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Should You Play Final Fantasy XIV?

Will Final Fantasy XIV be your new longterm MMO relationship?

 

It is no secret that I love Final Fantasy XIV, and if it was a secret then now you’re in on it. This MMO has a lot of the hooks I look for in a game, and once I purchased a subscription I never looked back. Not even at my former long term relationship World Of Warcraft. I adore the story, aesthetic, gameplay, and the community. And while admittedly things have slowed down in terms of content, there is generally still a lot to do and to be done in the fictional land of Eorzea. With the announcement of the Stormblood expansion I get asked quite frequently, “Should I play Final Fantasy XIV?” While the easy answer would be yes, everyone is different. Instead, I prefer to identify objective aspects of the game and then have people decide whether or not it is for them. I want to share with you key aspects of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and help you decide whether you should dive into the beautiful land of Eorzea.

FFXIV Is Subscription Based

From personal experience: this is the biggest deal breaker. A lot of people do not know that you must pay a monthly subscription to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, along with purchasing the game. I know that a lot of people simply can’t pay for $12 – $15 US dollars a month to play one game and that is completely understandable. Now if it is manageable to pay for a subscription, and the question is whether or not the game is worth paying for that subscription, we can continue with the rest of the article.

Tab Targeting Combat

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn mainly uses a tab targeting system of combat found in game such as World Of Warcraft, SWOTOR, and ArcheAge. You lock onto a target by either clicking the enemy or pressing tab till the enemy is targeted, and then you barrage them with skills from your hotbar. Similar to other MMORPGs, you also have a global cooldown that affects most of your skills, which means you can’t just spam skills until the global cooldown is done. New players complain that the global cooldown is too long but this was intentional because the game was also made for consoles in mind, and the developers didn’t want to put too much stress on those using a controller. I do enjoy the healthy balance of strategy and action in Final Fantasy XIV’s tab targeting combat. However, those who crave more twitch-based real-time stabbery and slashery will probably be turned off by the game’s slower paced combat. Keep this in consideration when thinking about purchasing Final Fantasy XIV because combat is integral to both the leveling and end-game experience.

Heavily Story Based

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Final Fantasy XIV’s story is fundamental to the experience. After you finish creating a character, you are immediately tossed into a series of introductory quests that introduce you to the lore and teach you game mechanics. There is a main story questline you will have to play through at intervals between those delightfully diverting fetch quests. While the game is open and you are free to explore wherever you want within the (confines of your level) some content is blocked until you do the necessary story quests. However, given the brand name of Final Fantasy, FFXIV’s story is unsurprisingly brilliant. As you play through the story, you become attached to characters and learn about the lore of Eorzea. It’s undoubtedly one of the best storylines told in an MMO. For those who don’t want to deal with a story or want to just a no-plot grindfest, this game is probably not for you, but for those who want rich story content, look no more.

Emphasis On PvE

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The amount of PvE (player versus environment) content in A Realm Reborn is immense to say the least. By the time you hit level 15 you are already doing dungeons, and the amount of content you unlock as you progress grows at consistent pace. There are an abundance of dungeons, raids, trials, and scenarios to play through. Raids and trials in particular have different difficulty settings for varying player skill, which gives them more replayability. There is also an abundance of non-instanced things to do in the world such as world events called fates, Beast Tribe quests, dailies, and more. While some of these tasks may get repetitive later down along the line, there surely isn’t a lack of content to be found here. With all that being said, the game has fun PvP (player vs player) content – it’s just a shame there is so little of it. Now I understand PvP isn’t the focus of FFXIV, but it’s important to note that it is lacking. There is 4v4, 8v8, Grand Company battles, and dueling, but the queue times for these are usually horrendous and there are balance issues with classes. The director of Final Fantasy XIV has stated there will be updates and changes to PvP in the future, but it remains to be determined what this will actually do for the PvP scene. Overall, if you are bloodthirsty for hacking part other players, this game is not going to satisfy your battlelust, but though PvP content falls short, the PvE content is massive and is mostly consistent in its quality control.

Cross-Platform

 

Final Fantasy XIV is available on PC and PS4, and both versions are cross server, so you can play with your friends even if they own a different system. There is also a PS3 version but the service for this will end in early Summer 2017 with the release of a new expansion. It’s important to note that if you have an account, you may play the same account on any of the systems listed above, but you must also own the license for the system. For example: if you own the PS4 version but not the PC version, you will have to also purchase the game on PC to play that version.

All Jobs On One Character

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Final Fantasy XIV’s job system is one of the most satisfying class systems in any MMO I’ve played. When you create a character you choose one from a selection of various jobs you want to start the game with. After hitting level fifteen you can choose to play any other jobs you want as long as you finish the prerequisite quest. You may switch through your unlocked jobs by simply changing the weapon your character wields, allowing you to try and play all the combat and crafting jobs. This eliminates the need to make alts to try other playstyles. You can make your character a tank, a healer, dps, or crafting mogul. If you decide you don’t want to focus on any particular role then don’t worry – there is no penalty. However, it is important to note that each job is leveled separately from one another so you will have to grind levels on those respective jobs you desire.

Other Features

These are fun features in the game that do not add substantial content but are nice to have.

  • Player and Guild Housing
  • Mounts
  • Minions
  • Chocobos!!!
  • Gold Saucer (a glorified casino)
  • Glamour (changing armor appearance)

Conclusion – Should You Play Now?

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If you’ve decided to give FFIV a go, but do not know whether to wait for the new expansion or play now – trust me, playing now is the best option. Final Fantasy XIV is heavily story based and any content within the last expansion, Heavensward, and the upcoming Stormblood, cannot be reached until you complete the main story questline leading to those respective expansions. Because of this I believe it is best to complete both the A Realm Reborn and Heavensward main quests so that by the time Stormblood comes out, you can start working your way through that sweet sweet content. If you are still unsure, there’s always the free two week trial for you to try the game for yourself. I love FFXIV, but I know not everyone has the same tastes as me. Hopefully with this article you now have the knowledge to make your decision, and with that I wish you the best of luck on your MMO search!

Nathaniel Terencio
Nathaniel hails from the San Francisco- Bay Area. He has a love of videography and video games and puts the two together to create content for your viewing pleasure. Other passions and hobbies include, DJing, watching anime, and Esports. Favorite Games: Super Smash Bros (ALL OF THEM) Fez, Legend Of Zelda Wind Waker, Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Super Mario 64, FF XIV
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