If you're like me, you just never quite got around to checking out Final Fantasy XIV. If you are me, that's because you watched over your friend's shoulder as he excitedly showed you FFXI and you just didn't get it. Maybe you only heard about what FFXI was like, so when FFXIV was announced, you just laughed at the waste of resources. I have a few friends who have been playing FFXIV (one of whom I have been friends with since our Kunark days in EverQuest, back when I was kind of the guild tutor and would help everyone with their homework when we weren't raiding and they really like it. We all know I have MMOADD (patent pending) and pretty much anytime I write something I'm all “oohh! Shiny! Maybe I should play that one!” Even with all of that, I've held off playing FFXIV. Fully completing FF7 three times, carefully getting the Golden Chocobo each time couldn't even get me to check the game out. There was money involved.
Well, no more! I actually messaged my friend just before I began writing this article to let him know that, as soon as my ISP makes my internet functional again at home, that I was coming for him. You know, in a “hey we're gaming friends” and totally not a creepy stalker kind of way. While we've remained pretty good friends over the years, we haven't gamed together since World of Warcraft launched, when our EverQuest guild migrated over at launch. (I still make fun of him for playing a Hunter, though.) I can't remember exactly how long ago it was that we stopped gaming together, but it was in the mid oughts, for sure. I'm pretty excited to at least check out the game that he is really enjoying (with his girlfriend, d'awww).
The trial for FFXIV is super limited, and I'm completely okay with that. For one, it only lasts fourteen days. You are capped at level 20. You can't use the player market place. You can't use a lot of public communication channels and you can't use tells. Sure, it's super restrictive, but here's the thing. Even with these limits, I will definitely be able to know whether or not I enjoy the game enough to want to purchase it. This will let me do exactly what its purpose is and try out the game, while Square Enix adds in steps to protect its current playerbase from bots and gold spammers.
So, what can you do? You can play whatever you want up to level 20 for the 14 days your trial is good for. If you got attached to your characters in this time, but are not able to immediately purchase after your period ends, don't worry, your characters will be there for 90 days after the trial ends. You can experience the story and get a good taste for what the game offers. Also, while you cannot invite people to a party or recruit members through the group finder, you can be invited by others through the finder, as well as use the Duty Finder (matchmaking system).
I think it's pretty great that FFXIV is now available for a trial period and I do look forward to being able to check it out. I am a huge supporter of trying things out myself to form an opinion, even if it's just for five minutes. Who knows. I just might find myself enjoying new things.