It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
First off I would like to state that I have only played the Beta up to level 35 with one Class, Gladiator. I also got all the alternate combat classes, such as Lancer, Thaumaturge, etc, up to level 20. These are my impressions from what I have experienced through out the Beta. The main story line and mass of the content was only up to level 20, there is still a lot to be added. So, mind you, these are my impressions from what they have released, ad we were able to experience.
I have never played FFXI, nor have I played the 1.0 version of this game. My mind and perspective was a clean slate as I started playing this, having no prior knowledge as to how the game would be, I just knew it was an MMO and a Final Fantasy game.
The character creation is nice, it gives you a lot of details to hammer out in order to maek your character unique among the rest. Most races have two tribes too choose from which give you a tiny insignificant difference in the stats, maybe 1 more Str or 1 more Int, nothing overpowered in that aspect. You also give your character a birthday and a "God Sign" which is essentially a change in their innate elemental resistances. The character creation system was pretty good. It could have been easier to backtrack and change something, but there were quite a few options too choose from. Overall it was a neat experience, and helped too make your character seem alive and unique. As I made my character and logged in, I was greeted by a pretty cinematic, and then a wagon ride to town where I would start my adventure.
1. Starting the journey.
The area in which I arrived was a sort of Desert city, named Ul'Dah. An NPC beckoned me over, and he made quite a bit of small talk, and then sent me off to the adventruers guild. One of the first thing I noticed upon trying to figure out where to turn in my first quests, the Map is very off putting and hard to understand at first.
When you hit M to bring up your map, it brings up a small, localized map that has various interactive 'links' that you can click on, such as a staircase or a gate that lead you to another zone, that will then change the map to whatever link you happened to click. It is very, very hard to figure out how to navigate it efficently without running yourself in circles, and is honestly quite time consuming when trying to figure out how to get from point A to point C. There is little done in order of guidance with the quest tracker, aside from there being a golden Arrow on your minimap to show you the direction in which too go, there is little means as to how you are supposed to get to your destination. There are orange/red circles on your map which show the area that you need to go fro certain quests, such as "Kill monsters here" or "Franks house". The quest log does very little to guide you to your destination, or even to tell you how to get there. Overall the map is a very unpleasant experience, and it all seems overly mechanized, clicky, and convoluted.
Ok, no big deal I thought, it's still in beta no sweat they will polish it up before reelease. So I continued on my adventure in Ul'Dah. As I continued picked up coins for rich people, delivering letters and notes and cookies to little Suzy Q, I was quickly getting bored with the game. It very much so seems like this game was built for the PS3, and for casual/new gamers. I felt no sense of urgency, no sense of excitment, and there was quite hoenstly far too much dialogue between NPC's. Not once did I feel like my character mattered or was making any sort of impact in the story. Not only that, you don't fight mobs for days! I was already LEVEL THREE before I even left the city to kill a monster. Sure, you have the option to just go straight oustide, and start fighting mobs, but you would be doing so naked. You have a couple ragged items equipped, and a 2 damage weapon. It's best to stay in town and get a few pieces of gear Via quests, and then go out and fight.
2. Squashing Bugs.
Upon finally making my way out of the desert villa, I engaged in battle with a Small Ladybug and I thought to myself, "Wow. That was lame. Am I lagging? Why am I just standing there?"
The auto attack speed seems inconsistent and unreliable. I spent most of my time in combat waiting for my eternal 2.5 second Global Cooldown to end its tyrannical reign over the battlefield so I can use another Fast Blade. I'm only level three tho, it will get better, right?
I would also like to mention that they have introduced a way of quick travel which are essentially Way Points, called Aetheryte Crystals. Each major outpots/City has a Massive Aetheryte crystal, and a few smaller onces scattered throughout the sity. You can travel among the Greater Crystals, for a fee, via your Teleport command. You are also able to travel amongst the smaller crystals, but they require you to Click on said crystal, and have the Crystal you want too travel to activated. Thank god for this system too. It is one of the saving graces in this game, without it I don't think I would have been able to take this game seriously, with all the running back and forth, considering you can't mount in major cities, this system seems quite necessary.
