Changes That Seem All Too Familiar - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Sweeping changes to Final Fantasy XIV may surprise and delight fans, but the new additions are old hat to those who have played other recent MMOs.

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In 2010, the release of Final Fantasy XIV Online was met with heavy criticism. Impressive presentation aside, the MMO was riddled with issues, so much so that Square Enix eventually apologized for the quality of the game. The company promised a complete revamp, and hired a new producer who worked on the online-focused Dragon Quest X to spearhead development.

The result is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. After our lengthy journey through the closed beta sessions of this new version of FFXIV Online using a Lalafell lancer, it's obvious that the producer and his team meant serious business in wiping the slate clean. A Realm Reborn is a completely different experience from the original Final Fantasy XIV. A new story, new gameplay, and a new graphics engine will make this title feel fresh to Final Fantasy fans, particularly those who were longtime players of Final Fantasy XI. However, the new additions to A Realm Reborn may not be eye-openers for MMO veterans, especially those who have played recent releases like Guild Wars 2 and Rift.

While the concepts of random encounters and daily quests aren't new, they are fresh ideas if your experience with the genre is limited to the Final Fantasy MMOs. Take the FATE (Full Active Time Event) system, for example, which is similar to random quests found in games like Guild Wars 2. While players are wandering around the enchanted hollows of Gridania, random FATE events will occur, such as an outbreak of monkey-like Opo-opos stealing coffee beans from a village or a gargantuan horde of Ixali insurgents storming a nearby fort. Players in the game world can jump in and earn more experience or loot by joining in the slaughter of these mobs. To reap the benefits, however, players will need to be about the same level as the requirements stated on the FATE event. High-level adventurers who complete a low-level FATE will get absolutely nothing for their troubles.

Another feature that's reworked is the Levequest system, which works exactly like daily quests in World of Warcraft. Once players have been to their first Guildleve club, they can start doing Levequests. These are entirely optional and do not come with a fatigue system like in the original FFXIV. The objectives for Levequests come in multiple consecutive forms; once a task in a Levequest is completed, players move on to the next until the entire mission is over or time runs out. Players can get bigger rewards if they complete these, though these quests can take up more time than usual and are meant for large groups.

A Realm Reborn also introduces a system called the hunting log, a feature that's familiar to anyone who's played Ragnarok Online 2. Players go through a checklist of enemies they need to kill for the log. Killing a required set of enemies will net adventurers extra experience. Players can take their sweet time and wander around Gridania at their leisure while doing these logs, as they're meant to reward those who explore the sights of the game world.

When jogging in Eorzea, always give way to crossing chocobos and moogles.

The new game play additions may be familiar, but they still make for an enjoyable experience. Our play session during the beta weekend was filled with similarly-leveled pugilists and spellcasters joining in unison as we beat down the aforementioned Opo-opos and Ixali birdmen until we had fulfilled the required amount of mob deaths. The up-close offensive capabilities of the lancer we used help complement the ranged attacks of our temporary partners during several FATE missions. Visually, Square Enix again show that they are masters of their craft. The sights of Gridania's huge forest areas and towns are easy on the eyes, while the background music that plays during exploration are relaxing to the ears.

Players seeking for something new in an MMO may not find the FATE and Levequest systems groundbreaking. However, the developers promise that there are more changes to come, like Chocobo-back battles, new player-versus-player options, and other nostalgic additions like enemy Behemoths and Iron Giants (from past FF titles), as well as Magitek Armor mounts (from FFVI). The new additions have done a lot to raise A Realm Reborn closer to modern standards for MMOs, now the challenge remains to elevate it even further.

Discussion

193 comments
rmondy
rmondy

This looks like FF12, which isn't a compliment. FF12 was pretty boring looking. I also agree about the lingo (linkshell, levequest, etc). I think it's time for FF to get a serious facelift, they've had a lot of flops in both single and multiplayer versions for a while now.

udmatador
udmatador

i've been playing all sorts of different mmo's since wow got stale post BC and honestly this is a very fun mmo.  im going to keep playing.  hats off to SE.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

Wait, did I just read Magitek Armor mounts?!
I can't wait to see that.

