Chances are you’ve already heard me rail on how disappointing Final Fantasy XIV is. I’ve said it on the podcast, in articles, to strangers on the train, to anyone who would listen to me whine. Well it gets better, folks. If you’re not up to date on why FFXIV sucks more than a vampiric vacuum cleaner, I’ll give you the short short version. Everything except the graphics is complete garbage, and unless you have a BEAST of a PC, you’re going to have to turn all the effects off in order to play it. In order to combat the abysmal mechanics in the game, Square Enix has been working around the clock to implement the changes that the fans are begging for. There are tons of little things that make huge problems, like the inability to sort your inventory (finally fixed), or that you can’t see where your party members are on the main map. This problem has its roots far deeper than that, however. This whole game is a bit of a disaster. I’ve said it before, and I’m not alone in this, but I feel like I’m playing the beta. As such, Squenix has been gracious enough to let everyone play for free. They extended the 30 day trial period once, and then when that was about to end, they extended it again. At least they know that the game isn’t worth paying for.
So what should I find in my inbox this morning, but another apology from Squenix. This one is a little different though. Far larger changes have been made, but not to the game. It seems that things have gotten so bad over there, that people are losing their jobs over it. The producer of FFXIV has (likely forcibly) stepped down and been replaced. So have a number of other people involved in leadership roles for this game. Former producer Hirmochi Tanaka had this to say:
First of all, I would like to apologize for our inability to fully satisfy our users with the initial release of FINAL FANTASY XIV. I take full responsibility for the game’s current situation, and have therefore made the decision to step down from my role as producer.
The new director/producer for the game, Naoki Yoshida, has stepped in as a relative nobody, having never been in a role even close to this size before. He seems very confident that, along with the new and preexisting members of the team, he can help to turn this around and into a game that will draw the masses. Or draw them back. People fled Eorzea in droves after realizing that, no matter how hard they tried, the game just wasn’t fun. I think Chris and I have played like once or twice in the past month or two, and thats the whole reason: its NOT FUN. Stay with me though, as it gets better (worse).
As a result of FFXIV’s dangerously high levels of suckage and the team being restructured, that PS3 launch in March you’ve been waiting for isn’t happening. The game has been indefinitely delayed, in order to unfuck everything prior to the console launch. I’ve been joking about how the six months between the PC and PS3 launches is acting as an extended beta that people had to buy the disc for. Well, turns out thats exactly what it is. The console version of the game will not be released until the game no longer blows. With that announcement was coupled the fact that nobody was going to have to pay a dime until that point. Isn’t that nice? It just goes to show that Squenix is trying desperately to make this game the success it should have been. They are letting me play for free until the game is good. Wait a minute… so I can play a shitty game free of charge until the game is no longer shitty? I guess thats cool. I imagine the reasoning is that it will be much harder to regain players who have canceled their accounts than it will be to keep us here. I mean, its not like its costing me anything. It would actually take more effort on my part to figure out the horribly convoluted process of terminating my account than to just ignore it.
There are still two version updates between now and the end of the year, and those will be implemented. Then, I think its back to the drawing board for the dev team. They have a huge amount of work ahead of them, as the whole game needs to be scrutinized and reworked. Well, except the graphics. My dude looks awesome.