Don’t Bother with it.. No seriously. I’ve already purchased it because I was just after something new but I would not recommend it to anyone else after playing in the Beta this Weekend. Come release I’ll probably play it for a little while but I don’t see that being for very long, I’m likely to not even hit the cap.
Final Fantasy is the epitome of whats wrong with the MMO industry. It has this wonderful pretty coating, the character creation is nice, the graphical quality is rather high, the Environments are gorgeous, and the music is absolutely entrancing. There are even many great mechanics that you may not notice like housing, inn use, and even a fully fleshed out day and night with moon cycles that can affect certain in-game things but don’t be fooled as once you get past that you realise just how terrible and mind-numbing the entire experience is.
I am truly amazed that this is a reboot of a product that was somehow worse as even though it’s been in development again for many years its honestly like the last 5 years of mmo developments never happened. The combat is your basic hit trading, tank and spank style that WoW popularised many eons ago. There is no improvement to this.. none at all, in fact it feels like a downgrade to wow as at least they threw in a heap of skills for you to use. As a Conjurer I was using one skill to kill mobs for all ten levels, I could have used a couple more but they honestly weren’t needed. Just pew pew and watch for the occasional cast on the mobs or aoe. Maybe it’s exciting for a new mmo player, or even a fan of Final fantasy but to a mmo vet it is just boring… so very boring.
The Questing is the same you might get anywhere else but without any of the interesting iteration that may make it enjoyable. The way the quests are set up seem rather frustrating too as you will be having to constantly turn in quests at another area as well as changing the area where you pick up and complete quests only after a few quests. Jumping back and forth between zones does get rather tiring, there is a waypoint teleporting system that could make it easier but it is very badly planned and signed. I get what they were trying to do, having the zones contain different levels of monsters in particular areas means you have many higher level characters questing around the newbs to give help and advice.. it’s also nice to see some of the amazing armors they are wearing (and they do look nice). I even liked how I could take a peek rather easily at these higher level areas environments and monsters but it creates a very fragmented experience. If you’re creating a Themepark at least make it easy for people to find the rides.
Oh and the speech bubbles..wow. There is just so many of them all the time containing inconsequential bits of dialogue. I prefer a more streamlined experience where I can pick up quests and then just go about my business. I don’t want to be spending minutes picking these quests up. Now I’m not averse to quest dialogue and story, I will take my time to devour it all but only if it is interesting and most of what I read was not. Just give me a big wall of text and be done with it please as this is not meant to be a…. haha, I was about to say a console experience but it really is. I’ve played single player games on PC that have suffered from bad porting, now I’ve played an MMO that’s suffered as well.
The gathering, collection and interaction system in this game is god awful as well. It uses that old style select and click method but it is very unresponsive, it takes many clicks for it to respond.. or maybe that was just input lag. I thought a use key was pretty much an improvement to usability that is a standard to MMO’s now.. apparently not. Apparently they’ve been living under a rock for all these years and have neither heard or played many of the other MMO’s that have released and this is one mechanic where that is very obvious.
If I want active combat I’ll go to Tera. If I want a better questing experience I’ll play GW2. If I want interesting story I play (and wait) for TSW quests, and if I want a refined theme park experience I’ll play Rfit. Final Fantasy XIV adds absolutely nothing to the genre… it might have been good if it released many many years ago but now it looks and plays like a dinosaur. Now it can be ok. Getting into that rhythm of mindless killing again and ticking off everything in the checkbox is actually rather relaxing. I went from point to point to point, killing and collecting for hours but it wasn’t an enjoyable… it was more familiar and calming in its repetition. In this day and age that is not something that gives me hope for the games future though and being purty isn’t enough.
*Note* First impressions are exactly that. I may have missed many things and I haven’t even seen what end game amounts too, it may be awesomely amazing. What I expereinced was not.