I've only been playing this game for 3 days and yet I can safely say I'm loving FFXIV. Given that it is still a beta, this is a promising sign of what to come as SE continues to work on the game up to and after release Sept. 22. Here's a list of things that have me impressed:
- Mining, Logging, Fishing, etc. are all well thought out and actually fun! Location nodes can be shared fairly. You don't have to buy hatchets and pickaxes for each use on a point that disappear upon use, just as a main weapon/tool that stays with you. There seems to be a good variety of items you can find, including +1, +2 and so on items. The minigame is a hot and cold game of figuring out the correct spot to stop a moving arrow, circle, whatever on the screen and gives you hints as you go that are easy to decipher.
- Crafting is just fun to do. Your character uses a tool for a particular class and upon synthesizing something a workstation appears relative to that class. When you want to make something, you pick the items you want to use and it tells you what you can make from those items. I was given a list of a few choices based on the material I had selected. You don't even have to think about crystals until you get this far.
- Guildleves are fun and you get experience, class skill points, gil, and items from them. The idea SE made to "tag" your monsters with a little icon is brilliant. Nobody else can kill them so you aren't fighting over monsters while doing leves. You can do 8 of these every 48 hours and I think that's plenty because of my next point.
- Monsters are easy to find for your normal experience fighting. I've heard people say that they are hard to find but they most likely aren't leaving the immediate area of just outside the city. If you wander around you can find plenty of areas with monsters just hanging out waiting for you to kill them.
- Leveling your character has many, many options. You can select certain abilities from all other classes you have leveled. I can be any class and have the spell Cure provided I obtained it already. You gain both class and physical experience so you are really only leveling your physical level once ever in the game. No going back to the "dunes" ever again! When you craft, gather, or fight you gain physical level experience. 2000 experience for making an axe handle on a local leve? **** yes! You can level your character however you **** well please, even only crafting, logging, fishing, anything.
- Soloing is not a horrible endeavor. Since you have so many options for leveling and character customization you aren't spending a long time getting a measly 50 xp. I've been having a blast soloing which I can't say I had during my FFXI years.
- Everybody gets to teleport around. Want to go to this area? Select it and you're there. All you have to do is manage to get there once and you're set for later teleports.
- The initial city quest gives you a decent amount of gil to go and buy all the starter weapons and tools to level whatever classes you want and go from there. I did "The Color of Sin" and got about 30,000 gil as a reward. This was plenty to go out and buy all the weapons and tools for all classes along with some other gear.
- The music is done by Nobuo and it's great. It's not the same old stuff and yet doesn't go so far from the mold he's created that you think you're playing something outside of the Final Fantasy franchise.
- The graphics. The graphics! It's an understatement to say that this game looks stunning. There are so many little touches to things giving minute detail. Environments are immense and beautiful. Monster and player models are crisp and just a pleasure to look at. You can spend hours just walking around observing the game without actually doing anything constructive.
There's more to say I'm sure, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. Any other optimistic, positive reviewers out there?