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FFXIV: Endwalker Server Queues Push Square Enix to Halt Sales and New Free Trials

If you’re not in already, Square Enix is closing the door temporarily.

Nearly two weeks out from the launch of Endwalker, Final Fantasy XIV is still seeing login issues, lengthy queue times, and general server issues. The team at Square Enix has been working to alleviate the problems, increasing the size of queue lobbies and noting the causes behind some of the server errors. During peak hours though, players are still seeing queues that are an hour or more, and error code 2002 threatens to make that even longer. 

This evening even saw a hard disconnect among all the servers, with players unable to log into the launcher for around an hour. Square Enix identified the disconnect as being caused by a “server equipment issue” that has since been resolved. 

In a statement this evening, FFXIV creative director and lead producer Naoki Yoshida once again addressed the long queue times. 

FFXIV Sad Tataru
Tataru is sad about the halted sales.

Suspending Sales of FFXIV

First, Yoshida noted the team had previously offered seven days of free game time due to the rough early access period. That amount has been increased, with an additional 14 days being added. 

“This will apply to all players (including those with multiple accounts) who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription as of Tuesday, December 21, at 12:00 a.m. (PST), which is the scheduled release date for Patch 6.01,” states Yoshida in the Lodestone post.

In a more extreme move, Square Enix will be temporarily halting the sales of FFXIV entirely. The publisher won’t be shipping more copies to retail shelves, and digital sales are being paused, as well. “These temporary suspensions will be phased in over the next few days as we work with our retail partners. We will be coordinating with them as swiftly as possible, but please bear in mind that this will be a gradual process,” says Yoshida.

Likewise, Square Enix is preventing new players from creating Free Trial accounts. Free Trial players were already prevented from signing in during peak hours, and with this move, no other new players will be able to start a Free Trial in the first place.

With the inability to sell new copies of FFXIV and the lack of Free Trials, Square Enix will also be pausing all promotional advertisements related to the game. Yoshida says some ads will still be going out “due to the nature of how they were set up,” and asks for the community’s patience on the matter.

Error Code 2002 Bug

Part of the problem with the long queue times is that Error Code 2002 could see you knocked out of the queue at any moment. Depending on how long it takes you to log in again, you could be pushed significantly further back in the queue.

Yoshida says that part of the problem is, in fact, a bug! “This bug was part of a login-related program created back in FFXIV version 1.0, and thanks to the reports and tests carried out by many of our players, we were able to identify the cause of the problem. We apologize for not being able to identify the issue on our end and thank you all for submitting detailed reports regarding this matter,” he explains.

The fix for this bug is being pushed into the next patch, Patch 6.01, currently scheduled for release on Tuesday, December 21. 

FFXIV Dark Knight Music Video
A Dark Knight gets blasted by Error Code 2002 trying to log in.

New Servers Are Coming, With More News in January 2022

Yoshida has been candid about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the semi-conductor shortage have made it prohibitively difficult to expand FFXIV’s existing server footprint. The team at Square Enix can’t simply buy new servers, and the pandemic travel restrictions make it harder for them to physically inspect new server hardware. Yoshida does have an update on the situation, though.

“Considering the high specification requirements for FFXIV servers, along with the fact that adding a single logical data center requires hundreds of servers, we invariably need much more time, but we are starting to see some progress,” he says. “In line with this, the Server and Infrastructure teams are working together to plan for new additions, and we hope to be able to provide some sort of roadmap by the end of January 2022.”

Yoshida says the team will be adding servers to each region, including a large-scale expansion of North America and Europe. There was no mention of any changes to the Oceania server region, which is planned for launch in February 2022.

The Raid Release Schedule Isn’t Changing

With the long queue times and server issues, some players have been wondering if the planned release of the first raid wing, Pandæmonium: Asphodelos, was going to be pushed back. Yoshida says that’s not happening, as a delay would cause further knock-on effects down the line. The raid will be coming with Patch 6.01, scheduled for December 21, and the Savage version will come in Patch 6.05 on January 4.

“We understand that there are concerns about World First races and first-week progression, but Patch 6.05 will add a number of new elements, such as the addition of a new Allagan tomestone, new crafting recipes, as well as the new treasure hunt dungeon, the Excitatron 6000,” he explains. “Many players are looking forward to content aside from high-end duties, and furthermore, considering the balance of the rewards and item levels from said content, we cannot withhold only Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage), and rebalancing these would delay the patch release by several weeks and would affect Patch 6.1 and beyond.”

Hopefully, with the changes illustrated above and more players getting to the end of Endwalker’s main scenario, there will be some alleviation in terms of server congestion. If you’re able to login in the meantime, you might need our guide on leveling your alt jobs or how to unlock the new female Viera hairstyles. You can also look to our many dungeon guides, aether current maps, or general ongoing coverage here at The Linkshell!

About the Author

Mike Williams