It has been about four years since I began waiting for this game. Originally known as Rapture, the game was said to be the next generation of MMORPG. I would like to preface this by saying I have played more than half of the Final Fantasy titles and beaten them, and on the other hand, I have played a handful of MMORPGs including FFXI.
The Good: - Graphics: The game looks fantastic. Characters are alive and beautiful, and the armor in the game is incredibly detailed. I'd say this game has the best graphics of any MMORPG to date. - Sound: While not one of the better Final Fantasy soundtracks, the music is definitely solid. Sound effects from attacks to footsteps are very convincing and add to the atmosphere of the game.
The Bad: - Performance: This game simply isn't optimized. Many players, including myself, have powerful rigs but still chug along. Granted the graphics are great, but the scalability is deplorable. If you don't have a recently-upgraded PC, don't bother. - Interface: I think the best way to sum this up is to say the decade-old Final Fantasy XI had a better UI. Navigation of the interface is unbearable at times, and adds minutes of wasted time. The game has been developed with the console in mind, so navigation with a controller is optimal, but is still incredibly tedious and archaic. You can't sort your interface, and everything seems to take twice as many steps as it should. Want to sell some items? Well, you'll have to go through a handful of dialogue boxes just to sell 1 item. Games for the last few years have been using what we call the "right click" on the mouse. Why doesn't this game in 2010 have it? Oh, and targeting is incredibly bad. - Lag: Inputs take seconds to execute. This adds to a "clunky" experience both in combat and out. Yes, the game is new, but Square Enix should have at least allowed client-side interactions. Everything needs to be communicated to the server in Japan meaning everything you do has to be registered on the server before it executes. Frustrating to say the least. - Gameplay: To enter combat, you have to press a button to take out your weapon. This leaves you standing in 1 place for about 2-3 seconds while your character pulls out your weapon. Animations are slow and must be completed, so if you want to use abilities quickly in combat, good luck. The combat isn't very fun either. Abilities aren't very interesting or varied, and interactions are clunky. - No tutorials: This game makes you feel lost, very lost. Square Enix doesn't seem to have taken the precautions to help people figure the game out. When crafting items, there are no recipes, so you'll have to use pen and paper. During missions, you'll be left guessing who to talk to. Instructions are nowhere to be found. Heck, nobody even tells you how to switch classes, you'll have to refer to the internet for that. - Controls: No key mapping for the keyboard means you're stuck with some ridiculous keybindings set by Square Enix. Controls are easily the worst in any MMORPG in the last decade and reek of 20th century. - Content: Chocobos are in the game but no way to ride or interact with them. Grinding. Lots of grinding. Quests with no purpose. You can't see your party members on the map. Very few search options ingame. No /invite command. The list goes on and on. - Market system: No auction house. If you want a specific item, you'll be left begging in /shout and searching through hundreds if not thousands of bazaars to find the item.
This game is inconvenient. Very inconvenient. It feels like a game from over 10 years ago but with modern graphics. This game was advertised as being welcoming to casuals, but running around takes ages and the combat is slow. Leveling takes an eternity and the lack of direction is evident. This is the most disappointing game I've played in years. I don't recommend it to anyone.
I was a huge fan of FFXI back in the day, but found this game to be terribly disappointing. There is a lot of potential, but several aspects of the game seem incomplete.
The economics system is miserable, which was an especially big let down after the super efficient auction house system in FFXI. Buying involves entering a large, laggy room with hundreds of NPCs and checking each one to see if they happen to be selling anything you want. 99% of the time, they won't have anything you want, so you go to the next one, wasting hours of time. Trying to buy anything in specific is so tedious that I've often quit playing without seeing the item I wanted. Sellers have no idea how much to price anything for, because they have no easy basis for comparison.
The crafting system could be great. All the crafts are very interdependent on other crafts. Unfortunately, the inability to easily exchange goods or services makes most crafting a waste of time and gil.
I found the fighting system to be unchallenging. FFXI required some degree of skill and an optimal party to achieve an ideal XP level. In FFXIV, a solo Conjurer wearing starter armor can earn XP quickly by completing simple guildleves.
Hopefully future patches will fix some of these issues. Nonetheless, I'm very disappointed that I purchased the Collector's Edition, and I plan to quit the game altogether once my free period expires.
I was really looking forward to this release. I'd previously played FFXI online but couldn't accept the terrible graphics quality. At least the interface speed of FFXI was nice, this version is horrendous.
