Open Beta Impressions

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KillerClaw

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I was really impressed with the two-day open beta that ended last night. I installed and uninstalled the original within the same day.

The UI looks fantastic and the customization is great for a launch system.

I like the crafting system and how it emphasizes crafting one of everything rather than constant repetition (XP bonuses for creating new items). I also like the fact that you have separate crafting gear-sets.

The environment looks pretty cool too, varied between the three major cities.

I didn't like how the main story forces you into dungeons (even though I do like the two of the three dungeons I managed to get into). And how the main class quest goes into entirely separate leveling areas.

What did you guys think?

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Verendus

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This the first time I've actually cared for MMO game and man I loved the every second of Phase 3 & 4.I pre-ordered the game right after open beta ended.

The game seems to have MMO feel but still maintained FF feel for me. It's a hell a lot better than FF games we've seen lately..

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Giantstalker

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I will be playing this game, that's for sure.

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Zeik

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#4  Edited By Zeik

Other than the game breaking bugs that appeared in phase 4 I'm still enjoying the game. Assuming those issues are fixed by the time early access hits I'll likely continue playing.

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chumley_marchbanks

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It's not particularly original or innovative, but it has the wonderful presentation of a Final Fantasy game and some solid gameplay mechanics underneath. It's just so beautifully crafted that I didn't want to stop playing (and if it wasn't for the fact that the beta is over I still would be). I really wish I had early access, but at least I'll have more time to get things in order before I sign my soul away again.

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DonChipotle

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#6  Edited By DonChipotle

The voice acting is real bad but the music is real good. (Ul'dah at night is just delightful)

I've been enjoying the game immensely. Doubly so since I was one of the unfortunate souls who played 1.0. I am definitely going to be playing this game come launch.

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Zeik

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The voice acting is real bad but the music is real good. (Ul'dah at night is just delightful)

Some of the english voice acting is decent, but when it's bad it's pretty bad. I actually ended up switching it to german, because it felt oddly fitting. Moreso than the Japanese voice acting, which was just too Japanese for a medieval-ish fantasy setting.

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Seikenfreak

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Loved it. I was a launch day user of the original 1.0 release and played for a little bit after that and I've been participating in the Realm Reborn Alpha and Beta tests over the past 9 months. Played FF11 for a long time as well.

Yoshi P and his team have done a fantastic job turning this thing around and is more or less an entirely new game.

I had some issues with my PC crashing while using SLI but that may not be the games fault. Without SLI it ran great. I did eventually get hit with the 3102 error so I locked out for about 24 hours.

UI is great aside from a few missing details like not being able to link items in the chat (maybe there is a way?.) Music is fantastic. Environments and art design are amazing. I actually like all three starting cities so it was difficult making the decision. Crafting is fun and simple so far but will get more complex at higher level and when trying to handle High Quality items. Gamepad controls have been implemented wonderfully. The little pet Minions are purely cosmetic but are adorable tiny versions of stuff from the game and the Final Fantasy series in general (mini airship *drool*). The English voice acting is bad but you can change it to other languages and the Japanese fits great for me.

I could go on and on. The game is great in many ways and I even got my non-MMO-playing friend addicted.

To balance out what is surely coming across as rampant bias: I do have concerns for longevity in content. That seems to be the issue I see with the modern quick-and-casual direction the genre has gone since WoW. In Guild Wars 2 I was able to get a class to 80, get 95% world completion and max a craft or two within 1-2 weeks. After I had reached this point it was just.. Okay now what? I don't really like how any of the armors look and I don't want to run a dungeon over and over again. Shut it down and never went back.

In A Realm Reborn I'm using my Legacy character from the original game so I already have two classes to the level cap of 50 and most others are at least 15. I know Yoshi P has stated that his intent is for the 1-50 content to act as a big broad tutorial and to get people through it hastily so they can reach the "End Game" that MMO players love to rave about.

After playing a significant amount of FF11 and then playing many of the newer MMOs, I have come to the realization that, at least for me personally, the longer and harder the road traversed the greater sense of reward I have in the end. To give a basic scale comparison: In FF11 it took me probably 4-6 months to get my first class to the then level cap of 75. Once I had made it over that hill, leveling other classes was so much easier and fun and would only take about a month or two. Of course you can look at it as them milking people for their time and money but I still feel great about all the stuff I was able to do in that game. I still have my account and try to play it some times. And because the game was so difficult and not solo friendly, I met a bunch of great people and played everyday for months. I have yet to have that happen in another MMO because there hasn't been a reason to work together with people when everything is so easy.

Anyway, I am rambling. Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn is going to be great fun for my friend and I. I hope for more then two weeks.They've taken a lot of stuff from other MMOs, as new MMOs do, but they've added their own tweaks to stuff and it's built around the Final Fantasy universe, something no other MMO can do aside from FF11. And I reaaaaally want to get a Player House.

Early Access can't come soon enough.

Here's some footage I threw together to make some simple tour videos through some of the areas.

Loading Video...
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Zeik

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#9  Edited By Zeik
@seikenfreak said:
Crafting is fun and simple so far but will get more complex at higher level and when trying to handle High Quality items.

