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Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews 401

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-fantasies-are-never-final dept.
RogueyWon writes "Now that the massively-multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV has been on the shelves for a couple of weeks, the reviews are starting to arrive; and it appears that the game is the subject of a critical battering unprecedented in the history of the main Final Fantasy series. First it was the Amazon user reviews, then Gamespot weighed in, describing the game as a 'step backwards for the genre,' and now IGN has described it as 'an arduous experience that, in its current state, isn't worth playing.' Given the general dissatisfaction that surrounded the release of the (offline) Final Fantasy XIII earlier in the year, many long-time fans of the series must now be wondering whether the magic hasn't departed."
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Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews

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  • Well shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:47AM (#33868928)
    I guess I'll have to turn to one of about 10,000 other spikey-haired-hermaphrodites-on-the-rails-rpgs if I want my Japanese game fix.
    • I thought the FFMMORPG has already been out for years.. the fact that I don't really care means it makes no odds though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Andy Dodd (701)

        This is the second one. As I understand, the first one was pretty crappy too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TriezGamer (861238)

          Final Fantasy XI initially launched in a pretty dismal state, but has improved vastly over the years, and is still getting fairly solid content updates.

          But Final Fantasy XIV certainly is not ready to compete in today's MMORPG market. I'm not about to pay money to continue a beta test. I would guess it needs about 6 more months of development, at a minimum, before it's really ready to compete. Furthermore, Square-Enix needs to do some serious market research and learn what players actually want from a gam

          • Furthermore, Square-Enix needs to do some serious market research and learn what players actually want from a game.

            I couldn't agree more. S-E has had so many good ideas that have been mired by some glaring poor decisions. If they had just spent some time before and during development, their games would be released to fewer "WTF were they thinking" comments. They've been such a successful company and still have quite a few successful games that there's no reason they shouldn't have the budget for more marketing research, testing, and player input.

          • by Thanshin (1188877)

            Furthermore, Square-Enix needs to do some serious market research and learn what players actually want from a game.

            Please elaborate.

            • Re:Well shit (Score:5, Interesting)

              by TriezGamer (861238) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:49AM (#33869842)

              If you look at many successful games, you'll find a lot of consistency, both MMO and non-MMO alike. I'm going to focus on UI here, because it's one of FFXIV's biggest flaws, and it's the easiest example.

              A user interface needs to be designed in such a way that it communicates information clearly. Furthermore, the interface needs to be designed in such a way that accomplishing any particular task is straightforward, quick and intuitive.

              The UI for Final Fantasy XIV is excruciatingly poorly designed and fails on all aspects of this. Everything is accessed through a main menu that has a mess of nested sub-menus. There are no assigning of simple hotkeys for most actions (though you can assign combat and skill related actions to 0-9), and the entire interface responds VERY slowly, often taking 3-5 seconds to open each sub-menu.

              Changing options such as screen resolution, detail settings, or controller configuration (if you have a game pad) is done by closing down the client entirely, running a separate configuration utility, and relaunching the client when you are done. Running the game in full-screen prevents you from alt-tabbing, else you crash the client entirely. This is particularly bad because these are chief complaints people have had about their own previous MMORPG, so they should be painfully aware of them -- but they appear to have learned nothing.

              Square-Enix is just not in touch with what makes a game good as a game. They have a knack for compelling stories, and they have a solid art-design team, but these aren't enough to make a good game.

              • by Psmylie (169236) *

                That's not the biggest problem for me. The biggest problem is the lag when trying to open/navigate through menus. If it happened quickly, then much of the frustration would dry up.

                Also, more customization is needed. Being able to move chat boxes around, etc. is a big step up from FFXI, but they still have that NPC-dialog box right in the middle of your screen that you can't move or switch off, which means that I can't put my chat box across the bottom of the screen like I wanted.

                In addition, little things l

            • Re:Well shit (Score:5, Interesting)

              by _KiTA_ (241027) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:50AM (#33869860) Homepage

              Furthermore, Square-Enix needs to do some serious market research and learn what players actually want from a game.

              Please elaborate.

              Both FF13 and FF14 have been plagued by poor design decisions that represent management who are woefully out of touch with their target audience.

              For example, FF13's dungeon design was vastly simplified, to the point that 99.99% of all dungeons in the game are single straight corridors, with no side paths nor possible ways to get lost. They're very pretty, but it's also very similar to playing "Final Fight: The RPG" -- walk forward, fight, walk forward, fight, walk forward, fight... This is indicative of a group of executives who have a very, very poor opinion of their target audience as a whole - "Today's gamers aren't smart enough to figure out a maze, make it a straight line." There's a reason that game was 98% off in stores a few weeks after release, it tanked, HARD. I would be pretty surprised if they made back the absurd development costs.

