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Vignette Series "Tales from the Dawn" Released Today

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In celebration of Final Fantasy XIV's 9th anniversary, the writing team has announced - and subsequently released - a series of four worldbuilding short stories based around side characters that we've come to know across our journey.

The series, titled "Tales from the Dawn," fleshes out many characters that some of us may have had questions about when meeting them. While the vignettes don't cover any major characters - so far at least - we are getting a lot more insight into characters that are mildly important that we may not think about very often.

For example, this first short story, titled "A Friendship of Record", released today is told from the perspective of an archivist at Anamnesis Anyder, and a very fond admirer and friend of Venat. While it's not outright stated, the screenshot at the end of the heartwarming story does imply that we've met this archivist in Endwalker...and now I have to go cry.

You can read the first story of "Tales from the Dawn" here or below. The rest of the short stories are set to be released on September 2nd, September 9th, and September 16th.

Square Enix LogoTales from the Dawn [Source]

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To mark the ninth anniversary of FINAL FANTASY XIV, we proudly present a new collection of side stories with Tales from the Dawn! Peer deeper into the hearts and minds of a diverse cast of characters, beginning with the first installment: A Friendship of Record.

Read the first story.

* Please note that Tales from the Dawn may contain spoilers from the main scenario.
* A total of four new stories are scheduled to be released.

Square Enix LogoA Friendship of Record [Source]

In a quiet corner of Amaurot, the bustling metropolis at the heart of civilization, sat a vault known as Anamnesis Anyder. Within its expansive walls, not only were creation concepts cataloged, but every known natural law and phenomenon was documented in exhausting detail. In short, it held the sum of mankind's accumulated wisdom.

As vast as this collection was, it required the oversight of no few curators, whose responsibility it was to categorize─and subsequently organize─the ever-increasing number of papers, crystals, and other recordkeeping mediums. Such duties demanded an unrivaled breadth and depth of knowledge, and thus for those who valued scholarly achievement, an appointment to Anyder archivist was considered an honor.

A great honor indeed.

While others poured their passion into new concepts and creations, the man remained fascinated by the study of extant reality. He would ponder what made a stone a stone─the properties which defined its existence. He was of the firm belief that one could solve the mysteries of one's surrounds─indeed, of the star itself─by understanding the fundamental building blocks from which they were formed.

When time permitted, the man would step away from his meticulous archiving to peruse the works on the shelves, referencing their ideas to flesh out his own hypotheses. There was little he enjoyed more, likening the process to a tree gaining rings with age, or layers of sediment building up over the eons.

 

One fateful day, the man was summoned by the chief archivist to attend to the needs of a visiting academic. A rather distinguished one at that. Over the last few centuries, this influential figure had produced striking results in the field of organic research, and her assertion that organisms were simply another form of matter was one which intersected neatly with his personal theories. Thus it was that the bookish man, unable to deny his interest and finding no valid reason to refuse, agreed to assist the academic in her pursuit of reference materials.

At the appointed hour, he took himself to the anteroom which abutted the entrance hall. A woman's voice, vibrant and clear, answered his polite knock. Pushing open the heavy door, he beheld the scholar standing alone, garbed in the same black robes and white half-mask worn by the majority of the citizenry, himself included. As he entered the chamber, however, she swept back her hood and slipped off her mask with smooth, unhurried motions.

"I am Venat. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

The archivist was stunned. With the exception of circumstances where identification was mandated, it was inappropriate to bare one's face to anyone save intimate friends. The custom was otherwise broken only when seeking earnest counsel, entreating a mentor for aid, or making a life-changing commitment. None of which should apply to me... Regardless, it signaled her intention to engage him with candor and respect.

With a deep breath, he reached for his own mask and returned the gesture.

 

And so began a friendship that would endure until the end of their days.

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Venat was cheerful, well spoken, and undeniably brilliant. Her carefully crafted arguments drew sighs of admiration from her audience and concessions from her opponents. A rounded gemstone, without edge or flaw─the refracted light rendered a soft glow.

 

His perception would evolve years later.

Venat, having been writing furiously at one of Anyder's desks, at last put down her quill. Observing this, the archivist replaced the book he had taken from a shelf, and peered over her shoulder.

