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Data Center Travel and Japanese DC World Redistribution

Greetings, Warriors of Light! This is FFXIV Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida.

During the 69th Letter from the Producer LIVE, we introduced details regarding Data Center Travel and the World redistribution expected in upcoming 6.X patches. However, in an attempt to avoid divulging development information prematurely, I provided insufficient explanation, which has caused uncertainty and confusion in a number of players, particularly within Japanese data centers. For this, I am truly sorry.

During the same broadcast, I also stated that Data Center Travel would be implemented before the World redistribution; however, both will be implemented at the same time. I would like to apologise for this misstatement as well. Please rest assured that World redistribution will not occur before Data Center Travel is implemented.

To provide clarity on these issues, I have outlined the purpose and significance of the new Data Center Travel system, as well as our reasoning behind the World redistribution and the systems in place to support it.

To reduce disruption caused by the World redistribution of Japanese data centers, the Home World Transfer Service will be free to use for a limited time. After reviewing feedback from players, we have decided to ensure that this time period occurs before land in the new residential district becomes available for purchase in Patch 6.1. We will also reimburse those players who ended up transferring Worlds immediately after the 69th Letter from the Producer LIVE aired. Further details regarding this can be found in the Free Home World Transfers and Bonuses section below.

Patch 6.1, Newfound Adventure, has entered its final stage of development, and our team is hard at work debugging and fine-tuning its story and other content to create an experience worthy of this new beginning.

As always, thank you for your support, and we hope you enjoy the journeys that yet await you in FFXIV!

Naoki Yoshida
FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer & Director



Data Center Travel and Japanese DC World Redistribution

Data Center Travel will be added in Patch 6.18, allowing players to travel beyond the boundaries of their logical data center and interact with significantly more players.

Furthermore, the Meteor data center will be added around July 2022 as the fourth Japanese data center following Elemental, Gaia, and Mana. In conjunction with this, a number of existing Worlds will be redistributed under the Meteor data center. This addition and redistribution will considerably increase the number of simultaneous logins, which will help with congestion-related issues, such as those experienced during the release of new expansions. We understand this will be a significant inconvenience to those in affected communities, but would appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

In this article, we would like to explain what will be possible through Data Center Travel, as well as what will be affected by the World redistribution.

Table of Contents

What is Data Center Travel?

Data Center Travel is a feature that will be implemented in Patch 6.18, allowing players to visit another logical data center (logical DC) to socialise and participate in matchmaking.

Currently, player characters belong to a logical DC (Chaos, Light, etc.) and are limited to playing with others within that same logical DC. With the upcoming Data Center Travel feature, for example, players from Chaos will also be able to play with others in Light.

The Data Center Travel process typically only take somewhere between less than a minute to three minutes to complete. We hope you’ll make use of this feature and socialise with your newfound neighbours!

Activities Available When Visiting Other Logical DCs

Similar to the World Visit System, you can take part in a wide variety of activities, such as:

  • Chatting through Say/Party/Yell/Shout/Tell
  • Joining and chatting in cross-world linkshells (CWLS) created in the destination logical DC
  • Adding players to the Friend List
  • Forming and recruiting parties
  • Progressing through quests
  • Social interaction in various in-game locations, such as cities, public areas and residential districts
  • Participate in various in-game content, such as dungeons, raids, and PvP
  • Crafting and gathering (excluding Unspoiled and Legendary gathering nodes)
  • Purchasing items from the market board
* In addition to World Visit System restrictions, free company chat / CWLS in other logical DCs / PvP teams / Fellowships features (aside from searching) will be restricted.

With the addition of Data Center Travel, you will be able to use your main character to play outside of your Home World’s logical DC without having to create new characters specifically for visiting another logical DC. The scope of your communication and gameplay will expand dramatically as you can participate in raids with others, play with previously unreachable friends and acquaintances, tour player housing, participate in player events, and more!

How Do Data Centers Function?

For a better understanding of what can be done with the Data Center Travel feature, we would like to explain how data centers function in FFXIV.

Diagram of the Data Centers

* The current distribution of Worlds can be verified on the Server Status page.

Physical Data Centers (Physical DC)

The physical DCs (represented in blue on the diagram) are located in four regions: Japan, North America, Europe, and Oceania. The closer your place of residence is to the physical DC, the less likely you are to experience network lag; as such, players typically choose the physical DC located closest to their residence.

Logical Data Centers (Logical DC)

Each physical DC contains one to three logical DCs (represented in green on the diagram).

The following are some of the main features that can be accessed while you are on the logical DC you belong to:

  • Matchmaking
  • Party recruitment
  • Cross-world Linkshells (CWLS)
  • PvP teams
  • Fellowships

Worlds

Each logical DC contains five to eleven Worlds (represented in grey on the diagram).

The following are some of the main features that can be accessed while you are on your Home World.

  • Free Company
  • Linkshells
  • Retainers
  • Housing

How Data Center Travel Works

To reiterate, Data Center Travel allows players to move their characters to another logical DC, enabling them to use features that are linked to the destination logical DC.

