The Great Final Fantasy Retrospective - Let's Mosey

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While we wait for CG to slowly go insane replaying through FF13, someone no sane person has ever done, not even the people who made it, I figured I'd talk about final fantasy tactics since its sorta (well """""""""""""sorta""""""""""""") related to 12 and I think its the best damn game in the franchise (plus I'm stuck at a synchrotron doing experiment with lots of downtime and too tired to make any meaningful work).

While FFT was by no mean the first tactics, it pretty much set the standard that almost every subsequent tactic tried to emulate. But imo none of them has ever gotten close to it and that's because the game excel at both gameplay and story.

Lets start with story, FFT is setup in a pseudo European medieval setting. The two large power on the continent just went trough a massive war of succession and now both crown are too poor to pay the soldier their due so they have to deal with rebellion from their former soldier. And this is where FFT goes above and beyond most game, the game has a pretty deep geopolitical story, with a long timeline and event unfold for many complex reasons. But, if you don't feel like following all this, the game has also another story layer where the main character (Ramza) has a fall out with his best friend (Delita) and family while trying to understand the world he lives in better. This is pretty nice because just has Ramza learn more about the world the player is along for the ride with him. Delita is essentially a secondary protagonist, and could have very well being the main character. His story is the classic tale of revenge against the world. While he deal with the geopolitical side of things, Ramza follow some underground element to discover conspiracy. I'd say in a lot of way Ramza gets the more boring story since at some point it just devolve into fighting random demon, but it also mean you get to move around and see multiple side of the conflict. Anyway I won't go over it all, cause its pretty long, but it set up in a way where you don't necessarily need to understand the minutia of the succession crisis to enjoy the story, but all those element are there if you want to explore them (trough a pseudo codex system) and are shockingly well written.

The game also does a couple of fun things with the story too, like for most of the game one character is constantly talked as the greatest swordsman in the world and when he does join you, he turn out to really be insanely overpowered, unlike most games where the hype character join you and turn out to be no better than the random farm boy you recruit at the start of the game or w/e. The game is also technically setup as a researcher hundreds of years in the future trying to piece together the actual events that happened from a manuscript written by one of the NPC in the game, and there's a few time where this is relevant. The game also has multiple time skip, which allows the world to evolve and react to the actions of Ramza and Delita, which helps makes it feel alive.

Gameplay wise, what a lot of tactics game seem to miss is that FFT system works well because it force the player to constantly switch jobs so that even very similar battle will play differently because the class you'll bring won't be the same. You need to keep changing class so your character unlock new classes (which require leveling lower tier class) and to obtain skills from other classes. So compare to FF5 system, where you usually stick to one set of class once you unlock them, and there's not that many reason to switch classes on a semi regular basis, most of your character in FFT will spend relatively little time in the class your building them to be, which really help keep things fresh. It's not all great though, a lot of classes have significant overlap and the game does a piss poor job of telling you some pretty important details, like for example samurai, a class at the top of the physical class tree actually use magic stats when they use their special ability. The game also use small number for the most part, like max str/int is 99, but realistically most character won't even get anywhere near close to that, which makes it really hard to tell what the growth rate of the various class stats are. Classes are also very poorly balanced, with plenty having almost 0 use, archer are infamously useless while calculator break the game. The game also let you add monster to your team, but their so boring that I doubt anyone bother with that.

The game use an ATB system, where every character fill up a bar (based on their speed stats) and act when full. Personally I like that a lot more than the alternative system you often see where both side take turn using all their units. It avoid the problem of unit getting dogpiled on without the player being able to intervene and means you can differentiate class by their speed stats. The downside is that the game use this system for casting spell, with stronger spell taking longer to charge. In practice it means you never use the highest level of spell because they take so long to charge that by the time they're ready, units will have moved and with friendly fire on you might just do more damage to your guy than the enemy. This contribute to magic just not being that useful in general, MP slowly recharge and can be blown trough very quickly, while physical ability are instant and cost no MP to use and generally do about the same amount of damage. The only exception to do is the calculator that be use instant spell that cost no MP and hit every enemy at once (if your lucky, most of the time you'll get maybe half of them), but the calculator comes in very late and usually by that time your physical character can one shoot most enemy. This also apply to healing, with chemist (item user class) blowing the white mage out of the water, since they can instant cast and don't have to worry about MP.

But the biggest problem of the game is that at two occasion the game trap the player in a fight against a very strong boss with only the main character (although if you wait a bit your team comes and help you). This can flat out cause a player to quit the game because they maybe didn't build their Ramza in a way that they can take on very strong foe by themselves. If you're thinking of playing trough the game for the first time, make sure you send Ramza to the physical side but have him learn the skill auto potion, which will use the weakest potion available every time you take damage, if you make sure you have no "potion", Ramza will use "Hi potion" instead, which will heal for about as much damage as he take and make those section much easier.

Otherwise the game has this weird system where you can send your guy on expedition, where they leave for a certain number of days and then come back with a bunch of job experience, time passing whenever you move on the world map. I think the idea was to have the player make two team and have them rotate which goes on an expedition and which is used by the player. That's a decent idea because its a shame you only ever need 5 characters in your team and so won't get to experiment that much making all kind of crazy combination. But it doesn't work since its far easier to just send your real team and then wander around wasting time and just reloading whenever you trigger a random encounter. The game also has plenty of location where you can travel between two safe zones to quickly pass time. Plus this can easily be exploited to quickly gain class level in class that you'd rather avoid, which imo makes the game less interesting.

I'll mention music too, its fine, a few piece are pretty good, but I'd say its a bit too shy and you don't get many cool bold piece like almost every FF. Graphically speaking you have some very nice sprite on pretty crappy CG background, its okay overall, but its no graphical powerhouse.

But misgiving aside, I think FFT is an exceptional game and I can't believe they haven't re release it since the PSP port (they have to be working toward it since they just release tactics ogre port). Like I said, I think its still the reigning champ with none of the other tactics getting close, especially on the story side.

I'll mention final fantasy tactics advance, its not the worse game or anything, but it really fall flat compare to FFT. Gameplay wise it makes some strange decision, like having rule on what you can and cannot do in every fight (probably an attempt to make keep a large number of unit than necessery and swamping them based on the available rule). It also strangely enough has 5 different races but limit what class each races can be, limiting the amount of experimentation you can do. But the really weird part is the story. The character in the game get isekai from the real world into this alternate world. 4 of them get transported in. One of them is cripple in the real world but in the other world can walk freely. Another has a drunk loser for a dad but in the other world his dad is a respected judge. A third one... has a different hair color, this one is weird because the game treat it like this change is just as good for her than the two previous character even though it just mean she doesn't have to dye her hair. Then there's the main character who has a perfectly fine live in the real world and an even better one in the other world. But, for some reason, he decide that they have to return to the real world, even though all 3 other character strongly oppose this and he himself can't say why he wants to go back. This involve killing all the god in the world, which will make the world go back to normal, ie it'll genocide every other world person (and somehow the character you recruit in the game are perfectly happy with helping you do that). But really most of the game is made up of doing menial side quest, some of which have really obtuse requirement that pretty much mean you need to look up how to trigger them. It's not great and the sequel (FFTA2) is just more of the same. It's a real shame they never tried to make a true sequel to FFT, but to be fair, it would be almost impossible to top.

