Gosh, I hit the reset form button, and my one hour essay was gone T_T
well, it's a sign that nobody wants to read a wall of text, i guess. so, I am gonna keep it short.
Consider that past 3 months was an "one-time-fee" BETA, and the game is being released right now. How would you have rated this game?
Many people have quitted due to initial sucky state of the game, but SE has made efforts in the right direction, and the game has improved. Now, for those of us who bit the bullet and stayed with the game. How would you rate the game now?
my 2 cents:
CE content (6): I want my vevelteen map, and adventurer mug. (I am US CE, by the way)
payment set up (6): It felt like a mini law school or MBA entrance exam, but it at least made me feel safer about my information.
graphics (9): would give a 10 if not for the redundant large zone map with cut and paste landscape. it doesn't bother me much, but running in an uninteresting zone for 10 minutes to cross it isn't fun. detailed facial expression, weather effects, and character designs and emote.
UI and control: with controller (8), keyboard and mouse (7), both (9) average (8). It's all about getting used to. with improved response time, and more intuitive menu design, the game is quite enjoyable given the right set up. However, definitely rooms to improve response time, and cleaner menu designs.
general game design (7): SE has some good ideas about the game, it does require more balancing and tweaking; however, the idea of having 1 character to level all jobs, and that crafters can now enjoy the stories without killing a soul is quite revolutionary (to me at least)
fun factor (7): while many people complain about little contents, I am willing to give a 7 to the contents I have seen so far. Cut-scenes are interesting with good cinematic effects. Stories seems interesting so far, although too far apart in level, 'cos r1-r20 is 24 hours, r20-r40 may take 2-4 months. contents are there, SE is just doing the delay gratification thingy...
SE's response to customers (9): For the most part, SE has tried everything they can for the past 3 months. Yes, the game was not released in an acceptable state, but if you treat it as an one-time-fee BETA, you have to give it to SE that they have made good changes to the game, and even bold moves such as kicking the senior vice president off the driving seat. it does show a lot of sincerity, and I dig it. what else would you want anyway? give you money?
in conclusion, I think this game is at a 7- right now, and I would still consider it Beta. I didn't rate the battle part of the game, 'cos I haven't really played any combat job since Nov update. I think the battle scheme has huge room for improvement, like the rest of the game. I am hopeful, and I am glad that I stuck with it, and now I get to tell the stories with the beginning line of: "I remember way back when it started..."
disclaimer: i am in no way or form a seasoned game reviewer, i haven't even played more than 150 games in my life (I think). this is only opinion, and you are welcome to disagree.