Aug 21, 2011

Final Fantasy Finally Fantastic!

Ok, maybe not “Fantastic” but it can now be called “Rather Eccentric” rather than “Immense Crap.”

I’ve recently reinstalled Final Fantasy XIV after leaving it 2 weeks after launch due to it being utter pap.  It’s now been patched up to 1.18 and I must say it’s beginning to be something rather special indeed.

The User Interface is now considerably more responsive, and you can now have keyboard shortcuts for the individual windows, they’re still a bit buggy, if you use I, J, K or L, they kinda move the camera for a split second as they were the default camera keys.  It’s still a bit heavy on the menus, but at least they work now.

Combat has been improved, characters have now had their default first attack skill changed into an auto attack, this makes it less about mashing buttons and more about positioning yourself for flanking and rear attacks.  Keyboard and Mouse controls are also improved, they still feel a bit “floaty” but I don’t need to use my XBox 360 pad any more.

The game world feels a lot more populated with various creatures, both passive and hostile.  There is also more variety in the creatures you face, with the older monsters having more powerful versions which are re-textured, resized and sometimes have extra bits of armour over there more common brethren.  No longer do I have to find somewhere secluded and out of the way to kill some monsters as the spawn rate was too low.

I can’t really say much about the situation of questing, only having done the starter quests in Limsa Lominsa and loads of Guildleves, but it doesn’t seem as limited as it was before, which gives you more to do.  Crafting is still a major part of the game, and now with there being a searchable auction house in Ul’dah, makes finding what you want simple.  The games economy is a bit broken though, seems like all the lower level equipment is worth more than the higher level stuff, considering the high end gear scales down, skipping equipment below level 40 seems to be a more prudent option, this needs to be looked at by the developers at Square Enix.  The crafting is still as in depth as it was before, and I actually like the fact that 90% of the equipment is player made, this is likely to change with instances and traditional dungeons being added, but for now, it’s refreshing to see crafted items dominating the market.

Graphically, not much has changed, it still looks fantastic, the character models in particular are amazing looking, and all the equipment and weapons have a pleasing level of detail on them.  Performance wise, it’s certainly less laggy, but I’d really like an official method of borderless windowed mode, the hacky way I do it now really kills FPS for me.

Overall it’s vastly improved, the potential is being realised, and I am looking forward to what upcoming changes and improvements SE are making.  There are some niggling issues with the UI still being a bit clunky, and the kinks in the Keyboard/Mouse controls need to be ironed out, but the base game is playable and actually really good fun.  I’m on Palamecia under the name Formulae Alabaster if anyone fancies taking a rubbish Elezen Lancer out on a trip!

As a reward for completing the Summer Festival quests, you can make your own wallpapers on the Lodestone Site. Om nom nom!

2 Comments

  • For curiousities sake, when does one have the best chance of meeting you and Hids online in Eoreza, Wodge? Was quite nice running with you two last weekend. :-)

    (Oh, btw. crafting is going to get an overhaul with patch 1.19 late september, I read. They want to make crafting a little easier/less daunting for new people, it seems. No more needing 5 crafts at lvl30 to make a lvl10 outfit, if I read it correctly.)

  • Just add me on steam or raptr dude, details on guild site :)

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