I'd settle for a FFT port to PC or modern console honestly.

Yeah I know it's on phone but I don't want to play it on my phone
 
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Eacaraxe

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FF12 original release, license board, and Zodiac Age.
Zodiac Age was far superior mechanically from the original release. FF12 is a game in which constraint was very much necessary; otherwise, you were stuck between watching fights slowly play out via gambit, and rushing quickening licenses for infinite quickening chains to kill bosses and major encounters within a reasonable time frame. Square's biggest failing with FF12 was trying to make a single player version of FF11, much like how their biggest failing with FF13 was trying to make a playable version of Advent Children.

The freeform system had some fun ideas in it, being able to make your own funky hybrid jobs that worked in context...it just wasn't implemented terribly well. The limitations added in Zodiac Age helped that aspect of it immensely. But, I think Stranger of Paradise did it better -- not by letting the player do their own thing, but by supporting whatever weirdo inclinations players might have with that many jobs.

But, monk/mage hybrid shenanigans have been my jam as far back as my first time playing FFT. Which is the perfect segue to FFT...easily the FF game with the best story, by far. It's a shame the original PS release was so heavily marred by poor translation.

meiam said:
But the biggest problem of the game is that at two occasion the game trap the player in a fight against a very strong boss with only the main character (although if you wait a bit your team comes and help you). This can flat out cause a player to quit the game because they maybe didn't build their Ramza in a way that they can take on very strong foe by themselves. If you're thinking of playing trough the game for the first time, make sure you send Ramza to the physical side but have him learn the skill auto potion, which will use the weakest potion available every time you take damage, if you make sure you have no "potion", Ramza will use "Hi potion" instead, which will heal for about as much damage as he take and make those section much easier.
I'd argue it's the difficulty spike at the start of chapters 2 and 3. Going from fighting predominantly tier 1 classes with the occasional tier 2 thrown in without most of their key abilities, to tier 2 enemies with full skillsets and tier 3's, without much warning can be a jarring experience for a first-time player if they're just going from one story mission to the next.

As far as the Ramza-only battles, auto-pot's just the entry-level fallback. My go-to was just to rush monk, since monk's self-sustain is off the charts; but realistically, any combination of preemptive strike, vanish, teleport, or shirahadori makes the solo fights trivial. People love to shit on teleport because it has a failure chance, but they also fail to acknowledge it only has a failure chance attempting to teleport further than the unit's move, and can be used on a job with high innate move and then matched with shoes.
 
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meiam

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I'd argue it's the difficulty spike at the start of chapters 2 and 3. Going from fighting predominantly tier 1 classes with the occasional tier 2 thrown in without most of their key abilities, to tier 2 enemies with full skillsets and tier 3's, without much warning can be a jarring experience for a first-time player if they're just going from one story mission to the next.

As far as the Ramza-only battles, auto-pot's just the entry-level fallback. My go-to was just to rush monk, since monk's self-sustain is off the charts; but realistically, any combination of preemptive strike, vanish, teleport, or shirahadori makes the solo fights trivial. People love to shit on teleport because it has a failure chance, but they also fail to acknowledge it only has a failure chance attempting to teleport further than the unit's move, and can be used on a job with high innate move and then matched with shoes.
Oh yeah there's plenty of way to make the Ramza only fight trivial, the problem is player who don't know its coming will be blindsided by it and might not be in a situation to do anything about it, Ch. 3 diffidulty spike also coincide with a bunch of new expedition being available, so that you can quickly build up your characters.
 
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meiam

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I have started....ugh...I have started ff13
TBF, 90% of the game can be completed with two rubber bands, one on the forward analogue stick and one on "X". It always crack me up when you complete a battle by just smashing X and after the fight there's flashy score screen that give you 5/5 with some big number like "14235" and you literally did nothing.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Haha I am complicit in your suffering.

PC ports of Japanese games have thankfully come a long way since FFXIII came out... mostly.
I knew I would get to it eventually when I started this thread tbh. I'm hamming it up mostly, FF13 isn't that bad.
 

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Ok I just want to come clean for a second. I speed through this game skipping cutscenes because I really could be asked to sit through the vapid nonsense of this story again.

Final Fantasy 13:

People fucking hate this game, like Final Fantasy 2 might be the black sheep of the FF series but most people haven't played it, people have universally decided that FF13 is fucking garbage. Look at the worst FF games of all time and this is usually near the top of that list, if not the outright winner.

The story is garbage, the characters are almost all entirely unlikable dipshits, the gameplay is meh at best, and the graphics....well those are pretty good.

So since people hate this game and it's become a meme on the internet for it's awfulness....why do I like it so much?

I was hamming it up before but I'm actually serious, I do enjoy FF13 mostly. I understand the complaints, the story is terrible, it's very linear, and the combat is...something. But despite all of that, I found the gameplay pretty fun and thought it was a good game with a bad story. I would never rate it in the top 5 FF games, but it also wouldn't be the worst game either.

Let me start at the beginning.

FF13 takes place on a world called Cocoon, or are they on Grand Pulse? Either Cocoon or Grand Pulse are the enemy planet and our heroes are on the other one at the start of the game. Then there are these alien things call Fal'Cie that enslave people and transform them into L'Cie in order to do specific missions for the Fal'Cie. These missions are called Focus's and while a person is a L'Cie they are given magic powers, but if they fail to do the focus they become C'eth which are zombies. If Focus is completed successfully the L'Cie is turned into a Crystal. Kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing I guess.

Anyway Lightning is our main hero and the world is in the middle of a Purge by the government because a bunch of people got exposed to a Fal'Cie or something, so the government response by kicking everyone off world to Pulse (i think). Lightning is looking for her sister who went missing after the Fal'cie was seen in her town or something. Later on there is evidence that her sister was a L'Cie way before that and went off to do he Focus or some shit.

Snow is Lightnings brother-in-law to be, and he is a hero or wants to be. He runs an Avalanche-type group who are only in the game for twenty minutes so they aren't important.

You know what this is putting me to sleep. Fast forward our party is thrust through coincidence into become L'Cie and their Focus is to stop Ragnorok (why does that keep coming up this year?) aka the end of the world. So standard Final Fantasy game stuff.

