FFXIV: In beta, just a bit

I had my invite to the beta in the week and our upgraded Internet arrived just in time so I could download the monster beta client in under an hour. However given my need to do some study this Saturday, and my desire to play some GW2 and some SWTOR, I only crammed in two very short sessions each of about an hour this beta. I cannot understand why they would stop a weekend beta test on a Sunday morning (9am GMT or 2am PST).

My character from 1.0

My character from 1.0

After registering my beta code on my old login I was delighted to be playing my old character again. The wording of the sign-in process made me think it was a level 1 version of him for some reason (stuff about choosing a discipline etc). Also I was shunted to Gridania without any choice of starter city. A shame as I only played in Limsa Lominsa and its immediate surroundings in 1.0 so it felt like I was starting a totally new game.

ffxiv_fate

I did join in on a FATE event while trying to do my first “kill ten mushrooms” quest, it seems like a good system. Anything that gets random players cooperating out in the field is a good thing in my book!  I was also glad to note, like in GW2, that quest objective items (things you pickup or click on) seem to be individual to players. I was tasked to pickup some vegetables in an early quest and I was thankful not to be competing with the other players around me when gathering them.

Beyond that I did a few fetch quests, explored the markets and bought some item upgrades. As Bhagpuss posts the quality of the dialogue in both quests and cutscenes is pretty top-notch. I found the lack of voice-over disturbing at first as I’m so used to it in SWTOR now, but after a while I got used to this different approach. The reactions of my character and others to the dialogue is particular nice – the use of emotes and subtle gestures in particular.

I look forward to a better look in the next beta, I need to get more of a hang of combat and to get outside the city and see more of the world!

[edit] I’ve come back to add two things to this post. Firstly the link to the Massively article I’ve just read, it’s a balanced piece on the state of the beta at present.

I also have been thinking about whether I can realistically fit any time for FFXIV into my gaming week. I’m not sure that I have a ‘gap’ for the game, and does it really offer anything over Everquest 2 for instance (which has good crafting and housing already)?

I think I originally bought FFXIV because I fancied trying a more Asian take on Fantasy, something outside of the Tolkien-derived norm. I’ve since tried Aion and Tera but I gave up on both games because of system/content reasons (too much of a focus on PVP and very formulaic/repetitive content respectively).

I will take some time for the next beta just to get more of a feel for the game but unlike the author of the Massively article I think offering a ‘content buffet’ may not be enough to make me want to swap away from games in which I’m already more established and invested.

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