The recent launch of early access for Final Fantasy XIV's newest expansion, Stormblood, has seemingly brought a huge influx of players to the game. This has resulted in extremely long queues to log in and play, and Square Enix is continuing to encourage players to transfer away from high-population servers.
FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida has published a post on the game's official website which attempts to explain and apologize for the issues. In short, Worlds (FFXIV's parlance for servers or realms) are reaching their capacity and forcing players to endure log-in queues, which sometimes move very slowly. Despite some speculation that the queues themselves are bugged, they're actually functioning correctly, only allowing more players online once someone else logs off.
"When the number of characters logged into a World has reached its limit, a player can only log in when another player has logged out, in order to avoid Worlds crashing," Yoshida explained. "As a result, it may seem that the queue to log in does not move very quickly. We apologize for the inconvenience, but as the queue to log in is functioning steadily, you will be able to login more quickly if you continue to wait instead of cancelling your queue."
Yoshida noted that, during peak times, these queues can range from 1,000 to 5,000 players. Square Enix is exploring ways to resolve the situation but is encouraging players to consider transferring to a different World.
"We are continuing to assess and work on ways we can increase the number of players that are able to log in without the World crashing," he said. "However, as this requires extremely precise adjustments, we currently need a bit more time. "I am terribly sorry, but since we also have New World and World Population Balancing Incentives at the moment, we would also appreciate if you could please consider using the World Transfer service."
These transfers are offered for free on certain Worlds, with bonuses being offered for both transferring and creating new characters on lower population Worlds. These are detailed in full here.
Square Enix has been updating players on its progress addressing issues over the past few days. An early-access period for Stormblood began on June 16 for anyone who pre-ordered the game, but the floodgates open completely tomorrow, June 20, with the official launch of the expansion. A big patch for the game was recently released, and we got the chance to talk with the company about reinventing the MMO for beginners.