Let’s Talk About Final Fantasy XIV

Let’s Talk About Final Fantasy XIV

It’s Saturday, and I’m here, so naturally we’re going to talk about JRPGs. Or, as the case may be, MMOJRPGs. First of all, here’s a new trailer for the next update to Final Fantasy XIV, which comes out on June 7:

So much content! Sucks about the whole monthly fee thing, but I’ve been paying for a year now and don’t regret it at all.

I’ve written before about my newly discovered love for FFXIV, which is an excellent game even if you’re playing it by yourself. I love everything about it: the gameplay systems, the music, the world, the dungeons, the Final Fantasy references both big and small.

I finished the main story last week and am now doing all the post-2.0 content, which apparently lasts quite some time. I have to play through it all before I get to the story quests that were added in the new expansion, Heavensward, which means a lot of fetch quests, but everyone says the slog is worth it.

One interesting experience I had: at the end of the main quest, there are two dungeons that both require a full party of eight players. Since this stuff all came out in 2013, most FFXIV players have already beaten those dungeons several times, which means they skip all the lengthy story cutscenes that come along between each boss. If you’re a new player, you have two options: skip the cutscenes or let the rest of your group get ahead of you. I chose the former and had to watch as the rest of my party destroyed each boss while I watched their cutscenes, which was a bit strange. I’d see a cutscene introducing a boss, then immediately jump to a cutscene showing his or her demise. It raises the question: how do you do a story-based multiplayer dungeon without forcing new players to go through that?

I’m still plugging away at quests, but hey, let’s talk FFXIV. How good is this game?


  • My biggest issue (aside from high ping from Australia even onto JP servers) was the forced grouping in the story progression. I ended up hitting a roadblock because at the time there were a few bosses that were just not doable with an average random group. I feel like the reason that WoW stabilized on 5 man dungeons rather than 4 is that with 4, everyone needs to do their job. No one can be carried. That’s great if you’ve got a good guild or a bunch of friends to play with that are at the same or similar progression point. Not so much if you’re by yourself.

    Keep meaning to go back to it eventually but find the MMO time commitment to be increasingly difficult, especially when you’re paying per month. The fact that Squenix locks your down to a region for payments etc. is also frustrating. Being forced to pay in Euros makes it pretty expensive from Australia, and I live in the US now and would rather be paying in US dollars, but swapping regions would mean opening a brand new account, buying a brand new copy of the game, and losing all my 1.0 / 2.0 / subscription bonus swag and legacy status (yes, I played in 1.0, and yes, it was a shitshow)

    • Yeah and the other issue playing on JP servers was the language barrier and smaller pool of players you could group with which made it all even worse.

      You could play NA but the ping would almost always kill you on primal fights OR you play JP and nobody can speak to you. FeelsBadMan

      • JP Server I was on had a big Oceanic population but it might have died back by now.

        Even playing on JP, the way the game polls for your position made avoiding AoEs near-impossible which in turn made some of the dungeons an utter chore, like the one where the last boss randomly throws an insta-kill AoE at players. Nothing like moving immediately, being 20 feet outside the circle on your screen, and still dying to it and then being berated for being a terrible player etc.

        • Yeah it was never just the lag. Wildstar and ESO had way faster telegraph’s but without that problem for us. It’s one hundred percent the crappy netcode of ff14

          • Yep. It doesn’t poll your position changes often enough and it assigns the damage and everything on the server rather than resolving between client and server.

            I guess that not every MMO can have Blizzard’s rock-solid netcode. 🙁

        • It’s not normal lag. The actual responsiveness of the game is fine. It’s position lag. And if you’re not maining a melee class you probably won’t see the issue.

          • I played MNK, and some stuff was near impossible with the positioning lag. So many AoEs you had to run out of (and would still get hit by) plus no effective distance closer and the need to be right on top of a boss (in different spots) to maintain all the debuffs on it that let you actually do damage since the class was so highly dependent on bleeds. Zero leeway for dropping the sequence for a few seconds or letting a certain debuff drop. 🙁

    • Yeah, paired with the late game issues with compulsory but random gear progression it was really frustrating to have one under performing player make you rerun a quest that you were *already* rerunning due to bad RNG luck.

      If you want repetition it’s best to use either grindy RNG *or* complex difficulty. Not both.

      I cancelled my sub after the 18th Ifrit run without getting the weapon that was an absolute necessity for running Garuda to get a weapon that was an absolute necessity for running Titan to get a weapon that was an absolutely necessity for running Bahamut.

      Every failed run through the same dungeon I’d already learned by heart was just too brutal.

  • I first did those two big dungeons a couple of years ago, & even then I got yelled at by others in the party for watching cutscenes, which really annoyed me, but I can see where they’re coming from. Some of those cutscenes are long…
    Fortunately S-E learned their lesson. Future big dungeons only have the big cutscenes at the end, which essentially negates this issue.

  • My biggest issue was that it’s just not as good as wow. The quests, the story, especially the gameplay. Just not up to standard. Even Windstar/eso were more polished.

    I just assume people play this because they love final fantasy or want to be a “kawaii cat girl”.

    • The UI puts me off. Way too much stuff on screen a map, chat box, all your quests then to top it off smack in the middle of your screen are four big button prompts for all your moves. Can’t really enjoy the environment when there is all this crap covering it.

  • You can customize and move some of the UI around you know. It’s on the HUD Layout

  • I bought ARR on PS3 a few years back, played it for the free month and haven’t played it since. It wasn’t because it was bad though, it’s one of the better MMOs and actually manages to maintain the illusion that you are an important cog in the world. There’s just nothing I really found in it that felt fresh enough to offset the ennui that made me quit playing WOW several years beforehand. If you like MMOs then it’s definitely a good choice, but if you’re looking for the next step forward in MMOs then I don’t think you’ll find it in FFXIV.

  • Not really looking to play another MMO right now, how much success will I have trying to treat it as a single player game that just happens to have other players in it?

  • Alright Schreier, I’ll do it. I trusted you with Trails in the Sky and now they’re my favourite games, so I’ll download the two week free trial and see how I like it. Hopefully you’re right and I can treat it mostly as a single player game.

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