Update on where we’re at with FFXIV

As promised I am delivering my verdict to you all on FFXIV.  For now Graev and I have decided that we will not be continuing past his 30 days of free play and my 30 day trial.  The number one reason that we’re citing is the interface lag.  It really does make every aspect of the game painful.  Crafting one item takes ten times longer than it should because every single step (you’ll remember there are a lot of them) takes several seconds to appear.  Combat is lagged as a result of interface lag.  Everything is lagged because of it.

We’re not ruling the game out entirely; Graev is especially wanting to return if they ever get around to fixing the problems.  We quite enjoyed ourselves when we weren’t frustrated with the problems.  The game isn’t entirely awful.  There is substance to FFXIV and a real game beneath the highly criticized presentation. Some good news though…

In a bold move today Square Enix extended the free trials for another 30 days. “All users who registered a Final Fantasy XIV service account and purchased a character by October 25, 2010 will be eligible,” says Square on their Lodestone website.  Additionally they gave information about a patch coming.  You can find the news here if you scroll down to the version update coming soon section.  Here’s a cut and paste if you don’t want to go to their site:

Late November Update
Adjustments and additions to the user interface
Adjustments to the Markets and retainers
Lowering of Teleport and Return costs
Adjustments to overall battle balance
Adjustments to class balance
Adjustments to party battle balance
Adjustments to monster placement
Adjustments to levequests
Adjustments to synthesis
Addition of new synthesis recipes
Alleviation of lag issues

Mid-December Update
Addition of notorious monsters
Addition of new guildleves
Addition of new synthesis recipes
Addition of new items

That addresses many issues we have with the game.  What they mean by “Adjustments” is really going to be the key, but since they have all the big issues on the list I would hope it means they’re going to improve upon them.  Late November is just too long to keep playing with the issues, which explains why they’re letting people play for free.  It’s a good sign.

  • It may be a good sign, it may not. They’ve not really changed anything they did with 14 from what they did with 11. Instead, they made it that much more excruciating to try and advance. At least, from what I played of it. Everything you do is limited in some way. I wouldn’t care if I could hit cap in a week. If someone is going to put up barriers to the way I choose to play, they shouldn’t be asking me for my money. They obviously don’t care about what I want or they wouldn’t do it in the first place.

    However, I can say that these supposed interface changes are at least a start. Of course, they wouldn’t be fixing these things if they hadn’t have released them like that in the first place. Especially when people have been telling them since beta that these things needed to be fixed. I personally think they knew other games were coming, and they were trying to be the first out the door. Which is fine, to an extent. However, games have been doing it for years.

    Most of them are Infamous for it, too. As much as I love Warhammer. I don’t know many people who won’t say it’s launch was shakey because it was rushed out. The same for AoC, Vanguard, and quite a few other games released in the last few years. Final Fantasy 14 was really no different in that regard. It just went a little smoother because of it’s title.

  • Those sound like issues that could have been and should have been addressed based on beta feedback. Why they had to release a retail product and watch it tank before they would take that feedback seriously mystifies me.

  • @Shadrah: While I respect your opinion, I’m interested to know why you feel “everything you do is limited in some way.” It’s true that you’re limited to 16 quests every 36 hours (8 of which can be picked up again after 24), that’s still a good amount of content for the average player. Granted, I don’t believe it will sustain the more hardcore among us, but those 16 quests have always been hard for me to complete within a 2 hour window due to how long the crafting leves take. If you’re not interested in crafting, though, I can definitely see how you’d have to choose between grinding or quitting pretty fast.

    I think a lot of the issues people have with these limits are conceptual. In practice, there aren’t enough combat leves to get you to the fatigue threshold in a week anyways, so you’re going to wind up grinding. At that point, how much difference does grinding as one class over another (the fatigue limit is by the class)really make?

    Regarding limitations, I hope we can recognize that *every* MMO slows you down somehow. If you got to the level cap in a week, I’d argue that it wasn’t a very well thought out MMO. The same could be said if you finished all the raiding content or maxed out all your crafting in that week. These games have to slow you down to keep you playing in the long-term while they develop more content. Some are just better hiding it than others.

    @Yeebo: I know! I was in beta for a while and I was honestly surprised how content they were to launch with so many issues still on the list for updates. It was like they thought the general public would be as content as the beta testers to let them work everything out over weeks and months. It’s a shame, but I guess they’re finding out the hard way people just don’t accept works in progress on such base levels as what people have cited here.

  • All I have to say is that its nice to see someone else out there with a level head as regards to the game. Most people write it off as never getting better. It at least shows promise.

    And yes, the lag is ridiculous. Yes, Squeenix should have fixed a lot of these issues before the game released because they’re hold overs from beta – at least fix them in a launch-day patch, at the very least.

    I’m enjoying the game more than I’m not, so I’ll continue to play, at least for the time being (and I have 30 extra days to make up my mind now!).

  • There is a publicity quote for the FF website.

    Keen & Graev’s Gaming Blog – “The game isn’t entirely awful.”


  • When the November and Decmber updates go live, this just might be the Wow Killer people have talked about.

  • Jay P – you really have to be joking. Every new MMO gets tagged a “WoW Killer” but the reality is the only game likely to ever even dent WoW is the MMO Blizzard themselves are working on. FF14 is as far from a WoW killer as you can get.
    FF14 is already on it’s way to being consigned to history as one of the worst MMOs ever. Launching WAY too early as they have done causes irreparable damage a game’s image and crucially to it’s subscriber base.

    I’m glad SE is extending the free trial and making changes but it’s far too little too late – they need another 6 months to year to get it to a state where it will even come across as average.

    Unfortunately they are closing the stable door when the horses have long-since bolted.

