LTTP: FFXIV – All of It, I thought I hated MMOs until FFXIV made me love it

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,908
(Here is some good music from FFXIV/FFIII that I feel accompanies this review/final thoughts/impressions/me trying to convince you to give it a chance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyll1643pcQ)

Last week my journey in FFXIV came to a temporary end. After 280 hours, I reached the end of Shadowbringers and realized that it was my new favorite Final Fantasy game. I only really started playing the game in late June, around the same time as Shadowbringers early access started. I had sunk a whole entire month into just devouring this game, using any gaming time to play it and it was well worth it. But starting out I had a huge misconception, I truly thought MMOs and MMO combat were not for me, even though everything around that sounds great. Now that I’m all caught up, I can definitely say I was 100% wrong about that. I know there are some people out there who don’t want to join in cause they “do not like MMOs” or “MMO combat sucks”, so let me try and convince you on why you should give the game a good and honest try, going over everything that truly made this game special as my new favorite FF game and my easy GOTY.



Story

So let’s get this started with the thing that kept me using all my free time on it, the story. Yes, the talk is true, this is the best FF story in at least a decade; I’d go even further and say it’s the best FF story period. But that begs the question of what makes it the best FF story and which portions are we talking about.

For those who are in the dark there is currently the base game A Realm Reborn, and 3 expansions Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. While each release is somewhat self-contained, this is definitely a continuous story, almost like a Season 1, 2, 3, and 4 of a TV show. The quality of the game and story has only gone up so one of the first questions asked is “Can I just skip A Realm Reborn and go straight to Heavensward?” Well you could, if you pay for a skip and a level skip but I honestly do not recommend it. Some of the greatest story impacts come from ARR and it just builds from there, certain parts of Shadowbringers won’t hit you the same if you skip ARR. It’s all relevant and the game is constantly building up its world, lore, and characters.

If I had to give a quick thought on each story arc on quality and general plot.

ARR – Good if basic story. There are a few genuine surprises and some great moments but it’s hurt by its rather slow pacing and often pointless padding to get to the major story beats. This feels like a big introduction to the world and the characters, it’s probably strongest point is you get to spend quite a bit of time knowing Eorzea and how the world works. It’s a fun adventure and a good starting point.

ARR.- 2 – This is for the patch content of ARR. Narratively, the game seems to take a shift at this point and focuses on the political ramifications of what has occurred and some of the new threats that are coming your way. Some people seemed to not enjoy this portion as much but I was enthralled and there is a villain here that I thought was actually great. The payoff from this portion was amazing and worth the like 100 quests it took.

HW – The part of the game that really put FFXIV on the map. A way more focused experience than ARR, in both gameplay and story. It’s an adventure with some old and new comrades to stop a war with dragons. A relatively simple premise but man does it go places. This is also the point where the voice actors change from ARR to their current iteration and they give some fantastic performances. The characters which I will talk about a bit later start to really shine and I started to truly love some of them. HW truly ends with patch 3.3, culminating in one of the finest finales the series has ever seen.

SB- Stormblood is focused on the liberation of two different nations which is both its greatest strength and weakness. It does feel like a step down in quality story wise than HW, but that’s not to say it’s bad in anyways. If ARR is good, HW fantastic, then SB is great. Some of the villains are a bit much and lean the way of anime, as in no one would ever act that way except in anime, there are still some great stories to be told and new allies to meet.

ShB- Now for my new favorite FF game. Shadowbringers is about saving a world on the brink of destruction and why that world is truly worth fighting for. It has the tightest pacing out of all the stories, wasting almost no time to truly get into some great moments. It builds off of all the stories that came expanding the lore and world in unexpected ways. The voice acting reaches such amazing highs that I think Shadowbringers could win awards just for that. The character moments and smaller stories throughout were heartfelt and left such an impression on me. The main villain for this expansions was so incredibly developed and well written I can comfortably say he’s the best villain in a Final Fantasy game. The story gets dark when it needs to, it lightens up when it needs to, and makes creates a game of emotional peaks that all feel well earned. Even minor characters shine build the world into an unforgettable journey. The ending of the game is as close to perfect as you can get and week later I still can’t stop thinking about it. I only cried like 3 times. How it presents the story is also improved and how much it feels like a proper FF game with your AI companions in the dungeons with you is a great bonus. I could gush about certain parts of the story endlessly but at this point, I think you get it. Shadowbringers is a triumph for Square Enix and I’m excited to see how they follow this up.



Well a story is made up of characters so lets put a bit more focus on them before the gameplay stuff.

“For those we have lost. For those who we can yet save.”





The Scions of the Seventh Dawn are your companions throughout your adventure in the world of Eorzea. Though many characters rotate in and out of importance, the Scions are your closest friends and allies in FFXIV. They share the simple goal of keeping the peace in Eorzea and eventually wrap you in to helping them achieve that goal. While a bit shallow towards the start, the sheer amount of time given to these characters allow them to develop into well rounded and compelling characters. Watching these characters grow and adventure with you, the player character, made me love almost all of them. I haven’t felt this attached to a group of characters since maybe Persona 4, which is incredibly high praise. I’m so glad there is more content on the way cause I do not want to say bye to these characters. Alphinaud and Alisaie who you meet very, very early are two of my favorite FF characters now.

