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From FFXIV Boo to ARR Woo!Follow

#1 Jul 15 2013 at 12:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have been holding off and posting lately because I wanted my 1000th post on ZAM to have some meaning behind it. With Beta 3 ending tomorrow morning, I thought that now was as good a time as any. I know there a billion reviews out there, but that's not really what I want this to be. I just want to write down how I feel about this game, my experiences with it, and put it out there for someone that is still conflicted with whether to try the game out or not.

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I played FFXI. In fact, I can remember months before FFXI was released, I was stockpiling as much information about it as I could find. I was in my freshman year of high school, which is an awkward time for a lot of people, and I had played MMO's in the past for the same reason as many others; an escape from the hells of growing up. Being a fan of MMO's and Final Fantasy, I was thrilled at the idea of the two combined. The age of MMO's was still semi-fresh, and I was ready to get sucked into the world of Vana'Diel.

When the game released, I was instantly in love. I loved the towns, the music, the comradery, I made friends, and enemies, experienced amazing stories, and fought epic battles. I laughed so hard I cried during the good times with my linkshells, and experienced an anger beyond all meaning when I set homepoint in Valkurm Dunes, forgotten about it, switched to WHM lvl 5 and got stuck there for the better part of a day. I left the game, and came back. I devoted more time to it on and off throughout the years than I am proud of. But I loved it. It was the first MMO to really grasp my attention and make me feel at home. It wasn't perfect, but it was home.

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But things change. MMOs become dated, or the content it provides changes. This isn't a bad thing at all, of course, MMO's need to change to hold interests. However, sometimes things just stop feeling the same for some people. We move on, we look for new places to experience, something to get that feeling again. I have been looking for another MMO to provide that same feeling that FFXI has provided for years.

Enter FFXIV V 1.0. When it was announced, once again I was thrilled! If they did so well on FFXI, what can I expect with the next generation?

Obviously, this feeling was short lived.

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I played the FFXIV Beta for version 1.0. I don't think I can rightly put into words how disappointed I was. The menu's were laggy, the system was glitchy beyond the point of use, every time I used triangulate I would fall through the ground into the abyss, then get an error message, and finally DC. Don't get me wrong, there were things about it I liked. I liked the job system, and being able to use skills cross class. I also liked that you could cast while moving. But the good were towered over by the bad. I hated it so much. I didn't bother purchasing the game, nor did I ever give it a second thought. I watched from the sidelines hoping they thought of a way to fix it, but in the back of my mind thinking there was no way. It was too far gone.

I wish I could say I felt bad when the entire team was replaced, but I didn't. In a way, I guess I felt they deserved to be punished, which is horrible I know, but I can't help but feel some kind of resentment towards a group of people who let a game release that badly. The laziness they showed in their work was obvious. I have said this before, but what I felt like was that SE thought that they could just take a piece of crap, slap a "Final Fantasy" label on it, and be like "Here, eat this, it's delicious". Meanwhile I'm standing there like "I'm not sure that I..." as they interrupt "Nope, it's working as intended, you'll eat it what I give to you." Well, no... No I wont. And I didn't. As a consumer I felt abandoned.

Enter Yoshida.

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I never expected to buy this game, but I was still interested in the fixes they were trying to salvage it. I would check the page now and again, read the update notes, laugh a little, and then go about my business. When I read that the new director was going to remake the entire game, I was intrigued. I wondered to what extent.

Throughout the next year and a half, I would read every single Letter from the Producer he released. This man, not even the game; was starting to change my mind. Never before had I seen such communication from a developer. He made polls, he read the results, he communicated how he felt about them! He listened to his users, and he built this game from the ground up in two years... that's an incredible accomplishment! Long before beta began, Yoshida, just by being himself and communicating so well to his audience, had already won a second chance with me, so long as the game looked playable.

I think the biggest turning point to me was right before Dalamud dropped. The entire event leading up to the end of days was really amazing to me. I nearly tried 1.0 again, but I still wasn't convinced enough to do it, and now I wish I had. I watched all the cut scenes leading to the drop, and then finally, on the day the 1.0 servers shut down, the End of an Era. This was the moment. This video. I was in, 100%. I still watch it, and it still gives me chills. This was the Final Fantasy I had in mind. Look at this storyline! This was what I had signed up for the first time.

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From then out, I craved information.Reddit became my new drug. Day one of the beta sign up, I was on it! I checked my email so many times when I saw word that invites were going out. I showed my friends the End of an Era, and any game play footage that was available at the time, and I got them to sign up with me. Then came Beta 3. I woke up, looked at my phone, and saw my friend Jim had texted me saying he got an invite. I fumbled through my iPhone, making my way to my email app... 3 new emails!! I opened it, and it loaded... and loaded... and loaded.... Petco Rewards, and 2 Facebook notifications that my friends had tagged me in posts.... hilariously that they had gotten their Beta invites.

I moped so badly. It was sad. I was like a little kid who was promised a trip to Disneyland and then told "Just kidding! Go to work instead."

