Since its 2013 relaunch as A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy 14 is one of the best massively multiplayer role-playing games going, but let's not forget the poor performance, shoddy lighting effects and nightmarish copy-pasted landscapes from the original 2010 release that made the relaunch necessary in the first place.
YouTube's Speakers Network has launched the first in its "The Fall and Rise Of Final Fantasy XIV" video series, detailing the various problems that led to Final Fantasy XIV's original release being scrapped completely and reworked into something players didn't actively hate. Warning: If you played version 1.0, prepare to be triggered.
Final Fantasy 14 1.0 wasn't an unattractive game, but much of the attraction was superficial. Map assets were pretty and filled with nifty touches on higher end machines (I loved the swirling leaves effect), but upon closer inspection many of those intriguing elements were the same intriguing elements used over and over again. No area was a worse offender than the original Black Shroud, pictured atop this post, which was just a maze of utter bullshit.
Using the Crystal Tools engine from Final Fantasy 13 proved a bad idea, as the requirements for a static game world and a persistent world with realistic day and night cycles are quite different. Nighttime was daytime with a blue tint applied. Indoor lighting maps were the same as the outdoor ones, with shadows unaffected by light sources that weren't the sun.
The best part of the first video here is it goes into several issues I was barely aware of in the initial release, and there are so many more to get to, like over-complicated systems, chocobos we couldn't ride and much, much more. Really looking forward to the nightmares the rest of this series will bring.