Until now, logical DCs have been a sort of barrier to players, but this will be overcome with Data Center Travel. Though there will be some restrictions, you can generally think of this feature as something that enables you to play with all players in the same physical DC.

Japanese Data Center Expansion and World Redistribution

Next, we’d like to explain about the expansion of the Japanese data center and the reasons for the World redistribution.

Current State and Issues of Japanese Data Center

Due to how logical data centers are structured, there is a maximum number of simultaneous character logins on any given logical DC. The more Worlds there are in a logical DC, the lower the maximum number of logins per World.

Over the course of many years of operations, we’ve been able to accommodate a larger number of logins by improving the performance of the server equipment that makes up each World. However, due to the aforementioned limits of logical DCs, the number of logins cannot be increased any further on Worlds in the Japanese data center, unlike those belonging to the North American and European data centers. This makes these Worlds more susceptible to long login queues during times of congestion, such as immediately after the release of an expansion, and the lack of an efficient resolution to this problem has been apparent.

To this end, we will add a new logical DC, Meteor, and reduce the number of Worlds per logical DC to 8. This will enable us to significantly increase the number of maximum simultaneous logins per World by around 2,000.

Taking into account the floor space of the physical data centers housing the server equipment, as well as shortage of semiconductors, this is the fastest and most efficient method of large-scale expansion. This method involves redistributing a number of existing Worlds to Meteor, and we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause for the community, but ask for your understanding and cooperation as we strive to stabilise operations for the overall Japanese data center.

Addition of Meteor DC and Effects of World Redistribution

Though the World redistribution will change the affiliated logical DC of the Worlds moving to Meteor, there will be no change to the 'data' associated with the character, such as their affiliated World, character name, gil/items/housing/Friend List and so on. Free companies and linkshells for communicating within a World will also still be available.

Also keep in mind that although the World redistribution may separate you from players on other logical DCs, you will still be able to socialise and participate in duties with them by using Data Center Travel.

* Members of PvP teams and fellowships who move to another logical DC will be automatically removed. As for cross-world linkshells, the member list at the time of the World redistribution will be retained, and members will be able to chat in the CWLS when they are in the same logical DC using Data Center Travel.

Once more, we would like to sincerely apologise for the disruption and inconvenience caused by the World redistribution. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work towards alleviating major congestion and transforming physical DCs into one large community.

Free Home World Transfers and Bonuses

As mentioned above, character data will not be affected after the redistribution and players will be able to play with those on other logical DCs via Data Center Travel. But for those who would like to transfer their Home World for any reason, for a limited period, the Home World Transfer Service will be provided free of charge to characters on the Japanese data center.

In response to player feedback, we will provide a period of free Home World transfers prior to the release of Patch 6.1, in addition to the free Home World transfers period following the World redistribution. Reimbursements will be provided to those who paid for a Home World transfer between Friday, 4 March at 11:00 (GMT) / 22:00 (AEDT) to Thursday, 31 March at 7:59 (GMT) / 8:59 (BST) / 18:59 (AEDT). See below for further details.

Free Home World Transfer Period

  • From Thursday, 31 March 2022 at 8:00 (GMT) / 9:00 (BST) / 19:00 (AEDT) until the beginning of Patch 6.1 maintenance * NEW
  • A limited period following the World redistribution taking place in July 2022

Overview

During this period, all characters on the Japanese data center will be able to transfer their Home World at no cost, in addition to the following accommodations upon Home World transfer:

  • Players who own an estate will have the full cost of the land returned to them, and receive an additional 3,000,000 gil to compensate for lost furnishings.
  • Players who own an apartment will have the full purchase price of 500,000 gil returned to them, and receive an additional 500,000 gil to compensate for lost furnishings.

* For private estates, DO NOT relinquish the land but remove all furnishings and your estate hall and then apply for a Home World Transfer.
For apartments, DO NOT vacate the apartment but remove all your furnishings and then apply for a Home World Transfer.
Please note that if you have relinquished the deed to your plot or the rights to your property, you will not be eligible to receive gil compensation.
* Please note that if the total amount of gil in your possession exceeds 999,999,999 gil, the excess amount will be discarded.

* Transfers to Congested Worlds will remain unavailable.
* Transferring to a Preferred World will confer the usual transfer bonuses in addition to those listed above. (In the event that a bonus is the same, you will not receive it twice)
* Players transferring to Standard Worlds will not be able to transfer again until three days have passed. Characters that have transferred to a Preferred World during the bonus period will be restricted from using the Home World Transfer Service again for 90 days.

Reimbursement for Home World Transfers on the Japanese Data Center Prior to this Announcement

We will reimburse those on the Japanese data center who purchased a Home World Transfer between Friday, 4 March at 11:00 (GMT) / 22:00 (AEDT) to Thursday, 31 March at 7:59 (GMT) / 8:59 (BST) / 18:59 (AEDT), regardless of their reason for transferring. These Home World Transfer fees will be reimbursed in the form of Square Enix Crysta. As we will be providing the reimbursement to affected players in order, no particular actions will be required of those affected to receive their reimbursement.