              Final Fantasy 14, amongst other things, implements a "reverse rest EXP system" -- the more you play, the less you get out of playing. Not only that, when people openly started talking about this, Square Enix bold faced LIED about it to the player base -- claiming that it was all made up by "foreign websites trolling for hits." It took 2ch and the other Japanese fansites breaking NDA en mass and saying "no, that's all true" for them to own up and admit it publically. Blizzard specifically said they originally tried the same thing for WOW, but decided it was stupid and inverted it -- instead of punishing you with fatigue for playing too much, they gave you bonuses for taking breaks. Similar long cooldowns are implemented in the repeatable quest systems, the crafting system, the works.

              These are symptoms of a company that knows their game isn't fleshed out enough to keep people busy, but is out of ideas on how to keep people from quitting before they can fix it.

              This has actually been going on for a while, but these latest two have finally put it to the point that the detractors are louder than the fans. FF12, for example, had an atrocious plot, and they dropped the main character in lieu of a 14 year old metrosexual because "gamers can't associate with a middle aged (you know, 20) protagonist." But the rest of the game made up for it - the combat was aces, the open, near sandbox style map was great, the bonus fights were actually fun, etc etc.

              FF11 was legendary for taking your characters hostage -- if you ever quit, they "deleted" (read: blocked you from using) your characters. Yes, they fixed it later, but only after the subscription numbers crashed. They still thought this was a good idea at the time. To say nothing about the design of the game as a whole -- the UI choices, especially on the PC, were downright criminal.

              There have just been one bad design decision after another over there the past few years, and it's getting worse.

              Fortunately the Enix side appears to still be ran intelligently -- Dragon Quest 9 was pretty much spot on perfect, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 has some missteps but is much better than Joker 1, etc etc. And the new Final Fantasy 4 Heroes of Light game is also pretty close to perfect as it stands, so there is hope for the franchise. Just not in the current path they're going down.

          • >>>is still getting fairly solid content updates.

            Like a bad TV show, it just goes on and on and on. Kinda like Smallville. Or Voyager. I'd sooner a game be like a movie or book with a pre-designed fixed ending - a goal for me to reach, with a nice wrap-up of the story, and then move on to the next game.

            • Re:Well shit (Score:4, Informative)

              by TriezGamer (861238) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:37AM (#33869664)

              So you clearly have no interest in MMORPGs. That doesn't mean those who like them can't be permitted to appreciate content updates. There is no law that says you have to play the game, but that doesn't mean the game should die. There's not exactly a shortage of games that have proper endings.

              • >>>There is no law that says you have to play the game,

                There's also no law that says I can't express my disappointment that FF11 and FF14 were online, instead of stand-alones. On the previous consoles we had 3 standalone games each..... but in recent years only 2:

                NES == FF 1,2,3
                SNES = FF 4,5,6
                PS1 == FF 7,8,9
                PS2 == FF10,12 (one less standalone Final Fantasy)
                PS3 == FF13,15 (ditto)

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            Exactly, XIV is in the same situation as XI was - but this is years later, so there is no excuse for that.

            Lots of things have been improved, but I felt no reason or desire to get the game. It's got too many things still substantially wrong.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Sadly, this one is an improvement over XI. You can actually solo decently in it (excluding one class). There are some good classes, and the scenery isn't bad - that's though those are in line with the previous. You no longer lose XP when you die, very nice. Like most soon-after-release MMOs, the content is somewhat lacking - but that's not a surprise, and sqeenix seems to be ramping that up. Like their previous MMO, and contrary to what a previous user said, this isn't the usual train JRPG.

          A lot of good ide

          • The laggy UI baffles me. Also, the entire UI is a mess. Like Oblivion, it just isn't made for a PC user and was clearly designed for use with a console. Unlike Oblivion, mouse support is not integrated well at all. All of the configuration options that actually matter require shutting down the game and using a secondary tool.

            This is poor game design for the PC platform. Given that this was one of the more irritating aspects of FFXI, I was hoping it would be addressed. Instead, they have repeated many

            • by ByOhTek (1181381)

              Of course, you don't need full screen anymore, which is nice.

              Yes, those are all annoying too. However, at least to me, they don't make it unplayable. Everyone is different/YMMV

    • I'll weigh in on the debate when I finally finish FFVII
    • by Moraelin (679338)

      Just for a quick bit of info, from what I understand in the Japanese culture the effeminate looking bishounen (prettyboy) with the heart-shaped face is actually an ideal of masculinity. The massive square-jawed body-builder a la Zangief is actually their stereotype for gay.

      So, yeah, those spikey-haired hermaphrodites are Real Manly Men.

      Yeah, it makes no sense for me either.

      • Yeah, it makes no sense for me either.

        It only makes no sense if you're committed to believing that our ideas about gender are innate and in no way cultural despite all evidence to the contrary.
        • Oh, on the contrary, I'm a ferm advocate of 99% nurture and 1% nature in just about any cultural thing. I'll be the first to say that gender roles are purely cultural constructs, and not even constant in any time or place.