Pros: - Excellent graphics, expansive cities and land - Ability to play any class with 1 character (at $3.00/month per character, this is less than any other MMO for fees at $12.99) - You can level every "profession" such as Weaver, Goldsmith, Botanist, etc, independently of each other - switch your main hand weapon/tool and your "job"/"profession" changes immediately. - Love the graphics and sound during combat
Cons: - Extreme interface lag. - FFXI style interface, it appears they didn't change any of it from FFXI or plan to. Big downside for me. - Laggy combat. Either the servers weren't ready for this game or SE's bandwidth needs serious help. - No Auction House? We're seriously expected to browse through hundreds of retainers with absolutely no method of searching? Wow.
That's the basics for me and, unfortunately, they're pretty bad. I'll probably cancel my service and wait a year or so to see how the game has come along before checking it out again. I guess I won't be cancelling my World of Warcraft subscription like I had planned.
While I never played FFXI, I have friends who tried out this game with me that have, and let me tell you, there is nothing to get excited over if you were looking forward to a revamp of the old MMO.
Not only that, it seems to me (coming from other MMO experiences I've had) that this game lacks every COMMON and PRACTICAL mechanism that should be expected of any and all MMO's. I realize this game is more oriented toward online console play, but considering the sheer fact that it is still an MMO and is being released as such for a PC, certain things are to be expected of this game that it just does not deliver.
As many have said, it lacks a user-friendly interface, a coherent questing system, a logical crafting system, etc. As for content... what content? You either craft or you grind, and neither of those things is made any easier by lack of explanation.
Furthermore, the menu system and keyboard shortcuts are an atrocity in themselves. You need to open about 4 different windows to get to any one thing, but cannot open another window simultaneously without closing the first set. In addition, talking to NPCs and attempting to click on dropped items in the game or chests is a non-factor as once again this is made unnecessarily complicated, forcing you to either go through a series of menus in order to pick up an item, or to continuously click on the NPC for more information rather than simply scrolling down through the pop-up dialog box. Now, this might sound like complaining, but considering that even such free games as Perfect World or Atlantica have more simplified systems than this one, it has to be reviewed.
I will give it to SE for providing us with some beautiful graphics, but even these are not as enjoyable when even my over-qualified computer cannot render them smoothly when moving through the game with max settings. This is a considerable disappointment, because coming from Aion (no, I am not trying to compare apples with oranges here) which is just as easily if not more graphic intensive as FFXIV where I am able to run on full, max settings even during fort instances where hundreds of players are present at once, and where NPCs pop up without a hitch, I find that I had to lower the graphic settings (by once again going through the round-about method of CLOSING the entire game and going through the start menu to open a separate application, of which I learned how to do through searching google, rather than an in-game help menu or even help from other players in-game) just to run around regularly through deserted maps. Forget mentioning entering a major town or highly populated area, as it would take literally around 3 minutes for players to load, and a full minute for NPCs to pop up.
Overall, this game was a massive disappointment and large waste of money. I bought the collector's edition and ended up returning the game, only to receive half of my money back. Please do yourself a favor, if my review is not enough to constitute as proof not to buy the game, and test out the game with a free trial from someone if you can.
I do love Final Fantasy games, but this release was merely an over-hyped colossal waste of money and time. /:
This game is not what I expected. There are so many things wrong with this game, and sadly, most of those things are issues that you can't fix with a patch. Here is what I think.
1. Good graphics.
2. Nice job system
1. Unoriginal game is unoriginal. The game just feels so generic. The quests are very boring, and have no character to them at all. When reading the levequest descriptions, it sounds like you are going to go on an epic quest/battle, but in reality you will just be fighting a rat. The doesn't have a "soul." You just don't feel like you are really in a fantasy world.
2. Not "noob" friendly. Even though I am an avid gamer and had no problems learning new things in FFXIV, I feel like it can become a real burden to many new plays. The game was supposed to be more accessible, but it really isn't. You're either going to have to find a really nice person to help you learn the controls and game mechanics, or have played a previous MMO before.
3. Laziness of the development team definitely shows in this game. First of all, the maps are ridiculous. All they are is copy and pasted designs OVER and OVER again. I think I saw the same ramp like 10 times while walking through Thanalan. The monsters are also really messed up. The monster placement is most noticeable...right out of the main gate to most cities, there will be level 1 monsters, which are expected, but along with those weak monsters, you will most likely find a level 90 dragon ready to kill you in one hit. It's almost like they just randomly sprinkled monsters anywhere.
