Sunday, 9 February 2014

EXPOSURES (VIDEO GAMES) -- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3)

So, I didn't blog last week. The reason? Well, it was Lunar New Year -- I am entitled to take a break that weekend. The real reason? I started playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I actually mentioned in my monthly recap blog that I might not blog that weekend, anticipating this outcome.

I bought this digitally months ago when the Collector's Edition was on sale for $15 for Playstation Plus Subscribers. Knowing how crazy-busy I was at work and knowing that logging into the game for the first time would start the free month trial, I put off playing it until now.

This is my first dive into a paid MMORPG (I think I will blog in the future about the pros and cons of paid vs. free-to-play MMOs) and I am pleasantly enjoying it!

NOTE: For the rest of this blog, I will refer to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as just Final Fantasy XIV.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Playtime Length (so far): 30-ish hours
Platform Played on: PS3
Language: English
Type of Game: MMORPG
Pricing Model:
-$12.99 USD for 30 days for 1 character per server
-$12.99-$14.99 USD for 30 days for 8 characters per server (pricing depends on the length of a fixed subscription)
Game-specific Details: I'm currently leveling an Archer class, Botanist class, and Weaver class. If at all possible, I want to level up as many of the crafting and gathering classes, especially Botanist and Culinarian (they just sound cool!). As of this writing, I am not part of a Free Company.

My Impressions
Well, I've been playing it every chance I get -- I think that means I am enjoying the game. The main story isn't grabbing me so far, but it makes up for it with pretty much everything else. There's just so much you can do! You've got: Main quests, sidequests, class guild quests, levequests, guildhests, dungeon-runs, Fates, job / class-levelings... I know there's more, but I just haven't unlocked them yet.

Of the various quest types, I currently enjoy doing Fates the most. Fates are timed events that pop up every now and then on the world map (in specific areas). They usually either involve taking out a bunch of specific foes or one big foe. If you run into the area and if you are within level, you are automatically in the Fate and can participate. If you are over-leveled, you have the option to "level sync", which would lower your level so you can participate. The thing I like about Fates is that it is generally quick (max 15 minutes long) and anybody is free to join in. You don't ever have to wonder, Would this person be pissed off if I attacked the same thing he's attacking? You know that any help is welcome.

One thing that I really like is, besides the guildhests and dungeon-runs, partying up not a must. In fact, a lot of the main story quests that I've come across so far can only be done solo. This works for me because I tend to like doing my own thing, at my own pace.

With that said, doing dungeon-runs where you have to party up (and with a specific number of players and class types) are just okay so far. It is not my favourite thing to do at this time, but it is definitely fun when I am running them with friends. You know... when I see a dungeon, I just get the urge to explore everywhere and Leeroy Jenkins the place. But since I currently have no interest at all in playing a Tank character type, I know that for the sake of my party, I shouldn't. :(

I should also mention that partying up with random players for dungeon-runs is a pretty smooth process.

Another thing that I really like are the various jobs / classes my character can be. From my impression of MMORPGs in general (please correct me if I'm wrong), one character can only be one job / class type. With Final Fantasy XIV, that idea is thrown out the window! Yes, in the beginning, you will be stuck to one job / class type. After clearing a specific job / class guild quest (around level 15 or so), you'll be given free rein to be whatever you want. One single character is capable of being every job / class type available. The really nice thing is that each job / class carries its own stats and abilities. Progression for one job / class doesn't affect the other. It is really like playing a new character each time.

One thing to note is that sidequests and story quests can only be done once for a character. If you anticipate playing multiple jobs / classes, leave some sidequests for your other jobs / classes to complete. Otherwise, you might end up needing to grind the other jobs / classes.

I also have to say: the graphics are very beautiful. Just look at my pretty character (and the pretty background!):

My pretty character in her Archer outfit. 
In case you're wondering, I set her eye colours that way.

Okay, I think I blabbed enough about Final Fantasy XIV. One thing that I should mention again is that this is my first dive into a paid MMORPG -- I have no other experience to compare it to. I don't know if everything I've listed is unique or standard fare. One thing that I do know is that I am enjoying Final Fantasy XIV -- I already know that I will spend some money on this and subscribe :)

Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to comment on anything. :)

Next week is Valentine's Day weekend. If I feel up to it, I might blog about something personal. Have a good week!

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