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[Column] Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn: And So It Begins

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We are pleased to introduce a brand new column here at MMORPG.com that will specifically cover Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In the inaugural column, we take a look at the changes between the original and now and what we hope will make the FFXIV experience truly reborn. Read on!

FFXIV is a bit of an oddity in the MMO universe.  On the one hand, it’s an attempt to relaunch and rebrand an MMO – something rarely attempted in the industry.  On the other hand, we are in many ways looking at an entirely new iteration of Final Fantasy.  It might be more apt to refer to this as FFXIV-2 than to simply think of A Realm Reborn as the second launch of FFXIV.  This makes writing about FFXIV a bit complex.  It is simultaneously the story of an existing game’s evolution and a new game’s development.

Read more of Ryahl's Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - And So It Begins.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon
    RYAHL! What the heck man!

    Good to see you here! :D

    Have some milk and cookies. :D

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • EildaliorEildalior LondonPosts: 3Member
    Nice to see FFXiV: ARR listed on MMORPG.com :P
  • DomotoDomoto Carson City, NVPosts: 82Member
    I am actually very excited to try it. If this pans out it could be a really big deal in the history of MMORPG's. Yoshida was a great choice to head this project in my opinion and I look forward to what he is doing for the game. I liked some parts of FF14, but it did have some major issues. Hopefully this pans out and I can't wait to give it a go.
     
     

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  • RyahlRyahl Houston Metro, TXPosts: 47Member

    Hello there Victor, Eidalior and Domoto!

     

    Victor, it's good to be here too.  I liked your 'teardown mentality' article.  Now that I have my hanlde built I probably need to start adding comments on those. :D

     

    Eidalior and Domoto, absolutely its great to see FFXIV-ARR moving along.  While it's very much a high-stakes play by Square Enix, you have to give them props for doing the right thing.  If this works, SE may have created the road-map for fixing a dead MMO.

     

    Ryahl - writer of eye-bleeders
    FFXIV Fansite | TSWGuides
    Follow me on Twitter

  • EtherignisEtherignis philadelphia, PAPosts: 246Member
    Looks awesome
  • Tbia88Tbia88 Richmond, VAPosts: 12Member
    I hear so many mixed reviews about it, really just want to get my hands on it and play, make my own opinion about it and not care what everyone else thinks.
  • HeroEvermoreHeroEvermore salem, ORPosts: 672Member
    Can't wait to try this. Looks so good now. That old engine was SO BAD!

    Hero Evermore
    Guild Master of Dragonspine since 1982.
    Playing Path of Exile and deeply in love with it.

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member

    If the first attempt at an MMO was so terrible that they essentially had to apologize and start over, I kind of wonder if starting over is actually a good idea.  I mean, think about it, they are essentially doubling down on the investment they are making in the game, except when the second version launches they have a lot of negative energy to overcome in addition to all of  the usual hurdles a new MMO faces.  If A Realm Reborn crashes and burns they are going to lose their pants on the investment versus how much money it makes.  Based on how most MMOs that are not WoW are doing, this seems like a bad idea.

    Might have been smarter to let this one die.

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • RyahlRyahl Houston Metro, TXPosts: 47Member

    That's an interesting point Raventree, and it represents the primary idea that FFXIV-ARR has to overcome if this reboot is to succeed.

     

    The thing is, FFXI (their first MMO) didn't crash and burn.  Indeed, it has one of the better long-term sustained customer base (back when a half million accounts was rocking).  Considering the age of FFXI, a revamped FFXIV could easily bridge technology generations and help keep a sustained subscriber base.

     

    I think the "die or restart" decision had to have happened (and did happen) last year.  At some point you have to decide to (a) pull the plug or (b) put it on life support.  Option (b) is the normal response (see Vanguard as an example of a similar failure).  SE has taken option (c) and chose to just start over.

     

    I'm with you on the musing as to whether it might have made more sense to simply choose option (a) and then start a new product.  However, I can see where letting FFXIV fail as badly as it was going to fail might have created a permanant blight, keeping SE from ever getting back successfully into the MMO market.  It may turn out that option (c) was the only viable path - albeit a risky one.

     

    That said, I'm less convinced the MMO problem is a genre problem.  I'm more convinced that the problem lies in bad product/business design decisions (not unlike the FFXIV launch).  I looked at MMO subscription levels in a blog editorial earlier this year.  While I think there is room for a Box+ business model, I don't think the subscription model itself is inherently flawed.  Poorly excuted by many, yes, inherently f lawed - I'm not so sure.

     

    Anyhow, thank you for the read and thanks for the comment.  You may very well be correct in your final assessment - it should be interesting to see how this turns out.

