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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn  (Read 3675 times)

Posted on 21 Jul 2013, 08:27:56
Outrack
Outrack was awarded 2 point/s for this post

    Welcome to the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn thread! This guide is intended to provide a basic introduction to the game for those of you that may interested, and to relay some useful information to those planning to join in either for the upcoming open beta or when it's finally released. Being a MMO, there's a huge amount of content to discuss on an on-going basis so if there's enough interest I'll expand this accordingly and possibly create a guild and a dedicated section if it takes off enough.

    Thread Updated - 04 May 2014
    • Official Server - Moogle (EU), no current presence on US
    • Guild Presence - None at present
    • Members Playing - Five: Faint, Kichi, Outrack, Scribble, Skyloto
    BenchmarkCurrent Scheduled Releases
    • May 26 - Live Letter XIV
    • May - Patch 2.28
    • June - Patch 2.30
    Useful Links
    • ARR Status - useful server tracker, includes a countdown to the game's launch.
    • XIVDB - Database of content in the game.
    • ORCZ.com - Wiki with a bunch of great content, even if messy.
    • FFXIV Info - Alternative to the above. Thanks Skyloto!
    • Beta Roadmap - includes useful information on the test schedule and objectives.
    • Eorzea Reborn - Guides, database and other information.
    • Zenetsuken - Privately run site featuring various news and community articles on the game.
    • FFXIV Realm - Community-driven site with some useful information.
    • Name Generator - For those of you too lazy to come up with a lore-relevant name.
    • World Map - As of Phase 3 Closed Beta, subject to change on release.


    Final Fantasy X|V is Square Enix's latest venture into the MMORPG genre, initially launching to dismal reception in September 2010 before re-emerging as "A Realm Reborn" in October 2012. ARR was restructured under an entirely new development team that set out to create the best game possible within an extremely short timeframe, which is something they've managed to pull off with great success - not only have they created one of the best instalments in the FF franchise, but one of the most engaging and immersive MMO's ever to have surfaced.



    The events of XIV:ARR take place in Eorzea, a continent in the world of Hydaelyn, which has had its various nation states re-establish their Grand Companies Alliance in preparation for an impending invasion by the Garlean Empire. Set during the Seventh Umbral Era, the game's lore tells of cycles of prosperous Astral and disastrous Umbral eras and has interestingly incorporated XIV's original release and failure into the storyline by marking it as the end of the Sixth Astral Era, where one of the planet's moons descended and (possibly) collided with the world. There's a great cinematic sequence showing the event and prelude to the world's rebirth at the bottom of this post in the "Videos" section, and you can also see the prelude to the end of the era in a haunting time-lapse video here.

    Players will have five playable races to choose from - the humanistic Hyur, the feline Miqo'te, the elvish Elezen, largely imposing Roegadyn, and sickeningly adorable Lalafell - each with a wide array of customizable physical features to tailor your appearance to your liking. To absorb yourself even further in the world, you'll also have a selection of various lore-inspired traits such as clan, nameday, and one of twelve Astral/Umbrial guardians to assign to your character, as well as an immense variety of armor and equipment with a recently introduced Glamour/Vanity system.



    Currently, the game features 8 starting classes which determine your starting location and develop into more advanced jobs; while friends may initially end up split across the world for the first few levels, it's a nice touch having each of the main locations be known for particular traits - Gladiators, Pugilists and Thaumaturge start in the bustling city of Ul'Dah; Archers, Conjurers and Lancers begin their journey in the woodlands of Gridania; and Arcanists and Marauders end up in the marine city-state Limsa Lominsa. On top of that, there's also a dozen crafting classes available such as Alchemist, Armorer, Blacksmith, Botanist, Carpenter, Culinarian, Fisher, Goldsmith, Leatherworker, Miner and Weaver; each with an involving system that requires actual effort when creating goods and the chance to influence item quality as you become more proficient.

    One of the greatest things about the structure of the class/job system is that if you want to switch to something different, you can simply equip the weapon-type of another class to instantly change without losing your progress with the prior - new classes that combine the skillsets of others will eventually open up when you've progressed far enough, so XIV encourages you to mix it up and try each class in your journey. Better yet, to eliminate the tedium of starting a new class from scratch, each one features its own unique storyline that runs concurrently with the game's main plot. You can read up more on the available classes and jobs here.



