I like the combat once you get to the later levels and start getting abilities that are off the global cooldown. Early levels it's pretty boring. In fact the game as a whole can be a bit of a slog for the first 40 levels or so, as the story also takes a long time to get interesting. So I don't hold it against anyone who just doesn't want to put up with many hours of standard/generic MMO narrative mixed with a very slow and boring combat system.
That said, once you get past that part of the game, and particularly once you get to Heavensward content, and even moreso Stormblood, it begins to have, in my opinion, the best narrative in any MMO on the market. In fact, I think Stormblood, if you look it is singularly, has the best narrative in a FF game since the PS1 days. And as a whole at that point the world is very fleshed out, and they flesh it out even more, having some side quests thare are very story heavy and contextualize the world you're in even more.
I hear the final trial is very difficult for a "normal" mode trial. I hope it's not too hard, I'm of the opinion that content that is required to progress/finish the story shouldn't be particularly difficult, save that stuff for the optional hard mode types encounters.
I'm not a big dungeon guy in MMOs for the most part, I enjoy them once or twice but get tired of them after that. The ones in this game are very good, though. The Stormblood ones in particular have been a lot of fun, and the Susano fight was incredible.
The Final Stormblood one? I haven't played it myself, but I did hear more than a few people say that it's more about having good placement than anything else. Knowing the rotation of the boss etc so you'll know where to be and so on.
Definitely agree that the story starts off slow and really picks up around midway through the 2.0 content, but I'd say even during the early levels the story's really good by MMO standards. Nothing spectacular but it's more that I hold a pretty poor opinion of the storytelling merits of the standard MMO, so I think's it's a bit unfair to say that it isn't much better than that right from the get go. It certainly makes a much greater effort than any other current MMO I know of, aside from The Old Republic. The fact that it has scripted scenes and recurring characters alone would seem to elevate it beyond the usual MMO narrative, as well as things such as how you're encouraged to talk to every random NPC you come across as you would in a regular RPG.
That's a fair point. The presentation, at the very least, is much better from the start than most MMO's, but the content early on and the narrative itself is very standard stuff (Oh there's a big monster being summoned, go kill it). It starts to pick up steam when the empire becomes the major narrative catalyst, and it keeps gaining steam from there.
Oh yeah for sure, and that's especially the case for the part of the story that's exclusive to whichever city you start in (from the beginning up until a bit before you unlock the first dungeon, Sastasha, where they converge into one). I wonder if that's partially because of the fact that they wanted to have 3 unique stories depending on which city you started in, but at the same time wanted them to basically cover the same content so that everyone had the same experience moving forward. I guess having that part of the story be incredibly simplistic meant that it was an easy matter to give all three stories the same structure, and differentiate them by simply substituing one race of beastmen, Scion, leader, climactic showdown etc. for another but otherwise telling the same basic story.
Though I will say that I liked the class storylines right from the get-go, particularly how well they flesh out how each class fits into the game's lore and the role each guild has to play for the nation it's stationed in, and just the general philosophy of each class.
I think it's probably because of lack of time, they had to remake the entire game in, what, less than 2 years? That probably meant they had to slack off in certain areas, and the early story was probably one of those areas.
You're right, though, the class storylines are great. I really liked the gladiator/paladin one.
Whats the point when I could be playing MMO's with better combat systems. The story is nothing special, hell, there are others that do it way better in the same genre.
Games like DDO, Vindictus, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul.
All more engaging, promoting fast-paced combat, and crazy over-the-top boss fights that require logical thinking and planning, while still be epic in their own right.
FFXIV can do music for damn sure though, the Garuda theme had me jammin out, as well as the music for the King Thordan fight, even if I thought it was a bit overhyped, as the King Thordan fight was not that great.
The best fight, I think, is against Nidhogg.
But again, excusing the poor, generic, boring combat for a passable storyline is not helping anyone, least of all, yourselves.
If you enjoy it, thats fine, but I'd rather be playing something innovative and fun, rather then your typical, pass-the-time cookie-cutter MMO.
Personally I don't care for Guild Wars 2's combat all that much, or story. The combat isn't bad, but the depth just isn't there. You don't have many skills. The story in particular comes nowhere close to FF14, imo, particularly the later portions of the game and the expansions.
