Back at PAX East 2017, Square Enix revealed it would be relocating the North American data center for Final Fantasy XIV. Naoki Yoshida, Director and Producer, took to the game’s official forums to offer insight into what is happening, why, and what players can expect in the coming months.
The current North American data center for Final Fantasy XIV was the company’s first game servers outside of Japan and it has outgrown its current facilities. Problems like lack of space, inability to expand, and voltage overload issues led to extended maintenance and server crashes, which led to the company deciding it needed to move to a new location with modern facilities. This would make it easier to apply updates that would make servers more efficient, increase the size and range of in-game areas, allow for cross-world friend management and party matching, and increase inventory sizes.
This move could cause a change in Final Fantasy XIV players’ ping times. The new data center will be in North America, in an area with advanced internet infrastructure. After the move, people closer to this undisclosed location will see falling ping times, while people further will see theirs rise. Yoshida notes that people shouldn’t experience any detrimental effects even if the move causes a slight increase, so long as their ping times remain under 200 milliseconds.
Finally, Yoshida closes by giving a window of when the Final Fantasy XIV North American data center relocation will begin. While an official announcement will be made closer to the actual date, it should happen sometime in the middle of May 2017. North American server users will experience 48 hours of downtime, while people in Europe and Japan will experience 24 hours without service. Every active subscriber affected by the move may receive an extra day added to their subscription.
Final Fantasy XIV is available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, though support for the PlayStation 3 version will end when the next expansion is released. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will be released on June 20, 2017.