Final Fantasy XIV: The Japanese Epic Unfolding in Eorzea

Final Fantasy games have always had a heavy focus on story. And no one was surprised by this when the franchise stuck to its JRPG roots. But Final Fantasy XIV has moved far from the original concept and appeared in the format of a full-fledged online game with constant updates, add-ons, and patches. This, by the way, is not the first such case. FFXI was also an MMORPG. But the Japanese epic has not gone away.

In the world of Eorzea, people live in independent city-states. After a large-scale war with the powerful Garlean Empire, the balance of power was upset, after which the agglomerations began to redistribute spheres of influence. They used mercenaries in skirmishes. When the Garleans left the political map, mercenaries became ordinary adventurers. The player character is just one of them. The plot of Final Fantasy XIV tells of wars between cities, the political struggle of several races, and the confrontation between the forces of good and evil. The story in the game is branched and complex, with many separate storylines and events with a large number of characters involved. Moreover, all add-ons develop the original plot. Therefore, it is quite difficult for many newcomers to the game to immediately understand everything and start playing well. Many people use boosting services and buy gold to develop faster. At the same time, coaching is also a popular service, which will help players learn the history and important moments in the game.

 

Lots of Action

The core gameplay mechanics of Final Fantasy XIV will be quite familiar to anyone who has played popular MMORPGs. We create a character, take on quests, wander around large locations, and kill monsters and other opponents. For all activities, experience is awarded, which is necessary for the development of the hero: learning new abilities and obtaining more and more powerful items. In this regard, the genre has not changed for a long time, and the creators of FFXIV did not develop something fundamentally new. However, leveling up your character is not at all boring, mainly due to the above-mentioned plot and good dynamics. Locations quickly replace each other, new faces constantly appear, and new abilities and equipment appear in the hero’s arsenal. The game is available through a paid subscription, so developers are not trying to artificially slow down the player’s progress to extract money from him for all kinds of boosters and premiums. The game does not allow a minute for boredom, constantly throwing up something interesting. In this way, it is similar to World of Warcraft, which is also famous for its addictive gameplay. But even the most exciting MMORPGs are kept afloat not by fun leveling but by their content, especially in the later stages of character development. Without endgame, any, even the most interesting online game, will inevitably lose players since they no longer have a reason to log in every day. And then, either the developers correct themselves, or the project slowly dies.

 

Bottomless Barrel of Honey

Fortunately, Final Fantasy XIV is not one of those games that fails to hold your attention. Even at the initial release in 2014, despite criticism from players and the press, the project could provide a large amount of content: more than three dozen dungeons, almost thirty challenges to kill bosses, and, note, twenty raids, among which three were intended for real armies of three players main factions of the game. Subsequently, there was an order of magnitude more PvE content. In each add-on, the developers added several dozen new activities. The game currently has almost as much content as World of Warcraft. Final Fantasy XIV is a bottomless barrel of honey that can keep even a hardcore player busy for months of continuous play. Raids and challenges here are especially popular. Each of these activities has its unique bosses with well-developed mechanics. For PvP fans, several modes are available at once – regular arenas, battlefields with large groups of players, MOBA modes, and so on. In this part, FFXIV is a little weaker since the developers placed the main emphasis on the story campaign and clearing dungeons, but battles between players are interesting primarily because of the variety of classes.

 

Graphics and Sound

Perhaps the main weak point of the game is its visuals, although the game had many graphical updates. No, the game is beautiful but somehow uneven. On the one hand, the bosses and characters look great. On the other hand, the environments and models of secondary objects and creatures are often designed in a rather primitive manner. At the same time, Final Fantasy XIV looks like a typical Japanese or Korean MMO. The interface of both games is similar, so it’s not difficult to figure it out. The only unusual thing is the horizontally elongated fonts. This shortcoming is compensated by excellent optimization and the absence of bugs, as well as incomparable music by Nobuo Uematsu. This composer is known for the soundtrack of many cult parts of the series – for example, Final Fantasy VII. The compositions that sound on some bosses are so pleasant to listen to that sometimes you forget to use your skills at the right moment. Such cool music is a rarity for games in general, and among MMORPGs, the fourteenth Final Fantasy is completely ahead of its competition. There are even remixes of old themes from other parts of the franchise. They are made specifically for fans to show that FFXIV is a full-fledged game and not just an MMO with a nostalgic title.

Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few real alternatives to World of Warcraft. First of all, the game captivates with its plot, which is based on the levels of other parts of the series, as well as with its content. There are so many activities in the game that it’s simply dizzying. And if you remember that you can play as almost two dozen classes, then the game seems endless.

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