(this guy apologizes ahead of time for long post.)
Been searching for FFXIV videos to watch while waiting for the rest of the week to end for exp reset and mostly ran into reviews and such. I had no idea people still dislike 14 so much still! Well almost all the reviews I watched are either For the game or Against it by a lot(more are against). I think my experiences with it so far, quite a few people can relate to regarding getting a new graphics card and stuff like that. But numerous people are still watching the tides before deciding to stay in the FFXI boat or eventually hop over and invest in 14. I want to try to be a little helpful in that department by sharing my sick & twisted perspectives...
Like a lot of people who fear change, I was defensive while playing FFXI because of having invested so many thousands of years on it looking for parties Dx(it seems like longer). I basically said, "Man ***** FF14, the tarus there look old and the galkas look like a fat Solid Snake!" Then some people in my linkshell got accepted to play the Beta and I was jealous a little cus I got rejected :[. Okay, a lot later I got fed up with FFXI because I'm not a big fan of keeping up with expansions and the continuous need to be in a strong linkshell to get more stuff done. Nothing personal...I just enjoy the "original feeling" of the game kind of like how the first 150 pokemon were awesome but the next 1000 of them weren't as hot to the earlier players--you know. Basically I took a vacation until the urge to play MMOs came back again. By that time, FFXIV had come out for a couple weeks for PC.
I had a pretty new PC, in my opinion. However the score on my benchmark was completely boobish(30-100~). We've gone down this road before...I needed a new graphics card to play FFXI back then too ~.~;. But I tried installing FFXIV anyway cus I had faith in my PC! After looking for a few fixes for the crashes(installed VC++2005 Redist. pack for it to work on Windows 7) and waiting for updates and stuff. Happily, I log on and make my new guy and begin playing as much as I could manage to on my slow computer. Basically I could do stuff and got to about level 10 and I tried to keep it cool through all the lag. It ran and was playable, but felt like dialup. So I lurked around amazon(dot)com and bought a new PC setup for about $230 for everything. The specs I managed to get for that price was 3.2ghz, 2gb ram, and a Geforce 9800gt. Oh man, I felt like a lucky ******* lol. Installed FFXIV on the new PC and I couldn't stop smiling for 2 1/2 days. I understand what people mean when saying even the best computers can't run FFXIV and that SE is asking too much from their customers as far as the costs of upgrades just to play their game. But I guess some of us don't mind going the extra mile..
Beautiful landscape and artwork in total is amazing. At first I couldn't see the difference in the appearance of 11 and 14 by looking at screenshots, but its more obvious when you're actually playing. People talk about exp limitation a lot so I examined it for myself. It took me about 5 days to get near the limit on 2 jobs and it went from 300~ to 65~ per kill/craft. So yeah, seems pretty fair to me. The GUI or HUD and controls were reported to have a .5 second lag in response but I don't feel it. The only thing that lags for me right now is walking into the center of town and waiting for things to register after you sell or drop an item--about a few seconds lag there. The economy is pretty hardcore for being only over a month old I think. Money is still tough to make and you spend it fast. But I think that makes it exciting. Only because!...you can use NPCs to bazaar for you all day and night now. If they made me bazaar with my character instead of getting to go exp, I would cry more minutes per day. The crafting crystals seem brutal to find and buy for your job but if you look at it after a while, they're worth a similar value to FFXI crystals. Like 800-1500+ gil worth of crystals per synth. But farming gets you items pretty rapidly and sell fast so money comes and goes for everyone.
As said earlier, I see all the complaints for FFXIV and I hear ya. It made me scared after I paid for the game and couldn't run it, too(some places don't take back products that are discs...and have a cd key). Oh and so far I haven't seen anyone talk in /say while I played, at all! It's so weird but I guess everyone is keeping to themselves and won't interact a whole lot until there's more stuff we can do together. FFXIV fixed many of the annoyances that were prevalent in FFXI; for example, 11 players run slower than grandmas and 14 players can haul *** and have ways to escape aggro, so...no permanent aggro=me happy lol. And the auto run won't cancel unless you intend to do so. No more belonging to guilds exclusively..and teleporting and obtaining maps doesn't rely on purchasing warp sticks and maps. The maps are huge as heck and you can harvest without competition so no more racing people to a tree or mine. Basically the things that cause the most stress are widely eliminated and that's pretty awesome. I guess 1 downside that makes me sad is that Microsoft and SE won't agree on things so my FFXI friends with Xbox console can't come with me unless they upgrade :[. But that's no one's fault I guess. We all come to a time in our lives where we want to blow up SE or Microsoft @.@ but those feelings pass...
All in all, its been a long and hard journey to just be able to live in the world of Eorzea, but I'm glad I went through the process. If we've LFP'ed on FFXI for 6 hours a day, everything else just feels easier.