3. Delivery Boy
As I continued playing Messenger Boy Delivery System 2013, teleporting back and forth, I noticed a continuing trend. Go here, talk to him, come back to me. Repeat until exhausted. The quests are repetitive and monotonous. There is very little variety in what you do. Even into the more 'higher' levels they have you do the same basic thing. Talk to people, give them a letter of bottle of wine, and come back. One cannot complain too much about delivery quests, but when it gets to the point where the majority of the quests are these, you need to draw the line somewhere. I spent probably 30-40% of my total earnings in this game, just on traveling between zones for quests. Of the 91 side quests, 21 story quests (100%) and 15 class quests, I would say a good 65% of them were fetch quests. You are sent from town to town, if only even to say "Hey, are you ok? I heard you were sick and was sent to check up on you." To which the NPC responds with 8 pages of dialogue, and sends you directly back to your Quest Giver. I probably ended up spending 4-6thousand Gil on teleporting, which was probably 70% of my total Gil Consumption. Including Potions, some crafting materials and repairs, I probably spent 8,000 Gil total, leaving me with about 22,000 as of the betas final hour.
As I grit my teeth and carried on with the game, they introduced Hunting Logs, which essentially is a hunting quest that can be completed once for each class. Each Log has 10 tasks, and there are 5 logs total, as of the current beta. Each task usually requires you to kill anywhere from 4-8 of 1-3 different species of enemy. What it boils down too, it's just a grindy mob killing quest. It really seems like it's just filler content only there to help keep you leveled with the current area and your Main Story quest. Without it you would most likely fall behind in level, as there are very very few actual quests in the game. (*On my level 35 GLD, I have 21 story quests, around 15 or so class quests and 91 Side Quests at level as of level 35) i can recall a couple times where all the quests were Red (Unattainable) and I had to go repeat a few FATE's and do some LeveQuests in order to carry on the main story. Not that it's too terrible or anything, but I think they should have the main story flow a bit better, it seemed all too chopped up and here and there.
They also have what are called "FATEs" which are very similar to the Dynamic Events in Guild Wars 2. They are static events/quests that respawn every so often, and you get more exp/coin the more you participate in said FATE. They, along with Hunting Logs and LeveQuests are the only way to level an alternate class, as once you complete your story quest, or any other regular quest, you cannot do it again. Thankfully, they are adding in a Bonus Exp system for alternate classes. I'm not sure entirely how it will work, but there is some speculation that you will get 50% additional exp at level 1, and then minus 1% bonus per level gained. So at level 10 you would get 40% bonus, and at level 20 you would get 30% bonus etc etc.
So on top of this, they added "LeveQuests" which I mentioned above. They are repeatable quests that you are only able to do one every three hours, via an Allowance System that accumulate over time. You can have up too... I think it was 30 allowances at a time, and up too 15 active LeveQuests. When activating a LeveQuests, you have the option of setting the difficulty up to 4 levels higher than its attainable level, making the level 10 quest level 14, which increases net Exp and Coin gain from it. If you fail the LeveQuest, get Disonnected or otherwise don't complete it, you lose 1 Allowance, and have to start over. In order to accept an LQ, you must have one Allowance. In order to initiate the LQ, after the first try, costs another allowance. I really don't like the system as a whole, and I avoided every LQ I came across, unless I NEEDED the exp and there were no FATE's around.
When you finish an LQ you have the option to teleport back to the LQ Giver immediately, which is nice I guess. You can complete LQ's an infinite number of times, pending on the amount of Allowances you have accumulated. I have had a few times now where I have had an empty quest log, and wasn't high enough level to progress the story, having done every quest, hunting log, and a few FATEs along the way.
