Every Single Final Fantasy Fan Should Play FFXIV

Every Single Final Fantasy Fan Should Play FFXIV

Hey, you there. Gal or guy who loves Final Fantasy but has spent your entire life avoiding the MMOs because they're, well, MMOs. Here's some advice: Go play Final Fantasy XIV.

"But wait," you might say. "Isn't it one of those big grindy multiplayer games? Don't I have to pay monthly? I'll stick to single-player RPGs, thanks very much."

OK. I mean, do what you want. But if you like Final Fantasy at all, you'd be remiss not to at least give Final Fantasy XIV a chance. It's a big online multiplayer game, yes, but it's also got everything you'd want from a Final Fantasy: an interesting story, a genuine sense of humour, a big fantasy world to explore, fun character classes, tons of quests, chocobos, etc. The writing is surprisingly good for a game with so much dialogue, and the music is straight-up incredible. (For real.)

Most importantly for JRPG fans, you can play it all by yourself. You'll have to join a party for the dungeons and bosses, sure, but FFXIV will match you up with random people pretty seamlessly. From what I've seen so far, it's easy to stay anti-social and play through the game at your own pace, exploring and questing in whatever order you'd like. The world of Eorzea is huge and constantly rewarding; once you get past the rather atrocious user interface (at least on PS4), it's a treat to wander around there.

Let me give you some quick history. For a long time, I also avoided the multiplayer Final Fantasys. Short of a pre-pubescent MUD obsession and a brief World of Warcraft binge back in 2005, MMORPGs were never really my thing. I've always preferred to spend my time playing as many new games as possible rather than letting one game consume my life. (Well, there's Destiny, but that doesn't count.)

Yet. Yet! Ever since FFXIV got rebooted as A Realm Reborn and people like Fahey wouldn't stop raving about it, I've always been tempted to dig into the fourteenth Final Fantasy. Earlier this year, I did just that, levelling up a Thaumaturge (aka black mage) and Gladiator (aka paladin) before other games stole my attention. Then, while on vacation this week, I jumped back in, and all of a sudden I'm hooked again. I love the story, the music, the visuals. I love meeting all the quirky new characters and fighting giant summoned bosses like Ifrit. I love riding goddamned chocobos.

Perhaps the biggest issue with Final Fantasy XIV is that, like World of Warcraft and many other big MMOs, you'll need a subscription to play it. You'll get the first 30 days for free; after that, you'll have to pull out the credit card and commit to a subscription, which is a real bummer because it gives you this looming feeling that you have to play FFXIV at all times or else you're wasting your money.

Still, if you like Final Fantasy but have never cared to play the MMOs, take my word for it: Even as a single-player game, FFXIV is great. Also, you can play Triple Triad with strangers and NPCs. If that isn't enough to pique your interest, then, well, you're not a Final Fantasy fan.


Comments

    Yeh....sorry as an xbone player the title of this article really grinds my gears! I would love to play it, and am salty af that I can't play it on the one.

      To be fair, if you are wanting to play japanese games the xbone isn't the greatest choice :) even during the last gen the ps3 had all the quirky japan titles.

        Yeh final fantasy is Japanese but id say its mainstream enough to not be considered quirky, and ff games are on xbox now after all.
        I'm just an Xbox guy for now, would have been and will be cool if it ever happens.

      Naoki Yoshida has tried to give this game an XBox release, but Microsoft will only allow it if the XBox gets its own server (basically, its own community away from the PC, PS4 and PS3 players, who all play together).

      If you have a gaming PC, you can use your XBone controller.

        Yeh I know the reasons it's not on xbox, sucks but maybe one day...
        And Yeh if I had a decent pc I'd play it on that for sure. It's just annoying, I'm salty and to me it's as if the title is saying " there's no excuse not to play this game if you're a final fantasy fan" haha.

      Your only really missing out on bitter disappointment. The game is as good as everyone says but endgame content, you know the content that keeps you invested is insanely hard for Australian players. Bosses such as titan have extremely punishing timed aoes that are balanced to be hard to dodge on a good ping. On a hard ping you have to time that shit extremely well. Its just not built with higher ping players in mind.

    As you said in the last paragraph, sucks because I feel I have to commit. Which I won't do. I go where the wind (and my pile of shame) compel me.

    Otherwise, looks wonderful.

    No au servers soured my experience. Was loving it but I kept taking attacks that I was dodging.

      the tunnel services actually help a LOT with this, i use wtfast and the times its down are downright painful, of course when i was playing on the JP data center instead of NA, i didnt need it, but went where my friends decided to play and oh the lag :P

        Highly dependent on where you live and which ISP you're with.

        iiNet must have a pretty decent route for gaming because I used wtfast as well, hoping to get a significant reduction in ping, but it really was only able to shear off around 10ms at best, leaving me in a still intolerable position for endgame.

        You've really just got to learn how to compensate for your geographic disability, moving based on timers rather than visual cues, and playing a class/style that adapts better to unreliable movement and doesn't rely on positional combos.