This is an area where I think the game really stands out compared to other MMOs that I've played. In many ways this game feels like a "best of" compilation of every other MMO, which isn't necessarily bad, since it all manages to come together pretty well, but it doesn't really stand out as doing anything particularly revolutionary. (Although adding controller support (that works) is pretty great.) However the crafting is engaging in a way that I haven't seen in other MMOs. It actually takes some thought and strategy to try and make the best item that you can. Not to mention making crafting their own classes with individual gear is pretty awesome.

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Zirilius

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#10  Edited By Zirilius

It's the most fun I've had in an MMO in a long time. And I really like the aesthetic of the game. Like, a lot!

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Nicked

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#11  Edited By Nicked

I was kind of bored in phase 3, but open beta was a ton more fun. I even had pretty friendly experiences with people in random dungeons. I like that the tanking seems to be way less twitchy than WoW. If nothing else I found the game to be really well paced in that it didn't feel like a series of quest hubs. I might end up bored of it in a month, but I'm having fun for now, despite earlier misgivings.

It's not going to set the world on fire, and it lacks some of the charm of FFXI, but it's a really well made MMO. However, the voice acting is terrible. Even though the character models look good, there's something uncanny going on when they speak. I would rather just read text. This isn't a big deal to me since I'm finding the story to be kind of dumb, but the VO comes across as sub-par.

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Dunchad

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Had tons of fun in Phase 4 and will definitely be playing this some more. The cutscene during the first airship trip totally blew me away, since I wasn't expecting it. All that Magitek goodness - combined with those cute Cactuars and Moogles, it's giving off some real nice FFVI vibes.

Looks awesome, sounds awesome and this is the first time I've played an MMO with a gamepad - I love it. Compared to the usual KB&M style I've used in every other MMO so far, it feels great.

As for voice acting - I turned it on Japanese and haven't regretted it one bit. If you watch any anime at all, you'll probably recognize the voice actors - they're all doing a fine job. Only issue is that the translations don't match the Japanese VO - so if you don't understand Japanese at all, you'll probably find it a bit weird.

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potatomash3r

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I played 2-3 hours of it and got my character to level 9 before I got too bored to continue. The comments so far have been nothing but praise and maybe that happens late game but I was too lazy to find out and now that the beta is over I probably never will find out. From the tiny bit that I played; the combat seemed generic and boring, there was nothing new there. The questing was the worst it consisted of mostly - fetch this, talk to this character, deliver this, kill x amount of this and the public quest or fate as they called it were just kill x amount of creatures.

The game could be amazing if I went deeper, but I didn't have time to dredge through boring shit to get to the good stuff.

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#14  Edited By Dekkarra

@potatomash3r: The Producer/Director has come out and said on several occasions that the initial 15-20 levels in the game are more or less meant to help introduce new players of MMOs the systems and the tempo of things. He says that they don't want to overwhelm new players with a bunch of abilities and wish to help guide them into more complex battles (The level 15~ dungeons are a perfect example).

They are making a LARGE push for players who have never played an MMO before, especially with the PS3 release, so the early part of the game may seem redundant to MMO veterans, it has its purpose, and it does it well.

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Dunchad

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I played 2-3 hours of it and got my character to level 9 before I got too bored to continue. The comments so far have been nothing but praise and maybe that happens late game but I was too lazy to find out and now that the beta is over I probably never will find out. From the tiny bit that I played; the combat seemed generic and boring, there was nothing new there. The questing was the worst it consisted of mostly - fetch this, talk to this character, deliver this, kill x amount of this and the public quest or fate as they called it were just kill x amount of creatures.

The game could be amazing if I went deeper, but I didn't have time to dredge through boring shit to get to the good stuff.

Well, in the end, it's still an MMO. There are no big breakthroughs in FFXIV, nor in any other upcoming MMOs. Even EverQuest Next, while promising to try something new and interesting, will still be an MMO and will come with a lot of familiar stuff. Just because they are trying for emergent AI, doesn't mean that they won't have "Kill X number of X creature" quests - they're the bread and butter of MMOs (and other RPGs for that matter) and they'll always be there, no matter how well the game tries to disguise them as something else.

If there will be some kind of true innovation in the future of MMOs, it is something that goes beyond my imagination. The best they can do is give us an interesting world to explore and hang out in. And in that, as far as I've seen, FFXIV does succeed admirably. Especially so, if one happens to be a fan of the Final Fantasy franchise. Though it remains to be seen, how well it'll hold up in the long run.

And really - it's more the people than the game itself, that keep you playing. Whether I'll stick around in FFXIV will depend completely on the people I meet up during these early stages of the game.

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Levio

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I had a blast in open beta. The class-switching mechanic lets you put your equipment to way more use than in other MMO's. AKA you can store your low level equipment for other classes, and share your crafting equipment between crafting professions, etc. It's something really cool to strategize about that I've never seen before. It certainly blows away the WoW-clone system of just trashing equipment the moment you find a superior item.

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kishinfoulux

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This game is the gold standard for gamepad support in an MMO. I love the changes they made from Phase 3 to Open Beta. Accessing the menus you need is so much easier now.

Also the game is just super stream lined and well designed, to avoid hassle. I love the Recommendations, that can just scan an area for you for quests relevant to your level. The Duty Finder is super great. I can keep on adventuring while it looks for a party for me and then I can just hop right in as soon as it's ready to go. Super excited for early access to begin.

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