After some frustration with servers not letting me sign up for the beta I finally coaxed it with threats and weeping to download the client for me. Now, after many downloads and patches sittings, I can give you some impressions of the game so far as I have seen it. You already know the premise so I won't bore you with details. I jumped right in and started with the big dudes, Roegadyn. I just call them Roegs. There are two kinds, as is the norm for all the races it seems. I picked the Hellsguard race because why would you not pick a race named Hellsguard? After some limited character customization I was in the game proper. Or was in some cutscenes anyway. Then after THAT I was in the game proper. You pick a starting city similar to FFXI. I picked Limsa Lominsa. Mainly as it was a coastal city and I like boats. The over all presentation of the game is very pretty. Though there is some issues of draw distance where textures farther away will get much higher bump mapping after a certain radius is reached. If that is the norm for the game or if my machine is simply not set properly remains to be seen.
Anyway the game proper is rather thick with its own mythology and rules. I wandered around a good bit of the city just trying to figure out where to go. By the way if you are familiar with FFXI then you will be familiar with the movement in FFXIV. You can still use the numpad for lots of movement but now the WASD is involved too as well as hotkeys on the keyboard. Tabbing at objects still works too though its hit or miss if it highlights what you want and it doesn't seem to work in first person mode. I got some early quests from the Adventurer's guild in the middle of the city where all the newbies start out at. I picked a Gladiator for my job as I was going for a tank class. Though switching to Maruader, my other job, was as simple as equipping that weapon. The catch is that you have to go into the menu system and change what Actions you have for that particular weapon. Also there is no auto attack, or at least I have yet to find it. You have to hit the attack button for every hit when your stamina bar allows it. There are different attacks you attain at different levels of course but you will start out with the simple light swing. How the magic users do it I have no idea. I will have to try that out later. The stamina bar is basically telling you when you can make another action, be it an attack or otherwise. Its fairly straightforward and doesn't take too long to get the idea.
Epic battle with a sheep
The other jobs available under the Discipline of the Hand, worker jobs, are support types that make items to be used in the game. I got a Blacksmith by buying a hammer and equipping it, that simple. Synthesizing, this worlds version of crafting, is done as you would expect. Taking object A and mixing with object B. Or different numbers of Object A and making a new object. Its not difficult to do but can take some getting used to to figure out how the process works. The Blacksmith has three modes of synthesis. Standard, Rapid, and Bold. Each of these work in a slightly different way. And depending on the object being synthesized and the materials used and your skill it can vary on how is the best way to approach it. I have yet to figure out how you can sell these items you make to other players except through Bazaar. Which means selling it myself. Though from an NPC in the game I am told I can hire 'retainers' that will sell them for me. They also do other things like crafting and such. Not sure how that works. Will find out later on though.
The quests in the game are know and guildleves. You have to get them from a guild to do certain tasks. The first ones you get are from the Adventurers guild and you go about killing various creatures of course. Certain areas have these nodes called Aetherates. I believe that is the right spelling. You touch them and attune yourself to it so when you die you warp back there. They also act as teleport nodes. You can teleport to any one of them you have visited before from your menu screen. It is very handy for getting to spots for your guildleves in a hurry and back to the town. Though you have a limited number of anima charges to do this with. What those are I have yet to discover or how to replenish them.
One really irritating feature of the game is that if you fail your guildleve for any reason you cannot redo it. It simply is gone. Seems a bit of a shitty way to handle your mission structures. Also you only have a 30 minute time limit or at least that has been the limit for all mine so far. I should point out that the Disciplines of the Hand and War have different types of guildleves. War ones involved what you expect, killing monsters for various reasons. But the Hand ones have you crafting items for clients. This not only levels your experience in that job but also raises your skill levels too. From what I can tell these Hand jobs *be mature* can act as support roles even in battle. How that works I have yet to find out.
Having played FFXI for a few years I can tell you that XIV is very similar to it in many ways. Though the graphical side is vastly improved the various new gameplay mechanics are still somewhat clunky in comparison. The combat is different yet it still has macros you can program in for a string of moves to be used. The quest system is the biggest change of all. Rather than go to random NPC you now drop in at various guilds for your missions now. Its more centralized that way but it makes some of the random NPC you see standing about seem superfluous and there only for window dressing. Maybe they actually open up later or will in the full game I can't yet tell. Suffice it to say that I am still learning this game and am actually eager to learn more. It keeps you interested at the least. If only to make you wonder how the hell to get new gear since there is no auction house.
Cya next time
I will drop in again to update you on some new findings as I come across them and give more detail once I have it. Stay frosty. read