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style="font-style: italic;">On
the day that Square Enix opened up servers to kick off head start play
for the eager gamers who’ve received their style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy XIV
preorder, the dev company, which has routinely bucked conventional
wisdom where style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
is concerned, introduced a needlessly complex and convoluted
subscription and billing system. Has SE driven another nail into the style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
coffin where Western gamers are concerned, or will fans of the
franchise do anything to play in Eorzea? One rabid fan of the franchise
vented his frustrations to Karen “Shayalyn”
Hertzberg, and the ensuing rant is the subject of today’s href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/22">Loading…

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">Everquest 2
    (UP 1)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/99">Lord
    of the Rings Online (down 1)
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/">EVE Online
    (UP 1)
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183">Guild
    Wars 2 (down 1)

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38">EverQuest

    - UP 3
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/860">Champions

    - UP 1
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2">StarCraft

    - down 1
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free

  • size="-1">September
    30, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP
style="font-weight: bold;">World
of Warcraft:
Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest

October is just around the corner, so you know what that means.
It’s that festive time once again when we get to raise or
virtual tankards in World of Warcraft in celebration of the annual
in-game Brewfest event! To help get you into the spirit (or should that
be spirits?) of the event, we’ll be giving away not just one,
but two signed Tankard O’ Terror’s from href="http://www.taverncraft.com/">Taverncraft.
For full contest details be sure to race your ram over to our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest">Brewfest
Tankard O’ Terror Contest page!

Enter now as the contest ends on Monday, September 27th at midnight!
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 249px;"
alt="World of Warcraft PlayerScore"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

Loading... Hunting down and
destroying all loot ninjas!

don’t know a bigger fan of the style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy
franchise than my friend, Danny “Ralsu” Gourley.
And because of his love for all things produced by Square Enix and
tagged with the style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy
branding, Danny was destined to play style="font-style: italic;"
Fantasy XIV. Throughout the
game’s development process I’ve chatted with him
many times about the odd things Square Enix has done (whether
inadvertently or blatantly) to alienate all but the most hardcore style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy
fans.  Through it all, though, Danny has remained faithful to
his game, fighting his way through its quirks and eccentricities in beta to become what
I would call a true expert.

 But last night Danny, despite his devotion,
couldn’t stop ranting about Square Enix and its utterly
broken subscription process. In fact, he accused SE of raising his
blood pressure and possibly contributing to a future heart
condition…and not in the fun way.

Yesterday, with the head start for style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy XIV
kicking off (for the lucky few who received their boxes), SE announced
its href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89770">subscription
plan and billing system. The
subscription plan itself is confusing. Customers pay a “basic
account fee” of $9.99 per month (less if you pay for more
months at a crack) to simply have an account. Now, that sounds like a
bargain until you realize that having an account doesn’t
actually include being the proud owner of a character. For that,
you’ll have to pay a character fee of an additional
$3.00…because what MMO gamer actually expects a character to
come with his or her account?

It gets better. Square Enix, in their infinite wisdom, seem to have
devised a billing system that’s patently ridiculous.
“In 9 years of playing MMOs,” Danny told me,
“only one payment system I have encountered is stupider than
this, and that would be the PlayOnline system used for style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy XI.
Hell, even the worst piece of crap free-to-play game can muster the
wherewithal to process payments for their online currency on their own

And Danny has a right to be righteously peeved. His day started with a
text message from Square Enix’s Twitter feed informing him
that href="http://lodestone.finalfantasyxiv.com/pl/index.html">The
Lodestone, style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV’s
community site, was live. When he went to the site and found the crazy
payment options, he posted the information and href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53638">a
brief “wtf?”
to the Ten Ton Hammer forums. Further exploration of the billing
options revealed that Square Enix would have him buying its own
currency, Crysta, to pay for his account. His other option was to use a
UK-based third party service called clickandbuy.com to process his
subscription fees. In reading the terms of service for clickandbuy.com
he learned that he would be charged a fee for
“inactivity,” and that clickandbuy.com would make
it difficult for him to cancel his account. (The few minutes I spent
browsing the site and its ToS  left me feeling that it was a
sneakier version of PayPal.)

