Final Fantasy XIV's server troubles have prompted emergency maintenance sessions, login limitations, and an apology from director Naoki Yoshida himself.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's latest early access period probably feels like a session of "Good News, Bad News" for Square Enix. On the one hand, players are lining up en masse to try the beta, which is promising given the original's less-than-stellar launch. The downside is that these players are also experiencing a huge range of bugs and server errors. North American and European servers have since been closed repeatedly for maintenance, leaving many unable access the game over the weekend. These troubles prompted none other than Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida to offer his personal apology, detailing what's happening on Square Enix's end and what players should expect next.
"On behalf of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Development Team, I would like to extend my deepest apologies to those Early Access participants who have had difficulty using the NA/EU data centers," Yoshida writes. "In response to a variety of issues, we have conducted emergency maintenance several times over the past few days ... This maintenance proceeded as planned, and afterwards we verified that the stability of instanced battles and the duty finder was much improved. However, we then discovered that certain lobby servers had been improperly configured, and we were forced to conduct another brief maintenance to resolve this issue."
Most of the issues plaguing the game seem to have been fixed, but player populations continue to place a heavy strain on Final Fantasy XIV's servers. For that reason, Square Enix is implementing login restrictions to mitigate the load until a more permanent solution can be implemented. "In this way, we can ensure that the maximum number of players can play the game without risking a server crash," Yoshida adds. "I know no one wants to wait to log in, but I hope you all understand why we believe this precaution is necessary."
As frustrating as these delays may be, it's worth remembering that these early access periods exist so Square Enix can fix errors before final release. As long as Final Fantasy XIV's gameplay is fun and engaging when you're logged in, which early reports suggest it is, these maintenance problems shouldn't be anything more than a temporary setback.