The argument was whole and free of contradiction. No longer theory, but indisputable truth. His heart swelled with elation and relief.

"It seems congratulations are in order."

Venat appeared not to have heard him.

Puzzled, the archivist shifted to the side of the desk and saw the scholar transfixed by her own work. For a time, she sat perfectly still. Then all of a sudden, she brought her hands to her mouth...and smiled. So broad and heartfelt that modesty could not conceal it. Unadulterated, unabashed joy─a jubilance that sparkled in her ocean-hued eyes. I recall not when you removed your mask, but I am grateful that you did.

"A miracle..." Venat muttered, as if in a trance. "Our existence is nothing short of a miracle."

"What an odd thing to say. Have you not just proven that life was the inevitable outcome of natural law?"

"Yes, but it is that inevitability which amazes me so. The sublime mechanism itself..."

The revelation yet commanded her full attention. As he watched Venat stare at the parchment, he felt his image of her fracture. Sharply cut facets now reflected the light with piercing intensity. All the more dazzling in her radiance.

He knew in his heart that this was the Venat she was meant to be.


Venat's perception of the world had changed, the archivist realized. As if for her the true shape of things had been brought into stark focus.

"I am leaving on a journey."

Her entrance was unexpected; her declaration abrupt. “Where will you go?"

"Nowhere," she replied. "Everywhere. This star has so much to share with us. Whispered wisdom to which I would hearken. Untold experiences I yearn to feel. Mysteries and wonders I must understand."

"Then you had best get started," he said, knowing full well that she needed no encouragement. "But do take care."

In lieu of a farewell, Venat graced him with another joyous smile. Her robe twirled about her feet as she turned and strode from the echoing vault. He watched, waiting until the distant door had swung closed behind her, then returned to his labors. Looking over the documents with a practiced eye, he quickly determined the first item's rightful place. He reached for another, and then another—carrying out his tasks with quiet efficiency.

Yet his mind wandered. What will she seek when next she returns? I must be ready. The time he had set aside for his own academic pursuits was gradually consumed by the study of subjects outside his field of expertise─a diversion he found strangely rewarding.

 

When Venat did interrupt her travels to return to Anyder, it was always without warning. Sometimes months would pass─and on occasion, years─before she appeared again, seeking to deepen her knowledge on this or that matter. As she enthusiastically regaled him with her adventures, he was struck by how different this Venat was from the brilliant yet rather more subdued scholar he had met once upon a time. A crystal bathed in sunlight. So blinding in her delight she outshone the very stars.

Her discoveries astonished him, as did her daring deeds that allowed her to make them. He, in turn, astonished her, producing the resources she required ere she had finished describing her query.

Venat's standing in society, too, began to change. In recognition of her work, she was elevated to a seat on the Convocation─to the office of Azem.

As well she should. The mantle of the Traveler suits her well.

Despite their history, her well-deserved new status demanded all the more respect—and distance. When next she appeared, however, the ceremony with which he presented her documents did not sit well with his esteemed visitor.

"Must I suffer this exhausting pomp from you as well?" she asked, her brow creasing in annoyance.

"Am I to speak to Azem as if she were my study partner?" he retorted. "You represent our highest authority now. You must accept the trappings with which it comes."

 

Venat went on to embrace her duties, accomplishing all manner of notable deeds in her time as Azem. When she caught word of a settlement beset by rampaging wildlife, she tracked the creatures to their lair and identified the cause of their hostility. When a citizen feared for a colleague yet to return from an expedition, she braved precipitous mountain peaks to find him. She toppled a towering creation born from a child's errant imagination, weeded out poisonous plants that had infested a farmer's crops, and when a matter required greater intervention, she brought it before the Convocation of Fourteen with a solution she herself provided. Astride her golden familiar, she journeyed without cease across land and sea and sky...

Thus when Venat announced her decision to relinquish her office, it was that much more unexpected. A jest, surely. Yet she spoke in glowing terms of her chosen successor, a "fascinating man" she had met on her travels.

"You would surrender the seat of Azem with so much left undone?" the archivist asked, still reeling at the implications.

