Today, I hope the "LET'S GET THE SERVERS BACK UP!" idiots got a nice dose of reality, on two fronts.
#1, it now absolutely appears that Fukushima #1 appears not only to be a total loss, but headed to catastrophic meltdown. I know there will be people who will throw their hands up at what probably will be an apocalyptic hypothesis for Japan, but the continuing rising of levels to the point that the workers can't even work there, the remaining (and hugely brave -- and almost certainly dead) last fifty people working to try to prevent an absolute meltdown at the plant.
Aftershocks continue, to complicate things even further.
As many have said, one has to wonder what Japan did to piss the deities off.
#2, we actually got a rather surprising announcement from the Dev Team at Square-Enix early this morning.
Quoting from the Dev Tracker Square-Enix provides on the official forums:
Rolling blackouts and restrictions on public transportation have been implemented across eastern Japan as part of the earthquake and tsunami disaster relief effort. Consequently, we have chosen to delay the upcoming major version update initially planned for mid-April.
While the new release date has been provisionally revised to May, we are unable to provide a detailed schedule at this point in time. The previously announced world merger will likewise be postponed.
We would like to express our apologies to our players, and will do our utmost to keep you abreast of the latest developments. Thank you for your continued understanding in this difficult time.
We were about a month out from the version update when the Earthquake hit. Please remember that this probably involved testing the new features, etc. -- and the testing is done on one of the servers (which they obviously had to shut down the test server, Atomos, as well).
More and more, it appears that any restart will probably coincide with May's ninth anniversary event, if at all.
This probably means you can forget about FFXI for at least the rest of the month of March, and, depending on the timetable (and circumstances in Japan), probably a degree of April as well.
We are probably now looking at at least a 2-6 week delay in FFXI/FFXIV services, and restarting them at all starting becoming less and less of a chance pretty quickly as the time begins to recede to and past that 6-week threshold.
In closing, and to give you an idea of perspective on the situation, I turn you to one of the people whom I have had strong disagreements with:
Limit Break Radio's Aneiro was working on post-production on the first half of "The Great Final Fantasy Debate" (which I listened to live) when the announcement of the servers going down hit.
So, even tired and losing his voice, he felt the need to append to the beginning a very prescient and poignant three and a half minutes that I think you all need to listen to.
Even if you don't get the (very hilarious - with all the barbs and the like) first part of the GFFD, go to LimitBreakRadio.com and click on the player and listen, at the least, to the first three and a half minutes. Over "Distant Worlds", he gives some badly needed perspective here, especially to the trolls and jackalopes who feel the need to make demands of a badly crippled company and nation (Japan) at this point.
When I put a "Pray for Japan" tag on these posts, I kid not.