Detecting evil in SE’s plan, Danny wrote a href="http://ralsu.blogspot.com/2010/09/getting-to-core-unspecial-olympics.html">rant
in his blog. He believed
(apparently mistakenly) that he was required to register for
clickandbuy.com no matter now he intended to pay for his account. This
belief resulted in an unexpected $2.50 charge from clickandbuy.com.
Later in the day, a fellow style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV
fan alerted him to the option to use UltimatePay.com (a service of
Playspan, Inc.) to purchase Crysta via PayPal. His attempts to complete
this process began at 4:30 p.m. The last time I spoke to him, at around
11:30 p.m., he had been unable to purchase Crysta due to a mysterious
PayPal error. His attempts to contact Playspan customer service
resulted in a message saying, more or less, “This system is
designed to detect payment transaction peculiarities. The system thinks
your transaction is fraudulent. Your transaction was canceled. Thanks,
and have a nice day.” When he tried to log into his Square
Enix account to see where his subscription stood, he was greeted with
an error message saying that the server was too
“congested” and couldn’t display the

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89830"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 560px; height: 368px;"
alt="Square Enix error message"

Error message!

Square Enix, I hope you see what you’ve done to a loyal
customer. It’s a travesty. The unnecessary complexities of
this subscription and billing system, not to mention its flat out
brokenness, will undoubtedly lead to a great deal of frustration among
players whose only goal is to head into Eorzea early for a little of
the fun they expected to receive as part of their preorder. To make
matters worse, the details of the peculiar subscription plan and
payment options were made available on the same day as the head start
kicked off, leaving gamers scrambling to figure out how to actually
process a subscription and log into the game. It all amounts to one
great big GTFO from SE to style="font-style: italic;">FFXIV

One of the definitions for the word
“disenfranchised” is
“marginalized,” and Square Enix seems to have done
its best to marginalize fans. Perhaps they’re a little too
comfortable resting on their lofty laurels as the developers of a
venerated franchise like style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy.
I have to wonder whether they’ve taken their
customers’ interests to heart at all, or whether they feel
safe in the belief that a true style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy
fan will jump through flaming hoops to get into their newest MMOG. Why
would SE alienate such a large chunk of its potential player base? Your
guess is as good as mine. Feel free to post your guesses and other
comments in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53665">Loading…

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=742">Rift
News & Articles Discussion

- Ask the Devs!

Have you got questions about style="font-style: italic;"
Planes of Telara?
Well, we've got answers! The good folks at Trion Worlds will be
answering questions about their game for the Ten Ton Hammer community.
be submitting the best of your questions to Trion weekly. We'll also
provide an occasional question theme to help fuel your curiosity. You
may ask as many questions as you like, and if we feature yours we'll be
sure to give you your 15 minutes of fame for being clever enough to ask

away!  href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53636">


Quotes from the Epic Thread

quotes, just your awesome questions!


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

2 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 73 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1028 in 2010!


the Game Outside of the Game in Guild Wars 2


Wars 2 has a ton of interesting and unique features. Added to
list is the ability to chat within the game on your mobile phone or
explore the world map. Our newest article examines the
of taking GW2 on the go.

WoW Cataclysm: Darkshore Preview


is rumored to be one of the zones hit the hardest by Cataclysm. The
land has apparently been ripped asunder and the forces of nature
themselves threaten to cast the entire zone into oblivion. Have your
favorite spots survived? Join us here at Ten Ton Hammer as we take a
journey through this scarred land and find out for yourself just what
damage Cataclysm has wrought on the zone.

Top 10

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">World of Warcraft:
    Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/core-gameplay">Core
    Gameplay in Guild
    Wars 2
    - A Ten Ton Hammer
    Exclusive Community Interview href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">LEGO Universe
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/previews/extended-experience">Taking
    the Game Outside of the Game in style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/darkshore-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Cataclysm: Darkshore Preview
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tera/interviews/scott-hartsman-9.14.10">Deeper
    into the Rift – A Q&A with style="font-weight: bold;">Rift:
    Planes of
    Telara’s Scott
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/seasonal/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW:
    Brewfest Guide
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/story-and-progression">The
    Heart of Tyria - An Exclusive Interview on Personal Story and
    Progression in style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv/interviews/pax-2010-sage-sundi">Reconstructing
    a Classic - A Candid Interview with SquareEnix's Sage Sundi href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/zones/deepholm-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/features/lotro-store">The
    Store Arrives in Middle-Earth href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/zones/deepholm-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Karen “Shayalyn” Hertzberg and the Ten Ton Hammer

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.