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After about 200 hours spend in game, here are some of my thoughs about FFXIV. Will keep it simple +/-
REMINDER: This is my point of view, of course there are many points which are controversal!
+ Pay to Play (P2P), I have to stress this out. There is no in-game cash grab, it is full featured game where you can obtain everything and have no penalty towards others.
+ Polish, what a suprise. Twice launched, several years in "beta" test mode. The game is extremely polished in comparsion with recent MMO games.
+ Solid graphic (not the best on market, but defintely high standard)
+ True trinity system (to hell with non trinity spamfests..)
+ Combination of Theme Park and "FATE" grindish system allows the choice and offers variation to level up (however this has downside also, described in negatives)
+ Defined classes, goes along with Trinity. Every class has role and special abilities which make it unique. No Homogenization (yet)!
+ Immersion, the world is alive. Compare this to pretty much any other MMO and it wins.
+ Continious story line, once again shows the strenght of one main story that follows you from 1lvl till end. Story is OK and will interest you even if slightly.
- I'm from EU, absence of EU servers (and by that I mean datacenter in EU) is brutal negative that simply wipe most of possitive aspects
- Absence of PvP, the "wait and see" negative. There is three faction PvP coming but when?
- 2,5sec GCD is too long, I strongly believe that even 2sec GCD would make the combat flow better.
- End game is lacking, there are dungeons (1-2 at max level, only one worth doing though), several single boss no trash 8 man content and raid at the end which I haven't seen yet. The issue is rather, there is nothing else to do for 50lvl character beside the 1 dungeon, 3 single boss fights that drops weapon (two of them drops same quality weapon). This is another "wait and see" negative though as more content is coming.
- Having the stronger available armor sharing skin with quest armor at 50lvl is underwhelming. In general the amount of gear and customization is lacking.
- Multi class concept (one character to obtain any available class in game and switch by simple weapon swap) is excellent at first. However the realization that every other class you make after the first will have to be grind level purely through FATE events and probably Dungeons is killing the feature. Having absurd limits for any other characters on same account (example: you cannot send email to your first character from any alt.. there is no shared stash). This together makes this game probably the worst Altholic experience I ever seen.
If you are NA player, it is probably the best PvE MMO at the moment (ignoring WoW, those who are not fed up with that yet should keep playing it). In near future it may become even solid PvP game (again only for NA players). The polish, story line, immersion of the world will keep you till 50 level without any problem. Then it comes down to your personal preferences if you keep playing. For the small price it is MUST BUY!
Most of negatives are to be resolved in future by content patches, but I think too many of us had dealt with similiar situation in past to simply ignore these problems.
I would rate the game as 85% for NA player. And 65% for EU players. This rating is however ignoring missing End game and PvP.