Would You Like To Try Again? FF14 Re-Released

By Ben Barrett on August 28th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

It’s very rare to see a game get a second chance at greatness. Publishers don’t react well to perceived failure so the ongoing saga of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is more than a little heart-warming. After a, to put it nicely, not so good original release the rebooted version of the game has been barn-storming its way through my friends list since early access began. By all accounts it’s made some significant improvements. Now Square bring news they’ve been so immensely popular that they’ve had to temporarily cancel digital sales of the game to keep their servers functioning. This amidst desperate attempts to keep things under control by limiting character creation and increasing numbers of servers available. Thoughts on these moves and a launch trailer under the cut.

So, despite that Facebook post, I have managed to make it all the way to payment on the official site for a digital download copy. I’m not willing to drop £20 on an experiment, so it’s possible I’ll be denied later in the process but it seems unlikely. Moreover, third party sites are still selling too. There’s no mention of the move beyond Facebook either, having checked both the official site and the central Square Enix one. Bit odd. Anyone delivering a little Final Fantasy straight to their veins, or are you through MMO rehab at this point?

UPDATE: Since writing this story, Square Enix have posted an official update on the main site and taken down FF14 from their store. Third parties still seem to have it, however. At a guess, the Facebook post went live a little earlier than intended or was meant simply as a warning that this would be happening soon.

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52 Comments »

  1. Tei says:

    Is this the FINAL fantasy, or they will make another version?

  2. Danny says:

    Bought the game for early access, and I can confirm that I definitely have early access to the login queue.

    You’d say that something as simple as AFK-kicking after a certain threshold should be relatively easy to implement. But no, now everyone just logs into the game in the morning and let their PC running until they return from work/school.

  3. int says:

    Are all the NPCs voiced now?

    • hitoyou says:

      No, there’s barely any voice acting aside from some story quests, but not even all of those are voiced.

    • Corb says:

      I like it that way though. Voiced NPC’s just annoyingly yell the same thing over and over, make it more difficult to personalize, and, be honest, do you really listen to them or read the text they spout anyway? (my arbitrary number guess is 80% of people don’t). Square is in financial issues anyway so instead of paying some half-hearted voice actors that detract from the experience why not put the money to better use (like servers) instead?

  4. FairlyIncognito says:

    According to a lot of my friends and other such reliable sources, this game is a significant improvement over the “original”. Personally I’ve yet to play it, due to Square Enix’s customer service.

    If you already own the original FFXIV, you’ll actually get this version/sequel free of charge, only need to pay for the sub fee. Likewise, if you own the Collectors Edition of the original, you’ll also get the in-game items from the sequel’s Collectors Edition. So at least the game has that going for it.

    You also get, afaik, 15 days of free game time if you own the original.

    • Corb says:

      Beyond the login issues (which you can fix with a login macro ;D), and even the login issues have been steadily getting better, yeah they botched the release. The game play though is really good. I haven’t run into any lag/crashes/major bugs yet. As far as an MMO though, don’t expect this to be evolution, it’s that same standard trinity/tab target stuff. If you’re looking for “mmo revolutions” you’ll just waste your money and time.

  5. I Got Pineapples says:

    I’ve played it a bit now and it is perhaps the most weirdly mellow MMO I’ve ever played.

    Also, it has the chocobo music when you ride a chocobo. So that’s pretty awesome.

    Also, it has revealing armor.

    But all the armor is pretty much the same for both sexes.

    So…you’re gonna be wearing some tiny, tiny pants, regardless of who you are.

    And that’s okay. Unless you’re one of those tiny people in which case you should just go find some proper pants.

  6. Necron99 says:

    Is this the FINAL, Final, Final, FINAL, Final Fantasy?

  7. BobbyDylan says:

    Why did I read FIFA instead of FF14?

  8. strangeloup says:

    On the one hand, I quite fancy playing this. On the other, I doubt I’d play it (or any MMO, for that matter) enough to make a subscription fee worth it.

