A Game Emerging

After several patches, we're on the verge of seeing SE's vision for Final Fantasy XIV.

If Naoki Yoshida were a sculptor, then Final Fantasy XIV would be a giant block of marble. For the past several months, Yoshi-P and his team have been chipping away at the large piece of earth, hoping to bring forth the MMO equivalent of Michelangelo's David from within.

Clearly, Yoshi-P has a vision for this game. However, despite all the work by the development team, many players still look at Final Fantasy XIV and see a giant block of stone. Some say the improvements aren't coming fast enough, while others say the improvements don't go deep enough. Perhaps we feel a sense of entitlement after sticking things out for the past eight months, even if we are playing on Square Enix's dime.

Make no mistake though -- soon Yoshi-P's vision will become much easier to see.

Discuss this in the ZAM forums.

In his ninth Letter from the Producer, the man in charge informed us that the first of the large changes will be implemented into the game as early as mid-June. Unfortunately, he said, we may not see any content additions until then, although there's still the possibility of a small patch in the meantime. That's a small price to pay though for what Patch 1.18 is expected to bring. The first battle system changes, new instanced dungeons and encampments where players can find more quests are all slated for this larger-than-average update.

We've known all along that big changes were coming. We also knew those changes would be preceded by numerous ticky-tack tweaks to lay the groundwork for more sweeping adjustments. As promised, those smaller tweaks have come in droves; among the more notable changes have been newly added side quests, the addition of guild tasks, the optimization of party sizes and the rescheduling of behests. The targeting system was also perfected. Once a lightning rod of frustration among players, the targeting system of FFXIV is now virtually identical to that of FFXI, as long as you use targeting mode A.

As I write this, I'm watching my daughter play on her character, Rue. She hasn't played in awhile. After 10 minutes of running around Ul'dah, she's already picked up a couple of quests and found more on the task board in the Adventurer's Guild. Now she's in the market wards, using the search feature to optimize her gear. She's literally playing a game that didn't exist at the start of this year.

In addition to the user interface and content adjustments, other changes have crept into Eorzea as well -- and these changes seem to set the stage for the imminent threat to Eorzea that Yoshi-P has been hinting at for so long.

I'm talking about the heavy rains over the Black Shroud, the eerie silence over Thanalan and the new reports of aggression by the Garlean Empire. At Camp Black Brush, the NPCs now tell adventurers of an Ul'dahn ferry that was sunk by a Garlean airship. Equally odd is the mysterious appearance of an NPC GM by the name of Urianger Augerelt, who appears at camps throughout Eorzea and delivers a cryptic message to adventurers. Translated on the official forums, the arcanist GM says:

"Hear my words if you are in search of truth...
The noose is tightening around the disaster Hydaelyn...
The time of awakening has come for those who are preparing to tackle the chaos in motion...
The future is not immutable... You can still change...
When the sixth sun will have set and the seventh moon shine in the sky, the ocean of clouds poured a rain of faiery flames and shadows fatal burst forth from the depths of the earth...
The 'Seventh purification' predicted by Mezaya approach...
You who are in search of truth... Wake Up and Make yourself against an imminent threat..."

If you look hard enough, you'll find plenty of well-constructed speculation threads with theories about what's about to happen. Even without seeing the big picture, you can almost feel a dark, sinister force at work just beneath the surface of Eorzea.

Still think Final Fantasy XIV is the same block of stone it was when Yoshi-P took over?

The improvements to this game have never stopped coming. The world now is populated by numerous quests and notorious monsters. We have a targeting system that works, and several parts of the user interface have been streamlined. The lore of the game is building, and the storyline suddenly seems meaningful. Just like the dark force at work beneath the surface of Eorzea, Yoshi-P and his development team have been steadily working on bigger, more important aspects of this game. All we've seen so far were the quick, easy fixes. The large-scale revisions could be here in six weeks.

It could be several months before we see the full extent of Yoshi-P's vision, but I believe we'll have a much clearer understanding of what Final Fantasy XIV will become once these first large changes are implemented. When the dust settles, will this game be the MMO equivalent of Michelangelo's David, or will it be just another statue carved from stone?

Only time will tell, and June can't come fast enough.


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Another one?
# May 06 2011 at 3:31 PM Rating: Default
ANOTHER article about 'Yeah the game sucks right now...BUT ITS GONNA GET BETTER!'
God lol
me sad to
# May 05 2011 at 7:17 PM Rating: Decent
ya wish i had somethin to ***** about lol im still waiting for ps3 to!
# May 05 2011 at 12:25 PM Rating: Decent
Can't wait for the June patch. I've got a lot of hope for this game - the story is great, the events that are happening are pretty interesting, I like the existing world and its lore, etc.

I just hope hope hope they make good use of the time they have and turn this game around.
# May 05 2011 at 12:51 AM Rating: Decent
54 posts
I see a great future for this game as well! Any complaint I might have is so small that it probably only affects me.

Everything I truly want is on its way and I love watching the game evolve. The market wards turned into a great place to escape into. I like to craft, unload my inv., organize my retainers, check around to see if I can repair anything for anyone. Afterwards i'll head out to do my bundle of battle/field and crafting leves.

Gathering is a wonderful way to roam around the land and see all there is to see. In between I catch the nearest behest and don't feel upset at all if I miss one since the next is soon to come.

I am also busy with all the new quests that have been added. I believe any newcomer will have their hands full for quite a while.

