The first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, Heavensward, launched yesterday! I've been really excited for this expansion and I don't know if I've ever felt this invested in a MMO before. I'll write up some more extensive impressions for my Final Fantasy Project later, but for now I wanted to talk about launch week.
Although Heavensward technically "launched" yesterday it has really been launched since last Thursday. Anyway who preordered the game could get into the servers starting late last week and get to the expansion content. That includes me and a lot of people in my Free Company. It's been fun being in this early access phase but it's also been frustrating.
The frustration comes with trying to log in to the game. If you can get into the game and log on to your character the servers are rock solid. But, what often happens, is you try to log into your data center (the step before character selection) and the server doesn't respond. In other games this would mean you just click a button to attempt log in once again. In Final Fantasy XIV it crashes to the desktop.
Which means that you need to relaunch the game launcher, type in your password, wait for the game to load, and then try to click through to your data center again. It's horrible from a user interface standpoint.
Two nights ago, while the game was still in early access, I gave up after trying to log in for about half an hour straight. That was before the expansion even launched. Now it's worse.
Even though I'm super excited to get back to playing this game it looks like I might need to put it on hold for a week or so and let the servers stabilize. It's not that unique, most MMOs have launch week problems, but it's still disappointing. I'm really invested in the story of Final Fantasy XIV and I want to see what happens next.