Then there is you, the Warrior of Light. For a character who doesn’t ever speak I care way more about my character than I thought I would. The game gives you just enough to develop your character in your dialogue choices that you have an idea of what your WoL is thinking. The Warrior of Light isn’t just some complete avatar stand in with no personality, they are a character in this story that you get to fill the shoes of. Shadowbringers actually does a decent job of characterizing the WoL and making me care even more about my character. Easily one of the best silent protagonists in any game I’ve played.



The reason I went so into this topic is because it is honestly the best reason to play the game imo. If you want a good story and the best FF game in years, you should get into FFXIV.

Okay now that is out of the way, here is the part where you say “okay the story is good but the gameplay sucks!” or “I hate how it plays” or “I hated how questing felt when I started playing I was doing boring things for hours” and I got very little to say on that last part, but the first two I got a lot to say.



Gameplay

Now this is going to be bit harder to try and convince you, yes you, may also turn out to love the combat in FFXIV. If you got to level 80 and go on to say “I hated every minute actually playing it” well I won’t convince you. On the other hand if you are like me, you may want to listen.

The only other true MMO (Destiny doesn’t really count Bungie, even if you say it is one) I have played is Lord of the Rings Online (? I think that is what it was) It wasn’t that long, maybe 2 weeks and barely making progress. I only played it because some online friends were getting into it and it was a bit bland and boring, kill random shit go here blah blah boring stuff right? Much later I tried FFXIV. Maybe around when Heavensward came out. I started playing an Archer, got to the first dungeon and realize I was barely paying attention and wasn’t really getting into it. I was bored and dropped it. I tried again like 2 years later with a mage and again, got bored and gave up. Theoretically in my head I knew I should like this game, I just thought “it was to be the combat, it’s just too boring, I just hate how MMOs play and feel.” There was a mixture of things that led me back to FFXIV for a 3rd try. One, I’ve been watching too much anime and the isekai stuff made me want a somewhat similar world of guilds and adventuring. Then there was the absolute sheer amount of marketing and hype behind Shadowbringers. I decided it was time to give it another go, with multiple thoughts this time. First I was going to create a character and try to get more into the world, make it somewhat lore friendly, and really, really pay attention to characters and people and try to actually get into it and really push forward even if I do get a bit bored. I chose an archer again and by the time I got into the first dungeon I was starting to enjoy myself. The Hall of the Novice was extremely helpful in making the dungeon make sense in what my role was. Simple as a DPS, but having a great and simple guide since I’ve never really gotten into an MMO before was helpful.

As I started doing the first 3 dungeons and having small interactions with the community, I started having a good time. The gameplay at this point is rather simple, it’s hey do these simple actions, move out of this really simple attack, use Area of Effects on multiple enemies, all simple. At this point is fine, I’m just hoping I’m doing well. I’m getting gear, looking a bit silly at times in leveling gear but it’s a good time. As it goes on the dungeons get a bit more complex and I start getting more actions. Once I hit level 30 and unlocked the Bard job, things got a bit more interesting for the gameplay. Now I’m managing an extra bar, making sure I keep my DoTs up on the enemy watching as it procs my bard ability. Bosses are also getting more and more complex as time goes, like hey this enemy is using this attack everyone stack up, everyone gets a thing underneath them spread out and deal with the damage, move out of the enemies overlapping attacks. By the time I’m 50 the combat starts to become more exciting, I’m getting even more used to all the combat. I beat the main story of ARR thinking this is fun if a bit easy since most things die very quickly do to other people’s levels.

Then towards the end of ARR patch content you start getting really good fights. The 8 player battles are exciting and allow enough room for error that other people may be able to cover if you slip up or do not understand what exactly to do. Bosses have mechanics that you have to quickly figure out how to deal with, these often keep up the tension in the fight and properly dealing with them feels great. Sometimes it’s simple as 4 bolders drop down and then 4 a bit later and it looks like they are all about to explode, you should stick near the ones that drop down last and then move to the spots that explode afterwards. At the start it’s simple things.

The first dungeon and boss that absolutely floored me was the Keeper of the Lake. As a preface, this was about 100 hours in, I was enjoying the game before this dungeon but this was the one that stood out to me as a “holy shit” moment. The boss fight had you constantly keeping attention to what was happening, constant movement, and shifting of focuses, making it harder to optimize and decide how you are attacking. While it should almost be second nature, the various dodging makes it harder to do so and pay full attention to what’s happening. Also I propose a simple hypothesis about video games.



Dodging enemy attacks is fun. The more shit it throws at you without being bullshit like a full bullet hell, it makes it more fun. Breaking your focus on how you are attacking and dealing with mechanics is great, especially once you can get into a rhythm of doing both at the same time. The game starts throwing a ton of shit you have to manage the fights become so damn engaging. It’s hard to be completely optimal and pay attention to the actual fight that is going on and finding the balance is where a lot of the fun is.

Here is a video of one of the standout fights, that isn’t that spoilery.


