RIP Final Fantasy XIV Long Live Final Fantasy XIV

By Alec Meer on November 12th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

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I must confess I know essentially nothing about Final Fantasy XIV, as FF has become one of those game series I’ll cross the street to avoid. I do, though, admire both the relative honesty and the steely-eyed resolve in Square acknowledging that MMO spin-off FF XIV was such a screw-up that it had to be killed off – with plans to relaunch it as ‘A Realm Reborn’ and what they claim is tantamount to a brand new game. As is Square tradition, there’s an overwraught, highly technically accomplished cinematic to commemorate the end of FF XIV’s existing world. It’s a certainly a dramatic way to announce that all your characters are getting wiped.

So what happens after the apocalypse?

I hope the same fate befalls whoever chose that music.

Later this year, Final Fantasy XIV becomes Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is being described as an enormous revision and a concerted effort to win back the jaded. Here’s another barrage of CGI teasing that, followed by some in-game footage of the new version.

That looks like an MMO, alright. Quite a pretty one too. Another soundtrack that makes me want to kill myself, of course. Tell you what looks quite impressive – the highly flexible character creator, which looks as thought it could be the City of Heroes of games about child-faced people with hairdos that make them look like lagomorphs.

OK, that’s enough videos for now. This goddamn coffee won’t drink itself, after all. Find out more about the rebornening of realms right here.

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69 Comments »

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  1. Milky1985 says:

    I played in the beta of the origional and it wasn’t that bad, did a a few godo things (one character, can do everything, levels based on job based on weapons is a good thing imo), was a system killer however, very high system specs but for a good reason. The questing system was very very wierd however, hopefully in the reborn realm that changes a bit, it made little to no sense!

    Actually have the game, still not registered or registered my free playtime yet (don’t think so anyway) just cause my net connection was a bit unstable just after I got it but actually looking forward to what they can do.

    • Jenks says:

      One character can do everything is everything that is wrong with modern MMOs.

      • mechabuddha says:

        I don’t think so. MMO character development requires such a massive timesink that any mistake is a severe setback. Now, I don’t think that a Skyrim-like character development would be a good fit for an MMO, but I do like being able to respec or switch roles if I’ve earned it. I just remember playing WoW, and dumping a bunch of points into one stat, then realizing it was a mistake. Dozens of hours wasted if I wanted to remain competitive. As opposed to Guild Wars 2, where the stats are in the equipment. I spent a time investment and made a piece of armor that didn’t really fit with the build I wanted. Rather than make an entirely new character, I just had to put the time in to make a new piece of armor.

        • Nevard says:

          Umm, WoW doesn’t and has never had points that you can put into stats when you level up…

          • Premium User Badge

            Surlywombat says:

            It used to have passive talents which provided stats. So yes it did.

          • Nevard says:

            Not as the commenter I replied to described though, because you could always reset those talents for a nominal fee and much less time investment that it’d take to craft an entire new set of armour.
            You were never forced to make a new character because you “statted wrong”.

            He literally said “I put a bunch of points into a stat” which is impossible because there is no way to put more than 5 points into any talent, talents can be reset and most of the talents weren’t stats (though most of them were also not incredibly exciting, I much prefer the new model).
            http://wowvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Talents.View.Beta&category_select_id=6&build=b4

            And Guild Wars 2 ALSO has those, except instead of giving you a choice between “+2% damage on sinister strike”, “+9% agility” and “+1% damage while stealthed” it is LITERALLY putting points into stats every time you level up, until you reach a multiple of five.

            Considering that his post was comparing WoW to GW2 and putting the latter in a positive note despite it being the only one his “bad” scenario would have been possible in, it seems extremely unlikely to me that he was talking about talents.

      • Psychopomp says:

        You don’t do everything at once. I suggest you actually go look up what the job system is :v

        • x1501 says:

          I think what he meant is that most MMORPGs are now very solo-oriented and no longer require grouping for most non-endgame activities, such as leveling, crafting, etc.

