Final Fantasy XIV is not for me — and that’s OK

Final Fantasy 3When your gut and past experience tells you one thing and your friends are all telling you another, it’s sometimes easy to get persuaded to get out of your comfort zone and give a new thing a try.  In this case it’s where so many people seem to be playing, raving about, and enjoying Final Fantasy XIV following its relaunch, to the point where I got persuaded to drop $30 for a copy the other day.

And that’s a $30 I really regret spending.  I has the buyer’s remorse, I do.  But since it was an impulsive purchase, I have only myself to blame.

So yeah, it wasn’t even on my radar because the initial launch was a laughable mess and the relaunch looked to be pretty niche.  But whether it’s people starved for a major release right now in the latter part of 2013 or a tsunami of word-of-mouth raves, it’s been doing quite well for itself.  And it was strange for me to see a really wide range of gamers and bloggers that I know being won over by it.  So what did I have to lose?

$30.  Don’t remind me.  I shall do that myself.

Anyway, I should’ve listened to my gut.  It’s not that FFXIV is a bad game in any way that I can discern.  Downloading it and setting it up was pretty smooth, and I didn’t even have to enter in credit card info.  Hearing the music was a nice high point — the Final Fantasy series always does well there.  But this game was not made for me at all.

For starters, I’ve just soured on the Final Fantasy experience: the aesthetic, the trappings, the overused rehash of elements that some may love as “tradition” and I’ve started to frown at as “unimaginative leftovers.”  I’ve really not been into Final Fantasy since, oh, 10, and even that wasn’t too fun for me.  Final Fantasy XI just turned me off within the first couple days of trying it out way back in 2003 or so, and even retro versions of FF games on mobile devices have lost their luster.

So there wasn’t a lot to like about my first half-hour or so in FFXIV.  I don’t like the look of the characters, chocobos make my eyes roll so dang much, and most of the races just irk me.  I felt really grumpy through the whole thing and that’s probably not fair at all to the game.  Sure, it looked pretty.  But so do a lot of MMOs these days.  It had quests.  It had me running.  It had me clicking through a lot of text bubbles that were dull as carp.  Hey, carp are not the most interesting fish, okay?

And how much combat did I clock in that first hour or so?  None.  It was like the world’s slowest tutorial-slash-hand-holding, and I’m going cross-eyed because what little story I’m seeing is dull and I want to see how the combat handles.  I’m asking myself what others were seeing in this game.

So short story short, I didn’t have the patience to stick it out.  It just wasn’t for me, and that’s OK; not all MMOs will be.  Maybe it’s just about the best game in the world past that opening hour and maybe I’m too antsy.  But considering that I don’t need another subscription right now for a game that — even if I ended up liking it — I won’t be paying for when WildStar hits anyway.  So we’ll part amiably and shan’t mention it again.

Just wish I had that $30 back.

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13 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XIV is not for me — and that’s OK

  1. [i][b]“tsunami of word-of-mouth raves”[/b][/i]

    [color=blue]Tsuhelm[/color] has not raved it as he cannot run it and cannot buy it…LOL

    I would try it if I could…

  2. I was tempted to give it a go based on the raves, but then I found out it had a 2.5 second global cooldown. 1.5 seconds is a little on the slow side for my taste. No way I could tolerate 2.5.

  3. Glad to see I’m not the only one feeling kinda meh about FFXIV. I got to the mid twenties before throwing in the towel. The combat was pretty dull and the sfx were annoying to me, first mmo I didn’t mind playing muted although the music was good. It’s a solid game and plays pretty well but it’s just not for me. I have never been into the IP but I wanted to try something my gf would like. Although, even she is starting to get bored at this point and she is a die hard FF girl.

    I think it will be interesting to see what happens after a couple months when most have gotten thru the main story and capped at least one job. I have a feeling it’s going to be like most mmo’s post wow where we will see a big decline in players. And all the press gushing about it now will sheepishly admit they stopped playing. Maybe I’m wrong, I certainly don’t want to see it fail or anything but it just seems like a flash in the pan to me.

  4. All the things you didn’t like about it are all the things I do.

    Other MMOs may well look pretty, but not *this* pretty. This is the prettiest of them all.

    Many other people agree with you on the dullness of the text. I’m not one of them. I think a lot of gamers don’t much like reading in the first place and even those who do probably don’t like reading quest text. I’ll read the labels in my clothes on a short elevator ride if that’s all there is to hand. The more there is to read in an MMO, the more I like it, so long as the writing is at least competent. This is a lot better than that.

    I only played two FF games before: FFXVII, which I didn’t finish and FFXI in which I lasted a month. I have no knowledge of or affection for the lore or setting. It’s all pretty much new to me and it’s a joy to discover. Having a whimsy tolerance measured in megakittens, the entire milieu and approach is right up my street, through my front gate and onto my doorstep.

    I love cut-scenes. I don’t watch tv and I rarely have time for movies so seeing stuff move on a screen without me having to press any keys is quite the novelty. The story is intriguing and gets more so, in a genre kind of way.

    All those things are good. They’re what drew me in. The bit you didn’t get to, the combat and the character progression, the dungeons, the crafting, the economy and all those other things that make an MMO – those are the parts I’m having a problem with!

  5. You have to get through the dull-as-dirt city tutorial and out into the “world” before things pick up. However, all it really has going for it is a solid game with the ability to play every class with your first character, and mix and match a selection of skills, or specialize in a “job”.

    I found it relaxing, but not inspired. It sounds somewhat like Rift on paper, but the class thing is much more radical, because where Rift lets you switch specializations within a class (your cleric is always a cleric), FFXIV lets you switch classes entirely. My Arcanist (caster) switched to Marauder (warrior), but got to keep the Arcanist’s heal, even at 1st level.

    I have no regrets about playing the game, but I didn’t sub either. That’s simply because I don’t have the time to make a subscription worthwhile at the moment. If I did, I’d be subbed . . . at least for a while.

  6. I was very scared given how FFXI and how poorly FFXIV 1.0 went, but so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

    That aside, part of me wonders whether the non-subscription ire is misplaced. If a title is worth my time, it’s worth $15/month. It’s the $45 it costs to be allowed to pay for the first 30 days that “come with the box” that really irk me. (In your case, $15 to be allowed to pay for the first month.) Ironically, “buy to play” is in some ways the worst model in that the only money you’ll ever pay stands between you and even trying the game at all, and once you’re in there’s very little else to do to support the game.

  7. At least you can comfort yourself knowing that you didn’t spend $60 on say, TERA.

    I still weep for that innocent $60. Wasted thoughtlessly on something so bloody awful.

  8. Yep, like Warsyde says, that first bit in your main city, on your first class, is pretty darned dull. It absolutely doesn’t put the game in its best light there. Luckily, once you can emerge into the big world, it starts to open up. Still, it took a few hours to warm up for me. After the unmitigated disaster of 1.0, this re-release is almost a miracle.

  9. I’ve got to admit from what I have seen elsewhere I am mighty tempted by FFXIV, but I can’t really afford another subscription.

    Out of curiousity how many subscription MMO games do people play?

  10. This MMO appeals to me because it’s one of the few, or the only one I can really think of that is also available on the console (PS3 and Xbox unless I am mistaken) and am wondering if it will translate well for both formats, console and PC.

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