Yep, I’m back in the FFXIV beta after considerable angst and, ultimately, the divine intervention of Square Enix tech support – not to mention a lot of eyestrain. That windowed, browser-based front-end does not play well on 23″ TV, especially when you’re trying to figure out a login problem with PS4 controller input.
Actually, about that. Let me offer a word of advice if you’re planning to do the PS4 beta and haven’t already created an account: Capital letters are a menace to society.
Square Enix’s email registration system is case-sensitive. Weird, right? The global email system itself ignores case. Why would anyone design a system like that? I have no idea, and honestly it probably wouldn’t matter except that for some stupid reason the PS4 data entry system likes to capitalize the first character in a text field. For convenience a la iOS, I’m sure. But this means that if you’re not aware of this, the PS4’s auto-capitalization can help create a account conflict.
Say, for instance, you’ve signed up with a Gmail address for Square Enix’s Members site. As it turns out, this is not the login address that FFXIV uses… but it’s still in the company’s online system, which apparently feeds into the same database as FFXIV account addresses despite not being used for that purpose. Now, if you were to try to sign up for the FFXIV beta with that same email address, it would say, “Hey, no can do, this email’s already in the system for a different purpose.” Right? Unless, of course, you didn’t realize the SE system is case-sensitive when reading email addresses and therefore you didn’t think it was necessary to strip out the capitalization the PS4 data entry system added to your email address when you created an FFXIV account via your auto-capitalizing PS4 when signing up for the beta. In that case, you’d have the same email address in the system twice, one with an initial cap and the other in normal, civilized, lower-case letters. And when you would try to send a password reset request to your capitalized FFXIV email address, the global email system would strip out the initial cap and send it to your all-lower-case email address, which of course is linked to a different account in the Square Enix system. So every password reset for FFXIV would be wasted, because it would go to the “wrong” address.
I’d like to say this is all theoretical, because it’s such a bizarre, arcane technical hiccup to encounter. But alas, no. So, please, watch out for capital letters if you’re using a PS4. They’re history’s greatest monsters.
Anyway, now that I’m back in the game, I’m finding it eerily addictive and much more compelling than I expect from an MMO. At this point I’ve probably put in seven or eight hours with the game – enough to hit Level 10 and discover that, oh yes, there is a central quest line with named characters and voiced dialogue and crystals and all that stuff. But really, none of that matters right now. I’m just trying to level up enough that my character can wear a costume that doesn’t look like she wandered blindly through Goodwill and grabbed the first things her hands touched.
Also, I’ve officially experienced my very first MMO sexual harassment. Some dude tastefully named “Buster Hymen” apparently still thinks the equality of gender seen in MMO characters indicates an equality of gender among players, the poor dumb schmuck. And apparently is desperate enough to bother some elf who looks like she wandered blindly through Goodwill and grabbed the first things her hands touched.
If you happen to be on beta server 6 this weekend, look for me. I’m a very badly dressed elven archer with short pink hair going by the name of Yukiko el’Spite. Gotta keep up guild traditions, you know?
Finally, I made a Facebook feed for crap I post to go along with the Tumblr and (sigh) Google+ account, so you can keep up with Anatomy of a Game and such via pretty much every social media format of note at this point. Next week: MySpace and LiveJournal.