Additionally, depending on the situation, players on the Japanese data center who relinquished housing plots or apartments in preparation for their Home World Transfer may be eligible for gil compensation, similar to the bonuses outlined above (*). We apologise for the inconvenience but ask that you contact the Support Center with the following details any time between Thursday, 31 March at 8:00 (GMT) / 9:00 (BST) / 19:00 (AEDT) and the start of Patch 6.1 maintenance.

  • Home World name
  • Character name
  • Type of housing (private estate/apartment)
  • Date and time of relinquishing
  • Information about the relinquished plot
      For private estates: Residential District / Ward / Plot Number / Size
      For apartments: Residential District / Ward / Building Number / Apartment Number

* As we cannot reference the price of the relinquished plot at the time of purchase, the amount of compensation will be based on the current starting sale price.
* Please note that compensation will require time to process.

Q&A

Q: I would like to know more about “copying” cross-world linkshells (CWLSs), mentioned during the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXIX.

A: Should some members of a CWLS and PvP team move to Meteor data center during the World redistribution, a CWLS/PvP team with the same name and details will be created in Meteor data center.
* In the case of duplicate CWLS or PvP team names within Meteor data center, a number such as #001 may be assigned after the name in order to differentiate them.

Regarding CWLS, we used the term "copying" to refer to how the member list will keep its state before the redistribution. This “copying” is on an internal level; in the CWLS menu, it will be displayed as a single CWLS which changes to display the copy of the CWLS stored on the player’s current logical DC. For instance, when a CWLS originally created in Gaia is copied to Meteor, the CWLS in Meteor will be displayed while playing on Meteor, and the CWLS in Gaia will be displayed while playing on Gaia. Note that in this example, the CWLS would not be visible when playing on Elemental or Mana.
* Players will be able to belong to up to 8 CWLS in each logical DC.

Furthermore, each copy of the CWLS will be treated as separate CWLS moving forward, and changes to membership in one CWLS on one logical DC will not be reflected in the copy of the CWLS in the other logical DC. This may result in different members being displayed depending on which logical DC you are currently playing on. Since Data Center Travel allows for players to join CWLS on the destination logical DC, having members join both copies of the CWLS on both logical DCs would resolve the issue of inconsistencies between member lists.

Q: In the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXIX, there was a screenshot of Data Center Travel with the description “Data Center Travel may take up to 30 minutes.” Will it always require a 30-minute wait?

A: The 30-minute estimate is based on when the servers are especially congested; the process will typically only take somewhere between less than a minute to three minutes to complete. Note that this will take slightly longer than the World Visit System, as it requires processes to ensure the safety of the character as they are transferred beyond the boundaries of logical DCs, which had previously been impossible.

Furthermore, the Data Center Travel process may require more than 30 minutes when there is a significant degree of congestion, such as the cases listed below.

  • A surge of players using Data Center Travel immediately after its implementation
  • A surge of players after a patch update or expansion has been released
  • Congestion due to player events taking place on the destination data center

Q: The World redistribution will make it inconvenient for us to communicate and form parties with players who have left for another logical DC. Will we ever be able to chat and form parties across logical DCs?

A: Unfortunately, chatting and forming parties across logical DCs would be extremely difficult to achieve with the current server system and implementing such features would require a significant amount of time.

Though it isn’t an in-game feature, the FFXIV Companion App for iOS and Android devices allows players to communicate and share schedules between free company/linkshell/CWLS members regardless of their character’s location on the logical DC. You can also use the Lodestone’s Event & Party Recruitment to gather participants on a larger scale, including other logical DCs.

Data Center Travel will allow you to join parties on other logical DCs to participate in duties and player events, as well as join CWLSs on other logical DCs. This may be a great opportunity to start using the FFXIV Companion App and the Lodestone’s Event & Party Recruitment.

Q: How will CWLSs/Friend List, etc. display players whose logical DC was changed through the redistribution?

A: See below for an outline of members that will be displayed in each menu.

CWLS

The CWLS itself will be copied over to Meteor data center, whereby a CWLS of the same name is created. Members on other logical DCs remain on the list and will appear as offline. Visiting the same logical DC with Data Center Travel enables you to chat with and check the online status of other members.
*In the case that a CWLS name is duplicated within the same data center, a number such as #001 may be assigned to the CWLS name in order to differentiate them.
* Players who are not affected by the redistribution and voluntarily move logical DCs will be automatically removed from the CWLS, but can return to the list and chat if they subsequently visit the logical DC using Data Center Travel.

PvP Team

The PvP team itself will be carried over to Meteor data center, whereby a PvP team of the same name is created; however, members listed from the other logical DC will be automatically removed.
* In the case that a PvP team name is duplicated within the Meteor data center, a number such as #001 may be assigned to the PvP team name in order to differentiate them.

Fellowships

Fellowships will follow whichever logical DC the master resides in. If the master of a fellowship moves to a different logical DC, the fellowship will be moved to the logical DC as well. Members residing on a different logical DC from the master will be automatically removed.

Friend List

Friends residing on other logical DCs will remain in the Friend List. From Patch 6.1, it will be possible to retrieve their online status and current World by pressing the designated button.

Blacklist

Players blacklisted from the other logical DC will remain on the list and no change will be made to the display.

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