The developers of Final Fantasy XIV have warned players to expect congestion on the launch of the Endwalker expansion.
A recent Lodestone newspost explains that there will be a large number of players logging in not only during the launch of Endwalker, but the early access period. That starts December 3rd for those who pre-ordered the expansion.
It was also noted Final Fantasty XIV had seen a “dramatic increase” in players across all regions this summer, and record numbers of active users. As such, the developers are expecting “a number of logins that is yet to be seen since the launch of FFXIV.”
Reiterated from prior news; the developers have optimized servers, increased login caps, and done everything they could to ease any upcoming congestion. Due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage however, the total number of servers (or “Worlds”) could not be increased. “The addition of new Worlds will still be considered as we procure the necessary server machines.”
“As such,” the post explains, “there is a high likelihood of congestion that will result in Worlds reaching maximum login capacity and lengthy wait times when logging in. We would like to apologize for making this sort of announcement at a time when many of you are looking forward to the expansion, as well as for inconveniences that may be caused by congestion.”
The post reassures players that login queues will still be processing even if numbers to not appear to be counting down, and that cancelling the queue will send you to the back when you rejoin. Full version players will also be prioritized over Free Trial players.
Patch 5.57 will also introduce the ability for players to log into less-crowded Worlds in the same Data Center as player’s Home World. Nonetheless, the post notes “during peak congestion times, such as the Early Access period, you may experience login queues even when using this feature.”
When attempting to login, players may also see “Error 2002.” This is when the number of players waiting to login exceeds 17,000 people, or other high amounts of traffic on the login server. This Error is to halt further logins, and to prevent a crash due to extreme traffic overload. Players who encounter Error 2002 are advised to wait a while before trying again.
As mentioned in prior reports, those who are inactive for 30 minutes will also be automatically logged out. The feature has been further enhanced in Patch 6.0 (launching alongside Endwalker).
Players were also warned that some instanced content may also experience congestion. This has been seen when live-steamers have struggled to enter major cities where players gather, as their own fans (and trolls) eagerly await to greet them.
However, this can also occur with Duties- Dungeons, Raids, and other content where players enter parties to fell fiends and progress. For instanced duties where players will need to complete them to progress the main quest, the developers have “devised methods to stagger player traffic during main scenario progression,” along with a queue system.
These issues may also include the new instances added to Endwalker– which are likely to be heavily trafficked. As such, several instances of the same area will be implemented (such as Labyrinthos 1, Labyrinthos 2, Labyrinthos 3). Players may choose the instance they enter (at its entrance or via an aetheryte crystal), and can confirm what instance they are in via “/instance” in the chat.
While they will be unable to see players in other instances, they can still talk to them via Tell messages. Party members will “generally” be moved to the same instance when using Teleport or Return, but can be split if the destination has reached player cap.
The developers and operations teams will also be providing live support on Endwalker‘s launch. Announcements on any issues that may arise will be announced via the Lodestone, @FF_XIV_EN, and @FFXIV_NEWS_EN.
As aforementioned, Final Fantasy XIV has seen a surge in interest this year; being attributed to one man despite other factors. Its 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!)