    Ryahl - writer of eye-bleeders
    FFXIV Fansite | TSWGuides
    Follow me on Twitter

  • ZizouXZizouX Burbank, CAPosts: 670Member

    Great summary of what has happened and what is expectec to happen.  I played FFXIV on and off and a lot more once Yoshi-P took over.

     

    I am waiting with cautious optimism about FFXIV ARR.  A lot of my friends are in alpha... they all love it, but i'm a little worried about the combat.  If the combat is deep, and rewarding... i will be playing FFXIV for a very long time.

  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon

    was that jumping in the gridania vid???

     

    *boggle* JUMPING!!!!!

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • runedragonrunedragon ThursoPosts: 49Member Uncommon
    Me n my daughter cant wait to play this together, she is excited about mounted chocobo combat, as for me I would love to own a moogle.. *prays we get our own moogle*
  • VismalVismal Montreal, QCPosts: 9Member

    I...I really want to play ARR...I whitheld playing FFXIV due to it's issues, and by the time most were fixed, I was playing other games.

     

    Really looking forward for BETA sign-up and putting the effort at bug reporting and polishing the game to have it held up high as any proper FF game should.

  • RyahlRyahl Houston Metro, TXPosts: 47Member

    Thank you all for the comments.  As with all of you, I'd love to see an alpha/beta invite, but I can play sideline observer patiently for a while longer.

     

    @Vismal, I know what you mean.  I'm working on information for the next column and, suffice to say, I'm finding myself wishing I'd gotten back into FFXIV more this past year.  Yoshi-P's team put a lot into 14, but as you note, there were a lot of other distractions out there.

    Ryahl - writer of eye-bleeders
    FFXIV Fansite | TSWGuides
    Follow me on Twitter

  • sudosudo Tel-AvivPosts: 697Member Uncommon

    I can't wait to get back into FFXIV... Have already decided that I'll be buying a new TV to play it on when it's out :P

    "Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
    Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
    Hans Margolius

  • zevni78zevni78 grimsbyPosts: 1,133Member Uncommon

     

    I wouldn’t have bothered to visit XIV 1.0; despite Yoshi's work it was still very fundamentally flawed. Unless you could afford pay for a sub for the legacy status and not play it.

     

    As to the controversial quests and combat video, it is important to note that was a low lvl demo that doesn’t apply to the 1.0 vets that are hating on it, as they will start at 50 for most classes. Questing is more minimal than other mmos as exp chain grinding is more valid, and the 2 classes in the combat section where the least effective at that level to show the changes.

     

    There is also a backlash from people who actually somehow liked 1.0, even before Yoshi took over, it is important to remember their tastes do not reflect the overwhelming majority, and as a very vocal, if largely now irrelevant minority they create more controversy that reflects the games potential success among a general audience. In short, they had their chance to convince the world and the devs of Tanaka’s “vision”, the majority get their FF mmo now.

     

    Also the degree to which people are making up their minds based on 4 mins of Alpha footage indicates that there is a lot of closed minds out there with no patience, I think after all Yoshi has done he deserves the benefit of the doubt, at least until open beta.

  • ZizouXZizouX Burbank, CAPosts: 670Member

    @zevni.... I agree.  

     

    On the other hand, people felt royally screwed by Tanaka's FFXIV.  It's hard to ask people to be patient and give it a chance.  They already did, and it was horrible.

     

    I am actually one of those who loves what Yoshi-P has done.  He will get my "benefit of the doubt" and then some because I experienced all of the changes since he took over.  I have every class at 50 btw.   However, if the gameplay is boring, with no depth, I won't hesitate to leave.  I think what Yoshi-P has done is epic, but it may fall short.  That's not his fault.  Most deves get 3-5 years to create an mmo... he was given 2 years, where half the time was spent on fixing the old version and the other creating a new one.

     

    REgardless of what happens with FFXIV ARR... i'm a fan of Yoshi's and will check out anything he works on.

  • zevni78zevni78 grimsbyPosts: 1,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ZizouX

     

     people felt royally screwed by Tanaka's FFXIV.  It's hard to ask people to be patient and give it a chance.  They already did, and it was horrible.

    Yes, but that was the old team, Yoshi doesn't deserve such distrust (though Tanaka does, no question), nor does the game as it's built from scratch, we need to keep reminding people it seems. Yoshi made the absolute best and bravest call from the start, they literally couldn’t be doing more to fix XIV. But it’s a difficult balancing act, Yoshi has to make ARR appeal to a broad audience, and the 1.0 fanboys, and the FFXI fans, and both of them seem to expect him to cater just to them.

     However, if the gameplay is boring, with no depth, I won't hesitate to leave. 

    Fare enough, however remember it may be that most will judge the game at launch, and ignore what happens after, but Yoshi has made it clear that many great elements may not be in time for launch but be part of the first major update. Not saying it deserves a 3rd chance, but spread out your play time and wait a few months before deciding if its worth subbing longer.

