Today, for those who haven’t been keeping track, is the early access launch for A Realm Reborn, Square Enix’s relaunch of the much-maligned Final Fantasy XIV. Because I’m a sucker for the Final Fantasy name, and Josh Wirtanen is a bad influence on my fiscal habits, I just pre-ordered the game and gained immediate access to the early launch. Client downloaded, I copy-pasted the early access code my pre-order provided and prepared to delve into the world of Eorzea.
Except I couldn’t remember my Square Enix ID and Password.
This is interesting because, on the A Realm Reborn website, I’d been able to log in to my account with my e-mail address and password. Now that I was actually in the launcher, though, my user ID was required. No big deal, I figured. There’s a button right here marked, “Forgot your ID of password?” I followed it and entered my e-mail address, as prompted. I soon received an automated password reset e-mail from Square Enix, but, upon doing so, was still left without my ID.
I then read the fine print. To recover my ID, I have to actually contact Square Enix support directly. I shot them a message about ten minutes ago, but I imagine their help desk is swamped with player questions about initial launch hiccups, such as the downtime the servers just experienced. It could be a while.
This begs the question, though. Why is the password recovery system automated while the ID recovery requires a real person? The ID is an immutable identifier, unbowed by the whims of potential hackers or unscrupulous exploiters. It’s also, in most cases, going to be the easier element of your log-in credentials to guess. Yet it’s locked up behind the following required information:
- Account e-mail address
- Security question (must choose both an applicable question and the correct answer)
- Date of birth
The password, meanwhile, requires only the account e-mail address, without further muss or fuss, and allows you to change the password, locking someone out of their own account. It all seems more than a little back-asswards.