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Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn Review

  • First Released Aug 27, 2013
  • Reviewed Sep 20, 2013
  • PC

Chocobo nation

You wouldn't think that simply meeting standards would be cause for celebration, yet when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, congratulations are in order. At its launch, Final Fantasy XIV Online was a mess--so much so that it was easy to question whether developer Square-Enix had ever played an online role-playing game before, let alone created one. But the old has been burned to ashes and an entertaining and beautiful game has risen to take its place. A Realm Reborn is a perfectly playable massively multiplayer concoction whose witty writing and colorful vistas make it easy to lose yourself in the fantasy.

This rising phoenix is not an entirely unknown creature, however. While A Realm Reborn represents a sizable step forward for this particular game, it does not leap over the shoulders of the games that have come before. This is a familiar kind of game with a familiar feel under your fingers. Genre fundamentals are delivered here with vigor, if not always with great imagination. You speak with characters labeled with icons floating over their heads, and they send you out into the world to kill roaming creatures, interact with objects, and collect various ingredients for their scientific projects and medicinal needs. When you encounter walking vegetation, skittish jackals, and winged demons, you target them and tap keys or click buttons on your skill bar until you vanquish them. While other massively multiplayer games have re-thought quest structure, combat mechanics, and exploration tropes, A Realm Reborn represents the old world.

A Realm Reborn is a fine representation of this old world, however. Once you choose a race and initial class, you are treated to a long and melodramatic cutscene ripped right out of the Final Fantasy storybook, and then land in the starting area associated with your chosen class. This is an unusual association, given how most similar games use your race to determine your starting location, and you spend the early hours performing gopher quests and slaying low-level creatures alongside a bunch of players dressed like you and performing the same attacks as you. This world structure is sensible when A Realm Reborn's flexible class system is considered (more on this later), but you'll long for some visual variety after a few hours of seeing and hearing the same spells being cast over and over again in every direction.

Once you venture out into the vast world of Eorzea, however, you'll be entranced by it. Open regions are large and attractive, urging you into the distance to see what secrets might be uncovered. In regions with numerous vertical spaces, using the minimap to navigate can sometimes lead to a wild goose chase when you discover that your destination is on a cliff above you, but circling back is no great frustration considering the world's visual grandeur.

Burn, Ifrit, burn!
Burn, Ifrit, burn!

Leave the city of Limsa Lominsa, for instance, and you're immediately struck by the beauty of the display before you. The view is a striking mix of moss-coated cliffs crossing the horizon and sturdy spires poking against the clouds. Outside Gridania, the tedious corridors of the original release have been replaced by lush forests where turtlelike adamantoises roam among golden luminescent flowers. As you cross The Footfalls just outside of Ul'Dah, collapsed statues and crumbling archways speak to the destruction that befell the land. Seeing such lovely sights at their best requires a modern PC, but the allure isn't greatly diminished even if you have to adjust some of the game's many visual sliders.

Yes, you will fight those adamantoises, either alone or with friends. There's nothing particularly unusual about the moment-to-moment combat: you select your target and click buttons on your hotbar or press your shortcut keys to fire off projectiles and swing weapons. Like in several modern games, enemies often signal their most powerful attacks, allowing you to move out of the way. Unlike those other games, though, A Realm Reborn doesn't feature a real-time dodge maneuver, so you don't feel like you're leaping out of grave danger. When peril approaches, part of the fun is in the escape, and sauntering into another position just isn't very thrilling.

It may not feature the most tactile combat, but warfare comes into its own when you enter one of A Realm Reborn's many entertaining and challenging dungeons. It's easy to queue up for a dungeon; the game automatically groups players of differing roles, though you may need to wait a bit for that to happen, especially if you play as a damage dealer. The dungeons strike the right balance of combat and treasure hunting, their various nooks and crannies filled with chests to open in between monster battles. Group warfare is colorful, with healing spells easing the violence with their healthy green glow, and horned boss demons galloping around arenas of fire.

It's a beautiful day, so get your tail in gear.
It's a beautiful day, so get your tail in gear.