"A true traveler has no need of a title," Venat said. "And my replacement would benefit greatly from the opportunities granted by the appointment."

“The journey is different for each who undertake it. Even following the same route, and visiting the same destinations, he will have different thoughts and experiences. He will make his own discoveries, and observe that which I failed to perceive."

Though she spoke of a successor, hers were not the words of one preparing to return to the star. Not yet, please. Not yet. Having attained the apex of their “personal truth," no small number of his Anyder colleagues had gone to their rest amidst a shower of praise and accolades.

But the archivist felt no pressing desire to join them—rather the opposite. For there was but one purpose he considered worthy of fulfillment: to keep watch as this incandescent jewel walked her path, and bear witness when she arrived at its terminus.

Venat stepped down from the seat of Azem to don the white robes of a neutral advisor. The man, meanwhile, stepped up to assume the role of chief archivist.

And so it was that when the Final Days were upon them, Anamnesis Anyder would serve as headquarters for Venat and her loyal followers.


The Final Days brought fire and ruin until Zodiark put an end to the calamity.

His devotees then resolved to sow new life─a bounty of souls to take the place of their sacrificed brethren. In time would they reap this crop, and by rendering it unto their god would the lost be returned, and the world restored to the paradise it was and ever should have been.

Venat, along with the archivist and their like-minded companions, objected to this undertaking. The future, they believed, must not bear the cost for saving the past. Only in accepting pain and loss─by learning from the mistakes of yesterday─could they greet the morrow. A power such as Zodiark possessed was anathema to the progress of man.

Venat's faction thus resolved to manifest an entity capable of shackling that power. To have any chance at defeating the nigh-omnipotent Zodiark, however, the sacrifice must be absolute. Not even their souls would remain.

In the evening after this consensus had been reached, the archivist approached his friend.

"Venat, please..." he wavered. "Why must it be you?"

Hydaelyn, as the entity would be known, required more than the collective's souls to manifest: She needed a heart. Venat was the obvious choice, though some believed that their leader should be spared─to carry on the cause in the event their efforts ended in failure. But as Venat explained her reasons, he knew that she would not be swayed.

"Rest assured, however: I shall not vanish from this world," she said. "The form I take shall ever remain my choice."

"...Then I will press you no more. Only know this...you will be sorely missed."

She stood before him in silence, and he knew he would never forget how the light caught the tears in her eyes she dared not let fall.

"It is I who shall miss you."

He had thought only of her sacrifice, and naught of the pain his own passing might cause. What is a candle to the sun?

And yet...

Unable to find the words, the archivist retreated into ritual. He held out a crystal—as he had countless times before—upon which was stored the last chapter of cosmological wisdom Venat had sought. Though she had spoken of its importance, he suspected she withheld the entire truth. Of her glimpse into the future, she had offered precious little.

"What we anticipate and what comes to pass need not be the same," she had once said. "'Tis best we work towards the greatest good without foreknowledge which might cloud our judgment."

The rounded gemstone, before life and revelation shaped her into so much more.

"The change in you has been...miraculous," he began, choosing his words carefully. "The change in myself almost equally so. A small sample size, perhaps, but if all mankind can grow in similar fashion, then I fear not for our future. Prove my theory, Venat. Prove it was worth the sacrifice."

His challenge hung in the air between them for an age.

Venat sighed, a small smile playing about her lips as she accepted the crystal. The archivist grinned.

"I regret only that I cannot see it through at your side. If you are to be Her heart, then I would be Her eyes. I would watch, unblinking, until the very end."

If only. He would fade into oblivion, and that would be his end. But his challenge would endure.

May it bring you joy and solace on the long road ahead.

And at your journey's end, I pray you look upon our fellow man...and know they shall carry on in our stead.

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      Lastly, they explain their process for balancing raids and the source of their miscalculation, which may prove to be an enlightening read. While some players may think the corrections are essentially a "nerf" (the P8S clear memes on social media are aplenty), it's understandable why they made the choices they did. Read on more below!
      Adjustments to Abyssos: The Eighth Circle (Savage) (Source)
      Hello, this is Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of FINAL FANTASY XIV.

