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Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta To Start On August 31

If you wanted a taste, this is the perfect opportunity.

If you like brutal server crashes or need a taste of Final Fantasy XIV before you bother to hit a store to purchase, the time to experience the former and do the latter is nigh. Square Enix has confirmed that it is kicking off an open beta wave for the game as early as August 31, 19:00PDT in North America, according to RPG Site.

It's unknown exactly how many people Square Enix is planning to let flood its fresh-smelling MMO, but it seems safe to assume that it'll be a substantial number. The game hits soon (September 22), and its servers have yet to take the kind of day-one beating most MMO studios attempt to simulate beforehand. 

This news comes on the heels of a confirmation that the PS3 edition of the game will launch at least six months later than its PC brother as the result of a memory pinch
 

The first and coolest teaser image.


== TEASER ==This news is also hitting after Square Enix took some lumps from the hardest of hardcore planning to play the MMO. Fans are moaning about the studio's plans to keep the casual adventurer invested in the game's world and their own characters by capping the amount of experience that can be gained in a seven-day period (via MTV Multiplayer).

In short, you'll only be able to gain full amounts of experience points for eight hours a week. For seven hours after that, you'll have to deal with earning smaller amounts of EXP before the game just quits issuing out points and bonuses altogether.

Defending this move on the game's beta site, director Nobuaki Komoto said it's all about maximizing what people can do with limited time on their hands.  
 

This sky makes me hungry.

"Furthermore," he said according to a translation by FFXIV Core, "[the game] is being designed to not give those with more time on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian's Favor (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to making leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term."

But what Square can't kill, of course, is the edge you'll have on others after jumping into the open beta in just a few days.  Keep checking the game's website if you want in. They'll undoubtedly update it with more information on how to get in.
47 Comments
Posted by BradNicholson

If you like brutal server crashes or need a taste of Final Fantasy XIV before you bother to hit a store to purchase, the time to experience the former and do the latter is nigh. Square Enix has confirmed that it is kicking off an open beta wave for the game as early as August 31, 19:00PDT in North America, according to RPG Site.

It's unknown exactly how many people Square Enix is planning to let flood its fresh-smelling MMO, but it seems safe to assume that it'll be a substantial number. The game hits soon (September 22), and its servers have yet to take the kind of day-one beating most MMO studios attempt to simulate beforehand. 

This news comes on the heels of a confirmation that the PS3 edition of the game will launch at least six months later than its PC brother as the result of a memory pinch
 

The first and coolest teaser image.


== TEASER ==This news is also hitting after Square Enix took some lumps from the hardest of hardcore planning to play the MMO. Fans are moaning about the studio's plans to keep the casual adventurer invested in the game's world and their own characters by capping the amount of experience that can be gained in a seven-day period (via MTV Multiplayer).

In short, you'll only be able to gain full amounts of experience points for eight hours a week. For seven hours after that, you'll have to deal with earning smaller amounts of EXP before the game just quits issuing out points and bonuses altogether.

Defending this move on the game's beta site, director Nobuaki Komoto said it's all about maximizing what people can do with limited time on their hands.  
 

This sky makes me hungry.

"Furthermore," he said according to a translation by FFXIV Core, "[the game] is being designed to not give those with more time on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian's Favor (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to making leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term."

But what Square can't kill, of course, is the edge you'll have on others after jumping into the open beta in just a few days.  Keep checking the game's website if you want in. They'll undoubtedly update it with more information on how to get in.
Posted by Aeterna

I still don't know about this one, from all i've heard.. it'll be bad.

Posted by Eric_Buck

I dunno, this looks pretty cool. At least they're taking the time to properly get the PS3 version going instead of just releasing junk..
Posted by sgt_waffles

I'll be trying it out.
 
The worst thing I've heard about the game is the 'fatigue' system they're implementing.  I don't know if I will be a fan of that.  

Edited by Kaigan

The fuck is up with cutting the amount of exp you gain after x amount of playtime?

Posted by Norusdog

cap on xp gains? LMMFAO..way to KILL your game Square...enjoy your niche.