The story has too big problems. The first is pretty obvious in that it just thrusts a bunch of terms at you will little to no explaination, Fal'Cie, L'Cie, C'eth, Psycom, Pulse, Guardian Corp, on and on and on. There is a rather big index in the game that gives further exposition into all this shit and something called the 13-days but it's like having to read a book within a video game to understand WTF is happening in the video game you are playing. And that doesn't get cleared up through the events in the game tbh, it's just a bunch of shit happening and character's wingeing at each each.

Speaking of the characters, every character is bad. They are all one note and not a single one of them changes throughout the entire story, except maybe Hope a little bit. Hope starts out as a whinny dickhead of a kid who blames Snow for killing his Mom despite it not really being Snow's fault, and he ends the game being a whinny dickhead who isn't mad at Snow anymore. Saz is a nothing character, neither are Fang and Vanille except Vanille's voice actress is nails on a chalkboard levels of bad.

There is nothing likable or memorable about the cast and that's really the greatest sin the game makes. Because the overall story is not as important has the player liking the characters on the journey with us. The big plot could be about crossing the country to get the best ice cream and it would be a fantastic story so long as the character's with us are fun and interesting to be around. 13 fails on that, every character is miserable and it makes the journey miserable.

The gameplay gets a lot of shit for being nothing but hallways, but that's nonsense. Hallways are fine, FFX was nothing but hallways and the Calm Lands, FF7Remake is nothing but hallways. Hallways aren't a problem. It's because we don't like the characters or the story around the hallway that makes the hallway bad.

Combat is more interesting IMO than most people give it credit for though. A lot of times people say that 13 is a Press A/X sim in combat because the auto-command does the best possible job at all times. This isn't wrong, but it is a bit misleading because there is more to the combat that makes the Press A/X thing viable. 13 has a job system that's a bit different from other job systems in the past these jobs are meant to work together for the other big mechanic in the combat which is the Stagger meter. Every enemy has a stagger meter which when full will stagger (imagine that) the enemy making them take a huge amount of extra damage and making them incapable of attacking back for a short period of time.

Each job in 13 fits a role that supports the group in doing this.

Commandos - they stop the stagger meter from dropping. If all you do is focus on building the stagger and fail to get it in a single turn, the meter will normally drop very rapidly down to probably 0 by the time the next turn happens. However if a Commando is in the group, they prevent the meter from dropping allowing the other jobs to continuously build that meter without setbacks.

Ravagers - This job does big stagger meter damage, they are going to rapidly build that meter more than any other job in the game.

Synergist - Buffs the party, allowing for things like haste, barrier, etc

Medic - Your healer Duh.

Saboteur - Debuffs the enemies, slow, poison, death if your lucky, this like this.

Sentinel - The tank. It'll taunt the enemies and block mitigating damage to the entire group.

Every character is capable of every job, however some characters are better at certain jobs than other people. With three people in the party it becomes important to have the right job comp at all times, especially later in the game (which is where you hear people sometimes say "it gets good 20 hours in"). That's where Paradigms come into play. You can set up your party to have six available job comps and during battle you can swap to different job setups at any given time. This is called Paradigm shift and it's the bread and butter of the combat.

So for example you are fighting a boss, you are going to want to have a Tank, Healer, and a Synergist to start the fight. This will make the boss beat on the tank while the healer keeps them alive and the synergist buffs your group. Then you wanna swap to your tank, healer, saboteur set up so you can then debuff the boss and maintain your defenses while you do that. Then it all depends on what the fight does, usually your dps setup is two ravagers and a commando, but you might also just go all ravagers to really destroy the stagger meter.

There is actually a lot you can do with the job and paradigm shifting system. Which is why I think the auto-select in battle is good because you are going to be swapping jobs so much in some fights it would be impossible to find the abilities you want in the menus when you are constantly switching your options each character has. It would make every fight so tedious that nobody would finish the game, so I can understand why the auto-select function is there.

Though combat isn't without it's disappointments. The score screen at the end of battle makes no sense and doesn't seem to have any baring on the game at all. Leveling up your characters is done via the Crystarium which is like a shitty Sphere grid where you just level node by node in a linear fashion to the point where the characters could have simply leveled up each job the traditional way and it would have been the same thing.

Final Fantasy 13 feels like it's vision was too big for what they could actually do in the game and it suffers for it. Terrible pacing, terrible story, terrible characters, and decent combat doesn't save it from being a really lame experience. Despite that I do enjoy it more than probably most people who've played and dropped off before it "got good", and I can't really blame anyone for that because it does have a very very bad intro for a number of reasons.

That being said, I'm not doing 13-2 or 13-3. Square really wanting Lightning to become the new mascot for the Final Fantasy series and everything she was in was not well received by anyone so despite pumping out several games, they simply couldn't help save a really unlikable and terrible character.

So now it's time to travel to Eorzea and let me be up front. I've already got like 900 hours into FF14 so I'll probably just write that up when I have time while I actually play FF15.

Wow, I might actually finish this whole thing.
 
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BrawlMan

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Final Fantasy 13 feels like it's vision was too big for what they could actually do in the game and it suffers for it. Terrible pacing, terrible story, terrible characters, and decent combat doesn't save it from being a really lame experience. Despite that I do enjoy it more than probably most people who've played and dropped off before it "got good", and I can't really blame anyone for that because it does have a very very bad intro for a number of reasons
Something Square still has trouble learning after they finished up with 13 and it's expansions.
That being said, I'm not doing 13-2 or 13-3. Square really wanting Lightning to become the new mascot for the Final Fantasy series and everything she was in was not well received by anyone so despite pumping out several games, they simply couldn't help save a really unlikable and terrible character.
Lightning is the most hateful and boring video game protagonist I have ever seen. There's nothing special or likeable about her. Sure, she looks attractive, but her attitude is ugly. I actually dislike her more than Rubi in some cases. Lightning was supposed to be there next Cloud, but no one was buying it. Aside from maybe the yuri/shoujo-ai fans, but even they began to lose interest after the first expansion.
 
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Dalisclock

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FF13 takes place on a world called Cocoon, or are they on Grand Pulse? Either Cocoon or Grand Pulse are the enemy planet and our heroes are on the other one at the start of the game. Then there are these alien things call Fal'Cie that enslave people and transform them into L'Cie in order to do specific missions for the Fal'Cie. These missions are called Focus's and while a person is a L'Cie they are given magic powers, but if they fail to do the focus they become C'eth which are zombies. If Focus is completed successfully the L'Cie is turned into a Crystal. Kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing I guess.
The best part is that IIRC you don't even get the benefit of being told what the focus is. You just get some vague vision that you're supposed to figure out before you become a mindless crystal monster.