Dungeons often require you to use various clever mechanics to triumph. For instance, you may need to lure explosive enemies towards goopy slime monsters so that their eruptions might damage those foes when your arrows cannot. If you're a conjurer, expect your healing spells to get a good workout; if you're a damage-dealing arcanist, you might be thankful for your own healing abilities when your magical comrade has difficulty keeping up. Outside of dungeons, however, combat can be pretty dry. Particularly for magic-users, the slow (but fluid) animations and conservative cooldown times can make for underwhelming open-world skirmishes, with the fireworks of particles and other glittering effects providing most of the interest.

Luckily, dungeons aren't the only place you join up with others. Public quests called FATEs (that is, Full Active Time Events) erupt out in the open, bringing players together to defeat a bunch of spawning lizardmen, attack golems and collect the minerals they leave behind, or protect an AI-controlled local as he makes his way from one point to another. FATEs are full of action, but are so short that you often stumble upon one just as it's finishing up, which can be anticlimactic. However, FATEs are a good source of experience points, so players often band together, riding their chocobos and other mounts from one to the next.

Having such sources of experience is vital, given A Realm Reborn's class system. By equipping the associated weapon (for battle roles) or tool (for crafting roles), you can be any class you want at any time. This is where the association of classes and home locations seems sensible; when you are ready to try out a new role, there are low-level quests for you to perform in that class's starting area. However, there comes a time when you must find other sources of experience if you're trying out enough different classes, and FATEs are one such source.

Everyone knows you should kill a daddy longlegs when you see it.
Everyone knows you should kill a daddy longlegs when you see it.

Levequests are another source of experience, and function much like they did in the original release, though the restrictions for how many you can perform in a specific amount of time are thankfully much lighter. General levequests gift you with gil (the usual Final Fantasy currency) and experience, while the grand companies (that is, the game's three basic factions) have levequests with additional currencies as a reward. Either way, such tasks are short and typically involve killing a bunch of creatures, though some of them throw in a few different rules with varying success. Using the "soothe" emote to calm enemies down once they have taken enough damage is a pleasant enough addition to battle; having to use the "beckon" emote to lead a character from one location to another is tedious and dumb, even if you create a "beckon" macro so that you don't have to type the emote every few seconds.

Ultimately, you can level up two classes high enough so that you can take on an advanced job, which earns you even more powers to play with. And even before that, you can slot in certain skills when you play as one class even if they belong to another class you play, giving you a little room to experiment. And of course, you could just play as your primary class and make your way through the game's story. The tale isn't enthralling, but it features mysterious villains, pious adventurers, and all manners of other Final Fantasy tropes. Few scenes feature voice acting, which is just as well, given the mediocrity of the English acting that you do hear, but the English localization deserves special mention: A Realm Reborn is rife with witty dialogue and fun references.

Even quest names are loaded with puns and cute allusions. ("Loam Maintenance," "Sylph-Management," "Dance Dance Diplomacy.") Some quest-givers spew more dialogue than is necessary, and various characters' pirate-speak and high-falutin' formality can make wading through the wordy dialogue a chore. But it's worth reading as much as you can, if only because you are guaranteed a few chuckles. A Realm Reborn occasionally touches on dark themes, and certain sights, like the petrified corpse of a bulky creature called a Goobbue, communicate an eerie melancholy. Typically, however, the game wavers between melodrama and freewheeling charm, and sometimes combines both in appealing ways. Consider, for example, the valiant music that sounds out when you ride a rented chocobo, a creature that looks none too valiant.

Joining FATEs is not your final fantasy, but your destiny.
Joining FATEs is not your final fantasy, but your destiny.

If you stick to moving through A Realm Reborn as only one combat class, you'll hardly run out of things to do and sights to see. Story quests send you all over the map, and fairly early on, too. If you're used to online games that carefully guide you through its world in a more or less linear fashion as you level up, you'll delight in the constant visual and tonal variety this one offers from one hour to the next. The downside to this map-hopping mission structure is that it sometimes comes across as random and unfocused. There are stretches when the story sends you to far-removed regions one after the other, with you spending more time traveling than accomplishing your goals, sometimes through areas filled with lower-level creatures that you have no interest in fighting. Of course, you could always switch to another class when this happens and find yourself distracted by levequests and the FATEs that crop up in the neighborhood, gaining a level or two before you know it.