  9. Icepick says:

    For a game that was so heavily panned because of it’s poor gameplay that they had to remake basically the entire thing, does anyone else find it a little odd that their new launch trailer has no gameplay footage?

  10. noodlecake says:

    If you’re going to make a trailer, and the voice acting and lip syncing in your game sucks, why make a trailer showing only that? :S

    Also keeping a similar aesthetic as Final Fantasy XII is an odd choice, considering that’s generally one of the less liked games from the series.

  11. Debe2233 says:

    It’s a fairly bog-standard mmorpg… Obligatory quest markers above npcs, area events on a timer, collect 10 bear arse quests… And the occasional chocobo.

    If you ever thought World of Warcraft/Guildwars 2/another mmorpg was not Final Fantasy enough but the idea of playing a single player Final Fantasy game repulses you, then this is a viable option.

  12. Liudeius says:

    Square Enix, could you just make FFXIII again but with a good story (one the “protagonist” is actually part of which doesn’t revolve around the brattyness of a “bloodright” ruler) and latest gen technology?

    Actually, FFX and FFXIII both look better than that graphically if you’re playing them in 1080p. (They really chose bad skin tones for some of the characters.)

  13. hemmingjay says:

    I was going to buy it today due to the positive buzz but seeing as how they suspended the sales until at least next week, I will probably give the game a pass. The first 2 weeks of an MMORPG are the most fun and I wonder how many people like myself will now be passing on it?

  14. mollemannen says:

    “yea we here at square enix doesn’t know how to release a mmo so we released the same mmo twice”.
    did they forget how much of a hassle it is to release a mmo?

  15. Stijn says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game trailer that left me so confused about what was going on. I suppose it makes more sense if you played the first iteration of FF14?

    • Baines says:

      I think the selling point for people who brought the first iteration was the announcement months ago that the rerelease would be made/fixed in Japan by Square-Enix, and not outsourced to China the way the original FFXIV was.

  16. nimzy says:

    It’s now or never for Square Enix.

  17. aepervius says:

    rumor on the block by many youtuber , is that it is not that good. Anybody playing can chip in ?

    • Talesdreamer says:

      I was in the beta and I was not impressed. At all. Standard asian grindfest, as Debe2233 said. Nothing really innovative, nothing worth your money.
      That really impressed me, in a negative way, was the utter lack of personalization of my character, apart from the graphic. Few skills, slowly unlocked, poor gear selection. There’s like a standard armor for every class, and you are forceduse it because there’s nothing else.
      I don’t know if it goes better when you level up a bit and exit from the first maps. I got bored soon enough.

      tl, dr: I enjoyed more Marvel Heroes than FFXIV. I think this says it all.

      • Fagadaba says:

        According to my roommate and others, the first 20 levels is the tutorial and then you get to do dungeons and fight for real. Also you switch your items to switch classes, which you can all use on the same character.

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          They figured “the game doesn’t really start until 20 hours in” worked for Final Fantasy XIII, so it might as well work now.

          EDIT:

          Also, that since everyone liked FF X-2 so much, they might as well copy the battle system.

          EDIT EDIT:

          Actually, I really liked X-2, in all it’s goofy glory.

          • 4242-564 says:

            @Fagadaba
            “According to my roommate and others, the first 20 levels is the tutorial and then you get to do dungeons and fight for real. Also you switch your items to switch classes, which you can all use on the same character.”

            @Drinking with Skeletons
            “They figured “the game doesn’t really start until 20 hours in” worked for Final Fantasy XIII, so it might as well work now.”

            20 levels != 20 hours, just to be clear.

            Having been playing and trying to play for the since the early access, I would like to clarify that you gain access to the first dungeon at level 15 (30-45minutes long depending on how good the party is). You gain access to switch to new classes at level 10 (once you finish the level 10 class quest), and at the same time if you finished the level 10 main quest then you also gain access to mini- grouped instance content called guild-hests, (despite the name, it’s got nothing to do with actually having to be in a guild) which last anywhere from 10-20 minutes, and are like mini dungeon romps that require a bit of teamwork.

