I don’t think I’ve ever been as conflicted about an MMO as I am with Final Fantasy XIV. As I said in my initial post, it seems as though for every great aspect I identify, there’s another that’s off-putting or annoying. After a week of playing it, taking advice from friends and guildies, and trying to keep an open mind, I find myself formulating one of those pros-and-cons lists to help me decide whether or not to proceed in the game.
- Final Fantasy XIV is undeniably gorgeous. Screenshot bait is everywhere and I have a folder full of great pictures of the landscape and various critters. I wouldn’t call it the prettiest MMO I’ve ever seen, but top five? Sure.
- There’s a robust list of emotes that’s easy to access and use. Small thing, but some MMOs slack off in this area.
- The community that I’ve encountered is absolutely terrific. Not only do people in general chat actually talk like civil people, but the free company I joined (the unofficial “blogger guild” on Cactuar) has made my gaming experience quite pleasant. It’s been great to see and talk to many online friends, and everyone’s been patient with my barrage of questions.
- I like the idea of a character being able to switch classes and acquire cross-class skills. I didn’t take advantage of it, but I like that it’s there.
- I never felt lost. The game’s quite linear in how it directs you around, and for the most part I was able to track the story and slowly gear up. A few quests had fun rewards, such as pets and emotes.
- As I said last week, I got a serious case of adventurer feels just walking around the pretty zones. It’s kind of like smelling something that reminds you of your childhood and wanting to chase that memory as much as possible.
- Everyone I’ve talked to keeps encouraging me to stick out the story, raving about how it progresses and especially the Heavensward expansion.
- Does the combat get any better? Twenty levels, and I’m slogging through some of the slowest, dullest fights of my MMO career. The global cooldown here is killing me.
- Looking over lists of classes, jobs, and skills, I’m not seeing a lot that personally excites me. That’s a serious blow to my interest, because looking forward to fun abilities and character development is a major motivational factor to my play.
- The nodding. The nodding. The nodding. I know I’ve lambasted SWTOR for repeated gestures, but this is just eyerollingly repetitive.
- And while I’m on about gestures, I am not connecting with my character or NPCs in the story. All I can think of is how SWTOR and TSW delivers story so much better, and in that comparison FFXIV falters.
- The Final Fantasy setting and tropes are much more of a liability than a reason to fanboy gush. That’s a personal thing, and I know what I got into when I stepped into a FF game, but it’s only served to reinforce how little I like the franchise these days.
- The humor is weird and silly and juvenile. I mean, I like silly humor, but I suppose the line is when it stops being relatable and is just… bizarre. The hairstylist quest? The quests where the game forces my character to do ridiculous dances? I kept backing away from the computer, shaking my head and muttering, “No… no…”
- The sub-only option makes this a hard game to only casually play.
I actually wouldn’t have a problem keeping this on my hard drive indefinitely if it was F2P or B2P. As it is, while I definitely appreciate some parts of the game and enjoy the company, I’m not hooked yet. Will it happen with another 10 or 20 hours? I have no idea. When I signed up, I paid for a month and then immediately canceled my subscription, giving FFXIV 30 days to convince me. There are still a few weeks left, so I’m not making a decision yet.