A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV Rising From The Ashes
- October 29th, 2012
- By MogKnight
About two years ago, Final Fantasy XIV was released out to the public. Now Final Fantasy XIV in its current form will be taken down, completely shutdown and laid to rest, while a new Final Fantasy XIV will take its place. A Realm Reborn is a bold but much needed step for the game. To completely change the world around to the point where the foundation itself is rebuilt, ARR is something to be watched, if not only to see if it’s a good game but also to see how well a rebirth of an MMO of this caliber can work.
When FFXIV released back in September 2010, it had so many issues that just drove a lot of players away after their initial month. The unresponsive user interface, the slow pacing of the game, lack of content, and just overall an unpolished work that should have never been released in that form. Critics panned the game, many have abandoned it, and this caused Square Enix to not take any subscription payments as they started to work on fixing the issues.
For a year or so, the patches and upgrades given to FFXIV did keep many player’s interests, though fundamental flaws with its current engine would still hold future players back from committing to a paid subscription– a plan that was quickly dying out with more recent MMOs. Seeing the need to rebuild from scratch, it was announced in October 2011 that a new plan for FFXIV that would completely change the game: A Realm Reborn.
“It all started with a crystal, or so they say.”
When A Realm Reborn was announced as Final Fantasy XIV 2.0, there was plenty to be excited about. In one concept image, we would see an epic battle taking place with a world that we really wanted to see. An Eorzea fleshed out, an Eorzea that should have been. After this initial teaser, significant updates were pushed out for FFXIV. I, myself, hopped back on a few times but with the added anticipation for ARR, I simply just wanted to wait. The game I was playing right now would not be the game I’d be playing in the future, something that I’m sure many are sharing the same sentiments of.
However, instead of just completely demolishing everything, ARR would be built up with some foundation left in FFXIV. Character data would transfer from the original game to the new infrastructure. This was key, as Square Enix was nearly running FFXIV for practically free for quite some time. There were incentives put in place to push subscriptions, specifically the Legacy and the Welcome Back campaigns that would allow subscribers to discount their future subscription payments to only a mere $10 dollars a month.
Leading up to the eventual shift, Square Enix released a myriad of images and trailers to hype up the release.
The Day Final Fantasy XIV Died
When you think about it, a Final Fantasy game is going to be rendered unplayable. Final Fantasy XIV will no longer exist with A Realm Reborn taking over. It seems like a minute point to make. Even Final Fantasy XI is still functional but it never hit a point where the whole system was completely redone. Final Fantasy XIV in its original form is going to disappear forever. MMOs do die, but it’s still trippy to think about it. Then again, FFXIV isn’t really dying, it’s just changing forms. Still, I can’t say there’s any point in time where a Final Fantasy game was rendered nonfunctional. Maybe Tetra Master Online?
October 31st will be the last “save” that will be done in Final Fantasy XIV. All data captured at that moment will be transferred into ARR. This does not mean the servers are coming down on that day, instead they will be running FFXIV until November 11th, in which anything that happens between these two dates will forever be lost. A kind gesture, allows for anyone to freely roam through the game and suck in all the memories before the world’s destruction and the server shutdown.
Alpha testing is currently on the way for FFXIV (under NDA!) and beta testing will be coming for PC and PlayStation 3.
But how the hell did they explain this whole reset in the context of the game?
In the months leading up to ARR, there has been this huge red ball in the air. That red ball is Dalamud, a moon that orbits the planet that FFXIV takes place in. What’s the best way to completely change a world? Crash a moon into it and cause death and destruction everywhere!
In the context of FFXIV, Square Enix started up world events that would lead into this catastrophic event called the Seventh Umbra Era. Long story short, extremists wants to rid of Eorzea of all the Primals (classic FF summons) because they feel that they’re a threat. To do so, they pulled out a plan to use Dalamud as a base for Meteor. Eventually, players are able to take on the people behind this, but they failed to stop Dalamud’s course to destroy everything. The game in its current state has Dalamud lingering overhead. If you ever played The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, this situation will be familiar with you. Unfortunately, even the heroes can’t stop this. The end is near.
What will eventually happen is that the destruction would change Eorzea forever, but moments prior to the impact, the player will be saved from the destruction and will awaken when ARR goes live in 2013.
A Bright Future
FFXIV had a rough start and the optimism seen in the many fans of the game really shows a bright light towards the future of game. With a new fresh take on Eorzea, changes that make the game much more approachable, and the flair that many would expect from a Final Fantasy title, ARR should turn some heads with its release, especially now with a confident PlayStation 3 release.
We’ve seen MMOs die out, either to disappear with the sands of time or reappear as a free-to-play game. However you may see Final Fantasy, XIV, or MMOs in general, this is truly a magnificent event. The death of an MMO to rebuild a foundation, the passion of the developers to fix the issues, and the many players who are still playing FFXIV to this day. Somehow, the Final Fantasy theme seems to fit this situation quite well.