Final Fantasy XIV:
- The downloaded is awful. It took me two days to get the game fully installed with a good connection. P 2 P systems are a bad idea for patching, especially during open beta tests. Also, it ate up CPU like nobody's business and was unstable and just plain uncooperative.
- That said, once you get on, things are better. I haven't really played that far in, but the graphics are fantasic, and the animation work is beautiful. It's rare to see that kind of work in non-mmorpg games where there's fewer limitations, and it's almost unheard of in MMORPGs.
- The music and soundwork is similarly well done.
- The cutscenes are nice, well-integrated, and a great way to introduce the player to the game. It's definitely looking like a very story-oriented MMORPG.
- The combat system is different than FFXI, and a huge improvement. It's a lot less sitting around doing nothing. Still haven't figured everything out about it, since there's no manual with the open beta. From the looks of it, though, combat is real time with a gauge (labeled stamina) for your attacks which decreases each time you use them then fills up again. After using an attack too much in quick succession, it appears you hit a part of the gauge that fills up slower. There is no auto-attack.
- It appears it's possible to focus entirely on crafting/gathering and still level up. You can actually start off as one of the crafting/gathering classes.
edited 3rd Sep '10 11:43:40 AM by Miijhal
edited 3rd Sep '10 12:56:10 PM by Reflextion
edited 3rd Sep '10 2:27:54 PM by Miijhal
edited 3rd Sep '10 3:04:13 PM by Shlapintogan
edited 3rd Sep '10 3:14:58 PM by Shlapintogan
edited 4th Sep '10 4:06:26 PM by Shlapintogan
edited 5th Sep '10 12:28:57 PM by Miijhal
edited 23rd Sep '10 4:54:39 PM by Miijhal
- Combat: The combat mechanics are interesting. It's real time, and it has a nice pace. It's a vast improvement from FFXI's system, where you spent more time waiting than attacking.
- The death penalty: From what I can tell, not only is there no longer Leveling Down, but there isn't even EXP loss. Instead, you get a short-lived status effect which reduces your max HP and stamina regen, and have to teleport away.
- Job system: Your equipment determines your job, so you can switch at any time.
- Stats: The game uses a similar stat system as F 2 P Korean MMORPGs, where you choose where your stats go with each level. This would be awful, if not for one thing: you can reset them at any time, at no cost.
- Graphics: Oh hell yes. The game is beautiful, from both a technical and a stylistic standpoint.
- Animations: The animation work is wonderful. It's fluid, comes off as surprisingly natural, and even minor things like strands of hair are paid attention to.
- Voice acted cutscenes: Need I say more? It's a very nice touch, and a great way to introduce the player to the world. The fact that they integrate the players character into them just makes it all the better.
- The NPCs: I love the characterizations, and the humor. From the woman who immediately assumes that you're a psychopomp to the inn keeper who talks about measuring men's privates, there's some really... unique... dialogue in the game. It's definitely worth paying attention to.
- Solo play: It is, from the looks of it, possible. Quests give you the option of changing the difficulty based on the amount of players, which could be a major help in solo play. Levelling seems fairly quick, as well. I made it to physical level four in about an hour.
- The payment system: It works on a per-character basis, with a flat $10 fee plus $3 per character. If you're not an altaholic, you'll actually wind up paying less than you would for most MMORPGs.
- The updater: It uses a peer to peer system that makes updating a real bitch and a half. It probably wouldn't be so bad, though, if it wasn't for the fact that...
- The game hates you: It will do everything to keep you from playing, and everything to make your playtime as short as possible. The updater is full of bugs, and will refuse to close, fail to update, give cryptic errors in Japanese that don't go away until you restart the game, and takes absurd amounts of time to do simple things. Once you get into the game, you'll find a tendency for it to lag a lot while it loads the all the NPCs, mobs, and player characters around you. It helps to keep the graphics down, which is kind of disappointing. Finally, just to spite you, the game may refuse to close when you exit it.
- The payment system: If you ARE an altaholic, things can get expensive fast. After two characters you're paying far more than you would for the average P 2 P MMORPG. You probably won't need that many, but if you're like me and prefer to have two or three characters at once, and give your characters personalities that make certain classes unsuited for them, it's problematic.
- Lack of information: There isn't enough information on what to do or where to go. A more thorough tutorial would be lovely.
edited 24th Sep '10 1:43:39 PM by Miijhal
edited 27th Sep '10 7:40:26 PM by Miijhal
edited 27th Sep '10 7:45:42 PM by stevebat