I keep hearing rave reviews about how great 2.0 is, and after playing it for two days now I'm starting to doubt whether or not this game is really good and will keep the interest of players for any extended period of time. If you had asked me yesterday how I thought FFXIV was, I would have had the same euphoric response about what a fantastic game it is. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad game by any means, but what does it offer that no other MMORPG hasn't already done?
I feel like a huge reason everyone is speaking so highly about the game is because of how amazing it is in contrast to FFXIV 1.0, because it really is a huge difference. A lot of us, including myself, are likely judging the game based on how improved it is to 1.0, but lets do our best to try and look at 2.0 objectively on its own merit. What does the game offer? The graphics are above average at best, it won't be anything to brag about until the DX11 patch hits months from now, sound and music is pretty good. But gameplay? Most classes spam the same ability over and over and over again with little to no variation for a long time. I cast pretty much nothing but Stone and Cure as a Conjurer from 1 to 20.
Overall, I feel the game is a little too much on the easy side. I realize the first 20 levels are somewhat of a tutorial, but I really just have very little faith in XIV having much depth, immersion or excitement that XI had. XIV lacks any of the hardships that XI had. A lot of people complain about the penalties XI imposed, but those penalties are what also gave the player a huge sense of accomplishment when you pulled off virtually anything in the game. Traveling is way too easy in XIV, so if I die, I'm not concerned about getting back to my location. There is no XP loss like in XI either so death doesn't really mean anything. I actually disliked XP loss/leveling down, but still it made you really not want to die and was a good adrenaline pump when you got low in fights.
I know a lot of players hated how XI punished you, required you to camp a spot for literally a ridiculous amount of hours, etc. But things like that are what make events memorable. I can still remember hanging out with a couple friends camping Othinus' Bow for literally hours and the great feeling when the NM spawned and we got the drop. I can remember camping for Joyeuse with friends, getting the claim and getting the sword for people I didn't even know in real life. It was exciting to help others. A lot of things were so dangerous and difficult in XI that players got a sense of accomplishment for purely helping others and not even getting anything in return. Need to kill an NM that normally needs a party? Let's get a badass 75RDM/NIN to solo it and give him a chance to show off.
I just have very little faith in XIV to deliver anywhere close to what XI has given us. I can still remember the names of people I used to play with on XI, and now in XIV we have Duty Finder giving us strangers on other servers that I can't even make friends with and socialize with because after the group is done, we part ways and never speak again. Instead of XP parties where you can chat and have a good time with people, you have FATEs where countless people gangbang a mob Rift style and move on, no socializing or bonding that XI offered.
I know being negative about a game getting so much hype right now is probably a stupid topic to bring up, but I really want XIV to succeed in the long run and at the moment it seems like a fairly hollow game getting a lot of false praise because of how good it is in comparison to the earlier iteration.
Edited, Aug 18th 2013 4:12am by Jeraziah