Bracing for impact (FF XIV)

Final Fantasy XIV continues to grow on me. In fact it was a bit later in the day that I wrote my last post that I kinda fell in love with it, warts and all. Part of the ‘challenge’ to enjoying the game was letting go and playing the game Square Enix’s way rather than trying to play it like it was a Western MMO. Shocking to imagine, but the blank notebook that comes with the Collector’s Edition is actually an essential game tool. You need to take notes while playing this game. And then compare those notes with others in order to find patterns.

Anyway, so I accepted FF XIV for what it is, which means I slowed down, stopped worrying about levels and experience and started thinking about how I’d make myself some new gear. I’ve been studying Carpentry and Blacksmithing, and harvesting everything I see as I run back and forth delivering the goods I’ve made. This takes a long time but.. y’know, it takes as long as it takes. Last night I logged in about 10 pm and between then and midnight I managed to do one single levequest. I had to deliver the goods to a camp I’d never visited before and the run out there was interrupted frequently by sparkling nodes that needed harvesting.

So I’ve made my peace and am ready to buy some Crysta soon. I’ll play for at least another month.

The one thing I’m concerned about is the launch on Thursday. The hate is bad enough among CE buyers (who, one would suspect, are people that researched the game before buying). When stacks of boxes show up on retail shelves tempting impulse buyers looking for a break from WoW while they wait for Cataclysm…things are going to get UGLY.

The community is going to be vile for a month or so after launch. I’m half-tempted to put the game aside for a few months, but the last time I did that the game folded before I had a chance to play much. The other alternative is just to stick my head in the sand and ignore everyone else, but we, The Community, are deep in the ‘figuring out how this game works’ phase and so I really *need* fellow players at this point.

I guess I’ll just have to thicken my skin and persevere.

If you’re thinking about trying FF XIV, I urge you not to. Instead, wait for a free trial or something. I think most people who try it are going to hate it, and the rest are going to LOVE it. In particular if you’re a theory-crafter who needs to min-max characters, stay far, far away. There are a lot of systems here that are not explained by SE and might never be; it’s up to the players to figure out how the world works. On the other hand, if you’re someone who loves tinkering and figuring out how things work then this might be the perfect game for you.

6 thoughts on “Bracing for impact (FF XIV)

  1. Yeah, I hear ya.

    I wrote down my gripes with the game in that piece over on GR, and so far I’ll stick with those. But if the lag would just let up, I’d have a much bigger chance at actually enjoying the game is a much more relaxed way – it’s hard to live with it, considering I keep dying. Perhaps I should follow your example and just take up crafting while hoping that it lets up soon.

    Sticking the head in the sand sounds like a pretty nice idea. Shall we get a Buzz going with tips, tricks and opinions? Might be nicer than trying to visit any of the forums that are bound to get flooded by the insanity.

  2. “If youre thinking about trying FF XIV, I urge you not to. Instead, wait for a free trial or something.”

    That’s actually exactly what I was thinking of doing, so thanks for the reviewlet and confirmation. I haven’t had time to do ANYTHING except work this month (certainly no blog reading) so I haven’t kept up with the general reaction, but my friends’ reaction to the open beta has been a very mixed bag so far.

    I don’t have time right now to ride out the hype and crap-waves. When things calm down (and I can get the client to run – well, the patcher) I’ll probably give it a go, because the one thing everyone seems to be united about is how stupidly gorgeous it is just to look at.

  3. Yeah, it’s very pretty!

    And just to be clear, I’m not faulting people for not liking it. We get used to modern amenities. FF XIV is like going camping. Some people love roughing it and some don’t. So you want an email system? Nope. Want an auction house? Sorry, we don’t have that either. Chat tabs? Nope. There’s a ton of things you expect to have in a game that just aren’t there.

    Angela assumes (probably rightly) that what I find so charming about the game will get really old really fast. Remember early EQ2 with sub-components for crafting stuff? FF XIV is all about that.

  4. I like camping but yeah, I don’t want to spend my life in the wilderness, just occasional trips. I think I’ll take your advice and wait for a free trial. The one I took of Champions was definitely good at preventing me from buying it. Thank you Pete

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