Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Continues The Saga

By Jim Rossignol on June 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.


The real world saga of Final Fantasy XIV’s original disastrous and lurching launch, that is. But it looks like this sorry tale might be in for a happy ending. A Realm Reborn is the MMO’s relaunch, and Square Enix have gone hell for leather to completely rework the game into a state more acceptable to their audience. Almost everything has been redone in some way, from the game world to the PvP and PvE content, to the very server model that the game rests on. It’s a complete reboot, or rebirthing, if that sounds better. No, it really doesn’t, does it? Anyway, the game has certainly impressed a lot of folk at E3, and you have a chance to be impressed if you get onto the beta.

That beta has just entered the cross-platform stage, which means PS3 owners can now join their PC chums in the game world. So that’s nice. Holding hands and stuff. Tear-jerking trailer below, for good measure.

The game is set to launch on 27th of August.

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39 Comments »

  1. Flopper says:

    I really hope they pull a wild rabbit out of their ass and fixed it this time.

    I’d love to play a FF MMO. I never tried 11 but this one seems semi legit assuming the combat doesn’t suck monkey balls.

    It looks like the world is following a GW2 model where all the zones are separate with loading screens. That’s ok with me as long as the combat isn’t as sluggish and unresponsive as GW2.

    • aliksy says:

      You thought GW2′s combat was sluggish and unresponsive? Hell, how do regular MMOs feel to you, then? Like you’re underwater?

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        In that case, the original FF14 would have been underwater with concrete armour. Which this one seems to have dropped.

      • Flopper says:

        GW2 combat has an ability delay and puts animations ahead of responsiveness. I hate when games let animation take precedence over gameplay. And movement just feels off. Strafing slows you down… GTFO with that nonsense.

        That and many melee abilities rooting your character. Which again falls into the animations category. On my warrior I laugh when I kill people in WvW because they have to be complete garbage to let me land a hit. It is so easy to dodge a warrior’s attacks.

        I had such high hopes for that game… They didn’t deliver on anything. And now the monthly updates. They just stopped trying. Every month is stand around and AOE grind this crap and after hours and hours maybe we’ll RNG you a weapon claim ticket and you can go get one of the limited time weapons. Or just throw money at the gem store and buy one.

        • Brun says:

          This. Plus it still boiled down to being “hotkey combat” that everyone seems to hate so much. Adding a dodge button doesn’t make it that different, it’s like giving every class in WoW a Blink spell. At least hotkey combat is responsive, and I do like my instant abilities actually being instant.

        • aliksy says:

          It’s been a while since I played GW2 (I quit when they started getting all gear-happy), but I honestly don’t remember it feeling unresponsive. I mostly played Elementalist and Mesmer, so maybe those classes are different than warrior.

          • Lemming says:

            I think you’re milage varies depending on your computer spec. My computer is pretty middle-of-the road, but I could whack WoW up to full detail. GW2, I can’t so much and it tends slow down the responsiveness somewhat, and that’s where you notice the animations taking precedent, (fiddling with the graphics tends to make things look worse, but the response level stays pretty much the same) and yes it’s annoying. I don’t hate the game but I haven’t been back to it since the first month because of that. In comparison, yeah you have more control over your character in GW2 vs WoW, but WoW seemed slicker and more responsive.

          • neems says:

            Actually trying to reply to lemming, which it wouldn’t let me -

            GW2 is (or was, at any rate) processor bound, which led to the amusing situation that my pc with a Radeon 6870 had higher frame rates than my friend with a GTX680, due to my having a faster processor. Some of the graphical settings made a bit of a difference, but it basically came down to single core performance.

          • chewbaccasdad says:

            Also in reply to lemming, at launch my i5-2500k and gtx 580 rig handled it beautifully. Since then, performance has dropped on it completely, dunno why. Result: I don’t play it anymore.

    • riverman says:

      FF11 was the only MMO I played a character over lv40. that game was hard as shit and kicked your ass back down half a level whenever you got your ass handed too you. I left before they added PVP, then years later wow came around, but I’ve never played an MMO that held me to it for so long.

      I tried to get my account back, just so I can give it another whirl, but they wouldn’t answer emails which confused me because you’d think they’d take any players they could.

      why am I telling you this?

      • nearly says:

        I had to call in a year or two ago, after a break of a couple years, but they got it sorted out. They do it now through Square-Enix account so that PlayOnline is secondary, dunno if you were emailing the right people

    • njdss4 says:

      If you think GW2 is too sluggish, then FFXIV isn’t going to be what you’re looking for. The combat in FFXIV is miles better that it used to be, trust me, but that doesn’t mean it’s fast. Once Open Beta hits, try it out with the expectation that it’ll be faster than FFXI, but not as fast as some other hotbar MMOs like Rift.