  • I said after CB/OB that FFXIV had the makings of a good game, but that it would be 6 – 12 months before anyone other than FF obsessives need apply.

    I’m saving it for next summer or the summer after that.

  • @Chris: 16 quests every 36 hours does not a “good deal of content” make. Even FOR the average player. They basically did this:

    “Let’s throw a few ‘jobs’ in this time to try and mask the fact that you’ll be grinding your life away. That’ll work, right?”

    Grinding is grinding. It’s boring, and there’s nothing new about it. The days of sitting on one mob for days on end to level is over. The quest system is no different than a game that gives you 2-3 quests every level and then tells you to go and kill xxx of this mob after. If I wanted to play a PS3 game then I’ll play FF13. That’s all 14 is, anyways. A rehashed version of 11 with pretty graphics and a few new ways to annoy it’s playerbase with senseless grinding.

    Why should I have sympathy for a franchise that clearly hasn’t learned from past mistakes? They’re repeating them 7 years later. 14 is no better than the train wreck that was 11. At least 11 had a fresh appeal going for it. 14 is just the same thing but prettier.

  • Must…stop laughing…sorry everyone one…moment…can’t stop…laughing…need…air…ok…Im ok…Sorry about that. Now where was I? Did you just say WoW Killer??!OH…NO…not…again…cant…stop…laughing…

  • Don’t laugh , when they get all the bugs out and add motorcycle mounts and barber shops in 2012, FFXIV will be a force to reckon with. Sarcasm, look into it….

  • “Sarcasm, look into it….” wow sorry jay p if I hurt your feelings. Sarcasm did cross my mind but not knowing you and “IF” it was real or Sarcasm just made me laugh and I just made a joke about someone saying wow killer which you know they are out there. Relax. It was all in good fun.
    – Bill

  • It’s been a while since I actually came to site. (I usually just have your feeds sent into Google Chrome’s “Feedly” and read it from there)

    Anyway, so far I have throughly enjoyed what FFXIV has given me. Sure, the interface lag is something to be upset about, and I have made that clear on the forums, but overall the feeling I get from the game brings me back to the old days of SWG and Everquest. I feel a sort of overwhelming when I run out of the cities with a friend or two and just explore to find something thats as tall as a mountain and kicks my ass.

    I think if you just push past the interface lag and get used to the way the UI itself is, FFXIV is a niche game that will make a lot of old-timer hardcore MMO’ers like myself happy.

    Not to mention, at least where I am, the community is absolutely amazing.

  • @Shadrah: We’ll have to agree to disagree. Broken down, is your 8 daily crafting quests take about 90 minutes to complete and turn in, and combat/gathering quests take about 45 minutes, you’re looking at 14 hours of combined guided content a week– two hours a day is a decent amount for the average player; we must just have different definitions on who that is. From there, you can, yes, grind up your weapon rank while waiting for the cooldowns or you can work on making gathering crafting for your *own* benefit instead of the NPCs.

    If you thought FFXI was such a train wreck, why are you so invested in the sequel? I think you just got your hopes high for something FFXIV never promised to be. Square never claimed it would follow in the standard wow-esque diku model. From the outset, it’s been taking its cues from FFXI. At what point can we admit our own expectations partly be to blame for our disappointment. To be clear, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I agree that the game has many areas that clearly need improvement. Why so many people feel anger at the sheer existence of the game is beyond me, however, and I have to think it’s because we all hold Final Fantasy on some kind of pedestal.

    The game is divisive… moreso than any other game I’ve followed in recent memory. It’s very much a love it or hate it kind of thing. I still don’t understand why you have such trouble living and let live, Shad. You don’t need to “have sympathy” for it or let them off the hook for anything, because they’re *not* on the hook to you. I think it’s entirely possible that, even outside of UI issues and lag, this game very well may not have been designed for you, as a hater of its predecessor. Who’s at fault there?

  • @Christopher: I have seen the arguement several times this week, that FFXIV is for the hardcore/oldschool Ultima-esque fans out there. I don’t buy that at all.

    Sure, the archaic, cumbersome, and poorly designed systems in the early MMOs are easy to forgive, they were creating a new genre and blazing the trail for those that would follow.

    However, this isn’t the infancy of MMOs and what was once simply early MMO design quirks are now just sloppy and poorly designed games.

    But hey, if some players want to struggle through horrible UIs and terrible game design just to feel some nostalgia, then by all means go ahead.

  • WOW killer? If a WOW killer did exist, it wouldn’t die coming out of the gate, with the hope that when it gets resurrected 2 patches later. that it will some how attract millions of players that have already forgotten of it’s stinking bloated corpse.

    A WOW killer would have to come out of the gate polished to a mirror shine, with the promise of hundreds of hours of fun game play and be more addictive than Cocaine.

  • Definitely good news that they are extending everyone’s free play period. Given all of the negative feedback, I can only imagine the exodus of players after the first month otherwise.

    Are you going to keep playing for all of your 60 free days or put it on ice until the bugs are fixed?

  • Hmmm. when people say the game is divisive and that people either love it or hate it, that usually means that fanbois love it, and everyone else hates it… suspicious.

  • @IIntrude,

    I wasn’t pointing out that the game caters tithe hard ore in today’s typical sense. I was merely pointing out it’s ability to flush out those that don’t seem to have a sense other than “get l the newest greatest thing.” I thoroughly enjoy the game because I feel a sense of openers when I log and have been ever since I started. I will admit that solo play lacks it’s flares, but the again an mmorpg that caters to the SP audience doesn’t belov”ng in the first place.

    All In all I just wanted to state my enjoyment so that everyone understands that although the mass appeal is to hate it, I enjoy it due to in my own way.

  • Even the updates wont save this one.
    Unless you like grinding the same mob for 20 levels..