Betas – gotta love ’em

I got this in the mail this morning:

In preparation for the official release of FINAL FANTASY XIV on September 30, 2010 and the early release on September 22, we will be starting an open beta test to help put the finishing touches on the game. We ask that all users who can participate in the open beta test apply from the following website.

1.Access the following URL.
* The page will become accessible starting at 19:00 on Aug. 31, 2010.

I didn’t get into closed beta, but then I didn’t really expect to, having only followed this game from a very great distance (as opposed to, say, my frothing mania regarding The Secret World).

Even so, beta is beta and I am a self-avowed beta ho — and O. M. G. that game looks pretty, at least in the screenies — so off I clicked.


FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test Postponed

FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, which is scheduled to begin at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010, will be postponed due to a confirmation of critical bugs. New schedule will be released at a later date.

Along with the postponement of FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, the issuing of registration code for FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test will be postponed as well. With the download of client software’s installer, it will be suspended at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the way Square Enix seem to be saying “There’s Japan, North America and Europe — and the rest of the world basically doesn’t exist.” Sorry Africa. Sorry, gigantic tracts (and vast populations, even if most of them don’t have an internet connection) of India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea… Oceania? What’s the deal with Oz anyway, for this system?

It’s either really really thoughtless or it’s actually just plain callous. Sorry, you guys don’t have enough critical internet mass for us to want to even offer you our game. You’re just too freaking backward. Get modernised and maybe then we’ll talk, hai?

I really hope I’m wrong on this one, because that sounds pretty freaking cold. And yet… it’s the kind of thing large games companies — and not just the far Eastern ones — do every damn day. Someone remind me why, again, we still have server/region segregation in this day and age?

Follow the money.

And don’t even get me started on the whole “Thou shallt play this long and NOT longer unless thou shallt also log over to an alt” xp-throttling business. I actually think we’ll get used to that because, ultimately, if you want to play this game you’ll have no choice (assuming they don’t back down). That doesn’t mean I think it’s right. It doesn’t mean I think a game developer gets to dictate how and how often I play their game that I pay a MONTHLY subscription for.

But maybe I’ll rant about that tomorrow.

Anyway – betas. Gotta love ’em.

13 thoughts on “Betas – gotta love ’em

  1. Congrats on the beta invite. Never much been into the FF series myself, but I’ve never tried their MMO. Something about playing doe eyed anime characters doesn’t click with me. I’ve heard about the upcoming game via podcasts and they have some cool ideas though, so hopefully it’ll be fun.

    One note on the land down under. From what I understand, one ISP has a stranglehold on the bandwidth market there and it’s crazy expensive to host servers. Where it might cost $7/month to host a site over here, they’d be paying like $75 or $80. Once you move the servers off the island, ping becomes a huge issue so games’ performance suffer and a lot of companies don’t want to deal with it.

    1. It’s not so much a beta invite as a mass-mailing to everyone who applied, I think, whether they got in previously or not. This is open beta, which means it’s a fancily dressed-up stress test and preview event — at least, that’s how open betas have developed these last few years.

      I’ve never played the FF MMO either and to be honest I’ve not played any of the single player games in years either, but the game LOOKS so damn pretty it’d be a shame not to take a look.

      As for the Oz thing – dunno. Stropp will know, he’s one of the upside-downers.

  2. “It doesn’t mean I think a game developer gets to dictate how and how often I play their game that I pay a MONTHLY subscription for.”

    Idle thought: What if they were using the Guild Wars model? Say, buy once, never pay again? How would that change the ire… if at all?

    1. Heh you know, I saw your comment over at Nerfbat on this same thing about an hour ago, and it did make me think.

      On the whole, I think it probably *would* change my ire somewhat. I still don’t think it’s right in essence, but when it’s a game I’m paying a monthly sub for it’s downright egregious. It’s like Comcast telling me I can only watch Channel A for 8 hours a week, after which I need to either switch to a different channel or turn off the TV. I pay for a service (the right to log in / watch TV) with a monthly flat rate — nowhere does it tell me I can only do certain things for a certain amount of time.

      The pessimist in me, however, knows that this will just end up getting accepted if they don’t back down on it. Which means that in 5 years’ time it may well be the norm and we’ll wonder how we ever played differently. We may rant and froth, but we’re far more malleable than we think. 😉

      1. Yeah, I reflexively don’t like Big Brother telling me what to do, so I don’t like it… at all. I just wonder about the psychological impact of the sub model and how it colors expectations, this being a case that I haven’t thought about before.

        I also wonder if they are covering legal bases by preempting “addiction” lawsuit nonsense.

  3. I’m not sure Squenix is any worse than most US MMO devs with the region splitting. The only striking thing is that they have special japanese servers, which surely is par for the course for final fantasy?

    1. Oh aye, I think it’s a bad thing on the part of all the companies that do it. There are many justifications but I’m not sure I buy any of them or that they’re still valid these days.

  4. The per-character xp limits start making a certain sinister sense when you bear in mind that there’s an additional per-month cost for additional character slots (not including your free minion).

    [adjusts tin-foil hat]

  5. Don’t know about this game. I was onboard, until I hear about the XP limits. 8 hours a week, then no more XP. It doesn’t suit my play style.

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