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Thread: Review - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Review - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

    After working through the main story, we're ready to share more of our thoughts on A Realm Reborn. Now to get this posted so that we can get back to our party, if they're still alive.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    I approve of this review. I still hate the Duty Finder though...40 minutes to enter a dungeon? It's so BS.
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Every Holy Trinity RPG with a dungeon finder system ever has had that difficulty. Everybody wants to play DPS, nobody wants to tank or heal because it's more responsibility and people yell at you even when they're the ones who messed up. So if you're not playing tank or healer, well, you're going to wait in line a lot more often than if you are. Not much that can be done about that except removing the Holy Trinity from the combat system, which presents its own set of design difficulties and isn't always popular with dedicated MMO players (see: Guild Wars 2... I love the lack of Holy Trinity there, but I know not everyone does).

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    I just don't like how the following occurred. Doing a check, me and 3 friends on FFXIV entered the DF at the same time, all at one of their houses. The tank instantly got a party, the healer had to wait 3-5 minutes, and both of us DPS had to wait 30-40 minutes. We were standing right next to each other in front of the dungeon entrance. I think that alone should tell you the problem with the DF.
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    Member lolwhoops's Avatar
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    there were already people in the dungeon finder in queue. just because you're close to someone else or the dungeon doesn't mean you should be bumped up the queue. It might suck to wait, but all the other damage types are waiting just as long because in MMOs people often just want the simple point-click-kill experience. There are just less tanks and healers playing the game. But that's not necessarily a problem with the dungeon finder as much as it's a problem with the system that requires that set up.
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    I highly agree with this review, having a blast in it so far! Playing mainly as a scholar, with some gathering/crafting on the side. It really captures the Final Fantasy feel to me, hits all the right nostalgia bits while still being it's own new thing.

    The duty finder can be annoying at times, but I understand the problem inherent with those. If you aren't a tank/healer, it's harder to get in since there's so many more DPS classes available, and you need two of them for each dungeon instead of just one tank or healer.

    I view my queuing time as a great time to level another class, since you can just switch back once you get in.

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    Staff Healer RPGamer Staff TwinBahamut's Avatar
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    I think it might also be the case that (and this might be more a theory of mine than anything else), in general, tanks and healers are played more often by the people who enjoy playing with others and teaming up, while DPS characters tend to be played more by solo players. The thing is, more group-oriented players are more likely to join linkshells and free companies and find teammates that way (since it is more reliable for finding good people to play with), while more solo-oriented players will just use the Duty Finder. This is far from being a hard and fast thing, but I think it is another element that makes DPS far more crowded on the random pick-up group side and tanks or healers more scarce.

    At the very least, I've seen a lot of people talking both about how there are no tanks in the Duty Finder, and too many tanks in various Free Companies. Our own Free Company certainly has no lack of tanks or healers, at least (not that I'll ever complain about it!).

    Interestingly, I think the official statistics have indicated that, on the whole, there is pretty much the exact right role balance amongst the entire player base.
    Last edited by TwinBahamut; 10-25-2013 at 01:06 PM.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkRPGMaster View Post
    I just don't like how the following occurred. Doing a check, me and 3 friends on FFXIV entered the DF at the same time, all at one of their houses. The tank instantly got a party, the healer had to wait 3-5 minutes, and both of us DPS had to wait 30-40 minutes. We were standing right next to each other in front of the dungeon entrance. I think that alone should tell you the problem with the DF.
    You do know that you can be in a party when starting the Duty Finder, right? All of you (up to the max allowed in that dungeon) will go in, even if you don't meet the requirements.
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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macstorm View Post
    You do know that you can be in a party when starting the Duty Finder, right? All of you (up to the max allowed in that dungeon) will go in, even if you don't meet the requirements.
    I do. But when I use the DF, it's usually because nobody else is online or willing to go dungeoning with me. I tried yelling for a party in the field where the dungeon's at for about an hour every attempt for a week. I got only 1 hit on the 7th day. It's not worth it IMO, not when I can DF up and get one within that hour.