          But, yes, a lot of other cultures make no sense to me. I'm not saying it's innate or anything. I'm saying a lot of those stereotypes and choices seem illogical to me.

          If it makes it any better, though, I think half the western culture is illogical too.

      • The massive square-jawed body-builder a la Zangief is actually their stereotype for gay.

        Cho Aniki suddenly makes 1000% more sense.
      • by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:09AM (#33870124) Homepage

        Just for a quick bit of info, from what I understand in the Japanese culture the effeminate looking bishounen (prettyboy) with the heart-shaped face is actually an ideal of masculinity. The massive square-jawed body-builder a la Zangief is actually their stereotype for gay.

        Not quite. Although bishounen are considered an ideal of beauty, they aren't considered an ideal of masculinity, per se. That has a different archetype with its own name (otokomae), and it's much more similar to what most Westerners consider manly (though there are still some cultural differences, of course). To give some examples in FF terms (specifically FF6), Edgar is a bishounen while Sabin (Mash, if you go by Japanese naming) is otokomae.

        You're right about hyper-muscular bodybuilders being a gay stereotype in Japan, though.

  • long time vet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:51AM (#33868976)

    I've been playing online RPG's since MUD's in junior high and FFXIV was the first time in my game-playing history that I've ever desperately wanted a tutorial.

    • All the reviews seem a bit premature to me. Its early days and most MMO's start of crippled by bugs. FFXIV seems to be buggered up by an amazingly counter-intuitive UI and extensive learning curve without any form of tutorial. It seems likely that these will be fixed after reading the feedback that really should have hit them in beta. The reviews of people who actually went to learn the game seem to be enthusiastically positive though those could well be from A&R or marketing of Enix Square.
      • Re:long time vet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yosho (135835) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:53AM (#33869902) Homepage

        Premature? If it's ready for a price tag, then it's ready for a review. If I'm going to pay for a game, I expect it to actually be fun. If I wanted to help somebody test something, there are plenty of free games and beta tests out there. Maybe I'll give FFXIV another chance after a year or two, if it's still around.

        By the way, there's more against the game other than the terrible UI and learning curve. There's also the terrible player economy, the lack of anything to do other than grinding, the needlessly complex crafting system, the poor graphics optimization, the copy-and-paste environments...

      • by Tridus (79566)

        If they're selling it, then it's ready for a review. If it needs more time in development, they shouldn't be asking for $15/month to play it.

        This is a buggy mess with one of the worst UIs the genre has ever seen. Nothing more. Six months in development won't fix it because they don't seem to understand just how terrible the UI really is.

        Someone needs to buy Square a copy of World of Warcraft so they can grasp what a decent UI actually looks like.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      FFXIV would do "you can't move until you do X action" tutorial though, which basically means that the tutorial would have a minimum amount of time it'd take to go through (probably an hour).

      square really fucked menus by not even letting people move around with a menu open.

  • by koreaman (835838) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:54AM (#33869014)

    Haven't played FF XIV, but the issue plaguing XIII was the insistence of the developers on having a beautifully-rendered world full of gorgeous eye candy.

    Turns out you don't have enough space on a standard PS3 DVD to make a beautifully-rendered world full of gorgeous eye candy that is as open and expansive as FF players have come to expect. Result: one of the most boring, linear games I've ever played. In fact FF XIII is more like watching a several-days-long film than playing an interactive game.

    • by ProppaT (557551)

      I don't think that's the reason for FFXIII's relative failure at all. You can always multi-disc games, so space isn't an issue.

      The issue was the convoluted story. The game was intentionally linear through most of the game because of the way they tried to push the story. I'll give them a little credit...I see what they were trying to do and it might have worked if the story and characters were stronger. Instead of being excited about the characters and having the linear gameplay push a sense of urgency,

    • FF XIII is more like watching a several-days-long film than playing an interactive game.

      Ever played Dreamfall...?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by supersloshy (1273442)

      The PS3 uses Blu-ray discs, which hold WAY more than your standard PS2 DVD or Wii disc. For a comparison, note that the game was also released on the Xbox 360 in multi-disc DVD format, and that DVDs hold about 8GB of data, while Blu-ray discs usually hold around 50GB (dual-layer). The problem with XIII's linearity wasn't the disc space, but rather mis-guided direction. Prettiness over playability, storytelling over customization, linearity over non-linearity.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      Turns out you don't have enough space on a standard PS3 DVD to make a beautifully-rendered world full of gorgeous eye candy that is as open and expansive as FF players have come to expect. Result: one of the most boring, linear games I've ever played. In fact FF XIII is more like watching a several-days-long film than playing an interactive game.