Luckily, getting around the world is a snap, in contrast to Final Fantasy XIV's original travel tedium. Once you attune yourself to an area's central crystal, you can teleport there from anywhere for a price. (It's not cheap to do so, but it's hardly bank-breaking.) You can hire a chocobo to take you between local destinations, take airships to the main cities, and use other forms of travel. A Realm Reborn is clearly committed to rectifying the mistakes of its past. That's especially true in areas like grouping (it's easy to queue up for dungeons), communication (you may never need a linkshell this time around), and economy (retainers have taken on a completely different form).

When it comes to dying your armor, think pink.
When it comes to dying your armor, think pink.

The economy also benefits from improved crafting over the original release. It's easy to keep track of recipes and ingredients so that you can focus on the tug of war that exists between you and your materials. You choose crafting skills that best enhance the quality of your item before its durability is depleted, and ultimately can make some gil on the market by selling your goods. There's only so much the intricacies of crafting can do for your overall enjoyment: fishing and hammering are too slow-paced to be fun for extended stretches, but as in most MMOGs, you can safely bypass crafting altogether and let other players do all the work for you.

When it comes to crafting, you couldn't accuse Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn of not trying something interesting. That isn't true of most of the game's various features, however. The details vary, of course, but A Realm Reborn isn't so novel that it feels like a vacation to an undiscovered realm. Instead, fantasy-world travelers will understand the language and quickly take to local customs. Yet these previously charted lands are wondrous to look at and overflowing with like-minded adventurers seeking to make a name for themselves in a world in need of heroes. And when you need to escape to another world, sometimes beautiful landscapes and well-oiled entertainment are enough to keep you exploring.

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The Good
Attractive and varied world with lots of exploration value
Great dungeons with clever mechanics
Class system gives you lots of flexibility with one character
Tons of fun, witty dialogue
The Bad
Quest structure leads to some tedious travel
Exploring multiple roles results in grinding
Basic combat mechanics can make for dry battles
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd is a lifelong RPG lover and violin player. When he isn't busy building PCs and composing symphonies, he watches American Dad reruns with his fat cat, Ollie.
610 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for DB2538

What a terrible UI. The entire screen is cluttered!

Avatar image for Shehi

Reading all these comments below, I just can't do and not think: Go play Neverwinter Nights again! :) All these new games are the same shit all over again and again.

Avatar image for MaddenBowler10

Not sure if there's a whole lotta reason to switch from GW2

Avatar image for slainta

So, where is the PS4 review with the included 2.20 update?

Avatar image for jlenoconel

I love A Realm Reborn. Definitely one of the best Final Fantasy games I've played, and I've been a fan since VI came out.

Avatar image for Trev9421

It's a decent, fun game. I had fun actually playing it in the beginning unlike WoW. I'm not going to play and be bored for hours to get to the "good part".

Avatar image for Zepheral

When I first got this game it was my life for 2 months, after a while I started to play less because for odd reason (me being a hipster) i delete my character and made new ones 20 times. This game is good but it needs more jobs and races (I'm sick of 50% of the population being cat people). If you like it keep playing it and I will respect you for it, but I'm done, because I'm use to games that are more fast pace and I hate those global cool downs. lol

Avatar image for Anteares

I was in the 3rd beta...liked the game. however, basic auto attack just needs to die...plz

Avatar image for gonzothegreat19

Just to send a warning out to everyone playing FFXIV. Don't swear on their forums, or tell them they are doing a bad job with the game, you will get a permanent forum ban. LOL

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@gonzothegreat19 Guess we'll have to reply them the message the hard way.

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@gonzothegreat19 thanks for the heads up

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I tried very hard to like this game, but I honestly can't think of one thing it does right that another game hasnt done already...I also can't see why anyone thinks its fun. It has zero innovation, and doesn't stand out among other MMO titles...

You make ZERO choices in this game...the only choices I found myself making were which rewards to accept when I finished a quest, which were barely even choices at all...Do I need the helmet that has better stats than mine? Or the coin pieces?...DERP.

The game is completely just run from quest to quest and back track a LOT...

There's no skill tree, so when you hit a certain level you gain a certain don't get to pick. So if you're a warrior, every other warrior running around is exactly like you. Same skills, same loadout...the only difference is your gear, which comes down to the time you've invested. Fun!