      • stimpack says:

        In your opinion. Also, it’s the wrong opinion. Things aren’t so cut and dry, and there are many social elements to MMORPGs. I feel like soloing should always be an option, taking away options is usually a bad thing. However, FFXIV is a very party-oriented MMORPG. If you were talking about one character who can hold multiple jobs, though, I really don’t know what to tell you because I don’t understand how that is game-breaking.

  2. Schrodinger says:

    The orignal was very pretty when it worked… and did alot of “new” things that i thought would be great but there was alot of things they where attempting to fix but i guess they will try again then…

    I will check out the new one i think the FF worlds are very interesting and I would like a MMO that actully showed the world and characters properly oh and one that actully works…

  3. 0WaxMan0 says:

    Played this for a month or so and absolutely loved the game world and most mechanics (Link shells were very bad though) what let it down for me and why I did not continue to play was simply that there seemed to be nothing to do, most environments were very linear and quite small meaning no exploration and there felt to be a big lack of story or sandbox options to keep you active.
    Will defiantly be looking at a realm reborn hoping they have fixed some of the problems, though still no launch date :(

    • Psychopomp says:

      Content issues were fixed ages ago once the old team was fired.. The flat world, both figuratively and literally at times, is half the reason for the reboot.

  4. ketsko says:

    The music from the game is really beautiful imo and the theme from this trailer has been in the game’s intro, and throughout the story, so it’s really fitting and emotional to use it in the ending as well.
    I guess it sounds like generic epic MMO/LOTR music but for those of us who played the game it couldn’t be more fitting.

    The characters will not be wiped in the relaunch for those who played the old version either, whch will be interesting. Really looking forward to this as the lead man, Yoshida, really listens to the community and seems to know his stuff.

  5. Pryde says:

    They missed N in the name of second to last video – it is spelled “Grindania”. There your go Square, fixed it for you, no need for thanks.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      You added an extra R in the second sentence – it’s spelled “you”. There you go Pryde, fixed it for you, no need for thanks.

      ;) Only teasing!

  6. Premium User Badge

    Tom De Roeck says:

    Good riddance. The only good Final Fantasy game was Chrono Trigger.

    • Commander Gun says:

      You’re wrong there mate (this is all subjective of course :)), the best FF by far was FF6 (on the snes). Character development, music scores, plot development, it was all pretty perfect. FF7 came close (it actually is overhyped by miles in comparison to ff6, mainly because most youngsters who played 7 did not play 6). After 7, it went to worse every installment although X was ok.

      • tobecooper says:

        I really enjoyed IX too, but as you mentioned, it’s all subjective.

        • Flint says:

          FF9 is the best game of the series in my opinion, the only one I actually personally care about in all honesty.

          • ripwind says:

            I recently started playing IX using Remote Play on my PS Vita (No, this is not a sponsored reply!) It was a toss-up between playing that and VII – both of which I never finished 10-15 years ago.

            I thought I would hate the visuals, but I think playing FTL recently put me in the “Look past the graphics” mindset enough to get into FF IX again.

      • derbefrier says:

        This guy knows what he is talking about. If you have never played FF6 go get an emulator and play it. This game was final fantasy at its best. I still boot it up ever couple years or so.

        Also a new chrono trigger game please as they were also.excellent. this amd the FF series are what got me into rpgs.

        • Acorino says:

          Final Fantasy VI is the only one I found to be bearable to play for a longer time, so I guess it is indeed the best one (admittedly, the only other one I played was VIII). Got quite far, but the tedious repetitive fighting got on my nerves too much later on. It’s well worth a look, though I don’t think it’s a timeless classic.

      • captainparty says:

        I don’t think there are many youngesters who have played FF VII as it came out 15 years ago, still, you’re right 6 was a lot more enjoyable.

        • The Random One says:

          I think he meant people who were youngsters when VII came out, for whom the PS1 was the first console/gaming thing.