      The GTA series managed to cram a detailed city in a DVD so I don't believe that. Then you have Oblivion and Fallout 3 which do pretty much the same for RPGs. The

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:54AM (#33869016) Homepage

    It feels like they just plain gave up and didn't want to take the time to polish it. The now-infamous Gametrailers review [gametrailers.com] is pretty much spot on.

    If this and pretty much every Final Fantasy game since VII have proven anything, it's that this series needs to just go away. It's far too late for a graceful death, but put it out of its misery.

    YMMV, just my opinion, etc apply.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by koreaman (835838)

      Come on, 9 is still fun :)

      • by jandrese (485)
        Hell, even with the story and minigame problems X was still pretty good.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Pojut (1027544)

        Eh, it's ok...I just feel like the "Fantasy" has been ripped from the series. I find there is far too much focus on technology. I realize the older games had a focus on technology as well, but it just felt different.

        It's a shame, because the imagery and character designs since Final Fantasy went 3D have been stunning...but the games don't really go past eye candy for me. Everything just seems to be style over substance when it comes to Final Fantasy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TriezGamer (861238)

          I fully agree with this. Final Fantasy games in the 8-bit and 16-bit era always had a little bit of a steampunk flavor in their settings, but never enough to remove the 'fantasy' feel from the game.

          Final Fantasy VII dropped you in the middle of Midgar, and didn't feel like a fantasy at all until you were well outside of the city, approximately 1/3 of the way into the game. Even afterward, it never settled quite right with me.

          Final Fantasy VIII had the gardens -- massive, mobile behemoth-cities that felt f

    • by ProppaT (557551)

      Well, the joke has been since we learned that the PC version was going to pre-date the PS3 version by half a year that the PC version was nothing but a giant beta test for the real PS3 version. It looks like this turned out to be true. I played the beta for a couple hours and gave up. Hopefully they can salvage the rest from this train wreck. It has potential...it just still feels like a beta.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      I don't know. Despite starting the series with 7, I actually enjoyed 8 through 10 more. YMMV I guess. It's been downhill from there though. I only got about halfway through X-2 before giving up due to the general silliness of it. 11 I skipped because I wasn't interested in online play. Played 12 for a few hours, gave up on it. Did the same with 13.

      I think to some degree, it's culture clash. Not saying they're wrong, or mocking them, but certain things that end up in Japanese games just seem incredi

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        here's also the oddity that so many of what are supposed to be strong male characters are portrayed very effeminately.

        Every time I see a male Japanese game character, I can't help but think of Xandir from Drawn Together [wikipedia.org]. He's a Link [wikipedia.org]-esque videogame character who starts out the series proclaiming that he's on a "Never-ending quest to save my girlfriend!" only to quickly admit later that he's actually gay (much to the surprise of absolutely no one).

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      If this and pretty much every Final Fantasy game since VII have proven anything, it's that this series needs to just go away.

      Aside from Crisis Core, Dissidia & Final Fantasy Tactics, I agree completely.

      I guess FFVIII wasn't too horrible, but I lost interest in it quickly.

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        Sorry, should have specifically pointed out numbered entries in the series. I agree with you about Crisis Core, Dissidia, and Tactics :-)

  • Apparently some people feel ripped-off because they paid for something and they ended up not liking it. So they write a bad review.

    The rest of us that like it, just play the game. (NO TIME 2 RITE REVIEWZ!!!!! MUST LVL!!111!)

  • ...this game just never made sense to me the very moment I heard about it, as well as FFXI. I've played I, II, V, VI, VII, IX, X, and the incredibly awesome XII (which people didn't like for being "too different" and "too non-linear"; peh), and it has always boggled me how they could ever translate the Final Fantasy experience to an online game; you can't! You can have the general look-and-feel, but it just isn't a Final Fantasy game, nor a good RPG in general, if the game's an eternal grind-fest. XII, for

  • A step back? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:01AM (#33869100)
    I heard from a friend in the beta, that it was basically Final Fantasy 11 with a fresh coat of paint-- and this was a guy who enjoyed Final Fantasy 11. Given that 11 launched during the Everquest era, when players were treated with total contempt by devs, soloing was a grind almost as agonizing as waiting for a group, and it was easy to lose days' worth of progress in an encounter gone bad, it's not surprising that something in a similar vein would go over very poorly today.
  • by dominion (3153) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:04AM (#33869150) Homepage

    What happened to Final Fantasy? I grew up with it, the original Final Fantasy was my first RPG, and then Final Fantasy 2, and then, what I believe to be the greatest RPG of all time, Final Fantasy 3/6 came out. Final Fantasy VII was great, and breathtaking, but since then, it's been downhill. Nine was a quick breath of fresh air, but VIII is the only Final Fantasy I've never played past the first hour. Ten was super linear (geez, *another* cutscene?), and X-2 was a joke (please stop making intrepid adventurers act like tween girls, it's insulting to everyone except tween girls). XII seemed to be on the right track, but that's because they used an established world and mythos from the Tactics series, and the biggest problem was it's abrupt ending and auto-gameplay, but at least there were some compelling characters and power struggles, although it fell short in that area. And then XIII I haven't played yet, because I took one look at the map, and lost all interest (hint, it's a straight line), and nothing I read said that the story made up for that lack of exploration.

