FFXIV Producer's Letter

Recruiting for Alpha testing of the next chapter while planning for the end of the current game

Final Fantasy XIV's 35th Letter from the Producer may seem bittersweet to some. On the one hand, the dev team is optimistic about the future of the game - they detail big plans for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, the next chapter in the series, and there is a lot of talk about showing demos at Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show. On the other hand, the letter also discusses the grand finale for the current version, scheduled for November 11.

Discussing plans for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, producer Naoki Yoshida says:

Since we’re almost ready for the alpha test for A Realm Reborn, we want to start recruiting players of the current version to assist us as alpha testers. Rather than looking at the actual gameplay, we’ll be asking players to cooperate with the dev team in things like server stress tests, as well as testing other fundamental mechanics of the game. You will be required to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), and the experience will be a far cry from playing the finished product. Available characters, classes, levels, and game content itself will be limited, and testers are accepted strictly on a volunteer basis. Keep those details in mind when you sign up.

In regards to the shutting-down of the current version of the game:

The grand finale is right around the corner, as the Seventh Umbral Era descends on Eorzea. A final save maintenance for current version character data is scheduled for November 1, 2012, followed by all Worlds coming down on November 11, 2012 at 0:00am (PST) / 8:00am (GMT). Then at 2:00am (PST) / 10:00am (GMT), also on November 11, we’re planning to run a live Letter from the Producer.

Because of the long gap between the ending of the current version of the game and the release of A Realm Reborn, the development team is running a poll, asking if players want to continue playing after the game is officially closed.

Basically, what we want to know is, do you want to keep playing the current version even after we bring all the Worlds down?

We can bring the servers back up after a few days, and you’ll be able to keep playing the game just like normal...but your final save data will remain unchanged.

Only the character data saved during the November 1 maintenance will be carried over to A Realm Reborn. The devs will also be focusing on the new version, and there will be no more patches or bug fixes for the current version after this point. But it seems a real shame to take away a venue where players can get together as a community. If we brought the servers back online, you would, however, need to ignore the inevitable story contradictions. Considering these factors, players that have an active subscription as of September 30, 2012, would play for free.

FINAL FANTASY XIV is as much yours as it is ours, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Source: Square-Enix Forums

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