This is the fight against Susano in Stormblood. It has just a bit of everything, if you pay attention you can see the different mechanics, pools popping up beneath people, everybody stacking together, those moments where everyone has to get in a line, then immediately disperse leading up to the massive phase change in the middle, leading into the second half of the fight where more mechanics are thrown at you at and at a faster rate. Watching it definitely makes it seem easier but when you are also focused on all your abilities and keeping up with all the things you are managing they become incredibly hectic and fun fights. Learning as you are going is part of the fun, I died 2 times during that fight but it was still incredibly enjoyable. I loved fighting the bosses in this game; they are great set pieces and spectacles with fun gameplay to back them up and they are some of my favorite boss fights in games. They are just the right difficulty to go through with on the story.

If you want even harder challenges the game definitely gives it to you in myriad of ways. Normal raids are harder than normal trials most of the time, EX trials are way harder and usually involve a lot of learning and patience to get right from what I’ve seen and then there is Savage Raids which are some of the most hardcore content in the game for those who really love to struggle against odds with a group of likeminded people. Haven’t personally experienced them but maybe someday.

At level 80 I have to pay attention to say many things, the fights keep you on your toes consistently. It feels high intensity and is a ton of fun.

I have no clue if my description of how the gameplays evolves and how it feels to me encouraged you to give it a second try to get to that point but I hope it does.

As for questing, yes ARR has some boring quests and a lot that amounts to filler. That I can’t fix and defend. It gets to a point where the game even jokes about it and it feels ridiculous but if you just take it in stride, you might enjoy it or at least can hold on until the game gets great. HW on the questing gets significantly better, sidequests get more interesting, and the general structure of going through the expansion improves.

The only other issue I can see many new players having is the leveling, Often times you might get story locked by level, and your only choice is to do leveling through the various ways the game gives it to you. It kind of sucks, but doing a daily dungeon or trial isn’t that bad, nor is running your highest level dungeon.

If your issue is “I don’t want to play with other people”, can’t do much there. A vast majority of people are great, I can count the rude people I’ve encountered on 1 hand. Just say hi at the start and thanks when you are done. If the other players suck, well…just don’t be rude. Waiting for queues to pop is annoying and there isn’t much that can be done about that. A bit of a momentum killer at times but in this day and age, finding something else to do is pretty easy while waiting for a queue.

Non-main Story Content

Raids are cool, I’ve only done the first 24 man one and the latest 8 person raid. The 24 man was easy due to gear being so much better but still a cool and fun time with a great story attach. (Do the Crystal Tower raid series when you beat ARR) The Eden fights I did this weekend were tough, exciting, and the most challenging content I’ve done so far. Can’t wait to do them again next week so I can level even more.

The Hildebrand questline is a ton of fun, full of FF fan service, slapstick anime humor and genuinely made me laugh in the portions I’ve seen so far.



Music

I cannot talk about the music in this game. Soken should straight up compose the next Final Fantasy game. Man is an absolute genius. Each expansion has 1 or 2 main themes are woven in to other tracks, creating a cohesive experience throughout each expansion. I’m going to pick out some of my favorites to show the variety he can do.

Torn From the Heavens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJSM4tAeEAA

Kind of the main theme from ARR. Triumphant as hell, gets into your head, and you will find yourself humming to it as it plays.

Upon the Rocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tunBN-ZMnzs

Listen to this final area-tier level track thrown in a random ass optional dungeon.

Equilibrium

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T1k-9UvdlU

The man does vocal tracks as well, this boss has some standout music.

Rak’tika Greatwood

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ascfjJXDWjo

Beautiful area theme from the latest expansion.

Triumph

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFqfN-ju1MQ

Boss theme from Stormblood, high intensity and just great.



There are way, way more songs I want to post, some of the best I want to but don’t want you to get spoiled by major moments.



As another thought, if you like MMOs such as WoW, ESO, or whatever, I have zero clue if you will get what you want out of FFXIV. I have no clue why you like those games, WoW has always looked unappealing to me and I’ve never played so I’m not the one to ask. Go ask the WoW refugees.



And I think that’s basically it. I can’t wait for the future of this game. Maybe this post will make you give FFXIV a chance, maybe it won’t. I’m glad I gave this game a real chance and now it’s easily my GOTY over every major release I’ve played this year. (Eat it KH3) Hopefully Shadowbringers gets the recognition it deserves at the end of the year. If you do you join, Era FC is on Ultros so maybe join us there if you can. This may have just been me rambling and trying to write down all my thoughts and feelings about the game but maybe it entertained you.



And with that

 

ZiZ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
712
Yeah, FFXIV is without a doubt my favorite Final Fantasy.

The game is worth it for the story alone. Also the puns. Today I saw a FATE called "Gnome Ore Heroes"
 

Klyka

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,323
Germany
Wonderful to read your story and it was great fun to see your updates in the FF14 thread while you were playing!
Happy to see someone else in love with the game :D
 
Nov 23, 2017
2,997
And there’s another one who sees the light. I also thought XIV at first was nothing special, just square retreading wow.

But then I got to the stuff with Titan and the story took off (well mostly). Now it’s great and maybe by favorite FF besides 12
 

Enforcer

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,368
It was a decent game and became good with Heavensward.

Now the formula has worn thin. You are asked to wade through three expansion worth of asinine fetch quests to reach the good bits of story. Some are ridiculous it's almost insulting even for an MMO.