Speaking of the characters, every character is bad. They are all one note and not a single one of them changes throughout the entire story, except maybe Hope a little bit. Hope starts out as a whinny dickhead of a kid who blames Snow for killing his Mom despite it not really being Snow's fault, and he ends the game being a whinny dickhead who isn't mad at Snow anymore. Saz is a nothing character, neither are Fang and Vanille except Vanille's voice actress is nails on a chalkboard levels of bad.
Vanille's VA was apparently faking the accent as well, which explains a lot. I'm unsure if she was directed to do that or if it was of her own accord.

And of course, a lot of people already know this, Fang was originally written as a male but later changed to be female. They just didn't bother to change anything else so the relationship became lesbian by default.

That being said, I'm not doing 13-2 or 13-3. Square really wanting Lightning to become the new mascot for the Final Fantasy series and everything she was in was not well received by anyone so despite pumping out several games, they simply couldn't help save a really unlikable and terrible character.
They also wanted her to shill overpriced clothing.
 
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CriticalGaming

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And of course, a lot of people already know this, Fang was originally written as a male but later changed to be female. They just didn't bother to change anything else so the relationship became lesbian by default.
I mean it doesn't matter either way when both people suck. They could have been a big lesbian power couple for gaming if they weren't such insufferable twats.
 

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Yay it's time for the one FF game I actually care about!
How much do I care for FFXIV? Well, according to Steam, I've played the game for 2069.1 hours. Nonetheless, I'd consider myself a casual player; I don't do Extreme Trials and Savage Raids, just the stuff that you can comfortably do in a public group. I started playing when Stormblood was current content, and am up to date with the current story. Before I get into spoilery detail, I'd like to say that if you want a good solid theme park MORPG that's also a Final Fantasy game with a very long story, FFXIV should be up your street. Now onto the nitty gritty.

1.0
1.0 isn't real and it can't hurt you. The original version of FFXIV and all of its story and content is not longer playable. Considering that it was generally poorly received and ran like shit, this is probably for the best. Fortunately, you don't need to worry about what was in it much.

A Realm Reborn
A Realm Reborn is alright. It does the job of introducing you to the continent of Eorzea, the main city states and the issues afflicting them, and the primary opposing forces for the rest of the game, those being the fascistic Garlean Empire and the shadowy Ascians. It also packs away the remaining loose ends of 1.0 away where they can't hurt anyone anymore. There's also a lot of other stuff introduced that will be important later that you just get a small taste of, like Ishgard and the Gyr Abanian refugee crisis. The dungeons have some early instalment weirdness but they're not bad, just different to how later ones are. The Bahamut themed normal raids from the endgame are very different to later entries, and are the biggest bit of content I had to do without level sync later on, since they aren't populated. The 24 man alliance raids in the Crystal Tower aged better, and are one of the many things from ARR that has a payoff well down the line. There are some sections where I felt the endless fetch quests were dragging on a bit, but I believe some have been cut since I did them.

Heavensward
AKA the one everyone likes. Heavensward takes you to the northern theocratic city of Ishgard, where you need to simultaneously prevent the city being destroyed by dragons, stop the Garleans getting their hands on some ancient technology, and uncover the dark conspiracy behind the city's zealous faith. Pretty much everything is stepped up here. The areas are bigger, the story is better, and the dungeons settle into a style which they follow for the rest of the game. The plot has real tangible stakes, good interplay between the main characters, and proper moral complexity. The raids in the endgame (Alexander for normal raids and Mhach for alliance raids) aren't the best the game has to offer in terms of design or attached plot, but they're pretty good.

Stormblood
The messy one. There's a lot to admire in Stormblood. It's about the Eorzean Alliance getting its act together and deciding to finally kick the Empire out of Ala Mhigo, a province you've met many refugees from in the past. However, it's also about meeting your insane nemesis Zenos Yae Galvus and liberating the far east from the Empire as well. The scope is insanely broad and lead to a lot of wandering round places with interesting worldbuilding and pretty visuals but a general sense that you're just killing time before your final showdowns. The Azim Steppe is probably the best encapsulation of this, in that you go there with one job, and then take several hours pottering around meeting the residents before you can do it, but it's kind of balanced out by the Steppe having a really cool Mongolian inspired culture, but also not really. On the upside, the normal raids, which are a grab bag of fights against old FF bosses culminating in a fight with the Omega Weapon, are really good. On the downside, the alliance raids are FFXII themed and get you into an overly convoluted plot that isn't worth the effort.

Shadowbringers
AKA the other one that everyone likes. Shadowbringers is about saving a parallel world almost destroyed by light from being fully destroyed by light. This expansion answers a lot of longstanding questions about the Ascians and who they are, and also really explores the Scions more as characters, and why they do what they do. The story is tinged with tragedy, as befits a post apocalyptic setting, and also hope, as you push forward to give it a chance to survive. The raids are mostly inspired by your fights with primals from ARR, albeit cranked up to 11 in terms of spectacle. The alliance raids are Nier Automata themed, which I enjoyed as an Automata fan.

Endwalker
The season finale! Zenos from Stormblood has come back and teamed up with the last Ascian to destroy the world. It's very big and very silly, and involves going to the moon and back in time, but also finds time to remind you that the end of the world is scary and traumatic. It also does something which I think is one of the best narrative choices in the whole story; you do not walk triumphantly into Garlemald. For all the preceding game, the Garleans are horrible fascist bastards and a desire to go to their capital and sack it will have been instilled in the playerbase. However, when you finally get there, it's already brought itself to ruin. The expeditionary army at your back is the only thing standing between the survivors and starving to death in the snow, but they struggle to accept health from people they believe (and have observed) to be brutal. in the end you go to space, kill the concept of depression, and then kill Zenos properly, finally this time. Endwalker's endgame isn't finished yet, but the raids are serviceable time travel shenanigans tying up a few loose ends, and the alliance raids are bringing the era to close with a bang by letting you attack and dethrone the gods.

Onwards...
The story isn't over yet of course. At the moment, we're busy finding out if there's anything that can be done to save the Void, a world lost to darkness and full of monstrous creatures. However, with a few patches to go before the next expansion, things could always take a turn in a completely different direction. Wherever things go, I'm along for the ride.

There's lots of other stuff in this game of course. Other content, crafting, player housing, patting every lalafell you see, PVP, the endless quest for the most fashionable outfit, HILDIBRAND MANDERVILLE, erotic roleplay, twenty different combat jobs to master, the Gold Saucer, and short seasonal events every year where you can pick up some special gifts and do a silly little quest.

