Okay as stated in a previous podcast I was going to take part in the open beta for Final Fantasy XIV ONLINE. Unfortunately I was only able to log on twice and each time I’ve logged on the game has crashed with in an average of two or less hours. Also each time I’ve tried to log on it has taken 30 minutes to an hour to log on.
While I’m certain that this will be fixed by the time the full version comes out but the things I did notice make it this a much larger improvement over Square Enix’s last online endeavor Final Fantasy XI ONLINE. Gone is the ATB Gauge and Menu System that, while traditional, plagued FFXI with slow and awkward battles. It’s been replaced with a stamina meter and a hot key system that definitely speeds things along. Also being able to freely move around in battle now actually has it’s own advantages. No longer will you get smacked by an enemy while you’re behind them. However instead now you’ll again advantages from attacking enemies from behind and other vital areas. Skills are placed are a cycling hotkey system that makes managing battle a lot simpler.
As awesome as the changes to combat may be everyone knows Final Fantasy has never been all about the battle and the grind. Final Fantasy XIV ONLINE also tries to get the players more involved with the story making you feel as if you’re actually making a difference in the world. Imagine my surprise at how in depth character creation was, while the races the same as in FFXI with new names there are now new types to each race, multiple star signs to choose from, your character actually gets their own birthday, there are multiple life paths which then allow you to select your starting class. After all this is done you are then brought into town on a serious of cut scenes that well voiced centering around the situation and your character almost as if this game was actually built around your character and not a massive online experience.
There is probably more I can write about on this game but until I can log in again all I have left to say is that I am looking forward to this game and can not wait until I get the chance to experience to real deal with the rest of my friends online.