    It seems to me that the problem, more than anything, is the failure to dream up a really compelling setting, characters, and plot, and then let the player loose in it. Earlier games had those, but it seems that lately all that they're interested in is new systems of combat and leveling up. There are no villains like Kefka, no tragedies like Rosa's attempted suicide, no big reveals like Cloud's backstory, no tortured protagonists like Cecil.

    In a lot of ways, it's as if they've substituted "cool" for "good". They want a cool story, a cool main character, a cool setting, not good ones, not well developed ones. The potential for storytelling in videogames, from a technological standpoint, it's all there. There's nothing really holding anyone back, but instead, we get flashy graphics and a new battle system, instead of characters we care about. When I was 14 years old, watching Rosa throw herself off a cliff, or Terra almost decide against saving the world, or even the NPC orphan teenage couple obliquely considering an abortion because Kefka had turned the world into a wasteland, that was good storytelling, and I expected it to only get better as technology improved, and it really didn't, at least not for the Final Fantasy series.

    It's a shame, and maybe this is harsh, but I consider the Final Fantasy series to be like M. Night Shyamalan movies. Sure, "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" were epic, and "Signs" was pretty decent, but at some point you have to give up on things and count yourself as no longer a fan, but a harsh critic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Celes, not Rosa.

    • by Thrymm (662097)

      Well said! I pretty much stopped playing them after VII. VIII didn't play for more than an hour either, and then watched my brother with IX periodically. Have found myself playing the NES original as well as the SNES 2, 3/6 over on the emulator though again. VII deserved a true sequel, or could have ended on the first CD and continued from there. Not some CGI movie sequel or some off shoot Vincent game.

      • by shish (588640)

        VII deserved a true sequel

        I think that would be really hard to pull off, as the plot wasn't designed for a sequel (thank god -- plots that deliberately don't end are enough to make me boycott a series); A high-def, bug-fixed, otherwise unaltered rerelease however, I'd preorder 10 just to help it happen :-P

        (And ditto for FFVI)

    • by Applekid (993327)

      What happened to Final Fantasy is, well, money. The quality you remember and describe is now a "brand."

      Aside from a few Japanese directors and producers, the game itself is now almost 100% outsourced from Square. Square-Enix is a publisher and no longer really a developer. The dirty little secret in Japanese game development these days is the top tier names are all outsourcing their stuff to smaller unknown and unproven companies simply to maximize profit. Lousy games that might get released anyway on their

    • VIII is the only Final Fantasy I've never played past the first hour

      You lucky bastard. Sometimes I think I must be the only person in the known universe who actually played VIII until the end, just out of morbid curiosity if it gets better. It actually kept getting worse. After the first CD the plot twists started going from stupid to surrealistically stupid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      , and X-2 was a joke (please stop making intrepid adventurers act like tween girls, it's insulting to everyone except tween girls)

      FFX-2 was not made for tween-girls. It was made for people who like to look at girls in revealing dresses. And for the record, this did not change the fact that it was probably one of the most fun and enjoyable RPGs to be released in years--and not because of the revealing dresses either. Once you get over the farcical setting, it's a great game.

      I'm not going to pretend that the

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Millennium (2451)

        This is also true. FFX-2 is actually quite a good game, if you can get past all the friggin fanservice. Unfortunately, said fanservice is so pervasive and damaging that many people can't bring themselves to play, and it's taken to such a ridiculous level that it's hard to blame them for not being able to do so. One of the characters actually wears more clothing during the hot-springs scene than she does for most of the game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
        I have a hunch that most people who hated FFX-2 didn't play more than an hour. It gets much better after the first hour or two, although there are still moments that are cringe-inducing.
    • Is that game seems to be annoyed you want to play it. They seem to be more interested in making a really long, boring, movie than a game. the interactivity keeps getting dialed back. Battles are largely auto-mode and involve mostly you watching massive animations of attacks ans do on.

      I think part of it is they are unclear on what they are supposed to be doing. They've forgotten that game makers are supposed to make games, not movies and games mean interactivity, and lots of it. Also as a practical matter th

    • by Millennium (2451)

      Nitpick: Celes from FFVI was the one who attempted suicide, not Rosa from FFIV.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello (642429)

      Everything seems better when you were 14. I don't know why people haven't figured this out yet.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:05AM (#33869168) Journal
    Every time a new MMO launches, I've got this baggage of playing WoW for 2-3 years. I expect the game that comes out to be as polished and as good as WoW. It's unfair but my logic just ends at "why don't I just play WoW instead." I hope other people are different but that's what I keep thinking and what leads to my termination of game play. I don't go back to WoW until an expansion comes out and then I just level max my characters and drop it after a month.

