Final Fantasy 14 Review
I played the first 60-70 hours of 'the worlds greatest MMO' so you don't have to....
My experience so far and a couple of questions:
Literally my first MMO experience and wanted to play with some people during the lockdown- plus shadowbringers is apparently one of the best FF stories so far (big Final Fantasy franchise fan).
Spoilers, wish, ahead.
I gotta say, bar teaching key mechanics- the msg line is utterly terrible, and it takes around 30-40 hours... It has such a weird pace and the way it plays through makes no sense almost to the point where its an insult to your intelligence.
Here are some examples:
The game starts picking up pace and the world is in serious trouble- so main character 'please go find this crystal' (You have to find a pot for it first)- Ugh.
“Ohh why didnt you say, you need a different crystal” is an actual line an NPC gives you after you run a lengthy errand for them to acquire said crystal. That happens TWICE. Not joking. Is the main character a moron? would you not specify what you needed in an end of the world situation?
Mid story reached, you have killed 2 actual GODS at this point.
NPC: 'Ok you have killed 2 gods. Now go make me some cakes, construct some armour, and watch how the enemy salutes'. I get this is teaching you how to do things- make it side quests not msq- it absolutely ruins the pace. (MSQ means main story quest for those not in the know).
Again, spend about 30 mins watching how we plan on doing the final assault at the end of the story- spend 10 mins waiting for 7 other people to kill one guy- then go feed some soldiers and encourage them (after FARMING INGREDIENTS) before attempting the next battle.
There is no pacing, it builds to a very predictable ending. Non of the bad guys are really developed even in all of the text you have to read.
The main issue I find is that I bought this at the same time as someone to play with them- and for the most part this game is not what I understood of an MMO- its basically single player in a world with other people. There are around 15 to 20 opportunities in the ENTIRE story to actually properly play together- in over 150 msqs. Unless thats me mistaking what an MMO is? But the msq regularly requests you disband your party to continue the story.
At various stages I just found myself trying to recall the last time (in the 60-70 hours it took) I actually enjoyed a part of the story. Plus, whats with the completely hap hazard voice acting? Its tiny bits of some cutscenes that are majorly important (on the occasion you arent playing filler) then loads on something not needed.
Im not against reading text- recently got the FF8 remaster and love it- this game just seems like it was directed by 5 different people not talking to each other.
I bought the whole thing (all expansions etc) and this has been such a slog its seriously got me questioning whether I will actually pay for days when my free month expires.
The only semi decent story telling so far which has no filler and has you a little more invested rather than thinking “is what I'm doing next actually going to be important?” are the class quests- understandably single player.
What I’m asking is- is the story actually decent at any point? Can I play through it with friends- not just the occasional little bit? Does the gear system get good? (Like its leagues behind diablo 1 or 2 which are older and havent been continually built on) For something so full of crafting etc its incredibly simplistic and bar looking slightly different (and through my first 55 levels I had 3-4 armour shapes with different colours on them) are there any other benefits?
Once you know the mechanic on a dungeon.... its really not all that much fun either? Theres no chance on an epic piece of loot- and lets pretend there was some- its randomly given to 1 of 4- or 8- or more. Since everyone seems to greed as they are clearly leveling multiple classes or are just arseholes- me on my first and only class missing out on the tank gear 4 times in one dungeon (with 5 pieces of gear in it)- its ok though- I got 3 ethers. Which are absolutely pointless arent they? You have 10k mp... I'm a warrior.
I mean- can you tell me absolutely that a lot of the annoying crap is improved in heavensward and further improved in the others?- or am I going to be killing ultima world destroyer one minute then fetching a cat out the tree the next? (Not even in a humorous way). Think back to any FF story and the pace slows when it makes sense. The pace builds when it makes sense- optional stuff that may be fun as optional stuff- is optional. You can then attempt it when you want to- when you perhaps need a break from story- or you only have an hour spare.
Its just frustrating. I find myself having 5 or 6 hours spare thinking “ooh I can sink my teeth into some plot tonight”. Nope, I have been picking fruit, killing frogs and getting annoyed that where im going is a thousand miles from a teleport crystal for 5 of my 6 hours.
Btw- if the order of this comment seems all over the place- that is on purpose. I am giving you and understanding of how the plot feels to a newb to the game and MMOs.
Gear system- weak.
Multiplayer cooperation- weak.
I could not recommend this game to friends and ask them to slog through that.
I would say, skip the msq- but dont do any dungeons or raids until you have done up to level 40 guildhests and your class quests. That will give you an understanding of mechanics. Read the main plot online or watch a catchup vid on youtube. I dont understand how people move to this game from others, unless the others are even worse somehow?
Or, play a dps character. That way if you die in dungeon it doesnt matter- as the tank and the healer for dungeons up to level 50 (including msq) are the only ones really doing anything anyway.
Ugh, I wanted to enjoy this game so much and wanted a continuous ff story to play with friends. But bar the fact theres a crystal, cool hair styles and various ff summons- this is not an ff. The story is weak, the gameplay pretty vanilla, character development non existent.
As I said, if new players are thinking of this- tell me that skipping the realm reborn msq will give me something interesting to play?
A lot of the original MSQ line has been deleted and streamlined. I AM NOT at this point bored enough to go give that another go (My partner got me a switch for Christmas and Zelda BOTW is HUUUGE.