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It was later that night, while I was at work, that I got the email. "Welcome to the FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Beta" read the title. It was a good thing that I was alone in the lunch room, because the piercing, high-pitched, pre-adolescent girl sound that came out of me may have damaged their eardrums for life.

Finally, on to my experience with the Beta.

One thing that I loved about Final Fantasy is story line. That is probably my favorite thing, actually. Each game has a story to tell, and you don't always know where it's going, but it always manages to suck me in. Final Fantasy MMO's are no exception. Other MMO's have storyline in them, but I don't feel like they present it to you as well as Final Fantasy does. In FFXI, it's really a part of the game, and your experiences in it. It's the "why we're doing what we're doing". This applies to FFXIV also. The story had me fixated on my quests, wanting to continue on and on, and before I knew it... I was capped out on the main story for the beta. But it didn't stop there, there are plenty of quests all around Eorzea, which kept me rockupied for a solid amount of time. There are still locations I haven't been able to experience yet, and this makes me even more excited for when the full game is accessible.

But story isn't everything. (Yes it is!) There was tons of other things to do. Guildhests, FATE's, gathering, crafting, soulbinding gear for materia, dungeons for gear, exploration, hunts, gathering logs, crafting logs.. and this is all stuff you're able to do on top of the story, and pretty early in the game at that.

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Now I'm not saying this game is perfect. It has issues that need to be adjusted, it has things I would like to see changed... but what MMO doesn't? Like I said earlier, FFXI was my home, and it definitely had its flaws.. but that's part of what makes it. Things will grow, things will change, and with a director like Yoshida, things will change for the better. And as far as the issues the game does have, it is LIGHTYEARS beyond what I had expected. The fact that they could take this game from the steaming pile it was at 1.0 release and turn it into this beacon of MMO hope that it is now, is astonishing. 2 years. 2 years while updating an managing the already existing game, they managed to do all of this. They created an entirely new engine, and world, for US! The game doesn't have to be perfect, and it to be honest, I don't think it's possible for a game to be completely perfect. Different people like different things, and when you are appealing the a massive audience, you can't please everyone. But looking at it negatively because of the couple things in it that you don't like isn't going to help anything. Any game you play is going to be like that, and you're cheating yourself out of a good time if you're not willing to admit that and look past it. Not to mention the fact that this is only the beginning (again). So much could come from this! And who knows what could change.

I more than enjoyed my time in Beta. I craved it. I couldn't wait until the next test. I would wake up early, play it till I had to leave for work, come home after and start again. I slept for about 4 hours Saturday morning so I could get some rest, then woke up and played it until 5 AM when it shut down. I haven't enjoyed myself this much on an MMO in so long, that I had almost lost hope and tossed the feeling up to being young. I made so many friends already, and played with old ones.

So, my advice to anyone out there who was burnt by 1.0... forgive. It's not often (or ever) that a company will scrap an entire game and remake it. Most would let well enough alone, and move on to a new project. FFXIV: ARR may not be the answer to everyone's MMO prayer's, but they sure did do a **** of a job. It would be terrible if you're wandering around, avoiding the game because you think that it's just another flop, when the game is so far ahead of where it used to be.

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Plus, with Open Beta around the corner, now is as good of a time as any to get your feet wet, and see if you like the water now that it's been filtered. I know I'm happy I did, because I've found a new home.
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#2 Jul 15 2013 at 1:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Don't usually last through a wall of text like this but I enjoyed every word of your story as I think it rings true for some people. GZ on your 1k post :)
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#3 Jul 15 2013 at 1:51 AM Rating: Good
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Best wall o' text I read in some time! Smiley: nod
#4 Jul 15 2013 at 5:55 AM Rating: Good
This wasn't a wall of text. It was a well structured essay about the game, complete with paragraphs. The term ' wall of text' refers to a huge block of text that goes on uninterrupted by paragraphs, and often lacking in proper punctuation as well.

Ryklin, feel free to post as many long opinion posts like this as you like. It was excellent, and your sentiments echoed mine at every turn.

I can't wait to play this game at launch!
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#5 Jul 15 2013 at 7:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Chialing wrote:
This wasn't a wall of text. It was a well structured essay about the game, complete with paragraphs. The term ' wall of text' refers to a huge block of text that goes on uninterrupted by paragraphs, and often lacking in proper punctuation as well.


Thank you for correcting me on this it really helped. I bet Ryklin is also happy that he has permission to post more like this.


Edited, Jul 15th 2013 1:37pm by EdyNOTB
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#6 Jul 15 2013 at 7:37 AM Rating: Good
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Great read!
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#7 Jul 15 2013 at 8:09 AM Rating: Default
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Awesome read. Really awesome, well done OP. Congrats on your 1000th post, as well.

