Keen and I have been dabbling in FFXIV beta lately and enjoying ourselves so far. At the very least it seems more enjoyable than the original release and it’s even better that I can play it on my PS3. The game seems to run fine enough, even if it doesn’t look quite as nice as the PC version. My biggest complaint would have to be the loading times between zones. It takes keen maybe 2-4 seconds to zone but it takes me easily 3x that long. Other than that there’s a lot of player pop-in, which is kind of annoying, and animations at a distance aren’t exactly fantastic. Still, nothing really that makes it unplayable. I imagine that when PS4 gets its own version it will run fantastic.
The controller works just fine. Accessing hotkeys is done by holding L2 or R2 to select one of the visible sets and then pressing one of the four face buttons or four directions. It’s really simple and easy to use. Targeting can get a little tricky but is for the most part manageable. There might be a shortcut to target what your group is engaged with, which would make it a whole lot easier, but I haven’t found it. My biggest gripe when it comes to the controls would have to be interacting with pretty much anything on your UI. You need to press select and essentially cycle through everything. It can be a chore at times and borderline rage inducing when you keep mixing up the buttons and accidentally canceling out of stuff. I imagine that on PS4 this issue will be basically solved through use of the trackpad on the controller but right now it’s just frustrating.
I did try hooking up a keyboard and mouse for a little while and it surprisingly detected both. The mouse actually worked out really well but the keyboard seemed only capable of being used for typing, unless there was some kind of mode toggle that I was missing. I’m hoping that maybe they will improve support for these control options but who really knows.
Interestingly enough, each time we sat down to play I kept talking about how the game would work better on Wii U. Square-Enix already seems like it has a great relationship with Nintendo so it seems like it could easily happen. I don’t know if Sony has exclusivity rights that keep FFXIV on their consoles or what but I think not having the game on Wii U is a seriously missed opportunity. The system has to be powerful enough to run it. Supposedly it’s more capable than the PS3 so I don’t see any reason why we can’t make this happen. Of course it wouldn’t run it nearly as well as the PS4 but it would have to be better than PS3, right?
The reason why anybody would even want this has to be painfully obvious:The Wii U gamepad. Not only does it have the same amount of buttons as a Dualshock controller… Actually let me check on that. Yeah I’m pretty sure it does… but it ALSO has the nifty touch screen. With that you can do a crap-load of useful things. Virtual keyboard, shortcuts, hotkeys, whatever. It would be immensely better than just trying to use a controller alone. Sure you can use a USB keyboard on the PS version(s) but you could also do that on Wii U and even use a pro-controller if the gamepad wasn’t your thing. I just really want to see SOMEBODY do an MMO on this thing. It seems like it’s begging for one and it would work so perfectly. Right now it seems Square-Enix is the only hope in that regard, but unless they want to localize Dragon Quest X we are SOL.
I most likely won’t get the PS3 version of FFXIV; the biggest reason being I already have a copy of the PC version so I wouldn’t need to buy another. It would be awesome if that would work on PS3 but I don’t think it will. Unfortunately my computer probably runs it worse than the console but what can you do? I am interested in possibly moving over to the PS4 version if I’m still playing the game by then. I’d REALLY be interested in a Wii U version, though. Still, the biggest question I have right now is how many times I accidentally said PS3 when I meant PS4 and vice-versa.