  2. Enfuego says:

    I have neither the time nor willpower to play any MMO these days, especially not ones with catgirl bikini scenes. With that said, seeing chocobos in HD gets me unreasonably excited. Weird, right?

    • honky mcgee says:

      I believe the word that best describes your condition is bestiality.

    • riverman says:

      if they had a chocobo breeding minigame like FF7, I would play this game in a heartbeat. hell, if they had a game where you do nothing but play a chocobo farmer, I would throw my money at it.

      • SquirrelKnight says:

        Yeah, about that. You will be able to completely customize your chocobo and it will act as a companion (sort of like a super pet, but for all jobs). You might want to pull out your wallet now. :P

  3. Optimoos says:

    Someone help me out, I feel like I’m missing something. Went to the beta page, filled in my details, go to select my country – Canada isn’t listed. Huh that’s weird… then I start scrolling through the list, the US isn’t listed either, which got me wondering, and nope, there’s no Mexico.

    So I poked around trying to find details if North America is excluded or what’s going on, but I didn’t find anything right there on their page, so I’m at a loss. Anyone know more about this than I found?

    • Crossbit says:

      Don’t worry, the issue is that the link is to the application page for Square Enix Europe.

      It’s a bit strange that they don’t have the option to switch to another region/language sub-site on that page, but you can follow the link to the Beta Test Details, change to English (US) in the upper right corner, then use the FFXIV home button to find your way back to the appropriate application page.

      Or… you can skip all that and put this in your browser;

      https://secure.square-enix.com/enqt/e/FF14RBETAENTRYN/html?

      :P

  4. Thelps says:

    Can anyone comment on the class balance and monster difficulty fine-tuning?

    I played a lot of FF11 but my predominant issue with the game was the severely neglected class balance. My Dark Knight wasn’t in demand since his melee DPS role was competed for by Monks, Dragoons, Archers. Thieves and others. In contrast, every group required a White Mage (Healer), Paladin or Warrior (Tank) and Red Mage or, preferably, Black Mage (Magic DPS). In fact, many of the best groups didn’t bother with melee DPS at all, or only took one (5+ classes competing for 1 spot in a party). This meant that after about level 40 I’d find myself looking for groups for 45 minutes to 2 hours.

    I hope they’ve better balanced the classes so melee DPS doesn’t hold the group back from being optimal and thus constitute a charity invite. I’d play a caster or tank but prefer the melee DPS since they’re more varied in playstyle.

    What I remember most from FF11 is camping Notorious Monsters (rare spawn named mobs that could drop super rare, excellent gear). Despite some of them only spawning once very 12-36 hours (anyone remember Argus?) I had a blast getting that gear, because I knew it REALLY set me apart from other players, rather than just being a matter of getting into a large guild that could farm raid-content for the best drops, a la WoW. Notorious Monster hunting would be a solo endeavour, so you really EARNED those items, rather than tagged along for the ride until it was your turn to loot the purples/epics, as is the case in most WoW-alikes around at the moment.

    Carrying Sniper Rings and a Peacock Charm on your DRK made other players sit and gawp. Anyone inspecting you would immediately know you were at the top of your game, and a solid, tactical, no-nonsense invite for any group serious about clearing difficult content.

    • elfbarf says:

      Playing Peggle for hours with FFXI in the background meant that you were a good player? I’d rather take my “free” epics I was handed by spending 20 hours a week clearing heroic content (before guides were available) instead.

      • Thelps says:

        In WoW I was in 4 Kings. We were a world Top 20 guild. I never said epics were free, and I’ve world firsted a few raid bosses in my time. Intel bought me the CPU and Graphics card in this PC thanks to our sponsorship.

        Hunting Notorious Monsters would prove I was a dedicated player, and someone who was interested in playing an optimal character. I’ve never, in my time, seen someone with top-end gear from Notorious Monsters who was a waste of party space, that much I’m sure.

        Incidentally, we were the first guild on our server to clear Shattered Halls on Heroic, and this was before they patched the instance to balance.

        I stopped playing WoW just after WotLK. This is because my RL schedule didn’t allow the 6 hours+ a day required to keep prepped, trained and farmed-up for our instance grind. My guild spot was better available to someone who could.

        I wonder if anyone can answer my question about class balance in FF14 rather than make badly educated assumptions about a game they haven’t shown any evidence of playing?

