Square Enix raises outlook thanks to FFXIV: A Realm Reborn

Japanese publisher is expecting a stronger first half of the fiscal year thanks to better than expected sales of the latest Final Fantasy.

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn

Square Enix today announced that it’s revising its first-half fiscal forecast for the period ended September 30. For the six-month period, the company is now expecting to report net sales of 61.7 billion yen and net income of 2.6 billion yen, as compared with the previous outlook of 59 to 63 billion yen in sales with a net loss of 1.3 billion yen.

Square Enix said the upward revision is mainly attributable to software sales of online RPG, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which was released in August; the publisher also credited console software sales in North America, sales of arcade game machines, and continued group-wide efforts of cost reduction. While Square Enix altered its first half outlook, it’s not adjusting its full-year numbers for the fiscal year ending next March, “due to the uncertainties in the second half of the fiscal year.”

Square Enix recently revealed that Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn had exceeded 1.5 million registered players in the two months following its release on PC and PS3.

Square Enix has been dealing with some tough times of late, losing more than $130 million in the last fiscal year despite putting out multi-million selling titles like Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs. The games failed to meet internal sales expectations, and in early 2013 Yoichi Wada stepped down. His replacement, Yosuke Matsuda, has described an “urgent” need for reform to get the publisher back on track.



Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review (PS3)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has had a troubled past. While the game only officially launched on August 27th, from the start of the Early Access afforded to players who pre-ordered started running  into frustrating problems logging in or even the ability to create a character on their server of choice.

But Final Fantasy XIV’s problems started much before this. A Realm Reborn is actually Square Enix’s second try at their latest Final Fantasy MMO. Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 launched in September of 2010 for PC with a PS3 version still “in development”. With an incredibly bad aggregate Metacritic score of 49 (and an average user rating of 3.8!), Square Enix hit the pause button and charged a new team with rebuilding the game, essentially from scratch. Less than two years later, Final Fantasy XIV once again opened its doors to players.

Well, “opened its doors” is a bit misleading. Technically, they opened their doors to a few people, slammed the doors shut, told the people outside to try another door, sent them back to the first door when they got there, and if you got lucky you made it inside SOME door. But when you made it in… wow.

For the most part, A Realm Reborn is just another MMO in a long line of MMOs. Kill this monster, talk to this NPC, fetch this random object and so forth. But once you start to dig into the game, its depth becomes more apparent. The main quest itself will last you longer than many AAA games out there. I have been playing quite a bit more than I’d care to admit and I have maybe made it halfway through the main story. This is partly because I can’t see an exclamation point over an NPC’s head and NOT talk to them. But the biggest problem is that I found the crafting system.

This is another difference in A Realm Reborn. In many games, if you choose to play as a warrior or a wizard or what have you, you’re stuck with your choice at least for a good deal of time, if not forever. A Realm Reborn solves this with a very clever class system. To play the game as a new class, all that you have to do is equip a weapon from that class. If I’m tired of punching monsters as a Pugilist, I can grab my sword and shield and play as a Gladiator. Hate the Gladiator? Pick your Pugilist weapon back up and you’re a Pugilist again. I just like saying Pugilist… Later on, you will be able to take skills that you have learned in one class and use them with your second class. Tired of dying? Unlock the Conjurer’s healing and raise spells and you can moonlight as a field medic while you’re punching things. Before you can start a new class you will have to talk to that class’s Guild and run through a short introductory quest, but subsequent class changes between classes you have already unlocked are as simple as changing your weapon to the weapon for that class.

In addition to the combat classes, there are a large number of non-combat classes available. Every army needs an even bigger army of support staff. As with the combat classes, just go talk to the guild of the class you are interested in and you will get that class’s starter tool and start its quest line. The gathering and crafting systems are actually oddly soothing. I lost an entire weekend trying out and ranking up several of the classes. I had only planned on spending a little bit of time with them, but it was nice to just kick back and tinker.

There is an interesting synergy that goes on between the gatherers and the crafters and the warriors. Crafters need raw material to be able to craft new equipment. You can also just switch over to whichever gathering class you need new materials from, like a Miner to gather some Silver Ore for your Goldsmith to craft with, but it is also just as easy to take a short walk over to the Market and search for Silver Ore… As you rank up a combat class, you will find that keeping yourself in the higher level equipment can get incredibly expensive. But you can often find some pretty good deals on the same equipment in the Market.