    I played Darkfall and it was very unpolished. I've played a lot of MMOs like it. It gets into development and then it feels like the source of funding forces an early release and the thing falls apart. If I think back before WoW to my first MMO which was Star Wars Galaxies, I can recall the complete lack of a tutorial, the completely unpolished game play and the glitches right off the bat. But I stuck with it for a long time right up until the combat upgrade because I didn't know that there was a World of Warcraft. FFXIV lacks any tutorial or basic guide. It lacks polish. And I scrutinize it unfairly and don't give it a chance. I was in the beta and the lag killed me. I'm told that got better but I wasn't giving up another $50-$60 for a month of a game. I don't think that's a bad deal, I just have had it with unpolished games.

    I have given up on FFXIV unless my friends inform me otherwise in the future and I now away The Old Republic. For me, it's just looking for that next MMO to sweep me off my feet like SWG and WoW did. Unfortunately, it's going to need the interesting and immense world of SWG with the refined and polished combat of WoW before I dive into it forty hours a week for over a year. So far, there's been three or four candidates that have fallen short. FFXIV is just the latest. I'm starting to feel like it will never end. Please, game publishers, do not release an MMO before it's ready just to make some quick bank only to drop it like a prom night dumpster baby on the pavement. You are killing your developing team's vision.

    Side Note: FFXIII was terrible. What a linear game! Have they forgotten how much players like to customize their characters to their own desires and goals?! I think there was maybe one dimension of that game that allowed me to customize my characters through their skill spheres and even that was a no-brainer-everybody-has-to-take-this-path style of game play. I gave up after five levels of "now you must go here, you cannot grind, you cannot do anything interesting, you cannot explore, you can not investigate." What a stark departure from a franchise I have loved!
    • by Aladrin (926209)

      WoW had to fight that same baggage. All the other MMOs (especially Everquest) were really well dug-in.

      The thing is, WoW had them beat out the gate. It was prettier, smoother, and had less grind.

      New games just have to be more fun.

    • by delinear (991444)
      I don't think you're being unfair by comparing the game to an established, polished brand at all. It's not like there haven't been plenty of MMORPGs already to make the mistakes and allow others to learn from them, and it's all well and good releasing a game that requires some polish and live development if they developers drop the price to reflect this and only up it to match the competition once they have a game that can compete. Either have extended beta testing and iron out the bugs, or give players a m
    • by PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:55AM (#33869934)

      Every time a new MMO launches, I've got this baggage of playing WoW for 2-3 years. I expect the game that comes out to be as polished and as good as WoW. It's unfair but my logic just ends at "why don't I just play WoW instead." I hope other people are different but that's what I keep thinking and what leads to my termination of game play.

      Actually "why don't I just play WoW instead." is exactly the question the games devs/execs should ask themselves. Because their games don't exist in a vacuum, they exist in a world where WoW has 12 million subscribers. If they want any share of that market, they have to give players a reason why not just to play WoW. And just "different" does not cut it if the game is basically beta or worse on launch.

    • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:00AM (#33870010)
      I don't think that's a bad deal, I just have had it with unpolished games.

      Not to defend FF14, but it's worth remembering that a few months after WoW was released, Penny Arcade famously rescinded their game-of-the-year award as protest against the terrible lag and glitches, so it's not like you even had a smooth experience with the biggest MMO in the world.
    • MMO developers need to man the fuck up and start making better games. MMOs have a long tradition of sucking. If you took the same quality of game and made it single player, it would be a universal bomb in most cases. The reason they got away with it was because they are MMOs. People really want that experience of playing in a large, persistent, world with others and thus would put up with crap if that was what it took to get it.

      That shouldn't be the case. MMOs should need to be good like other games. For it

    • If I think back before WoW to my first MMO which was Star Wars Galaxies, I can recall the complete lack of a tutorial, the completely unpolished game play and the glitches right off the bat. But I stuck with it for a long time right up until the combat upgrade because I didn't know that there was a World of Warcraft.

      I can't fault the ideas behind Star Wars Galaxies, but its execution was just terrible. It turned out to be a lot of pretty graphics (for its time) and very little substance.

      So, of course, SOE

    • by Tridus (79566)

      But it's a fair comparison. Nothing will come out as polished as WoW is now, but stuff also has the benefit now of learning from what Blizzard got wrong (and what they got right).

      But they don't. FFXIV is a lot like XI. Which might have been okay, back in 2003. It's not acceptable for a modern MMO to have a UI this bad, a patching system this slow, or basic things not functional like ALT+TAB.

      The developers need to ask themselves "Why would people play this instead of WoW?" Square's answer is obviously "becau

  • Whoever did 10-2 should be shot... and from that point it just tanked. I'm not taking into account the MMORPG... but the normal serious completely tanked. The story was confusing, if not completely lost... and the target audience changed vastly. It's not Final Fantasy anymore... it's a Uwe Boll made movie now.