In today's landscape there is no excuse for that kind of gameplay.
 

TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,682
It was a decent game and became good with Heavensward.

Now the formula has worn thin. You are asked to wade through three expansion worth of asinine fetch quests to reach the good bits of story. Some are ridiculous it's almost insulting even for an MMO.

In today's landscape there is no excuse for that kind of gameplay.
"Became good with Heavensward" "three expansions of asinine fetch quests to get to the good part"

You're literally contradicting yourself. There are definitely a few padded parts even DURING the good bits, true of basically every RPG single player or otherwise. Shadowbringers might be the best final fantasy story ever, but it also is only that BECAUSE of the other parts of the story feeding into it, and MOST of those parts are fucking good too, as you noted, it 'became good' story-wise over 4 years ago. It hasn't stopped.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
It was my gateway Final Fantasy (have branched out from here), never played one before and found a game that I loved to tear around in with my partner and our friends. Has one of the best communities in games I've interacted with, and the story/characters/content just get better and better.
 

TheMrPliskin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,445
Fantastic writeup. It's really enjoyable reading the journey of people just getting into the game now after I've stuck with it for about 4 years. Seeing the game click once people reach HW will never get old.

Hopefully the ARR reworks next year combined with the next expansion pull in even more people.

I'm also really surprised at that hour count. In my mind it would take like 200 hours to get to Stormblood and thats if you were rushing.
 
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DNAbro

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,908
Fantastic writeup. It's really enjoyable reading the journey of people just getting into the game now after I've stuck with it for about 4 years. Seeing the game click once people reach HW will never get old.

Hopefully the ARR reworks next year combined with the next expansion pull in even more people.

I'm also really surprised at that hour count. In my mind it would take like 200 hours to get to Stormblood and thats if you were rushing.
It was somewhere close to there by the time I got to Stormblood.
It was a decent game and became good with Heavensward.

Now the formula has worn thin. You are asked to wade through three expansion worth of asinine fetch quests to reach the good bits of story. Some are ridiculous it's almost insulting even for an MMO.

In today's landscape there is no excuse for that kind of gameplay.
tbh, looking back I don't care at all. I got to experience one of the best games of all time from my point of view. Having some dull moments doesn't change that.
 

TheMrPliskin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,445
It was somewhere close to there by the time I got to Stormblood.
I think in my mind the MSQ in each game is close to 100 hours so hearing that you were able to wrap it all up and do some minor side stuff in under 300 shocked me.

It's good to hear that its not as long as I thought though, makes it even easier to recommend.
 

Actinium

Member
Oct 27, 2017
547
California
The gameplay is beat for beat pretty much exactly the same as WoW. I actually recommend both, because the main problem with MMOs is always that they can't possibly release content as fast as it can be consumed, so just wait for an expansion to come out and then resub for a month or 2. Then you catch up on the updates you missed in a rush and get the new expansion content in a rush and you don't sit around doing chores for months to get your gear score to creep up by decimals so you can do uptuned versions of fights you've already done.

Also the story is just OK. I'd gladly slit every scion's throat for just a couple more dungeons, which are the only content that matter in any MMO ever.

Even Tataru.

Especially Tataru.
 
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DNAbro

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,908
The gameplay is beat for beat pretty much exactly the same as WoW. I actually recommend both, because the main problem with MMOs is always that they can't possibly release content as fast as it can be consumed, so just wait for an expansion to come out and then resub for a month or 2. Then you catch up on the updates you missed in a rush and get the new expansion content in a rush and you don't sit around doing chores for months to get your gear score to creep up by decimals so you can do uptuned versions of fights you've already done.

Also the story is just OK. I'd gladly slit every scion's throat for just a couple more dungeons, which are the only content that matter in any MMO ever.

Even Tataru.

Especially Tataru.
I started out disliking Tataru but ended up really liking her.

I was genuinely happy the first time she made me clothes. I was jealous she was handing out clothes to other Scions but not me.
 
Apr 12, 2018
1,133
The story is really good but the class design and zone size leaves a lot to be desired.

Strict adherence to the trinity is one of the worst things about the game and I blame WoW.

Also all the REMEMBER THIS FROM A PREVIOUS FF? HERE IT IS IN MMO FORM is grating.
 

Enforcer

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,368
"Became good with Heavensward" "three expansions of asinine fetch quests to get to the good part"

You're literally contradicting yourself. There are definitely a few padded parts even DURING the good bits, true of basically every RPG single player or otherwise. Shadowbringers might be the best final fantasy story ever, but it also is only that BECAUSE of the other parts of the story feeding into it, and MOST of those parts are fucking good too, as you noted, it 'became good' story-wise over 4 years ago. It hasn't stopped.
Game should be judged based on all criteria. Just because the story is good does not excuse the other parts.

This game has not improved at at all when it comes to quest design especially. I was willing to forgive the fetch quests on Heavensward seeing as it was the first expansion (that is why I considered it good if that's contradicting so be it) but even with Shadowbringers most of the quests are still fetch quests.
 

