Technology

Final Fantasy XIV Sales Will Resume on January 25 With Oceanian Servers Launch; Expansion Plans Shared

Square Enix today announced some of its plans for the future of Final Fantasy XIV, including reopening the sale of new copies of the game.

New players will be able to purchase the game again on January 25th. The date also has significance due to the long-awaited opening of the Oceanian Data Center.

We also learned that the home world transfer system will resume on January 26, and will be available to everyone, not just those who want to move to the Oceania data center.

Additional information includes the data center travel scheme now defined for one of the 6.1x cycle patches, as well as details about server expansion plans for all existing regions, including Japan, North America, and Europe.

You can read the full message below, penned by producer Naoki Yoshida himself, which also reveals that the announcement regarding the game’s future is coming at the end of February.

Opening of the Oceania Data Center

The Oceanian data center, which we’ve been planning for some time, will open about two weeks ahead of schedule. This may come as a bit surprising, but we will be bringing it online on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 (JST).

Additionally, considering the current number of players in Oceania, the original plan was to add three worlds at the beginning and introduce two more later. However, given the recent influx of players, we’ve decided to add five new worlds from the start. With this said, there should be more than enough space for everyone in Oceania to move it. Those in Oceania who have experienced network latency issues should have a better gaming experience.

This will be explained in detail separately, but since these are new worlds, we will offer incentives to move into them, such as a transfer fee waiver. We hope you take advantage of these bonuses.

Restart global home transfer service

Due to server congestion after the launch of Endwalker, the Home World Transfer Service is currently suspended. However, as logins are becoming less focused due to player progress, and the Oceanian data center is now operational, we will resume service on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 (JST).

This comes a day after the Oceanian data center opened on January 25, in order to ensure a smooth and stable launch. We’ll use the time to ensure that the datacenter can run without a problem, and to handle logins and normal startup, when it’s up and running. We ask for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Furthermore, upon resumption, the Home World Transfer Service will be available to all players in all data centers, not just those moving to an Oceanian data center. Those who wish to change home worlds can do so, except for transfers to certain crowded worlds.

For more details about the New World Transfer Bonuses, please refer to this announcement.

Launch of the travel system in the data center

In response to the congestion following the launch of Endwalker, we have postponed the launch of the data center travel system. A 6.1x patch is now planned. To briefly explain how the system works:

Players will be able to visit worlds in other logical data centers within the same physical data center.
Players will not be able to visit worlds in other areas/physical data centers.
Although it is technically possible to travel across regions, implementation is still being studied.
Travel does not start while you are logged into the game, but from the character selection screen.
As I mentioned earlier in a live message, while the system is designed to allow cross-region travel, we will limit it to moving between logical data centers within a physical data center initially due to differences in game economy and values. We’ll pay close attention to players’ opinions as we consider whether or not to introduce cross-regional travel in the future.

Compared to the global visit system we already have, the data center travel system will be subject to more restrictions for those functions that are managed for each logical data center, such as free corporate chat and worldwide links. This is due to the fact that it is not possible to monitor chat and servers across the world outside the boundaries of the logical data center.

Apart from that, there are almost no restrictions. Whether it’s quests, creating parties or using the Duty Finder, you’ll be able to play the game as usual (if you have a way to communicate with others, like the Lodestone app or the Companion app, it’s possible to form static parties).

If you want to join a free company or link in another data center, you will need to move your home world, but we think the system will provide a pleasant experience otherwise. We ask for your patience a little longer.

Expanding Japanese data centers

Currently, our Japanese data center consists of 3 logical data centers and 32 worlds. In 2013, when A Realm Reborn was released, we greatly increased the number of worlds to handle congestion. As a result, we now have a situation where 10 to 11 scientists are handled by each logical data center, which makes efficient operation impossible. As a result, we cannot increase the number of simultaneous logins for all of the world in the same way as with data centers in North America and Europe, which leads to extreme congestion.

Therefore, from a long-term perspective, we are looking to add another logical data center and reduce the size of worlds per logical data center, thus increasing the maximum number of possible concurrent logins by several thousand per world.

Number of logical data centers: 3 4
Number of worlds: 32 (unchanged)
Capacity: Total potential simultaneous logins covering all worlds increased by 50,000 or more
To that end, we’d like to ask you to bear with us as we reconfigure the worlds configuration from a 10:11:11 DC Logical Triple Configuration to an 8:8:8:8 DC Logical Quadruple Configuration.

