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Yoshi-P on Further Details on Access RestrictionsFollow

#1 Aug 29 2013 at 9:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/73680

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Further Details on Access Restrictions

This is FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn producer and director Naoki Yoshida and I would like to take the time to personally apologize once again to all those players who have been affected by the extended World login and character creation restrictions which have been in place for the past several days. I also understand that apologies will not help you get logged in, so I would like to give you an update on the situation at hand and the various measures we are currently employing to alleviate the situation.

Concurrent Connections

On the night following the announcement of our plans to temporarily limit sales of the download version, A Realm Reborn recorded upwards of 218,000 concurrent connections. This is in spite of the fact that the peak login times for separate regions around the world arrive at differing intervals. We estimate that without time zone differences, the total number of concurrent connections would number anywhere from 300,000 to 350,000.

As many of you know, this is the second launch for FINAL FANTASY XIV─something unprecedented in the MMORPG market. Considering the outcome of our first launch, our sales estimates for this one were decidedly conservative, as we believed that there would be a more gradual rise in users over the opening weeks and months.

Instead, to our pleasant surprise, we experienced tremendous support from a great number of players who were eager to get into the game from day one. To ensure that these players, once logged in, were able to play in a stable environment, we were required to implement login restrictions which kept server population near maximum capacity without exceeding those numbers.

The fact that we had to implement these restrictions is a direct result of my inaccurate sales and login estimates, and as producer, I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep. Each and every player who has been affected has my deepest apologies.

The Reasoning behind Login Restrictions

Each FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn World server has been designed to support a maximum of 5,000 concurrent connections. This is not the maximum number of characters which can be created on a World, however, but the maximum number of characters which can be logged into that World simultaneously. When more than 5,000 characters log into a World at once, there is a higher risk of server crashes and login errors. The restoration of crashed servers is usually followed by a rush of players attempting to log back in, which, in turn, puts a strain on our lobby server, and can ultimately have an adverse affect on all of the Worlds.

To prevent this from happening, we felt that the safest course of action would be to limit logins. However, we would like you to know that the restrictions are under constant surveillance. We are currently monitoring login numbers on all Worlds 24 hours a day, and actively removing/applying restrictions as soon as we detect even the smallest fluctuation in concurrent connection numbers.

Currently, peak login times for each region are occurring from approximately 9:00 p.m. to midnight. During this three-hour window, Worlds are more likely to have login restrictions implemented. These temporary restrictions are expected to continue until the time that we can execute the measures we have planned to alleviate the current situation. Those measures, including the addition of new World servers, are listed, in detail, below.

Character Creation Restrictions

As stated above, the maximum number of simultaneous connections each World server can handle is 5,000, while the number of characters which can be created on a World is several times that amount. This estimate of 5,000, however, is based on those characters being somewhat distributed over all the in-game areas (zones).

At the game’s start, however, while everyone is still at a low level, the majority of players are concentrated in the three city-states and surrounding areas. This can not only lead to a lack of enemies to slay (preventing quest progression), but also see area servers overloaded, and ultimately lead to crashes.

Fortunately, differences in total individual play time, login times, and character/class progression will eventually lead to players being more spread out within each World. Once this happens, there will be less need for both login and character creation restrictions.

As is the case with logins, our team is working around the clock, monitoring the current population of each area in each World, as well as the class level of each character, and adjusting new character creation restrictions based on their findings. Unlike login restrictions, we believe that character creation restrictions may take slightly longer to be removed, as there are still great discrepancies in the distribution of characters across Worlds, and we thank players for their patience and understanding in this issue.

Adding Worlds and Alleviating Server Load Issues

A server is essentially a high-spec PC, with each FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn World being made up of several of these machines. Creating a new World involves physically acquiring the servers, installing the necessary programs, and conducting internal functionality tests...all before opening the World to the public.

As the login data gathered from the Open Beta test (in which anyone, including those who had not purchased the game, could participate) was inconclusive, it was during the Early Access period that we had a clearer picture of the scope with which we would need to increase World capacity, and on the 25th of August began making preparations to do so significantly.

As of this post, the servers have been acquired, the essential programs installed, and we are currently in the process of conducting our internal tests. Once these tests have concluded and the Worlds go live, we believe we will be able to better accommodate a greater number of our players, making logging in less of a hassle.

In addition to increasing the number of Worlds, we are also optimizing the Duty Finder (party matching) management servers in an effort to reduce server load and ensure better stability when using this feature.

Currently, the Duty Finder servers split our data centers into two groups of 25 Worlds, and then do the party matching from players from within the same data center. We have determined that by adding new Worlds, the Duty Finder servers will not be able to process the additional data as long as there are only two pairings of groups to match from. Therefore, we have decided to create additional groups to alleviate this problem before it occurs, and by doing so, reduce the burden on the Duty Finder servers, and ultimately allow more players to access the feature.

The development and operations teams are currently concentrating 100% of their efforts into the aforementioned tasks and are on pace to have both completed by the beginning of next week and then released to the public once our final tests have concluded. Once a date and time for the implementation of the measures have been solidified, we will release another announcement on Lodestone outlining the details. We ask that you bear with us for just a few days longer while we make the final push.