The quests are boring and the kind you would find in MMO's from 10 years ago. The map is split up into a bunch of small zones, which for a game that's new and has a subscription fee is pretty much unacceptable...

People are quick to point out that the game is beautiful, which it should be because its newer...but you can't even explore the maps at all. GW2 is a much better looking game and you can actually explore the ENTIRE map...ALL OF THEM. There's multiple levels high up and down low, there's UNDERWATER with hidden caverns to find. That game encourages you to explore...this game does GW2 has NO SUBSCRIPTION FEE!

The fate system is a clear ripoff of GW2's event system, except worse. Basically an enemy spawns or a cluster of enemies spawn and you go spam attacks at them until its over. At least in GW2 its a chain of events that have a small story or meaning behind why they're happening, and they lead to other things based on if you pass or fail. These fates as far as I can tell are just clock based and will spawn every X amount of minutes and there's no real reason why...

I played through hours of FFXIV without ever equipping potions or having a heal skill and never had the threat of dying once...It's so absolutely boring. I'm honestly baffled that anyone plays this game...I really tried to like this game but I cant think of one good thing about it has a subscription! So I can't even try to force myself to play it anymore unless I want to cough up more money!

GW2 is 100x better than this game, all for no fee...get GW2 instead. Spend hours exploring dozens of huge maps, acquiring skill points, experimenting with different classes and builds, and doing World VS World PVP (Which is the BEST PVP mode I've ever played, and I've never been a fan of PVP.) Plus GW2 is updated constantly with new seasonal events and different content. (I play pretty regularly and I never finish half the updates.)

I've played 100% free games that I enjoyed more than FFXIV. Hell, Runes of Magic is pretty similar in my least in that game I get to pick what skills I acquire and how strong they are...Neverwinter has a more fun combat system...The secret world at least breaks boundaries... FFXIV is just an absolute failure in every way.

/end rant

Avatar image for orsihk713

@achildbyfire A failure that seems to be doing pretty well for itself. I'm with you on the point that the map is to segmented, I much preferred 1.0 where it had that true seamless world that games like WoW and Rift have. Though this is needed, the amount of detail put into each zone is similar to that of an Elder scrolls game. Which is why each and EVERY building is instanced. The new systems and engine used for ARR just wouldn't function the way Square want it to. This is probably so the game can function normally on low end computers bringing in a wider audience to the game. The quests and story I find are MUCH better than what is in GW2. Which has a quest system that was basically designed to be quick. Yes the NPCs with the hearts over their head have a little story. But this was just something added in the side for people like me who like to read the stories. But all the heart-quest dialogue in GW2 is very boring to read. The story in GW2 can't even hold a light to Gw1's story. It was very predictable. Some of the characters had their charm, but weren't as fleshed out as they could have been.

That and I found it annoying that your character was basically a hero from level 1 and up. In 14 however because your character doesn't have a voice actor, or really talks for that matter. Their personality can be what YOU make it. Using a bit of imagination.

The fates have just about as much story really as the dynamic events in GW2. IMO both need polishing. Atleast in 14 you have the story written down for you to read, instead of it often being spoken by NPC's in Gw2 who's dialogue you'll often times miss. Unless of course you hound the zone for dynamic events just to see the beginning of each one just to get the story of WHY you're doing what you're doing,.

A lot of times that item reward you get won't be an upgrade, in which case you can opt for the allagan gold pieces to trade in for some in-game currency. So that's not really a DERP moment.

Exploration is a lot more fun in FF I find because it isn't linear like it is in Gw2. They promote exploration by practically marking all the best sights and places on the map before you even saw them. That's not true exploration. Now don't get me wrong, Tyria has some beautiful landscape on it. But a lot of its beauty is basically billboards and not actual buildings you'll be able to explore. Another problem with the world design is the map instancing, yes it's not as broken apart as it's in

14, but because the world was already build pre-instanced zones. You will be able to see certain tall objects past the dotted line barrier. For example. In the south shroud, there is this giant ruined tree called "The ruins of Amdapor". You can see that from a certain high point in northern thanalan (Or eastern can't remember) which gives that feel that if you some how got past the blue barrier, you wouldn't be given a giant void. Which is exactly what happends when you get around the zone walls. The Durnmand priory is a HUGE mountain, and it's relatively close to Lions Arch. Why can't I see that from Lions Arch? It's basically right on the border of the Shiverpeaks and Gendarren fields. Than, once you have explored a fair bit of Tyria, you'll notice that almost evey zone (The Orr land mass is the exception) is either square or rectangular. ALL with a mountain wall. Totally unrealistic and immersion breaking.