Allow me to direct your attention to what I consider an equivalent post of mine, you'll see we don't differ that much in opinion really:

My very first post in ZAM, not the 1,000th one, was structured in a similar manner - sentiment, length-, sans the images.

http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?forum=152&mid=136968816043775250

I hope you enjoy it even a bit, I certainly enjoyed yours =)

Edited, Jul 15th 2013 10:23am by Sovjohn
#8 Jul 15 2013 at 8:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sovjohn wrote:
Allow me to direct your attention to a couple of my posts as well,
Holy crap stop advertising.
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#9 Jul 15 2013 at 8:22 AM Rating: Good
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Sorry. I thought my first post merited a mention. I'll edit the rest out =)
#10 Jul 15 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
EdyNOTB wrote:
Chialing wrote:
This wasn't a wall of text. It was a well structured essay about the game, complete with paragraphs. The term ' wall of text' refers to a huge block of text that goes on uninterrupted by paragraphs, and often lacking in proper punctuation as well.


Thank you for correcting me on this it really helped. I bet Ryklin is also happy that he has permission to post more like this.


Edited, Jul 15th 2013 1:37pm by EdyNOTB


It wasn't my intention to insult you. In my experience, the term 'wall of text' has always been derogatory for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I didnt agree with the term being used in reference to his post, even though I realized that it wasn't malicious.

I'll back away slowly now, making no sudden moves.
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#11 Jul 15 2013 at 9:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Wonderful post. I couldn't have said it better myself.
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#12 Jul 15 2013 at 9:55 AM Rating: Good
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I couldn't agree more - having played FFXI for 6-7 years and then the big disappointment that was FFXIV 1.0 -

And now after playing Phase 3 of the beta I can't wait to actually play this game! I wish it were just on already, it's nearly perfect...
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#13 Jul 15 2013 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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Oh there isnt a like button lol
#14 Jul 15 2013 at 1:41 PM Rating: Good
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Great post! I agree 100% with everything you said. As a FFXI player for many years, I too looked forward to FFXIV and was very disapointed with the initial release so much that I didn't buy the game once it launched. ARR has shown me that SE couldmake FFXIV into a game I would not only enjoy but also be proud to admit I played (and there are some MMOs that I am embarassed about, but since I was looking for that next great thing...) and like WoW and FFXI before that, I see many years of enjoyment in the future with FFXIV ARR.
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#15 Jul 15 2013 at 2:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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godagun wrote:
Oh there isnt a like button lol


There is karma on Zam. See the green and red arrows to the top left of the post and click green to like and red to bomb :P
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#16 Jul 15 2013 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
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Ryklin the Malevolent wrote:

One thing that I loved about Final Fantasy is story line. That is probably my favorite thing, actually. Each game has a story to tell, and you don't always know where it's going, but it always manages to suck me in. Final Fantasy MMO's are no exception. Other MMO's have storyline in them, but I don't feel like they present it to you as well as Final Fantasy does. In FFXI, it's really a part of the game, and your experiences in it. It's the "why we're doing what we're doing". This applies to FFXIV also. The story had me fixated on my quests, wanting to continue on and on, and before I knew it... I was capped out on the main story for the beta. But it didn't stop there, there are plenty of quests all around Eorzea, which kept me rockupied for a solid amount of time. There are still locations I haven't been able to experience yet, and this makes me even more excited for when the full game is accessible.

But story isn't everything. (Yes it is!) There was tons of other things to do. Guildhests, FATE's, gathering, crafting, soulbinding gear for materia, dungeons for gear, exploration, hunts, gathering logs, crafting logs.. and this is all stuff you're able to do on top of the story, and pretty early in the game at that.


The cutscenes in FFXIV, as in FFXI, do a really good job of pulling the player in, the only MMO I've found close to that is TSW, which I couldn't fault the cutscenes and the way it really drew your character into the quests (sadly TSW's lack of content and, since it went B2P, the lack of incentive to sub are different matters all together).

FFXIV's cutscenes really add a lot of character to the game for me, along with some of the other neat touches SE has included.

Great post btw really well written and a pleasure to read :)
#17 Jul 15 2013 at 3:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks, that was a very refreshing read after wading through all the vitriol and hate on the Official Forum. I can't rate up yet, I guess because of low post count, but if I could I would.
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#18 Jul 15 2013 at 4:44 PM Rating: Good
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EdyNOTB wrote:
godagun wrote:
Oh there isnt a like button lol


There is karma on Zam. See the green and red arrows to the top left of the post and click green to like and red to bomb :P


Indeed! Ty lol
#19 Jul 15 2013 at 4:53 PM Rating: Excellent
I think most of the people that played through the horrors of 1.0 beta and launch feel the same. I had completely cut FF MMOs out of my life after quitting 1.0. Then, a month before phase 3 started I saw an article on Flipboard about FFXIV ARR. After aruguing with myself for a week I decided to give it a shot and applied for beta. Fast forward to today, where I sit irritated to high holy **** that I can't log on Smiley: mad
#20 Jul 15 2013 at 6:09 PM Rating: Good
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Ryklin the Malevolent wrote:
Enter Yoshida.


Great post. This is my favorite part!
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