Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 19 June 2015
Alright! I have quitted this game before getting to the new expansaion (Heavensward) and played it from September 2013 to April 2015.
And you know what? It was about time.
The game itself is so extremely nice done that I got insta-hooked instantly. Actually, my cousin dragged me into this game as he is a fan of the series since PS1 and I was like "Okay dude, let's play this together". Welp, he quitted after completing 2.0 (the main story line if you want). I struggled for further 12 months or so. And the more I played it, the more I realized the big flaws of this game which I think are totally annoying.
But first, let's talk about the pro sides:
- The graphic style is very nice. Okay, that's a matter of subjectivity, but I am tired of the Tolkien-like fantasy games from the US. The characters are animated with incredible love to detail and in my time I kept making screenshots of various situations doing random emotions with strangers and it was good a laugh each time.
- The performance for this game is nice - except for the big cities. The game ran fine on my GTX670 except for Mor Dhona where it totally went down to 30fps and still people popping up. During dungeons, the game ran smooth all the time. Weird thing, with my new GTX970, the fps issues still remain on the same spots with no sense. There is a very small hallway in Gridania with shops and a bunch of NPC and the fps drops there, but looking all over a landscape with mountains in the distance and NPCs moving around was smooth 60fps.. I blame the engine...
- The Holy Trinity - Yes, I think Tank, Healer and Attacker should be in games. Each of the roles felt nice (except for tanking, I can't do that) bascially. But over the course of time I realized how poorly executed this is.. (see below).
- Game Masters are totally nice. Yep, I had an incounter for AFKing in a dungeon and got 1 day suspension *cough* but the GM I talked to in this weird prison was a cool and funny guy. Should pump that video finally up on Youtube. On the other hand, the support (and/or GMs) seem to barely care about their own rules and judge randomly. (See below)
- The races and the customization. Genderlock? Nope. Different races? Yep. Different genders? Yep². A sh..tload of character customization? Yep³. Your character can look like you totally want it. There are so many menus it made my head spin. Change the colour of the eyes is possible - for each one different colour. Tattoos, facial hair, everything can be coloured. This is just a great place for people like me.
One thing I can not give any feedback about is the music. I turn the music off in any game because..where is it supposed to come from? Does my Lalafell have an iPod? I could not find any in my ingame inventory so far...
Now to the bad things .. which are a shame.
- The so-called casual gameplay. Well, this is the biggest complaint from my side. This game is advertised as "casual". Casual, at least what I understood, does not necessarily mean to play a bit and progess a bit due to players not having enough time. Square says this game is casual, but it ain't. To get items of whatever sort, you need to farm. Cool. I am fine with that, but I need and want progress. So you can farm stuff by doing dumb things on your own (my choice) or do it with a party/FC (Free Company, the game's term for guild). Since this game is casual and I am apparently a socially incompatible jerk, I tried to go the first way. Guess what? It sucks. Big times.
I could have gone into a dungeon to get a better weapon. But if I go into a dungeon to farm it, I'd need a group. And that'd mean I am not a casual player, because I would need to dedicate a fixed amount of time to keep up with the groups running dungeons. So, there is only one way left. And this way that is left is horribly executed. You have to do super stupid things like waiting for a certain FATE (random event) to spawn. This however does not spawn for like 30, 45, 60, 90 minutes. So I sat there, can not switch to my desktop, can not leave the area, can not leave my own friggin room to take a dump because that FATE could appear. Final Fantasy 14 is the first game that is designed to not be played. It wants you to sit there for hours for some bullcrap to appear so you can move on the next bullcrap on your list. And repeat this for 14 times. To get one useless visual upgrade. Yeees. Sounds fun!? No? Good. It isn't fun. So let's say you have 90 minutes a day, and that fate does not appear, you basically start up the game to... wait.. and shut it down 1:30 hours later because nothing happened. Wooow!!