Wagram

Member
Nov 8, 2017
2,203
You see this a lot. It makes me wish people could experience XI the way we did so long ago. Both games offer a lot. XI for the community and adventure, and XIV for a fantastic online story.
 

orlock

Member
Oct 28, 2017
436
God, every time i see an FFXIV thread it makes me miss FFXIV terribly. i really loved playing that game. i know people say its not too bad on PS4 but i dont know. also, all things considered i dont think i have the time or energy to lose myself in the game again between work and my fiancee, especially to catch up with ShB (i stopped playing just before Stormblood).

such an excellent game, and honestly the best Final Fantasy since... 9? maybe 12? and yeah, probably the best MMO on the market today, as far as im concerned.
 

Garlador

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,738
What they've done with FF14 is nothing short of miraculous. What a turn-around from launch.

Eager to dive back in when I can... ugh, having a newborn sucks up all your time. Selfish baby....
 

Manbig

Member
Oct 26, 2017
273
Enough can't be said about how great the music is in this game. Seriously, I've had the new
Leviathan
theme stuck in my damn head almost nonstop for the past 48 hours.


That chanting of it's name in the song is so good.

Outside of that, I want to give a special shout out to how this game handles dungeons and big boss fights through the trials and raids. While I haven't played every MMO out there, I've played many, and none of them come even close to the level of presentation on display here. It really does feel like a throwback to epic Final Fantasy boss battles from the peak of the series.

It does take a while for that stuff to get good though. Most of the dungeons and trial fights before the expansions aren't anything too special.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,093
I played 108 hours (up to mid-2.4 content) and moved on out of boredom. I just returned to it a week ago and have played another 15 hours, a little into Heavensward. The expansion is already a dramatic improvement writing-wise over the ARR content. I don't like playing with randos but fortunately, one of my friends is level 80 and he and I are able to slam through the dungeons. He says I'll be able to do this until Stormblood, at which point the monsters will be too strong for just the two of us to handle. At this point, I think I'll switch from a tank (which I always hated playing, too much pressure) to a DPS class, probably Samurai.

It's been fun returning to, though. Forgot just how great the lore and music is.
 
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DNAbro

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,908
Enough can't be said about how great the music is in this game. Seriously, I've had the new
Leviathan
theme stuck in my damn head almost nonstop for the past 48 hours.


That chanting of it's name in the song is so good.

Outside of that, I want to give a special shout out to how this game handles dungeons and big boss fights through the trials and raids. While I haven't played every MMO out there, I've played many, and none of them come even close to the level of presentation on display here. It really does feel like a throwback to epic Final Fantasy boss battles from the peak of the series.

It does take a while for that stuff to get good though. Most of the dungeons and trial fights before the expansions aren't anything too special.
FFXIV made fighting a dragon the absolute coolest shit ever. I can't remember the last time in a game where I fought a dragon and walked away thinking "this is the best thing ever."

God the moment where Hraesvalgr reveals that he gave his eye to you and you do the walk up towards Niddhogg and Dragonsong starts playing I completely lost my shit with how hype it was and then the fight absolutely delivers an amazing experience.
 

Viale

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,620
I've tried ff14 about three times now, and I just can't get into it. This most recent time, I got to about level 25 after like 15-20 hours of pushing through with my girl friend and a good friend of mine. We all dropped it.

Based on the impressions I hear, I can only imagine everything must become amazing one the expansions start because, more power to you if you feel ARR is good, but i find what I played to be incredibly boring narratively and gameplay wise.

I want to like it. I see the hype people have for the game and story and want to experience it as well, but I just cant keep with it. Maybe one day. Or maybe one day I'll learn my lesson and just accept it's not for me.
 
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DNAbro

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,908
I've tried ff14 about three times now, and I just can't get into it. This most recent time, I got to about level 25 after like 15-20 hours of pushing through with my girl friend and a good friend of mine. We all dropped it.

Based on the impressions I hear, I can only imagine everything must become amazing one the expansions start because, more power to you if you feel ARR is good, but i find what I played to be incredibly boring narratively and gameplay wise.

I want to like it. I see the hype people have for the game and story and want to experience it as well, but I just cant keep with it. Maybe one day. Or maybe one day I'll learn my lesson and just accept it's not for me.
As I said, it took me 3 times to get into it and I literally felt the same way. Eventually after getting further I learned, yes it was 100% for me.
 

Brazil

The Dude of Prophecy
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
9,024
São Paulo, Brazil
I've tried ff14 about three times now, and I just can't get into it. This most recent time, I got to about level 25 after like 15-20 hours of pushing through with my girl friend and a good friend of mine. We all dropped it.

Based on the impressions I hear, I can only imagine everything must become amazing one the expansions start because, more power to you if you feel ARR is good, but i find what I played to be incredibly boring narratively and gameplay wise.

I want to like it. I see the hype people have for the game and story and want to experience it as well, but I just cant keep with it. Maybe one day. Or maybe one day I'll learn my lesson and just accept it's not for me.
All of the 2.0 content is most definitely a barrier that needs to be broken through for a lot of people before they really start enjoying the game. It pays off incredibly well later on, but I can totally get why someone would drop the game during the meandering grind of 1-50.

Have you considered watching the important story cutscenes on YouTube or something? Maybe seeing some of it unfold will motivate you to push through.
 