What is this Market? Well, like many other games, A Realm Reborn has an in-game trading system. The Market allows you to put items you have obtained up for sale for in-game currency. The seller gets to determine the price. If you think someone is going to be willing to pay 5000 Gil for that broken down helmet you found, you just might find a buyer. But if you have plenty of inventory you need to get rid of, you can be the Wal-Mart of adventurers and roll back those prices. Of course, if you don’t mind spending the time to gather your raw materials yourself, you can DIY yourself into some great equipment. Not to be left out, most monsters also drop items that are used by crafters so the combat classes can make some extra coin selling their spoils.

Another way of cooperating with your other fellow adventurers is A Realm Reborn’s Free Company system, the Final Fantasy take on guilds or clans. Once you have reached a certain point in the main story’s quest line you have the ability to start your own Free Company with your fellow adventurers. There is no requirement to join a Free Company, but it is a good way of getting together with a good core group of players that you enjoy playing with. You can get some in-game benefits as well via Free Company Actions like XP bonuses, cheaper Teleporting, etc. There may also be future benefits to Free Company membership as the game evolves over time.

Another cool feature is the FATE system. FATEs are random quests that will pop up on your area map. FATEs are visible to all players in the area, and are designed to be done together with a bunch of different players. They range from tasks like killing a set number of certain monsters that spawn within the boundaries of the FATE, collecting items and returning them to a particular NPC in the area, protecting an NPC from one point to another, etc. FATEs are a great way to rank up and earn extra money for equipment, especially once you start ranking up additional classes.

A video game review would not be complete without talking about the visuals. The PS3 version doesn’t come close to stealing the graphics crown from a game like The Last of Us, but that is due to the huge scope of the game. I have seen the PC version and it of course has much more impressive visuals. I expect the PS4 version that will go into Beta in late February 2014 will be much closer to the PC version in terms of graphics. Not to say that the game is bad looking, it is still impressive that Square Enix has gotten the quality they have out of such a huge MMO on a console. Console development is a zero sum game. There is a limited performance budget that the hardware is capable of, and to be able to play with as many as 5000 to (at last count from Square Enix) over 7500 different players on the same server, many of which may be being rendered to your screen at once, along with all of the other myriad stuff happening, you just have to make some compromises. If you want better graphics, the PC version looks gorgeous. The PS4 version will likely be just as gorgeous, and Square Enix has announced that players will be able to upgrade from the PS3 version to the PS4 version for free once it is available.

Now, all is not wonderful in Eorzea. Luckily for Square Enix, and us, most of it is fixable. In busy areas with a lot of players, the game can get a little laggy. This is worst in cases like trying to do a FATE in a busy area where there are hundreds of other players there too. At its worst, you will see FATE monsters you’re supposed to be killing pop up and die before you can get a hit in on them. This is mainly a server congestion problem, so hopefully as Square Enix continues to improve their infrastructure this will get better. On PS3 the targeting system leaves a lot to be desired. Given that all we have is a DualShock 3 to work with, we don’t have the luxury of being able to just click on something, so the game does its best to figure out what you’re trying to choose, and then you can cycle through targets with your D-Pad. This is configurable to allow you to choose what different targets to consider. By default you will be cycling through pretty much everything, so if there are a bunch of players around you might be aiming for a monster and target another player instead. But, you can tell the game to ignore PCs entirely when targeting, or ignore them when you have your weapon unsheathed, etc.

Oddly, the only communication mechanism that A Realm Reborn provides in-game is text chat. It is pretty configurable, so you can filter out things you don’t care about, and there are different tabs that you can organize stuff into. If all you’re interested in is party chat or Free Company chat, you can pretty easily filter everything else out. It would be nice to have the option of in-game voice chat, but of course you can always work around this on your own. Grab your Vita or your tablet, open up Skype and there you go. Of course, PC players have a lot of other options as well.

