I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of MMOs. Once I pay for a game I don’t want to be forced to continue to pay a fee to play it. I’m ok with DLC because you aren’t forced to buy it, but charging $15 a month on top of the $60 I initially paid is robbery. If I invest 60+ hours of my life into a game then I want it to have an epic ending. I play games (especially rpgs) for the storytelling and there have been several games in the recent past that I feel have done a great job of this (Skyrim, Mass Effect Trilogy…I don’t care if you hated the ending I thought it was well done). That being said I have been playing DC Universe Online simply for two reasons. 1…I’m a nerd, and 2…it’s free. The thing is I found that it does have a nice story so I was intrigued when I saw the beta for FF XIV.
Now like I just said…the version I played was a beta for the PS4 so I obviously didn’t get to experience everything. But what I did get to play was a beautifully rendered game with a near overwhelming amount of choice.
Like just about every other MMO you begin by choosing your race, class, gender, etc. In FF XIV you can pick from 4 different races, each with their own backstory and relationship to the world. I went for the elf-like race and made him an archer. You start in a town picking up small fetch and return quests or kill so many of this enemy type quests. As you complete these initial tasks you are introduced to the game’s crafting system which if what I saw is any indication will be huge.
As for the combat, the controls work really well with the controller, holding R2 or L2 to pull up your hotkeys to execute abilities, spells and use items. On certain areas of the map there are circles you can enter to start a FATE quest where you will work together with other players in the area to accomplish a specific goal and then you will be rewarded according to your contribution. These provide nice distractions from your other quests and usually reward you with a nice chunk of gold.
Seeing as how the beta capped at level 20 there is a lot of the game that I didn’t get to experience, but if the final product is as good as the beta then this just might be the MMO that gets me to break my personal rule of not paying a monthly fee for a game.