Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Starting Final Fantasy XIV on day one?

Dragonchasers has some coverage of Final Fantasy XIV in which Pete fears tomorrow, day one of the official release for those who didn't buy the collectors edition. He says:
"The one thing I’m concerned about is the launch on Thursday. The hate is bad enough among CE buyers (who, one would suspect, are people that researched the game before buying). When stacks of boxes show up on retail shelves tempting impulse buyers looking for a break from WoW while they wait for Cataclysm…things are going to get UGLY.

The community is going to be vile for a month or so after launch.
If you’re thinking about trying FF XIV, I urge you not to. Instead, wait for a free trial or something. I think most people who try it are going to hate it, and the rest are going to LOVE it."
If that is what the *fans* are saying about the game, I think the advice to stay away until there is a free trial is a good one. I agree with the assessment that people are likely to either love or hate FFXIV, with the haters being in the majority, due to the game being so very different, and in many aspects old school. Maybe the perfect game for all of those who constantly moan that modern games are too easy with those newfangled inventions like symbols over the head of quest givers, who would prefer the old school gameplay of having to click on every single bloody NPC to find out where the quests are. But for most modern players, this is yet another unplayable game.

Nevertheless there will certainly be a rush of players trying to play the game on day one. Some people consider MMORPGs to be a race, and like to improve their chances to "win" by getting an early start. Only that of course you can't win a MMORPG, and a race in which people start at different times and spend different amount of time per day racing is an extremely strange one.

So why this unhealthy urge to play a MMORPG from day one, when we know that day one is probably the worst? Me, I'm going to wait Final Fantasy XIV out, and wait for more reviews, and then maybe try it again later when there is a free trial.
My friend bought a collectors edition, and it came with free 30 day trial.

I installed the game, and then had to wait for 10 HOURS on their P2P patch download system. I should have had those patches downloaded in 20 minutes tops.

So, I'm pretty pissed off already.

Time to sign up a credit card (and cancel before the trial ends, I know how devious these companies can be) and see if the game is worth the hassle.
Well with MMOs it's really worth it to start at least relatively early. Maybe not day 1 necesserily but early at least.

The reason for that is that if you wait too long most people will have rushed along to higher level content and you will be left alone in the lower level content. In many cases there are quests and such that has to be completed in a group and then you might be stuck or have to wait for groups for a very long time.

And don't get me started on PvP end game content if the game is gear based. Then you're pretty much screwed if you start late.
You're always better off waiting a bit if you don't want to share your foozles with the other thousand of nubs in the starting area anyway :)

so i say, start day two :-)
I am interested, but after reading reviews on I decided to wait. There will be patches that fix many of the issue and I'd rather wait for those.

The reviews on Amazon are mixed for the game play. It seems to me that the installation is the biggest nightmare out of it all. People having to sign in to a variety of sites or the installation itself being glitchy.

For game play, some seem to completely understand the idea of what you are supposed to do and post reviews clarifying the confusion that other players are having.
@Meta: According to one review, you don't have to share your foozles. When you get a quest to kill 10 foozles, it apparently tells you where to go. You go there and they spawn for you and only you. That's according to one review on Amazon.
I was in Closed and Open beta and ... unless you really really loved the old school MMO's I would stay away at least until there's a good fan website like or equivalent.

Remember the old days of DAOC, Everquest, Ultima Online? There's very little info on the game so its all about trial and error right now. How to craft, how to buy weapons, heck, it took me over an hour just to get out of one of the starting towns.

WOW has spoiled us all. I expected using quests to level up. In FFXIV be prepared to grind mobs. This is not necessarily bad, because they drop crafting items but its a big change in mind set.

But the absolute worst thing about FFXIV is the interface. It completely screws PC users up because it was made for a console.
Why the worries? I for one, have enough faith in Square, to know that once the ropes are learned... there is only fun to be had! You always hear gripes about initial load times. Call me odd if you wish, but I take the load times in stride. Relaxing, watching the bar fill up, and drinking a beer! I know in the end, fun is most of what there is to be had!
The game is interesting and different. If you enjoy the way that RPG games make you explore the world then this kind of mmo could work for you.

It has a very strong crafting game and crafting is essential, virtually everything you use has to be crafted and repaired which a crafter can repair everything they can make.

The job system is very cool. With time you can do and be everything, every job, both crafting and combat, if you want. That makes it much easier to identify with your one avatar. No more temptation to start a new toon just because some other class sounds interesting or is the FOTM.

Of course the graphics are stunning but then the lag is intense for those with older computers. The music is also top notch.

Not sure if I like the guildleve system for quests. It is very limiting. You run out of leves way to soon. But story wise it gives a good reason for you getting money from killing creatures. Leves are basically work orders.

The interface is hard to get used to but you can get used to it. But should you be made to feel like you need to pay that price to access the game? You do have to want to play the game enough to want to learn the interface. It does make sense but only from the perspective of a console game. The biggest two downsides to using a controller to control the game is 1) you need to use a lot of extra button clicks to get to what you want, which can include simply targeting the right creature. A handy mouse helps here. Also, you can't chat from the controller, so even if you get used to using a controller, you still have to grab your keyboard to talk to your friends which can lead to a lot of silence or using a voice chat.