Just a few weeks into the game, and Gil sellers are already rampant. This isn’t a problem specific to A Realm Reborn, but it is still annoying. Part of the problem is players with weak passwords that get hacked and become in-game Gil shills. Like some other games, Square Enix has some additional security available like one-time passwords and mobile apps for managing the one-time passwords.

What is both impressive and sad is that A Realm Reborn is VERY GOOD! With so many disappointing games that just end up in the discount bin, it is really refreshing for a game developer to both admit their earlier failures and then to turn a disappointing game into something worthy of the Final Fantasy name. The sad part of the equation is that the technical difficulties during launch may very well turn off a good number of players from what is really a very good MMO. Time will tell how well Square Enix continues to support the game, but at launch there is already plenty of fun to be had.



Naoki Yoshida Talks Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn on PS4, Remote Play on Vita and Future DLC

While at PAX Prime 2013, PlayStation LifeStyle’s Dan Oravasaari in association RPGamer had the honor of sitting down with Naoki Yoshida, the Producer and Director behind the highly debated Square Enix MMORPG reboot, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn.

[Please note: All communication was handled through a translator]

Opening Statement by Naoki Yoshida:

As you all know, this is the second launch of Final Fantasy 14, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. We are the first MMORPG in the industry to ever take a game that failed once and to rebuild it. We want to thank the western fans and the western media for all of the support you have given us for the past two and a half years.

So, three years ago we had the very rocky launch and we lost a lot of trust of the fans and the media, but over the past three years, those same fans and members of the media had an open mind and followed this crazy challenge that we’ve attempted and given us this second chance, and for giving us a second chance and keeping an open mind, we are very very grateful and we would love to thank the fans and the media.

To tell you the truth, because again we had such a rocky launch with 1.0, we weren’t expecting the type of response that we got at launch. We thought that things would be smoother, we thought that things would be a bit slower, more gradual, that players would wait until they heard the feedback and found out that people really liked the game before coming in. Because of this, it had exceeded our expectations when so many players came in at launch, and because of this, that was the reason behind the server issues. It went well beyond our expectations and our server teams have been working around the clock to get new servers ready alleviate the issues that we have had with server load, and redistributing the server load to ease that load. So that, next week, on Wednesday [Sept 11th] for our server maintenance we can allow more players in and welcome them.

For the past three years we have been talking about rebuilding this game on three different pillars, having the greatest story in the industry, having the greatest graphics for an MMORPG and having a great game experience, and on top of that, having this great community to support it. We already have this great community, that has supported us through thick and thin from 1.0, but now we have a new community as well. We have all these new players to create a stronger community, on top of this foundation we hope to build more off of this and continue on for five to ten and many years into the future. Thank you.

RPGamer: There have been many, many changes to the game, but of all of the changes what are you most personally proud of?

Well, we are really proud of the game experience that we can provide. I think the biggest thing that we are proud of is the fact that we have a story that feels like a real Final Fantasy. For so long in the original version, it just didn’t feel like a Final Fantasy. But, now we have a story that feels like it, and we have been getting a lot of feedback from the players saying that FF is back and that is just really exciting for us to hear that. Even though we have this game that is an MMORPG, and they aren’t known for their deep story, we have a story that is so deep that it can be along side those great FF stories.

Dan O: With the previous Final Fantasy 14 not performing as well as expected, and with so many other MMOs having similar issues, but making a transition to F2P, why did you decide to keep a subscription model instead of also switching over to F2P?

So, there is a reason why a lot of MMORPGs go to F2P, even though when they were designed, they were designed to go to the subscription model. It comes down to what players want, what players want from an MMORPG is that they want updates, they want content, they want something to do and to provide this type of content at a regular pace, high quality content at a regular pace, we need a stable development team system – and to have a stable development team system, you need stable income. Subscription based models give us that stable income.

Unlike a lot of other game companies, Square Enix as well as Blizzard, both are making their own games with their own money, they don’t use investors and by not using investors, they don’t have anyone to pay back immediately. So, a lot of companies that make a large game, if they don’t get that money back immediately, their investors are like ‘where’s our money?’ And so, they have to switch to a way to get a quick amount of money and that’s a lot of the time, switching to F2P.