          We’re so old even our youngsters are old.

      • bill says:

        You know, there is something about the FF6 intro that is absolutely awesome… when i played it on an emulator it was really amazing, strangely technically impressive even years later. I really wanted to love this game.

        The game even started reasonably well. Then I got to a village where I had to escape down an (empty) underground passage inside a house. It must have been about 30 meters long. After the 4th or 5th bloody random battle in that corridor I deleted the game. It’s probably pretty good for a FF game, but it can’t overcome the inherent flaws.

        Chrono trigger, on the other hand, is a masterpiece. It’s certainly the only good FF game i’ve discovered.

      • Jenks says:

        Chrono Trigger and Phantasy Star 3 were the best RPGs on the 16 bit consoles. “FF6 actually is overhyped by miles in comparison to PS3, mainly because most youngsters who played FF6 only owned a SNES.”

        • Commander Gun says:

          Heh, you got me there. I never even heard about Phantasy Star 3 :) Also, i liked Secret of Mana a lot too (yes, the SNES again), especially because battle wasn’t really turn based.

          • Baines says:

            Jenks is right about the SNES. Phantasy Star was a Sega series, and thus on the Master System and Genesis/Megadrive. A lot of people playing Square RPGs on the SNES never played Sega RPGs on the Genesis.

            Phantasy Star Online might have been more people’s first Phantasy Star game than Final Fantasy 7 was people’s first Final Fantasy.

        • aliksy says:

          Phantasy Star… 3? That’s the one most people don’t like because it’s weird, poorly explained, and slow. 2 or 4 were very good, but 3 is weird.

      • Baines says:

        FF6 fell apart a bit when you hit the World of Ruin. The story falls to the side while you get to choose whether to hunt down your old pals or not before moving on to fight the final boss.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Everybody and their grannies know that the best will always be PS one’s final fantasy tactics. If you love anything turn based, go play it.

  7. Rao Dao Zao says:

    The apocalypse is Unicron carpet-bombing the world?

  8. phenom_x8 says:

    FF XIV, just like FF XIII, IMO, are the game that relied heavily of their own franchise name. With sub-par gameplay (in XIII) that oddly not following or even improving over their predecessor at all (FF XII gameplay are the best in this series I think)
    Meanwhile, from what I’ve read (never play it myself), FF XIV gameplay also another decline over their prequel (FF XI). Their japanese division (whom developing both game) are trully needs to improve their own self and stop thinking that bigger horsepower only means better graphics and people will accept it just because its an Final Fantasy Game (although , thats the case with FF XIII)
    They need to stop their nostalgia and innovate no matter how succeed their predecessor

    • Psychopomp says:

      That’s basically what A Realm Reborn is. They know their reputation is shot, and this is probably their last chance to redeem it to anyone but the hardcore fanboys. More than making money, they need XIV to be great. Otherwise, they’d just shut the thing down altogether.

    • tyren says:

      The strange thing about FF14 is that the original designers seemed to be making all of their decisions in a vacuum, blissfully unaware of any of the lessons learned from the MMOs of the last decade, or even lessons their friends on the FF11 dev team down the hall had already learned the hard way and fixed.

      Most of the senior staff that worked on that game were transferred to other projects (I can only guess why they weren’t fired, or maybe they have been since then) after they refused to listen to alpha and beta feedback and the game bombed horribly.

  9. Temple says:

    Despite you being Mr Grumpypants thank you for posting this. First vid was awesome, I think I’m missing out on a whole lot of shiny vids like this. Remeber thinking I meant to check out Lineage ones before.

    Any recommendations RPSers? Or just go youtube search every MMO of the past few years.

  10. InternetBatman says:

    Square needs to realize that it’s impossible to take a chocobo seriously.

  11. Toberoth says:

    Is it just me being cynical, or are the first four posts in the comments section here suspiciously similar-sounding in terms of both content and style? “I had fun with the game even though it had some problems, looking forward to seeing what they can do with this remake yadda yadda yadda.”

