Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida has acknowledged that it's a bit of a nightmare to get onto a server in North America and Europe, but that isn't going to change anytime soon.
Players have been hitting Final Fantasy 14 in droves, with the game breaking its highest ever concurrent player count, running out of digital copies and seeing World of Warcraft streamers like Asmongold making the leap. While it's been nice to see a great MMO thrive, it's been putting an awful lot of strain on the servers. Queue times to log into the game can be lengthy, and some people have found they're unable to make a new character at all during peak times.
Yoshida gave a brief update on the ongoing server congestion in a notice on Lodestone, the game's official community website. He thanked players who had recently picked up the game, but admitted that the number of people trying to log in simultaneously each day "has continued to hit the upper limit."
We would like to share a message from #FFXIV Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida that provides an update regarding the congestion on North American and European data centers and our plans moving forward. https://t.co/LsrnAwOhIZ pic.twitter.com/35AJKZBI30August 24, 2021
An update today will attempt to raise the simultaneous login cap on European servers, with plans to later upgrade equipment down the line. Yoshida asked for players to "continue to wait for your turn to log in" during long queues, which have been particularly prevalent during weekends.
It's bad news for North American players, however. Yoshida announced that the team will be temporarily shutting down new character creation on the Aether data center until further notice, writing "were the number of characters to increase any further, it could result in login queues taking up to several hours, which is why we needed to take this approach." While players can still create characters on other North American data centers, it means if your friends are over on Aether, you won't be able to join them.
Yoshida said the team is looking into expanding data centers or adding new servers to accommodate the increase in players, but the pandemic has proved a massive hurdle in making it happen. "There is an ongoing global shortage and increased demand for semiconductors, and quite frankly, we are still struggling to source the required equipment," he wrote. "Additionally, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan has raised major concerns regarding our ability to travel overseas for on-site implementations."
The director called the circumstances "far from ideal," but said that the team will "continue to persevere" in finding solutions while putting larger plans into motion. With the Endwalker expansion a mere three months away, the intense congestion is an ever-looming worry. Player count usually swells with the release of new expansions, and it could exacerbate an already worsening issue for Square Enix.