In probably one of the most dramatic patches any MMO has received so close after launch, Square-Enix today detailed the changes coming to Final Fantasy XIV in the near future. There are two patches planned, and, by the looks of it, seem to be fixing most of the issues people are having with the game, which garnered it some not-so-admirable scores.
Some notable changes are adding hot-keys to many other interface elements, making sweeping changes to the way guildleves work, performing behind-the-scenes changes to alleviate some of the lag people are experiencing, changing the way players search and interact with the marketing wards (no mention of an auction house, sorry), improving the main menu itself, as well as the chat interface, and many, many other things. They also seem to have gotten the point that their game has very few tutorials to help new players get the kick in the pants they need, and will be focusing on alleviating some of that beginner angst.
Notice what was said about the lag and user interface issues, which is quite promising:
“As part of the version update scheduled for November, areas within the game will be partitioned across several servers to mitigate load-balancing issues and increase response times. In addition, a general restructuring of user interface (UI) operations will lessen lag and sluggish response times.
The UI will also be undergoing several additions and adjustments aimed at creating more intuitive and user-friendly controls. Furthermore, a new UI geared towards users playing with a mouse and keyboard is currently being designed, and will hopefully be ready for implementation in a coming version update. The current in-game UI will remain available for those users who prefer to play via controller, while the newly designed UI will be available as an option for those who wish to use a mouse and keyboard.”
While some of these issues really should have been resolved before the game went live, it’s quite amazing how much player feedback Square-Enix is taking into consideration, especially because of the fact that they’re notorious for pretty much doing what they want regardless of how the players feel (in their MMOs, anyway). Let’s hope this is the start of a continued push to get the players more involved and not keeping them in the dark like the company had the tendency to do in the past.
For all the changes and the rest of the comments from the development team, head on over to the FFXIV Lodestone site.