Now is as good a time as any to share some of my FFXIV impressions. I’ve been playing in the beta weekend events for three weeks now as a Conjuror alongside Graev who is playing as an Archer. I’m in love with the conjuror class and the idea of being a White Mage later on. Graev hasn’t been too impressed by the Archer, so he plans to switch to the Lancer and ultimately become a Dragoon in Open Beta.
- Open world (other than dungeons)
- Combat takes a little more time than usual
- Environments are pretty
- UI is nice on PC
- Class / Job system
I love how I have already felt lost. I was trying to find out where a quest wanted me to go, and it took me several minutes to get myself oriented with the map. Not that finding quests is hard once you figure things out, it’s just slightly more effort that I can personally appreciate. Navigating the world has been a lot of fun so far. I’m loving the terrain and environments, and so far the game runs beautifully on my 3.5 year old PC.
The UI is waaaay better than it was back at the original launch. While still a hotkey system with the typical inventory and character sheet, it looks nice and functions adequately. Visually, I think it matches.
The class and job systems are going to add a lot of time to the game. If you want to be a White Mage you’re going to have to level multiple classes — same for every Job. To me, this presents plenty of opportunity to *hopefully* make it past the 3 monther mark.
In general, FFXIV just feels slightly more… traditional, might be the word. There’s a touch of difficulty, a slower pace, an appreciation for the (again) tradition that makes these games enjoyable for me. FFXIV sits right between themepark and psuedo-sandbox, and its suits the games well.
- Early on the questing is dull
- Lots, and lots of text
- Abilities at lower levels for some classes all look the same
- Sounds effects are blah.
- Invisible walls
I was immediately bored by all of the early-game questing. Run here, talk to him, run back, talk to her, grab this, talk to him, kill that, talk to him. It seemed to go on for hours and hours. I’m told that this type of questing is limited to the earlier levels, and that later on the game becomes more about dungeons, story, and simply killing mobs. If I have to do kill quests I’ll get bored really fast.
The amount of text without voice-overs bothers me a great deal. I think there will be voices at launch, but the amount of text makes me antsy and wanting to just skip it all. The story was getting interesting, but that wasn’t until after level 10 — at which point I had already read a novel.
The sounds and ability graphics haven’t been anything amazing. Then again, they are traditional Final Fantasy. The ‘shwing’ and ‘hyah!’ and crystal breaking sounds are aplenty. Graev commented on multiple occasions that he felt his archer abilities all looked the same. One ability graphic I did find really nice though was the protect shield group buff that showed this crystal-hex graphic when players get hit.
Lastly, the invisible walls drive me nuts. There was a really cool river and waterfall just begging me to jump, but I was stopped by an invisible wall which spanned the entire length of a river of water. I could walk on both sides of the water, but I wasn’t allowed into it. These walls are plentiful in the starting areas, and I hope they open up later on and let me explore and do more. I tend to feel locked into a path when I don’t have control over where I can and can not adventure.
I have had a lot of fun. My mind is already made up to pick up the game and play for however long it takes me to get bored. I’m hoping there are many months of adventure to the max level, and plenty of content to keep the adventures going after that.