Argument: Square-Enix Apology Could Have Been Prevented

Our intern is back to discuss some big problems that have been plaguing "Final Fantasy XI."

by Sal Basile, MTV Intern

Square Enix Apology: Could it have been prevented?

The latest big game update for "Final Fantasy XI" went into effect on April 9th, 2009. With this update came a plethora of new content and activities for new and old players alike. Players welcomed such changes as the "Augment system", which was described on the game's official site as a way for players to "customize certain pieces of equipment by adding two augments of their choice to supplement the item's base attributes".

After the update, however, many previously established game mechanics were changed or "broken," enraging some longtime "FFXI" adventurers. Job abilities weren't working right, magic spells weren't affecting monsters in the same ways, and the Augment system did not allow players to add "augments of their choice," but rather added two random attributes, sometimes even adding negative effects.

From April 9 to April 23, the game's publisher, Square-Enix, issued nearly 10 updates addressing certain issues. Sometimes these updates didn't state what they were fixing. Yet the most problematic issue kept going unmentioned: "Enfeebling magic" was not affecting enemies the way it had for the past nine years. It was the hot topic on many message boards. Many players contacted Square-Enix, but their questions remained unanswered. One administrator of a popular "FFXI" forum said of Square-Enix, "It's clear they don't care about us as much as they should."

On April 22, Square-Enix announced the "FFXI" player base had surpassed two million characters.

A day later, the wondering and guessing about the game's new problems came to an end. This time the changes being made were outlined in the game's update notes. And there was a surprise as well: the company didn't just state that it would fix the broken job abilities and the problematic enfeebling magic bug, Square-Enix also apologized. The company stated "regarding the elemental resistance issue, we would like to take a moment and apologize for the delay in both notifying players and correcting the issue".

Players are now split between thanking Square-Enix for listening to them and questioning why their words weren't heard earlier. Sincere words from Square-Enix, but this could have been avoided earlier by listening to the player base.