***Disclaimer: I never blog or publicly write and I am sure there will be an absurd amount of grammatical errors written below so read at your own risk Grammar Nazi. ***
In the Beginning
So let me start by saying I have been console gaming since the original NES was released so I have 30 some odd years under my belt. I am the very definition of old school meaning I love single player games and always thought of video games as a personal experience. Over the past few years I have been seeking new video game experiences. I have tried VR, graphic novels, walking simulators, etc… in search of something to bring new life to my now going stale passion, but nothing seemed to provide long term enjoyment. I began to hear the praises of Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn/Havensword and did so for a few years now, but the game was an MMO and required you to purchase the game as well as subscription. So I pretty much ignored it even if I have a love for Final Fantasy games. This was until two weeks ago I finally decided to take the plunge and purchased the FF XIV ARR/HS combo pack.
Out with the Old and in with the New
Being a first time MMO player noob jumping into an MMO is ummm overwhelming to put it lightly. The amount of acronyms used in game and by players is enough to make ones head explode. The controls (on console) are vast and quite complicated not to mention the nearly unlimited display/HUD customization options… yikes. This is not a game to go into half-heartedly you must put the effort into it. Now with the terror aside what I have found in this game is a world teeming with life in the form of NPCs, Monsters, and of course the other ten million (across the entire game each server may very) players that are playing the game as well. Not to mention beautiful vistas that are striking and memorable. Also there are enough options to make your character unique and stand out from the crowd. There are so many helpful people on the game you are almost always never at a loss on what to do. This is a world I want to be in.
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
The foreign concept of not moving to avoid an attack (well with the exception of special attacks) is amongst some of the strangest I have encountered. While the skill cool downs are similar to the ATB of RPGs from years ago with the added complexity of technique points to perform these skills. Let’s not forget the importance on doing your job in whatever class you have chosen is monumental when playing with others. Fail to play your role and you risk killing the entire party. The list goes on and on of things that make this MMO different than a traditional game from Free Companies, to mounts, to dungeons, to guilds…. This game will have you sinking countless hours into it.
Ok I am sure at this point you are screaming at your monitor “What about the storyline man!”. Honestly I cannot comment on this much. From what I have played/been told the story in A Relm Reborn is anywhere from ok to terrible. I can confirm so far it is forgettable, but I have heard the story gets really good in Havensword so I look forward to it picking up. Some of characters (NPC’s) really stand out and are likable so at least they will help you on your way.
Closed for Business
So the question remains is this worth paying the entry fee as well as the monthly fees involved? For me the answer is going to be yes. I needed something to breathe new life into my hobby and this fits the bill. I know MMOs have been around for a very long time, but I have heard that FFXIV is amongst some of the best MMOs out there. Chances are you have already tried other MMOs, but if you have not and you are like me looking for something new I would suggest you give it a try. You can download the game with no expansion packs for $20 and this gives you 30 days for free you do not need Playstation Plus to play the game either. So yes it is a $20 gamble, but I am glad I made that bet.