    Get back to original storylines and release a game that's worth playing. Not just for cash.

  • by santax (1541065)
    Man that game sucks. Bought it right away. Looking forward to it. Even my girlfriend was looking forward to it (it's true, i have such a thing with titties and a complete lack of logic running around here) after 24 hours of hitting the A button to fight something, taking 1 step forward in the only direction there is, and repeat... i just put it away. The game is fucking boring as hell. And I tried... I really tried... any other game this bad would have been put aside in 2 hours... let alone 23. My girlfrien
  • by motang (1266566) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:22AM (#33869436)
    GameTrailers [gametrailers.com] isn't a fan of the game either
  • many long-time fans of the series must now be wondering whether the magic hasn't departed.

    There is nothing to wonder about; the magic left when Square merged with Enix and many of the key staff resigned, and they started putting out sequels, expansions, MMOs and totally linear games rather than anything like FF1-9 :(

    -- a long time fan of the series

  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:25AM (#33869482) Homepage Journal

    The Video game industry followed the movie industry down the rabbit hole. They are dependent now on blockbusters and are always one bad game or expansion away from bankruptcy it seems. Bad release? Time to lay off half the studio.

    The EA\Sony\Activision nonsense of the uber publishing house has run its course. Eve Online continues its slow lumbering growth by rejecting the contemporary model. Minecraft outsold SC2 for a couple of weeks, with 1 guy as a developer. Dwarf Fortress soliders on and grows. Indie games are making a comeback and all that the big 3 (here in the US at least) can do is more reboots and sequels... just like Hollywood and we know how well that worked out for them for quality... blegh....

    • The problem is people keep buying the sequels. I think I'm the only person who doesn't really get into buying sequels at all. I want a new experience every time. There has been a lot of original games lately, but you are right about the sequels. Bioshock, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Dead Space, Mirrors Edge, Gears of War, etc. I played them and found them really great games. I haven't and don't plan on, buying any follow ups, prequels, or whatever else they come out with. I usually only break that rule if its

  • I've been playing for awhile now and will say that no mmo to date has actually made such a successful game out of crafting/harvesting. If you'e familar to EQII crafting it's somewhat modelled after that, with skills to react to certain actions (colors) but adds a very complicated system of needing multiple crafts to make one finished item. You can imagine the headaches however when everyone starts a game only being able to produce component materials.. yarn, nails, string, sticks, handles... They've desig
  • This should be a wake up call to every 1st tier MMORPG developer:

    Money and a strong IP do not equal success!

    How many of us felt intuitively that Square Enix has been losing its way with the FF franchise for years? How could FFXIV be anything other than what we're seeing right now?

    Just like the offline industry that spends hundreds of millions now to develop offline AAA titles, the MMORPG market is suffering the same, eventual fate: to be usurped by quickly built, fun, disruptive games discovering new moneti

  • by Wornstrom (920197) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:41AM (#33869724)

    I have been playing since it was released (not the collectors early release) and I have found it quite enjoyable. The main thing I have a problem with right now is the bazaar-only system. They really need to implement an auction house. I've left my game logged in overnight several times just to sell off some inventory, because the market wards just seem too cumbersome to actually use them. I'm sure my video card loves that... and high pop servers probably appreciate the associated lag of loading everyone's character model etc. Another thing they ought to do is give us recipe books. The crafting system is intricate enough without having to go to a 3rd party website to look up mats for everything you want to craft. Love how crafting damages your gear too.

    I figure they have until WoW:Cataclysm comes out to sink or swim, at least for me.

    • I figure they have until WoW:Cataclysm comes out to sink or swim, at least for me.

      If it's really as bad as people say, I don't think the 8 weeks until December 7th is enough time to fix it.

  • Kotaku has been posting a log [kotaku.com] of their in-game experiences.

  • Problems summed up (Score:5, Informative)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:02AM (#33870028)
    Here's an overview of the issues with FFXIV:

    Laggy menus. the vast majority of menus are server side. You have to wait for them to load (1-3 seconds normally, 5+ seconds for vendors)

    -Awful interface design. No keyboard shortcuts. To interact with a crystal I don't double click or right click it, I have to open up the main menu and select a menu that only displays near a crystal (I actually had to look up how to interact with crystals).

    -Crafting requires you to go through 4 or so (laggy) menus and confirmations. You then start a (slow) crafting process where you're given no information what to do and how to lower the chance of failure. Most crafting requires materials only made by other professions

    -No AH. Instead you've got to manually visit dozens of player stores and hope one of them has the item you're after. Laggy menus make this even more of a chore.

    -Worthless maps.

    -NPC do not give any directions at all. They'll say things like "go get some materials from xyz". You then have to open a help website if you want to know where XYZ is because the game gives you no help at all.