Oct 25, 2017
807
Luckily, Yoship has mentioned in the latest Live Letter (spoilers so only click if you're up to current!) that the team is working on reworking all the 2.0/ARR content to try and cut down on the truly egregious issues, and gave some examples of ways they're using current systems to experiment with fixing things like the extremely long MSQ dungeons.

Q12:
In the future, will we be able to to take our Trusts into 5.1 and later main scenario quest dungeons? I really liked Crystal Exarch, so I'd like to fight alongside him once again. Also, I would like to see new NPCs, such as Estinien and Hien added too!
A12:
Regarding Trusts, we had many ideas such as fighting primals together, or changing Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium into a 4-player instance and battling alongside Raubahn. However we cannot possibly implement all of them, so in patch 5.1 we made it so you can go to the new MSQ dungeons with Trusts. We also plan on making MSQ dungeons work with Trusts in future patches as well.[...]
Q41:
The level sync feature of the 5.0 sidequests were very helpful while leveling my other jobs. I hope they will be added for sidequests in 4.x and older.
A41:
I understand how you feel, but it would require recreating all the data, so it has a very high manpower cost associated with. The New Game+ that is currently in development also requires a lot of resources, so we’re currently allocating resources there. As a side note, we’re working on adjusting the A Realm Reborn main scenario to be more compact, and are aiming for patch 5.3.


5.3 would likely be sometime next summer, which might not be helpful for people now, but at the very least they have admitted the need to give attention to the largest hurdle for new players coming in. So many friends bowed out because of so many minor annoyances that popped up with little payoff, and weren't willing to see it through to the post-2.0 content. I certainly lost a lot of momentum but had friends to help me get through the slower parts and I'm glad I stuck with it. Shadowbringers deserves a lot of love but I'm afraid it will not see much attention in end of the year lists because it is almost prohibitively time-consuming to reach it if you haven't been playing already. Shortening ARR will help with that a lot.
 

SlickVic

Member
Oct 27, 2017
627
USA
Yeah, your thread title basically speaks to my experience as well. Before playing FFXIV I was always very resistant to the idea of a monthly subscription MMO. As someone who primarily plays single player games, I just didn't feel like I'd be someone who would get 'value' out of that model.

I decided to try out of FFXIV (almost 2 years ago at this point) on a bit of a whim. I didn't know anyone who played it and I never really considered myself a huge FF fan (though at the same time, I enjoyed a lot of FF games in the past so the idea of a FF MMO was perhaps more appealing to me than some other MMO's). But it was actually the FFXIV show on Netflix 'Dad of Light' (I started watching it after Kotaku wrote a positive article on it) that ultimately piqued my curiousity of the game and made me interested in experiencing it first hand. It also happened to be around the time they removed the time restriction from the free trial, which made it a lot more appealing to me as well. Still, I initially figured I'd download it and maybe mess around with the character creator for a bit, and that would be that. But here I am still playing the game 2 years later, and obviously really enjoying it.

I suppose one thing that really surprised me about FFXIV and added to the appeal to me was how friendly it seems to be for gamers who mostly play single player games. Sure, there is content in the main story that you need to do in a group (with matchmaking), but the majority of the main story quests are basically solo content. And to be fair, the writing and quest design in the base game are not the greatest, but man do things improve dramatically once the story starts leading into the first expansion (Heavensward) and keeps going strong after that point IMO.

The latest expansion (Shadowbringers) is among my favorite FF games now (at least of those that I've played) and probably will be a strong contender for GOTY for me (though to be fair I still have a lot of 2019 games left to play). I'm just really enjoying the gameplay (White Mage is a ton of fun to play right now IMO) as well as the main story, and it just feels like a very satisfying RPG (MMO or otherwise). And even though I wrapped up the main story (for now), I'm looking forward to playing more to catch up some of the side quests, try out new classes, and mess around with the game's glamour system to find the best outfits to rock in combat (it may sound silly, but it's a lot of fun to glamour new outfits). There's a lot to do, and it keeps me coming back (at least for now).
 

Landford

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,104
Its weird to admit, but sometimes I get teary eyed from pure happiness playing the most mundane stuff on FFXIV. Be it some silly Lalafel acting surprised (Their "Whoaaa" animation always get me), some heart warming scene about a normal person being inspired by my character to do better and improve themselves, or just the image of twenty four real life people running up the stairs of a dungeon while typing "we can do this!" Or "Lets go everyone!".

Its by far the best final fantasy game.
 

Qvoth

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,055
Breaking your focus on how you are attacking and dealing with mechanics is great, especially once you can get into a rhythm of doing both at the same time.
this is what makes blm very satisfying to play in this game

regarding OST, i feel like breaking boundaries is very underrated, i don't see people mentioning it often enough
1st i hear it i got goosebumps since final job quests are generally pretty epic (if you do it when the content is new)
 

texhnolyze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,978
Indonesia
Good for you, OP. People are really missing out on the best Final Fantasy game in more than a decade.

