Overall, the first month of FFXIV can’t be viewed as anything other than a failure, but I don’t think a single bad month will doom this game to mediocrity. Failure during the next two months would be significantly more devastating.
I'd say the launch was pretty good no matter how you look at it, even if the game is not. It could have been a lot, lot worse than it was.
Pretty good? This launch was not good in any way shape or form. Loyal fan base for the Final Fantasy name is the only thing saving this mess. No MMO in the history of MMO has gotten a worst launch then FFXIV.
While I feel dirty defending SE on this one, I disagree.
I was around for BETA and launch of several MMO's that were legendary disasters. They had horrible game design and mechanics issues and had lots of bugs.
Worse of the bunch: Shadowbane. - It died practically within the week of launch. What was left was a small population of gamers dedicated to exploiting bugs for pvp advantage.
Real bad one: Age of Conan. Overhyped, overmarketted, UTTER failure on delivery. This was like the Duke Nukem sequel : took too long, too many changes mid-development, code wasnt cleaned and holy crap it acted like a virus on your C drive. Gameplay was horrible and buggy. Game went from uterus to grave on its first day.
Runner up: World War 2 Online - Take2's launch was so bad the game went to free play for almost 6 months then DIED. Re-launched year+ later when the devs bought back the rights to the game from Take2 and REALLY fixed it. Today its called Battleground Europe and its an EXCELLENT MMO.
Honorable Mention: Everquest 2 - EQ2 is eerie in its similarity to FF14's launch. Same game concept and much better graphics than its predecessor ... but gameplay mechanics and interface were drastically changed (and HORRID). Game flopped less than 6 months after launch, most playerbase going BACK to EQ1. Pretty much the same that will happen in FF14 if SE doesnt get its rear in gear.
I've also been in beta and launch of some that were horrible launches and the major issues were fixed relatively quickly (within a month or two). It is important to note however that the horrible launch was not due to gameplay mechanics or bad design but rather bugs and glitches with the game code... the core design of the games below was very well done.
Worst: Star Wars Galaxies. (which was 're-launched' a couple years later as the 'NGE' patch which has been recorded as the Greatest ***-Up in MMO history).
Runner up: Dark Age of Camelot - lots of bugs, all fixed in 3 months. Kudos to the devs.
Honorable Mention: Lord of the Rings Online - many glitches, all fixed the MONTH of release. holycrap wow job from their dev team.
FF14 is somewhere between EQ2 and Star Wars Galaxies. It doesnt have anything better than FF11 other than the nifty graphics and it NEEDS a re-write of its core system to be fixed. I only hope SE doesn't go 'SOE' on the changes that need to be done. Edited, Nov 3rd 2010 2:47pm by Skyfaller