It is standard practice for developers to open an official forum for their massively multiplayer online games. While Final Fantasy XI launched before this became the norm, the absence of an official forum for the recently released Final Fantasy XIV was certainly unusual. It seems Square-Enix has decided to get with the times, as they have not only opened an official forum for Final Fantasy XIV, but one for Final Fantasy XI as well.
While the opening of a forum is perhaps overdue (especially for Final Fantasy XI), the value of a forum as a tool and voice for the player community cannot be denied. Square-Enix has implied that they are listening to the community, and the introduction of the forums will no doubt help to improve communication. Both Final Fantasy XIV and XI forums are still in their beta phase, but players can log in with their Square-Enix account and post to their heart’s content.
Square-Enix will deliver game-related announcements via these forums from now on. Threads within Final Fantasy XIV’s “Updates” category will detail game-related changes and fixes. Already the “In Development” section lists several dozen.
Among the recent improvements to the Final Fantasy XIV experience, Square-Enix released Patch 1.16 last week, which offered players new content and changes. Quest-giving NPC’s are recognizable by the familiar exclamation mark icon that is widely used in MMORPGs, for instance. The names and objectives of some levequests have been changed, expanded upon or clarified, and local levequests have been adjusted to be more suitably ranked for players. Small changes to battles, items and the overall system, as well as several bug fixes round out the patch notes.