Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn… again.
So I’ve never really been a fan of the Final Fantasy series. As many people have jested before, “How is each game the ‘Final’ fantasy?” But seriously, poor naming Square. I mean this is the 14th game. However, I’ve always like the concept of the Final Fantasies. What gamer wouldn’t enjoy incredibly rich story-lines, beautifully cutting-edge graphics and deep character development? I’ve really enjoyed the idea of a MMO Final Fantasy. However, when I played Final Fantasy XI I was very disappointed. I got a late start and because of that there was already a saturation of bots who had destroyed the economy and kept the game from being fun. I really disliked the deleveling ability. Additionally, the only solid game I had to compare it to was World of Warcraft.
WoW and The Landscape of MMOs
Flash forward nearly 11 years and the landscape of MMO games has changed drastically. Since then I’ve played nearly every main stream MMO and grown-up a lot. I’m an adult now and I’ve really honed in on what I actually enjoy and what I allow myself to tolerate. I also have a lot less “free” time on my hands so that causes me to make decisions about my entertainment choices more critically.
I’m over 1 year sober on World of Warcraft and every day is a challenge. WoW was a huge part of my every day life for nearly a decade and without it I have a need that must be filled. I do the same things that every other adult gamer out there who is in my same situation tries to do.
“Oh, well XYZ is like wow it has stuff blah blah blah”
You lie to yourself saying that garbage to justify leaving but never realize that WoW is an abusive significant other. She/he tortures you with grueling tasks promising everyday that it will get better. She/he slaps you around a bit by nerfing your character but then sweetens you up with pokemon-like pet battles. I’m digressing.
Back to Final Fantasy…
Anyway, I picked up Final Fantasy XIV on a Green Man Gaming deal back closer to when it launched and attempted to play the free 30 days that comes with the game. I didn’t like it. True to Final Fantasy tradition it started with a long cut-scene that could not be skipped followed by a smaller in-game cut scene that also cannot be skipped. Each NPC wanted to talk to you for like 20 mins about everything in regards to the quest you were about to partake. I continued to not like it.
So I dropped it for a good while. Then my wife started working nights and I found myself with about 5 hours a day of “Free” time (minus of course the daily honey-do list left on the fridge). What better thing to do than fill my time with a game. I tried GW2 again and got further than I had before but it lost my interest when I ran out of “Lost Girl” the TV show to accompany it. I tried a couple of single player games to no avail. So my friend re-recommended FFXIV.
I went into it this time with a different attitude. Lots of people all over the world love this game. There has to be a reason. This time I’m really enjoying it. It has a very unique blend of many other MMO systems that I enjoy. I love class questing, public quests (Fates), and crafting. I can’t even begin on how awesome the crafting system is in this game. I can only recommend you read FFXIVinfo’s guide on crafting. I also took the time to listen to the dialog between characters and found how rich the story was. I (just like in ESO) felt like I was apart of this world and had a role. I also really like the class tiers system. I loved Ragnarok Online’s tiered classes and have been longing for something like that for nearly 15 years. Alas, FFXIV’s system isn’t nearly as robust or versatile but I do like that there is a reason to get your different classes to certain levels. It just adds more purpose to the game. I’m also just recently discovering the Leve questing system and really appreciating what it adds. It keeps people from running out of quests in their level range. It also adds some skill complexity to the game that lets you test your mettle.
All in all I’ve been playing this game for about a week now with this new attitude of mine and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ll keep you guys posted on any updates of my enjoyment of the game if anything changes.