      There has been a lot of discussion surrounding our explanation for adjusting the HP of the boss in Abyssos: The Eighth Circle (Savage) in Patch 6.21, as well as the necessity of the adjustment itself.

      Firstly, please allow me to apologize for the disruption caused by this balancing issue, and for any offense resulting from the insufficient explanation we initially provided.

      In this post, I hope to clear up any misunderstandings as to how and why this adjustment was made.
      Reason for the HP Adjustment
      As was explained in the Patch 6.21 notes, a miscalculation on our part resulted in the boss's HP being roughly 1% too high in comparison to the difficulty of previous fourth-stage Savage raids.

      We do, of course, understand and appreciate that many players nevertheless honed their ability rotations, raised item levels, and repeated the fight over and over in order to claim victory.

      Having the HP set to this higher value, however, had other undesirable consequences, including:
      Certain jobs being excluded from party recruitment A growing dissatisfaction with the overly punishing degree of difficulty As our miscalculation was the root cause of these issues, we decided that the best course of action was to explain our mistake and correct the inflated HP to the value it should have been in the first place. This type of correction has little precedence in FFXIV's development, and although the decision was made after considerable debate, we once again apologize for the impact it had on player enjoyment.
      Source of the Miscalculation
      This issue was touched upon in the patch notes, but allow me to explain our balancing process in further detail.

      Firstly, the development team bases adjustments on the following premise:

      The top percentage of players are overwhelmingly better at the game than we are.

      We regret not stating this more clearly in the previous explanation, but said premise is the reason why we do not release content tuned precisely as it was when the battle team’s balance testers cleared it.

      We always add a little bit extra to the boss values before rechecking the fight and releasing it live.

      The team responsible for balancing boss fights does so without debug commands and at the appropriate item level, employing available materia, foods, and medicines while experimenting with mitigating actions and various job compositions. Yet we recognize that player skill far exceeds our own. If we were to ship content with the same values which challenged our battle team, the top raiders would be deprived of that by-the-skin-of-your-teeth victory in the initial week of release.

      Based on the team's skill and our experience, that "little bit extra" usually translates to:

      Balance test clear values +1-2% HP

      The final values account for other mathematical factors too, of course, such as the estimated damage the party could deal from the moment of victory to the end of the time limit, as well as total burst damage potential based on frequency and amount inflicted. The numbers these various calculations are based on are what we were referencing when we said that our team’s performance was higher than anticipated.

      This latest installment features a boss closely tied to the dark past of a major character, and so we were focused on making this battle even more of a challenge than usual. As such, the battle team spent an inordinate amount of time together designing and testing the fight mechanics, which in turn led to them improving party coordination and communication beyond what they might usually achieve for a given boss fight. Final adjustments were, however, still based on the team's victory data, and so the "little bit extra" we added for the release proved to be that little bit too much.

      Reasons aside, our adjustments were off by that crucial 1% and we again offer our apologies to those whose gaming experience was adversely affected by the correction and insufficient explanation.

      A high-difficulty raid is a special kind of battle. We want players to enjoy a satisfying, hard-won victory, and we keep that ideal in mind when making tweaks and balance adjustments. Although we failed to walk that delicate line this time, the experience will help us to design a more perfectly thrilling battle in the future.
      Why Adjust the Duty, Rather than Job Balance?
      When balancing jobs, each job’s base damage numbers at the applicable item level are adjusted with respect to the difficulty of playing that particular job and its rotation, as well as its support actions and their effects.

      Naturally, the above factors are also affected by the mechanics and combination thereof at work in each battle─meaning that every job’s numbers will not necessarily be at ideal values during all available battles. In addition to this inherent variance, there are indeed times when our calculations or adjustments are incorrect, producing damage numbers lower than intended and requiring subsequent strengthening of a job.

      In this case, when considering job balance more broadly, the jobs that needed emergency adjustment in this fashion were Paladin and Warrior. However, the aforementioned issue with Abyssos: The Eighth Circle (Savage) also caused certain jobs to be better suited to the raid than others, and made the damage check required to clear extremely strict, resulting in a situation where players felt obligated to choose jobs with higher damage output when attempting the raid.