    -Limits to the number of guildleves (quests), XP and skill points you can get. All on different counters, all reset in different ways, all punishing the player for playing the game they've paid to subscribe to.

    -Worlds are filled with copy and paste scenary.

    -Nowhere near enough content. Only story comes from story quests you get once in a blue moon. Other than that it's solo grinding or guildleves.

    -Even creating an account is a mission in itself. You have to deal with stupid amounts of unexplained jargon even at this stage, you have to sign up to some paypal clone (with its own cumbersome registration process). Oh and they put on a leaflet in big letters "YOUR REGISTRATION CODE", silly me, I thought that was the code I should use to register. 30 Minutes of wondering how I enter a code with that format, I discovered that wasn't the registration code, that was a code to enable me to use the forums. The code I really wanted was on the back of the manual.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:42AM (#33870770)

      -NPC do not give any directions at all. They'll say things like "go get some materials from xyz". You then have to open a help website if you want to know where XYZ is because the game gives you no help at all.

      I have to expand on this because it's actually so much worse than you're saying. First off, they in fact do show you where the next NPC is. For story quests. And nothing else.

      Which means the feature is there. The game supports it. It works. They just don't allow you to use it for your every day "only thing there is to do in the game" quests.

      But wait, it's worse!

      So you've decided to go look for the NPC yourself. You've searched every nook and cranny, but failed. So finally you look up where the NPC is. Wait, but you've been there. WTF?!

      Well, see, it takes a good four to five seconds for NPCs to load when you - well, stop moving, basically. So the only way to find the NPC by yourself is to basically walk a "square" forward, then stop and wait for five seconds to see if the NPC loads in.

      And then repeat. And these zones are massive.

      -Worthless maps.

      This also needs some expansion - there are a ton of obstacles that block you while you travel from one place to another.

      These are not on the map.

      However, there are obstacles on the map that simply do not exist in the game world.

      Then there are the roads on the map that are drawn between areas. These roads do not exist in the game world, and exist solely on the map. Combine this with obstacles that do exist but aren't on the map you've got an incredibly worthless map.

      But wait, it gets better! The map is also subject to the four-five second load time before it adds the overlay that displays useful things like the location of quest "camps" (although not the NPCs in the camp).

      To recap: the map doesn't cover things that do exist in the game world. Some of these are slightly important like paths between zones. However, it also includes things that don't exist in the game world. Some of these are slightly important like paths between zones that aren't, in fact, there.

  • Why not just end the 'Final' title and come up with a new game and name altogether?

    Might steer people away from the inevitable comparisons to the previous 13 versions of the game. Just a thought.
  • For a pithy summary of the game, might I suggest the Somethingawful Goon reviews?
    http://frontblog.ffgoons.com/2010/10/01/ffxiv-review [ffgoons.com]
    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3353297 [somethingawful.com]

    Also... CATGIRLS!

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:26AM (#33870444) Homepage Journal
    It seems the beta testers were doing a pretty good job of communicating the problems up to the developers, but the developers never gave much feedback about those messages and did not really address most of the problems that were pointed out. If they fix that feedback loop in the future, it would surely lead to a better game.
  • by The Living Fractal (162153) <{banantarr} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:55AM (#33871016) Homepage
    I bought two copies of the collector's edition for pre-release fun... That's $150. Just so my gf and I could play early and 'enjoy' the less crowded newbie zones, etc.

    A few hours later and we've got all the patches downloaded on one computer, but the other one refuses to download much of anything through the torrent-only source method. So, I find a way to trick the patcher into using the other computer's files, which is a complete hassle but eventually we get it working. At this point my excitement is pretty high because I still haven't even logged into the game once. I just registered through their highly suspect payment method and managed to figure out how to login, and I've created a character.

    Time for the fun, right? Wrong.

    After finally getting into the game I immediately get a bad feeling. I can't jump (what is this, 1999?). In a game where you can't even jump you can forget about flying, as in WoW or Aion and others. I can't bind keys to do anything .. like opening my inventory on the fly. Nothing is intuitive. Combat is slow and the lag is terrible. I come to find out through research on the net that all of the servers are located in Japan and that there are no plans to change this. Great. I press on. I find myself running through some random map area. I finally find something to kill, and do so pretty easily. I figure heck I should be able to check out the next area. The monster looks like a tiny squirrel on steroids. It one-shots me. I die, and respawn 20 minutes from where I was. So I go somewhere else... find an area with some mushrooms that I can kill. Great! But the lag is so bad that other players are seeing the mushrooms respawn seconds before I do, and they are getting first hit on the mob. I can't get any kills.

    It goes on and on like this for a few hours until I log out, disgusted. I will never play it again. Well played, SE, well played. You made $150 off of me for 3 hours of gameplay (if you can even call it that). I should've learned my lesson from FFXIII. I blame only myself.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

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