What’s up guys, Anders here with the first in a series of videos aimed to those just starting out or thinking of trying Final Fantasy XIV. My goal is to answer some basic questions you may have and I know I had when I first started out and try to give you as much information as I can about the topic. In this one, we’re going to take a look at choosing a server to play on. Simple enough, but there are a couple of things you should be aware of before choosing just any random server. When first launching the game you’ll be asked to choose a Data Center. This lets you choose your region. There are a total of six different data centers, three of which are for the Japan region and have servers in Japan, two are for the North America region and have servers in Canada, and the last data center is for the Europe region with servers in Germany.
This is important because your ping will vary greatly depending on where you live and what data center you choose. For example, I live in the East Coast of the United States and have 20ms ping to the NA data center. If I were to create a character in one of the Japanese servers, I’d have around 200ms ping and around 120ms ping if I played on the European servers.
The lower the ping the less lag in your actions in the game and the overall better experience you’ll have. There are free and paid programs you can use to lower the ping and latency you experience, but for now focus on choosing a data center in your region. If you live in Japan or North America you have more than one option in data centers and each of these data centers contain 8 to 13 servers. They vary per data center and the number of servers available shouldn’t be a big deal, but they do affect the pool of players you are paired with in instanced content as the game only pairs you with other players within the same data center. Theoretically speaking, Aether data center in North America has the largest amount of servers at 13 and therefore should have the largest pool of players. This isn’t always the case as each server within the data center have varying populations.
Which leads me to the next thing you should think about. Population. If this is your first MMO, the population will affect the social aspect of the game, of course, but will also affect the atmosphere as you play. Being that the game is solo friendly, seeing barren cities and zones as you level can be a little bland and frankly boring. With larger servers you have a higher chance to see more activity and therefore have the world feel more alive and immersive. With that said, right now there are a handful of very popular servers two of which are incredibly difficult to create a character in because the character limit of those servers are often maxed and it becomes very difficult to create your character in these servers. If you choose to join these high population servers you’ll have to watch the Character Creation Restriction notice on the Lodestone website and check every five hours when they refresh the restrictions.
Another chance to create a character, if you’re desperate to get into Gilgamesh or Balmung in the NA data center is to wait for a game maintenance. Usually there is a small window where you are able to create characters in those servers right after a maintenance completes. If you can’t be bothered to go through all that, which I wouldn’t blame you. But are still adamant about playing in the highest population servers, you can create a character on any server and any data center and then pay an $18 fee or your regional equivalent to transfer to any server of your choosing as the restrictions do not apply to server transfers.
That’s pretty much the more important stuff you need to know about servers. Final Fantasy XIV does not segregate RPOnly Servers, PVP Only Servers, and PVE only servers like some other MMOs, like WoW for example. Everything is mixed together and there is no open world PVP so that’s not even a concern for those looking to avoid that. Before I leave ya I will give you some suggestions as to what servers to choose if you just want to be told what servers to go for. Now this is strictly from my personal experience as I’ve played on all data centers, so obviously there is some bias and feel free to hear other players’ opinions, but in the end you decide, alright? Now if you want to focus on endgame raiding, which I highly suggest. You’ll want to make a character on Gilgamesh or Sargatanas in the Aether NA Data center, Behemoth, Excalibur, or Leviathan in the Primal NA Data center.
Tonberry on the Elemental JP data center, and Odin, Ragnarok, or Cerberus in the Chaos EU Data Center. Those in my opnion have the larger raiding populations out of the collective. I didn’t include other JP servers simply because most English speaking East Asia and Oceanic players tend to play on Tonberry as it is the unofficial English JP server. Now if you’re not interested in raiding right now, but want to maybe experience it down the line, maybe you are also interested in RP as well. Then I suggest you go for Balmung, Gilgamesh, or Cactuar in Aether NA Data Center. Cerberus, Phoenix, or Ragnarok on Chaos EU Data Center, and Tonberry again on Elemental JP Data Center. Lastly here are some stereotypes, I guess, on certain servers. Take this as you will, but they’re good to know and like I said, from my own personal experience, so I could be completely off base here and feel free to disagree with me. Balmung is the largest population server in Final Fantasy XIV.
Heavily RP focused and can be a little too eRP focused in some starting zones. Almost impossible to get into unless you transfer, so if you’re not interested don’t even worry about it. Gilgamesh saw a huge influx of players in the last year due to the servers larger focus on raiding. Lot’s of raiding and clears happening, making it usually the top NA server in terms of raid clears.
Sometimes called Greg and Hollywood because of this. Tonberry is full of Australians usually. Had a nice time there, you’re coupling the JP mentality of having a strong in game economy with a server that is open to English only speakers. Really awesome server. Zodiark is one of the most casual servers I’ve ever been on and good luck raiding there. Economy is pretty shit, but if you choose to focus on crafting and gathering you can make a ton of gil since supply is always low. Adamantoise is turtle power server. Pretty average in basically everything. Can’t really go wrong, but you’ll struggle getting that immersive feel. Still, it’s my first ever server back at 2.0 relaunch, so I still recommend it. Moogle is full of French speakers and players. I’ll end my comment with that, though there are also a large Spanish speaking majority there if you’re looking for that. Shiva on the other hand is full of German speaking players. Hit or miss quality wise. Cerberus is pretty good on the EU side. Met some real good people there.
Decent economy and above average raiding scene, I’d say. That’s all I got for you. Hopefully this was useful to you guys. Like I said most of the stuff is my opinion and feel free to disagree by leaving a dislike or a like if you want to see more stuff like this! Have fun in the game! and I’ll see ya in the next one..