TL;DR
It's a Final Fantasy game. A good one.
 

meiam

Elite Member
Dec 9, 2010
2,430
892
118
Alright FF13. So I think FF13 is not only the worse FF game, but its also one of the worse game I ever player, but I need to explain that. See most terrible game (like say superman 64) are terrible for some sort of production reason, either the game was rushed, or they didn't have enough people or who they had didn't have enough experience and bite something too big for their abilities. But none of that applies to FF13, it was in development for close to a decades, costed probably in the upper 10s of millions of dollars, had a massive team headed by peoples with a large amount of experience and wasn't particularly large in scope. Yet the best they could come up was... that?! Their grand vision was of a story that made no sense with a team of terrible character?

Anyway, I guess I'll start with gameplay. I do agree, there's the seed of a good idea in the gameplay, and if this game had a normal development cycle I'd say another 6 months of development could have resulted in something great. But as is, I don't think it works. So RPG with random encounter can have difficulty in 2 different ways, either resources aren't conserved between fights (ie HP/mana are recharged after every fights), which means every fight need to be a challenge in itself or resource are conserved, so that every fight can be relatively easy but you need to make sure you don't use too much resource or you'll struggle to finish the dungeon. Traditionally FF game have conserved resource, so it was fine if most trash mob you met are relatively easy. 13 switched to having resource reset after every fight, but I guess they never bothered to tell the people balancing the mobs, so every fight is still super easy until the endgame. As results you literally just click "X" at the start of regular fight to select auto combat and the fight will be done for you, and you usually get 5/5 star too. Now, that could work if the challenge came from customizing your character with interesting equipment, maybe a complex class/skill system a la FFT or at the very least FF12 gambit system to customize your character behavior, but no, none of that. 13 character customization is like the worse part of FF10 sphere grid, with none of the good part (you can't plan complex routes trough multiple class, the 6 routes are walled off) and they also slap a maximum level that's only raise as the game progress, so if you're someone who like overleling the content you can't even do that. The game does try to have an interesting weapon system, with each weapon having special ability, but this is made completely pointless by the weapon leveling system, if you get a new weapon and want to use it, you need to spend a ton of resources to level them, which means any new weapon will reset your character weapon progression. But since every weapon is semi viable, there's not really any reason to switch, especially since there's no way to directly compare weapon since you'll comparing "basic sword level 38" to "fancy sword level 1" so you have no way of knowing if the fancy one will be better at level 38.

So okay, random trash mob fight are pointless, at least boss are cool right? Ehhh... So here the idea is to switch class in response to what the boss does, but really it boil down to very simple stuff: Start by buffing your team and debuffing the boss (COM(stagger)/SYN(buff)/SAB(debuff), then switch to COM/RAV(damage)/RAV to damage and stagger, and if the boss is about to do big damage, just go to SEN(tank)/COM/MED and that pretty much always work. Now sometime you need some variation of this, but here the game fuck you over by not letting you change character class individually and only letting you preset 6 team configurations in total. So if the boss does anything interesting you either randomly have the right combination so you can trivially deal with it or you don't, in which case fuck you. This massive issue is in full display during the eidolons fight, these are more like puzzle where you need to do something specific to win the fight (say block attack, or debuff boss), and yet multiple eidolons fight don't actually start you with the right party combination to deal with them, forcing you to lose the fight to set correct combination and trivially win. Oh BTW, after you get to summon eidolons in battle, this is completely pointless and will never be used, square really has a really hard time making summon work ever since 12. Other small issue, you can't move character on the battle field at will, so sometime they'll all randomly end up grouping together and get instant kill by a big attack that has a bit of an AoE around it, nothing you can do about that.

I think the system could have been more interesting by letting you individually change class mid fight and making every character class more distinct (by end game everyone can do 95% of everything, the only real difference is between character that can cast haste and people who can't (ie trash)). Add to that a skill/passive system, a gambit system letting you modify each character behavior in every class (so you could set one character behavior as a healer to focus on curing debuff, another to focus on healing and a third on raising) and some interesting gearing system (I don't need a diablo like system, but at least more interesting than just stuff like "+1000 HP"). Doing all this could have genuinely made something interesting. But no. I half suspect most of these elements were in at some point but ended up removed in the name of making the game more "accessible".

Then there's the hallway dungeon, which you know... no big deal. Plenty of FF have had linear hallway dungeon for the most part and that was fine. But with random combat so uninspired, most location just being random with no connection to the story (which is terrible anyway) and nothing interesting to loot (resource come back after every fight, so why do I give a crap about getting more potions?) the least they could have done was interesting dungeon to explore. The hallway problem is just the problem of the game that's the easiest to demonstrate, so that's what gets brought up all the time. But if the game had more interesting gameplay and story, nobody would be bringing up this point because they would be engage when going trough the hallway (ie FFX). But as is, they're so bored that they can't help but notice the boring hallways.

But okay, fine, gameplay is mostly boring, so what. That sorta goes for most FF game anyway, we're here for the story and character! And... oh boy... This is bad, this is so bad (I hope I have enough character left in the post for this, scroll down if you reach this point you might want to just skip it all TL: DR the writers are morons). CG explain the setup so I won't repeat it all... and oh wait no I have to mostly repeat it all because this game fucked up and decide to throw a shit tons of random made up terms for everything, making it all super confusing (probably in an attempt to seems mysterious and complex when in reality its just dumb).

Okay so basic setup, your group of character get branded, which means they have a missions to accomplish. If they do it, they get turned into crystal, if they fail they turn into a monster. Why would accomplish your goal when the reward is just as bad as the punishment? Good fucking question, the game never addresses this. Now here's the kicker, the god-like entity that brand the group doesn't bother telling them what their goal is (maybe it can't speak), instead they just get a vague vision of a monster attacking the floating island they live on. This starts a debate about what the group should do, do they help the monster (cause the entity that brand them is an enemy of the floating island) or do they stop it (cause, you know everyone they know live on the Island and the prospect of getting turned into a crystal isn't exactly a super reward). For some fucked up reason the main character decide she's going to help the monster, I guess she has a crystal fetish? Except she doesn't really do that, in fact no one does anything for the next 30 hours. That's because the first half of the game is just the character wandering around in random dungeon that have no connection or purpose, they're just hallway that connect nothing to nothing. You could scramble the order in which you do the dungeons and you wouldn't have any difference storywise. But fine, it gives time to explore the character I guess, so here we go:

Lightning: main character (I use the term loosely, she's on the boxart) was made to be Cloud 2.0, except they forgot Cloud had an interesting personality and a character arc. Lighting has none of that, instead she has a sister with terrible taste in men. Oh she's suppose to be this badass operative, but you find out she's actually just a regular cop, not that it would really matters. Lighting "character arc" is to accept that her sister love Snow, which means she literally becomes a worse person over the course of the game. 4/10 (3 point were awarded because she punch snow early in the game)

Snow: Piece of shit.