      Attempting to ameliorate this by buffing certain jobs without making changes to the raid itself would have negatively impacted overall balance within each role, and likely resulted in disappointment for those whose jobs were already dealing sufficient damage for the raid and therefore received no adjustments. Unfortunately, adjusting all jobs in such a short period is also not feasible.

      Thus:
      The root cause of the issue was a mistake in balancing the duty An immediate fix that maintains role balance was required. It is a game design fundamental as well as our policy that, rather than adjust the jobs to suit each battle, we balance the jobs independently, and only then set the battle content difficulty. Changing the job balance for one single duty would end up causing more problems than it solves, and so we decided to address the problem in the manner we did─by ameliorating the root cause.

      I appreciate that, regardless of our rationale, this issue has been a source of frustration for many, and I apologize for that. I hope, however, that this has helped clarify our approach.
      In Conclusion
      The adjustment to Abyssos: The Eighth Circle was never intended to be a “nerf,” but merely the correction of values that were set inappropriately for a fourth-stage Savage raid to begin with.

      Nevertheless, I understand that it feels like a nerf for those who worked hard and were on the verge of clearing the fight as it was originally implemented, and I regret having caused such disappointment.

      As we strongly wish you to continue enjoying fiercely challenging Savage fights, particularly in the early days after release, we will do our utmost to further improve the tuning of these battles. Furthermore, we will strive to better understand what our players think about such issues and improve our operational protocols─perhaps by waiting a week before implementing fixes, in addition to providing details on our perspective─so that if we again find ourselves in a similar situation, we may arrive at a solution that is more satisfying to everyone.

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I sincerely apologize for any disruption that our error may have caused to your gameplay experience, and appreciate your patience.
      Naoki Yoshida
      FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer & Director
       
    • By ara
      Notes for Patch 6.21 have been released! Features implemented in this update include the addition of Echo to Pandaemonium: Asphodelus (Savage), and other hotfix issues. 
      A very notable change in this update is the reduction of the boss' HP in Abyssos: The Eighth Circle. Many players have noted the unusually high DPS check to clear the fight, which resulted in numerous difficulties within statics. The HP values have been lessened by 1%, which apparently was the intended effect from the beginning.
      Read the full notes below! 
      Patch 6.21 Notes
      The notes for Patch 6.21 are now available, and include details on the introduction of the Echo to Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage), as well as a number of resolved issues.

      * Additional features will be implemented in future updates:
      Variant dungeons, criterion dungeons, Manderville weapon quests, and Omicron tribal quests are scheduled to be released in Patch 6.25.
      FINAL FANTASY XIV Patch 6.21
      Playable Content Housing Battle System Resolved Issues   Playable Content Housing Battle System Resolved Issues  
      Patch 6.21 contains content that can only be accessed by registering the expansion packs for FINAL FANTASY XIV to your service account. To distinguish between adjustments that are and are not affected by the registration of these expansions, the following notations will be used throughout the patch notes:
      These additions and adjustments only require the purchase of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn and FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward. These additions and adjustments require the purchase and registration of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood. These additions and adjustments require the purchase and registration of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers. These additions and adjustments require the purchase and registration of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker. These additions and adjustments contain elements that may require the purchase and registration of the expansion packs noted above.
      Housing
      The illumination of the Pendant Wall Light furnishing has been adjusted.

      Actions and traits have been adjusted as follows:
      * Each action and trait is listed as it appears at level 90.
      Further explanations of action changes and adjustments can be found in the job guide.
      View the job guide.
      Paladin
      Action   Adjustment Holy Spirit   Potency has been increased from 280 to 300.
      Requiescat potency has been increased from 560 to 600. Confiteor   Potency has been increased from 900 to 1,000. Expiacion   Potency has been increased from 340 to 420. Blade of Faith   Potency has been increased from 460 to 480. Blade of Truth   Potency has been increased from 540 to 560. Marauder / Warrior
      Action   Adjustment Storm's Path   Potency has been increased from 130 to 150.
      Combo potency has been increased from 410 to 430. Storm's Eye   Potency has been increased from 130 to 150.
      Combo potency has been increased from 410 to 430. Fell Cleave   Potency has been increased from 460 to 470. Upheaval   Potency has been increased from 350 to 360. The HP of Hephaistos in Abyssos: The Eighth Circle (Savage) has been reduced.
      This adjustment applies to both phases of the battle.
      Reasoning for HP Adjustment
      In our endeavor to create an encounter more challenging than Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle (Savage), the team responsible for final adjustments spent a great deal more time than usual working on balance for this raid battle.

