Updated Mon, Sep 09, 2013 by Xerin
For multiplayer, I’m giving this a high score. Not perfect, because there are shortcomings, but it does have a dungeon finder (Duty Finder) and it does promote grouping with others, but doesn’t force it beyond having to do dungeons to advance your main story quest. Which is all good stuff to me because I like to see a game focus heavily on creating a community. The FATE system (the public quest like system) is fun and helps bring people together and there is tons of community tools like Linkshells and the Free Companies (guilds). So all in all, it’s great stuff.
The game is an alright value. There is a subscription fee, but you can pay in tiers. It’s a few dollars cheaper a month if you just want one character slot per server, which is all that you need considering you can be all of the classes, but there is still a subscription fee and a box price. The box prices isn’t that much, just $29.99 at launch and you can get it on discount / on sale for as low as $19.99 from various online retailers, so all in all it isn’t that bad of a value.
There are no microtransaction pushes as of yet and there is no ingame cash store, so that helps a bit.
The game has a decent lasting appeal to it, we’re going to have to wait and see how patch 1.1 plays out and if the added PvP and other fun stuff will give max level players something to do. This does get high ranking here because you can level all of the classes on one character and get an XP bonus in doing so, making alting a natural part of character advancement. There is also a wealth of crafting classes to be and plenty of things to do. The main story quest will take a casual player a few weeks to chew through and make it to max level, which then sets you up to go and do whatever you want, really. Like I said previously, the game rewards you with advancement for doing pretty much anything. So logging in and messing around is a rewarding experience.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is perhaps one of the best MMOs released in a while and I would almost say since Guild Wars 2. It has enthralled me to play through the server stability issues and even as I write this, I’m sitting patiently in the duty finder awaiting my turn at the next dungeon for my story quest. It is fun, exciting, and great. However, I also love World of Warcraft and enjoy the standard MMO model, so this is definitely a game for me.
If you’re looking for an MMO that has all of that MMO goodness then rush out and buy this game right now. It does a fantastic job of emulating WoW and EQ and well, the MMO industry as a whole. That’s not a complaint, it’s a compliment. However, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, something different, then I highly suggest waiting on Everquest Next, because FFXIV is iterative, not innovating.