Despite Lag, FFXIV Blasts Off

Square Enix's New MMO Gets Off to a Smooth Start

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV has come and gone. Now that the dust has settled, all I have to say is this:

So far, so good.

Before I go any further, I feel obligated to say this was my first time playing an MMO on the day of its launch. As closed beta moved into open beta and launch day approached, I read and heard from many sources how tumultuous a MMO's debut can be. I braced myself for the worst on Wednesday. Even when I ducked out of work to pick up my collector's edition from the Gamestop across the street, I tried not to get too excited. I figured I'd probably be spending my night struggling with installation problems and slow-downloading patches.

Discuss this in the ZAM forums.

Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong. My installation was finished in about an hour, about the duration of the DVD (Eorzea - The Making of a Realm) that came with the collector's edition. During my installation there were no hiccups, glitches or restarts required. Setting up my payment method wasn't too complicated, though I know many others found the payment options to be somewhat cumbersome. The only issue I had with setting up my character was I failed to enter the code for my onion helmet prior to creating my character. By the time I realized my error, I was already doing guildleves and on my way to Eorzean stardom.

Clearly, Final Fantasy XIV has some weaknesses. The game still lags too much, and the UI seems like it could be much simpler (although it is much better with a gamepad). I also haven't seen many references to the greater conflict that will anchor this game's storyline, although I have faith in Square Enix to deliver a strong story. There are a few little things that bother me, too. Designating sackholders in your linkshell should be easier (why do you really need to be standing right next to each other), and I miss being able to expand the chat window to read my backlog.

Other than that, the graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is already fun. I love the possibilities offered by the job and crafting systems, and I'm thrilled that my productivity will seldom be dependent on finding others to party with me. While this may result in an in-game culture different than what was experienced in Final Fantasy XI, a focus on solo play and smaller parties will make it easier to have fun within linkshells with friends who matter most.

The power of a first impression is a time-tested fact of life, and Final Fantasy XIV scored a great first impression with me. My first day in Eorzea wasn't spent yelling obscenities at my monitor while mashing my keyboard to bits; instead, it was spent racing from Ul'dah to Gridania with my old FFXI friends, completing various guild leves in between.

Today was Day 2, and it was equally satisfying. Here's to hoping for a successful Day 3, 4, 5 and so on, for months and years to come.

Comments

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lol
# Sep 24 2010 at 11:59 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
28 posts
Ya it blasts off I'm sure those forced to reinstall!


Current Known Issues (Sep. 24)
We would like to notify you of the current major issues as of Sep. 24 , 2010.

[Current Issues]
-Teleport and Return are not functioning properly near area boundaries.
*Please note that using Teleport or Return near area boundaries will consume anima, but will have no effect.

-If a player has viewed the credits, the game may display the error message " An update error has occurred. Error 20524" and fail to update properly.
*We apologize for the inconvenience, but if this error occurs we ask that you please reinstall FINAL FANTASY XIV.
Fairly Smooth Launch
# Sep 24 2010 at 9:30 AM Rating: Good
*
241 posts
Not being able to expand the chat window and sort by the source of text really annoys me. Especially when there's so much combat text in the game (yes I know you can filter it). More often than not i'm missing linkshell conversations, or tells because I was in a fight, and since the fights are much faster paced than FFXI, the chat log just flies by.

Having to stand right next to someone to invite them to your group is annoying, I haven't found a way around this yet. I wish I could at least invite people from my friends list or link shell list.

No Search function? Kinda weak.
____________________________
There once was a tiger striped cat. This cat died a million deaths and was reborn a million times and was owned by various people who he didn't care for. The cat wasn't afraid to die... One day, the cat was a free cat, a stray cat. He met a white female cat, and the two cats spent their days happily together. Years passed, and the white cat died of old age. The tiger striped cat cried a million times, and then died. It never
came back to life.
Fairly Smooth Launch
# Sep 24 2010 at 10:54 AM Rating: Good
1 post
Quote:
Not being able to expand the chat window and sort by the source of text really annoys me. Especially when there's so much combat text in the game (yes I know you can filter it). More often than not i'm missing linkshell conversations, or tells because I was in a fight, and since the fights are much faster paced than FFXI, the chat log just flies by.


Actually, you can. I grab the edges of the window with the mouse and you can stretch them out just fine. It's one of the first things I do, in fact.
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