Final Fantasy XIV

When I told people I was giving Final Fantasy XIV a shot, I had dozens of questions headed my way. Here are just a few:

“What do you think of it?”

“How are you liking it?”

“Do you think it’s better than World of Warcraft?”

I’d love to answer all these questions in depth, but I’m only a handful of hours into the game. My highest level class is only 16; I’ve yet to do a single dungeon and really haven’t experienced much the game has to offer. If anything, a word that currently comes to mind to describe FFXIV so far is “dated.”

Of course, you have to understand that A Realm Reborn came out in 2013, eight years ago. Calling it dated isn’t necessarily a bad thing; World of Warcraft Classic is dated and I love that game and experience (mostly). There are going to be a lot of features, systems, and mechanics that are showing their age, which is absolutely the case here. Even so, despite my limited time with the game, I can see some unique features already that excite me. 

Let’s start with what is likely the elephant in the room for many new players to Final Fantasy XIV: the 2.5-second global cooldown. It definitely feels a little rough, and I’m told that it will work itself out as I continue to play through the game. Honestly, though, out of the three jobs I’ve played thus far (Rogue, Archer, and Marauder), it’s only been noticeable on the archer, and even then it was okay because I was able to shoot arrows while moving. In theory, this meant I had something to do in-between skill usage, which is all I ask for. Combat and gameplay at low levels of any MMORPG are, well, a tad bit boring.

One thing Final Fantasy XIV does to help alleviate this is catapulting you through the levels at a breakneck pace. Early levels aren’t entirely trivial, but you’re able to avoid any excessive grinding or filler quests. I’m able to stick with main quest lines instead of killing a million zebras to get ten hooves and question what on earth the quest designers were thinking and who they’re aiming to punish. Being able to actually play the game and not force myself to kill another enemy in hopes that “this one will drop the item I need!” is a godsend.

It’s just a shame that, after switching from my original job to a new one, I start back at level 1 and have to work my way up again. This is where the grind comes into play. Even with features like a hunting log that lets you kill a handful of enemies for bonus XP, FATEs (which is the game’s version of world quests), or the addition of new job-specific quests (which are gated behind levels), there’s still going to be a need to pick up side quests. At least on alt classes. Thus far, it’s been kept at a minimum, but it’s still a minor annoyance.

I’ve hit level 16 on my Rogue in about four hours. That included the ten levels that were necessary to level up the Marauder job, which I needed to do in order to unlock Rogue. While I encountered some back-tracking and fluff in reaching this point, I have to say that the time flew by. It reminds me of when we discover a new open-world RPG that we get lost in before realizing the sun’s coming up and we’ve been playing all night.

Final Fantasy XIV

Of course, as with any MMO, it helps to have friends to play with (and I do). But even so, Final Fantasy XIV has been a great solo adventure as well.

Here’s hoping that what awaits ahead is as good as advertised.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x