If you talk to a lot of non mmo ff players I think this particular question is talked about a lot. Collectors of the series aren't particularly interested perhaps in mmo's and the ilk so aren't sure where it stands.
If you're not big on mmo's you wont know this stuff probably so a quick rundown that might clarify a few things;-
- There's a monthly fee to play.
I'll stick it at the top because to be frank, it's the main 'sell/not to sell' point of the game for a lot of people who havn't done it before. If you're English, it's £8.99 - but the way I personally see it is that I can go out and spend £8.99 on what (£3.20 x2 = £6.40 + 2.80 odd change) thats just over 2 and a half pints for a nice social evening down the pub with mates. Which inevitably i'll do anyway. I'd usually have 3 or 4 over a few hours and we'll call it friday out. If you work out how much it costs timewise for time out (I'm aware its not quite the same as you will go out anyway :P) it works out as £8.99/however many hours a month you play.
It's over £6.30 for a cinema ticket, if you catch my drift - and thats 3hrs of entertainment. I know its not exactly an ideal comparison - as I say - I go out a fair bit, but the point is I think it's value for money. The costs are for staff and server upkeep, which need to be staffed, maintained and possibly expanded (for now anyway).
- There's only online play.
It's a pure online thing. It's always multiplayer, you can't pause, everyone else is playing even when you're not - but thats what I like about mmo's... There's always someone to talk to, have fun with, learn about - whurrever. If you aren't well and cant sleep - go chat to a random japanese guy at 1am about [cabbage] while grouped for a bit. The world is your oyster and it's genuinely nice to see the same set of people wandering about that you can stop, chat and get to know. On the downside, if you're young and are demanded at the dinner table or other such things (we've all been there at some point or other!) then its a royal pain in the *** to do some group work without forward planning. And trust me, asking when dinner is a couple of days in a row 3 hours early to see if you can fit in the odd group thing doesn't usually go down well. (I grew up and moved out, if you're reading this mum, TAKE THAT HARHARHAR).
- The community
Mentioned above not much more to say. There's more to it than just a single player game and why people who have never tried an mmo bash it I have no idea.
The most important part. If you've got a few friends playing as well, or even if you make them in game - there's nothing more satisfying in the gaming genre than stereotypically banding together in a rather cliché party to duff up a dragon none of you could take solo, right? Getting some new items, dying because of silly stuff like the healer going for a pee as you pull the mob. I've had some seriously good times playing these games and some I can think of now that still make me smile, i've met friends from around the country who are now good mates and nip over once in a while.
On the downside, it is hard if you are young to justify this to 'adults' that think games are bad and will give you square eyes and to pay a sub for it is almost ludicrous. But again, the price I believe is fair. £5.00 for a **** pc game magazine :P seriously.
Anyway, hope it answered a few pro's and con's and perhaps we'll see you in game. If not, all the best!
Quick edit regarding the last question: I'm not sure why they do it like that, there must be some reason - but dont worry, by the time the console version is released us poor pc players will have moaned so much the game will be much better then :P. So, enjoy christmas and look forward to it!
Edited, Sep 29th 2010 8:00am by Rawrfaceamg