As the summer warms up I find myself in need of something a bit different to play, a solo game I can drop into as and when I have some hours to pass on my own. Neverwinter remains my current main game for duo and group play, but given the fact I’ve already leveled a few characters to cap and the end-game gear grind isn’t that appealing I need something else for a change of pace.
I could have picked up Elder Scrolls Online or Wildstar, but I’ve written enough about why I’m not that keen on either and those reasons remain true. Star Trek Online is also an option but the game’s ground combat feels like an unresponsive version of Neverwinter’s so for now at least the appeal to that game has waned somewhat. One other game I’ve been tempted to return to for some months is Final Fantasy 14. I’ve followed the game’s updates and development since the relaunch and now, with no other MMO sub to pay, it feels right to be giving the game another try.
In returning to this quirky, heavy fantasy but steampunk influenced game I have a few specific goals I want to achieve in the short-term.
- Unlock a job, either White Mage or Scholar as I like healing in groups
- Join a Grand Company to see what gameplay that unlocks
- Get a chocobo mount and learn about how I can unlock other mounts
Playing again and traveling around between the major cities (Gridania, Limsa Lominsa and Ul’dah) to unlock some new base classes, I’ve been reminded just how much there is to the game now. It’s matured nicely and has a lot of content. There are quests everywhere but also there are other things to do as well. Every settlement has a guildleve NPC to give you repeatable quests, each class has a progressive log of mini-tasks to do and there are public events, a.k.a FATEs, that appear on the map with some regularity. There are also dungeons and trials that you can queue for if you want structured group play.
I’m a self-confessed altaholic, I love playing different classes. I also love story-heavy MMOs but those two preferences are often in conflict. Playing LOTRO for instance early on I really enjoyed the questing but repeating zones multiple times in a short timespan to try out different classes wasn’t so exciting. FFXIV may offer a solution to this dilemma by allowing the same character to be anything and everything. I can use the variety of content in the zones to balance leveling my chosen main class/job up with also boosting other classes for playstyle variety.
In a few sessions I’ve made some progress on conjuror (now 21) and arcanist (now 11) so I’m making good progress on my way to unlocking the white mage job. I’ve been working through the main storyline as well in order to unlock the Grand Company and mount quests. It feels good to have multiple goals to progress towards without the normal linearity of leveling to cap and gear-grinding – there seems to be a good deal more to this game!