- The nerfs. Or: "The rubber band effect". Or in yet other words: The "adjustable difficulty". The game has two currencies: Gil, as the regular gold replacement and so-called "Tomestones". These Tomestones can be traded for several higher level items. They have slightly worse stats than those found in dungeons but for people like me, farming these gained me access to equipment required for higher dungeons. That's actually the only casual part of the game. To be able to farm it slowly. At least for certain things. But those Tomestones have been replaced thrice during my stay at the game. Each time, the old stones getting a huge inflation and the new ones are introduced and capped. And that's totally ridiculous and a slap in the face of veterans. Imagine: I have farmed my item level 100 stuff for literally months. Because the current Tomestones are capped for a week you can't just farm your a..s off. That's totally fine! I got all my level 100 stuff and was happy, the months of farming was worth it! And then? Bam. Nerfs. The Tomestones I was farming for were becoming useless. Every simple thing you do you get them thrown after you. So I farmed several months for my black mage and scholar to get iLevel 100 stuff and now some nub who started just a few weeks ago is at the same level?
This is so dumb and the reason why another player left with me.
Square once said it's supposed to put new players faster into engame and "make them veterans". HOW? It's the real opposite. While I had to fight rough iLevel 50 -> 70 -> 90 -> 100 they can simply start to farm iLevel 100 stuff. Skipping 60, 70, 80 and 90. So they skip content. And if you skip content, you don't learn the game. As said, that is such a nonsense. The best thing is to play the game, cancel the subscription, wait for Square to nerf everything and grab everything way easier with increased droprates and stuff. And this inflation happend 3 times. Tomestones of Philosphy, of Strategy, of Poetry,... All the farming effort wasted so some spoiled new players can jump right into endgame.
- The support is very questionable. Or the GMs' decisions if you wanna go that far. When you're getting vote-kicked out from the end of a dungeon so they can replace you with a friend of them who simply don't want to play trough it they can do it. Nothing and no one will stop them. Even when they clearly say that in the chat, the support says "No violations of the rules"? WTF!? When I go AFK in a dungeon (as read above) I "interferred with other players" according to the email. Well, that's what the vote-kick was intended for but abusing is no violation? Okay. Another reason to stop feeding incompetence with my money.
- Certain things are just out of reach for casual players. I totally agree with "no pain no gain". But some stuff is literally inaccessible. Basic stuff like dying high-level clothes. Instead of making certain colours hard to get they make the entire feature hard to get in the first place.
- The fighting system in this game is so dumb it's worth a facepalm. As long as you play you don't realize because the dungeons are difficult enough by dodging and stuff, but in the end, this game is not about real skill, it's about how to memorize patterns.. You also can play Dance Dance Revolution or something if you are in that sort of a game.
- You can learn all classes. Another dumb pseudo-casual decision. So a black mage, which learnt how to "burn your foes" (quoted from the guys in Ul'Dah) suddenly turns into a healing white mage because .. you put on a different job stone? That's ridiculous. I'd be fine with like "1 mage, 1 tank, 1 warrior" sort of a thing. So being a black mage, a bard and a warrior is perfect possible. But switching classes like no tomorrow is terrible - and also kills any sort of immersion. Even within groups, you (or others) are easily replaced because everybody can be everything. "Hey, Tom is not here, who's gonna heal? Oh wait, I can do that. Fine! Let's go!". Back then, when I started MMORPGing, I was a priest and nothing else. And when I was not there, there was another healer. That's fine. Now everybody is everything and if they don't want you to join their raid for whatever reason, who cares, because Bill, Hank, Frank, Dmitry or Samuel can take your seat.
- The story sucks. Especially how it ends. After 2.0 and to the Heavensward update it appears to be super lackluster. And the end of the REALM REBORN storyline is such a big pile of garbage.. I guess they just wanted to end it quickly to make people buy the expansion. I can not tell too much for possible spoilers.
I could go on a bit on major gameplay failures but I think that's enough. The core problems are clearly described. About people obsessed with speed runs (and forcing you to skip cutscenes which you CAN NOT re-watch in the inn [those with player characters can not be re-watched because there would be the need of dummy characters. Those cut-scenes are in Castrum for example]) or with total "OMG, you pressed SPELL A instead of SPEL B, no we are 4 seconds slower I gotta kick you out of the FC" brats and stuff like this, but that's not quite in Square's hands. Actually, the community is quite nice if you find the right people.
So, I do not regret the first 10 months or so. But the other time was clearly a waste with nerfs to items people farmed the hell out of the game and random decisions, a elitist community of back-seat drivers telling you what to do while the party performs fine (the answers to questions nobody asked)..
Quitting this game was a good decision, however I can't find any decent replacement which is not set in a Tolkien universe where midgets are dwarfes with long, filthy beards......