I'm also not a fan of Guild Wars 2's lacking of the trinity, I like being able to tank, or heal, or DPS. It makes the dungeon runs feels kinda trivial as everyone is essentially just rolling out of the way and doing the same thing as everyone else in the group.
At least that's how it was when I last played it. It's been a few years so there may have been some changes, but that's how I remember it. Haven't played those other game you mentioned.
I think some of the fights are pretty epic and OTT in FF, personally. There are definitely ones that won't be doable without some serious teamwork, and they have some punishing mechanics if you aren't on your game.
And I think the story is as good as any I've seen in any MMO, tbh. If not better.
So you'd rather pay money for games that you need to plow through to even get slight enjoyment from, rather then play a free-to-play, no risk, tons of reward game with better combat, better animations, free-flowing gameplay that makes you feel as if you're play an Open-World ARPG rather then a shallow combat system that can't even compare to most main FF titles?
I can understand if you stay away because usually the production values are much higher in popular P2P games, but to avoid those other games completely? There are, undoubtedly far far better F2P games then FFXIV out there, that can be accessed in the west.
There are F2P games out there that have a better story, better gameplay, and higher production values in general, some of which even LOOK better then FFXIV.
Sorry if I'm going ranty.
But if I have to get to higher levels just to avoid the game, whats the point?
There's a reason I prefer Dragon's Dogma to games like Witcher 3, Skyrim, etc.
It's because those games have a good story, tons of interesting quests, awesome world design, with tons of secrets and stuff to do.
BUT, whats the point if the meat of your game, the gameplay, doesn't hold up when compared to something like Dragon's Dogma, just like FFXIV doesn't really compare to something that's super fast-paced and whatnot.
I stay away from free to play games because they are usually little more than either pay to win titles, or gambling simulators. The experience for players who don't pay is usually pretty poor, and they neuter various aspects for the free to play players to make the game more obnoxious in order to try and get you to pay. And once you pay for one aspect, there will always be more aspects to improve upon by paying, and at that point the free to play game ends up being more expensive than a normal pay to play game, or monthly subscription based game.
Also I didn't feel the need to plow through FF14, despite it taking a while to get going I found it pretty enjoyable from the start, if a bit generic and slow. I enjoyed the feeling of the world and the aesthetics.
All the other things you said are merely subjective and nothing more. You like Dragons Dogma, great, you think it has better combat and story, cool. Have fun playing it. I'm pretty happy with FF14 right now and will continue playing it until I get tired of it.
There's plenty that's innovative about Final Fantasy XIV's gameplay. Have you played Ninja for example? The Ninjitsu system is completely original for this style of gameplay, as is the Astral Fire/Umbral Ice system of MP management for Black Mages. Not to mention random innovations such as the integration of minigames into other game systems, such as making specific NPCs throughout the game Triple Triad challengers, or making your minions usable in Lords of Verminion. The gathering and crafting systems are utterly unlike those seen in any other MMO, as is the emphasis on them as classes with their own guilds and role in the overall story. The armory system is similarly innovative and a great way to enable you to level up every class on a single character. There are also little things, such as some mounts having their own exclusive music theme, and social innovations such as the Novice Network.
It also does a great way of integrating its story with its gameplay that you don't see in most MMOs. A good example from the ARR content is giving a story based explanation for why there isn't an a Aetheryte in Vesper Bay, something that proved quite annoying as you played the game.
There are also numerous things it burrows that were innovative from Final Fantasy XI that most MMOs don't possess.
Really you see signs of innovation in pretty much every facet of the game.
I finished the final boss fight tonight and despite the difficulty it was actually very fun and felt very well balanced, if maybe a bit mechanic heavy. Took about 5 tries to complete. Would have finished it on the second attempt but one of our DPS died early in the fight and all of his armor broke, so we were down a DPS the whole fight. Even still, got it down to about 5% before wiping.
Anyways, Stormblood is really good stuff. I think it's the most impressed I've been with an MMO in a long time. I had a lot of fun and feel like I just played a great Final Fantasy game.