Final Fantasy XIV (MMO’s are dangerous for my health)

So at the start of September, I was unemployed, nothing to do, and so I figured i’d finally dip my toe into FFXIV. I haven’t properly played an MMO since WoW, and when I bought that, about two months of my life just vanished without a trace, I got so addicted to it, eventually my account got stolen and losing all of my items was enough for me to quit.

XIV is not WoW, for better or worse, I’m not sure which i’d say I prefer, but XIV did full on hook me in for 4 whole months – I’m not particularly proud of it, but my steam claims I’ve logged about 1350 hours over a duration of 120 days…
And then all of a sudden, like coming out of a coma, I just felt done with it, literally went to bed one day and the next I didn’t feel like playing. So here’s a quickie review of the game, along with some memories/pictures.

XIV Review

I will preface by saying I am a very impatient individual, I’m basically unable to play JRPGs nowadays as they are just too long, XIV is an MMO that really tries to put story at the front of it’s experience, the main story quest is filled with Final fantasy levels of cutscenes, plot, betrayal, characters with ridiculous names, and so on.

If you read most reviews, they will tell you that the story is the best part of XIV, I honestly cannot agree as I skipped about 2/3 of the cutscenes, and spammed through 90% of the dialogue, you could ask me some basic shit about one of the main characters and I’d probably reply “sorry, who?” – this isn’t really helped by the fact that the main story questline is absurdly long, coming in at about 700 quests all of which have dialogue and some filler action (fetch this, talk to this person, etc), you are forced to do this questline to unlock the multiplayer content of the game (dungeons and bosses).

Where the game does shine, for me, is it’s boss encounters (known as Trials/normal raids in this game), these are mostly 8 player fights against bosses with big telegraphed attacks and unique mechanics, and often accompanied by some shockingly good music. The dungeons are mostly good too, with interesting themes, I do however wish they left more room for freestyling, as they are mostly linear corridors with walls where you have to kill some monsters before you can progress.

In terms of combat, I hate to say it but I think WoW wins here, the global cooldown in XIV is longer in WoW, and so you’ll often find yourself just waiting to be able to do your next attack, I also thought the abilities/spells were really boring, with basically every spell just doing damage, there is no room for creativity in how you play your class either, no talent trees, no way to distinguish yourself from anyone else – compare to WoW’s talent trees, or Ragnarok Online’s Stats/Cards system, or even Maplestorys skill trees.

You can play any class you want with one character, this is both a blessing and a curse, and honestly they had to do it this way because of the main story quest system. Once you’ve unlocked a job, you can just equip that classes unique weapon and all of your stats/skills swap over, same goes for the 8 crafting professions.
Why is this good? You aren’t tied down to any particular playstyle or even role, if you don’t want to shoot arrows today, you can punch things instead and not be penalized for it, you can adapt your role to fill gaps in your party too.
Why is this bad? again I think it just comes down to the individuality aspect? When anyone can play as any class, they all feel less unique, and for crafters it’s all less lucrative for making money as there is low demand across the board – if everyone can gather everything, and everyone can craft everything, thats a whole lot of supply and much less demand than it could have been, players can’t really sell their services because there is so much competition, and by extension nobody really interacts with each other for services.

I think thats mostly everything I wanted to talk about, it came off pretty negative in the end, but I did really enjoy my time with the game, it’s just disappointing compared to what it could have been if it had gone in a slightly different direction.
I’ve decided to let my subscription expire, and maybe i’ll come back in a few months when there is some new content to play.

Had a bunch of memorable experiences in those 4 months, some are in pictures below, others..
– Fought Odin in the forest and got slaughtered repeatedly, came back a month later to help kick its ass
– Managed to buy my own house plot during the new plot expansion, I logged in the second the button changed colour and sprinted to the plot to buy it, loads of plots were gone within 20 mins.
– Was invited to a player wedding and attended, it was really weird.
– Went to a player run erotic role play venue, it was even weirder.
– Collected all of the ARR and HW boss mounts
– Created and ran a static for a short period, and got to experience all the drama that comes with it.
– Made 19mil in a week when 5.4 patch launched, by gathering and selling materials
– Joined the hunt linkshells, and a fishing linkshell