Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has launched to the masses and while Square Enix has fended off a DDoS attack and dealt with other server issues, peak hour play is still a problem on some servers. To deal with the issue, the publisher is taking an interesting tactic: automatically logging off every player once a day. The problem as Square Enix sees it, are players who use methods to keep them from being flagged as away-from-keyboard, which starts a 30 minute logoff timer.
"In order to ease congestion issues at launch, we have placed a measure to automatically log out players who have been idle for 30 minutes. However, we have noticed a number of players using methods to circumvent this automatic logout. This has created a situation where the login queue cannot move forward during periods of heavy congestion," said the Final Fantasy XIV team in a statement.
"As such, we’ll be instituting a temporary measure that will log all characters out simultaneously across all Worlds on a data center once a day. Announcement for when this will take place will be made one hour prior via in-game system message. Please note that you will be logged out of the game even while inside of instances or duties," they added. "Players will not be able to log back into the game for about 10 minutes while this is being processed."
This is the first time I've heard of such a method in any massively multiplayer online title. Users on major servers like Balmung were still experiencing rather hefty login queues if the forums are to be believed.
Square Enix is trying hard to get players to move to other, less congested servers. The company is offering bonuses for creating a new character or transferring existing characters to new worlds. There's also a list of preferred worlds that Square Enix is offering character creation or transfer bonuses for.