FFXIV has launched over the past week or so and while interest and popularity seems high the game infrastructure has been struggling mightily to hold up under the typical MMO launch onslaught. Square Enix has plans in the works to update the datacenter hardware and infrastructure over the next few days, so hopefully we’ll see a recovery on that front soon.
With the strong interest in FFXIV among the AIE community an “Expedition” has already been established. For those not familiar with AIEs entry into new games, a structured process (the G.E.R.P.) is used to first explore the game, determine interest and fitness to the community and take the necessary steps, if warranted, to establish a home.
So far, AIE has set up a Linkshell (a sort of general chat channel) and a Free Company (guild) on the Gilgamesh server. However, with the guild in expedition and the general lack of stability and availability of the servers in general, AIE members are currently spread across a few different servers. This exploration will help to find the final home for the guild as things settle in the next week or so.
As for my time in game, I rolled an Archer on Gilgamesh during pre-release. I’ve not had all that much luck on a day to day basis in getting in and playing (the dreaded 1017, world is full notice being the main issue) I was able to play for a few sessions and am up around level 16. I got far enough to get a good sense of the solo/leveling experience and some grouping aspect. Here’s a few of my notes so far.
- The art style and environments are nice looking in general. Clean graphics and smooth animation are nice to look at, fit together well, and support game play well.
- The class system provides plenty of flexibility and will be a benefit to players that would like to stick to a main character and yet still be able to change classes and roles, even on the fly.
- The lore and quests are what one would expect of a Final Fantasy environment and should feel comfortable to all FF fans. They are relatively easy to follow with map markers and mob indicators to show what you should be doing at any given moment.
- The abilities and controls scheme are a bit more simplistic that some other MMOs. This is likely due to the design goal of a unified experience (and server environments) across Playstation as well as PC. This is instead an upside for players preferring a controller for gameplay. There are a few other simplistic elements and gaps in MMO feature sets that I miss, but again, those may be in an effort to streamline gameplay.
- The initial server instability has had a big impact on the launch, to date. Inability to create characters on specific servers and at times any server, coupled with the inability to log on to various or all servers since launch has caused quite a bit of expected frustration. As mentioned, there are plans to fix this, but it will take some work for Square Enix to recover.
I’ll be interested to see where this goes over time and I’ll continue to post significant updates as they come up. Let me know your thoughts on the game so far. Enjoy!