Final Fantasy XIV upcoming revisions


These are fixes to short-term problems that players desperately needed to hear.

Obviously this game was released too early – no way anyone can deny that now – and

players were correct when they called Final Fantasy XIV incomplete. The unfinished

state of the game upon launch day gave players good reason to doubt the competence of

Square Enix. We wondered whether the company had learned anything from missteps in

Final Fantasy XI, or whether the development team genuinely cared about communicating

with players outside of Japan. The bugs and inefficiencies reported throughout beta

testing had made it to the game’s finished product. We couldn’t help but ask

ourselves whether SE was listening to anything we said.
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Which is why the extension of the 30-day free trial was so clutch. Although nobody

typed the words “I’m sorry” into the update notes, this extension of free play is

nothing short of an apology. And not only is Square Enix apologizing for the state of

its game, but the company is acknowledging just how incomplete the game really was.

This isn’t just lip service, folks; Square Enix is putting its money where its mouth

is. It’s an unprecedented move by a gaming company that has long been accused of

intentionally ignoring the needs of its dedicated fans.

I’m excited by all of the upcoming revisions to Final Fantasy XIV, but I’m excited

by the olive branch – no, make that the olive tree – extended to us by Square Enix.

I can’t help but feel that this wouldn’t have happened two or three years ago.

Seems like SE has been skilling up its public relations team, doesn’t it? Silliness

aside, continued communication from developers will help Final Fantasy XIV get the

positive exposure the game needs to overcome its shaky start. Further down the road,

improved communication from Square Enix will help keep FFXIV relevant for years to

come.

Hopefully these announcements bring an end to the endless tsunami of FFXIV rage

threads. Obviously, players, bloggers, reviewers and gaming journalists have every

right to speak their piece about Square Enix and Final Fantasy XIV. Some of the flaws

this game currently has are so glaring that I can’t blame people for leaving Eorzea

behind. Lately though I felt as if some critics were grasping at straws in an attempt

to brand the game a failure.

Even before these fixes were announced, Final Fantasy XIV had a lot going for it. The

game has incredibly unique questing and leveling systems, and the crafting and

gathering systems appear ready-made to thwart RMT. The graphics and sound are

amazing. I know I’m not the only gamer who was thrilled to be playing a state-of-

the-art MMO that doesn’t require hours upon hours of free time to make any kind of

progress.

Some players want to see these upcoming improvements be implemented before granting

their trust to Square Enix. I’m going to give SE the benefit of the doubt and

predict they will make the majority of these changes on schedule, and that anything

not fixed as planned will be patched soon after. Never before has the development

team been so bold about detailing version updates this far in advance. To me this

indicates a change in the way Square Enix does business. Considering the large amount

of money SE has already spent on FFXIV – and with the Playstation 3 launch looming

– I’m going to assume the company isn’t blowing smoke to temper early reactions

toward the game. The company had better not be blowing smoke, or this game faces a

real risk of going up in flames.

Rest assured, though, these aren’t the last problems FFXIV will face. The risk of

playing an ever-evolving game is that errors, glitches and ill-conceived systems will

always slip by the developers. Call it the MMO Circle of Life; mistakes will be made

and people will complain. I have confidence Square Enix will address these mistakes,

as they did of the time in FFXI.

All that really matters is that Square Enix keeps talking to its players. On Friday

we witnessed how far a few simple messages can go. Let’s hope the developers use

their budding communication skills to remove all doubts from our minds that Final

Fantasy XIV will grow and succeed.

As long as the developers keep talking — and listening — I have a feeling this game

will be just fine.