Oh what you need more. I guess I can copy past "Piece of shit" for 3-5 lines if you want. No really Snow entire character is to rush in without a plan and chose violence every time. This always works. Snow has no arc, he start the game claiming he's the hero and hero always win and he's right the entire game and end up winning. Snow is more or less the real main character of the game, he drives most decision (run in without a plan), he gets the girl (well he already had her, then lost her like an idiot and gets her back at the end for no reason) and everything goes well for him. What a turd/10.

Hope: His mom dies because she follow Snow's plan of rushing in without a plan so Hope really hate Snow that. You'd think I'd like him because of that, but when his mom died was the one time Snow plan was correct, the security force where actively slaughtering everyone and they needed to distract them so everyone else could run away. If his mom had just run away and nobody would have distracted them, everyone would have been dead. Oh and he forgive Snow anyway (not because he realize that Snow plan worked but because Snow saved his life using his plot armor) and then actually look up to him. 2/10

Sazh: The closest thing the game has to a good character. A rarity in FF game, he's actually a dad and spend most of the game correctly going "who gives a crap about our mission" and just tries to get back to his son. I like him. Except other than that he's the comic relief character that everyone make fun for being old (he's like mid 30). His son story is resolved pretty early on and after that he has nothing to do except fly people around (and he crash every time anyway). He's so unimpactful I had to look up his name. 5/10

Vanille: Her personality is that she has an Australian accent. Kinda it really. Otherwise she seems like the brain dead character that just follow other people cause she got nothing else to do. 4/10

Fang: The cool dragoon, except she doesn't really have anything to do either. Fang and Vanille are kinda like lover, except the game never really explore that aspect (they gotta save time for more Snow stupid plan). The two of them comes from the surface and were previously selected to carry out the mission to destroy the floating island, but they fail (or abandoned it?). Sound semi interesting, well that's never explored and the surface is just ruins so even that's not explored. 3/10

Alright so what I wrote is "explored" in the 20 hours up to the mid point, but once that's done, its time to restart the plot. So everyone decide to attack the main government because... I don't know why actually, even if they fight off the entire government they'll still turn to monster anyway so its not like it'll do anything, they might as well just steal a bunch of drugs and party for the last days of their life. But then the head of the government show up and reveal everything (no really, the plot is essentially over half way trough the game after spending the first half not progressing). So turn out he's one of the god like being, and his plan is for the group of main character to destroy the god like being that keep the floating island floating, thereby crashing it to earth and killing everyone. Why? He won't tell you, but he genuinely expect your character to do that, for some reason (the crystal thing I guess?). He then attack you and if you lose the fight its game over, even though he need you alive. What a moron (you fight this exact fight like 4 time in the game). After fighting, and wining, the party is teleported in an area just so they can train because the bad guy need them to be stronger (no reason why) afterward they find a ship and decide to go to the surface to find answer and a way to break the curse. Except none of that happens, the surface is empty and they find nothing there (I write this sentence in 5 seconds, but in the game that's like 10-15 hours). Eventually the bad guy show up and tell you to come back because there's a civil war with the police trying to overthrow his government, for some reason the group of main character decide to help him (why?!). So you show up back, defeat the people trying to overthrow the bad guys (still no reason) and at that point they all decide to go where the thing keeping the island floating is, again no reason is given, we know for sure the bad guys can't destroy it himself so its not like we have to stop him.

So now we're at the ending, you might notice that almost nothing is setup going in, the character don't know anymore about the world than what they started, they have no plan to deal with the bad guys and their best case scenario is to just do nothing (which they fail at). So you show up, the bad guys tell you to destroy you to destroy the thing keeping the island floating, the party says no (why even go there then?) you fight the same fight again, you defeat him but he comes back form the dead again and then start torturing Vanille to motive Fang to into destroying the floating thing, somehow Fang accept (is she just too dumb to realize that would end up killing Vanille?) but then everyone run out of time and turn into monster. Oh no! Well anyway, everyone turn back into human, they give a vague reason that they had hope (they didn't) and the bad guy then fuse with the floating motor thing. Now we have to stop and look at where the party is, they have no more curse and the bad guys is fused to the floating thing so he can't even leave the room. They could all just walk away and the bad guy plan would fail and they would suffer no consequence. So anyway they all attack him, killing him and causing the entire island to crash. But wait, Fang and Vanille fuse together (somehow) then they transform into a giant pillar that support the entire island (again somehow), the entire population of the island is teleport on the surface (again again somehow) and everyone who was turned into a crystal throughout the story, Snow girlfriend and Sazh kid, turn back human (again again again somehow).

So yeah, the end is that the main character do exactly what the bad guys want and they get saved by a miracle. Nothing is explained in the game, but the sequel reveal that all that was just a real god intervening and fixing everything, a literal godamn deus ex machina. Nothing is earned, the character didn't learn anything except that Snow "run in without a plan" is a great way to live because they have plot armor and nothing is accomplish. The entire world population was entirely dependent on the god like being to produce food and electricity and now they've been teleported in a world without any infrastructure filled vicious monster and with no way to get back to the floating island (that must now be in ruins anyway and would be impossible to navigate without the anti gravity from the floating thing), so they'll all be massacred by monster and die. The end.

You might be wondering what the bad guys plan was, so if you read the in game codex, it turn out the race of real god created the human and then the god like being to watch over them before leaving. The god like being didn't really like this but had no way of contacting them, so they though maybe if they killed a bunch of people the real god would come back. They don't really have any reason to believe that but apparently it worked, so the bad guys get everything they wanted.

Here's the thing, there's a pretty decent story in this. We can change a couple of point here and there while keeping most of it consistent. Say long ago human science advance to the point where they could make advance robot/Ai and everything. The people then split into two groups, one leave earth and explore the universe, while the other just stay on earth and relax. The people who stayed back built machine/Ai to take care of their every need while they just enjoyed life. Fast forward maybe thousands of years and now human are just useless and never work while the Ai take care of everything and maybe the human even forgot all about the origin of Ai. The Ai overtime just grow to resent humans and their own existence to the point where they just want to die, but they're not allowed by their programming to kill themselves or human, so instead they hatch a plan where they isolate a small number of human and raise them to believe they have to kill all the other human, in the hope that if a bunch of earth human die the human who went to space might be keeping tabs on the earth situation and will come back to investigate. You'd play as those character and would be carrying out your duty for about half the game, but at mid point your character would realize something is off and would start investigating what really happen and maybe part way find a way to maybe disable/kill the Ai for real. You could even have an endgame choice of either disabling the Ai or reseting/reprograming their personality so they don't try to kill human anymore. Some version of this was probably the game story at some point in development but then something happened and we got a mess instead : (.