        (Also, yeah - the difference between JP and NA is pretty damn marked. Tonberry's stupidly full/closed all the time, though, so good luck getting started there for the unofficial Aus/NZ community within that JP group.)

        Last edited 08/12/15 12:07 pm

      The unofficial AU server is tonberry (JP). its so full that character creation is usual locked tho, so you gotta make ur character at stupid AM

    Yeah. Agree with Jasnjazz. I tried the game. Had potential (well to be honest the starting area I started at was bland, boring and linear - the port big guys starting area) but it was irking the **** out of me that when I hit the mobs their health would go down 3 seconds after I'd hit them. That and it felt kind of soul less. I only played up to level 16 ish but it just wasn't gripping me.

    I've been watching my roommate play it with his friends the past week. It looks absolutely gorgeous on the new PCs we built and he told me that the servers are cross-platform, which is amazing. But I just cannot commit myself to playing it with them. I've done the whole MMO grind so many times that I just don't think I can do it again. That format has me burnt out.

    Played from alpha all the way to 2.0 then went back to FFXI. XIV is pretty but it never got good. Shoulda just made XI 2.0

    No, Final Fantasy fans should not play FF XIV, MMO fans who are also FF fans should but if you're looking for the next single player FF experience then you aren't going to really enjoy it as a solo endeavour. I played to the end of the free month and though some parts were fun, it just wasn't interesting enough to get me to subscribe and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking to just play solo. MMOs by nature are designed for many people to play at once so the single player experience will always be less focused for someone trying to enjoy it as though they were the only one playing.

      It's kinda funny, as FFXIV only forces you to party up for the dungeon and trial content (though if you grind your way to 50, you could probably solo them). For the most part, you're all alone.

      That said, I'd recommend any new/current player to wait until 3.2 or 3.3 comes out. Heavensward was a fairly disappointing pat-Expansion and the 3.1 patch (which was delayed) was equally as disappointing (I just can't find a reason to log back into the game after finishing the 3.1 content).

    I disagree. This game is the most boring grind fest the world has ever seen. Combat is like watching paint dry and feels like you're fighting with cardboard weapons, the story and characters are generic JRPG nonsense and the entire world is disconnected by loading screens every 10 steps.... Just ugh.

    It does get better as you level up, but its an absolute slog through mud to get there.

      I haven't played the game at all...so could you elaborate on why the combat is particularly boring? Is it comparable to the old FF combat systems. IS there a particular mechanic that makes it boring??

        Nothing like old turn based FF combat. It's like WoW except everything is on a global cool down and the rate at which you gain abilities is extremely slow, so for the first chunk of the game combat will be pressing numbers 1-3 every 2 seconds.

        1........ 2......... 3
        1........ 2......... 3

        Repeat til enemy is dead.

        Fantastic combat animations would make this a little less mundane, unfortunately even those are few and far between.

        You be the judge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6ipaWI8C3Y

        This is one of the level 60 end-game fights.

    a pre-pubescent MUD obsession
    Those were good times...

    I jumped on for the 14 day trial and it's an enjoyable experience. However movement is slow and leveling is pretty lackluster. The lack of AU servers is going to be the big turn off in the end. Since WoW got AU servers, I just can't play on American based servers anymore as the lag is extremely noticeable. There's a good game here, but it needs AU servers

    Like any MMO, you really need to commit and have a bunch of friends to play with.

    And there's the problem of questing. While quests do exists, most of your EXP is gained by grinding repeatable, semi-instanced missions the game calls 'heists'. While these can be varied and interesting (And even break the standard MMO convention of 'Just go murder everything' with missions involving placating monsters) ...They quickly become incredibly tedious. There's generally only 4-5 on offer for a level bracket... So I hope you enjoy smacking up Wild Mongrels for 4 levels.

    You also can't just pick one class and stick to it off the bat... It's much better to grind every combat class to 15 and then pick your main from there. Why? Because your main class needs another to be level 15 to unlock their 'true form' at 30. While this allows you to nick select spells and abilities from any class you've leveled (You can rock Cure or Protect on an Archer/Bard, if you've gotten Conjurer/White Mage to the appropriate level) it also means you'll be sinking a lot of time into those asinine guildheists to get everyone to the appropriate level.

    However, I'm just making the mechanics clear. If you have enough patience, I'd heartily recommend it. The main story and class missions are a treat. Dungeons are cool... But are only accessible to classes that are level 15+. Crafting and gathering is weird, but kinda fun at the same time. Random events happen with regularity and are sufficiently rewarding to act upon... And the game looks and sounds really fancy.

    It's just a massive time sink until you get to the meat of it.

    I've played through all the main story and Heavensward, and then just suspended my subscription when I ran out of things to do. (Endgame grind really doesn't appeal... my time is way too valuable for that!)
    Do people realize this is an option? Just stop playing (and paying!) for a few months, then pick it up again when there's more content.

    Unless you have a supposed problem with your account being hacked and then have to supply photo id to an email address.

    It was fun up to the point you have to play with others...

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