FFXIV: Great game, poor service.
Please note: This is not intended to be a “whiny bitch post.” I’ve been a tester since Alpha and I honestly love this game. I’ve written guides and articles praising the game and have tried to participate in the community as much as possible. My issue is that this game is simply too amazing to not have a large enough community relations team to support it.
With the launch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn comes a great deal of excitement and even larger expectations. The early Phase 4 access began at 5:00 am EDT on Friday, August 16th. The servers were up within 20 minutes of the projected time and personally I had zero issues up until 6:30 pm EDT the same day. More than 12 hours of game play and the game played absolutely flawlessly – no lag, no issues, beautiful. At 6:30 pm EDT on Friday, August 16th, I was disconnected – I have been locked out since with the error message 3102: “You are still logged into the game…”
18 hours after this thread was created on the forums and 96 pages later, we finally received a response from Community Rep, Gildrein. He locked the thread and asked everyone to repost on a different thread with a specific template for their post (character name and world) – that was the last we heard from the Developers.
There’s a couple reasons why this really grinds my gears. First off, and I’m sure many people can relate to this, is that I’m in the process of forming a rather large Free Company – a FFXIV Division of my larger Tier Two gaming community. The second reason is that I run this blog, which I aim to provide people with accurate, useful information regarding various games – FFXIV being my current focus. It is very important to me that I am able to confirm the accuracy of my guides, such as my high traffic “FFXIV: ARR – Getting Started Guide.” Granted, these two should give me no priority in getting this issue fixed – but they absolutely have increased my displeasure with the situation.
Why is this unacceptable?
This is Beta – things go wrong. I have no issue with the fact the game is unavailable. In fact, most of us came into beta expecting something to go wrong and were amazed when the game ran, and continues to run, flawlessly for the duration. However when something does go wrong and hundreds, possibly thousands of players are affected, it is the Developer’s responsibility to stay transparent and available.
This doesn’t mean fixing the issue immediately and if they don’t, that’s unacceptable. This means communicating with the community and simply being the middle man between them and the Development team. As far as I know, Square Enix has appointed one (yes, one) Community Manager for the English speaking audience, @Mattalos – who has been MIA for the last 12 hours.
This is not necessarily pinned on him, more so Square Enix. The company needs to realize that community relations is a big deal and simply needs to allocate more resources. If your game is live, especially in a state such as Open Beta, you must have resources available to the community to provide transparency for your game. At this point, specifically on their forums – never mind reddit – there have been about 150 pages of posts regarding this issue with one Developer post stating to re-post in a different thread they made, providing no insight on the issue whatsoever.
Basically, Square Enix needs to treat community relations with a much higher priority. Even if they appoint some Junior level Community Manager to sit on the forums all night replying that, “We are working on the issue.” People have been calling Help Desk and they have stated to just wait or re-install the client – neither of which have yielded any results.
I guess my closing remark will be that despite FFXIV being a simply amazing game, if they do not restructure their community relations team, people honestly need to reconsider investing in the game. Thank you for reading.