Posted by DrWhat

Quick Look? Maybe? FF11 was the grindiest thing on the internet, by all accounts, but maybe this one isn't terrible?
 
It's probably terrible.

Posted by Turambar

To clear one possible confusion up, it seems the "8 hour restriction" isn't 8 hours of play time on one character, but "8 hours worth of accumulated exp."  How exactly that's gonna work, I don't know, but for now, going afk in the game won't screw a person over it seems.

Posted by Turambar
@Eric_Buck:  An almost half a year delay seems enough to make the release completely irrelevant though if the PC launch flops.
Posted by dyong

The worst thing is that Japanese fans will eat this up out of a misguided sense of brand loyalty.

Posted by gakon

I opted-in for some beta for this game like six months ago; hope that counts for something.

Posted by Jadeskye

I have a key >_>

Posted by Spiritof

My biggest complaint about the first game is that it depended far too much on having a hardcore guild if you wanted to do any kind of realistic leveling. The game is so solo unfriendly, and the quests so teeth grindingly difficult/tedious, that I couldn't justify paying the monthly fee.
 
I'll probably give this one a go (just to see if they learned any lessons), but it's really going to have to "WoW" me in order to get me to stay.

Posted by Ladnar

Square's site says the open beta applications were closed as of August 16th.
Posted by HeroicDrinkingSong
@SpiritOf:   There's still an audience out there who dosen't want an mmo that can be soloed.  They want difficulty and guildmates.
 
@Ladnar: Acctually Squares FFXIV north american site says the closed beta apps were closed as of August 16th.  It goes on to say sign ups for the open beta will be starting "soon".
Posted by Laez

*Closed beta applications were closed as of August 16th.

 

Open beta apps are forthcoming.

 

The xp cap sounds fairly flexible.  It's not time based, it was just an estimate they originally came up with and confused the whole issue.  They have 8 "gates" that you go through collecting full xp, then 7 more that gradually decrease the amount of xp you get (they estimate all 15 will take 15 hours.)  However, this regenerates in your downtime, meaning any time you're not gaining xp, and has a total reset weekly.

 

I'm hopeful for this one, I'm going to at least give it a try.

Posted by m1k3
@Turambar said:
" To clear one possible confusion up, it seems the "8 hour restriction" isn't 8 hours of play time on one character, but "8 hours worth of accumulated exp."  How exactly that's gonna work, I don't know, but for now, going afk in the game won't screw a person over it seems. "
As far as i know, EXP is different than the Skill points you earn. I dont know how the system actually works, but i think Skill points are more important towards your classes than EXP which only has to do with player level. I could be way off though.
Posted by RiotBananas

"  Defending this move on the game's beta site, director Nobuaki Komoto said it's all about maximizing what people can do with limited time on their hands.  " 
 
Read as "It's all about minimizing how much you can do a month, to maximize how much players pay us"

Posted by FateOfNever

You know, WoW had a system similar to that for experience in beta, except at worst you would end up only being able to earn 25% xp and it only took eight hours for it to go back to normal.  That system didn't survive.  So why Sqaure thinks having an even harsher system than the one Blizzard decided was a bad idea is a good idea is beyond me.

Posted by donaldkhogan

The exp limit totally suits me just fine.  I have a job and goals and stuff you know?
 
That said, I can see why other players are bummed about it.  What if they could do it server-by-server, wouldn't that be great? 

Posted by NoK
@DrWhat said:
" Quick Look? Maybe? FF11 was the grindiest thing on the internet, by all accounts, but maybe this one isn't terrible?  It's probably terrible. "
Going with terrible.
Posted by MajorToms

The only things bad about this that I've heard come from beta testers. (obviously) but what rattles my cage is that these beta testers are complaining about a game that is in beta. It's a beta, not a demo of the finished product. Their feedback is key, but it doesn't seem like a lot of them are giving it to the right sources.

