New Final Fantasy XIV player experience
Hello all, I picked up the demo for FF14 about a week or two ago and decided to get the full game, after leveling up for a while and hitting the minimum level to post I decided I'd post my feedback on my experience with the game, the good and the bad.
Initial character creation:
Lots of options for the character creator, would have appreciated some sliders of various kinds for all the different parts of my character but I feel that the current options are good enough as is. Overall, I really enjoy the visual style of the game, the characters look cool. It's really confusing though how you can select a world prior to character creation then select a world again after you've made the character. I'd strongly suggest removing the one at the end of character creation, it's unnecessary, just let us pick the server prior to character creation.
Just starting out:
I picked Gladiator because I love playing tank classes but I didn't like how the beginning cutscenes really dragged out and even then after I logged in I got a ton of quests just to run around and explore various parts of Ul'Dah. I did have some appreciation for the game guiding me around the city to help me learn it, but all of those quests right off the bat is a lot of text and a lot of running around. I feel as though it could have been made in to a single quest chain with one step at a time so it doesn't feel as overwhelming and I don't have to backtrack as much.
Another issue I had while running through the cities is the ffxiv gil seller spam, it's REALLY bad. I've never seen it this bad in any game that I've played before, I've nearly run out of room on my black list for all of them, there needs to be something done about them but I don't know what. Maybe restrict whispers until level 10? May seem heavy handed but it would slow down all the spam I get from these level 1's. The spam and the regular notification tones from the tells got really annoying, I eventually messed around with the settings and got the tone disabled, but the constant whispers and friend invites are awful.
I have to make another suggestion about this, give us the ability to simply right click and report the player in question that should automatically put them on your black list. Another really annoying issue is that you can't blacklist someone that spams you with friend invites.
Combat and questing:
So after getting through the intro quests the game finally let me outside so I could hit things, I have to say I really don't like this 2.5 second GCD, I brought up a lot in the Realm Reborn closed beta but I see they didn't change that, it makes the combat feel really slow. Another issue I brought up which I see (unfortunately) wasn't changed is the incredibly annoying mechanic of having to manually select the item for a quest turn in adding a completely redundant step to the "Click on NPC, Select reward" process. I'm not a fan of that either.
As for the combat itself, besides being a little too slow for my taste, the attacks themselves and the animations are pretty flashy. Combat looks good and the attacks themselves "feel" satisfying to use, I just wish it wasn't so damn slow.
Another really big issue I have with the questing is the choices of gear from them. Granted games like WoW do that where you can choose from the different items as a reward but WoW only allows one character to be one class. If you are going to have a player be every class, then you should give them all of the item rewards from a quest. The class quests are especially obnoxious about this when every piece is an upgrade for you. If you aren't going to let us repeat quests while leveling up a new class, why not let us use the class quests to completely gear up while leveling a new class? It was a perfect opportunity.
A final issue I have is the level requirements on quest rewards. I get you don't want lowbie players equipping raid level gear, but at the same time getting an upgrade from a quest but not being able to equip it right away feels terrible. I'd say for a compromise, make the levels of the quest rewards equal to the quest level itself. Or conversely, say a level 5 quest gives you a piece of gear with a level 6 requirement, then the exp reward alone should be enough to get you from 5 to 6 with no further effort on your part.
I thought it interesting, it did a decent job of introducing characters and rather than having me just assume I knew who these people were it at least tried to characterize them. That aesthetician NPC for example, is amazing, that cutscene with him was one of the greatest things I've ever seen.
Overall all three factions were interesting to me, I ended up selecting the Flames but I have another thing I dislike about the progression system in it. Getting a chocobo for example, rather than farm up the 2k seals I feel as though it should have been more of a "congratulations on getting this far through the story and beating that Primal, have a mount" instead of "welcome to our company, go do leves for a mount." Additionally, for the advancement in rank and getting gear, it's way too grindy. I'm fine with all of the seals on the gear, but I believe that rank up shouldn't cost seals, I felt as though it should be based cumulatively on the seals you acquire.
Still have that annoying time limit. Not too pleased by that.
I am however pleased by the actual content itself, the dungeons were pretty fun and engaging and I had to actually work to maintain aggro on enemies, good times. I also met a lot of really cool people that were very understanding about me not knowing the dungeon mechanics and were more than happy to teach me the various fights, so I want to express gratitude for that. Not all of them were nice though, I got some really obnoxious people that thought it would be funny to spam macros with sound effects in them. Why can't we put people that act like that in the dungeon finder on our black list? It doesn't make sense.
Or at least give us the option to right click their name and report them for spamming which (like in other mmo's) should automatically put them on ignore and (ideally) stop us from ever getting put in a group with them again through the duty finder. It's also not really clearly told how to unlock the various dungeons that aren't related to the main story quest, maybe put some sort of special notifications on the NPC's that send you there? I don't know, make the question mark above their head blue to match the icon for dungeons on the map.
Low level dungeon healing was pretty easy, I would say that the longer gcd made me be more strategic, but only having 1-2 spells early on didn't really give me a whole lot of options or strategy. Although when I did copperbell as healer, my tank was so busy tunnel visioning the boss I ended up having to kite all the adds on the last boss while keeping myself and the party alive. It was pretty intense and kept me really engaged, especially after I managed to keep all of them and myself alive while kiting something like 20+ giants.
I appreciated the way gathering classes are done, for some people walking around farming items is boring, but I actually enjoy this style of gathering. I find it very relaxing to put on some music and just run around gathering for an hour or two. I loved being able to select what I wanted from each node, having a built in stealth to avoid combat, and having the option to do leves when I didn't feel like gathering myself.
Very clearly explained recipes with a very simple interface, awesome.
Ability to buy a lot of the side items you craft from a vendor that's right there for a reasonable price and unlimited qualities, also awesome.
I didn't like the extreme difference between the exp rewarded for auto-crafting and the ones you craft yourself, I feel as though it would be better to just make the exp rewards equal once you have crafted a certain amount of item. Kind of like gaining mastery of a specific item, so say a copper ingot, once you make say 50 of them the autocraft gives you as much exp as a full quality bar.
I understand the retainer system, but not giving players immediate access to a storage bank is a little ridiculous in my opinion.
I really enjoy the game's music. The story quest with the old remixed final fantasy battle theme in Ul'dah was awesome.
Did I mention the aesthetician NPC? Because he was hilarious, I want to see more quests with him.
Gold Saucer hit me right in the nostalgia.
Why aren't all chocobo porters connected? Seems like a no brainer.
Attacking an enemy should automatically dismount us from our chocobo.
Speaking to an NPC shouldn't dismount us from our chocobo.
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