Bay just made a recent translated post by Naoki Yoshida (Very long!):
"Hello! This is Producer/Director Yoshida.
Thank you for the large amount of feedback in regards to the world merge.
I’ve been reading through each of your posts (as well as Twitter) and I’m sorry my post is really late. A world merge at this current point in time, as well as being something of great magnitude for all of you players, it is at the same time something of great magnitude on the development and operations side.
I would like to follow up on the released specifications for the world merge.
Intent of the World Merge
I believe that MMORPGs are made up of large connections between the entire game community and the communities within each world. For MMORPGs, there are a lot of instances where you form parties and play, so because of this the community requires the proper number of players to be able to accomplish this. As we head toward 2.0, we began billing and we had a pretty good grasp on the number of people that would play the game. We predicted that conditions would arise on worlds where it would be difficult to establish a community, which is why we proceeded with the preparations for a world merge.
Of all of the comments that were against this world merge, the one comment seen most often was “don’t destroy the community!” However, just the same as all of you, the development and operations team and I consider “community” to be the highest priority. This is how we engaged in a discussion about the world merge specifications.
With that said, first let me say that our underlying feelings are in the same place.
Especially with this merge, we felt very strongly to make it so everyone from the EU region can play together in the same time zone.
(By the way, there seems to have been some conjectures about financial aspects and what not; however, we had already been operating with 18 worlds, meaning that the game server hardware and database servers we already purchased. By stopping 8 worlds, there is a near zero affect and there is not a single motive having to do with cost, so please don’t think this is the case.)
Reasoning for the Announcement of the Specifications
A large reason why we announced the specifications early was to be able to see your feedback once we released the development and operation team’s specifications. World merges are an extremely delicate topic and we need to flesh out the specific details of the specifications, so we decided it wasn’t suitable for a survey and put a stop to the idea. (It would be near impossible to gather the appropriate responses by offering a survey with methods like: A, A1, A2, B, B1, B2)
Due to this, we released the specifications early to give ourselves time to make adjustments based on feedback. I am very sorry that I was so late to follow up on this as I crashed from a high fever until this evening.
There have been comments from Foxclon, but even internally there have been heated debates about the world merge between the development, operations, and QA teams. I will be honest in saying that up until the last minute there was no plan that everyone agreed on. (The reason for this being that every plan had its own set of pros and cons)
The 4 plans that stayed prominent throughout the discussions are the 4 listed below.
(A=World with high population of players, B=World with low population of players, C=New World, X=Different World)
①A + B⇒A World to merge with B World
②A + B - X ⇒A World to merge with B World, except people that would like to move are able to choose a different World
③A + B - C ⇒A World to merge with B World, except people that would like to move are able to choose to go to C World
④Prepare 10 Worlds, set a limit, and give everyone the power to move their characters to a World of their choice.
There were many others as well but I eliminated them.
Of these, after thinking very carefully, we decided to prepare an announcement for ④.
The Intentions of Going with Option ④
After weighing the pros and cons of each option day and night, I finally decided to go with option ④. The biggest deciding factor for this decision was me believing in the strong bond within the community.
We thought that by giving the community plenty of time before the application period, each community would come together and discuss their destinations.
Of course, we considered the players who do not login as often as others.
Discuss Period + Selection Period A (Decision Can be Changed) + Selection Period B (Decision Can Not be Changed)
With the long time frame that was provided, I believed it was enough time for a majority of the communities to agree on a World. Another reason we decided to not reveal the World names is because we wanted everyone to decide on a World purely based on what the community wants instead of having the World name getting in the way of making that decision.
We knew that the World names will be a huge factor in deciding what World you will be going to. By hiding the World names, we thought that we would be able to avoid flooding specific Worlds and provide each community a chance to spread out without losing anyone. (I assume this is one of the reasons why the community complains that the devs always makes the wrong decision…)
We also provided a World recommended for German/French-speaking players in order to make it easy for the German/French community to gather together.
Furthermore, no matter what option we decide to go with, we knew we weren’t able to satisfy every customer. If that was the case, we thought it would be the best way to go if we gave the players the freedom to choose. Because there were no World Merges like this in the past, we had a really difficult time finalizing the specifications of the merge. On a side note, we also have plans to implement a system within The Lodestone wherein players will be able to track what players transferred to what Worlds (as Foxclon mentioned before).
The Cons of Option ④
The reason why I had a hard time choosing Option ④ was because of the following factors.
A: Players who belong to multiple communities might end up being torn apart by having to decide which community they will follow.
B: The option will cause stress on all players instead of causing stress on a number of players.
C: Players who decide to come back to the game after the merger will end up on a brand new World and no longer be able to player with friends.
Both the QA team and I though factor A was the biggest problem of them all.
Factor B may not be as bad because we provided everyone the freedom to choose a destination.
Factor C also may not be as bad because we have no idea when these players will return to the game and if they do, it would be most likely with 2.0. With 2.0, we had plans to implement a World Transfer Service so we believed that should be able to address this problem.
Why We Didn't Go With Option ①～③
Option ① would be the most straight forward option and also it’s also the option that we can execute with the least cost. However, this option was most likely not a viable option for the French/German players. Also, we believed it was too forceful to merge the Worlds based on population as it might also cause a lot of stress for the destination World. Overall, this would be the safest way to go.
With option ②, players will be given the option to transfer to another World. However, if there ends being too many players who would want to transfer over to that World, it might end up going over the set capacity and overflow the World. Since we won’t know the results would be like until the actual we see the actual results, we would end up taking a huge risk.
In addition, if a player belongs to multiple communities, they might end up being torn apart by having to decide which community they will follow (probably not be as bad as ④).
Option ③ is a twist on option ②. We put a lot of focus on the French/German players.
However, even this option might end up with not enough players wanting to transfer to the new World or too many non- French/German players that might want to transfer to the new World and prevent some French/German players from moving with their community.
I personally was deciding between option ② and option ④ until the last minute and finally decided to go with option ④.
Until the World Merge Occurs
As I mentioned originally, the World Merge will be a huge event for the whole community.
I’m trying my best to be open with you by provide you specifications via topic posts and forum posts, yet it still seems to be not enough. I apologize for not being able to provide a clear explanation for everyone.
We will continue to perform internal discussions based on the feedback we have received. As I mentioned before, we want to perform the World Merge to “Move Forward in FFXIV.” In no way did I have any intentions of breaking the “bond” between you and your friends, nor break the “bond” between you and the development team.
Once again, I would like to apologize for not being able to provide a clear explanation for everyone. The only thing I would like to ask of you is to keep your feedback constructive."