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10:04pm on Sunday, 3rd February, 2019:



I didn't get as much done this weekend as I was planning, because I seem to have installed Final Fantasy XIV.

I did it because I was looking for an MMO to play for a while, and when one of the prospective students I spoke to on Wednesday said he was a FFXIV player I thought I'd give it a shot. I might not have if I'd known how big a download it was (the installer told me it would take 400 minutes plus or minus 5 minutes, and continued to say exactly that for the next four hours before grudgingly reducing it).

The game itself is pretty well World of Warcraft. There are differences, obviously — the crafting's better for a start — but it has a very WoW feel to it. There's an immersion-breaking screen fade every time you change area, but it's tolerable.

I started with a healer, whom I took up to level 25. I also took fishing and botany (because why not?) up to around 20 and whatever the game calls alchemy up to maybe 15 or so. I breezed through levels to quickly, though, on account of how I was getting a 100% experience point boost for some reason to do with racing to 60.

Then I had my tea and when I came back there was a login queue, so I started another character (an arcanist — basically a WoW warlock) on a different server and took her up to level 9. It would have been 10 but I stopped to write this. Progress felt much slower this time, with a lot of running around between places. It didn't help that the layout of the assorted cities is the usual confusing mess that's now normal for MMOs, so trying to get where you want to go is non-trivial. It's not as bad as Wildstar was, but it's still bad.

The version I downloaded is only good until level 35, but I think I'll subscribe and continue beyond that. There do look to be some interesting things that might be going on in there.

I'm glad I plated Trails of Cold Steel last month, though; it's inured me to inordinately long cut scenes that have to be clicked through dialogue by dialogue. Its music is eerily similar to FFXIV's, too.

Nice to know that tanks in FFXIV behave just the same as they do everywhere else. If you don't wait for the healer watch the cut scene, expect to need a resurrection...

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).