    I guess my problem with the DF is that it uses queue with each player in it having a specific number in order, whereas I'd prefer one that just looked for people trying to do the dungeon around in your area first BEFORE queuing you up (while allowing those already queued to immediately group up with you). Silly I know when you can ask for it, but you already read why I stopped trying to do that...
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    It's funny how everyone wants to DPS. In my experience, DPS is the hardest job. You've got to spend more time preparing and perfecting your combat technique with DPS more than any other job, and DPS rarely has much in way of survivability, so you've got to avoid more attacks than anyone else. At least tanks only need to worry about keeping mobs on them, and the only real hard part about healing is keeping an eye on everyone.

    Anyway, I heard FF14 has a real problem with class balance. The unique FF classes I'd want to play our jobs like dragoon, summoner, and all those special bunch, but I heard it's the standard group of pallies and ninjas who perform the best. At least bards seem to be very powerful. That is contradictory to FF lore, heh, but useful.

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    President of Soft Paws SeraphimKitten's Avatar
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    I've had a much different experience with Final Fantasy 14. Not so much that I'd say we were playing different games, but I felt like I was playing a 2 game, not a 4.5 game. I'm still withholding any final judgements, though, until I finish getting my relic weapon completed. At that point I'll have seen everything except the Coils of Bahamut raid. I'd hoped to try levelling a few classes to 50, but I think that's beyond me. Still, the archer class with the bard job is interesting. I'm not sure they're more powerful, but several times I've entered a fight (such as the Dhorme Chimera) where they've said "Okay, one archer only sit there and autoshot and use your interrupt." It seems if interrupts were more plentiful, maybe bards would be less popular?

    We'll see how I feel once I wrap up this Artemis bow-harp thing, though!

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeraphimKitten View Post
    I've had a much different experience with Final Fantasy 14. Not so much that I'd say we were playing different games, but I felt like I was playing a 2 game, not a 4.5 game. I'm still withholding any final judgements, though, until I finish getting my relic weapon completed. At that point I'll have seen everything except the Coils of Bahamut raid. I'd hoped to try levelling a few classes to 50, but I think that's beyond me. Still, the archer class with the bard job is interesting. I'm not sure they're more powerful, but several times I've entered a fight (such as the Dhorme Chimera) where they've said "Okay, one archer only sit there and autoshot and use your interrupt." It seems if interrupts were more plentiful, maybe bards would be less popular?

    We'll see how I feel once I wrap up this Artemis bow-harp thing, though!
    I think I enjoy the game more because I've found the aspects that were fun to me and played them up. Going into a raid where "you must do this, that, and this or else" is not my idea of fun. Leveling Warrior to 50, getting to see all of the main story, going back and getting the fun gladiator quest line to 30, and then starting over again has been where I've had a blast. I'd much rather run Tam Tara, the level 20 dungeon, a 5th time with a group of friends than to run Amdapor Keep for the 50th time with a bunch of impatient and rude strangers.

    That said, you're welcome to play lower level jobs with me any time.
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    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    It's funny how everyone wants to DPS. In my experience, DPS is the hardest job. You've got to spend more time preparing and perfecting your combat technique with DPS more than any other job, and DPS rarely has much in way of survivability, so you've got to avoid more attacks than anyone else. At least tanks only need to worry about keeping mobs on them, and the only real hard part about healing is keeping an eye on everyone.