Anyway, back to my adventure. Whilst exploring the lands of ... Eorzea? I was constantly plagued by loading screens. Why they decided to chop the game apart into little pieces and throw in loading screens is beyond me. It really did a lot to ruin the sense that, you are in an open world, the environment is real and alive. Games have been Fully Loaded/No Load screen for over a decade, it's not new technology, and it's not GPU intensive. (in fact this game is very easy on your system) It really ruins any aspect of Awe or entrancement that would be in the game, there is no magic too it. It's just loading screen after loading screen. It seems you can't go more than 100 yards without running into one. That isn't too terrible though honestly, it doesn't kill the game. One of my biggest grievances is the fact that there are invisible walls E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. You have ZERO option for exploration and adventure.
The entire time I was playing I felt boxed in and claustrophobic, as if the world was shrinking in upon me. If you want to swim over the river to the other bank to fight that mob, no, you cannot. You must walk half a mile around the small body of water to the other side. You want to climb that hill and get up on that cool rocky outcropping and look around? Nope. Invisible walls bro, go wank yourself! You can't even jump off the dock down to the platform below you in order to save yourself 15 seconds. It's really just ridiculous the amount of restrictions they put in the game! It may just be because it's beta, but the amount of invisible barriers is too damn high!
The zones seem hollow and empty. Sure they have nice graphics and a good theme to them, but there is no life. I must say tho, the foliage in this game looks like it was cut and paste from a ps1. It's choppy, it stands out like hunter orange, and does not blend into the envirnoment at ALL. It's horrificly bad, I hope they fix it. The quests are few and far between and they never seem to have a neat/fun or non "UGhhh..." quest. I do not want to play Delivery Boy/Messenger Boy sim. I want to play an MMO RPG with great active and thrilling combat with decent enough quests to get me by and keep me occupied. Aside from that LeveQuest system being flawed, the zones, despite being well designed at a graphical stand point, leave something too be desired. The game doesn't innovate much in terms of game play. The Crafting system is pretty cool tho. In order to craft an item, you need the appropriate materlas, tools, and profession. Say you want to craft an Iron Ingot. You go to your crafting area, equip your Blacksmithing or Armorsmithing Class, and bring up your crafting menu. When you do this, a window will appear with the Items Durability, which is dependant upon the item, and it's completion. In order to increase the items completion, you must manually forge the item, with an ability that is hotkeyed. Your success rate is dependant on your Crafting Weapon. Each time you Fail, it reduces the items Durablity by 10. IF it gets to 0 durability, the item breaks, you lose your mats, and must start over. It adds a lot of involvment, and it's pretty cool. You also, once high enough level of crafting, are able to increase the quality of the item. The same system applies. But it is quite risky, as you need a LOT more attempts at increasing the quality than just to craft the item, so it has a great chance to break. There is a massive downside to this. You cannot bulk-craft. You want 150 Copper Bars? You gotta mash them out 1 by 1 by 1. You can't select "Craft All" or "Craft 20" which is very upsetting. But, Beta. Maybe that will change.
6. Crossed Classed
Once you gain level 10( I think it's 10), you can cross class. You are then able to go to the Guild of whatever Class it is you want to learn, be it Archer or Pugilist, and they give you a simple quest that takes 3 seconds to complete, and then you now are able to equip that Classes Weapon. Classes in this game are dependant upon what sort of weapon you have equipped, and you must first learn the class before you can equip the weapon. Every 5 (I think) levels in the current class, adds one "Cross Class" skill that you can then use from what ever Main Class you want. Say you have a 15 Archer, 15 Lancer and a 25 Marauder. You could have up too 3 MRA Class Skills as a level 15 archer or lancer, or any combination of skills up too what ever your level is divided by 5. If you are level 25 with all classes, you can have up to 5 skills from whatever other classes, mix and matched. The downside to this is that, you don't get too choose any skill, there are only a few skills per class that youc an cross over with. All in all it's an amazingly awesome system, I really dig it. This alone is probably the selling point of the game.
