When I first got my hands on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, I thought I may have a little bit of a daunting task ahead of me, due to my fairly limited knowledge of massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Prior to this, my only extended experience with the genre was with DC Universe Online for the Playstation 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic for PC. However, it did not take long for me to fall in love with this game. That is, when I could manage to sign in to the game rather than getting connection errors, but that is really to be expected with any MMORPG at launch. Not to say that I agree with it, but it just seems to come with the territory. This issue will be discussed in greater detail later in the review.
The game is pretty simple to get going as I only had to download the basic game launcher when playing the beta. As a result of already having the launcher, I only had to download a small update when the full game came out. Before long I was back in the world of Eorzea and ready to continue my journey. When first starting up to play the beta, the initial signup phase was a little problematic as my Square Enix account that was tied to my main email would not sign in on the game, so I had to make a new account. However, I have not had any problems logging in to my account at all since, including my first time with the full version of the game.
As soon as I started up the full game, my character from the beta was retained with all of his stats and game status. One of the first things I went to do was some more quests so I could further level up my character. The quests in the game are seemingly everywhere you turn, when you see that shining gold exclamation point on the map or above a NPC somewhere in Eorzea. In comparison to Star Wars: The Old Republic, the quests seems a lot easier to find while also seeming to have more meat to them. This surprised me as there is also with more variety in quest types. However, unlike The Old Republic, the use of voices during quests is very few and far between, which is a little disappointing, especially in a Final Fantasy game.
You can also visit the various Levemetes around the game to access levequests between three types: Battlecraft, Fieldcraft, or Tradecraft. These are quests that can be repeated as long as you have the allowances available. After awhile I started doing a lot of Battlecraft levequests whenever I was near one each day as they are usually pretty easy by having you just go slay a number of a certain creature or something similar. The addition of the levequests allow for more depth of different quests available that other MMORPG’s, like the aforementioned Star Wars: The Old Republic, failed to do. To me, it is vital for a game like this, especially one with a monthly fee, to give you plenty of variety in your missions so you will actually feel like coming back rather than getting bored very quickly and quitting, which I have done in the past with other MMOs.
The Fate System is another addition to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that should honestly be in most every MMORPG. I have not played a wide range of games in the genre, so I can’t for sure say that this wasn’t in others, but this was my first exposure to something like this. The Fate System changes up a possibly boring time you may be having on the overworld. You will see that wonderful purple/pink circle appear on the map with a warning that a Fate has appeared nearby your location. At this point I would always rush for the Fate and fight alongside a bunch of others that happen to join into the fray. You may be one of the first to be fighting or come in at the very tail end of the battle. Regardless, you are rewarded based on how much you assisted in the Fate battle with experience, gold, and possibly items. Having these pop up at completely random times around the map, sometimes even a few close together, really helps to shake up the flow of things.