    While it doesn't innovate the standard MMO structure used by so many other games, combat in XIV has refined what we've come to expect with fast-paced battles and skillsets that open up the way for some good strategic planning - for instance, while playing as a Lancer I had different abilities that required chaining and were dependent on my placement with additional bonus damage being awarded for hits landing either on the flank or behind the target.

    At their core, most of the quests I was doing were MMO staples like fetch-quests and "go here, kill this, come back" missions, but the way they're presented makes all the difference and I never found them boring in the slightest - the dialogue from NPCs is very quirky and is an absolute pleasure to read through with missions serving as a kind of guided tour of the game - only with so many options available that I could break off and do something else whenever I wanted.

    One additional feature worth mentioning is the Full Active Time Events (FATE) system. Every so often, you'll see indicators pop up on your minimap showing timed events that you can join with other players just by entering the designated zone - the tasks are usually simple and involve either killing a swarm of enemies or one very powerful creature, though they create an awesome sense of unity as everyone in the vicinity moves in to take down a common threat. It's a great opportunity to meet people in the same level range, an alternative to levelling via quests or to get all the benefits of being with others without the commitment of being in a relatio--err, party.




    I've tried to capture the world as best I can through screenshots but still-images really don't do it any justice - each area you'll visit has an abundance of life and boasts some exceptional graphic and sound direction that makes Eorzea feel like a living, breathing world rather than a platform to just run around and kill stuff in. We've got real-time lighting effects and day-to-night transitions that give each time of day a unique feel, and I often found myself stopping to just take in the sight of the rivers flowing, trees swaying gently, and the stars gradually creeping across the night sky. I really can't emphasize enough how beautiful the game is and will try to get some HD timelapse videos done during pre-release when the population will still be relatively low.

    While you'll need a top-range PC to get the most out of it, XIV's very well optimised and has a wealth of options available for you to tweak the game to best suit your rig's capabilities. If you're interested but think you may not be able to run it well, there's an awesome benchmark tool you can use to gauge your performance ahead of the game's release - you can grab it here and even get a total score to brag about how well it runs. Try to beat my 6093!



    The Final Fantasy franchise has always been known for its exceptional music, and XIV lives up to its predecessors with a beautiful orchestral soundtrack that complements the world very well. I'll expand on this section more later, but if interested you can download the entire beta phase 3 soundtrack here (OOG direct rip) and listen to a preview of what to expect in this Youtube video.

    While the P3 beta soundrip is nice, the reason I added in this section was to promote an exceptional Solo Piano Collection posted on Reddit. The number of tracks is steadily growing and each zip file contains an MP3, MIDI and the sheet music for each song - I can't stress how much these are worth grabbing even if you have no interest in playing XIV (especially the Ul'dah Night Theme). Get them here!




    XIV:ARR will require a monthly subscription with three options available:
    • Entry - £7.69/€10.99/$12.99 per month - 1 character per server, 8 characters total.
    • Standard - £8.99/€12.99/$14.99 per month - 8 character per server, 40 characters total.
    • Legacy - £6.89/€9.99/$9.99 per month - 8 characters per server, 40 characters total.
    "Legacy" subscriptions are only available to those who played the first iteration of XIV for more than three months. Which I'm betting is none of you as the game was abysmal and no one in their right minds would have paid for it.

    The monthly sub. is a deal-breaker for a lot of people and I can understand the reluctance to pay considering all the other F2P games out there, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea after seeing frustrating initiatives to nickel-and-dime players in free games (such as influencing success rates when forging equipment,). The subscription gives you unrestricted access to the game right off the bat and the quality of players tends to be higher on average as the financial investment encourages deeper commitment.



    If you do this as a Lalafell I'm going to cut you.









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    Last Edit: 03 Jun 2014, 17:02:56 by Outrack

    Posted on 21 Jul 2013, 08:47:05
    Skyloto
    As someone who has played the phase 3 beta, I do urge everyone, who is even slightly interested, to sign up for the open beta and try it out.

    I'm going to play on Moogle (EU) as I've already joined a Free Company there.

