Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eorzea Journeys II

It’s been an interesting week in Eorzea. In the real world A Realm Reborn has been a smashing success at least critically. Since SquareEnix still hasn’t opened digital sales, I’d assume they did alright on that front as well. On the personal side I had some internet issues. Sometimes I’m not quite sure if [Name withheld] is my internet provider or my bookie, considering how often they seem to take me to the cleaners. On the positive side I’m ramping up my experience gain as I grow more accustomed to FFXIV. I’ve put my race to 50 for my Monk on hold a bit to try to get more dungeons cleared in the main story. Playing the Marauder is a bit of a jump from the Monk but it’s similar enough to get me over the humps fairly easily.

I’ve been exploring or at least clearing the various maps. You get a very nice experience bonus per region open up on your map, as well as a tenfold increase when you have a 100% map completion, much like Guild Wars 2. If I had to give some advice on map completion it would be to hold off until later levels. In the early 40’s I was getting 10k experience on map clears.

I’ve been looking at the previews of FFXIV on the web and the various comment sections to try to get a feel for people’s reactions to the game. One of the things I’ve noticed is that at least early on people seem more likely to dump PUG’s than I feel I’ve experienced in other MMO’s. Just having come from SWTOR and TSW in terms on dungeons, it’s been a totally difference experience. On one hand both those games are more than a year old and have long since been done with their labor pains, on the other hand I wonder if the enforced dungeon clearing is pushing people to be less civil than normal. I suppose in those games everyone in a dungeon is there because they want to be, but it’s something I’ll keep an eye on for now.

The best thing about FFXIV continues to be the fact that any class is open to every character you create. Furthermore it helps kill that staleness that is so familiar to MMO’s. With a few clicks of a button I can play any class I want to play. When I want to tank I tank, when I want to heal I heal, when I want to craft or go gathering that’s just what I do. At some point you start wondering why more games don’t do the same thing. MMO games are one of the only genres where learning from the past carries some kind of stigma. Can you imagine console FPS games trying to reinvent to the Halo controls from a decade ago; every single game risking being called a ‘Halo-clone’ because they used the same control-set? Moving forward in MMO development, I’d like to see more melding of what worked well in previous MMO titles. I’m still pining after the Ninja, but this has been another good week in Eorzea.

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