Final Fantasy XIV: First impressions

I managed to nab a beta key for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.  Meet Morrighan Greywalker:

toon I had a great deal of fun creating this character – lots of options to play with.  Then I started playing.

Please note: I did NOT play Final Fantasy XIV in its first release.  For those of you now wondering what I am talking about, Square Enix released FF XIV already.  It was so bad they had to stop charging people.  It was so bad they gave up, blew up the world and re-started.  For people who thought the announced Titan reboot was extreme, this definitely trumps it.

Its nothing revolutionary – a generic MMO.  The quests are the standard ‘fetch this, kill that’ kind.  The combat system is fairly standard.  As you start to acquire gear, you quickly start to look ridiculous.

However, the graphics are very good, the movement is realistic and the whole game feels smooth.  There is no tagging (yay) and pop up world events to group up and do.  It was a pleasant experience to play.

Will I keep playing? I will try and log some more time in the beta.  I am interested in playing the full game, but so far I’ve not seen anything to make me give up one of my existing games.  I play three MMOs, plus betas and tests.  For a game to get played, it has to make me want to give up and existing game, at least for a while.  Right now, this is in the ‘if some of my friends pick it up I will probably give it a play through’ pile.

The game will have a subscription.  I personally think this is a mistake.  Not because I disagree with subscriptions, but because for this game, subscription only will be a problem. A lot of people were burnt by the first release.  They will not want to pay to try again.  However, if no free-to-play option had been built from the start, adding one is a tricky business.  I would hope they open a trial version fairly quickly so that people can try before they buy.

Another picture:

scenery 1

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