Well gosh darn it, just when I thought I had moved away from MMOs (yeah right) this little surprise popped up. I feel bad for being such a naysayer before FFXIV even launched, but I’ve heard it all when it comes to pre-launch hype. I didn’t expect that I’d be playing FFXIV, much less enjoying it even half as much as I am.
I’m a level 16 CNJ (Conjurer) now, which isn’t very impressive compared to everyone else’s levels. However, I was busy most of last weekend and the server clogging wasn’t worth the frustration for me to try to log in most nights last week. However, this week Square Enix patched the game and increased the server concurrency, which means that I can log in on my first try now. That is a surprisingly wonderful upside. Because boy oh boy do I have fun when I’m actually playing.
I’m not sure FFXIV is a game for everyone. When I think about gamers like my husband, I don’t think it would appeal much to him. The world is neat and the graphics are pretty, but the gameplay is a bit more obstructed than other games. What do I mean by that? Well, not everything is explained up front and packaged up with a neat little bow. My husband is very much the type of gamer who is annoyed by convoluted UI, or complicated game mechanics that require research out of game (or asking people) to figure out. And that’s perfectly okay — I actually think MOST gamers are like that. I do think that the game could use a bit more explaining so I can spend more time just playing and less time reading r/FFXIV or asking people things in game. There are some things that took me awhile to understand, such as aethernet attuning, targetting with the controller effectively, class/job system, travelling across cities. There are other things that I still don’t understand, like gathering/crafting, materia, breaking down items vs. selling them. I am sure when I need to understand them I will, but right now they’re kind of big mysteries to me.
That’s not to say that I don’t think FFXIV is an amazing game for a subset of players. Clearly it’s doing very well with many, many, people playing and enjoying it. I actually think it’s a wonderful game for people who really love to explore, love to grind (and I don’t mean that negatively), have ADD and like to do a number of different things, don’t like locking into choices permanently, and like to rekindle that old-school MMO feeling. Seriously, while I am playing FFXIV I am incredibly reminiscent of some times in EverQuest. Except the community doesn’t seem as nice, since basically every modern MMO has reduced to ridiculous comparisons to WoW and various immature rants. But I digress.
I have a linkshell and a Free Company now, which is nice because I have people to talk to who are more fun than the general populous. Linkshells are basically a way of having multi-guilds of sorts. You can be a number of different linkshells which are chat channels. Free Companies are traditional guilds, though at this time I don’t know what benefits they offer over linkshells.
I’ve done a number of Duties (which are like mini dungeons from what I can tell) and healing is really enjoyable on the Xbox controller. I find that I can play for longer sessions without my carpal tunnel hurting me, which is great. I’ve mostly been doing just the main story and class quests, along with levequests and duties and FATES thrown in. It’s just such a relaxing game. I’m still trying to learn my way around Limsa Lominsa….since I have Gridania down pat but now I need to actually explore the other cities.
So, that’s about it. Still having a blast, really enjoying this game. Have some pics.