You can explore the maps in 14 the same amount you can in GW2, minus the areas that are closed off for future updates. Like the Pharos Sirius lighthouse. (Seen in La Noscea [Limsa Lominsa area] with the huge yellow thing impaled through it)

Which is now a new dungeon recently added to the game. Or Ishgard, which will be a city added in future expansions. In terms of world map you cannot explore the whole thing in either of the two games. Large areas to the north of Kryta and the west of Metrica province have yet to been opened. Including the Crystal desert, northern shiverpeaks, Cantha, Elona, ETC. It's the same thing in 14, you have Sharlayan, Ala Mihgo, (two other city states in Eorzea) parts of the Thanlan desert and so on and so forth. All these areas listed will no doubt be added to explore in future X-packs and updates.

Underwater exploration for me anyway is an un-needed thing. I hate under water combat in Gw2, granted I hated it in WoW in the zones added in Cata. It's a nice touch, but for me is not needed.


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I need to summarize better, but anyway.

I love the combat in GW2, it was a great change from the tab-target system. But I'm one of those people that also enjoys the tab-target system of the classic MMOs. In 1.0, Square kept to their roots with the tactical menu based combat that is known to the series. But they opted to change that to a tweaked version of the standard tab-target combat of most MMO's. The global cooldown is longer, giving you that small sense of "hmm which spell to use next" but at a faster pace.

The updates for GW2 are.... well, some are good most are bad. At the end of the day, they're basically dailies that only last 2 weeks. Now granted they come with story and some times a new zone. (Loved the Zephyr zone, lots of fun) But for the most part the stuff to do associated with them is "kill all the special vets" "collect all of this" "kill 10 of these, than go rank 11 and kill 20" Which was very boring. The only thing appealing about the living story is when the story is interesting.

Now, of course this has never been done before. And is something that with practice, Arenanet can only get better at. With each Living Story they are improving the games interface, and adding new things.

14 has just released its first big update. Bringing in a HUGE number of things to do, from a new raid, to new modes for dungeons and primals, And a new primal. I'd rather not talk about what is in this patch, as I'm not writing the path notes. but it's huge!

There is class customization, not to the scale of Gw2's but it yields the same results. You put points into the traits that benefit your playstyle the most. And play! In Gw2 it's the same thing, pick the build that has probably already been placed on a forum and titled the recommended build for X. And play it, yes there is the potentiality for customization but at the end of the day if you want to play your class well, you'll be using the cookie cutter builds. Which is essentially what Skill trees are.

Wow this rant has been long XD. In short, FFXIV is not a failure. It's simply just not made for you.

/end rant (yeah, I took your ending :P)

Avatar image for Synxos

@achildbyfire I love when people complain about there not being skill trees....Hello, everyone single game where there's a skill tree, everyone is pretty much running the same build. People talk about the optimal build for a day, max, then everyone uses it. There hasn't been a game with a real viably experimental skill tree in years.

I feel bad that GW2's pvp is the best you've played. That open world pvp was terribly boring compared to the PvP games I've played.

There are tons of places to explore in FFXIV....there's just no freakin icon telling you where to go. This reveals a lot about you as a player....

Then you use a comment that is wrong. A lot of the time, if you're playing correctly, the coin pieces are the better option.

Anyone complaining about subscription fees is a goober. You realize people usually get suckered into paying MORE without subscription fees, right? Also games with subscription fees are likely to have more content , without a bunch of fluff "content."

Avatar image for slainta

@achildbyfire Linear? We must be playing a different game. As well as you can travel wherever you want. As I did. The only problem is that you will die in a flash. In FF games usually the mobs' level depends on the area they are in. You can have the strongest potions of all, you'll be dead. Then after level to 10 or 15 you have the choice to start the classes you like. Giving cross-classes perks. Plus the crafting/gathering classes Sorry, but I am afraid you didn't try hard enough.