4. There is no economy. The market wards are a complete mess. They are crowded with people, and there is no search function, so you have to spend hours looking through bazaars to find what item you need. There is also no auction house.
5. Lag...Lag...Lag. There is no reason as to why these menus should lag so much! It will take you forever just to sell something to an NPC because you have to go through like 4 extremely slow, lagging menus to do so.
6. Not a lot of content. I know, I know, you say "But they will add new content in with patches!" True, they most likely will, but there is no reason why they should release a game with little to no content. The game was supposedly in development for 5 years...you would think they would have more content than what they do now.
7. Last concluding point. The game is simply not fun. All of these negative factors in the game are just overwhelming. The game is slow and laggy, the content is lagging, the world (although with good graphics) is ultimately unoriginal and boring. I am a long time fan of Final Fantasy, and I played Final Fantasy XI for many years. It's just sad to see the series take this turn. This is not a rant, it's a truthful review.
Well I managed to hold back reviewing the game till after the first major update.
To give a little background on myself, I've been playing FFXI since before the North American release (when it was still Japan only) so I was of slightly mixed minds when it came to FFXIV (I've spent over 8 years of my life in Vana'diel I wasn't sure I wanted to visit Eorzea). Still, like the good loyal Final Fantasy fan, I plunked down the money for the game.
I WILL admit that there is potential. The problem is that behind the beautiful vista of Eorzea is a buggy broken busted world. The game still has some very persistent bugs (especially combat related) that they can't seem to fix/get right (not to mention it took almost 2 months before they got any decent fixes in).
I spent quite some time trying to understand why SE calls this a game for a 'casual' gamer. Then I realized they're not targeting a 'casual' PC gamer (because the specs aren't what you usually have if you're a casual PC gamer). They mean a casual console (PS3) gamer - someone that plays their games either in a 8-15 hour marathon or as couple hours a night. Obviously a casual PS3 gamer would have the specs required to play FF14 for the PS3. The audience they want is also the one that games a couple hours a day/night rather than the marathon weekend gamer.
I say this because: 1) There STILL isn't alot of stuff to do on the game. There's the occasional main storyline quest for your starter city (every few levels) and the occasional job rank quests. Pretty much your main staple will be the 8 fighting/gathering leves (quests) and 8 crafting leves. (these reset every 36 hours - 9am or 9pm Japan time) After that you're pretty much left to grind or wander about until these leves reset. Obviously you'd only get in the 16 leves if you did the marathon session whereas spending a couple hours every couple of days would get you furthur.
2) Personally I have yet to get hit with surplus (also known as fatigue) but I loathe grinding and will only do it at points where I'm very close to a level up. Otherwise I content myself with just doing the leve quests and doing the occasional bit of crafting.
3) Gear also becomes damaged at a ridiculously high rate - 1-3 hours of straight nonstop crafting/fighting. Personally I'd like to see my stuff last at least 8 hours before needing repairs. Hopefully they'll reduce the wear and tear eventually. Thank god we no longer need to repair our underwear <- the bane of my existance because you had to carry a second set of underwear so you could take off your damaged pair and repair it.
The ability to change jobs at the switch of a weapon is cool, the ability to use most of your job abilities in other jobs encourages players to level more than one job. The world IS pretty if you have a computer good enough to handle it but expect some drop in quality when you find some are with a crowd of players clustered in it. Unfortunately my game setting are set to something close to Final Fantasy 11 resolution.
It just isn't a day in 14 if my game doesn't crash 3-4 times (which is at least down from the 10 crashes I used to see). If course that could be because I'm at the low end of what can handle the game. Unfortunately I don't find this game content worthwhile enough to WANT to dump $1000-2000 into a new computer to handle the game. I might pick up the PS3 version when it comes out, assuming all the issues I find with the game are fixed.
The User interface has improved but is still a little annoying and lacking in keyboard command customization - maybe they'll eventually let you map controls to ctrl- and alt- keys. They've realized finally that they can't get away with the 'one UI' idea that they were being lazy about. If the PS3 version had come out at the same time, the argument could have been made for compatibility.
The UI lag has improved in some places and gotten worse in others. Each command must be authenticated by the server so obviously it'll get worse the more people there are online. They split certain things to another machine to handle all the requests but it's caused a performance hit in that area of responsiveness. They do promise they'll get it right eventually.
