Square Enix’s controversial decision to implement a “fatigue” system in Final Fantasy XIV in order to pander to casuals and the Chinese government has finally been revoked.
The change comes by way of the 1.18 patch:
Removal of the Fatigue System
Fatigue is the means whereby playing for prolonged periods of time progressively yields less and less skill and experience points, eventually reaching a point where neither can be obtained.
Patch 1.18 will see the removal of this system, meaning players will no longer be subjected to a reduction in skill and experience point awards even after long hours of play.
In light of this change, accumulated surplus points will also be done away with.
The stated reason for implementing the system was to make the game more friendly to casual players, although some also suspected the system was introduced in order to comply with the Chinese government’s onerous regulations on MMORPGs, as Square Enix has lately been noted for entertaining fantasies of success in China.
Whether any actual hardcore players are left to appreciate the change is another matter – even the brave soul who stayed on to produce unofficial estimates of the server populations has become fed up and quit; his last estimate, published at the end of June, showed the population on the most popular server had sunk to 1,339, down from a peak of 4,000 in the week after release.
Square Enix for its part still maintains a PS3 version “will definitely come, so don’t worry!” – though this of course rather optimistically supposes anyone was still worrying about the game.