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@slainta you level to the point where you get 2 classes and guess what, you STILL have no choice of skills. You get whatever the game gives you. --LINEAR-- ...walk down a path til you hit a wall...then party and do dungeons and gear grind. Holy shazzam, what a concept! Furthermore, I can't try harder to like this game because the game has a FEE. Fee's belong in the past -- along with this game. Nothing new. Nothing fun.

The game is nothing.

But by all means...have fun.

Avatar image for gnosticlamb

Anybody enjoying this game? I've been trying hard to like it, but it's quite boring. It's REALLY pretty, though.

The engine itself is so miserable. The game is sliced up into too many map segments. You have to load into new zones constantly.

The quests are lame and the fates have become just another GW2 zerg-fest since it's the only way to actually level up in a reasonable amount of time.

Switching classes is clunky, as well. It's too bad. What a waste of $30. LOL

Ah well, at least I now know if I like it or not. Try it if you're curious but there's no way I'm renewing my subscription. GW2 is a lot better, IMHO.

Edit: I'd like to add that I played WoW vanilla. That was quite a long time ago. Even back then (almost 10 years ago) the game engine didn't have to load every new area you went into. You could run from one end of a "continent" to the other with no loading. Almost 10 years ago...

FFXIV is totally backwards and old in this regard. Seriously... why is it like that? It's so clunky.

Avatar image for Master_Overlord

I think this game will last for quite a while. Atm its the most popular MMORPG and people enjoy it. Been playing it myself since day one and dont regret that.

Ofc here are some minor and major flaws, like lack of fluidity/responsiveness, but after wow, this game feels great.

One thing is for sure - this is best looking MMO to date, graphics are an absolute beast and its only DX9 now, waiting for DX11 client next year.

Avatar image for Zekethompson22

Better than Warcraft?

Avatar image for gnosticlamb

@Zekethompson22 Only the graphics. It's pretty dry... unfortunately.

Avatar image for Master_Overlord

@Zekethompson22 Visually - yes, gameplay wise - no. But this game is too different to directly copare to wow.

Avatar image for Kdwag2079

i have played the game though beta and the 30 day period, i am a lv 29 pugilist and a lv 14 archer..

i think this review score is fair, but my reasoning for it is different... i think it is a beautiful game. stunning.. i like the exploration, i like the gameplay controls and i like the characters in the game... but here are the things i didnt like..

1) fate grinding is horrible, i felt like alot of time is spent doing insignificant, boring things. I like being directed to something then get distracted..

2) the combat is okay, but it feels sooo repetitive, you have to action skills in order to access others.... seriously!

3) crafting.. wearing things to craft, lets make crafting a big deal!! Tedious!

4) why cant my character have a voice in the game's story (even if it is in scripted text)??

5) this is my last gripe.. generally, i thought the game fell into tera territory, lots of flash but limited substance

Avatar image for slainta

To all MMO veterans, this is the best comment I've got in a party while doing a dungeon: I love this game. It isn't like WoW where everybody seem to have a broom stuck up their arse.

I think that explains a lot. Maybe the FF fanatics ARE what makes an FF MMORPG great. We just play for the fun of it. And personally I am having a blast.

Avatar image for sirregenweald

@slainta Thank you! thats exactly why I'm looking for a new MMO now. WoW players used to be cool to PuG with but now if you make 1 mistake you're a N00B or g*y or something else and it really took away my enjoyment

Avatar image for WillowFawn

After reading through the Review and Posts here (as well as 5 other sites), the FF Fanboys are so blatantly obvious. It is like a drug is it that dulls the senses but keeps you wrapped in a warm infantile blanket of content.

It is also obvious those who are either are very casual gamers, are brand spanking new to MMOs or have a significant lack of professional expectation from a "hard core" MMO. Many who have written in this thread were just a sticky gooey squirt on their daddies shorts when EQ was in it's triumphant glory thus they lack a great deal of experience and the ability to adequately make justifiable comparisons.

I have read now on a few sites that FF Reborn is focused toward more of a "hard core" style of MMO thus a hard core player base.