By switching to F2P, you don’t have that steady income, you don’t know if you are going to have a lot of money or not enough money, and because you don’t have a steady income you can’t have a steady development team – developers won’t know if they are going to have a job next month. But, if you do have a steady income, then you have a steady development team, then you have steady content, and if you have a steady flow of content, then your players are going to know that next month we are going to get new content and they will stick with you. Even if we don’t make our money back right away, we can sit it out, wait until that cycle begins and then once the money starts coming in, things will stabilize and so for us the subscription model has always been the way to go.

Naoki Yoshida

 RG: Two-part question: The first part – Why was it decided to remake the game instead of starting over completely?

As you know, the Final Fantasy series is in its 26th year, has a long history and has fans all over the world and when FF14 was released in that state three years ago, it sent shock waves in that community. That a lot of people were saying FF is done, as a series it is over, we can’t believe in Square Enix anymore. They expect a great product, and they didn’t get a great product. We lost the trust of a lot of people, and so we thought, if we just give up on 14 and just move directly onto 15 after all of these people trusted us and all of these people pull all of this money into buying high-spec PCs so they could play 14 and us just giving up on it, that’s just no way to get the trust of the fans back.

Someone who played 14 and thought it was terrible, and we make 15 and say, ‘hey, play this, it’s great,’ who’s going to believe us? No one is going to believe us, and so by not giving up on 14 and by admitting our mistakes, facing our mistakes and overcoming them and remaking the game and showing them we are committed to this project, and we are committed to our fans is the way we wanted to get that trust back. We hope that by doing this launch, we can get some of that trust back.

RG: The second part – But, it has created a deep challenge now because you are going to have the old legacy players along with the new players, and with FF11, the big problem was that the Japanese players got to start before the American players and created a rift, and we are going to have the same rift here, were any of these challenges between these two communities ever considered when deciding to restart everything?

The FF analogy is a very strange example, we think it actually kind of different from 14, just because it touches upon how Japanese players are a very closed community and also that they are the worst in the world at English. Because of that, there is that type of rift and that was the reason behind that rift. From what we have seen, from the past few weeks and especially here, we see people, legacy player and new players getting together. Even in that room over there [across from interview room], you have legacy players bringing in their friends that have never played and getting them to play Titan and listen to the music and getting them into the game. We see that in the game as well, we see the legacy players bonding with all of these new players, because we feel that both side have something in common, and that something in common is that they all love Final Fantasy and have a place where they all can love FF together. So, currently, we don’t think its that big of a problem.

D: Obviously, you plan on supporting Final Fantasy 14 for a long time, what are some of your plans for the future and how to take the franchise forward?

As for the future, we already have a lot of stuff planned. We have the next three patches 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 figured out and the development team is ready to start working on the content for those three patches. Before I left, I finished the plot for the next expansion, so for 3.0, that is all done and submitted to the team to get their feedback on it. We have this very long schedule for 2.1, we have PvP, the wolf’s den, we have the housing system, a very detailed housing system, we have new dungeons, we have a lot of new end content, we have the primal battles Garuda, Titan and Ifrit. We have an even harder mode, because we have a hard mode now, we are going to have a hyper mode. We are also going to be reintroducing the Good King Moggle Mog battle that was around in 1.0, that’s going to come back and we are going to have even more content. So that the players that stuck with us in 1.0 and saw the size of those patches, they are going to be even more amazed, because we patches that even larger than those for 2.0.

RG: That actually rolls into my next question, so what is the focus of the new content going to be? Is more for the casual player or will it be more towards the legacy players?

We would like to say that you mentioned both casual and legacy players, and that some legacy players, just because they are legacy doesn’t mean they are hardcore. Some legacy player will maybe be lighter, where as some casual players might be hardcore but they might be new. We don’t really look at it in that sense, but, what we do want to do is that we have to create content for all of our players, being that there is all sorts of players. We know that there is only some players that only want to come in and do a couple hours a day, while we do know that there are players that there are those hardcore players that want to use their MMORPG and gaming skills to use those tactics and get really into the battles and have those difficult battles.

