I’ve been playing this since the beginning of the Phase 2 of beta (the game is currently in Phase 3) and it’s absolutely amazing. Actually, it’s 2 weeks (I hope that’s right) into Phase 3 and I’ve already racked up about 24 hours; this doesn’t seem like much but bare in mind I can only play the game on Fridays…
Anyway, in my opinion the game is absolutely superb and I can’t really point out any flaws with it. It takes a lot of inspiration from popular MMOs (hint, WoW) but improves it massively. I say it takes a lot from WoW because to me it seems to play and feel extremely similar but with a massive boost which is what you’d expect from a newer game. It has the typical Final Fantasy ambience; the environments are beautiful and remind me heavily of those in Guild Wars 2. The soundtrack is also something worth noting, and let’s not forget the amazing ability effects.
Like I said previously, the game takes a lot of inspiration from popular MMOs and is (as you’d expect) pretty much similar with levelling and revolves largely around quests. The thing that’s different about the quests in FF14 is that you are told which are main quests and which are side quests, so you can avoid some boring ones you don’t want to do and instead participate in various ‘guildhests’, ‘levemetes’ and ‘FATEs’. Guildhests and Levemetes are things very similar to quests but are limited to one area and unlocked at a certain level. For example, you may be told to slay so many monsters, find something or unfoil the bandits plot; these can only be done after a very long cooldown of more than 10 hours but they are extremely useful. Think of grinding on other MMORPGs but without the repetition of kill this monster, then that one, then that one, repeat. FATEs are essentially similar to the Rifts in Rift; large monsters or ones who do not belong in that area will rush in and attempt to complete an objective. FATEs usually require many people to do and have a large time limit; usually around 20 minutes. Grinding on Final Fantasy is enjoyable, quicker and less monotonous than that in it’s rivals, at least in my opinion.
Jobs are a recurring thing in the Final Fantasy franchise, and in A Realm Reborn they bring something very new to the MMO genre. You can be whatever class you like as whatever race, upon reaching a certain level in two different classes (we’ll come to this in a bit) you unlock a job. For example Summoner, Dragoon, Monk and the generally super cool roles. Classes are similar to other games but in this they are named Disciplines of War and Disciplines of Magic which shouldn’t need much explanation. There are also Disciplines of the Hand and Disciplines of the Land – the ‘professions’ of this game. A Realm Reborn does something different, though; usually in MMOs you level crafting/professions alongside your main class while in ARR it is an entirely different thing. You can (I believe, anyway) participate in every class at the same time and use different skills from each class to help you. An example being I could be playing a Gladiator (tank) but keep myself alive while using the spell Cure I got from being a Conjurer and at the same time be looking for mining spots with my Prospect ability from being a Miner. That’s pretty confusing, so I’ll round it up. You start as a class and level that up – you can then choose to be any class and level that entirely seperate to the first. Upon reaching a certain level you can use skills from each class to help the other, and when those two classes get to a certain level you can then enter into a Job which is basically a more powerful class.
Wow, confusing paragraph. Essentially FFXIV is an extremely typical MMORPG at it’s core but with a lot of additional flare. It gives the player an option to customize their character’s appearance (this isn’t particularly rare anymore, but it’s still a nice feature) and also their patron deity and birth date which both slightly influence stats. I haven’t encountered PVP yet because I’m not a high enough level but I can say that I am definitely enjoying it and will be purchasing the game. I have one character who is a Marauder; a Gladiator; a Blacksmith and a Miner – there is always things to do within the game. If I get bored of killing monsters I’ll go and craft or go and mine. I didn’t say this in the previous paragraph because there was enough in there as it was – hests and quests are also available for your non-combat classes. So again, I don’t have to grind and mine and mine and mine all day to get levels – usually hests and quests get you levels as quick if not quicker than killing mobs in other classes.
Sign up for the beta, it’s worth it and if anyone wants to add me I’m on the Shiva server as Calis Nakor!