  5. Bhale7 says:

    Never played any of the FFXIV games, but it seems to be a good sign that Square Enix is dedicated to giving their fanbase the game they deserve. You don’t see that everyday.

  6. Ace McAwesome says:

    I just got into the beta this morning and logged a few hours of playtime today.

    The good: The graphics are top notch, the animations are quality, seems bug free so far, sound is great. music is great (so many classic FF tunes), lots of FF fan service. Lots of ways to play, standard story questing, hunting log grinding, FATE quests, guildleves, dungeons.

    The bad: Terrible ping (this one is nitpicky, since it’s beta), very basic, very traditional hotkey combat (although very pretty and flashy hotkey combat), standard Japanese translation oddities.

    The okay: The story is every FF game you’ve ever played, which could be a good thing if you’re into that. No voice acting (so far, don’t know if they plan to add English voice acting or not). Classes and jobs are traditional trinity roles (a Paladin tanks. A white mage heals. A dragoon DPS’s. The end.) This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that you can be any class at almost any time and mix and match abilities amongst the classes you’ve leveled.

    Would I pay a monthly fee for it? Too early to say for sure, but so far I’m thinking, “Yes.”

    • ketsko says:

      First time I hear someone saying they had high ping. Did you choose a server close to your region?
      Voice acting will be there at release. Apparently they couldn’t include it in the beta due to some copyright issues. Only main story quests / missions will have VA though if I read that right.
      Comat feels pretty basic but keep in mind it will be different at max level with the amount of skills everyone will have at their disposal and add limitbreaks in the mix. I think it will be pretty intense for everyone in a party.

      The atmosphere is really great imo with nice writing, great visuals (although quite uneven at times..), really good art and do I even need to mention the music? Excellent stuff.

      • Ace McAwesome says:

        Actually from discussions I had on the FFXIV subreddit I learned that I wasn’t actually watching my ping, I was looking at the packet rate or some such internet jargon. When I direct pinged the Montreal data center my ping was ~25 ms so I think any cases I saw of lag (which were never lag of my own toon, but I would frequently see other toons rubber banding around me) were due to server crowding which should (hopefully) be a kink worked out in beta.

        Yeah man I am pretty much in agreement with you. The visuals, music, and sound are top-notch. The game does a great job of making you feel like a legitimate character within a Final Fantasy game, which, I suppose, is exactly what you are. So much fan service, but always in a way that isn’t too silly or over the top for the genre.

        Yeah, combat is basic. But, having said that, I am the type of guy that played menu-based RPG’s for well over a decade almost exclusively, and still would to this day if they would make more quality ones. So, slower-paced basic combat isn’t a turn-off for me. I added it because it is a turn off for a lot of people.

        To cap off, once the beta weekend closed down I went and immediately pre-ordered the Digital Collector’s Edition (25% off at greenmangaming, by the way) so there you go.

  7. Supahewok says:

    “But it looks like this sorry tale might be in for a happy ending.”

    No. This game has essentially cost Sqeenix 2 MMO’s. (More, because the first time around I don’t think they ever got around to charging subscriptions) They’ve poured tons and tons of money into this, and frankly I don’t see how they will ever make a profit off of it regardless of the quality of the reboot. I’ll be surprised if they ever just break even.

    • Premium User Badge

      lowprices says:

      I think at this point Squeenix are as concerned about restoring the good name of the Final Fantasy ‘brand’ as they are turning a profit. Another wildly unpopular FF would be catastrophic for them.

  8. Lemming says:

    It looks pretty, but I can’t help feeling that Squeenix are making a big mistake by making things look more westernised. Bring back the Chibi-look of FFIX, I say.

    • dE says:

      Kill the Chibi-look with fire. Or nukes from orbit. Chibi is just one anime style – and the most annoying one at that.

  9. Caleo says:

    I’ll chime in with my experience:

    - Got invited a day or two to the beta. Cool. Try to apply beta key to my account, can’t log in (not sure what my sq enix username is). Must submit ‘lost password’ request via email, process doesn’t reveal my username. Go to reset password, dropdown list of ‘security questions’ is listed, so I pick one and put in THE answer, no avail. Try another, no avail. Try another, no avail. I’m not sure if they only asked one security question during registration (so I have to remember which one I chose?) So anyway, great, locked out of my account.
    - Ended up registering a new account, applying the beta key; wait! Can’t just copy + paste the key because the thing has 5 different input boxes and the key won’t paste across them all like a properly coded website would.