7. The Big Cheese
Once you are level 18 or 19, you embark on what was the final quest line of the Beta, and you make some 'big' decisions at this point. Some shit goes down, don't want to spoil things so I'll keep it vague. You are able to choose one of three Grand Companies, which are basically Factions to attune too. If you played WoW During the Burning Crusade Era, think of the City of Shattrath. You have a few different factions to align with, and depending on which one you choose, various quests and items become available. It's a pretty cool addition, and makes you feel like more is going on in the story and that things are getting heavy. Upon completion of these quests and joining a Grand Company, the Beta gave me a sad note that this was the end of the Phase 3 Beta content, and I ran around confused as what to do now. There are still dungeons and other areas you can explore, and you are still able to level up to 35, so I kept playing in order to see what else the game had to offer. I'll end this here, and get into what I feel about the game more deeply and some of my thoughts behind it.
8. Harsh Reality
Regardless of how well put together the Class/Job system is, that is the only thing this game has going for it. Everything else pales in comparison to other MMO's. Despite some of the rather poorly designed aspects of this game, the one thing that would otherwise be able to hold things together and keep it fun and entertaining and have you wanting more, the Combat System, sucks more than anything else. It is THE WORST aspect of the game and the most boring combat system of any MMO I've ever played.
The combat system in an MMO is the pinnacle of the games core and design. Who want's to play a game that isn't fun too play? Definitely not this guy. And for that reason, I have given up hope on this game and I fear It is going to fail just like the previous rendition did. It has many of the same problems, and many new problems that the dev's refuse too recognize and address. They are running horses with blindfolds on, not paying attention to what is going on around them, only wanting to get to the finish line ahead of the rest. Well, let me tell you something, run as fast as you want, but ignoring the fact that you have lost your jockey won't win you the race.
The combat in this game is really, really holding the potential of the game down. It's sluggish, bland, and very lacking in terms of engagement and the pace is far too slow. This game is a serious lobotomy in terms of combat. In games such as Tera, I would mindlessly grind just because of how fun and badass the combat was. Guild Wars 2, even only having 5 abilities, was still fun and beautiful too look at, the animations were smooth, blended well and looked gorgeous and I felt as if I were actively engaged in combat. All the classes feel the same in this game. Whether you are shooting arrows, punching things, or chopping them with a 2 handed axe, it's all just, far too watered down and shallow. It's too tasteless and it's boring as hell quite frankly. The Global Cooldown defies the space/time continuum and exists in multiple eternities casting it's everlasting presence into your very soul. You spend more time waiting for the GCD (which is 2.5 seconds) than you do anything else. It is beyond frustrating, it kills the game. Aside from the GCD beyong the devil, there is no depth to the game and its combat. There is nothin gtoo keep you on your toes. Sure, there are boss mechanics that require you to dodge the Smash attack or Avoid the flames, but that doesn't help the fact that combat is boring and slow. The way skills interact with one another, and how you use them, and the time between using said skills, is what makes it boring. For instance, Thunder, an instant cast Damage over Time, triggers the GCD, all 2.5 seconds of it. Why even have this be an instant cast? Even abilities that AREN'T on the GCD and don't trigger the GCD, still have a huge delay within themselves, as do potions. Often times you will have to mash an ability 3-5 times before it actually activates. Again, beta. This could be a bug, I don't know. But it is evern farther lowering the appeal of this game as a whole.
Some ideas I have come up with for the combat system. Nothing too major, just small changes that would make a world of difference.
Right now, it feels very very slow. The archers in the back are just sitting there, and then every 2.5 seconds you see them fire an arrow or two. The Mage just spams Fire or Blizzard. The Conjurer Spams Cure and occasionally throws out Medika. While I (The GLD) am Spamming Fast Blade and Savage Blade, once in a while I'll throw in Shield Lob to pick up a stray patrolling Mob, or I'll spam flash. Other than that, that is the basic gist of combat. It is very slow, which brings me too my next point
By reducing the GCD, a lot of the combat issues will be remedied. Combat will pick up its pace, and feel a lot more fluent and thrilling. having a shared 2.5 GCD on 77% of the abilities in the game, is not fun, nor is it difficult. It adds no depth of strategy or tactics in any way, so please, don't argue that it does, because it doesn't in any way shape form or fashion. The time you spend in battle sitting there doing nothing, just waiting for the GCD to come off so you can use another ability is far too long. If you accidentally Shield Lob the wrong monster, and your CNJ Gets aggro, you are going to have a hell of a time getting that mob off of them, with only being able to attack said mob once every 3 seconds. That alone is annoying enough. By reducing GCD, you can have more options to more abilities over a shorter period of time. More actions per minute give you a feeling of involvement and necessity, you feel like you are actually doing something, rather than just sitting there waiting for the mob to die. Of course, reducing the GCD would increase your damage out put and TP drainage significantly, but this can be remedied by a simple change in formulas/numbers.
