Is there still any hope?
I don't even know if this game even has a community anymore. Ever since it came out it's been going down and down, then they extended the trial and it didn't help, then they delayed the PS3 version and now we hear almost nothing about the game. I'm pretty sure that they might just scrap it altogether.
I hope they gave up on it so they can get Versus XIII and XIII-2 out there and move onto the next set of Final Fantasy and away from the Fabula Nova Crystalis. Don't get me wrong I like the setting of FNC but I don't think they should be basing 3 games around it, Final Fantasy has never been about continuing storylines.
The servers hosting FFXIV and FFXI have been shut down in the wake of the earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, nuclear plant meltdowns, and the host of other disasters being endured in Japan. The Japanese government is asking its citizens to conserve energy by not using non-essential electronic services. Those obviously include games like FFXIV. The shut down is expected to last at least a week, but I suspect it will last much longer, given the severity of the issues Japan is currently facing.
SE has not yet announced a launch date for the PS3 version of FFXIV. New management (arranged under Yoshi-P) has announced widespread changes to nearly every aspect of the game. These include everything from minor adjustments, like possibly changing class names, adding a jump feature, additional armor, streamlining the crafting process, increasing inventory size, and making mobs bigger. They also include huge changes, like adjustments to the user interface, the battle system, (possibly) getting rid of physical levels and stat point allocation, changing and balancing the classes, reworking map layouts, and adding a significant amount of content (quests, NMs, NPCs, etc.). Basically, the sense is that everything is up in the air right now. It's safe to say that even the developers aren't even sure how Eorzea will look in 6 months. Management has even been polling the player base (2 polls so far over the past 2 months) to help determine how the game will change. In interviews, they've talked about content and changes that they plan to release in the Spring, with other content and changes to follow.
To give you an idea of the types of changes being considered, here's the most recent letter from the producer, giving the results of the latest player poll. You can see from that letter that the producers are still trying to decide what the game will look like.
The developers had been planning to come out with about two patches a month -- usually one includes content and one includes system adjustments -- working toward a re-launch that will coincide with the PS3 release. After the terrible reviews following the PC launch, the developers apparently feel like the game needs significant changes before it's launched on the PS3. They likely see the PS3 as their last chance to get the game in good working order, and the PS3 launch will give them a 2nd chance to get reviewed by the major sites. If the game isn't ready before it's released on the PS3, then that will make it difficult to build a significant audience in the near future.
I think the best way to think about the game right now is that it's in beta. And even that beta has been suspended because of the obviously greater concerns in Japan. Even if there had not been a suspension of work at SE, those changes would have taken several more months. I suspect they're going to work out all the major changes, and add significant content, before the PS3 release. So there's no way to tell right now when the game will get back online, let alone when the PS3 release will be. But it's safe to say that SE has definitely NOT given up on the PS3 release. In fact, I think they're counting on it. And they're putting in gobs of work and making tons of changes to ensure that it's successful. So I think any predictions that they're giving up on FFXIV are pretty unrealistic..
And if you're wondering, yes, I have been playing, and I've been enjoying it. I'm nervous -- but hopeful -- about the changes. I think everyone still playing the game is hopeful that the game will improve vastly over the coming months.
If you're interested, they've recently (March 8) launched official player forums. Anyone can look at what's going on over there -- at the moment, it's mostly just people suggesting changes they'd like to see made -- but you have to have an active player account to post on the forums. For past announcements from the development team, patch notes, etc., you've got to go to their old website, The Lodestone.
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