MegamanX2011
MegamanX2011

FF with wow battle system? LOL RIP FF14 and this time, don't get up.

AQWBlaZer91
AQWBlaZer91

This crap won't delight me or anyone else. This new version looks like and plays like crap.

jyml8582
jyml8582

What's with the retarded names for the generic stuff? Guildleve? Levequest? Linkshell? Would it kill them to just use daily/repeatable quests and guilds? It's not like they're copyrighted !

sciren
sciren

is there a need to but original version to play this?

Raidenwins0
Raidenwins0

I played the Beta for several hours and I got totally bored. All you do is fetch quest, after fetch quest, after fetch quest.........Where is the storyline?! If there is no story to drive the gameplay I can't play the game. Doing fetch quests for the sake of fetch quests gets boring fast. Also, my character just sits there like a dummy not saying anything at all. He has no personality. How am I supposed to form an emotional connection with a character that never says anything?!

KALHETMAN
KALHETMAN

Very Solid Beta. Pre ordered standard edition for early start access and willing to pay six months of the sub after trying Beta Phase 3.

(Was unhappy customer FFXIV 1.0 -> Now FF XIV 2.0 A Realm Reborn convinced tester).

PS FF XIV 1.0 customers dont need to buy twice This Game = Free download client and 14 days free trial.


jweed
jweed

What if you bought the original shitty one. are they offering this for free to you? just wondering because I bought it.

Agent-M
Agent-M

Subscription based?  Thats so old fashion.

BLaverock
BLaverock

Anyone else notice that female player's boobs shake when they walk... ?

Vertigem
Vertigem

Is it my impression or MMOs are fading away a bit??

tiyoy_araguy
tiyoy_araguy

Never had FFXI online, so it will not hurt me that much if I'm going to try this game.


bksonic123
bksonic123

I really like the nostalgia in this game. Brings back memories.

kaiserdisco
kaiserdisco

im not an mmo fan but if this game is good and has a lot of final fantasy aspects from previous ones id pick it up

Uiltetwr
Uiltetwr

Why don't they take a totally new direction and make a violent final fantasy or something that isn't turn based, like Dirge of Cerberus or Kingdom Hearts coz that out really well, I reckon they can do it

SamoanGrind
SamoanGrind

Although the graphics look good, I don't see myself coming back for the FATE and levelquest systems again.

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

Final Fantasy 14 huh?  Hmmm...I guess I better play Final Fantasy 1 first.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@jyml8582 Square Enix has been really reaching for those 'unique terms' in FF games lately, most of them being awful. While I enjoyed FFXIII, the stupid names for everything drove me insane. 'fal'Cie', 'l'Cie', ugh. 

befo72
befo72

@sciren You need either the original or a fresh copy of A Realm Reborn (once it's released) to play. You don't need both, original owners get ARR for free.

Darkefka
Darkefka

@Raidenwins0 you clearly didn,t play for several hours the story is those quests with a different icon, that usually contains an instanced zone, and make you know some interesting NPCs...

Kickable
Kickable

@jweed there's an exclusive mount, discounted monthly fee $9.99(how long I do not know), some other crap.

Dahmenator
Dahmenator

@jweed u wont have to buy another copy. FF14 1.0 copies will still work.Same with collectors edition owners will get all the new items in new copy of FF14 ARR collectors edition

Darkefka
Darkefka

@Agent-M that's why every MMO F2P are dying... meanwhile the biggest MMO still runs with a subscription and is still very much alive...

KALHETMAN
KALHETMAN

@Agent-MFree to Play is a Bigest Fail for costumers. Developers spending time doing cosmetic items or pay to win items in place of real content. Paying for basic function in game like inventory space or teleport and more You are spending more how subscription cost... much much more.

Great majority of Beta Testers respond: We are not interested in F2P model.
Naoki Yoshida, first in charge for this game, explained: This game be
ONLY P2P.