Posted by MAST

The only people I see getting angry about this XP limit thing are the people that have no life, and can spend 8-10 hours a day playing an MMO... And those people don't really matter anyway. I mean, it's a small crowd of people. 
Any time an MMO launches. There are maybe a few dozen people out of the thousands that reach the level cap within a week. So yeah, that's a super small crowd of people that will be affected by this XP limit thing. The majority won't even notice it.
 
Not only that. This XP limit thing will only matter for a limited amount of time (during the level up process). Eventually you will hit the level cap, and won't be effected by the XP limit anymore.
 
All in all, I think people are making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

Posted by zityz

I bet the reason they're adding that feature in is so that it takes longer for people to max level to rush through the game to realize there isn't hardly anything there until Square Enix can add content in or finish the game up.  
 
At some point in time in the future I can see them pulling this feature when A. they're done putting in the content that should be in there or B. People say "fuck this" and start to leave.
Posted by Karkarov

Honestly it wouldn't be that bad if you could play another character instead, too bad that costs an additional 3 dollars a month per character.  The pricing on this game is flat out ludicrous.  Putting a restriction like this down AND asking for a monthly fee is very questionable.

Posted by Meteora

The time restriction is very interesting, because most MMOs tend to be a time sink and grindfest. While the intentions maybe good, I fear that this is going to do more harm than good for this MMO.
 
Not that any other significant MMO has been able to get near close to the quality of World of WarCraft.

Posted by CL60

The fatigue system is going to kill this game.

Edited by Piranesi

This looks like it needs a huge PC just to play it - graphics look fantastic but is this even going to be possible on console?
 
FF11 has it's die-hard fans but it needs to bring in the FF13 crowd (and PS1 / PS2 era of players) just to make any sort of money on subscriptions over the high development costs. Japan is a large market but you make your profits overseas. Is the PC a big enough gaming platform in Japan or is it more like the South Korean internet cafe scene? 
 
Square need to recover from the FF13 fiasco (it sold well but left a sour taste for many people who were fans of the franchise). Selling an MMO is going to be even harder and if PC players feel it is "too grindy" or slow to get into, do they dumb it down for the later console launches?  
 
FF is stuck between two stools, playing to the home crowd (i.e. not too westernised) and appealing to Europe and US (i.e. not to easternised). Sorry if that is a little too generalistic but there have been comments that players don't like US-styled characters and likewise we may not appreciate the nuance of Japanese sensibilities.
 
Too many unknowns at the moment, not sure if the rushed beta will be enough for the September launch though ...
Posted by EpicSteve

Can i play for more than an hour?

Posted by Milkman

Am I understanding this correctly? You can only earn EXP for 8 hours a week and then it just stops? What kind of bullshit is that? Square is essentially putting a cap on the amount of time people can play. And we're expected to pay a monthly fee for this? If a person is willing to put more time into the game, then why shouldn't they be at an advantage? Isn't that how video games work? The more you play, the more rewards you receive and the better you get. This seems like a completely ass backwards way to play a MMO.
 
I know that Square had that guy die because he played for 24 hours straight or whatever. But is this really the best way to deal with this?

Posted by fenixREVOLUTION

Was totally excited for this game, then I heard about the XP caps. I'll probably give the beta a go in hopes of being blown away, but it's not looking too good.

Posted by TheManiacsGnome

The 8 hour cap is only with one class not your whole character, I'm really not worried about the way the exp system works just because the whole games way of progressing is looking kinda different from any other MMO. Learn how the system works before you knock it.
 
FFXI is not the greatest MMO and yet it still has a pretty good community and a lot of MMO's as old as FFXI can't say the same thing. I really enjoyed a lot about FFXI and seeing how mind bendingly slow that game progressed, I can't imagine FFXIV could be worse.

Posted by m1k3

im still keeping my pre-order for the collectors edition. the way you can switch classes really has me interested. cant wait

Posted by WhytePanther

Blizzard had originally planned a similar fatigue system for WoW, which was a much broader version of it's current rest system.  The original plan was for it to be possible to get anywhere from 4x to 1/4x the normal experience amount depending on how much time you have spent logged out.  The plans were scaled way back due to player backlash, and this could be the same.
 