Let me remind those reading that while many would like to say, "Yes! As a matter of fact I am hard core." That in a game such as WoW (previous to it's rework from Cata onward so that kindergarteners could master the game) only 2% of the entire 9 to 11 million subscribers were "hard core" and truly participated regularly in End Game Raiding. However... most will fib and work themselves up to appear to others like "all that and a bag of chips."

Really for a hard core game though questing, early dungeons and leveling your character are a significant part of the game, the Real game begins at End Game. What are the class archetypes like at End Game? What are the skill sets like? Are End Game dungeons/raids a thrilling and challenging experience; are teams/groups able to work together to form tight cohesive, synergistic fluid machines or are dungeons both while leveling and at End Game the traditional Asian low mechanic per encounter zerg? Having to step once or twice out of the fire does not constitute as a challenging and rewarding dungeon nor does the misfortune of grouping with individual players who can barely play their own class let alone work as a team.

And what about the ability to Theory Craft?

I am just now installing the game. No matter what the review is I would like to try it. Like many of you I have been gaming (esp MMORPG Action) for a very long time, though I am excited to immerse myself in this game I have no expectations.

Avatar image for Synxos

@WillowFawn You're asking questions that should've been answered in the review....but again, it's a really bad review by objective standards. It has information that is simply wrong.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

mediocre MMO is mediocre. it really has nothing to make me go for it.

Avatar image for TheMisfit89

Its fairly obvious that Gamespot's identity is now to award games 1.5 points less than nearly every other game review outlet.

In the past it was a low score here, an average score there. Now it seems they wait 5 days for a bundle of reviews to post, take the average score, and subtract.

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@TheMisfit89 Quite the imagination you have there, friend.

Avatar image for Master_Overlord

@Lhomity @TheMisfit89 He actually is right.

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Not really. Still, you can't tell stupid people that they're being stupid, they just won't hear it.

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To give 7.0 to any Final Fantasy RPG is a crime against humanity. Especially to a game as big as this one with so many fun things to do.

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@slainta I agree with you mate.

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@slainta So what youre saying is that any FF MMO instantly deserves a 9 at least...even if its mediocre like this one?

The combat is really really bad. As another ARR review stated:

"But there’s just something inherently wrong with the combat in this game. It’s slow for the sake of being slow. It’s dated for the sake of being dated. It’s about as basic and exciting as world of warcraft was at release, nearly ten years ago"

The gameplay and questing mechanics in this game are as good as any Korean low budget free to play MMO. Just pick any out of the long list of title, play it and youll notice the similarties.

If we want "oldschool" why dont we turn the funfactor up a notch and start playing text based RPGs again? Wait? How old are you man...dont you appreciate oldschool? Come on man, text based RPGs is where the real fun is at. Not that casual online crap.


The next bad thing is the total lack of builds. For an MMO that tries to cater to the somewhat more hardcore crowd this is like the dumbest thing they can do.

Lets just get rid of one of things us hardcore MMO players really enjoy.; theorycrafting around builds etc.

"But wow only has cookie cutter builds, you want that instead?"

Yes exactly thats one of the reasons why they lost millions of subs. Due to casualized crap like that.

These two things are deal breakers. Even if they wrote the best story in the world (they didnt) and endgame would be the best anyone ever created (it isnt)......shitty combat and total lack of class specific customizability makes this gaame worthless. Not even worth the download if it was F2P.

So ye...only for die hard final fantasy fans.

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@Dverburg @slainta The combat is awesome...I don't know what game you're playing. Probably the most fun I've had healing in any MMO, and I've played a long list of them.

Also, I love when people like to call themselves hardcore, then only bring up wow. If you think you really "theory crafted" in wow, you're dumb.

Play a game like Shadowbane, then talk about theory crafting.

Your comment about WoW losing millions of subs due to casualized crap is hilarious....The reason WoW became so successful was because it was casualized. You don't understand markets much. Extremely complex games just don't sell nowadays. It's not what the market wants. That said, this game does have a sufficient difficulty level at end game. The final raid still hasn't been completed yet, and many people are stuck at earlier content.

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@Synxos @Dverburg @slainta The combat wouldve been awsome 15 years ago. In todays market, its mediocre at best.