     REgardless of what happens with FFXIV ARR... i'm a fan of Yoshi's and will check out anything he works on.

    Me too, I just hope he doesnt need to change projects for a long time.

     
  • gooshgoosh sebring, FLPosts: 19Member
    Let me first say that i played ff11 and i played 14 from alpha 5 and I was lucky enough to get into ARR alpha . Although I cannot go into details of the game I can say Its a compleate 180 from what it was.  Load times Graphics usability and alot of other things have been done to cater to the fans . If you had an account or if your thinking of playing Dont think Just do this Will be an amazing game . SE has listened to its fans give them the benifit of the doupt just get rdy to play because its just pure raw unadulterated epic awesomeness
  • zevni78zevni78 grimsbyPosts: 1,133Member Uncommon

    Indeed goosh, if you choose to fixate on out of context clips of quests and combat you can convince yourself ARR is a WoW clone, boring etc, but when you are playing the game the quests and combat are just part of a broader experience that flows very well, and is light years ahead of XIV 1.0. Though I admit my positive attitude is of relief at first, due to the standard features I could get into socializing, exploring, crafting, etc and find the fun for myself. All they did was provide a familiar starting point.

     

    After 2 yrs of waiting I am ready to sub.

  • RyahlRyahl Houston Metro, TXPosts: 47Member

    I think the mistaken emphasis on the quests and combat video are over-emphasizing those game elements.  As with Zevni78, I think xp-chaining, mob camps, strongholds/dungeons and other game play elements will provide a number of character advancement alternatives.

     

    Really, if you look at the evolution of FFXI and FFXIV, you see an attempt to create a number of game play systems.  The player then becomes free to choose which system they want to engage each play session.

     

    The static quest system added to A Realm Reborn is, probably, best viewed as simply one more system in the game play process.  Keep in mind, you have a number of adventuring jobs to level, those quests are just a single step along that road.

    Ryahl - writer of eye-bleeders
    FFXIV Fansite | TSWGuides
    Follow me on Twitter

  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,537Member Uncommon

     

    At first I was annoyed at blatant comparisons since the game has less than 5% of the total content the released product will have.  Then I realized that if people are already comparing it to one of the most successful MMO games on the market just based on the very limited knowledge they have, or videos shown... Then the game's in a pretty good shape.  If alpha is being compared to WoW when it's in such a puny state, I'd imagine it'll do good when more than 5% of the game's systems and mechanics are available.

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • zevni78zevni78 grimsbyPosts: 1,133Member Uncommon
    That's an interesting way of looking at it.
  • MagiknightMagiknight McKinleyville, CAPosts: 782Member
    I will be thrilled if it overcomes the odds and doesn't suck
  • DomotoDomoto Carson City, NVPosts: 82Member

     

    Originally posted by Ryahl

    Hello there Victor, Eidalior and Domoto!

     

    Victor, it's good to be here too.  I liked your 'teardown mentality' article.  Now that I have my hanlde built I probably need to start adding comments on those. :D

     

    Eidalior and Domoto, absolutely its great to see FFXIV-ARR moving along.  While it's very much a high-stakes play by Square Enix, you have to give them props for doing the right thing.  If this works, SE may have created the road-map for fixing a dead MMO.

     

     

     

     

     

    It's definitely a risky move, but I have to give them credit for it. They could have very well scrapped it as you said, but I think that the safer road isn't always the best one...at least this one has a chance to yeild some awesome results.

     

    14 was a game I wanted to like, but just couldn't due to it's issues, mainly the coding/optimization...there was no reason my rig should have had such a hard time with it, and I was very glad to hear that is one of the things they are working on.

     

    Since I started following ARR, the main thing that has stood out to me is that you really get a sense that the new team is taking this game to heart and seem like they are genuinly excited to let people experience 14 how it should be. Whether or not that's just business or not one will never know, but I like to think it's the former.

     

    FF offers a great world for someone to experience, and if done correctly this time I will have found my new MMO home for a long time.

     

    It's definitely going to be difficult to get over the initial bad response, since a bad opening usually means death in the MMORPG world, which is why the re-boot is so interesting to me. For lack of a better metaphor, ARR having a phoenix story I think would be pretty amazing.

     

    The proposed changes so far all seem really solid and definitely put the game on the right track in my opinions, some may disagree but I think many of them are exactly what's needed to give this game the chance it needs.

     

    In the end, I am enjoying seeing how things are going almost as much as I am looking forward to finally getting to try ARR itself and can't wait for even more news to come out. I will definitely be following your coverage of the game Ryhal and I am already impressed/excited to see you have responded so quickly in the thread. Just like Yoshi-P having a close relationship with the players, it makes things like this that much better!

     

    On a side note, I still can't get over how amazing the End of an Era cinematic was ( not that I expected any different :D )

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