The Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker launch will prioritize paying players

Square Enix has announced that the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker launch will prioritize paying players over those trying the game out.

The company is warned players of unprecedented congestion issues ahead of the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker launch, touting “record numbers of active users” since the summer, and anticipating “a number of logins that is yet to be seen since the launch of FFXIV.”

As part of this, the company will be implementing several measures to preempt the oncoming horde. For one, trial players will temporarily have to wait longer, as players who have paid for the full game will be prioritized in login queues for full worlds. The company explains that they’ve optimized their servers and boosted overall capacity, but remain unable to procure new servers because of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage. (Read: Intel says chip shortage to last until 2023)

Other stopgaps include restrictions on character creation during congested periods, automatic boots for players who’ve been idle for at least 30 minutes, duplicated areas in the new expansion, and queues for story progression. Those logging into high-traffic servers during the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker launch may encounter an “Error 2002” message. Players can rest assured that Creative Business Unit III, the team that runs FFXIV, is pulling all the stops to ensure a smooth experience come Early Access day on December 3, 1 a.m. PST.

Naoki Yoshida, aka Yoshi-P, the director behind the MMO behemoth, is no stranger to adversity. He’s received major credit for turning the game’s fortunes around after a notoriously disastrous launch in 2013. Now, FFXIV holds the distinction of being not only the most profitable entry in the series but also the most popular MMO in the world, achieving a player base of over 24 million as of this year. The game is even a critical darling—its most recent expansion Shadowbringers scored 91 on Metacritic.

Endwalker was initially scheduled to come out on November 23, but last-minute quality assurance and stability checks pushed its release to this Friday instead. One can’t deny that the FFXIV team cares about giving players the best possible experience. As a series fan who’s never touched an MMO (blame Philippine Internet), I’m pretty excited that Yoshi-P and company have been handed the reins to XVI. Unfortunately, I also share their frustrations about that chip shortage, because I sure wish I could nab a PS5 [Editor’s note: you can pry mine from my cold, dead fingers]. In any case, best of luck to everyone trying to log in during the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker launch.

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