Resolving AFK Character Issues

From several users on some of our more congested Worlds, we have received requests for a feature which automatically logs out characters who are AFK for an extended period of time. We are actively looking into the implementation of such a feature, but have decided to first concentrate our efforts on increasing the number of Worlds and optimizing the Duty Finder servers.

In Conclusion

The development and operations teams are working diligently to combat the login issues which many of our users are currently facing, and ask for your continued patience and understanding over the next several days as we move to solve these problems.

To thank all of you for bearing with us for so long, we will be looking into different ways to reward our loyal fans and customers, such as an extension of the free trial period. Details on the plans we have in the works will be announced shortly.

In conclusion, I would like to say that we have been overwhelmed with the positive response for A realm Reborn, which is why it doubly pains us to implement any sort of measure that may restrict people from joining us in Eorzea. We sincerely apologize for the unwanted stress these restrictions have caused, and thank you immensely for the understanding you have shown over the past week. The fixes are almost in place and we look forward to seeing all of you very, very soon.

Thank you.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida


Masterful letter IMO.
(searched back a few pages, didnt see this, lock it if I missed it somewhere)
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#2 Aug 29 2013 at 10:07 PM Rating: Good
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As of this post, the servers have been acquired, the essential programs installed, and we are currently in the process of conducting our internal tests. Once these tests have concluded and the Worlds go live, we believe we will be able to better accommodate a greater number of our players, making logging in less of a hassle.


This is all that matters. Thank god.

A little testing and optimizing, then boom, new servers for peepee.
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#3 Aug 29 2013 at 10:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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I have to say, Yoshi is doing an outstanding job. Truly outstanding. Not only did he and his team completely defy the odds and resurrect an awful game in to something, that honestly has exceeded all my expectations by light years- but he's also done a fantastic job of communicating with us throughout the process. It's not like the guy doesn't have other things to attend to but this letter is detailed and thoughtful and shows that he is really aiming to take care of us as customers. It's impressive. He's really won my respect. Thank God Final Fantasy is returning to its former glory.

Edited, Aug 30th 2013 12:56am by ChaChaJaJa
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#4 Aug 29 2013 at 10:49 PM Rating: Excellent
Hopefully, part of the solution will be free server transfers from already congested worlds onto the new servers.

I don't plan on moving, but I'm sure many others would. This would be a great way to more immediately solve the login issues. Despite the good news of more servers coming, I am somewhat alarmed by the "wait and see" solution for the current worlds. Having the AFK kicker will help, but I'm honestly not sure if that will really solve the problem to the degree it needs to be solved.

We'll see... I'm one of those forum posters with no IT background, so I'm well aware that I could easily be missing something.
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#5 Aug 29 2013 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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Yay! Sounds like really good news. Only better news would be they invented a time machine and fixed it last week!
#6 Aug 29 2013 at 11:10 PM Rating: Good
Agreed that communication has improved by leaps and bounds. This is the kind of thing I like to see.

Now if only we can get really nicely detailed graphs and pie charts.
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#7 Aug 29 2013 at 11:20 PM Rating: Good
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Graphs and pies please!
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#8 Aug 30 2013 at 7:32 AM Rating: Good
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Wow, that was a great letter. He gave actual numbers and dates! Most of the time it's all generalities and platitudes...This makes me feel a lot better about the future of this game.
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#9 Aug 30 2013 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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I'm glad he's putting the AFK logout on the back-burner. Once they actually get servers setup to handle the traffic they have, there will be no reason for people to stay logged in for no reason anyway.

Why waste time on a temp fix for an issue you're working on a solution for anyway? This guy gets it. Smiley: nod
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Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#10 Aug 30 2013 at 7:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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This is why I really like Yoshi... he accepts full responsibility. I can accept mistakes if the person owns up to them and resolves to fix them accordingly.

Kudos to you Yoshi P. - Kudos! Smiley: grin
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#11 Aug 30 2013 at 7:42 AM Rating: Decent
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FilthMcNasty wrote:
I'm glad he's putting the AFK logout on the back-burner. Once they actually get servers setup to handle the traffic they have, there will be no reason for people to stay logged in for no reason anyway.

Why waste time on a temp fix for an issue you're working on a solution for anyway? This guy gets it. Smiley: nod


I'm glad it's not the priority as well. I do want to see it in game though. The less people on the server that do not need to be, the better. If you're not doing anything, we take up the resources?
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#12 Aug 30 2013 at 7:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hairspray wrote:
This is why I really like Yoshi... he accepts full responsibility. I can accept mistakes if the person owns up to them and resolves to fix them accordingly.

Kudos to you Yoshi P. - Kudos! Smiley: grin


Amazing how hard that is to find.
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#13 Aug 30 2013 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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jaggars wrote:
FilthMcNasty wrote:
I'm glad he's putting the AFK logout on the back-burner. Once they actually get servers setup to handle the traffic they have, there will be no reason for people to stay logged in for no reason anyway.

