Square: FFXIV’s playtime-limiting system in place to keep certain players from having an “unfair advantage”

Thursday, 26th August 2010 08:07 GMT By Nathan Grayson


Life is all about balance. Unless you play MMOs; in which case, life is a series of marathon play sessions that culminate in you sitting atop an ever-growing pile of virtual loot that’s always just seconds away from becoming obsolete.

Square, however, is implementing a system that eventually takes away players’ ability to gain experience points if they don’t take a breather every once in a while. Hooray, right? If you said “yes,” you clearly don’t understand MMO players.

After an irate swarm of players minimized their FFXI windows for a whole five minutes in order to voice their dissatisfaction with Final Fantasy XIV’s experience-limiting system, game director Nobuaki Komoto explained why he thinks such a system is necessary to maintain balance.

First off, the main concept behind FFXIV is allowing those players with little time on their hands to play effectively, and game balance is based off of that. Furthermore, it is being designed to not give those with more time on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian’s Favor (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to make leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term,” he said on the game’s Japanese beta site (as translated by a member of FFXIV Core).

“To achieve this balance, the amount of possible skill/experience points earned after a certain period of time has a threshold. Think of it as real-life ‘fatigue’ from working at improving your skills via battle.”

That threshold is eight hours. After that, it’s pretty much all downhill, and after an additional seven hours, you’ll be raking in a big fat zero XP no matter how many big fat baddies you bring down.

“This system is on a weekly timer. After a week has passed since you began skilling that particular weapon, the timer will reset. It will start anew when you skill up again,” he added.

15 hours each week? That barely even qualifies as a part-time job. Jeez, you’d think they were trying to make this enjoyable or something.



  1. Dralen

    Errrrgh that’s really shit.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. mington

    whats that smell?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I think I heard a sound, like a billion Koreans throwing their keyboards in disgust.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Kerplunk

    This sounds to me like a response to the issue of gold/experience farmers.

    Also, given some of the more high-profile incidents with MMOs in Asia regions over the years, weren’t some states planning on enforcing a limit on game session length anyway?

    Admittedly, if you’re paying to play a game then you may feel you’re entitled to play it however you wish (within the terms of use that you agree to). But that’s a policy that’s clearly been abused for years.

    Overall, I think Square’s approach here is a reasonable and constructive one – it’s not like they boot you off the server or anything. Some people will complain – but people always complain.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Hunam

    Terrible idea for a terrible game unfortuantly. From what I saw of the Beta the entire game is broken from it’s core concept.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    No, that’s a really dumb thing to do. If it reset each day, with say, five hour blocks (until it activates, and another five before XP zipperoony) then that wouldn’t be bad; but it just reads to me to be the strange case of an MMO maker that doesn’t want people playing the time-sink game they bought – and would be paying a subscription for!

    It’s totally ridiculous, as it stands. It shouldn’t be the business of the creator to say how long the game can be played (effectively) anyway, it’s each individual’s choice that plays – and to ask for a hefty sub in to the bargain, it’s completely hairbrained.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. AHA-Lambda

    wow its like they’re trying to balls up this game as much as they possibly can

    #7 4 years ago
  8. KrazyKraut

    ffxi was hardcore…and i liked it. but then I realized what cool games i collected over 2 years which i didnt play…so i stopped it.
    And when I tested FFXIV beta…lol same shit, different clothes.
    Hope the arrogant bastards who already founded FFXIV guilds (“You need to play at least 30+ hrs per week..[...]…and dont ask too often for help, not even after the starting phase of the game”) cry now.

    Thats the only thing I hated in FFXI..the egoistic & arrogant guilds,
    which called themselves “social”.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Michael O’Connor

    And stupidity like this is why WoW, a five year old game, is completely trumping the competition.

    You, Square, are fucking idiots.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    actually how is this going to complement bosses that take 10+ hours to defeat? XD

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Michael O’Connor

    @11 The whole “10 hour bosses” thing only came about because of the elitist nature of the game. Players weren’t willing to use class tactics from newer classes to help defeat the bosses, causing the fights to take 20 times as long to finish.

    FFXI is a disgustingly elitist MMO, chock full of giant egos. I stopped playing it after a week.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. The_Red

    Wait, 8+7 hours a “week”!? Are they mental? More than 50 percent of MMO players spend 8 hours a day let alone a week.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Epic Fool

    No stress, then? That’s… fine, I guess.

    “FFXI is a disgustingly elitist MMO, chock full of giant egos. I stopped playing it after a week.”

    That’s odd, I only played it for a few months (years back), but I loved the world, and met plenty of friendly people. Oh well.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Michael O’Connor said:

    “And stupidity like this is why WoW, a five year old game, is completely trumping the competition.

    You, Square, are fucking idiots.”

    I agree 110%.

    I would add something about Japan game devs being clueless and not understanding. Esp when it comes to just about anything played online. But I am sure some supper sensitive so and so would consider that comment raciest.

    The other bit which puzzles me is the “unfair advantage”. Is there a large PVP element to the game? What advantage can be had? So what if one player grinds out better gear then you. He played longer, did more, and thus earned it. I just don’t understand that angle at all.
    Unless we are talking PVP(open world ganking), I don’t see how one person can have any effect on another at all. Their sucess doesn’t hinder yours.

    And I agree attitudes like that are exctremly elitest.

