Posted by: Shagg | September 7, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV- Blatant Disregard for Any Disclosure Policies that May Exist Day 1

Hey everyone, this is Shagg. And yesterday I spent the whole day preparing to journey into the mystical land of Eorza on a mission to see if FFXIV was as completely awful as FFXI was.

Most of the preparing was downloading it and getting it to run properly.

I did, however, get to play it for a while, explore, kill stuff, and go to bed not hating it yet, so I will recount the experiences of my first day of Final Fantasy XIV here. Let’s start from the beginning!

The first thing I noticed was that getting into the game didn’t require the use of that PlayOnline system, which looked something like this:

Basically, to play FFXI you had to launch PlayOnline, go through the menus there and launch FFXI from PlayOnline. It was a pointless hassle and I doubt there were any redeeming qualities. Actually, while we’re on the subject of PlayOnline, let’s go on a little tangent about their first American outing:

This is the strategy guide for Final Fantasy IX. While Final Fantasy IX was/is a great game, the stategy guide… Well, this is how it worked. The guide basically told you very little about the sort of thing you’d need a guide for, for example boss strategies. Instead it would have something like “Need help? Then go type this code in on our website for a more detailed explanation.”

STUPID

Anyway, back to FFXIV.

The first thing is, of course, character creation. Also of course, I spent several hours fiddling with that alone.
The playable races are the same as the ones that were in FFXI, except they all have dumber names:

Humans, or Humes or whatever they were called, are now HYUR.
HYUUURRRR DURRR HYURPADERP.

Elvaans are now Elezen. I guess they can’t just call them elves?
It’s also worth noting that I don’t think they have bizarrely elongated necks anymore. Seriously, that was unsettling.

Tarutarus are now Lalafell. Mithras are now Miqo’te (gotta have at least one race with an apostrophe y’know!) and Galkas are now Roegadyn.

There’s a good chance that one of their meetings involved hitting random keys on the keyboard.

Anyway, the character creation allows for more detail than FFXI’s did and doesn’t have the characters prancing about doing stupid things. I’d compare the level of customization to Monster Hunter Tri; there are more options than there are in that game, except when color is involved.

Oh, and naturally they don’t have a proportion slider, only a menu to select heights (shortest, short, average, tall, tallest). What makes this truly bizarre is that breast size ends up being connected to the face you choose.
And only HYURRR and Elezen females can actually have varying sizes. Why is this? It’s a secret to everybody.

Anyway, me being me, the race I would end up choosing is pretty obvious!

Aww, she’s so cute! :3

Shagg: Haha aww
Shagg: When I picked a set of classes my mithra girl jumped startled and started looking at the clothes
Pink: *rubs forehead a bit* JAPAAAAAN! XD
Shagg: It was cute though
Shagg: HYURRRs just nod
Shagg: Because humans are boring
Pink: I know, but they are giving Mithra the stereotypical cutesy cat-girl personality. XD
Shagg: Better than the slutty one from FFXI?
Pink: …Suppose it is an upgrade, yes. XD
Pink: I have to say this, though…
Pink: PAAAAAAANTS! XD

Another thing: Within races, there are two subraces. They have slightly different stats and appearances and that’s basically all there is to say about them. (Of course, one of the elf subraces is basically drow.)

Speaking of stats, before I forget, the starting stats of the various races seem more balanced overall. At a glance, I don’t think you would be immediately screwed over by any race/class combination you chose.

Which means we move on to classes!

There are four categories for classes which are essentially fighters, mages, gatherers and crafters; the latter two are non-combat classes. Classes can be changed at any time by switching equipment around, but you’ll have to get the money to do that kind of thing as your starting class.

Fighter classes: Gladiator (swords), Marauder (greataxes), Pugilist (punching skeletons YEAH), Archer (bows) and Lancer (lances). Besides weapons, the differences are not immediately apparent.

Mage classes: Thaumaturge and Conjurer. The differences are not immediately apparent.

Gatherers: Fisher, botanist, and miner.

Crafters: carpenter, blacksmith, armorer, goldsmith, leatherworker, weaver, alchemist and culinarian.

The problems here are that it’s difficult to figure out exactly what the role of each class is, with the exception of non-combat classes; for them, it’s difficult to know how difficult their roles are. I think it would be weird, for instance, if goldsmiths had a lot to do early on.

The class I chose for my character was Marauder.

Pink: …They call THAT a GREAT Axe? I am disappointed! XD
Pink: And yeah… those are no longer pants… Those are hot pants with stockings barely clinging to them.

Pink has noticed something plaguing MMORPG character designs: Lack of pants for females. (You may also notice that the marauder has at least 4 belts. No zippers, though.)
However!

Shagg: Archers have those too
Shagg: Lancers seem to have leggings
Shagg: Glaiators and pugilists have legit pants
Shagg: Thaumaturge has robes, conjurer has pants
Shagg: Fisher is stockings, botanist and miner are pants
Shagg: And only 3 of the “disciples of the hand” have non-standard pants
Shagg: All in all, the amount of pants is surprisingly large
Pink: I cuncur. XD

Pants aside, character creation after this point asks you questions that, again, have no apparent purpose.
The first is your nameday and the moon you were born under (in other words, day and month of your birthday.) Under this system, my birthdate is THE 9TH SUN OF THE 6TH ASTRAL MOON.
The moon you were born under also corresponds to a “Guardian”, in my case NOPHICA, THE MATRON a.k.a. a fertility goddess. You are free to choose other ones, and they have no apparent benefits at this point so I just stuck with the one I was given for my birthdate. The differences are in the flavor text, here.