Dahmenator
Dahmenator

@Agent-M if free to play was so good then why do those games die so fast? and why are people always looking for new MMO to play? lol its cuz u get what u payed (or didnt pay) for.If the game is good enough then pay some money to keep it expanding.Just be open minded :)

befo72
befo72

@Vertigem WoW was both a blessing and a curse to the MMO genre. Since it exploded so hugely, every other developer for years thought they had to make a near carbon copy to be successful. There have been exceptions like Eve, but that has never been exactly popular, even if it is pretty cool.

It's only been in the last couple of years that developers have been willing to step out of the box somewhat with big name MMO's, what with The Secret World, Tera, Guild Wars 2, etc. Unfortunately, though those games have quite a bit going for them, they didn't exactly set the world on fire or have the staying power that WoW did. 

Dahmenator
Dahmenator

@Vertigem they only fading cuz all the free to play ones that started shooting out like crazy lol we keep giving them a try but not keeping our attention lol

JRLennis
JRLennis

@Vertigem I don't think its just you.  Personally, I'm finding my own interest in the genre slowly fading.  Maybe it's because the best content in those games depend on finding a quality group to adventure with.  Far too much time is spent standing around waiting for groups, or in the case of Guild Wars 2, waiting for events to time-in.  At least with single-player games you can always be assured of having something to do other than stare at your monitor.

Skylinespirit
Skylinespirit

@Uiltetwr  Umm...FFXV and FFVIII: Lightning Returns. Google them cuz it seems that you are not a fan of the genre

Ka3DX
Ka3DX

@Uiltetwr That's the direction Versus XIII is going in, its much more realistic and modern than any other Final Fantasy game, with dozens of in game locations being modeled after real world places. And its combat is supposed to be a mix of what was seen in Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts (a lot of the new gameplay mechanics in DDD were supposedly unused ideas from Versus, but still good enough to not discard)

rmondy
rmondy

@udmatador @jyml8582 Taking common words and adding a few letters to it, or having main opponents in a storyline with 2 letters different in their names is not what I'd personally call imagination.

Raidenwins0
Raidenwins0

@AQWBlaZer91 @Raidenwins0 I didn't say it should have the right to exists. How did you deduce that from my comment? I was just giving constructive criticism.

Kickable
Kickable

@JRLennis I think it's because MMOs are so casual now.  there's not much sense of accomplishment anymore and less players interacting with each other.  people breeze through the 99% of the content themselves.  LFG is nowhere near as much of a pain as it used to be in most recent MMOs anyway.  You didn't used to be able to queue for a group so easily and able to go about your other business in the gameworld elsewhere at the same time.  Hell you used to have to start a party just to grind XP mobs in FFXI, let alone get end game gear.  Though they're getting close to have meaningful PVP more often nowadays, that's enough on its own to keep some players subscribed.

Darkefka
Darkefka

@Aidryen @kaiserdisco just the music is reminiscent of past FF, login music is the crystal theme, when you level up the victory fanfare plays, and when you're on a chocobo the tradition chocobo theme plays ;)

rmondy
rmondy

@udmatadorI appreciate that they shut down the game to rework it. But does the fact they did so make them immune to criticism?

rmondy
rmondy

@udmatador I appreciate that they shut down the game to rework it. But does the fact they did so make them immune to criticism?

udmatador
udmatador

@rmondy @udmatador @jyml8582 nitpicking details like this generally means a lack of imagination.  it's a different world.  there's nothing wrong with changing things up a bit and using some imagination to help shape the world and community.  they arent hiding anything.  they've offered people the chance to play it.  they had to basically recreate a world in 1/2 the time it normally takes.  cut them some slack.  if you dont like it play something else.

Kickable
Kickable

@Raidenwins0 @Darkefka story was very few and far between in FFXI, wouldn't be surprised if it's the same here.  it barely even had redundant sidequests, XPing meant looking for group to grind the same mob over and over.  hopefully this game doesn't go that route.  D: