Viera character in Final Fantasy XIV
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Final Fantasy XIV servers will again prioritize paid players in Dawntrail to help avoid a congestion catastrophe

Get your priorities straight.

Ahead of Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming Dawntrail expansion, which is slated to be the highly-anticipated expansion since Shadowbringers, director Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida is preparing the game's bustling community for potential congestion issues come launch day. Per a new announcement on The Lodestone, among the ongoing initiatives to curtail heavy server congestion, giving paid FFXIV players priority over Free Trial users is returning as well.

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This motive to prioritize players with a full FFXIV subscription over those using the extended Free Trial is not new by any means. It was last put in place during the early days of the Endwalker expansion when server congestion was at its absolute worst in the game's history.

As part of the announcement, the FFXIV development team explained exactly how this priority system will work:

When a login queue is in place, players on the full version of the game will be prioritized for logging in. Free Trial characters will be able to log in after the login queue has been cleared. This allows us to prioritize our paying customers and will mean longer wait times for Free Trial users, but we would like to ask for your understanding on this matter.

Square Enix, The Lodestone, June 18th, 2024

In other words, those who have purchased the full version of Final Fantasy XIV will take precedence when the login queues for Dawntrail start exceeding their normal limits on any given World server. Free Trial users will have to wait until those queues subside during off-peak hours. However, given the anticipated influx of players for this expansion, that may very well mean waiting days until the initial rush begins to calm down.

Granted, Yoshi-P and his team have been going to great lengths to help prevent a repeat of Endwalker's issues. As also mentioned in the Lodestone post, "maximum capacity" for World servers across the game has been increased by "roughly 50% compared to the launch of Endwalker". This alone will definitely take the edge off of server traffic considerably.

Not only that but the addition of the Dynamis (NA) and Shadow (EU) Data Centers will give the game's community significantly more room to expand and adjust during peak hours. Players will also see the return of auto-logouts after 30 minutes of inactivity, certain new areas such as Urqopacha becoming instanced, and both Data Center and World travel being suspended for roughly the first month of the expansion.

Prioritizing paid players is to avoid the catastrophe of Endwalker's launch congestion

Login queue in Final Fantasy XIV
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Square Enix's move to prioritize paid players in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail may not sit well with everyone, particularly those who are expressing interest in the game for the first time. However, it's regrettably necessary after the painfully long server queues the game experienced during the early days of Endwalker.

As those who played FFXIV during that period remember, login queues for the game were astronomically long, often taking hours just to let players in. It was incredibly frustrating for the community as a whole, especially for those who would wind up with the foreboding Error 2002 message and get kicked to the back of the line.

Unfortunately, Endwalker debuted during a notably difficult development period for FFXIV, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a myriad of issues, including a semiconductor supply chain drought that prevented the team from creating more servers and data centers like they wanted. Along with the unexpected migration of new players from other MMOs like World of Warcraft, it made for a contentious challenge that Endwalker fought hard to overcome.

As FFXIV is Square Enix's most lucrative ongoing game to date, and with Dawntrail now on the horizon and set to exceed expectations with an incredible amount of new content, taking every measure to ensure that players can access the game as painlessly as possible at launch is paramount.

Looking for a Final Fantasy XIV Discord server? Then we've got you with Is there a Final Fantasy XIV Discord? on Pro Game Guides.

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Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov has been a writer for over 7 years. His areas of interest include shooters like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and The Finals, but also RPGs like Cyberpunk: 2077 and the Dishonored franchise and single-player experiences like God of War and The Last of Us. Ivan has a double major in History and Russian from Oberlin College and when he isn't gaming – he is playing music and touring Europe with his band.
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Stephanie Watel
Stephanie Watel is a freelance writer for Pro Game Guides. Stephanie has been with the site for a few months, and in the games media industry for about a year. Stephanie typically covers the latest news and a variety of gaming guides for the site, and loves gardening and being the bird lady of the neighborhood. She has a BA in Writing from Pace University in NY.

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Final Fantasy XIV servers will again prioritize paid players in Dawntrail to help avoid a congestion catastrophe

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