Wow became popular when it found the sweet spot between being challenging overall while still being accesable enough. Its when they took casualizing to far when they started losing subs rapidly.

You can shout really hard how hilarious that is.... but i predicted it, warned them for it on the forums and saw huge groups of players leave due to the exact reasons i mentioned and warned them for.

You started seeing signals how more and more players and (former) devs where against this. And it showed in the results. The subnumbers took a nosedive.

So ye, i dont think you have an idea how MMO specfic market forces work.

I never said wow allowed for a lot of theorycrafting/ What i did say was that a lot of people will come with the "people will only play the cookiecutter build"statement anyway (like in wow). Which is not an excuse. Just because an other game does this poorly, doesnt mean FF14 needs to make the same mistake.

And a casual talent tree like we see in wow still better than no talent at all.

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@Dverburg @slainta Still worth much more than 7.0. More like the 8.3 in Metacritic. I am frankly getting pist off at Gamespot voting down all SE RPGs. There is a pattern already. Instead that load of crap called Skyrim got a 9.0. Even on PS3!! Why, is that worst shitty combat ever better than the FF XIV one?

And in any case how fast should the combat be for you guys? Spam magic as if it was pouring?

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Biggest question - is this game worth paying 30 $ to try and play for 30 days???

I wish there was a trail version like in GW2...

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@GunEye Ps3 version not worth the fee.period.Putting all the mediocre plot,bland quests on top of quests,dull characters,shallow and long conversations.The worst has to be the lock on targetting system on the ps3 it just blows your mind so hard that you start think DCUO is an actually terrific MMO.

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Not to mention,server problems and maintainance every 2-3 days per week for about 3-4 hours long....

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@GunEye I found it incredibly bland.

- The combat sucks. Its not even nearly as good as wows, rifts or even warhammer onlines combat system.....and thats a game that is about to be shut down.

- The leveling structure is uninspired / as generic as it gets.

- The lack of customizability due to the absense of talenttrees

- The endless running/portalling back and forward

- The story containing to much fluffyness (i know its great that i killed that creature....but you dont need 6 pages of text to compliment me).

So yes there are a handfull of fun fights at endgame....a handfull of fun moments during the storyline....and the crafting system is good...but its far from being worth the 30 dollar cost, let alone the extra sub.

I paid and played it. and regret buying it. There are much better F2P or cheap B2P options, like GW2.

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@GunEye $30 to play it for a month and still asking? This game is huge, It's worth much more than that.

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@slainta @GunEye I can't run the game! I mean I paid for it, I DL the setup file, but I can't log in. It will always say: "Incorrect ID or Password" - although I have been able to log in into Square Enix's website.

Now I just threw 30$ on a game I can't play -- this is so annoying and tedious.. can't find solution anywhere...


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@GunEye @slainta Go into the mogstation:

and check to what you tied your FF XIV subscription, if ever. It is there, you may need to register to the FF XIV service.

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assuming u were playing on ps3 of course, otherwise like jonnyb81 said.. caps lock could be an issue

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@GunEye @slainta well it seems your psn id is not coinciding with ur game registry. You get only " one " chance " to link the two, if u accidently installed under a different psn user name ( like i did )... there lies your problem, for it is the user-name u must use now.

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@GunEye @slainta SE are sticklers about caps, even with regard to entering your e-mail address. I must have signed up with them using a capitalized letter in the front of my e-mail, and I have to do it exactly like that every time with SE now

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To illustrate just how stupid this review is, this dude actually complained that he had trouble finding quest markers! when everything is exactly on the quest marker! This is a player issue, not a game system issue:

" In regions with numerous vertical spaces, using the minimap to navigate can sometimes lead to a wild goose chase when you discover that your destination is on a cliff above you"

I can't believe that was written in a professional review. It shows a level of incompetency that makes me shake my head. How much hand holding does this reviewer need in a game?

Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn More Info

  • First Released Aug 27, 2013
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    After a tumultuous launch, an entirely new team at Square-Enix has completely redesigned and rebuilt their second MMO, Final Fantasy XIV Online, from the ground up.
    Average Rating515 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn
    Developed by:
    Square Enix
    Published by:
    Square Enix
    MMO, Role-Playing
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Language, Mild Blood, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence