.”
Longer queues mean more chances of internet issues and momentary disconnects happening. Hard-wired internet connections and disabling power saving on PlayStation consoles are recommended until congestion issues are resolved.
Errors 4004, 5003, and 5006 occur when players queue for so long, that the login management server times them out. This is despite the developers securing “a considerably long session time” with the lobby server. As such, extending this session is currently being worked on.
The peak times for congestion were also recorded and shared (as of December 5th), you can find them below. Noon was also noted as a peak time, due to early access over the weekend. Weekday peak times will be provided later.
North American Data Center: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (PST) / 20:00 to 6:00 (GMT)
European Data Center: 3:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (PST) / 11:00 to 23:00 (GMT)
Japan Data Center: 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. (PST) / 9:00 to 15:00 (GMT)
Yoshida also clarified that attacking striking dummies or performing dance emotes would not bypass automatic logouts. Rumors to the contrary had arisen due to those players being set to “Away from Keyboard” in that state, but logged out after 30 minutes of inactivity.
However, the team did receive reports of players being automatically logged out during the ending credits for the game. This includes the base game, A Realm Reborn, along with expansions Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. The procedure to prevent automatic logout was missing for those credits, but not for the credits of Endwalker.
As a temporary work-around while the issue has been added to the list of known issues, Yoshida asks players to press a button or click with their mouse to prevent being logged out. Moving the mouse will not suffice.
“Once again, I would like to apologize for the many inconveniences caused to our players as a result of the congestion that has continued since the start of Early Access,” Yoshida concludes. “I am truly sorry, and we will continue to do our utmost to address the congestion situation and the errors during login queues as soon as possible.”
Yoshida’s remorse is quite genuine, given his history. Along with being praised as “saving” the MMO, many players have praised him as a genuine gamer. Yoshida has also admitted to playing Final Fantasy XIV, along with the developers. This aided in the game’s development.
This also meant Yoshida was almost driven to tears when revealing Endwalker was delayed by two weeks. This passion has even manifested as kindness to other developers- as he shared some Final Fantasy XIV armor with with Square Enix published and PlatinumGames developed Babylon’s Fall.
Final Fantasy XIV has seen a surge in interest this year; being attributed to one man- despite other factors. The game’s Steam concurrent players record was broken with over 47,000; after World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold tried the game. As Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial, other streamers sought to play it; creating a cycle to further increase its popularity.
Another factor is the alleged waning popularity of World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard’s Q1 2021 financial report revealed that monthly active users in Blizzard Entertainment games had fallen to 27 million that fiscal quarter; a 29% drop over three years. These figures of course include games other than World of Warcraft.
Nonetheless, the poor reception to the latest World of Warcraft expansion (Shadowlands) is further exacerbated by past controversies with Blizzard Entertainment, and the ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit. You can find our latest coverage here.
The flood of players saw Final Fantasy XIV briefly having to contend with the Western servers being full, and had to implement a waiting list for purchasing the digital Complete Edition. Despite this, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida asked players not to restrain themselves to ease the servers.
Among the recent new faces is Hironobu Sakaguchi [1, 2], the creator of the Final Fantasy series. A second wave of players may also have come, thanks to Hololive English vtubers being given permission to stream the game.
It was announced in October that Final Fantasy XIV had hit 24 million registered players, and had become the most profitable Final Fantasy game to date. It should be noted this would also include players on the game’s free trial; playable up to level 60, and including the first expansion Heavensward.
Final Fantasy XIV is available for Windows PC, Mac (via the SE Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and still planned for Xbox One. In case you missed it, you can find our Shadowbringers expansion review here (we can’t recommend it enough!)
The Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launches December 7th, but is available now to those who have pre-ordered it. In case you missed it, we covered all the changes coming with patch 6.0 when Endwalker launches, and beyond [1, 2, 3].