Square Enix addressed recent server issues for Final Fantasy XIV caused by connection overloads earlier today, releasing the 5.58 hotfix to help tackle the massive increase in player numbers.
FFXIV saw a popularity boost over the last months, including expansion of the free test for new players, its visibility increased by high-profile MMO streamer Asmongold, and discontent from World of Warcraft players with Blizzard’s latest content patches.
The influx of new players in such a short time caused various issues that forced Square Enix to rapidly take action, such as adding an auto-logout feature.
North-American data center Aether’s worlds are now listed as congested, which prevents players from creating new characters. This is a measure to manage the overload of the servers, preventing accidental logouts and other issues. The players can still create new characters on two other data centers, Primal and Crystal. But if they want to play with friends from the Aether data center, they’ll have to wait for the status of the data center to change or transfer their character later.
The European data centers, on the other hand, saw an increase in login caps, which aims at shortening waiting times before logging in. The team also plans to “replace some of [its] equipment with high-performance machines to further increase the cap” in September, FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida added. While North America and Japan both have three dedicated data centers, Europe only has two, which can cause more issues with server overloads.
Yoshida added that the team is “working closely to plan large-scale solutions such as expanding our data centers or adding new worlds.” It encountered difficulties due to the worldwide shortage of semiconductors, however, which has had a negative impact in the tech industry as a whole. He also mentioned the “resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan,” which added more difficulty to work on adding more servers in other regions.
It’s unclear when more changes will be implemented, but there will likely be many more server issues if it isn’t done before the release of the next expansion Endwalker, set for Nov. 23, and which will likely bring tides of new and returning players.