    At this point, I’m already kind of flustered. Logging into game:

    - Enter username, entered password, entered “one time password” that they asked me for during registration: WRONG PASSWORD! I try again. Same. I get ready to go through the crappy password reset process again before I realise I should maybe try without the ‘one time password’ entered in. BINGO! There’s absolutely nothing there on your first client-login to indicate that you don’t need that one time password.
    - So, I’ve logged in, downloaded the client. Launching game.. Unskippable logo splashes, massive unskippable intro FMV that I’ve seen a half dozen times on youtube.

    - More cutscenes. FINALLY I get to the character creation screen! Characters look pretty good, game’s running smooth at this point.. Get my character made, BOOM! Game crashes. Have to sit through long intro (char creation one, not the intro FMV) again.
    - At this point I’m getting frustrated and ready to go to bed, but I mess around and soldier on through yet more cutscenes (no voice acting!).

    I never really did get around to gameplay. I pretty much stopped playing & went to bed after I had enough of the slow NPC interactions/cutscenes. I just hope for the audience’s sake that the rest of the game isn’t riddled with bad coding, poor decisions and lack of foresight; like my beginning experience was.

    • Zelos says:

      Most of this is very much PEBKAC.

      The unskippable cutscenes are only an issue if you insist on making many characters, which the game design doesn’t really encourage.

      • Caleo says:

        Thanks for your input. Getting frustrated with a website because it’s poorly coded is *very much* PEBCAK.

        • Khaos2000 says:

          If you’d actually /read/ what they said, you could have noticed that you can use your e-mail to login with instead of your login name in order to access your account. You might also have noticed that ‘One time Password’ is pretty much typical Account Security Key and not an actual /password/ unless you have a security key set up. Sounds like reading comprehension at it’s finest.

    • Ace McAwesome says:

      Your first complaint is that you can’t remember your SE account login information… that’s not really a knock on FFXIV.

      Your second complaint is that you can’t copy and paste the entire beta entry code wholesale, and have to write out all 20 digits of it by hand? Really?

      Your third complaint is that you didn’t click on the “What is a one-time password” link to see that it’s the field in which you would enter an Authenticator code if you in fact had an authenticator? If you don’t think that’s well enough advertised, well, good thing it’s a beta and you can offer feedback with plenty of time to change simple things like that, right?

      Your fourth complaint is unskippable logos and cutscenes. Fair enough. I think all cutscenes and splashes should be skippable.

      Your fifth complaint is that the beta crashed on you. It’s a beta. Submit feedback. That’s why they sent you the code.

      Your sixth complaint sounds like the game gets off to a slow start. This is a valid complaint. The game does in fact get off to a very slow start.

      So.. you managed to log two valid complaints and four bits of nonsense. Just keeping score.

      • Caleo says:

        It’s somewhat of a rant based on overall experience. I’ve never encountered a less intuitive (or more poorly setup) MMO website. To me, this is not only getting off to a bad start; it speaks volumes as to the company’s level of experience/customer interaction.

        There’s no way to just have the site send you your username. You have to go through a long & unclear process of resetting your password.

  10. Khaos2000 says:

    I played 11 a lot, not high end a lot but I got a lot of entertainment and enjoyment out of it. I beta’d 14 and it was garbage. We told them it was garbage. They didn’t listen so I never bought 14 (cancelled my pre-order). Got invited to ARR beta and… it is simply a much better game. It is not a twitch based game, there is some AoE dodging and the like that is becoming rather standard but overall I found the game to be /quite/ enjoyable and entertaining. Found myself crafting and enjoying it just because it was a happy medium between EQ2 and WoW crafting. Skills actually do something, but it’s not press this button now simon says style crafting.

    I found the gameplay smooth even when the NA/EU servers went down and I played on the japanese servers, people do confuse packet transfer as ping though (I did myself at first) and there was some /small/ lag bursts every now and again even when the new servers were down and the japanese servers were full to capacity.

    The story is pretty typical, crystals, evil bad empire, yadda yadda, but it /is/ without a doubt Final Fantasy and they do a pretty good job of making the PC feel special and a part of the story. Is it perfect? No, no game is, but they LISTEN and adjust and improve the game based on beta feedback and that is a very good thing. I’ll actually be buying it this time for sure (Ordered digital collectors edition too).

    When open beta comes, everyone who likes FF games should try it.

  11. piesmagicos says:

    man…i guess those female warriors are just really lucky the monsters have a code that says they are never allowed to attack between the midriff and upper thigh….or those would be some mighty short fights. Although i must say….full plate armor with assless plate leggings and a thong is pretty intimidating.