Final Fantasy XIV's Producer Talks Mac Version Troubles, Next Raid And there's a snazzy new PS3 / PS4 theme! 07.06.15 - 10:20 PM
With the official launch of Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion Heavensward also came the launch of the MMO's Mac client.. which came with many, many issues. Players were getting framerates of 5-9 FPS in more crowded areas (on more current iMacs even), for example, and that was just one of many other problems. Producer Naoki Yoshida issued his own personal message in response to many disgruntled Mac buyers, including offers of full refunds. As well, sales of this version have been completely halted for the time being.
In his letter published on the Lodestone, Yoshi-P personally apologized for how poorly the Mac version has performed, saying it had been his choice, and fault, that it was released in such a state. He explained that the biggest issue was that the Mac system requirements were not communicated, and even though this version was tested by Square Enix (the client was developed by TransGaming, who interestingly just sold this portion of their company to nVidia), with how busy things were leading up til launch, the 'incorrect requirements' were released. (Hmm.. I wonder how many people got fired for that one.) This version was also released earlier than planned to retailers, and so it was not the final version they would have liked to release.
The letter promises that proper information about the Mac system requirements will soon be provided, and that QA has been working since the expansion's launch day to fix the problems. One thing that will help the Mac version, is the fact that the Mac client will be updated to be based on the DirectX11 version that is available for Windows (the current Mac client is still based on the DX9 Windows client). In addition, Apple's next version of OS X — El Capitan — is bringing iOS' Metal API to the Mac, which promises far greater performance across the board, but especially in games. As a result, as that version nears its fall release, Yoshida and his team will be looking into how Metal can improve performance. In the meantime, the Mac version will be updated as often as possible for existing users. You can also find detailed explanations in the letter from Yoshi-P on the differences between DirectX and OpenGL (the Mac API), what BootCamp is (which enables the likes of myself and fellow editor Mike Salbato to run Windows on our iMacs), and why they chose to develop a Mac version at all.
In lighter news, Final Fantasy XIV had a presence at this weekend's Japan Expo in France, where Yoshida showed off a first look at Heavensward's raid, Alexander. You can get a brief look at it here:
Alexander's normal (story) mode is expected to be released in this week's FFXIV update, with Savage Mode two weeks later.
Finally, while PlayStation 3 and 4 users in North America or Europe may have already snagged their Heavensward theme, there's another one to be had... if you own a Japanese PSN account, that is. Here is what it looks like:
Be sure to check back for our review of Heavensward, coming soon!