    Hmmm.

    • Psychopomp says:

      It’s not suspicious when it’s the viewpoint of literally the entire FFXIV community. The new team has some serious talent and passion, but the old team fucked up so hard that there’s a lot of pieces to pick up.

    • SiHy_ says:

      I must admit I thought the exact same thing. I kept scrolling down to find a bitter, jaded comment but the love kept on pervading. Very strange.
      I am also a highly cynical person but I thought that, in the internet, I had found like-minded people to be cynical with… Damn you people with your blasted positivity and optimism!

  12. Gargenville says:

    I wanted to be there for the end of the world event, why couldn’t they do a free weekend or something? Seems like a good way to rope new dudes in. From what I heard barely anyone was around and the handful of players who did show up were mostly idling (because they’re MMO players and the XP won’t carry over).

    • Psychopomp says:

      1.0 got a lot better after the old team was fired. A LOT better, downright great in places. However, the engine was so fucked from the ground up that they actually wanted as few people playing as possible to keep bad press down while the new team cleaned up the incompetent old ones mess in 1.0 and worked on 2.0 in the background. They even stopped digital sales at one point.

  13. bill says:

    What the hell is going on with the girl in the top picture?? She’s wearing sensible clothes and looks dangerously close to being over 16!

  14. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    I just want to play as an androgynous cat dude

  15. Kaminnozh says:

    I like how during character creation the voice options are “Ohh”, “Ahh” and different variations of that :D

    • tyren says:

      That’s pretty much all you hear of your character’s voice in-game too, from what I remember – battle grunts and a few emotes with wordless voice clips attached (cheering, laughing and so forth).

  16. Rubyace says:

    I bought FF XIV for 1 euro and I still did not feel it was my money worth. I am not trying to be hater or anything but the game was so clunky and laggy I stopped playing after half an hour.

  17. djbriandamage says:

    Oh my GOSH, Alec, why did you have to introduce me to the nightmare concept of coffee that can drink itself? The day that product is invented would be the day of my overwhelming despair.

  18. aepervius says:

    Is it the still same stupid payment scheme where you have to use a 3rd party escrow to give your CC data to and cannot subscribe/buy point diretcely with a CC ? If they made it better I might consider retry FF14, but if this is still the bad payment scheme, I am out.

  19. aliksy says:

    Another MMO? How new and exciting.
    The usual: Does it have autogrouping, level scaling, and something other than quest chains? Does it have reasonable drop rates? Can it be enjoyed just as much solo as with a group?

  20. Psychopomp says:

    Characters aren’t getting wiped, and someone on reddit did a good write up.

    “The flaming prison in the sky is known as Dalamud. It was used to seal away Bahamut (Which no existing players knew. This video was our first glimpse at the true purpose of Dalamud other than being known as ‘Meteor’) by the Allagan Empire, which was an ancient civilization that has long since been dead.

    About a year and a half ago in-game, the events of the Seventh Umbral Era slowly started to trickle in. The Garlean Empire (the bad guys in this video, with the Magitek Armor and what not) began to advance on Eorzea in an attempt to subdue the country and bring it under Imperial control. The invading Imperial force was the VIIth legion, which was led by Legatus Nael van Darnus.

    Darnus took a fascination in Dalamud at one point, as the empire had dabbled with trying to summon it before. Because of his nosing, Bahamut manages to get inside his head and slowly corrupt him. So, with Bahamut eatring away at his sanity, van Darnus uses his position of power in the empire to further the dragon’s goals of breaking free. He does this mainly by siphoning off the energy of the Primals (The summons. Ifrit, Garuda, Titan, etc) and feeding it to Bahamut. They also drain Aether from the land, which is essentially the land’s blood and the power of Eorzea’s twelve gods.

