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Final Fantasy 14 to kick AFK players to combat overwhelming demand on servers

Limsa Lominsa is going to be a little less packed

Final Fantasy 14 - a white haired characters sits on a Chocobo, a giant chicken mount, as a herd of zebra like creatures frolic in a meadow nearby Image: Square Enix
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Final Fantasy 14 is currently having a moment in the spotlight, thanks to both the upcoming expansion Endwalker and a surge of big-name streamers picking up the MMO. Even though the game is technically in a bit of a content drought while adventurers prepare to go to the moon, the servers are packed. It’s enough of a problem that producer and director Naoki Yoshida published on Tuesday a note about server congestion, along with solutions like a timer that boots AFK players from the game after 30 minutes.

“Recently, we have experienced record user numbers in all regions, with a vast amount of new players beginning their adventures,” Yoshida said. “In particular, the increase in NA- and EU-region players over the past two weeks has been both so staggering and unexpected that many players are now having difficulty logging in or creating new characters due to server congestion, and for this we deeply apologize.”

Luckily, there’s backup on the way. The North American data centers that support the game were recently upgraded, which allowed Square Enix to raise the maximum number of simultaneous logins by 18,000, or 750 per World server. A similar upgrade is planned for the European data centers “in the immediate future,” and Square Enix is working to optimize existing servers to the best of their ability, said Yoshida.

Even with these improvements, North American world servers “experienced periods of six to seven hours at maximum login capacity” last weekend, Yoshida said. “As a result, character creation was unavailable for long periods of time, and players faced average login wait times of 10-20 minutes. For players residing on Worlds in the European data center, weekend login wait times were as high as 40 minutes.”

In an effort to alleviate the queues, Yoshida politely asked players to log out if they intend to be idle, so new players can get in and make their brand-new characters. In addition, the auto-logout feature, which boots players after an extended period of inactivity, is returning. It usually shows up when a new expansion launches, but the demand is so high right now that Square Enix is rolling it out early.

It’s understandable that Final Fantasy 14 is struggling under the demand; the game has drawn a lot of attention and eyeballs. Square Enix is still working on the logistics of meeting the demand, especially with COVID safety concerns limiting travel. However, it’s always very cool to see an older game come roaring back into the spotlight. Personally, I’m excited to return to the game this weekend to give my Roegadyn Marauder a spin and get ready for a voyage to the moon.

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