Final Fantasy XIV was fun while it lasted

I finally, finally played an MMO yesterday, the Final Fantasy XIV beta. I suppose technically it wasn’t my first MMO ever, but it’s the first time I’ve ever ventured further than mucking around with the character editor.

I found the experience illuminating. I’ve avoided MMOs because they come burdened with such complexity, and FFXIV isn’t much different; thankfully, it also comes burdened with self-awareness. FFXIV (well, A Realm Reborn, anyway) reflects a conscious effort by its creators to lower the barriers to entry for newcomers, which is much appreciated. I know MMOs take a lot of crap for always starting out by sending players into the grounds near the initial town to kill a handful of low-level creatures, and FFXIV does the same, but now that I’ve actually undertaken the task I frankly can’t think of a more effective method for getting players up to speed on the specific mechanics of such a convoluted system while offering them some valuable experience and gold. Even stripped down to be console-friendly, FFXIV‘s interface presents players with a jumbled mess of an interface, all tiny type across a dozen HUD elements. I murdered harmless ladybugs and ground squirrels, and I was grateful for the experience.

Beyond those initial clichés, I could see myself becoming terribly hooked on FFXIV. It’s reportedly extremely friendly to solo play, which means I’m probably doomed to muck around for ages just wandering the land and ignoring the story for hundreds of hours like I did in Skyrim. Or I would be, anyway, if Square Enix’s login system weren’t a total load of butt that refuses to recognize my account password, even when I reset it through the client and enter the new password on the very next screen. It’s frustrating, because I actually really enjoyed what little I got to play of FFXIV, but maybe the game is just trying to protect me from myself and my own compulsive RPG habits.

So, farewell, FFXIV. It was nice making your acquaintance, however briefly. Somewhere, deep in your recesses, an eleven archer who looks like Morena Baccarin dressed as Amano’s Celes Chere is languishing at Level 4, pining to complete a handful of quests for friendly NPCs in the opening town, standing mutely in place while obscenely named heroes (“Johnson” is a surprisingly common surname in Eorzea) run past her.


That’s no way for such a lovely lady to spend the rest of digital eternity. Such a pity.

5 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XIV was fun while it lasted

  1. I think because its a public beta the ffxiv servers are just getting hammered, shame about the login problems.

    I had much the same experience, not an MMO person but found myself having an enjoyable time with the beta, but i also found that 99% of the time all i did was push forward. most of the starting quests have you going all over the quite large main city, which means lots of walking forward.

    after two hours or so i couldn’t play anymore, my thumb was cramping or something, i found out there is an auto run option but i couldn’t take it anymore. I know that the game is designed for PC where you are just holding down W, but pushing forward on a stick for two hours is significantly more strenuous.

    gives me the feeling, along with the interface, that it won’t be super friendly towards controller players in game design

  2. The password thing is probably because of their overly strict IP tracking in regards to logins. The solution (albeit annoying one) is to download the free security token app and use the randomized second password with your account.

    I mean, if you want to bother.

  3. I had a lot problems logging in during the PS3 beta, too. After I finally figured out how to make it work I played it for a weekend. That seemed like enough to me

  4. I’ve never played a game as much as I have FFXIV. Though I love it all, I think the job system is what really appeals to me the most. It’s nowhere near as robust as FF Tactics (or even FFXI), but the ability to change at ease on a single character holds great appeal to me. And while the majority of the game is super-accessible, endgame stuff is still tough as nails and (sometimes) requires perfect coordination. It just has something to offer everyone.

    As for your login problems, I’m guessing that’s due to the PS4 beta and a recent Steam sale.

  5. That’s too bad about the technical issues, but they just dropped a new patch and opened up the PS4 beta just this last week, so I would definitely recommend not giving up too easily and giving it another shot when things calm down. I play it on PC, and while it’s not a revolutionary MMO by any means, it evolves on the traditional formula in a way that pleases me immensely. It’s solo friendly, nice and slow paced, but still has high levels of difficulty in spots that require good play and coordination. Most other MMO’s I’ve tried I always quit after a couple months, but I’ve been playing ffxiv since launch with no sign of wanting to stop.

    Also, since you’re been my game-writing hero since the early 00’s, I’d love more than anything to see a steady stream of analysis of the game on your site, so please don’t give up! :)

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