Anyway its a pretty bad game overall, the few good point (graphic are decent and music is great) don't balance the turd of a story and overall boring of the gameplay.
 

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Dec 28, 2017
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Alright I'm going to use a slow day at work to get this one out of the way. I'm kind of cheating here because I wasn't playing this game for the purpose of this thread, I have simply been playing this over the last two years so im going to use that play time to talk about it here.

Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn plus expansions:

One thing that I didn't expect during this journey playing the mainline FF games was how much I would recognize from FF14, terms, names, references, that I know understand better having seen them fresh in my head. It shows just how much of a love-letter to FF fans this game really is. Plus how much Yoshi-P really understand what makes an MMO great. There have been countless games to come out with the label "Wow-killer" and all of them failed because they fail to understand what MMO players want. Some have no endgame, some have bad stories, some have too easy of a grind, some don't have any side content or special activities, they all fail to be the theme park that WoW offers and instead focus on a couple of things when in reality you need everything.

No MMO was ever going to kill WoW, the only thing capable of doing that was WoW itself. What people really needed was an alternative, so that when WoW fell, the new game would be there to catch everyone. That's what FF14 did.

If you were to ask me what the difference between WoW and FF14 were, I'd probably say....nothing really. They are both hotbar MMO's focused around the Trinity of class design (tank, healer, dps), they both have stories, raids, dungeons, pvp, seasonal events, collectibles, fake gambling. There isn't anything that WoW does that FF14 doesn't also do....except FF14 does almost everything better.

Dungeons in 14 are varied and interesting requiring different things from the group in each dungeon. Failure isn't punished either, whether you are raiding or doing a one-off boss fight, death puts you right back in front of the fight with no run back no trying to find the dungeon entrance for a dungeon you might never have physically been to before because the dungeon finder tool teleports you there.

Where Wow had garrisons and class halls as a failed attempt for player housing, FF14 just has player housing. Houses are incredible hard to buy, but if you are lucky and can save the money for it you can eventually get something to customize all to yourself.

Speaking of customization it doesn't stop there. Wow's transmog system allows you to wear whatever gear you've found so long as it fits your class and it's pretty easy to do with a very simple point and click system. 14's system is more complex but so are the options. Mix and match gear, use dye to color it whatever the fuck you want, show all pieces, hide some, hide it all fuck it be a naked hero people are going to stare anyway.

Even the side activities are better in 14. Where WoW had Toreghast, it quickly became known as chore-ghast because they force people into content. 14 had two rogue-lite dungeons that you can do if you want or don't FF14 doesn't give a shit if you miss content.

Crafting, holy shit, crafting. In wow crafting is pointless. In 14 crafting is a full character class that you have to level up and has hotbar rotations, and tactics and gear and, most importantly, relevancy! Max level always has a crafted gear set you can make/buy so that whatever job your just level-capped can have a started point for raiding. Some crafting gear lasts deep into raiding progression depending on your job.

Wow has a story, technically, there are characters in it and shit but nobody cares. In wow you are just a guy and you help the real heroes of Azeroth do stuff I guess. I don't know the quest text is a lot and nobody reads it save for like 5 youtubers for content. In 14 you are the HERO! Nobody can do the shit you do, there are big world ending dragons that brainwash people who get too close and your motherfucking ass is the only fucker in the world that can stop them. Every NPC's knows you and they acknowledge you. The story in 14 would take far too long to summarize and @09philj did that anyway so I wont do it here.

Okay enough kissing ass. Final Fantasy 14 is the best MMO I've ever played but it's far from perfect.

So here is the rub for me. I think the story is overrated as fuck. It's good for what it is, but it's nothing that impresses me based off previous FF games. I think it boils down to too much padding, so many moments in the main story where your characters should be in a rush or a panic and instead you are gathering shit for a feast, or taking a tour of the moon spaceship. It really pulls me out of the story and I had a lot of urges to skip a shitload of it. There is also a lot of stuff where next to nothing even happens. The Stormblood expansion is a giant waste of time if you ask me because at the end of it you are in the same boat as you were at the beginning. The Empire just doesn't give up and I'm so sick of the empire. In fact I'm sick of all the villains fight one Ascian and another takes it's place, nothing ruins a story more than feeling like none of it mattered and that's the problem.

There is one moment in the game where I felt like everything I went through was worth it and that was the end of Shadowbriners. Here some 4 year old spoilers so if you care STOP READING HERE!!!!! SPOILERS!!!! WARNING!!!! You journey to another world, and you banish this incredible oppressive blanket across the world. Then at the end of the expansion it's time to go back to your home world and everyone you help during the expansion, FUCKING EVERYONE, shows up to wish you farewell. That was a big moment for me because it was the game acknowledging all the time and struggles of the story up to this point and they were thanking you for it. It felt meaningful, and it felt like your help wouldn't just be wasted on the next episode of DBZ.

So the story is good but it way overstays it's welcome imo for the most part.

The combat also another slight issue because the animations linked to the combat are too flashy and long. It's great to look at and can be crazy when in a full raid with everyone's shit going off at once, but it makes the combat feel unresponsive. For example let's say you are a Dragoon (a jumpy fucker with a spear) you press an ability to stab the thing in front of you, your character will stab then do a little flourish with his spear before returning to neutral, you cannot press another button until the entire animation is finished. Now multiply that by 500 button presses for the course of a 12 minute fight. It just make things feel slow even when they technically aren't. The one edge WoW has over 14 is that when you press a button to do a thing, the thing happens right away. In 14 that just doesn't happen.

Basically there is a common theme of slowness to it.

That's really it though. There is so much to enjoy with FF14 that the problems aren't that big of a deal and are highly subjective anyway. There are some other great things, like only needing one character as the one character can be ALL the classes in the game. Which saves a huge amount of stress when it comes to reputation grinds and the like as that progress is always with you no matter what class you might be playing at the time.

Bottom Line is that FF14 is simply one of the BEST FF games you can play today and you can play the first 500 hours of content for absolutely free, so uh, go do that if you haven't.
 

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Nov 18, 2010
7,746
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Alright
I'm going to use a slow day at work to get this one out of the way. I'm kind of cheating here because I wasn't playing this game for the purpose of this thread, I have simply been playing this over the last two years so im going to use that play time to talk about it here.

Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn plus expansions:

One thing that I didn't expect during this journey playing the mainline FF games was how much I would recognize from FF14, terms, names, references, that I know understand better having seen them fresh in my head. It shows just how much of a love-letter to FF fans this game really is. Plus how much Yoshi-P really understand what makes an MMO great. There have been countless games to come out with the label "Wow-killer" and all of them failed because they fail to understand what MMO players want. Some have no endgame, some have bad stories, some have too easy of a grind, some don't have any side content or special activities, they all fail to be the theme park that WoW offers and instead focus on a couple of things when in reality you need everything.

