Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn — Coverage-Palooza Part #2

I’ve spent hours upon hours exploring the world of Hydaelyn and I once again have a few things to say about it.

(If you haven’t read the first post, don’t expect this one to make much sense)

In my initial post, I commended the game for its structure, and the ease at which you could begin leveling a new class without all of the tedium I expected to come with it. Unfortunately, though, in leveling my Conjurer, a whole lot of tedium was involved. It’s understandable, I suppose. And I’ll begrudgingly admit that it’s partly my fault. I was foolish enough to complete all of the low-level quests in all of the game’s areas, not having realized that I was extinguishing what would have been the perfect starting-point for my Conjurer-to-be. So to start, I ended up resorting to some old-fashioned grinding. I mindlessly paced around the game’s gorgeous green plains waiting for enemies to spawn. After an hour or so of doing that – and playing a small part in some public events that I was nowhere near leveled enough to act effectively in – I was finally a high enough level that I could take part in some Levequests. At this point, I was pretty optimistic. I figured the most tedious bits of my conjuring shenanigans were behind me, and that from there on out I’d be making grand strides of progress. Though I’m sorry to say reality quickly hit me, and the Levequests quickly grew boring. Sure, doing them was significantly more entertaining than walking around a field aimlessly, swinging my staff at every XP-filled enemy in sight, but not by an incredible margin.

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After a good long while of going through the same handful of Levequests for hours on-end, I finally hit level 10 and unlocked a handful of Guildhests. So I began running those repeatedly, until I realized that one of them only took me four minutes to complete, given I was matched up with a decent party. It didn’t reward a particularly generous amount of XP — but for the time it took to complete, it seemed pretty fair. After some quick calculations, I figured that if I ran this dungeon for an hour straight. my Conjurer should finally hit level-15, the point of proficiency at which I’d be able to take on the Paladin job. So that’s what I did. Late one night in an act of desperation, I ran that Guildhest for a straight hour and a half, and I finally met my goal. That night I slept with a great sense of accomplishment.

However, the victory was pretty short-lived. Me leveling my Conjurer was my way of “eating the vegetables first”. I knew it wouldn’t be as fun as leveling my Gladiator, so I decided to get it out of the way quickly. But my Gladiator still had a ways to go before I could start Paladin-ing. When I was finished with my Conjurer, my Gladiator was at level-21, nine whole skill-levels away from where he needed to be. Ranking him up didn’t really lead to any interesting stories, though. Just standard MMO fare. Doing story-quests and side-quests, running dungeons. While nothing is particularly unique about the game’s quest structure, it’s plenty of fun if you enjoy MMOs.

Now at level 26, I’ve made a fair amount of progress through the game’s story, but sadly, it still hasn’t gotten interesting. I continue reading the in-game dialog out of obligation since I’ve been tasked with covering the game, but it’s growing intensely difficult to fight the temptation of just skipping-through everything. Nothing of real weight has happened. So far, only awhole lot of little, seemingly insignificant things are going on, perhaps they’re building up into something big? I don’t know. But to be entirely honest, I don’t play MMOs expecting a great story. I play them because I enjoy the genre. That said, the mix between fully-voiced scenes and text-only scenes is incredibly odd, and still prevalent as I move through the game.

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I’ve also had the chance to play through a pretty good amount of dungeons since the last post. They all feel pretty similar – but all MMO dungeons feel similar to a point. It’s pretty standard procedure; navigating through claustrophobic caves with your band of fellow adventurers, killing things, performing a series of small tasks with the ultimate objective of taking-out a boss. So far, they’ve all been relatively easy, only a few have given me trouble. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage, though, because I don’t know anyone who plays the game, so I resort to matching-up with random people. I’m not trying to say I’m perfect at playing my class (a tank) all of the time, but since the last post, I’ve been matched up with some pretty horrendous players. Then again, to the community’s credit, I’ve met some very nice, fantastic players, too.

The game still continues to be a fully functional, and pretty fun MMO. I’ve spotted a few omissions during my lengthened time with it, though. For one, you can’t “hide” quests from your log, you can only abandon them entirely. Also, muting players is a pain. Just to make a player’s dialog stop popping up in your chat window, you have to open up your in-game settings window and manually type-in their name. This issue is only intensified by the fact that each of the game’s major cities have at least a dozen gold-selling bots, each spouting-off spam about their shady websites.

That just about does it for this week’s discoveries. By the time the next post goes up, I should be a mighty Paladin, doing whatever a Paladin can.