Damaged Brands? Damaged Fans? How About Those That Are Playing Final Fantasy XIV?
- September 30th, 2011
- By MogKnight
Recently, the Square Enix CEO said straight out to the world that Final Fantasy XIV hurt the reputation of the series and damaged it. Noting the fact that the game was filled with bugs, featured a terrible and confusing UI and overall lack of clarity and content, Final Fantasy XIV ultimately scored really low among all the reviewers. Players have left the game and tons more are spiteful that Final Fantasy is going in such a “bad” direction and straying even further away from its roots.
Yes, the Final Fantasy brand was hurt. FFXIV was just a bad game right out of the box and many gamers will remain unforgiving. Yes, the fans were hurt by this too, as pointed out by this article about the fans waiting ever so patiently for a new and better Final Fantasy MMO. But what about those that are still playing Final Fantasy XIV? What about those that are still on the server right now, enjoying the game for what it is and slowly watching the world grow before their eyes?
Logging back onto Final Fantasy XIV again after so long, there were quite a bit of changes to the system and a lot of refinements. Auto Attacking replaced the sluggish and annoying upkeep of the Stamina system and you’re no longer required to actively attack or do anything during a battle to get rank/experience points. Guildleves are on a shorter cooldown (and will be changed to be shorter in the next update) and deadly monsters with rare loot are found all over the place now. The game even borrows a bit from other MMORPGs by including an enmity indicator (threat or aggro, use whatever term you wish) and, oh look, cooldowns with a numeric timer on them. They also did away with the confusing and pointless fatigue system! Future improvements are still incoming and, well, there’s a lot. The final outcome is going to be beyond what Final Fantasy XIV first started off with.
During my time playing the game in its current state right now, I did feel that there could be more improvements. The much more casual friendly environment is held back by the fact that it can be a bit too casual. Once you devote about an hour’s worth of gameplay, you’ll find yourself fishing for things to do in order to keep on progressing. The game does encourage that you work on battle classes and crafting classes (which, thankfully is way easier than Final Fantasy XI) but sometimes you just want to go in, punch the living crap out of enemies and do only that with a sense of progression. Behests (battles that take place every 30 minutes) helps alleviate this but often times I would just leave the game off to the side while I play some Gears of War 3 when it’s all happening.
Content seems to be improving greatly though. Instanced dungeons, a feature seen in almost all new MMORPGs now, are in Final Fantasy XIV and feature some great loot and challenges. Even Ifrit will make his return to the series and the battle looks fairly epic. Chocobos will be making their return and even new weapons are going to be thrown in at some point.
So how are the people in Eorzea (the fictional world in FFXIV) enjoying their stay? Some are fairly humble about everything that’s going on, realizing that Square Enix made a mistake of releasing the game too soon and just enjoying the game for what it is and watching the world change dramatically. A linkshell member (linkshells being much like a guild) commented that the game can’t get worse because it’s already at its worst and that it can only get better. Lissy seems to be enjoying her time with the game, despite her play time being limited like myself. She plans on doing a write up on his soon so I’ll let her shoot out her own thoughts then.
Watching an MMO grow from its initial release and sticking with it throughout the years can be quite an experience, one that I’m sure most MMORPG players have experienced. One magical patch will suddenly turn the world around and change the game significantly forever. It can be as simple as a gameplay mechanic change or just a whole new series of zones and areas to explore that would make the previous areas deserted. Some are content with living in a constantly changing world and a few are content with living in Eorzea, knowing that world will become better as the days go by.
You see, Square Enix may have dropped the ball. They may have released their first botched new Final Fantasy game that have disappointed many. However, they refuse to let go of the game and are making every bit of effort to restore their trust with the fans. Many MMORPGs have came and gone, some within less than a year of operation. Some even have ignored this game simply because it’s an MMORPG. Nevertheless, Square Enix is making the effort and even if many will criticize how they’ve handled stuff, we can’t deny they are trying to fix Final Fantasy XIV. The scars will always be there but the wound will heal with proper care.