After this point you select your home city. The choices are a port city with a lot of pirates, a forest city, and a desert city. Not too different from the FFXI ones: Windhurst, and… whatever the other two were, I don’t care.

SALUTE THE WALL OF TEXT!

Incidentally, the Marauder class happens to be pirates. So my guild hall is on a swanky pirate ship. It’s pretty cool but I didn’t take any pictures of it so there.

The last choice is what world you want to play on.

Hang on, let me reiterate that:

A CHOICE of WHAT WORLD you PLAY ON. None of that random worlds or linkpearlshellthings nonsense from FFXI, where you had to have a friend blow their gil on something to let you play on the same server.
Now you just pick one. Also they are all named after towns from previous final fantasy games:

Fabul, Melmond, Bodhum, Rabanstre, Saronia, Kashuan, Trabia, Gysahl, Istory, Palamecia, Wutai, Besaid, Selbina, Mysidia, Figaro, Cornelia and Lindblum.

If you know which game all of those are from you win a prize! I sure don’t know. Fabul is from 4, Melmond is from 1, Kashuan might be from 5, Gyshal is related to Gyshal Greens, Istory sounds kinda familiar, Palamecia was from 2 since that was the emperor’s thing, Wutai is from 7 (stop stealing my materia Yuffie), Mysidia is also from 4, Cornelia is from 1 and Lindblum is from 9.

And then there’s Figaro which is from 6, so obviously I chose that one.

Something else I forgot to mention: Your character has to have a first and last name. Because of this I have yet to see any terrible usernames floating above peoples’ heads, except for one guy who’s name was Epic Fail.

ANYWAY, ACTUAL GAMEPLAY TIME!?

NO! INTRO CUTSCENE

“Buh?”

A voice in my character’s head tells her “HEAR… FEEL… THINK…” and she wakes up from her little cat nap on the boat headed to the port town. The importance of this voice has not yet been brought up again. I’m assuming the intros for the other starting cities are different, since sailing to the desert might be kind of silly.

The game doesn’t do much as far as tutorials go. It just throws you into a ship where you walk around and talk to npcs, fiddle with your menu and then exit the game to lower your graphics settings so the thing will actually run.

Gamepad controls do work pretty well, by the way.

This door is extremely ominous by the way. It hints that you are about to actually do some kind of gamepla-
STORY CUTSCENE GO

The ship is under attack by mutant jellyfish or something I don’t know, let’s just hit them with an axe.

The game actually does have small tutorial windows popping up at this point to tell you how to engage active mode, wherein you can initiate combat. Combat seems more active than FFXI or the standard point and click WoW clone, as there’s a stamina meter which determines which of your attacks you can use. I only have “light swing” at this point; after the tutorial fighting here I think I learned something called Treesplitter but I could never find it on menus.

For more detailed tutorials on the game, you have to find the crystal in towns or other areas which also act as warp points (they added fast travel) and view it from there. This is both good and bad: If you know what you’re doing you don’t have to play an unskippable tutorial section, but if you don’t…

From the crystals I learned that there are some attacks that require TP, which is built up as you attack and get hit. I think this was in FFXI, but the swings in that were painfully slow and in this you can do several in quick succession.

There’s also stuff about hitting from the rear and partially parrying and whatnot that makes this battle system at least seem more dynamic than FFXI’s. We’ll have to see. You can lock on and strafe around enemies, so maybe that has a point too.

After those two enemies, I gained a level both in raw character level and class rank. In FFXI I remember it taking an hour to reach level 2; in this, it took me under 10 minutes, and later on as soon as I did another quest and finally killed stuff again killing four rats got me to level 3. Signs point to less grind, and this is good!

Gaining a level allows you to put stat points and element points into your strength/vitality/dexterity/intelligence/mind/piety and elemental resistances/attack power, respectively. The game gives no indication of what these stats mean; you have to go read the crystal manual for that. (The stats are physical attack, defense, physical accuracy, magic power, magic defense, and magic accuracy, incidentally. I pumped everything into strength and fire this first level and hoped for the best.)

The abilities menu did not seem to show anything new, and I still don’t know if I actually learned something or if I was hallucinating.
Anyway after that, PLOT PLOT PLOT and a mysteriously obviously important character uses magic to protect herself and you (and none of the other crew members) from even more jellyfish and there’s a giant thing that almost destroys the boat and oh look, we’re in town!

Immediately we see a ton of players who have also just arrived from their individual copies of the same boat where the same things presumably happened. Because of the mob of players it took me a while to find the NPC I had to talk to, and from there I was shuffled into the pub and given a quest by the head of the Adventurer’s Guild; He gives you a link thing which lets you talk to him from anywhere, and sends you to a camp to activate a crystal which, as mentioned, is the fast travel and manual. The crystals also allow you to initiate levequests, timed missions (in this case, kill 3 rats (the fourth one I killed was the first enemy I had seen in a while so I needed to kill something)) which give rewards when completed and even restore your health and MP. Quests have difficulty levels to choose from too, for people like me who play by themselves in  massively multiplayer online games with monthly fees.

That was essentially my first day experience with FFXIV, as well as exploring the town for a long time and enjoying the awesome music (Uematsu composed it, after all). So far I don’t hate it, and I’ll be playing it more when I have time. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

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Responses

  1. Sounds pretty awesome. To bad I hate mmos.

  2. Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others…. he details were such a blessing, thanks.


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