    Lastly the best and only way imo to honestly reduce the gold farming and such is to take a series of steps that so far no one seems to want to take.


    Open an online store that sells in game items run by the game company themselfs.


    Everything you can wear is BOP(Binds – to your toon – On Pickup). If you can’t find it or make it, you can’t use it. It might hinder the in game econmey or at least alter it, but that also means that I can’t buy anything overly usefull from china either.


    Instance everything. Esp the things in the game that players can harvest like mats for tradskils. If I can easily obtain Iron to make myself a sword, it removes a large scale amount of the need/desire for me to pay someone else to harvest it for me.


    Content over gear. Easy as that. If the end goal of your game is simply to be the best dressed in a long line of cookie cutter classes your game is asking for players to buy mats and gold and gear. All their efforts are aimed at being top geared. IMO, this is what ruins wow. The entire game becomes a grind, for mats, for gold, for rep, for emblyms, for rare drops. And THAT is why people buy gold and such.

    Look at the new wow expac. Just 5 new levels. But that is enough for you to need to replace all of your current end game gear with new end game gear. And the cycle just repeats its self. The new expac should add 15 levels. With say 3, 4, or 5 more levels to be added at 6 month intervels.

    Content. New zones, new instances, new classes, new races, new tradskills, and higher level caps. Oh and bring back the games challange. I know 8yr old kids that have lvl 80 toons(its true).

    Anyways this wasn’t intended to be a wow rant, just thinking that the entire genere needs a rethink. And that FFXIV is an absolute joke, IMO.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. KrazyKraut

    no mmo discussion without WoW….that sucks..

    #15 4 years ago
  16. OlderGamer


    Why does it suck?

    Like the game or not, Blizzard redifined the genere. Wow has raised the bar and set the standard for MMOs.

    Every MMO descusion is going to have a wow element in for a long long time to come.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Epic Fool

    “And that FFXIV is an absolute joke, IMO.”

    And you already know this without even playing it, eh? Just like I already know I’ll like it… How quaint. :)

    #17 4 years ago
  18. OlderGamer


    Sorry I must have gotten my FF numbers mixed up.

    I meant to say the FF Online that is already out for PS2/XB360/PC. I guess I forgot the number of that one.

    I own the version for the xb360. Take a look at my profile on Live. And I can tell you 100% that w/o a doubt, I felt that game stunk. I honestly don’t see the new version being anything different. Just a new coat of paint.

    I didn’t mean to make it sound like I would form an opinion off of something I didn’t experience. If I offer thoughts on something that is speculation(a game or service not yet out), I will make it known that I haven’t tried it yet.

    I played FF Online for a bit, and went back to wow. I bought the game new for less then 10USD and it came with a month of play. I thought it was a deal.

    To each their own, in what they like and enjoy.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Blerk

    That’s XI, OG. :-)

    #19 4 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    Too many numbers lol! They should have fancy sub names would make it easier on us old folks with aling memories!

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Epic Fool

    Well as I said I did enjoy my (limited) time with XI, and wish I could still play. Hope they have prepaid cards this time for XIV, not holding my breath though…

    In the meantime, back to WoW it is. :)

    #21 4 years ago
  22. LordCancer

    lol @ 8 hours, they should have set it to 1 and actually take a moral stand and not just pretend.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. redisdrunk

    WoW is the standard in MMO discussion because it is the standard in MMOs. It doesn’t mean it’s the best. It means it’s standard. That’s not a compliment.

    Also, Ultima Online did something like this once. Limiting how much skill you could progress in-game per day. It didn’t last particularly long before players got increasingly disgruntled. Though I’m willing to bet Square has the balls to stick with a move like this way longer. They’re much, much more hateful to their customers if the last decade proves nothing else.

    Also; poor excuse is poor. Admitting that you’re knee capping players with too much time on their hands to give those with too little a more enjoyable experience is just bad. That’s not good game design, that’s just pointing out that you’re arbitrarily making the hamster wheel bigger, not giving us any additional reason to run on it.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Hybridpsycho

    “Let’s put something in our game that forces player to stop playing our game, doesn’t that sound like a great idea chief?”

    “Well, sure! It’s absolutely perfe…wait what?”

    I think that should’ve been the actual reaction >_>


    #24 4 years ago
  25. frostquake

    I was on board was like 8 hours a week…No WAY!!

    I understand that you want to stop Farmers and such, but don’t punish those of us who game every day for long hours.

    I game every day between 4-8 hours a day, but I do it for myself no one why punish me???

    I under stand the concept and support the concept/idea behind this but it needs serious tweaking.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. sootypaddlefish

    Wow do any of you actually know anything about the game? A player will gain skill points for each type of weapon they use (sword,lance,scepter etc.) That is basically how you gain levels for each class in the game. the 8 hour time limit is separate for each class/weapon type which will require people that want to play for long periods of time and are aiming to gain exp that whole time to play multiple classes. This will allow all players to have common knowledge of every class reducing the amount of “noobs” to each class in the game. We all know how much it sucks going through an instance with someone that doesnt know their job. So…. after 8 hours you dont get exp points/skill points on your polearm, switch to a great axe and play marauder! You cant play a FF game and not enjoy all classes that would just be stupid. i think most of you didnt research everything FFXIV is doing differently.

    #26 4 years ago

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