With the latest expansion to Final Fantasy XIV up and running, it makes sense that the game's servers would be getting hit pretty hard this past week. According to Square Enix, they're actually getting hard enough to hurt, as a DDoS attack on the game has been confirmed.
Beginning June 16 and continuing through today, players of Final Fantasy XIV may have noticed that, on the US servers, the game isn't always performing as expected. From an inability to log in, to dropped games, players have been traveling a rough road in Square Enix's popular MMO as of late. You wouldn't be faulted for thinking this is all due to the recent launch of Stormblood, a major expansion that hit FFXIV last week. Unfortunately, the publisher has announced that an influx of excited players is not the cause of the issue.
Over on the FFXIV blog, Square Enix has announced that, since June 16, they have been experiencing DDoS attacks from "an anonymous third-party" targeting the games North American data center. They even provide a nice explanation of what a DDoS attack involves, for worried consumers, pointing out that the party responsible is attempting to max out the server load of the game by flooding the network. If successful, these attacks can bring a game's servers to a grinding halt.
As for the reasons behind the attacks, nobody has stepped forward to claim responsibility as of yet. Sometimes these things are done under the pretense of causing harm to a company the attackers feel is somehow harming the consumers but, more often than not, they don't even have a flimsy backstory to explain their actions. A big game just launched a big expansion, so it stands to reason in this modern age that someone out there would want to try and ruin everyone's fun because, I don't know, maybe they weren't hugged enough growing up.
The key things to take away from this is that, according to Square Enix, this is just a DDoS attack. In other words, while that's a real pain for people who have spent their hard-earned money on a game and just want to enjoy it, the folks responsible haven't tried to steal anyone's user information or anything like that. They're just overpopulating the servers at this time.
The announcement goes on to explain that the FFXIV team is monitoring the situation and doing their best to combat it, but the party responsible has been "changing their method at every moment." In other words, it might be a while before the developer gets a handle on the situation so, if you're trying to log in on the NA servers and are having trouble, just try to exercise some patience. With any luck, the folks responsible will get bored soon and just let folks get back to enjoying their game.