The original plan for FFXIV's servers was to have servers that could host a maximum of 5000-6000 sumultaneous connections, although it is not clear if this vision was ever realised. The number of players dropped significantly after launch and this led to server merges and the number of servers dropping from 17 to 10.
The original servers were named after towns featured in the first 13 games of the Final Fantasy series. The new servers are named after powerful weapons found throughout the series. The details of which servers were merged and what they were renamed to can be found below:
|Wutai + Gyashl
|Rabanastra + Cornelia
|Melmond + Figaro
|Istory + Mysidia
|Saronia + Lindblum
|Fabul + Besaid
|Trabia + Kashuan
|Karnak + Palamecia
In addition to these merged and renamed servers, a new server called Ragnarok
was created. This server was labelled as being recommended for players who are in European timezones. As this is only a recommendation, players from anywhere are able to play on it. This server is unique in that it is the only localised server and it was done due to the very low European population.
At the same time as the server merger, Square Enix allowed a server transfer where a player could request to be transfered to any of the new servers providing there was an empty space. If you did not select a new server or were not subscribed at the time you were kept on the server that was being created from your merged server.
With Ragnarok being a new server, it had to rely on just server transfers in order to have a healthy number of players. While this did work out in the end, some European players chose not to transfer to Ragnarok as they were already established on their original server. However the population remains low, but this will certainly increase as the game becomes more popular.
Very little has been announced regarding the vision for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn's
servers (FFXIV V2), however it is expected that there will be a significant increase in players. This will inevitably lead to new servers being created. In a recent interview, FFXIV's director Naoki Yoshida mentioned that more localised servers will be available, and the idea of hosting servers abroad has not been ruled out. This would be a good thing if it were to occur as European players experience a large amount of lag due to the distance from Japan.