Luckily, Yoship has mentioned in the latest Live Letter (spoilers so only click if you're up to current!) that the team is working on reworking all the 2.0/ARR content to try and cut down on the truly egregious issues, and gave some examples of ways they're using current systems to experiment with fixing things like the extremely long MSQ dungeons.
Yup, this was a great news indeed. I was always reluctant to bring over my friends to Eorzea because they had to slog through ARR content which might take a while and would push them away from the game instead.
 

Jolkien

Member
Oct 25, 2017
987
Excellent write up OP I'm glad you loved it. This game literally changed my life, met my girlfriend through the game we're in the same raiding group, got married on August 2 and were in the middle of the process to get me a green card and move from Canada to the US.

Shadowbringer might be my favorite FF game now.
 

Rukumouru

Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,081
Welcome to the club. The only "true MMO" I ever truly liked was Ragnarok Online, and that's from quite a while ago. If we're including MMO-likes, I also love Phantasy Star Online though.

FFXIV is genuinely amazing in so many aspects. I especially find the classes to all be pretty well balanced (I still played RO until not so long ago and class balance is utterly baffling, beyond horrible) and the fact that there's a monthly sub does away with so many shitty F2P MMO trappings and just leaves mostly great service and tons of polished content, I love it and pay for it without a second thought. I'm not a fan of subscriptions in general, yet this is the only digital service subscription I pay, and given how much the FFXIV team works for that damn sub, I pay it gladly.
 

antitrop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,317
Colorado Springs, CO
Its weird to admit, but sometimes I get teary eyed from pure happiness playing the most mundane stuff on FFXIV. Be it some silly Lalafel acting surprised (Their "Whoaaa" animation always get me), some heart warming scene about a normal person being inspired by my character to do better and improve themselves, or just the image of twenty four real life people running up the stairs of a dungeon while typing "we can do this!" Or "Lets go everyone!".

Its by far the best final fantasy game.
Ya, I'm just constantly amused by every little thing in this game. Sometimes I'll just be running through Gridania and stop to listen to some Bard playing recognizable songs.

I don't know what kind of hyperbole I have to lavish on FFXIV to express how much I love it, but it's definitely the best Final Fantasy game in some 20 years.
 

Luigi87

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,061
God the moment where Hraesvalgr reveals that he gave his eye to you and you do the walk up towards Niddhogg and Dragonsong starts playing I completely lost my shit with how hype it was and then the fight absolutely delivers an amazing experience.
That was easily my favourite moment in the entire game, until

The Crystal Exarch summoning the WoL&D's allies right before the final battle against Emet-Selch became my new favourite scene.
 

Shahadan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,604
Everything is so absurdly big and flat. All zones are drab. The number of square or circle shaped arenas in this world is stupid.
Every dialogue or cutscenes are way longer and slower than they need to be because they drag out the (few) animations before and after any line. Fuck all the nodding, Alphinaud (fuck the little shit and his low res hair) and his "pensive" animation, and above all fuck everything about waiting for multiple people to slowly turn around and walk out after accepting most story quests.

Quest design is shit and hasn't evolved at all since ARR.

Yet I'm still having fun somehow. The many jobs and side content are cool. Some story bits were genuinely interesting, even a few in ARR. People are cool and still hang out in old cities. All the crafting jobs put to shame a few MMOs. So, yeah.

Side note, who the fuck cares about anything in the White Mage class questline, kill me now.
 

Irikan

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
506
Welcome to the club. The only "true MMO" I ever truly liked was Ragnarok Online, and that's from quite a while ago. If we're including MMO-likes, I also love Phantasy Star Online though.

FFXIV is genuinely amazing in so many aspects. I especially find the classes to all be pretty well balanced (I still played RO until not so long ago and class balance is utterly baffling, beyond horrible) and the fact that there's a monthly sub does away with so many shitty F2P MMO trappings and just leaves mostly great service and tons of polished content, I love it and pay for it without a second thought. I'm not a fan of subscriptions in general, yet this is the only digital service subscription I pay, and given how much the FFXIV team works for that damn sub, I pay it gladly.
Lmao that’s exactly me, I loved RO more than 10 years ago, and no other MMO made me fell in love with it and I probably tried almost all of them.. until FFXIV, no other game hooked me that much, probably my top 5 games ever and my favorite FF. I’m so glad that Square just said fuck it and remade it instead of letting the game die With 1.0
 

J_ToSaveTheDay

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,987
USA
Its weird to admit, but sometimes I get teary eyed from pure happiness playing the most mundane stuff on FFXIV. Be it some silly Lalafel acting surprised (Their "Whoaaa" animation always get me), some heart warming scene about a normal person being inspired by my character to do better and improve themselves, or just the image of twenty four real life people running up the stairs of a dungeon while typing "we can do this!" Or "Lets go everyone!".

Its by far the best final fantasy game.
The game is staggeringly big-hearted. I'm amazed it's able to continuously make me feel inspired through all of its paces, and it's just so consistently COMMITTED to that, too. I never feel like it's trying to take an internal turn for your character -- your character just seems to be on this unrelenting path to trying to make everything they touch better. And while the game can eventually throw excuses for you to fight, it feels like there's an honest attempt to explore more than just beating everything into submission to your will.

