Hi, nice to meet you, that's my first post in ZAM, to which I was drawn for the lovely forums and FF XIV: ARR coverage.
I would like to add my 2 cents worth to the discussion I noticed in some topics, talking about the audience FF XIV: ARR seems to cater for.
Alright, some background info (warning, this may take some time):
I am a FF fan at heart. Admittedly, I didn't like the way things seemed for FF in the past few years. Although I admit, with a degree of pain, to not having completed the Nintendo-era FF's such as IV, V or VI (I have in mind to play them in an emulator at some point), I regardless have loved almost all the PS1 / PS2 era games. I also love Nobuo Uematsu's music, to the point where I have been very sad for not affording to attend a live concert of him at another continent. Black Mages, hell yeah!
When I say I 'loved' FF, insert some blind hate for my memory card of PS1 when it decided to fail me, and stripped me of my 110 hours+ saves of FF 8. Back then, there was no Youtube, so I had kept strategic saves just before every game FMV I loved. The pain. I had preordered FF8 at a day and age where preorders were very uncommon, and paid top dollar for it (same with other FF titles), so the blow was a bit much.
I played some PS2-era games as well, but nothing after that as I did not own a PS3 (and FF XIII was not as good as I hoped to justify me buying a PS3, oh well).
Now, on the MMO front: I had played FF XI briefly, stressing briefly, when it launched in Europe. Some 4-5 months later all my friends moved to WOW, and I went with them. I recall FF XI fondly for its graphics and immersion, but it had a lot of hardcore elements which made it strange. Endless aggro until you actually switched zones was one, and that notorious tendency to need "Incredibly Tough" monsters to gain any amount of EXP worth discussing was the other.
All in all, I must had lasted up until Level 20-ish as a Monk back then, and a white mage (I'm a healer at heart) for a secondary class, I think.
Years went by, I played through my student years with WOW, then quit when I got bored of it, briefly visited Star Wars -which was excellent to level up in, but horrific for end-game purposes, plus the developers managed to sink perhaps the most well-known brand name in digital entertainment in the world, ugh, damn you EA-
I don't count my 10-20 levels trialing Warhammer Online or Age of Conan as anything. The last game I played (and did not 'complete') was Guild Wars 2, but I didn't hate it, just stopped devoting the time. Perhaps I will slowly and steadily finish up my level up at some point, it was a great game worth a shot.
And...here I am. I should mention I had preordered, not just bought but preordered, FF XIV. Its box is still somewhere here. I played its "open beta" and while I wanted to have sex with SquareEnix's FMV designers (still do, in fact, I hope a woman in there marries me one day, and the power of love and FMV's will diminish the language or cultural barriers of a European and a Japanese), the game had issues.
Too many issues. Come on, making every interaction server-driven was the worst thing I had seen ever, making even the world map laggy. Long story short, I never played FF XIV either, but as a true FF series fan, I opted to wait "until it was fixed".
That time came, of course, at late 2012 when ARR was set in stone for 2013 or something. I had a look through the alpha videos and visited some news about the game here and there and found promising signs. I saw a beta roadmap, which made for even more promising signs.
Now, at last, at long last, it seems that as a former SE account holder who has FF XIV registered, I will be able to see what that brilliant man, Yoshi-P, has created. A game which is as decently executed as GW2 or even WOW is, but with FF elements everywhere. Chocobos! Armored Chocobos! Damn great graphics! A UI which does not feel like it's 1995 anymore (although I'd gladly play a JRPG with an awkward menu system even today)! The potential to fight and *gasp* even summon, under certain circumstances, Ifrit, Ramuh, Shiva, etc! SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
Why am I writing all this? Because I kind of think I am in the target group of SE, even without being Japanese. I am a fan at heart, well, not enough of a fan to play FF XIV as it first came out, but a more refined version? Hell yes!
Judging from the fact that it's a subscription-based MMO, I daresay even ~a million players worldwide will easily cover their costs and generate immense revenue for them. Heck, I found out FF XI got an expansion pack in 2013 (!!!), so apparently it must be doing pretty decently if they can still pay to produce content for it.
All bow to Yoshi-P who decided to build an FF MMO with a broader appeal. Unless I am horribly disappointed by the beta (and I don't think I will be, I almost played FF XIV 1.0 before giving up on its technical shortcomings), I will be there for a long time.
Bring it on! A subscription in order to enjoy this level of blissful entertainment as an FF fan is peanuts. Just bring it on =)
Sorry for the size of this post.
I just wanted to let people know that there are mature people waiting for this like it's Christmas come early. I am 28 now, was 12 or so when I first played an FF, but if they keep making good games, I can easily be 60 and still love them!