...Except that SE's primary audience is in Japan, not America, and I don't know if they're raging over this as much as we are.  A more internet cafe centered audience might not mind these types of play restrictions.

Posted by thepeopleshooker

It seems like Square Enix policy to make a very nice looking game, and then start pruning away the fun. They're getting very good at it.

Posted by Turambar
@Milkman:  Yes, you are understanding it incorrectly.  Its not a hard time cap of "fight for 8 hours and no exp."  From the sounds of it, the devs contrived some idea of how much exp you can get in 8 hours and set that as a standard.  It might be more accurate to see them as markers.  You have 8 exp markers.  When you pass all 8, you hit 7 more markers where the exp gained is decreased until it reaches 0.  Whether this system effects a single character, or just a single job/class of that character (FFXI was all about changing jobs and this one will be as well) seems up in the air with me hearing different things from different people.
 
That said, for a game that's pay2play, that's still a shitty system.
Posted by wrathofconn
@Maniac said:
"Learn how the system works before you knock it."
But... But... This is America, we're supposed to be ignorant and pissed, right? Even if I hear a lot of hate, I'm still probably going to grab the PS3 version.
Posted by TheChaos

Everyone will log in on day one. 
Eight hours later the servers will be empty for the rest of the week. 
Cancelling my pre-order now.

Posted by TotalEklypse

exp cap makes me want to punch kittens. how can u justify a game u pay to play.... when u can only gain as much headway as the FING developers says you can?  
 
FIX IT 

Posted by StrikeALight

The exp surplus system is not calculated by time /played. Mis-interpretation / bad PR is what caused all the fuss in the West.  

They are planning to tweak the system based on feedback from OB.
Posted by blitzkriegblizzard

I wouldn't mind any kind of fatigue system if I didn't have to pay monthly for this.

Posted by Symphony
@MAST said:
" The only people I see getting angry about this XP limit thing are the people that have no life, and can spend 8-10 hours a day playing an MMO... And those people don't really matter anyway. I mean, it's a small crowd of people.  Any time an MMO launches. There are maybe a few dozen people out of the thousands that reach the level cap within a week. So yeah, that's a super small crowd of people that will be affected by this XP limit thing. The majority won't even notice it.  Not only that. This XP limit thing will only matter for a limited amount of time (during the level up process). Eventually you will hit the level cap, and won't be effected by the XP limit anymore.  All in all, I think people are making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. "
The vast majority of FFXI's player-base easily spent more than 8 hours a week playing, and considering these are the people XIV is primarily targeted at, this isn't just a "small crowd of people who don't really matter anyway". Why you said 8-10 hours a day is beyond me, as this cap is a weekly thing, not a daily thing.  
 
Did you even RTFA? 
Posted by PixieNinja

I posted this elsewhere regarding the surplus system that has been implemented in the game, so I might as well add it here too - it came from the NA beta site. The game is in beta, and the systems in place are being altered due to player feedback. 
 
Once again, we would like to thank you all for your participation and support during the Closed Beta. We will continue to take your valuable feedback into consideration as we develop the game during Open Beta and even beyond the official release.

Now I would like to take a moment to respond to the many questions and opinions regarding the manner in and rates at which experience and skill points are obtained in Beta 3.

Firstly, the concept for FINAL FANTASY XIV was to design a system of character progression that offers meaningful advancement for those with limited time to dedicate to playing. We did not want to create a game that forced people to play for hours on end to see their efforts rewarded. To that end, in addition to the Guardian's Aspect and guildleve systems, we introduced a means of apportioning swifter advancement to shorter periods of play.

In order to achieve this balance, we calculated a value for the amount of skill or experience points that could be earned in a one-hour period. This theoretical value represents an hour spent engaged solely in combat, levequests, or any other activities that earn skill or experience points, and sets a threshold delimiting how many of these points can be earned in a period of play.

Based on this, we have implemented a “threshold value” concept. These thresholds are regulated by a one-week timer that begins counting down the instant you earn skill/experience points. After a week has passed, the thresholds will reset, and the moment skill/experience points are earned again, the timer begins counting down anew.