I genuinely think the gameplay is good too and doesn't get enough credit -- often seems a bit dismissed as a WoW clone. Not trying to deny that there's plenty of influence drawn from post-WoW design, but there's just this feeling of synergy once you ease into a role that I just never quite felt playing any other MMORPG personally. Granted, I'm not the hugest MMORPG player, but it feels like the job dynamics are drawn from old-school (FFXI being as "old'-school" as I know) but appropriated into modern pacing tactics. It would take a loooooooot of explanation to articulate on that that I don't have time to dive into, but it feels more distinct to me than I think it often gets credit, particularly as you level up and your job becomes more robust.

It's my favorite MMORPG and Shadowbringers has elevated it to my favorite Final Fantasy game. It has excellent and super tasteful callbacks to older FF games, too -- soemtimes they're very overt and fanservicey and sometimes they're baked in real subtle and I love when I come across something I recognize that's naturally folded into FFXIV itself.

I don't know, there's no game that makes me feel like a good guy as earnestly as XIV does. It's so refreshing particularly in contrast to a lot of the political realities of the world.
 

Silver-Streak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
I'm glad Susano was called out.

Even as a non-tank, going through that fight is such an awesome thing in the game because you get to cheer on the tank experiencing the single coolest thing they've ever been able to do in a MMO with a tank role. Ever.
 

Izzwan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
56
Malaysia
The quest design really needs to evolve, it just lacks the variety of WoW's questing. It's also too easy but I guess most mmos nowadays have really easy questing, I really miss the sense of danger when exploring and questing in older mmos. Still love the game though.
 

Mechaplum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,401
Thanks for the write up and the great choice in music.

I'm pondering whether to continue my lvl30 Monk or restart for the 4th time after they've made the adjustments next summer.
 

Hupsel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
470
Game is good, my second favorite MMO tied with Guild Wars 2. The story, music and characters are very good. In the gameplay department I think that I still like WoW a little bit more.

My experience so far is only with the Black Mage class. I think they need to balance the number of spells they give you early on, and that happens with a lot of the other classes too. You start with very few spells or combos and at level 80 you have a shit ton of stuff. Some stuff also seem redundant and I would scrap or mix a few of the abilities. Black Mage, for example, has triplecast and swiftcast (role spell), I wish it was just one ability. Same for Ley Lines and Between the Lines - it should be just one ability, and hitting the button after casting the spell makes you teleport to the mark on the ground. The problem is that at level 80 you have a fuck ton of shit to press.

I also which there were way more spells that you could select, target on the floor and use. I imagine FFXIV doesnt have it because of console players, but some spells like Fire III and Thunder IV would feel better like that.

Things that could improve the game:

- Good Mod support like WoW has. And yes, even for DPS meters, sorry Yoshi-san (probably won´t happen).
- Big cities being separated by instances suck.
- World map could be prettier to see and navigate.
- Good, needing to complete lame ass "+" quests to open up hard or extreme dungeons is bad. Just give me the content and don´t gatekeep it behind useless npcs.
 
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TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,682
The quest design really needs to evolve, it just lacks the variety of WoW's questing. It's also too easy but I guess most mmos nowadays have really easy questing, I really miss the sense of danger when exploring and questing in older mmos. Still love the game though.
Hi, day 1 beta wow vet here. Strong disagree.
 

chogidogs

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,050
I still remember that Au Ra guy from the steppes trying to mack on Y'shtola and it made me so angry. That's when I realized that I truly cared for the Scions. Y'shtola is bae.
 

Qvoth

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,055
My experience so far is only with the Black Mage class. I think they need to balance the number of spells they give you early on, and that happens with a lot of the other classes too. You start with very few spells or combos and at level 80 you have a shit ton of stuff. Some stuff also seem redundant and I would scrap or mix a few of the abilities. Black Mage, for example, has triplecast and swiftcast (role spell), I wish it was just one ability. Same for Ley Lines and Between the Lines - it should be just one ability, and hitting the button after casting the spell makes you teleport to the mark on the ground. The problem is that at level 80 you have a fuck ton of shit to press.

I also which there were way more spells that you could select, target on the floor and use. I imagine FFXIV doesnt have it because of console players, but some spells like Fire III and Thunder IV would feel better like that.
You can set a macro to combine leylines and between the lines on the same key
Combining swiftcast and triplecast is crazy
Blm is already one of the lowest APM jobs in the game afaik
Blm at 80 is incredibly well designed
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
Combining leylines and between the lines makes sense, to that I'd add they should combine Aetherial Manipulation to it also (default to dropping leylines or zooming to them when a teammate isn't targeted, zoom to teammate if targeted).
 

Alpheus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
500
FFXI is my favorite FF for story, but Shadowbringers is the closest XIV has gotten to reaching that high point for me. It's not there yet but I'm excited to see it get there.
 

Izayoi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
759
The best MMO ever made, hands-down. Arguably the best Final Fantasy game ever as well.

There are just too many amazing things about the game to summarize in any kind of succinct way, but you nailed a lot of the key points.

I am working on leveling my gatherers/crafters now and the attention to detail is insane. The fact that all of the individual classes have their own dedicated stories is mind boggling to me - the amount of content in this game is absolutely insane.

I wonder what a 100% (or as close to it as you could reasonably get) play time would even look like... countless thousands of hours, no doubt.