No MMO was ever going to kill WoW, the only thing capable of doing that was WoW itself. What people really needed was an alternative, so that when WoW fell, the new game would be there to catch everyone. That's what FF14 did.

If you were to ask me what the difference between WoW and FF14 were, I'd probably say....nothing really. They are both hotbar MMO's focused around the Trinity of class design (tank, healer, dps), they both have stories, raids, dungeons, pvp, seasonal events, collectibles, fake gambling. There isn't anything that WoW does that FF14 doesn't also do....except FF14 does almost everything better.

Dungeons in 14 are varied and interesting requiring different things from the group in each dungeon. Failure isn't punished either, whether you are raiding or doing a one-off boss fight, death puts you right back in front of the fight with no run back no trying to find the dungeon entrance for a dungeon you might never have physically been to before because the dungeon finder tool teleports you there.

Where Wow had garrisons and class halls as a failed attempt for player housing, FF14 just has player housing. Houses are incredible hard to buy, but if you are lucky and can save the money for it you can eventually get something to customize all to yourself.

Speaking of customization it doesn't stop there. Wow's transmog system allows you to wear whatever gear you've found so long as it fits your class and it's pretty easy to do with a very simple point and click system. 14's system is more complex but so are the options. Mix and match gear, use dye to color it whatever the fuck you want, show all pieces, hide some, hide it all fuck it be a naked hero people are going to stare anyway.

Even the side activities are better in 14. Where WoW had Toreghast, it quickly became known as chore-ghast because they force people into content. 14 had two rogue-lite dungeons that you can do if you want or don't FF14 doesn't give a shit if you miss content.

Crafting, holy shit, crafting. In wow crafting is pointless. In 14 crafting is a full character class that you have to level up and has hotbar rotations, and tactics and gear and, most importantly, relevancy! Max level always has a crafted gear set you can make/buy so that whatever job your just level-capped can have a started point for raiding. Some crafting gear lasts deep into raiding progression depending on your job.

Wow has a story, technically, there are characters in it and shit but nobody cares. In wow you are just a guy and you help the real heroes of Azeroth do stuff I guess. I don't know the quest text is a lot and nobody reads it save for like 5 youtubers for content. In 14 you are the HERO! Nobody can do the shit you do, there are big world ending dragons that brainwash people who get too close and your motherfucking ass is the only fucker in the world that can stop them. Every NPC's knows you and they acknowledge you. The story in 14 would take far too long to summarize and @09philj did that anyway so I wont do it here.

Okay enough kissing ass. Final Fantasy 14 is the best MMO I've ever played but it's far from perfect.

So here is the rub for me. I think the story is overrated as fuck. It's good for what it is, but it's nothing that impresses me based off previous FF games. I think it boils down to too much padding, so many moments in the main story where your characters should be in a rush or a panic and instead you are gathering shit for a feast, or taking a tour of the moon spaceship. It really pulls me out of the story and I had a lot of urges to skip a shitload of it. There is also a lot of stuff where next to nothing even happens. The Stormblood expansion is a giant waste of time if you ask me because at the end of it you are in the same boat as you were at the beginning. The Empire just doesn't give up and I'm so sick of the empire. In fact I'm sick of all the villains fight one Ascian and another takes it's place, nothing ruins a story more than feeling like none of it mattered and that's the problem.

There is one moment in the game where I felt like everything I went through was worth it and that was the end of Shadowbriners. Here some 4 year old spoilers so if you care STOP READING HERE!!!!! SPOILERS!!!! WARNING!!!! You journey to another world, and you banish this incredible oppressive blanket across the world. Then at the end of the expansion it's time to go back to your home world and everyone you help during the expansion, FUCKING EVERYONE, shows up to wish you farewell. That was a big moment for me because it was the game acknowledging all the time and struggles of the story up to this point and they were thanking you for it. It felt meaningful, and it felt like your help wouldn't just be wasted on the next episode of DBZ.

So the story is good but it way overstays it's welcome imo for the most part.

The combat also another slight issue because the animations linked to the combat are too flashy and long. It's great to look at and can be crazy when in a full raid with everyone's shit going off at once, but it makes the combat feel unresponsive. For example let's say you are a Dragoon (a jumpy fucker with a spear) you press an ability to stab the thing in front of you, your character will stab then do a little flourish with his spear before returning to neutral, you cannot press another button until the entire animation is finished. Now multiply that by 500 button presses for the course of a 12 minute fight. It just make things feel slow even when they technically aren't. The one edge WoW has over 14 is that when you press a button to do a thing, the thing happens right away. In 14 that just doesn't happen.

Basically there is a common theme of slowness to it.

That's really it though. There is so much to enjoy with FF14 that the problems aren't that big of a deal and are highly subjective anyway. There are some other great things, like only needing one character as the one character can be ALL the classes in the game. Which saves a huge amount of stress when it comes to reputation grinds and the like as that progress is always with you no matter what class you might be playing at the time.

Bottom Line is that FF14 is simply one of the BEST FF games you can play today and you can play the first 500 hours of content for absolutely free, so uh, go do that if you haven't.
If you can gift me 500 hours of spare free time I just might take you up on that. But anyways, the detailed write up is much obliged considering the unlikelihood of such.
 
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09philj

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The Stormblood expansion is a giant waste of time if you ask me because at the end of it you are in the same boat as you were at the beginning. The Empire just doesn't give up and I'm so sick of the empire.
Now while Stormblood is definitely all over the place, I would argue that it does have a clear point and you do achieve something meaningful by the end. Yeah, the empire's not fully defeated, but you have liberated Gyr Abania and Doma from their rule, which means something to the people who live there. FFXIV's plot is very much about heroism at all levels; saving the world and being big damn heroes at the end of Endwalker matters, but so do the small acts of kindness and bravery you do on your travels, and everything in between. The humanitarian crisis caused by the imperial occupation of Gyr Abania and Doma is explored quite a lot prior to Stormblood, which gives some context and meaningful stakes to your fight to kick them out. One of the other major themes is societies moving forward after trauma and strife - Eorzea after the calamity, Ishgard and Dravania after the Dragonsong War, everywhere freed from Garlean occupation, The First after the Sin Eaters, everywhere after the Final Days. You get to give those places a chance, and then participate in their reconstruction. Where Stormblood really falters for me is in finding sufficiently interesting things for you to be doing in while doing the liberating. All the expansions have parts that feel like padding but Stormblood is the worst for it; not a filler arc, but an arc with a lot of filler.
 
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