      Under normal circumstances, the DPS of this team serves as a base for determining a boss HP value that results in clears as close to the time limit as possible. However, as extra time was dedicated to testing this battle, the team's overall performance proved to be higher than usual. As a result, the base values used for adjustments were too high, with final values roughly 1% higher than intended.

      We have reduced the boss's HP to bring the battle in line with our initial balance projections. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
      Players will now receive the power of the Echo in Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage).
      The Echo will take effect upon entering Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage), increasing players' maximum HP, damage dealt, and healing potency by 10%.
      * Unlike other instances, the strength of the Echo will not increase in the event all party members are incapacitated.

      The following issues have been addressed. An issue when playing as dragoon wherein the effect of Right Eye granted by Dragon Sight is removed when the target party member under the effect of Left Eye is incapacitated. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein certain animals did not appear despite meeting the requirements to find them. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein grazing animals were placed outside the pasture. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein the workshop and granary did not function as intended under certain conditions. An issue wherein the islekeep's index could be accessed outside of the island sanctuary under certain conditions. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein name plates erroneously displayed in situations where they should not. An issue wherein players who entered an instanced duty or logged out of the game while on an island sanctuary would return to the island at a different location under certain conditions. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein certain achievements could not be earned despite meeting their requirements. An issue on the island sanctuary wherein online status would not automatically change between "Online" and "Away from Keyboard." An issue when using the glamour dresser wherein executing the /isearch command with a large number of items in the dresser and Armoire forcibly closed the game client. An issue wherein the Rowena's representative NPC in Foundation would not allow the exchange of certain materia. An issue wherein equipping Isle Farmhand's Boots together with certain other gear caused their graphics to display incorrectly. An issue wherein the music played using the Stigma Orchestrion Roll and Toll of the Bells Orchestrion Roll were erroneously switched. An issue wherein a blank confirmation prompt would appear when requesting gear repairs under certain conditions. An issue wherein the cost of teleporting from the Stygian Insenescence Cells was incorrect. An issue when using group pose wherein characters using certain emotes would not stop moving when paused under certain conditions. An issue when portraits linked to multiple gear sets were transferred from the beta version to the official version wherein any edits made to said portraits were applied to all linked gear sets. An issue wherein the Dynamic Resolution function (β version) was not achieving the expected effect even with the setting enabled. (Windows version) Other various issues have also been addressed.
       
    • By ara
      In preparation for Patch 6.21, maintenance on all worlds will take place at 7PM PDT today. In addition to maintenance, other services will also be impacted. Read more on it below!
      All Worlds Maintenance, Sept 12
      In order to implement Patch 6.21, maintenance will take place on all Worlds at the time below, during which FINAL FANTASY XIV will be unavailable.
      We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we thank you for your understanding.
      [Date & Time]
      Sep. 12, 2022 7:00 p.m. to Sep. 13, 2022 3:00 a.m. (PDT)
      * Completion time is subject to change.
      [Affected Worlds]
      All Worlds
      * The Home World Transfer Service and the Data Center Travel System will be suspended 30 minutes before maintenance begins, and will be unavailable until maintenance has ended.
      * The FINAL FANTASY XIV Companion app will also be undergoing maintenance. Please see "COMPANION App Maintenance (Sep. 12)" for details.
      * This maintenance will have the following impacts due to infrastructure maintenance.
      ・The Lodestone/FINAL FANTASY XIV COMPANION app/Mog Station/Online Store will take longer than usual to reflect character information from North American Data Center Worlds that were changed immediately prior to the maintenance.
      ・There will be times where North American Data Center server status cannot be viewed on The Lodestone.
      ・There will be times where characters from North American Data Center Worlds will not be able to register new accounts or edit character information on the FINAL FANTASY XIV Forums.
      * Any duty recorder data recorded prior to this maintenance can no longer be replayed after this maintenance.
       
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