Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn -- Three Criticisms About Eventual Grinds, Loneliness, And Too Much Fan Service

| 10 Jul 2013 14:00
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Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is a game that has managed to become something no one expected - a decently MMO title at launch. Even if it means that the original FF14 died a horrible death and had to be rebuilt, the knowledge of that failure has certainly helped Yoshida and his team to build upon. Comments like the easiness of dungeons, the depth of the game's systems, and the various results of "first-game syndrome" indicates a general malaise that may have fallen over MMO gamers as a whole more than it criticizes FF14: ARR.

One thing that almost every forum community devoted to Final Fantasy has discussed is the "depth" of the content, the depth of the systems, or just the general level of sophistication that this game might possess. With just 16 skills per job and a small number of jobs, most people in the beta seem to be basing these criticisms on the content that comes in under the level 32 mark of the game that the beta currently offers.

These are not criticisms that should be made now. It should be levied upon FF14: ARR once it is released and has been patched to the level the designers originally wanted for launch (3-6 months according to interviews).

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It takes most MMOs a few years to get over their initial design flaws (aka untested design decisions the lead designers wouldn't let go of). I don't know if gamers are actually patient enough to give this game that chance. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens a few months after launch. Until then, we will get to enjoy a world where we get to talk about Final Fantasy again a whole bunch!

As a "new" game, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn needs to be thinking ahead and it seems like they have a great foundation to do just that. They just need to give me a reason to keep playing after i've completed all the quests, give me ways to talk and play with all my friends, and give me content I can get my non jRPG fans to play. Of course, time will tell. Time will tell.

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn will be released worldwide on August 27, 2013 for the Playstation 3 and PC. Interviews have revealed that this game will be re-tooled for the PS4 and Direct X 11 within a year or so after the initial release, so stay tuned for more content!

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I find it hard to attribute these criticisms to anything actually involving the game. The server issue isn't much of a 'design' decision, as it is a technical decision. It seems a little unfair to criticize something that might have been technically driven, and not a "deliberate choice."

Additionally, WoW is actually one of the last ones to the party when it comes to next-gen server architecture. GW2 has the guesting feature, Anarchy Online used a single server, Eve still uses a single server -- Neverwinter uses several servers now, but will be merging those in the future. WoW has been pretty behind the times when it comes to server tech. In fact, they are likely to remain so as server transfers are likely a fair substantial source of income for them.

As for the Japanese feel of the game, I didn't get that at all. I'm not a huge final fantasy fan because I'm not a fan of the JRPGs (not that they aren't great games, just not for me) but I definitely didn't get a JRPG feel from the hours I've played the game.

Additionally, I don't see the fan-service as 'driving people away.' A battle is a battle. That's like saying the Caverns of Time in WoW drove players away because it was fan service to long-term players of the franchise. It just seems silly. People don't stop playing because of cool encounters / boss battles.

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