It's gotten a little easier to target stuff in battle (F8 button oh how I've missed you) but auto-targeting/auto-switching mobs is a little broken still.
The BIGGEST frustration (for me) is the fact that the battle leves are automatically failed if you get disconnected from the game while you have the leve activated. This is not the case with the crafting leves (although if you were in the middle of crafting, you'd obviously lose the materials - but the game usually gives you 2-3 to spare so it's not quite so frustrating (unless you keep disconnecting).
As for the economy, it still feels pretty moribund. It might still work but they're going to have to dump alot more effort into their marketplace system (like add a search - and find functionality) which they say they will in a month or two. They did one minor update at the start (they renamed the wards to help 'guide' vendors and buyers to the right areas of the market wards). It's IMPROVED the odds of finding stuff I'm looking for like it's gone up from 1% to 20%. Mostly the problem is the lack of ability to vend in multiple areas and sheer player laziness - many seem to just vend random low-value irrelevant items in the more crowded parts thinking it'll get their items more views (there's just not enough incentive/deterrent to set up in the right area).
It's pretty clear that Square Enix is no longer quality company of a decade ago that loved their fans and spent quality time with their products (they've admitted they rushed 13 and 14 as well and ignored the feedback that was given to them during the betas). One hopes they've learned their lesson but I doubt it.
Still, they seem to have realized that they botched this game badly and are working to fix it to an adequate quality. It's still 'free' to play for the early adopters and it remains to be seen if they'll extend it to next year (but I doubt it). The patch in a few weeks will hopefully get this game closer to the FFXIV we SHOULD have gotten out of the box.
Overall the game has potential but doesn't live up to it. I wanted very very badly to like this game as I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy product line and have been since the first game. The problem is that the game really needs a major overhaul to be playable without lots of frustration. If you don't want to read details, my advice is to wait. The box price for both versions will probably come down, and hopefully the game will improve. Until some serious issues are addressed the game is not a great deal of fun unless you so love Final Fantasy that you can grit your teeth and bear all the frustration. As excited as I was about this game, I can't see paying a subscription until I feel much more confident that SquareEnix will act quickly and decisively to address the major playability issues.
Graphics: The game is pretty, if you can run it on your system. The engine is incredibly CPU intensive for no apparent reason. Antialiasing and ambient occlusion are supported but essentially so resource intensive as to be effectively non-functional. My rig is a Core i7 920 OC to 3.2ghz and a nvidia gtx295 with 6GB RAM. I can't realistically run it at 1900x1200 without AA or ambient occlusion. I have been running at 1600x1050 with no AA as even 2xAA bogs incredibly. Pretty poor performance and I don't think its my system that is the issue here.
User Interface: The user interface is simply awful. Even knowing that it was designed for a controller and might be inconvenient for mouse users is no real excuse because every action (eg moving inventory to retainer (bank)) takes several seconds and must be done one at a time. Selling a sack full of items to the vendor is a torturous and pointlessly exasperating experience. Combat feels very disconnected as you have to button mash with no certainty that the UI has even registered your command. Basic everything feels like it is drenched in molasses.
Crafting: The crafting system is interesting and multi-faceted. Unfortunately you have only 160 slots for all items and materials. There are literally hundreds of basic materials. Making a decent finished item takes intermediate materials from 1 - 2 other crafts, sometimes of much higher crafting difficulty. This would all be no problem if it weren't for the intense difficulty of finding any material to buy from another player. There is no central auction house. Each player can sell items from a personal bazaar that moves with them and one that is fixed in a bazaar zone. The bazaars can hold only 10 items. I can easily generate 60+ items from an hour or two of grinding. I have to guess the value or use an external site (which can't be done in full screen mode). Then I have to hope that a player who wants one of those ten items in my bazaar actually finds me before I get frustrated and vendor the items. Not workable. SquareEnix has stated they intend to sort out bazaar areas by material type but I highly doubt this will be an effective solution. If I have 1 retainer that can sell 1 type of item effectively, what do I do with the other 50?
Quests/Leveling: You get up to 8 daily quests if you are willing to travel between zones to take advantage of them all. The quests involve no real story, but are simply go kill x number of critters. It is absolutely necessary to do the quests because grinding and vendoring drops will not earn you enough money to repair the damage your combat gear constantly sustains. The quests have decent monetary rewards and accelerated experience gain up to certain caps limited by real world time. All in all the grind is better than many MMOs, but the repair costs once you get beyond starter gear begin to wreak real havoc if you try to grind without the quests.
