So far, the FFXIV Open Beta has been a huge letdown. Why do I say this? Because despite many days of trying on a system that is more than capable of running the software, I have yet to be able to even connect. In fact, the only thing that has gotten me even close has been the huge fanbase of other players — who also seem to be having a very difficult time connecting — who have built how-to forums and donated their time to helping others navigate what should be a relatively simple process.
Let me start from the beginning.
As previously reported, last week I was happily starting along the path to playing Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta, only to learn that it had been delayed because of “critical bugs.” It turned out that delay only was for about a day, so I was soon able to get back on track. But as it turned out, the delay was the least of my issues.
The next problem I encountered was simply navigating the official beta website. As I suppose should have been somewhat anticipated, Square Enix’s web servers seem to have been slammed those first couple of days of open beta. The site crashed repeatedly, logging in on one part of the site wouldn’t allow me access to other parts of the site, my sign up information did not allow me access to the forums, and the website in general is poorly designed so when I finally did get a page to load, it usually wasn’t the right one.
I gave up in the short term and waited for the servers to recover. A couple days later, I finally was able to successfully download the Open Beta client. I installed it, had it working, and started the patching process. Then that became the problem — the patching was due to take more than 24 hours to complete, sucking up my bandwidth the whole time. My household could not do with craptastic internet in the meantime, so I searched for an alternative.
I found it at FFXIV Core. One thread on their forums completely saved me by detailing how to torrent the patch files, in which directory to place them, and general troubleshooting guidelines. It seems I was FAR from being the only one with issues. I downloaded the files easily overnight, followed the instructions, allowed the client a bit more time to install the patches, and thought I was good to go. Finally, a login screen popped up through the client. I put in my username and password and waited to finally get into the game. But I did not — the server was down.
That was yesterday. This morning I opened up my client again hoping the client would be up again. But instead, I got another screen indicating I would need to patch. It’s not that I’m unhappy to see it needs to be patched — in any Beta, it’s expected that the servers may be volatile and changes may be made frequently and at inconvenient times. However, the client now is timing out every time it attempts to patch.
I’m now standing at a week since I first started this process, and still have yet to connect despite hours and hours of trying. It’s back too FFXIV Core for me, another torrent to get the patch, and then — maybe — I’ll get to access the beta.
I hope this gets better, because the process so far has left me with low expectations and an extremely poor opinion of the organization and competence of the beta team. My fingers are crossed that they can prove me wrong, because I really want to be awed by this game.