    Posted on 21 Jul 2013, 09:16:36
    Sheepy
    Probably the first MMO to interest me in a long time (partially nick's fault). It does look like standard quite modern mmo  gameplay wrapped in a really beautiful and polished shell that I could be totally down for if other people are gonna play.

    Will I pay a subscription? Ehhhhhhh I'm not ruling it out but it's a long shot.

    Posted on 21 Jul 2013, 19:21:49
    Tai
    i currently have a load of crysta on my square enix account so my sub is coverd for a good whille :)

    Posted on 22 Jul 2013, 11:23:21
    ZellKFF
    Thanks for the great intro!

    Question: is it region-locked? It might have been covered in some of those links I didn't click yet, sorry if that's the case^^

    RAWR guildmaster since 2004
    Currently playing: RO2 - channel 5

    Posted on 22 Jul 2013, 14:19:50
    Kurie
    No money or time to play, but just wanted to thank Racky for doing this. :love: Really nice write-up.

    Posted on 22 Jul 2013, 14:56:25
    Ishkar
    Game looks pretty good so far, and I'd willing to pay to play if a game was worth it BUT i didn't opt in to beta in time :shock: and my brick of a comp can barely run it at 1920x1080 medium so bit of a toss up lol.

    Thanks for the great intro to the game Racky!

    Posted on 23 Jul 2013, 07:56:40
    Outrack
    Thanks a lot for the input guys :love: I've just updated the thread with some new info.

    For anyone who missed beta registration, it will open again when phase 4 opens - though there may be a delay between the submission of your application and acceptance so you could miss out on a day or two's worth of playing.

    Question: is it region-locked? It might have been covered in some of those links I didn't click yet, sorry if that's the case^^

    Haven't been able to confirm it for the full release, but you could freely select any server you wanted during beta so I'm assuming we'll be able to on launch as well.

    Posted on 23 Jul 2013, 15:01:26
    Allucinari
    Much like Kurie, I am not going to be playing but uh... this is a beautifully done post Nick.  You really need to reinstate the karma system so I can plus one the hell out of this.
    ヽʕ•ᴥ•ʔノ✿

    Posted on 23 Jul 2013, 19:01:48
    Sheepy
    Yeah paying for any mmo these days on a subscription basis is a stretch and theres a good chance that if its not really successful it'll be f2p eventually. If I REALLY enjoy the beta, I'll consider paying.

    Posted on 05 Aug 2013, 23:03:10
    Sheepy

    Posted on 06 Aug 2013, 08:34:45
    Outrack
    Still an awesome trailer - here it is in English! The voice cast was leaked a few days ago and is sadly pretty hard to find as Square have been forcing sites to take it down, but notable inclusions are Gideon Emery (Balthier from FFXII), Richard Epcar (Batou from Ghost in the Shell), Cindy Robinson (Marina Wulfstan from Valkyria Chronicles), and a bunch of people from the Tales of games.


    Fallen behind in posting news to this thread - been thinking of starting a section for it even though we only have three confirmed players as it could be a good draw to the site so I'll catch up over the next few days instead. Meanwhile, FFXIV:ARR CE is apparently the second-best selling PC game on Amazon right now! The standard edition is at 4th, so with the combined numbers it looks like the game will have a great start.

    Sheepy was asking about a server the other day - which would you guys like to play on? It looks like all regional servers (save Japan) are based in Canada so latency would be the same for EU/US, so it's just the time differences we'd have to take into consideration - I was happy with Shiva during beta, though I keep hearing that Moogle will be the "definitive" one for EU players. I think I'd prefer to play on a less crowded server but that may just be me...
    Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 10:21:33 by Outrack

    Posted on 06 Aug 2013, 08:40:10
    Skyloto
    I'm going for Moogle as most British people will go there (lots of people to play with!). Personally I enjoy busy servers, so I don't mind.

    Posted on 07 Aug 2013, 02:04:34
    Sheepy
    Even if its the most populated, it's still a european server, so I don't expect it to be hugely overcrowded.

    Maybe im underestimating the european hype for this game?

    Posted on 21 Aug 2013, 22:32:18
    Tai
    my link shell is on Ragnarok for 14 not sure if you guys are going to be on there or not but if you are give me a shout ill send you an invite , but ill also be playing ro2 as well so need to see how this schedule is going to work out.
    oh and here's our website www.bravehearts-xiv.com

     

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