Its sad i went into this thinking no matter how craptastic it was that i would fork over my $ to play it but instead i just grew bored of it, took a few hours (2-4)to lvl my 9 fisher to lvl 10 to get a skill that i thought would help me but ends up not really doin anything to help me.
Crafting and gatherings is more like work than fun. on crafting i have a skill that doesnt work the way its supposed to work so there was no point in me having that skill in the first place, failed a couple because i relied on it too much and didnt do what it said it does.
I regret ever getting this (Got the collectors so i could play early but got greeted with an hour patch after getting my modem to port forward that took a while to figure out which ports it used) , always a fan of ff stuff so was quite disappointed im gonna give this another go 6 months into the release and see if they patched ALOT of the broken stuff in it. If not ill just wait til Star wars old republic releases or play some f2p than this. I have heard item sorting is comin after i stopped playing yay for that finally seems like they are actually gonna fix some stuff good for them. If they ever bring in a summoner type class like in the ff11 im gonna get back on there no matter now crappy the game is but i find that unlikely i hate how mp doesnt regen like hp. First time i played it i had my char sit (Emote sit) and walked off to let it heal back in 20 mins and still same mp thats when i learned of it.
If you like this game good for you keep on playing if you are thinking of it i will warn you now, YOU MUST HAVE A CONTROLLER for it to be the least bit enjoyable. Thank god i had a controller so it wasnt such a big pain reason being the UI was built with a controller in mind (ps3) so its really better with a controller.
I had really high hopes for this game..... The pace of this game is incredibly slow, I cant make myself play it for more then an hour or two with out getting sick of it. I wanted to play a caster and that apparently was the wrong choice, the attacking it stupid, i spam the button hoping it will do something and maybe it will attack maybe ill just stand there. The melee classes work fine they attack when you tell them and don't have the lag issue like my caster does. The buying of items from players is stupid, there is no broker or auction house, it is set up like a bazaar where people everywhere sell a multitude of items in their inventory, shouldn't be a problem just checking people and seeing what they are selling, but everyone just stands on the first floor of the market in a sea of retainers. It takes about a minuet per retainer just to bring up their store and check it to see that there is nothing you want and to close and to move onto the next one, very long and boring process. The questing in this game is weird, you can only do 8 quests per 36 hours and you can only level in an 8 hour span after that you get a decreasing amount and then none at all, so after i do the 8 quests and i grinding on stuff for a while i get incredibly bored. I end up crafting and that is just as slow as the rest of the game. Also everything i make blows up, i use the guides Ive found about matching the colors with the kind of crafting and still it blows up. You also have to have multiple professions to just make one thing. Everything just takes sooo long, every menu, every time you click something, selling things to vendors, buying things, casting, getting out of combat, initiating combat, logging in and out. I really wanted this game to be awesome, its just not a good game...... the only thing i can say good about this game is the music, Nobuo Uematsu san did awesome job with the music in this game, and every other final fantasy game where composed the tracks, but the music is the only good i have to say about this game. I wish i would of just bought the soundtrack and skipped the game.
For whatever reasons Squire-Enix decided to release this game while it is still in the developement stage. The Battle System is rudimentry and repiticious. Rank up is extremely slow. The main story line is very bland. While the Graphics are excellent the game can only be really enjoyed on high end gameing computers. Anything less then that and there is a severe lag and frame rate problem. It appears the Square concentrated on the crafting system for this release but even in that they did not even think that through. about 75% of the low level synths<1 through 15> require specialized training that can only be purchased with currency called Guild Marks. These Marks are class specific and cannot be obtained until that particular class reaches level 20 thereby rendering your success rate to about 10%. Final Fantasy XIV uses something called Maket Ward to controll the economy. To use it you hire an NPC called a retainer to sell your wares in 1 of 9 level in each city. There is no search system for a player to look for the items or gear that he/she desires. Therefore you must spend hours browsing each individual retainer hoping to find what you. This game is being wriiten promarily for the PS3 console which is scheduled for release in March 2011. Square-Enix would have been better off delaying the P/C release til then when they could have fully implemented the results of the Beta testing. Because of that I recommend holding off purchase of this game til then and getting it for the console<as long as they have actually completed it>.