[PC] Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Sir_Scud

Super Elite
Dec 30, 2007
2,185
41
0
#1
I have played just about every MMO that has come onto the market ever since Everquest Online Adventures hit the PS2. The young me learned very early the addicting nature these games can create, as you go forth grinding away levels or gear to reach the next piece of content. Essentially, you do not beat these games. You play them until they are no longer fun or kick it like it's some bad habit. After my first few endeavors with various MMOs I learned to balance game and life, and Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 is one of the best I've played in a long time.

It took me about three months to reach max level and to begin some of the endgame content, still with plenty to do. As the game continues to change with patches and game updates, the game branches away from the generic MMO approach of skill trees as you gain levels and quest reliant fetch this item to level up approach. Yes, there are those kinds of quests scattered around the world of Eorzea, but once you do them once that character cannot do them again. Less of a reliance on, "I must go to this zone from 20-25 to level up, then this one" kind of game play. Your first foray in leveling will follow this approach, but as you level multiple classes you will instead use the Duty Finder feature to be placed in a dungeon or guildhest (generally small arenas where parties of four battle together and fight a boss). This cuts down tremendously on the old style of leveling. As for how long it takes, you will find that the path to 50 is not plagued with level locks or any pre-requisites, so a dedicated player can easily reach it within their first 30 days.



(random photo of some group I once was in)

Outside of dungeons or guildhests, the only other way to level a class is through fates, which are areas that pop at random in zones where players can jump in and try to complete an objective for money and experience. It's a cool idea, but fates are very boring after you've done a few. Great for if you're questing in a zone and one pops up in your area for quick experience.

The game features your typical Final Fantasy classes, but they are only unlocked once you reach level 30 in certain "base" classes. For example, a Marauder is a base class that turns into a Warrior, or an Archer that turns into a Bard. There are also crafting classes which is the norm for most MMOs. More classes will come with expansions, but the ones available are all pretty unique while keeping features like the Dragoon's Jump or the Black Mage's Flare.

Story

The game tries to get you to play the story, which is what most of the dungeons are based off of as you journey through the content. Instead of solely going to this or that zone to level, the story takes you there and before you know it, you'll battle Ifirit as part of it all. It makes all the dungeons feel like they have a purpose instead of just being a forest level, or a castle. The cutscenes are quite lengthy, too. It shows that Square-Enix wanted to make a game that tells something special, not just throw fire effects and a Bahamut in the background to get people talking.

As for accessibility, Final Fantasy XIV takes some adjusting. You cannot get away with standing in one place using all of your abilities and beat the boss. I've played through the game as Lancer and Conjurer, a damage dealer and a healer class. You start to learn how all the mechanics flow together as you battle bosses that move around the map at will, randomly target sections or party members, or other mechanics that require you to pay attention to the battlefield and not just your toolbar. In this sense, XIV is a bit harder than your average MMO. It doesn't hold your hand in teaching you how to fight the bosses, instead left the community to wipe numerous times until successful battle strategies have made what was seen as impossible, easier. Garuda, one of the "primals" is a boss you fight as part of the story. She tested my ability to heal, manage my MP more effectively, and pay more attention to what she was doing instead of just reacting to the tank's health bar. It's these battles that make you appreciate the mechanics and have you in awe when you see that bitch fall to the ground.



(Preparing to fight Ifirit for the first time)


Endgame

Once one reaches max level, it's that question of what is next? Reaching level 50 means instead of grinding experience, you grind item level which means you're grinding for better equipment to do the different tiers of endgame content. This is where XIV does what every other MMO has done by putting caps how much you can earn, how often you can do certain dungeons and how fast you can acquire your next piece of gear. Still, it's fun to learn the mechanics of these difficult fights. The bosses are no pushovers. Just know if you speed your way to 50 to reach endgame, you will probably burn out as the content can start be become a grind, a checklist where you try to do as much as you can one week, only to do the same thing again next week.



(The exact armor of a Level 50 White Mage ;)


The community is awesome, people generally are helpful and willing to answer questions if people are stuck and don't know what to do next. Newcomers that tackle the new content or more difficult dungeons generally receive good tips on how to down the next boss as people are willing to spend the extra two minutes to explain the boss mechanics. Every time I use the I'm new card on the group instead of, "Omfg a noob" I get "Ok so for this..." or "Make sure you..." This only makes life easier on the group, as people are willing to help others, because they were once new, too. They are always a few bad apples that try to rush through content when others are still in a cutscene or blame the tank for a wipe, but generally one of the better communities out there.



(Right before the action while participating in a Fate Quest)

In conclusion, XIV is worth the subscription and worth taking a chance. The world of Eorzea is beautiful and diverse. You will find yourself running all around it as you experience the different beastmen tribes, dangerous primals who will test your abilities, and a bunch of cat people who fill up your party as you're twice their size.

Be sure to check out PSUltros, PSU's own Free Company on the server Ultros. Only the coolest people ever :)


Pros:

Beautiful world with a great setting and atmosphere
Good starter set of classes with diverse play styles
Good community
Great dungeon designs with boss mechanics that constantly "check" your abilities

Cons:

Endgame is just like any other MMO on the market
Not enough group content for being in the world, outside of fates
Game at times not clear on how to access certain content

Score: None, MMOs are always in constant state of change- Worth a buy and subscription
 

Effekt

Apprentice
Mar 9, 2008
341
8
0
29
#2
Awesome review, I've honestly been wanting to play this game for the longest time, I told myself I'd wait til it releases again on the PS4 but your review makes me want to just buy it now for PC haha. With that said though, do you know if PC players can log in on a PS3 with their PC account and vice versa?

Also, how are the mechanics for the boss fights? Are there puzzles involved in any of them at all? Is it mostly tank and spank? And if endgame is the same as other MMO's is it at least still enjoyable?
 

Sir_Scud

Super Elite
Dec 30, 2007
2,185
41
0
#3
Endgame is enjoyable, just gotta take your time imo. A lot of people try to burn through the content, maxing out weekly allowances of mythology or philosophy (to buy gear), running thru same dungeons for drops, etc and after doing that for a month or two barely log on after.

There are sorta puzzles to some bosses, to say the least. Like you cannot attack if part a hasn't been complete or if group hasn't done something during the fight. Tank and Spank works for a few bosses, mostly early ones, sprinkled into some of the early endgame here and there. For the most part the bosses have specific mechanics, some of which you get a feel for from earlier mini bosses or environmental hazards earlier in the dungeon. Bosses do AOEs that sometimes must be avoided at all costs, attacks that knock players off the map killing them, some cast Doom which kills you if you don't reach a spot, etc.

And I have both the ps3 and pc version connected. Which mean I can use my character on either, and I will be able to play it on PS4 when it launches. For PS3 and PC, you must buy copies for each, but then you link the account and have access to both. My PC cannot run it at max settings but it's still gorgeous and I love the dungeon design in the game.
 

Effekt

Apprentice
Mar 9, 2008
341
8
0
29
#4
Oh okay cool, I usually stretch out the end game and rush through the leveling. The bosses definitely sound like standard good MMO bosses. I think I'll have to get the PC version for now and just fork up the extra for the PS4 version. Thanks for answering my questions.