MMOs and Final Fantasy 14

So, what’s this post about? My most recent MMO time sucking. I’ve played quite a few of them, starting with Everquest. Back then, I was really young and MMO’s were a lot more comples, so I don’t think I ever got past level fifteen.

I started with, uh, whatever expansion had the Iksar. Went as an Iksar Shadow Knight. Didn’t play it that much since I was bad, but I thought it was the coolest  thing ever. A game in a world with everyone else? That was pretty amazing. I really liked just exploring the Iksar city, though I can’t remember what it was called now. Physically typing things to talk to the NPC’s was pretty cool.

After that, I didn’t play MMO’s for a while since I didn’t have anyone to play it with. Then his thing called Final Fantasy 11 came out, my friends and I decided to get it because Final Fantasy was, like, the hottest thing back then.

That game was so slow-paced and group based but also so rewording to get through compared to future MMOs. Played a Mithra Thf which then turned to a Drg. Yeah, so original. It felt awesome getting to level 30 and then doing quests to unlock advanced jobs. Each zone had a sense of danger and exploration due to dying being really stiffly penalized, yet there were different ways to avoid monsters.

Never did get to endgame, though.

Next game WoW, the MMO that mainstreamed it to the masses. No longer requiring groups to do anything and really polishing previous ideas, making for a pretty great game. I played a Troll Shaman, then turned Tauren paladin once Cataclysm came out. Actually did quite a lot of endgame raiding in Wrath and Cataclysm. Cataclysm was the last expansion I played, though.

Now, it’s Final Fantasy 14: ARR time. Yo ho ho.

I tried the open beta for the original FF14 and thought it was really lacking, so I never got that. But once the remake came out, people said its much improved and pretty good. Well, I always wanted to play FF14 and now seemed like the perfect chance.

It is markedly different from FF11, being more similar to modern MMOs. That means lots of quests and a pretty directed experience. Its pretty easy to solo most of the game, though the main quest will need you to go into dungeons as a group to proceed. While that’s cool, certain classes will always have a longer wait to get into dungeons, namely the DPS.

Overall, it’s a lot like WoW. Raising people on the field can still be important, since you can only return to your homepoint and not the nearest spawn point. That means if you die across the world from your homepoint, getting a raise would probably be preferable. You don’t lose 10% of your level anymore, though. In fact, I’m not sure dying damages anything.

Travelling around no longer produces heart pounding. Enemies will stop chasing you after a while so it’s pretty easy to get from place to place. The game world also feels smaller, but I’m sure that will grow over time and expansions.

The gameplay feels pretty solid. It’s a bit slower than WoW but much faster than FF11. It also loses the skill chains from FF11, which I find sad. Those were a pretty cool addition. Other than that, combat is pretty much like a modern MMO. Get out of the stuff, deal damage with skills.

Casters are pretty much like casters from WoW. Uses mana and can’t move while casting. I could never stand waiting for mana to regenerate, so I hardly play full casters, but in here, regeneration for both HP and MP is sped out outside of combat. No need to sit, eat, drink or anything else, so that’s pretty cool. Playing a Conjurer right now, Mi’qote of course.

Physical classes get skills that can chain together in certain ways to make them more effective. Just an example from Lancer, using True Thrust first increases the damage of Vorpal Thrust. Vorpal Thrust by itself would do less damage then True Thrust. I don’t know if it gets more complex later on since I’ve been levelling my Conjurer primarily.

They have instanced dungeons now and a Duty Finder thats just a dungeon finder. It works as well as can be expected. First few dungeons have been easy, with bosses slowly ramping up the difficulty. Only four players to a party, one tank, one healer, two dps.

I haven’t had a bad party yet, so that’s cool. Dungeons are pretty enjoyable too with most of them taking around half an hour to complete.

Overall, I’m really enjoying FF14. It’s a solid MMO but it doesn’t do anything that really stands out. The only thing I might point to is one character being able to do every job like in FF11, but that’s about it. Otherwise, FF14 feels a lot like WoW. It’s fun, and I want to play it some more, but don’t expect anything really game changing.

The story also has a lot of cutscenes. They’re alright, actually, though certain places not being instanced does kind of break the mood, such as the officer of an organization with supposedly just a few members. When it’s swarming with players, yeah…

Well, this was just my quick look at Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Maybe I’ll talk more on it later once I reach endgame.

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