    In the end, this battle was fought between the Allied Forces of Eorzea (The three figures you see sitting on their Chocobos being the leaders of their respective Grand Companies. Gridania’s Twin Adders, Ul’dah’s Immortal Flames, and Limsa-lominsa’s Maelstrom.) and the remnants of the VIIth legion after Nael van Darnus had been defeated about a month before. Technically, the final event that actually took place in-game was this battle, so a lot of us actually participated in that. Kind of neat.

    After having Eorzea’s lifeblood siphoned off to Dalamud, Bahamut manages to draw up enough strength to break free of his prison and rain destruction upon the world. He is the embodiment of the Seventh Umbral Era. Louisoux, the Elezen who erects the giant shield around the group of adventurers, is a part of an organization known as the circle of knowing. They have toiled from the start of this storyline to try and prevent Dalamud from opening, and the culmination of their efforts can be seen here. They attempt to summon the twelve gods to Eorzea in order to seal Bahamut back inside another prison. You’ll notice it’s the same type of prison he was in before.

    Unfortunately, due to the vast amount of Aether that was drained from the land and given to Bahamut, they were unable to complete the summoning ritual and Bahamut managed to break free of the attempt to imprison him once again. Just as he’s about to let loose a Mega-Flare, Louisoux makes a last ditch effort to save those he can and sends them forward in time.

    All in all, I feel as though this was a magnificent end to the 1.0 version of the game. I feel incredibly lucky to have literally participated in the forging of this game’s lore and story. We all feel as though we’ve made an impact on what happened, due to our characters involvement in the storyline missions in-game and the live events that have occurred over the past year or so. ”

    FFXIV got a lot better after the original team was fired, and quickly became what XI would be if it wasn’t held back by ancient MMO design. It just needed a new engine, as the 1.0 engine is pretty fucked from the ground up.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      That writeup makes the game sound completely serious to the point of being deadpan.

      Final Fantasy XIV: The Seriously Deadpan Giant Chicken Mount Simulator MMORPG.

  21. Valvarexart says:

    Am I the only one who read “Gridania” as “Grindania”? Somehow would have been more fitting, I think

  22. Miltrivd says:

    Just one thing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, repeat based combat. No thanks. It doesn’t cut it anymore, but MMO players will be MMO players, this are not games, just time wasters.

  23. Synesthesia says:

    That music siphoned the will to live out of me. Somebody save me! Throw me some cat videos or something!

  24. Dances to Podcasts says:

    So they’re doing a… Cataclysm?

  25. mrMog says:

    There is one thing about FFXIV that many people haven’t really talked about (mostly due to people not really giving the game the time of day after it’s failure at launch): It’s rather clever way of setting up the world and narrative for 2.0. Each update brought with it widespread changes to the world, and pushing forward it’s story in ways that affected all players (such as Meteor, visible from anywhere in the game slowly getting larger as time progressed, and the increasing presence of garelean troops near the city-states, which their invasion became this version’s final event). It’s a pity that 2.0 will become mostly static story-wise but while it lasted it was at least an interesting glimpse at how companies such as Blizzard and Funcom should be approaching narrative in an MMO (and from a Final Fantasy game no less!)

  26. Oglok29 says:

    In their latest press conference, they showed 2 “key” features :
    – You can jump. (Impossible in V1)
    – You can do quests to gain XP. (very few of them in V1)

    Buy a time machine and launch the game in 2004…

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  28. tyren says:

    I am saddened by all the hate for Nobuo Uematsu’s compositions in this article. =(

    • ketsko says:

      Not enough ambient soundscape perhaps :)
      Nouvelle Rouvenor Hero probably wouldn’t fit in a fantasy enviroment, good as it may be.

      • tyren says:

        I was just reading an article about EVE music or I wouldn’t have remembered which song you’re talking about. XD

    • psuedonymous says:

      I’m not. He’s an excellent composer and orchestrator, but from all evidence he doesn’t know how to write good lyrics (or pick singers) from his own arse. Stumbling on his vocal tracks is like discovering DaVinci occasionally liked to clumsily daub awful poetry over some of his paintings.