I hated FFXI with a seething passion by the time I quit. I had a 60 WAR/35 MNK/35 NIN, had all classes -- 15 at the time -- open and leveled to 20+, 54 Goldsmithing with over 1mil gil and a stock of gold and plat ore/bars that I was getting ready to sell, when two things happened:
1) The Scorpion Harness that I'd been trying to save up for went from 3 mil, to 8 mil, to 20 mil in the span of about two weeks, and,
2) The LS I ran (a social one, but still) ditched me over one Christmas break because of drama I hadn't even been aware of until I logged on to find them all gone.
I raged, I deleted everything, and I moved onto WoW. I tried going back to FFXI 5-6 months later, but go figure, SE basically said, "lol thats wut u get 4 deletin ur charz thx 4 teh money tho!" Which is true, I'll grant, never the less. I tried rerolling again, got to level 30, and the thought of doing all those job quests over again made me want to puke, so I put it up for good.
Flash forward to a few days ago. I saw FFXIV on sale for $15, and figured, "Eh, what the ****? It's a month of WoW that I'm currently not playing." Now, I tried the FFXIV open beta, and remembered it as a bug-ridden, quarter-finished mess, but thus far, I'm actually somewhat enjoying myself. There are nice little quality of life things that make it more enjoyable than FFXI, such as action bars (though I guess macros do the same thing), faster-paced combat (because nothing says heart-pounding like auto-attacking your way to level 10, punctuated by the odd WS here and there), the ability to regen on the move (because having to heal after every kill made me want to commit suicide after a while), and the ability to change classes/jobs on the fly based on what weapon you're equipped with. Oh yeah, and the ability to solo with something that could be considered success without being a BST or RDM of some variety.
However, while the combat/gathering/crafting in and of themselves are more fun for me -- it's more action oriented without being the OMFGBUTTONSPAM that WoW/Rift/Aion/WAR all were (maybe it's just because I can actually play with a joypad without gimping myself to ****) -- it seems to be missing...well, pretty much everything else. There's no mail system as far as I can tell, this "fatigue" system I'm hearing about sounds daunting (though I haven't hit it, yet...I think), FFXIV is still continuing the time-honored tradition of "Wtf is this item for?" and the overall fear of vendoring anything because that may be an expensive, rare piece to some insanely high end craft. What are mats of the +1-3 variety for? Why are there level 77 crabs in a newbie zone? (I got hit for 4667 damage on my level 11. It made me giggle.) Where the **** is everybody? :( I'm on Selbina, seen on my screen as the highest pop server, and it feels so incredibly barren and lonely -- no chat of any kind -- and it makes me sad. :(
I have a point in this, believe it or not. Basically put, there's no point asking if this game is worth the money, because as far as I'm aware, it's still essentially free until Squeenix gets their crap straight, so if nothing else, it's a fun little romp so far, but...well, does it drastically improve at some point? At least in FFXI, the zones were pretty straight forward in their progression -- at least, at first they were. Here, I'm seeing mobs range from level 1 to 19 to 77 (at least I can see levels now, though, I guess), and I'm not exactly sure where the **** I'm supposed to go after Nublet Central. Moreover, I'm afraid to ask any of the people that I see roaming around because I don't like showing off my complete lack of knowledge about, well, anything, and all of this feels like my first foray into FFXI, but worse, because FFXIV is like FFXI's mutated, malformed cousin that I can almost recognize, but is too disfigured for me to get any kind of bead on.
I like the game so far, but I'm getting so many mixed signals about everything. Is the game worth it, in any way shape or form? Or should I just swallow my bad memories of FFXI and try that again after...God, five years, now? Six? Something like that.
Edited, Jun 18th 2011 8:20pm by WFSilverKnight