While some MMOs are suffering a decline in player numbers, Final Fantasy XIV is not one of them. The game has become so popular that simultaneous logins are continuously hitting the upper limit of the servers’ capabilities. Square Enix has now designated some worlds as congested and has closed them to the creation of new characters while they work on expanding server capacity.
Final Fantasy XIV received Patch 5.58 Hotfix today, August 24. During the maintenance, all Worlds on the North American Aether Data Center were marked as Congested because their logins have consistently reached full capacity. This new Congested classification prevents players in those worlds from creating new characters because this would cause the login queues to increase to a length of “up to several hours.” Until Square Enix can expand the server capacity, the designation will not be removed and they “sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this will cause for those of you who were looking forward to embarking on adventures with friends.” For now, players are encouraged to create new characters in Worlds based on the Primal or Crystal Data Centers even though these are also extremely busy.
Europe Data Centers are faring slightly better although these are also becoming quite congested during weekends. For now, the server configurations have been altered to increase the login caps. Towards the end of next month, Square Enix will be replacing some of their current equipment with higher-performance machines so the cap can be increased even further.
Previous measures to control congestion had included a new 30-minute logout timer for idle players but it seems like these haven’t been enough to cope with the massive increase in players. In the long term, the team is now looking at data center expansions or even adding new Worlds entirely to account for the player increase. Square Enix had planned for a multi-million investment in server infrastructure although this has been delayed because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. These include a shortage of semiconductors that’s preventing the company from finding the equipment they need and restrictions on their engineers travelling overseas.
Producer Naoki Yoshida confirms they will now “require more time in implementing our large-scale solutions” and acknowledges the “circumstances surrounding our infrastructure are far from ideal.” He concluded by thanking players for their “understanding and continued support.”[Source: Final Fantasy XIV]
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