Why waste time on a temp fix for an issue you're working on a solution for anyway? This guy gets it. Smiley: nod


I'm glad it's not the priority as well. I do want to see it in game though. The less people on the server that do not need to be, the better. If you're not doing anything, we take up the resources?


Most people will logout if they know they can login later without 1017 or if there's at least a queue. They should move the inn rest bonus to only applying on logout from any sanctuary. I would think that will resolve the issue of people staying logged in completely once the server issues are cleared up.
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30 bucks is almost free

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Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#14 Aug 30 2013 at 9:22 AM Rating: Good
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Man... this yoshi guy has some balls and i have much respect for him. No other mmo ever has been so communicative and honest with the players. Most of the time the game companies dont give five cents to communicate.

Saqure enix on ffxi also sucked badly at communicating with players, so this is very refreshing.
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#15ShadowofaDoubt, Posted: Aug 30 2013 at 9:24 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Actually it wasnt yoshi who posted that btw.
#16 Aug 30 2013 at 9:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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ShadowofaDoubt wrote:
Actually it wasnt yoshi who posted that btw.


Even though it has his name in the first sentence?
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#17 Aug 30 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Good
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Hairspray wrote:
This is why I really like Yoshi... he accepts full responsibility. I can accept mistakes if the person owns up to them and resolves to fix them accordingly.

Kudos to you Yoshi P. - Kudos! Smiley: grin


Exactly my sentiments. I was definitely put off by the 1017 game, but just having him accept full responsibility eased my frustrations. The detailed explaination of their plans was just what the community needed.
#18 Aug 30 2013 at 10:34 AM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
Hopefully, part of the solution will be free server transfers from already congested worlds onto the new servers.

I don't plan on moving, but I'm sure many others would. This would be a great way to more immediately solve the login issues. Despite the good news of more servers coming, I am somewhat alarmed by the "wait and see" solution for the current worlds. Having the AFK kicker will help, but I'm honestly not sure if that will really solve the problem to the degree it needs to be solved.

We'll see... I'm one of those forum posters with no IT background, so I'm well aware that I could easily be missing something.


I'm ok with wait and see for the moment because we'll have a better idea of actual usage over the weekend when everyone with a canceled pre-order early access code is finally locked out for good if they did not purchase the game. I don't know exactly how much of a problem it was but I get the feeling it was an important factor.



Edited, Aug 30th 2013 12:35pm by PhoenixOmbre
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#19 Aug 30 2013 at 10:54 AM Rating: Default
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Buffylvr wrote:
ShadowofaDoubt wrote:
Actually it wasnt yoshi who posted that btw.


Even though it has his name in the first sentence?

The one I saw had the lead designers name on it (starts with an N I think)
#20 Aug 30 2013 at 11:14 AM Rating: Good
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Demonadrastos wrote:


The graphs are really not that important... but pie! yes please!
#21 Aug 30 2013 at 11:32 AM Rating: Good
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I am truly impressed by his honesty about the issues. I have utmost respect for this guy, now. I think we are all so used to minced words and watered down PR coming from SE and it only adds to the frustration rather than assuage it. Instead, he cuts it real and gives us numbers to back it up.

I wish SE had more like him.
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#22 Aug 30 2013 at 11:35 AM Rating: Good
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Lefein wrote:
I am truly impressed by his honesty about the issues. I have utmost respect for this guy, now. I think we are all so used to minced words and watered down PR coming from SE and it only adds to the frustration rather than assuage it. Instead, he cuts it real and gives us numbers to back it up.

I wish SE had more like him.


I've liked his attitude about everyhing since the time I saw him walk in and bap the guy on the head who was giving the video report with a cardboard summoner's horn. Plus, anyone who wears that many rings to his professional job and doesn't get looked at sideways has got to have a good attitude about his life.
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#23 Aug 30 2013 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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ShadowofaDoubt wrote:
Buffylvr wrote:
ShadowofaDoubt wrote:
Actually it wasnt yoshi who posted that btw.

Even though it has his name in the first sentence?

The one I saw had the lead designers name on it (starts with an N I think)

Perhaps you are thinking of Naoki Yoshida, aka "Yoshi-P".
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#24ShadowofaDoubt, Posted: Aug 30 2013 at 1:17 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Maybe thats it, dont feel like looking it up as its not that important to debate about
#25 Aug 30 2013 at 3:53 PM Rating: Good
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So here a question for the IT people of ZAM. Could they prioritize one server at a time for testing and slowly start adding them today instead of Monday or does it make more sense to just release them all next week. I personally would take them adding one server at a time but making them available sooner than just releasing a whole bunch early next week.

Not complaining. I'm glad they are fixing it just looking at options.
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#26 Aug 30 2013 at 3:55 PM Rating: Default
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kainsilv wrote:
So here a question for the IT people of ZAM. Could they prioritize one server at a time for testing and slowly start adding them today instead of Monday or does it make more sense to just release them all next week. I personally would take them adding one server at a time but making them available sooner than just releasing a whole bunch early next week.

Not complaining. I'm glad they are fixing it just looking at options.

I dont think adding servers will help that much when the current servers are overcrowded. I think they need to prioritize getting server capacity doubled over adding new servers.
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