For the first eight thresholds during this week-long period, players will receive skill/experience points at the maximum rate possible. The actual amount of time spent reaching these thresholds is not significant. That is to say, a player who exceeds eight hours of gameplay will still be rewarded the maximum amount of skill/experience points, so long as the total amount earned is below the eighth threshold value. For the subsequent seven thresholds, players will earn skill/experience points at a gradually decreasing rate, eventually reaching a rate of zero.

It is worth noting, however, that the reduced rate will also gradually recover while players are engaged in activities that do not yield skill/experience points. In this manner, it is possible for the threshold value to reset completely, even before the completion of the one-week timer.

Any skill points earned in excess of the threshold maximum—that is, at a rate of zero—will be stored as "bonus skill points." These are specific to each class, so players limited to earning bonus skill points still have the freedom to change classes and begin earning skill points again at the maximum rate, allowing their reduced skill rates to recover in the meantime.

The experience point threshold, however, is unrelated to class, and switching classes will have no effect on the decreasing rate of earnable experience.

This is how the progression system currently works.

This system was not introduced in Beta 3, but has been in place since the beginning of beta testing. There are several reasons why many people believe that these features were only recently implemented:

- Leading into Beta 3, operation hours were extended, making it possible to play more often during the span of a week.
- To encourage players to form guidleve parties in Beta 3, skill and experience point rewards for guildleves were significantly increased.
- The process that reduced the amount of skill/experience points awarded for weak enemies attacking in groups was unintentionally removed at the start of Beta 3. (This issue has been addressed.)

That last reason in particular was the biggest cause for players running up against the threshold penalty, with characters earning far more skill/experience points than we anticipated. We also faced an issue where we were simultaneously unable to adjust the amount earned for guildleves as well as the effects of crossing each threshold.

We sincerely apologize for the lack of explanation and our failure to make the necessary adjustments in the game.

The threshold values are being reexamined, and we plan to further adjust the different rates of earnable points based on feedback from our testers. One of the top issues we are looking at right now is fixing the excessively rapid drop after crossing the eighth threshold. We also plan to improve experience point reduction rates, even more so than for skill points, considering the threshold is unaffected when changing class.

At the very least, we can promise that players won't be running into the threshold penalty in the same short time span as they did in the beginning of Beta 3.

We would like to take this opportunity to also explain the following issues.

The diminishing results experienced during gathering are a function related to that class alone, and have no connection to this progression system. We are in the process of adjusting this system, and plan to make changes based on tester feedback.

We are currently in the process of considering the means in which bonus skill points can be used. There have been suggestions for various types of incentives, but as encouraging people to play with that in mind defeats the purpose of this threshold system, we will be examining this issue very carefully.

These are not the only adjustments we have planned for Open Beta. As mentioned previously, we are looking into increasing the amount of skill points earned when fighting in a party, and we look forward to seeing your input on these changes.

Last of all, I would like to apologize for the delay in releasing a developer's comment due to my recent attendance to Gamescom. The article based on my interview during that trip, coupled with conjecture, outdated information, and some misunderstandings on overseas websites, only added to the confusion. In the future, I hope to avoid similar problems by responding directly through official developer's comments as often as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

See you in the Open Beta Testing!

FINAL FANTASY XIV Director
Nobuaki Komoto  
      
Posted by shadowblazer19
@Meteora said:
" The time restriction is very interesting, because most MMOs tend to be a time sink and grindfest. While the intentions maybe good, I fear that this is going to do more harm than good for this MMO.  Not that any other significant MMO has been able to get near close to the quality of World of WarCraft. "

Maybe I'm just insane but I preferred ffxi over WoW 100%.
Posted by Renachan

Time to cross my hands in hopes I'll get the beta. Reaaaally hope it was smart to trash my pc chance in favor of the ps3 one >>

Posted by Falx
Sounds good to me, EXP cap and all. Makes sense from the details given in PixieNinjas comment. 
Posted by rargy