Square Enix have announced that their once disastrous, now pretty good Final Fantasy XIV has accrued over 2 million registered accounts, and all without using the Steal command to pilfer them from other games. A little bit of Final Fantasy humour for you there. It's hardly World of Warcraft numbers, but it is a notable achievement from a game that launched in a state fit to be thrown to the dogs, before being shut down and extensively remade at the developer/publisher's own cost. Square Enix are currently celebrating with some vials of Elixir, a big haunch of chocobo meat, and other Final Fantasy references.
Final Fantasy XIV
Square Enix has detailed the new content it added to Final Fantasy XIV in patch 2.1, which is now available to download. Most notably, the patch—titled A Realm Awoken—adds a new PvP arena, player housing, and The Crystal Tower, a new 24-player dungeon.
Oh, and it also used the opportunity to add a bunch of holiday-themed content to the game with this year's Starlight Celebration, which tasks you with saving a kidnapped snowman.
Sitting back playing Final Fantasy 14 with a pad in hand is a perfectly fine way to spend time. Square Enix nixed the original (utterly broken) FF14 in 2012, and this new form is as much sequel as relaunch. It’s now a stable, sprawling MMORPG that mixes genre conventions (questing, crafting, raiding) with the trappings of the long-running JRPG series. It’s aimed at people for whom a Chocobo isn’t just another mount, and for whom Cure isn’t just another healing spell. It’ll resonate strongest with people who care about this universe, its music, and its monsters.
Pad control is one of the things that sets FF14 aside. Keyboard and mouse are available too – and necessary for group content – but being able to relax and play it like a console RPG freshens the formula. The combat is flashy and strategically interesting, and a novel class system – which enables you to level up multiple professions on a single character while mixing and merging them – provides a steady sense of progress and a vast spread of potential progression paths.
After enduring a couple of rough launch issues, it seems that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has a bright, chocobo-filled future ahead as Square Enix has announced more than 1.5 million players have registered for the game since its release two short months ago.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is waiving fees for switching servers this week, allowing players to move between the MMO's game worlds free of charge, according to its official website. The free transfer period runs from Tuesday through Sunday and is a response to problems that surfaced during the game's unstable launch at the end of August.
If you’ve booted up Square’s do-over of Final Fantasy XIV, chances are you’re running into the bane of all MMOs—server issues. It can be baffling as to why we run into same issue with every new MMO, but Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, brought answers along with his apologies.
Final Fantasy XIV has become a victim of its own success. Before the recent relaunch, I'd rank that high among the list of sentences I never thought I'd type. But now, a day after the release of the A Realm Reborn overhaul, Square Enix have stopped digital sales of the game in order to lighten the overload currently being experienced throughout its servers.
In advance of its release, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will run one last open beta before unleashing its mounted chocobos and unicorns on the world. Beta Test 4 for the MMORPG will take place August 17-19, according to a Q&A with developers that took place yesterday.
Final Fantasy XIV has had a rough ride. After launching to poor critical reception and dismal sales, Square Enix ended up erasing the world from existence with a meteor shower and spent the next three years building A Realm Reborn from the ground up. It was a bold endeavor, and now the developers want to make everyone’s rebirth as smooth as possible by offering a benchmark and character creation tool almost a month before the game comes out.
A Realm Reborn has certainly come a long, long way in looking better than the piece of chocobo dung that was the original Final Fantasy XIV. The above video fails to show the quest system, UI or any PVP battles whatsoever, but the new environments actually look like places we’d like to explore. However, looking fun is a far cry from actually being fun.
After almost a three year hiatus, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn—Square Enix’s second go after botching the first attempt in 2010—is releasing on Aug. 27, 2013 on the PC and PlayStation 3.
There’s really nothing negative I can say about the temporarily offline Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG—at least, there’s nothing I can say that wasn’t already said by the game’s own director, Naoki Yoshida.
FFXIV: A Realm Reborn interview: "We took our fanbase for granted. We lacked the knowledge of other titles. We didn't have the passion."
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a complete overhaul of Square Enix's much maligned MMO, FFXIV - and, by crikey, it needed it. No one is more convinced of this than A Realm Reborn game director Naoki Yoshida, who I've conveniently just interviewed using a box which captures changes in light and sound across time, as you will see after the jump. He doesn't pull his punches: "We took our fanbase for granted," he says. "We lacked the knowledge of the global standard for MMOs, the knowledge of other titles. We didn't have the heart, the spirit or the passion to challenge the market."
Oof. He then goes on to check off a list of the game's gigantic errors - an unpalatable progress structure, inadequate server architecture, a woeful interface - none of which, we can presume, Square Enix will be making in its ground-up renovation. Certainly, Yoshida knows his MMO onions - he's played pretty much all of them, is currently smacked up on Guild Wars 2 and harbours a long-time love of Dark Ages of Camelot's PvP. These are good things by which to be inspired and it all suggests that A Realm Reborn is definitely not to be written off.
There's never a good time to lose your job, but something about it happening at the tail-end of December seems particularly unpleasant. This month has already seen Petroglyph and Trion Worlds make staff cuts, and now Square Enix have confirmed to Massively that they have downsized their LA office.
When Final Fantasy XIV came out in 2010, it was, it's fair to say, a bit of a mess. But in the two years since, Square Enix has been rebuilding the entire game from the ground up, in preparation for its impending re-launch as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Before select players move on to the alpha this Winter, and the re-launch proper sometime in 2013, there was the little matter of euthanising the original game. Something Square Enix achieved today in typically understated fashion.
Square Enix have released a new trailer for their Final Fantasy XIV MMO reboot at the Tokyo Game Show. The overhauled game will launch later this year with PC subscriptions to be paused on September 30 to allow the transition to take place.
Final Fantasy XIV was ... not well received in its original form. Tom described it as "A shallow, slow, grind-heavy MMO crippled by a horrible interface and nonsensical player limitations" in our Final Fantasy XIV review. Can the reboot fix FFXIV's many problems?
Many gamers are fond of calling botched, bug-ridden MMO launches "extended beta tests." With Final Fantasy XIV, however, Square Enix turned the other cheek, took its lumps, and agreed. In penance, the Japanese role-playing giant cast a rather basic - at least, in Final Fantasy terms - spell: It made FFXIV's subscription fee disappear. There were probably still a bunch of glittery effects involved, though. And zippers.
But now, after more than a year, Square's finally feels that the game is worth charging for again. Soothe your panicked piggy banks, however, because FFXIV's fee isn't quite back up to full strength. At least, not yet.
CEO of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada has posted a message to Final Fantasy XIV purchasers apologising for the state of the game, adding that the team in charge of the MMO had been restructured and the free trial period extended even further
Square Enix have announced that they will extend the free trial that comes with the game for another month, so that players can see the benefits of the November 25th patch without having to put down a subscription fee. This is the second time the free trial has been extended as the developers go to work trying to fix the many problems the game has experienced since launch. For those who want to know what will be contained in the upcoming updates, here's the comprehensive list of changes planned for the upcoming updates. You can read the extended trial period announcement over at the Final Fantasy XIV site. We recently interviewed Square Enix about the state of the game, and their plans to get it in shape.
Final Fantasy XIV launched in September with both technical and design problems - our review gave the game 30%. So last week we sat down with producer Hiromichi Tanaka and global online producer Sage Sundi to ask them what happened, whether it could have been avoided, and what they're doing to address it now.