So, with each patch, we want to provide content for everyone, we want to have the daily quests that the casual players can come in and do a couple hours and be out of the game, while still learning more about the story. We also know that there’s going to be the content for hardcore players that want to get together with their parties and have these challenging battles. So, we are having battles created for those people as well. As well, as we know that there is types of players that don’t want to do any type of battle, they want that non-battle content, housing related things, crafting, gathering, fishing, things like that. Having quests that will pretty much meet all the types of players that we have. Whether they are core players, hardcore player or casual players.

D: Final Fantasy 14 has already seen a release on consoles, how did that take part in development? Also, will there be any features that work better for any system due to specific features, such as the PS4′s touch pad?

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is a cross platform game, with PC players, and PS3 players all on the same servers playing together. We want all players to have the same global standard MMO experience on both systems. We don’t want to create a gap between those by having a different type of experience than the other, we want everyone to have the same type of experience and be on the same playing level. So, while developing, we didn’t think of giving this console something different, because if we did that, it wouldn’t be fair to the PC.

However, as you know, there is a big difference between the console and PC, being keyboard and mouse versus the controller. So, to create a similar gaming experience where there wouldn’t be a gap, we had to go in and we designed a completely different and unique control UI system for the PS3, for the consoles and that is the cross hotbar. So, that players can play on the PS3, but not be at a disadvantage for the players that are playing with the keyboard and mouse. I believe that we did a very good job with this and that it is probably the only game in the MMORPG industry that has done this, at least this well.

With the PS4, you have these features like the remote play features, as well as the touch pad, so using these for example, using the touchpad like a mouse, using the remote play, we hope to have the game compatible so you can play it on your Vita. But, also play it on a high-spec machine that is less expensive than a high end PC, but has the same kind of graphical quality that is something the PS4 can allow and so we have an announcement coming out really soon about what’s going to be going on with the PlayStation 4 version, so we ask that you wait a little bit longer.

RG: This is geared more toward end game content, people want to know, what is end game at this point? Are their any exploration into super-bosses? And what about a level-cap increase?

So, lets start with the end game content, and what kind of end game content is in A Realm Reborn right now. Actually, we have a lot of it, like you mentioned those hyper bosses and those hard bosses, we have three versions of the primal battles, Ifrit, Titan and Garuda, we have hardmodes of all of those for end content. We also have level 50 instance dungeons as well, that are for level 50 players, that can only be accessed by level 50 players. We also have the relic quest, that are long quests to get the relic weapons and once you have done all of those things, we have The Binding Coil of Bahamut, which is another super hard instance dungeon, which is separated into five different blocks, we call turns. So far, only 16 people in the world have been to the first turn, and only one group from the Order of the Blue Gartr has finished that first turn, but there is still four more turns left. So, there’s still a lot of stuff for end game content in the game.

In 2.1, we have even more high-end content prepared, we have an even harder version of those three primal battles I mentioned, we will have the hyper modes, then we will also be adding The Good King Moggle Mog battle, which is also a very hard boss battle and of course we have the Crystal Tower which is coming, and that will be high-end content as well.

While we understand that all those players that have been playing for the last three years, and that some have been at level 50 for about three years and want to move on, we also want them to understand that we have a lot of new players as well and if we were to raise the cap immediately, those new players would have even further to go to be able to catch up with the legacy players. We will give these new players some time to catch up with the legacy players, also, as you know, we completely changed the battle system. So even though a lot of players are at level 50, those legacy players still have a lot to learn, they have to learn a whole new system. We want to give all players time to learn this new system and once they have gotten used to the new system, and everyone is pretty much up and around the same level, then from there we can raise the level cap.

D: With the release of Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns, FF: A Realm Reborn and the upcoming Final Fantasy 15, do you think that the FF IP will be reaching a point of saturation where it will start competing with itself?

Well, as we are an MMORPG and we are going to be going for 5 to 10 years, we are always going to hit something that the company is releasing. FF13, while it is coming soon, it is still a ways off and FF15 is even further off, so in that sense we are not too worried about reaching a saturation period where everything is overlapped and instead we want to look at it as a way that we can that when one does overlap us, we can make a tag-team with it and use each other’s good points, bring them together and have those collaborations and work it off that way. To turn it into two positives, rather than two negatives.

RG: Was there something you or your team wanted to bring into A Realm Reborn, but didn’t make it into the launch. Also, if at all possible are you reviewing this for an expansion and is there anything from 1.0, like the Goobbue mounts that you will be bringing into A Realm Reborn.

