Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Thus Far)

As many people know, the Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta began on September 1, 2010. And from the start, the operations had some issues. Fighting the thousands of other people just to try and get an Open Beta Key, yes a key, for who knows how long. This was one of Square-Enix’s first mistakes with this Open Beta, in my own opinion. It is, after all, open.

So why am I writing this then? No, it’s not to rant and moan about how horrible this game is. Quite the opposite in fact, Final Fantasy XIV is a step up in the right direction from Final Fantasy XI. Don’t have a lot of time? Go ahead and play! With systems such as the Guildleve system (and yes, the Fatigue system, though I’ve personally barely researched that), casual (and just general solo) players are more than welcome to play Square’s newest MMO.

Let’s begin with the actual information here then…

The Good

I wouldn’t live it down if I did NOT mention Nobuo Uematsu’s music. After having been absent from the past few Final Fantasy games, he has returned and what a return it is! Final Fantasy XIV, if anything, should be hailed for its music. This OST is soon to become many peoples favorites (It’s already become one of mine!). With tracks such as Answers (sung by Susan Calloway) and Twilight Over Thanalan, the music is definitely at the top of the “Good” list for this game.

So what about some gameplay, right? Well, you start off by selecting one of the races: Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Miqo’te, or Roegadyn. You then choose one of two types, each race having its own type. The types determine your starting stats within the game, and what you’d have to compensate on if you wished to go play a class that may not be best suited for that type/race! I actually quite like this part, it gives you freedom in leveling your characters, instead of having pre-defined stats per level (See: FFXI).

The graphics in this game are absolutely gorgeous, especially for being an MMO. This does come at a cost though: If you don’t have a high-end PC, be prepared to drop your specifications drastically to even be able to play decently.

You are also presented with 3 different starting cities, much like many other MMO’s out there. And also like other MMO’s out there, each one has its own specific storyline. I’m not sure yet if you’ll ever be able to experience each cities story with a single character, though it seems unlikely thanks in part to the use of the starting-instance for cutscenes.

The Bad

Ugh, this part. The sheer reminder that this, in fact, a Beta. There are bugs. Lots of them. And currently we are unable to even REPORT them as Open Beta Testers. Bad move on Square’s part, seeing as the game launches in 20 days!

There also seems to either not be enough servers (Currently 10), or enough monsters in starting areas. This was a problem that plagued the closed beta as well. This could be due in part that EVERYONE is currently in these areas, and that the Guildleves are on a sort of long cool down (Come on, I hadn’t played in over 12 hours and I had no leves available? Really?). These are a few of the issues that should be addressed, seeing as back in Alpha guildleves were spammable and it made life that much easier since you don’t have to fight for those monsters…

The Ugly

This is pretty much what was previously stated. Can’t believe I’m including this in a Final Fantasy XIV article, but oh well. The Ugly part of this Open Beta is the fact we just cannot report bugs at ALL. Oh yea, I’ve encountered bugs. Plenty of them. But why should I be allowed to report them? Let them launch a buggy game I guess, scare all the people who don’t wish to put up with it at the start away…

Overall

Despite the rantings above, yes this game is amazing I think. And as stated above, Final Fantasy XIV is definitely a step in the right direction from Final Fantasy XI.

Be sure to go pick up the game in either Collector’s Edition (September 22), or in Standard Edition (September 30) today! Also, check out my gallery of Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta pictures in the link below!

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