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Few things before I start :
- Vanilla WoW was a 2003 mmo, FF14 is 2013.
- Sure, Vanilla WoW had a hard start in its first few months, but my comparisons have nothing to do with crashes, disconnects or ironing out coding problems.
- I'm still enjoying FF14, I will say the quality is not as good.
Ok, now that we have that cleared up.
The graphics of Vanilla WoW were cartooned compared to FF14, however WoW had more theme to their zones. Darkshore had no comparison to Westfall. Dustwallow Marsh didn't look anything like Tanaris. I'm sorry but I don't see very much difference between zones in FF14. Sure The Black Shroud has more trees than the rocky ground of La Nosesa but I'm sorry I just don't really see much difference. All three zones look 60% the same and may I add only three zones, but eventually you make to Coerthas at level 36 for a breath of fresh air.
Zoning and maps. We all know FF14 has small zones that would be hard to dispute. This has a lot to do with the release of different platforms. But PLEASE at least make one zone different from the next. Telaporting is a pain in the but alt least for me, you have to memorize what town is for what zone or your playing around between pressing the M key vs. the telaport list. This makes things disjointed in my eyes.
Fighting, Well, Fighting in FF14 is no challenge. Very few multiple mob attacks unless you back into something else. You know your gonna win ! Lets face it it's a sure thing unless you have that lazy minute where your not paying attention.
Exploration. WoW hands down...No caves, no major enemy outpost, no enemy controlled cities in FF14, in fact no caves at all. First time in a new zone and I already know whats over the hill " the same ". Remember that little cave under the water fall in Darkshore to the north. I used to be afraid to go in there at level fifteen !...Remember Mo'Grosh Stronghold in Loch Moden, you wouldn't even attempt to play around unless you had a group.
Personal story line. COME ON....This is stopping me from playing with my friends. I have to do this by myself. They have to do this by them selfs or you don't un lock things. That sucks !.... I see players in there 30s running around without a mount because they are trying to play their way, instead of being told what they HAVE TO DO. Personal story lines don't belong in an mmo.
Dungeons ..This may be an even trade off between FF14 and Vanilla WoW. FF14s are fun and hard but often short. I would devote an entire afternoon with a well oiled group, ON MY OWN SERVER from my friends list, doing Scarlet Ministry. The best days of my mmo experience was taking it slow and easy with friends on my server. Stop and chat, fight a little more. Hay, even make a new friend that lives in New York ....This is the fun of having deep rich long dungeons without a dungeon finder.
F.a.t.e's and hunters log......Make up for lack of quest and things to do.....Fillers !... Raucously easy stuff.
Crafting and end game....I don't know, I'm a casual player lv 37 doing what I'm told to do by developers to un lock my stuff.
Do I like FF14 ?....Yes, it's ok because I have a nice strong Guild, a few RL friends that we can que up with other strangers and have some group fun.