The battle system is also very basic, and consists solely of a boring rotation, with very little wiggle room or variation. There aren't any proc based abilities, and there are very few abilities that aren't on a 30+second timer. I'm going to throw out an example from World of Warcraft, a game most of us have played, or at least heard of. The Warrior talent tree has talent that gives Devastate a 30% chance to instantly refresh the cooldown of the warrior abilitty Shield Slam. Sword and Board I believe it was called. It added a bit of depth and involvement in the combat system. This is just one exampled that there are very many of. There are no sort of mechanics like that in this game. Nothing at all even remotely similar. My suggestion would be too add something similar, too keep the combat feeling exciting and involving, not just the same monotonous and repetitive 1-2-3 type of combat that it currently is built from. These are just some suggestions off the top of my head. I'm only giving some sort of feedback that I think would help improve the games combat dynamics, and make it more fun. Not standing in fire, and kicking Pyroblast aren't fun, they are just... regular ass boss fight mechanics.
Which is another reason why this games combat is shallow as the sweat glands on my anus and has absolutely ZERO depth, it's just too simple and boring, not to mention god awful slow.
The rate at which you acquire skills is pretty damned slow. Gladiators should have Fast Blade Savage Blade and Shield lob by level 6 as well, and please, give them taunt at level 15. It was very frustrating not having a Taunt for the first few dungeons, and it really doesn't make sense that you don't get it until I think it was level 24. Acquiring more skills sooner opens up a lot more options earlier in the game. It helps you figure out your rotation easier, and is just more fun. More fun is always good, and this game could use some more fun. They also need to introduce more skills that aren't reliant upon the global cooldown. As it is now, each class only has 17 skills total.
When you think of combo, what do you think of? Do you think that hitting somone 3 times over the course of 9 seconds is a combo? Or do you think hitting someone 6 times in 3 seconds is a combo? As it stands, the way combos are put together in this game is absolutely laughable. When initiating a combo with Fast Blade, you can then use say Savage Blade(200 efficiency) or Riot Blade(200 efficiency+MP gain). It's nice that you get a small bonus for following up with one of these abilities, but it's not a combo, and it doesn't have any sort of 'combo-esque' feel too it. It just feels like a slightly augmented ability.
What I think would be a good option for this, is too have Follow-Up style abilities, that can be used after the initiator. When you activate Fast Blade, you can then immediately follow up with either Savage Blade or Riot Blade, with the additional effect. This would apply too other classes combo abilities as well, with each certain combo having different outcomes and effects based on the abilities that were used in a certain order. It would make combat magnitudes more fun, add an immense amount of depth, and create all sorts of new possible rotations and "best" combos.
Limit Break. Hands down the most Iconic ability in all of the Final Fantasy saga. When you gain limit break, your enemies know that their demise is soon to be upon them. Climhazard. Omnislash. Lionheart. Blitz Ace.
These abilities were the orgasm of my gaming youth, and they are still the most savage abilities in any RPG so far. (with exception to Mirror Slice and Sword Dance ;P )
So far in FFXIV, I disregard the limit break function as a whole. I often have to tell my party members "Hey, some one pop that stupid Limit Break...thanks.." I have never used it, save for once or twice. I always tank dungeons, so I've never needed too, and it didn't really seem like it did anything. Gave a slight Def Boots for about 6 seconds? Cool story bro. What I propose be done with Limit Breaks, is this...
