Rather than fixing FF14, Square Enix appears to be busy trying to cover up how badly it is doing – the much vaunted mega-patch discretely hid the server populations, which just happened to coincide with player populations reaching their lowest ever, now below 22,000, a 48% decrease from the peak.
Hidden away in the vast list of patch changes:
World population and nearby player counts are no longer displayed.
This happens to coincide with server populations dropping below 22,000 for the first time – Square Enix is probably unhappy with sites constantly publishing 2ch’s entertaining graphs of how badly the game is faring, like these, the last made before the coverup:
Growth rates are uniformly negative and show a gradually accelerating decline:
The patch even added three new enemies – although the observant will note they all use the same model with minor changes.
Most of the other changes related to balancing and interface tweaking, including a rather telling 10% reduction in the XP requirements for levelling and an alarming number of bug fixes.
In other news, Square Enix is now urgently recruiting programmers “who can work from vague instructions” and writers “who can write properly in Japanese.”