    Anyway, I heard FF14 has a real problem with class balance. The unique FF classes I'd want to play our jobs like dragoon, summoner, and all those special bunch, but I heard it's the standard group of pallies and ninjas who perform the best. At least bards seem to be very powerful. That is contradictory to FF lore, heh, but useful.
    Theres a couple misconceptions there TG. First off, healers have to dodge attacks in this game the same as everyone else, especially in big boss fights. Its even more difficult on them since they have to stay still to cast, meaning they have to know exactly when to dodge and when to start healing again. Maybe that doesn't sound too bad, but from my experience ARR has a huge focus on dodging attacks compared to contemporaries. Class balance also isn't that big of an issue. Summoner and Dragoon are actually very good DPS. Summoner's DOTs can critical, and DOTs in general are the most powerful attacks for every class. Not to mention the summoner has an instant raise and can potentially bypass enemy's who have magic resistance due to how DOTs work (not sure how true this is). As Dragoon I consistently have the highest DPS with everyone I play in raid with according to a 3rd Party tool. Although not perfect, it shows Dragoon is likely the second best DPS class, especially since they boost the damage of Bards which is a highly demanded class at the moment. They also don't have to move around the enemy as much as Monk, plus they are the hardiest DPS class meaning there is more leeway to get hit by a single attack than others. Warrior is really the only class that has issues at the moment, and they are going to be buffed in the next patch.

    Here's my take on the review: What I am about to say might sound strange since I probably enjoy the game more than our reviewer Macstorm, but I'd probably give it a slightly lower score, especially for the PS3 version. Mainly because the PS3 version seems to struggle at times with one of the key elements of A Realm Reborn: FATEs. But aside from that, I also believe the class customization to be poor. While it's true that I only have experience with 1 Job, I have had to look up how other jobs work to understand how my allies play the game as well. Cross Class skills just seem like such a lost opportunity to me. There are a very limited selection of skills to choose from on your Job, and often the skills one should choose are obvious right from the start. Summoners are going to take Swiftcast and Raise, Bards will take Inner Release and Blood for Blood, and so on. Not to mention the fact that there aren't very many main skills to choose from in the first place. Aside from my gear, I feel like I am a carbon copy of other players when it comes to customization.

    On the plus said, and I've said this many times before, A Realm Reborn has the best online community I've ever had the pleasure of playing with. The people make the game worth playing, and as such its probably the best of the few MMO experiences I've had. Of course, I also agree with many of Mac's points in the review. The soundtrack for example is excellent and compliments the already awesome boss fights. He also points out how beautiful the world is, and indeed, there are some truly stunning points of view you may come across when you least expect it, especially when you factor in weather effects such as sunsets or lightning storms. On the whole, ARR is just a wonderfully crafted game that can seemingly only improve over time with patch content. The issues it does have are minor, which gives one belief that the core gameplay is solid enough to stand the test of time rather than needing a complete overhaul.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 10-25-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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    Staff Healer RPGamer Staff TwinBahamut's Avatar
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    I'll agree with ChickenGod on most points. The game is beautiful, the classes are more balanced than you might expect for a game this young, and it has a great community. That said, character customization is indeed quite bad (the main choice you get in leveling up is which stat to raise, which is probably the single worst choice they could have you make in a class-based game, for all kinds of reasons). Cross-class skills are a really underdeveloped idea, and there is simply not that much choice. I hope the whole thing gets a good overhaul in the next expansion. Right now, the only good choice about how to customize your character is picking which Job to use for your class, and only a single class actually gets to make that choice!

    As I mentioned once, the game really just needs more content. More classes, more jobs, more equipment choices, more crafting recipes, more quests, and so on. This is particularly true for quests. Early in the game you get places like the Silver Bazaar, which is a place untouched by the main story that has a fun self-contained storyline that is unveiled through a series of quests, but that basically disappears once you get past the introductory part of the game.

    Honestly, I have not been liking the story that much so far. It has its high points, but it really feels like a big rush job. Despite its aspirations, it is more Final Fantasy Unlimited than Final Fantasy 6. Just like that ill-fated anime, you know there is a great story and world in there somewhere, but it can really be hard to see through the endless, tedious filler content that you run through all the time. The most interesting elements are treated as minor diversions, while the most pointless elements (I'm looking at you, Company of Heroes) take the center stage and just waste time. I really wish it was a bit better, since I really like the setting and adore the game's giant cast of great characters.