When Initiated, grants a massive Defense and Boots too the party, and increases Enmity generation by 200% for 10 seconds. In addition, all party members cooldowns are refreshed and generate TP and MP instead of consuming said resource.
This would be an incentive for Tanks to use the Limit Break as a sort of "Oh shi!" button. It would be awesome.
When initiated, all melee DPS perform of series of blows on all enemies in front of them, based on your Class, over 3 seconds. In addition, you gain a 15% increase to Physical Damage dealt and your Global Cooldown is reduced by .5 seconds for the next 10 seconds.
This would be a great "Burn" tool for bosses, or to clean up a large group of adds. It would provide great utility to any class and bring a hell of a lot more depth to the game than the standard melee LB.
When initiated, all ranged allies unleash a torrent of firepower down upon your enemies, adding additional status effects depending on class, and transferring all Enmity to the marked Tank (Think Tricks of the Trade, or Misdirection). Damage dealt is based on class type. Example. Archer: Slows enemys by 30% for the duration. Thaumaturge: Ignites enemies causing damage over time.
When initiated, a divine healing aura rushes over your allies, healing them for (insert balanced amount) and causing them to be shielded for 20% of their maximum Health for 4 seconds. If the shield is not broken, the shield then heals them for half of the amount shielded. In addition, Mp Regeneration and TP regeneration is increased by 100% for as long as the shield holds. I don't think I need to give an explanation of this one. Basically just a "omg save me" button.
Given the lack of skill trees and major character development, excluding the few skills you get from a Job/Cross class, something that I feel would be a vital addition to the game and provide an incredible amount of depth, content, and character development. Espers.
I'm sure some of you, if not a lot of you, have played Final Fantasy 3(6). If you have, awesome, it's an amazing game, with some amazing systems in it, such as the Esper System. Depending on which Esper your character had equipped, the stats they gain upon level up would differ. In addition to bonus stats, you could also learn Spells and Abilities through a Jp system that would require you to gain X amount of JP and it would unlock one of the Espers abilities.
What Espers were essentially what you could use to further mold and define your party members to make them ever more powerful. I'll throw out a few quick examples.
Another thing that I have a small problem with, is the scrolling combat text.
In dungeons, and out in the world, when some one is attacking the same mob that you are, their damage shows upon your screen, and you can also see their personal Buffs/Debuffs being applied and the on screen notification for them. It may just be that they have not enabled the options, but it really needs to be looked at. The ability to disable notifications of your allies and surrounding players buffs and debuffs, as well as the damage they are taking and dealing. Please, let us disable seeing players damage and buff/debuffs. It's beyond annoying, provides nothing to the game, and just clutters up the screen. Nobody cares how much damage the Archers Straight shot hit the mob for, no body cares that the Pugilist just gained Coerul Stand and lost Opo Opo Stance. It's annoying, and we really need some options here. I don't want too see the Pugilist's stances 8232 times in a row as we are fighting. I honestly thing they should have the entire combat UI/Hud be entirely cusomizable. I don't want my damage displaying the name of the ability that did the damage, it's just dumb. An icon of the ability would be fine, but I'd prefer just the number, thanks.
All in all, with Phase 3 beta coming to an end, the game was not a very pleasant experience. I know it is still in beta, but there is barely a month left until it is set to launch on August 27th. I know I probably came off very negative at some points, and I apologize for that. You may label a lot of what I said as hyperbole or exaggerations, but it's just me. I just want to give my honest opinion about this game. It has so much potential that is being squelched by silly nuances and lazy design, it is very unfortunate that this game, in my eyes, has a good chance to flop again, just like the original FFXIV did.
Thank you for reading! I hope you got some information that you were looking for. I would still play the Beta if you can, or perhaps they will release a sort of Trial version of the game. It's worth a play if you can, but I honestly don't think it's worth 30 bucks plus a 15 dollar sub fee. I would pay a one time fee of $40 no problem, just to be able to see what all the game has too offer.