4Gamer brings us an e-mail interview about the fast-approaching version updates.
Translated by FFXIVCore.com
Recovering from the Shipwreck: An e-Mail Interview
Despite all the hype and anticipation built up over FFXIV, many players were left disappointed to say the least. This is not news by any means, but feedback has been harsh. Sure, some haven't played the game and/or are basing their opinions solely on online reviews, etc., and forum trolls have seized the opportunity to wreak their devilry. Regardless of the delivery method, there is definitely validity in the complaints being raised.
The User Interface (UI) is, among the myriad issues, probably the most pronounced and frustrating. Simple tasks become annoying, almost like an itch you can't scratch. One might be able to somewhat accustom themselves to the process, but it's quite a leap to make.
This next issue goes hand-in-hand with MMORPGs, but after a certain point, lag can make it difficult to even play a game at all. In particular, things really bottleneck when trying to transfer items, whether between players or to an NPC. Lag during battle is a given, but primetime brings those infamous closed Ul'dah doors into the spotlight.
There have been many questions raised about the direction development has been headed in general. Most, if not all, of the issues at hand had already been raised in Beta. Nonetheless, the problems remained once the game released. Since then, things have either had time to fester or attempts to fix said issues have come off as being "too little, too late."
On October 15th, Square-Enix hoped to qualm some of the discontent by providing sneak peak at what they plan to address in upcoming version updates. However, the overriding sentiment was that these were exactly the problems that should have been cleared up in Beta.
...all of which is why we remain rather skeptical. How aware are SE of the problems, and what do they intend to do from here on out? With this in mind, 4Gamer rounded up the big questions and tossed 'em in SE's direction on October 22nd. It is by no means a comprehensive list, and many questions remain unanswerable. However, we've done our best to select some of the more high-priority items.
(some questions may not apply to non-Japanese players (such as billing), so I'll exclude those)
Before the start of official service (Collectors' Edition), the provided list of servers was kind of taken as a list of unofficial Japanese servers. This seemed to result in everyone flocking to those, which resulted in overcrowding.
A: Our servers aren't designed to handle tens of thousands of characters but are more in line with actual expectations. Even if we originally designated servers with numbers, it would have been pointless. The best possible option would be for random server selection (a la FFXI originally), but that is less than convenient for players.
Currently we've noticed that the issue lies not with overcrowding on specific servers. It is overcrowding of specific in-game areas that is causing congestion. If players were more evenly distributed among different areas, the servers could handle capacities many times greater. We are beefing up and fine-tuning the servers which regulate this, and this has been resulting in less lag overall.
Aren't fixes for problems that persisted through closed and open Beta tests a little too late to the game?
This is mostly due to prioritization. We had a strict timeline to work with, so unfortunately we focused on certain bugs while being unable to address others. Beyond that, some problems we have only become aware of since early release. Thankfully, our players have given us plenty of feedback to work with regarding these.