  15. #15
    First off, healers have to dodge attacks in this game the same as everyone else, especially in big boss fights. Its even more difficult on them since they have to stay still to cast, meaning they have to know exactly when to dodge and when to start healing again. Maybe that doesn't sound too bad, but from my experience ARR has a huge focus on dodging attacks compared to contemporaries.
    *shrug* What can I say? Even in the more wild WoW fights, it seems like all I ever had to worry about was the odd unavoidable AoE, but then, I've never struggled with the whole "don't stand in the fire" concept. Granted, WoW isn't all that hard.

    Although not perfect, it shows Dragoon is likely the second best DPS class, especially since they boost the damage of Bards which is a highly demanded class at the moment.
    Bards? What are they doing in this game to make them so great? I mean...bards being major damage classes. In an FF game. Wow. I don't remember hearing all that much about them from FF11.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 10-25-2013 at 09:08 PM.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    Bards? What are they doing in this game to make them so great? I mean...bards being major damage classes. In an FF game. Wow. I don't remember hearing all that much about them from FF11.
    We use all our archer skills. Constant DPS, we can fire while moving, we have songs which buff the party (some reduce our DPS by 20%), and we can get most offensive boosting cross-class abilities, Blood for Blood for example, which ups our damage output by at least 20% for 20 seconds (cancelling out that song DPS reduction). All that combined with the constant DPS = gamebreaker. We're the most wanted class in instances and dungeons to the point where SE is actually going to nerf us in the next major patch.
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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    I love all this talk about classes because that brings up my favorite aspect of the game, and where there's the most variety, and that's being able to pick a different class as you want. I hated being stuck with just one class to play in WoW without an alt, so this feeds my addiction.
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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Same here Mac. I just hate how I have to FATE grind just to level up effectively on other classes (due to no quests around). I still queue up for dungeons while doing it though, just because you never truly know how to play your class until you've had to use it to help the party survive. That first dungeon as a healer was quite hectic.

    But please don't talk to me about the Tam-Tara Deepcroft, I had the worst party experience I've ever had in there as a healer. Sure we beat the dungeon, but the tank couldn't keep aggro, the DPS kept aiming for different enemies, they tried to skip mobs, etc. I was actually the only member of the party to live the entire run, just because of how savvy I was with how things worked in the dungeon along with surviving (Quelling Strikes is a must to help with this). I actually had to DPS to survive in there. The final boss of the place I had to DPS mobs to keep things going, and still managed to keep everybody alive against him (the only time we actually DIDN'T have somebody fall). They luckily didn't try to blame me for their deaths, since they kept standing still in AoE.
    Last edited by DarkRPGMaster; 10-25-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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  19. #19
    We use all our archer skills.
    Ah. Well, there you go. They're more like archers instead of harp strumming punching bags. I guess the best way to make an FF bard useful is to make them unlike FF bards, heh heh.

    I've still got a sore spot for Bards after FFT. All that effort to raise them and they're SO not worth it. Not anything like, say, a Calculator or Samurai.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 10-25-2013 at 11:11 PM.

  20. #20
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    *shrug* What can I say? Even in the more wild WoW fights, it seems like all I ever had to worry about was the odd unavoidable AoE, but then, I've never struggled with the whole "don't stand in the fire" concept. Granted, WoW isn't all that hard.
    I played Paladin as a healer sometimes in WoW, and don't seem to remember moving very often. Contrast that to many of the tougher bosses in A Realm Reborn requiring constant movement, and they seem like completely different encounters. Granted, I didn't do all that much raid content in WoW when besides what was available in Vanilla, so my experience is mostly limited to instances.

    Obviously people with a high degree of mastery are going to think almost nothing is difficult, but for the average player I just think that healer is the most difficult to play properly. In ARR, they can't see their aggro unless they target the monster directly, and you'd be surprised how many times I've seen a healer steal aggro and wipe a party. In the end though its probably all a matter of opinion. There are plenty of fights where certain roles are weighted more heavily towards the outcome of victory that it all seems fair in the end.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 10-26-2013 at 01:18 AM.
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