            Sure ffxiv has its problems, and connectivity problems, but it’s a fun throwback to the days when your role actually meant something (gw2 looking at you =P 3 80s and the metagame is to be dps or die thanks to the weird aggro system), cooperation mattered and Look! (I can actually use skills from different classes! I have a heal on my melee gladiator! ) cross class skills are a more interesting way to customise your character.

            The combat is slower than a lot of current mmos, but with the longer global cooldown, it means your individual actions have more impact and more thought goes into choosing the skills. Should i hit a heal or try to get a slow on the mob? Do i use a skill which gains me more aggro or returns me mana?

        • Talesdreamer says:

          I can’t really understand this type of game desiging. Your players are supposed to get hooked to the game and play more, not to bore themselves and grind until the game actually gets interesting…

    • Fox89 says:

      Well youtubers are pretty bitter about it at the moment as Square Enix wont let them monetise video content of it!

      It’s a ‘traditional’ MMORPG in every sense of the term. As an example of that – it’s a pretty good one with a lot of good systems in place to give you stuff to do as you grind through the levels and easily find people to party with and quests to go on.

      If the thought of ‘Kill 5 snapping shrews’ for 90% of the game doesn’t get any of your juices flowing though, avoid at all costs. That’s just the kind of game it is.

  18. angrym0b says:

    I bought the first version of this game on release. Do I have to buy this one too, or do I get some sort of credit for paying for their first failed attempt?

    If not, I’m not going to bother.

  19. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Dammit, Square Enix, there are exactly two things I want from you:

    1) Final Fantasy XII International HD
    2) Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions on PC (GOG preferable, but Steam-only is acceptable)

  20. Fox89 says:

    All things considered, the launch isn’t going too badly. There’s never any real ‘defence’ for this sort of thing, but opening day server issues are pretty par for the course with MMOs.

    As for the game itself – I’m convinced it is a good traditional MMORPG now. If you like games with all those mechanics World of Warcraft made popular, than A Realm Reborn is a well designed, highly polished example of that. If you want anything else from your MMOs or your Final Fantasies these days, you’d best look elsewhere.

    I see this very much as a last hurrah for the MMORPG we’ve known over the last decade or so. There aren’t many that could be successful building this kind of game for a subscription fee anymore, and with a name as big as Star Wars being unable to maintain that model Square will have to keep the updates coming thick and fast. I’m cautiously optimistic though; just call it a gut feeling after playing the game for a while.

  21. Shieldmaiden says:

    It’s a very good, albeit very traditional MMO. It’s clearly very group-oriented, even *gasp* forcing you into dungeons as part of the main story quest chain. My gladiator (typical sword and board tank class) is incredibly dull solo, but is a heck of a lot of fun with a group, simply because the dynamics of managing threat and minimising damage taken require a lot more concentration and a wider variety of skills. It’s also a lot more challenging than any MMO I’ve played in a long time; keeping aggro as a tank actually requires paying attention.

    It’s not going to convert anyone who doesn’t like trad MMOs, but I think it’d really appeal to someone who loved WoW for the first few years, but feels that it became too easy and overly-simplified.

  22. bleeps says:

    I quite like the game. Yes, access issues are pretty daunting but that will sort itself out in time. This isn’t a revolutionary game. Rather, it’s a carefully crafted refinement and distillation of what a traditional MMO embodies with a lot of FF twists all over the place. The amount of polish in this game is amazing. Right down to the lighting effects and the way your hair and robes flutter in the wind. If the words Final Fantasy and MMO don’t make you gag or twitch, I’d say it’s worth checking out.

  23. Inu says:

    I have one question.

    Can you turn on Japanese Audio with english subtitles?

  24. Beernut says:

    They sure know how to screw themselves. Let’s plays, commented videos in general, video guides and live streams are a huge help for MMOs to keep the buzz going. And who is going to review your game if you prohibit the reviewers to monetize their videos with ads? Not many.

  25. FairlyIncognito says:

    I thought that was only while the NDA was still in effect? Which it isn’t any longer mind you.

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