I hate reading comments about how and why a 7 month old mmo is so horrible, as if they expect their own children to be reading Shakespeare before they are 2. Patience people, good things come to those who wait.
What's Missing
# May 04 2011 at 3:23 PM Rating: Decent
I really enjoyed reading this article, because I try to stay as optimistic about this game as I can. I see all the good that has happened in the recent patches, however, none of the patches that have happened in the past, or patches that have been announced in the near future are going to bring the 250+ thousand people back to this game that are needed in order to keep this game afloat. Like I said, I enjoy optimism, but I dont necessarily appreciate someone writing an article that blatantly ignores the biggest problem areas in the game. Yes everyone has been talking about these things even before the game was released, however, there is still NO Auction Hous, Mog House, Mailbox, Chocobo Rentals, or Airships. We also still have a fatigue system in place, which the overwhelming majority of MMO players today refuse to take part in a game that punishes them for playing the game. There is also a soft cap in gathering, and many other missing systems that are just basic functions in other MMO's. I am very exited for upcoming patches, because I believe that anything added, is a bonus at this time. However, I still do not understand, and dont think I could ever understand why Yoshi P continues to ignore the feelings of so many players.

Bottom Line

Let's say that a year from now, FFXIV has a mailbox, Mog House/Linkshell House System, an actual Auction House ( and improving search functions on retainers wards that crash every day on servers that are populated with less than 2k players is not an AH ), no more Fatigue, no more soft cap for gathering, an in-game recipe database, chocobo purchases ( Rentals are just not good enough for next generation MMO gamers anymore ), Airships or other transportation, is released on PS3 and in China, I personally believe this game will be able to hold its own against other successful MMO's of this generation.
What's Missing
# May 04 2011 at 11:37 PM Rating: Good
51 posts
I argue with people in my linkshell all the time about many of these issues. I find wanting chocobos, airships, the removal of fatigue to be very impatient.

Eorzea is much, MUCH smaller than Vana'diel. Go time how long it takes to WALK from Bastok to San d'Oria. Then time how long it takes to Walk from Gridania to Ul'dah.

In my opinion, the world is too small for Chocobos. Perhaps there is a middle-of-the-road solution here to offer quicker transports to hubs. Airships might be the answer, but until there are more places to go that are further away, I think demanding chocobos is simply impatient and childish.

The game was designed to bridge the gap between the casual player (which I find myself more akin to) and the hardcore players who can play 8+ hours 5+ days a week. The Anima system does a good job of that. It isn't SE's fault that you insist on instant gratification by teleporting back and forth around the world. We're both given the same number of teleports each day/week. I personally think that's fair. Call it a lesson in time management? Maybe resource conservation? You're American, right?

You say you're penalized for playing? How is having the time to hunt all the NMs, Craft all the gear, do all the quests, and still rank faster than someone such as myself a penalty? Even if I could keep pace with those players, they're always better geared than I am. They always have higher stats than I do. You're simply looking at the glass as half-empty.

Does the game have flaws? Yes, many.
Is it getting better? Hands down.

I paid 50 bucks for a game, and that is all I have been charged to date. So far, I think I've gotten fifty dollars of entertainment out of it. If SE was charging me monthly, I might feel as entitled as you do. That isn't the case, however. There is a large difference between a suggestion, a request and a *****. I'm not sure why people feel so empowered and entitled anymore, because SE is working on it. Games take a long time to develop. That's why they aren't released every day.

People like you ***** that things aren't getting done fast enough.

What if it was faster, at the cost of being more unstable?
You'd probably *****.

What if SE insta-leveled you to r50 everything, gave you one of every item in the game, a full refund, AND shiny chocobos?
I'm pretty sure you'd still find something to ***** about.

My bottom line?
If you don't enjoy the game, don't play it.
taking too long
# May 04 2011 at 1:45 PM Rating: Decent
new games come out quick and the patch came slow like 2 patches a month, im not pushing but not everyone have patient, when people enjoys the new game they aint come back...

im not a hardcore gamer but this game pretty much like a take-a-nap kinda game for me, traveling in a copy-paste world is no excitment. im glad to see following patches but take another month waiting just hurt badly.
taking too long
# May 04 2011 at 4:49 PM Rating: Decent

I liked reading this too, and have alot of the same beliefs as you. I have alot of hope for FFXIV. It makes me want to play FFXI again. Because I'm missing it as i play FFXIV. Your BOTTOM LINE was spot on In my opinion.

# May 04 2011 at 12:36 PM Rating: Decent
I feel you are right, don't quite yet know the size of the "first wave" of battle adjustments. I'm hoping for auto-attack (but that's just me, it's coming, but is it in this update?)
But in all, I'm excited about the new system. I know some people will hear battle system adjustments, and be upset that the job system isn't in this update (my thoughts) but that will make it all that more exciting when it is added into the game.

June can't get here fast enough, but when it does, I might just take the day off work to experience it. :)
# May 04 2011 at 8:44 AM Rating: Decent
25 posts
ye i agree with jussimania be nice to see some info on weather or not the ps3 ver is gonna happen
The time is near.
# May 04 2011 at 8:15 AM Rating: Good
82 posts
I'd be happy if they just blanket style made any skill over 30 class/job locked, re-write the dmg calculations so that attributes work and affect battle actions (remove the dLVL), and auto assign attributes based on job and lvl rather then the god awful respec I have to do every time I change jobs.
# May 04 2011 at 6:51 AM Rating: Decent
What about PS3?! I don't care whether its a block of marble or the best sculpture in the history of man if I'm not able to play it!

*sad face*
Nice wright up!
# May 04 2011 at 1:56 AM Rating: Decent
136 posts
Its great to see people getting amped up for the 1.18 patch.

I'm waiting to find out what the battle changes are and how the dungeon system is going to work.

I'm sure the big question on everyones mind is how big is this battle adjustment anyway? Are skills effects going to be redesigned, or are they just tweaking existing skills and adjusting their numbers.
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