We believe that – given the floor space of the data center where the servers are physically located and the current semiconductor shortage – this would be the fastest and most efficient way to scale at scale. In terms of community maintenance, this will include a partial reassembly of worlds, which we understand will cause a great deal of inconvenience to players using the Japanese datacenter. We intend to do everything we can to mitigate this by implementing a data center transfer and by using the Home World Transfer service. We sincerely apologize in advance for any problem this may cause, and appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

The implementation of the installation of new logical data centers and large-scale changes to the global configuration is currently scheduled for around July 2022. This will allow us to take the time to carefully analyze the situation and prevent matching anomalies in each logical data center. Once again, we ask for your understanding as we continue this important upgrade.

PreviousThe spread of North American data centers

Currently, the North American data center has three logical data centers and 24 worlds (Genesis 8:8:8). In order to deal with the huge increase in the number of players, we are planning to expand the main server in two phases. Due to the global shortage of semiconductors, it has taken a long time to procure server equipment, but the timeline calls for the first phase to be implemented in August 2022, with the second phase to follow in the spring or summer of 2023.

In the first phase of the expansion, scheduled for August 2022, one new logical data center will be constructed and four new realms will be added under it. In the second phase of the expansion, we plan to add four more new worlds in the newly created logical DC framework, resulting in a quad logical 8:8:8:8 DC configuration. While we originally hoped to add all eight new worlds at once in August 2022 , the aforementioned shortage of semiconductors compelled us to introduce the two-stage upgrade. Once again, we ask for your understanding and patience in this matter.

In addition to the above, we are also considering a large-scale upgrade at the time of the next major expansion (patch 7.0). We’ll be sure to tell you more about this as our plans take shape.

Previoussansion of european data centers

Currently, the European data center consists of 2 data centers and 12 scientists (Genesis 6:6). In order to accommodate the significant increase in players, we plan to expand a master server in two phases, similar to what is planned for a North American data center. Due to the ongoing shortage of global semiconductors, it will take time to deliver the required server equipment. As such, the first phase of this expansion is scheduled to begin in July 2022, while the second phase is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2023.

In the first phase of expansion, scheduled for July 2022, a total of four new realms will be added, two under each of the logical data centers currently located in the European data center. In the second stage, a new logical data center will be created and eight new worlds added under it, resulting in an 8:8:8 DC logical triple configuration. The aforementioned semiconductor shortage requires this two-stage upgrade to be performed, and we ask for your understanding and patience as we continue the preparations.

Furthermore, in anticipation of further expansion, we are working to secure floor space for a fourth logical data center. Preparations are also made in case this logical data center needs to be added earlier than anticipated.

Resume digital sales for new players

After considering the following factors, we will resume digital sales starting January 25, 2022 at 5:00 PM (JST):

Opening of the Oceania data center and the ability to accommodate additional players.
Our desire is to provide a suitable environment for new players in the Oceania region.
The playing time and login frequency of existing players are steadily returning to normal levels.
However, should servers continue to experience extreme levels of congestion, we may consider suspending digital sales again. We understand that some worlds experience high server traffic at peak times, and while some may consider this decision to resume sales premature, we ask for your understanding.

We would also like to resume enrolling in the free trial after observing server stability for a longer period.

Final notes

Once again, I would like to apologize for the delay in expanding the server due to the global shortage of semiconductors. The necessity for societies to separate due to worlds regrouping is another annoyance that may prove inevitable for some players, and we ask for your understanding as we work to mitigate this issue.

Despite these difficulties, we believe that expanding this server is an important step forward in providing players with the best possible gaming experience in FFXIV. The servers will continue to be boosted well into 2023, expending an enormous amount of finances and manpower, but we will do everything we can to ensure that this endeavor does not have any negative impact on your ability to play, so we appreciate your support as you continue on your adventures.

As mentioned earlier, we’re also working hard to not only make more functionality tweaks, but also other exciting new content for the 6.x series, as well as plans for our next expansion (patch 7.0). In fact, I have some announcements planned for the end of February, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next live product post.

Until next time, here’s another great year of FINAL FANTASY XIV!

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