The game is also simply dreadfully slow. I am not talking about the lag though that happens for a lot in town. I am talking about simply the pace of the action. You seem to spend hours exploring only to happen upon the smallest tidbit and before you know, your evening is gone. Combat is also slow. It takes sooooo looooong toooo simply ready your weapon and to cast each spell even after you have memorized all the right buttons to push. It is not responsive like a console fight game.

The whole thing feels like you are slogging though mud in hipboots. The game is interesting in its story, and makes you want to discover what is going on but then you realize that you are in one of those slow moving nightmares and finally decide you would rather wake up.

I played about a week of beta. Then I played a few days of headstart but over the weekend I simply realized that I would rather be playing Aion, so I did.
That would be the guildleves. As soon as you activate a leve it will spawn your mobs and then you follow the arrow to them and kill them. The mobs arnt actually player specific, rather anyone who has that particular leve can kill that mob but you can only kill them if you have the leve and they will keep spawning as long as someone has that leve. So there can still be competition for them but it is not too bad. They also do this for the gathering leves which is really nice. No competing for resources just to level your gathering job. Also more than one person can work the same node if they are on leves.

The down side is when you run out of leves and story quests and simply want to hunt, there are way, way, way too few mobs. And it is not just because there are a lot of people killing everything that moves. Literally you can run for 10 minutes and not see a mob. Way, way, way to few mobs for a game that will have at least some grinding.
It seems that WoW's reputation is that of being full of lolspeaking 4chan users. And for the most part, it's an accurate representation. A large part of the WoW community wants everything handed to them right now in a nice easy package that takes 5 minutes.

When my WoW account expired earlier this month, I had nothing to do. Then I heard Lotro had gone free to play so I jumped on board. It was a nice experience for a few minutes until I started to see names run by me like Roflstomp and LolBigCrits. Almost instantaneously, the starting zone of Bree had turned into Barrens chat.

I am told by veterans of the game that up until the moment it turned free to play that the game had a nice community who weren't rude in any way and who all got along nicely, helped each other, and generally spoke in understandable English using actual words.

I don't know if any of this is true or not, but it seems like this kind of thing happens in other games during the lull between WoW expansions. The wave of retards leaves for a few and invades any other games they can find.

This bodes fairly poorly for FFXIV, and I think the advice to stay away until the free month period ends would likely be a prudent one if you hope to get any enjoyment out of it whatsoever.
I'm planning on trying it sometime next year. It has much to reccomend it, but I would pretty much guarantee that anythign that's good now will be better in a year's time and hopefully some of the many bad things will have gone too.
the patcher works if you open router ports for it. I find the interface ok with a 360gamepad. But then again im used xi menus with the same gamepad. I feel lost without a mog house or auction house. Drops are much better but now insanely random. Even a lot of low level recipes are madly complex. Without an ah crafting is almost seeing what I can make with random stuff that's dropped but having to carrying around stuff that's not enough of it to craft..
Haven't investigated crafting leves yet.

It's all a bit confusing at the moment. Hopefully it'll begin to make sense....
the disappointments of the past weeks have only proven to me that I don't need to regret canceling my pre-order. I think the game is being released very pre-maturely and the best I can personally do is give it 3-6months before I will reconsider playing it.
I guess it doesn't help SE improving their game if anyone did that, but then it's not really the buyer's responsibility to pay for an unfinished game that should be out of beta by now.

Did you play FFXI? I suspect if that were the case then you would have much less faith in Square to create a quality MMO. With the years and years that so many of the classes were broken in that game, the lack of concern for customers, and the incomprehensibly unintuitive controls that have continued on to XIV I've got little faith in Square at all these days.
I love the game, and I doubt if you find the core of the game terrible you will like it any better later on. If you don't like how the game is managed now there is little chance you will like it later.

It is a great MMO for players with little time and maybe a few friends and don't mind getting lost a few times and the slower pace of things.
Well, if most people consider it a race, then it sort of is a race.

But I think some underestimate what is called in business "first mover advantage." The world-first guilds are closed system and the ultra-casuals do not care, but if you get to a level in a cooperative MMO before 99% of the rest, you have advantages. You get gear and justice points first. Especially in a post GearScore world, and where the Cata instances have iLevel entrance requirements, getting the gear first means you get invited first which gets you the next level gear sooner which gets you invited ...

Its not a permanent or insurmountable advantage, but it is an advantage.

Did you consider it might be long shut down a year from now?
I have just purchased the Final Fantasy XIV game and have loaded it plus the extra long download, Now I am wondering where I can find a way to pay my start up fee , I have contacted Square , who have not answered me , and also tried to find information on line , which has been non existant and impossible to find,I seem to be going around in circles, Please help me , and how much is it per month?
@Blade1, as far as I know you can't pay a monthly fee for Final Fantasy XIV yet. Square Enix has waived the monthly subscription fee until they made the game better.
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