Final Fantasy 14’s European servers battered for 5 days in worst DDoS spree since 2018

While Final Fantasy 14’s North American servers have stabilized since the May 6 DDoS attack, it seems overseas players haven’t been as lucky. Of the three continued attacks on the servers, Europe has been caught in every single one for five consecutive days of intermittent outages. 

So far, none of the outages have been as severe as the worldwide DDoS attack on Monday, which started 12 hours before the scheduled all-worlds maintenance and five hours after for a total of 17 hours of worldwide downtime between May 6 and 7. There have been three more confirmed DDoS attacks since; a six-hour outage on NA, EU, and Oceanic servers on May 7, a four-hour outage hitting Japan and EU on May 9, and the ongoing attack affecting EU and JP servers—now lasting over 15 hours.

Nohi, male Au Ra in a suit, stands next to a player character and the Wandering Minstrel at the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy 14.
At least Nohi has been getting breaks from the swarm of adventurers grinding the Yo-kai event. Screenshot by Dot Esports

While DDoS-related outages aren’t new to FF14, this concentrated collection of attacks has been the worst case since the major outage streak in late 2018. From Oct. 4 to Nov. 2 of that year, the FF14 team was fighting off intermittent DDoS attacks that targeted every region and continually changed methods to bypass defenses. According to the official statements from that period, these attacks were on an unprecedented scale that resulted in at least one “massive disconnection event” in North America and had the team working around the clock to prevent total shutdowns.

Barring another concentrated (but much less severe) series of outages in the summer of 2019, DDoS attacks on FF14 servers have become few and far between, presumably due to the defenses implemented as a result of the mass attacks. A vast majority of them lasted less than three hours—with some lasting only five minutes—and only targeted one region at a time. 

The recent series of outages is the first time multiple regions have gone down for extended periods since the attacks in 2018. Considering FF14’s explosive rise to popularity after the release of Shadowbringers, this will be the first time a great deal of the player base has experienced DDoS attacks on this scale. The fact that a month-long assault on the servers is the only precedent to the attacks is especially concerning with the release of Dawntrail just around the corner

Let’s hope the dev team is able to ramp up the defenses to stop the continual outages and set up a smooth launch experience for 7.0.

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