Ok, one of the biggest things that we had planned for 2.0 or A Realm Reborn release but weren’t able to get it in was, what we mentioned before, the Crystal Tower and the 24 man alliance raid that we have planned for that. When we had it almost complete, and when we were testing it, we found that it was very very difficult, almost as difficult as the super difficult Binding Coil of Bahamut and realized that by having these two sets of high-end content, something that only the hardest of hardcore players could play, not enough people could access that, so we decided right at the end to take it out and readjust it to make it more accessible. With the 24 man raid, you want to have fun with at least 24 people and we want something regular players can get in and have fun with this. So we decided to move it to 2.1 after adjusting it. That was one of the things that, while we wanted to have it in at the release, we decided it was better if we adjusted it and released it in 2.1.

So, going onto something that was in 1.0, that we didn’t get into the game, but that we wanted to get into the game was the battle with The Good King Moggle Mog and that Moogle battle we had in 1.0. But, we realized that writing the main scenario and the main story for ARR, that it didn’t fit the story and we didn’t have a way to get it to fit in and so we decided to push it, rather than forcing it into the story and have it be unnatural – we decided we are just going to put it off. But, now we are working it into the story and we have a way to get it in the story, so we will be releasing it in 2.1.

As for the Goobbue mount, that was a present for those fans that stuck with us through the hard times and its for them, we don’t want the meaning of that to get watered down by bringing it back for everyone. We want it to be that thank you from us, for sticking with us through those hard times.

However, we understand that we have a lot of players would like to see their characters ride on a Goobbue and so maybe bringing in some type of Goobbue for those fans that weren’t with us in legacy, is something we might consider.



Saints Row IV retains UK #1 as Final Fantasy takes 3rd

Saints Row IV

Killer is Dead and Lost Planet 3 both fall outside top 20 in debut week

Saints Row IV has maintained its place at the top of the UK charts, as has last week’s number 2, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn manages third as it relaunches after a disastrous PC-only debut which called for the game to be thoroughly redesigned.

Rayman Legends and Madden NFL 25 stake their claims to sixth and seventh places respectively as hey hit the shops this week, but Capcom’s Lost Planet 3 can only manage 26th, with Suda 51’s much maligned Killer is Dead even further behind in 28th.

UKIE Games Charts courtesy of GfK Chart-Track

Last Week This Week Title
1 1 Saints Row IV
2 2 Splinter Cell: Blacklist
New Entry 3 Fina Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
3 4 Disney Infinity
4 5 Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
New Entry 6 Rayman Legends
New Entry 7 Madden NFL 25
5 8 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
18 9 Payday 2
6 10 FIFA 13
7 11 Animal Crossing: New Leaf
8 12 LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes
9 13 The Last of Us
12 14 Max Payne 3
13 15 LEGO Lord of The Rings
15 16 Tomb Raider
16 17 Skylanders Giants
11 18 Assassin’s Creed III
17 19 Grand Theft Auto IV
21 20 Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Final Fantasy 14 download sales halted to accommodate server overload

If you’re looking to buy a downloadable copy of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, your gil isn’t going to get you anywhere for the time being. Square Enix announced it’s temporarily halted download sales of the resurrected MMO because the game servers are overloaded, causing excessive wait times for those trying to get in. In a Facebook statement, Square Enix once more apologized for the inconvenience and said it’s working to get more servers online in “the coming days.”

Whether you look at it as an “overwhelmingly positive response,” to the PS3 and PC MMO, as Square Enix does, or grimly predictable given the struggles endured in the early access weekend – or both – the bottom line is A Realm Reborn is a really busy place right now. Think Gamescom, but cuter and less sweaty. For whatever reason, it seems Square Enix wasn’t ready for the numbers it’s dealing with.

Ahead of A Realm Reborn hopefully becoming readily available to all soon, be sure to check out the launch impressions of our sister site Massively, who said the revamped game “scoops up the MMO genre’s good elements and splices them together into one cohesive whole, and it does so while looking gorgeous and playing smoothly. When your MMO’s biggest issue is server-related rather than game-related, you’re doing fairly well overall.”