Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn producer, Naoki Yoshida, is back with another “Letter from the Producer” column, where he outlines the purpose of the game’s ongoing alpha test, along with a progress report on how things are going, as well as future plans.
Alpha tests serve primarily as server stress tests, Yoshida explains. For Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Square Enix have designed the servers to be able to handle up to 5,000 simultaneous connections per world. A single world will consist of 40 areas, which means the 5,000 users will be spread across these areas.
The purpose of the alpha test is to allow users to play the game as they normally would, so that Square Enix can understand how playing styles and player spread will affect the game and servers. Yoshida says that the team has currently made it possible for there to be 1,000 users in any given area. Other things the alpha is meant to test are whether:
- 300–400 players can change areas at the same time.
- The patch server can handle high concentrations of traffic.
- The client crashes when run on specific hardware.
- Enemies spawn and despawn correctly under heavy lag.
The alpha test for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is currently in its third phase, with one last fourth phase to follow. Yoshida says the alpha test has been going smoothly and that stability tests for Phase 3 will continue until December 2nd. On December 3rd, Square will resume adding additional testers and move on to the fourth phase, and open a third game world at the same time.
You can read Yoshida’s full, more detailed report at the link above. It explains many of the intricacies that go into performing an alpha test and the kinds of issues that it helps MMO developers test and account for. Yoshida also outlines all of the features that are currently available in the ongoing alpha tests.