After much refreshing, I finally managed to get a key for the open beta of FFXIV. It took about an hour, and then a good deal of issues were wrought over the download client which is garbage. Once I managed to bypass THAT it was time to log in.
The game is beautiful. I set my computer to 1 setting lower then what it was set to by default (which was the highest settings on everything). I’m running an i7 quad core with 8gigs of ram, and 2 crossfired ATI 4870 HD video cards. I also have two monitors, though I am playing the game windowed on one (mostly so I can take screen shots as don’t think there is a way to do this in game, at least not that I have found).
Others have already posted that the game is not going to be for everyone, and some particulars that I’ll go over again here. If you are used to mouse clicking everything on your screen, you may not like this game. Me, I’ve always been a keyboard player. I avoid the mouse as often as possible (due to being left handed? Not sure). The movement and camera in this game pose no issues for me, I move the camera with my right hand while I navigate with my left (wasd keys).
It ran flawlessly. There were a LOT of people around and even in the populated areas I had no issues. I did see a very small stutter during some video scenes, but it was barely noticeable. I never crashed, though I did only play for about two hours.
I was very happy to see that you have four different paths to choose in character selection, and one is harvesting, another is crafting. Those choices alone indicate that this may be a game I want to purchase once it goes live. I created a carpenter, pictured above. I’m equipped with a saw, and my only ‘skill’ so far is to throw a rock. Combat is a little slow, but there’s an incredible story unfolding with a lot of exploration and npc interaction, both things I enjoy.
I managed to find my way to a camp I needed to reach, after much (much) wandering around. The maps are difficult for me to read, but honestly I have issues finding my way anywhere, in any game, even if I’ve been there a billion times before. This may create some frustration for me if I’m on a timed mission (if they even exist) but for now I was content to wander. I picked up a quest to create some wooden planks – and failed utterly at the crafting system. I’m sure there’s some generic icon I’m missing (the “tutorial” told me to look out for some signs of which buttons to press during the creation process) but whatever those were I just couldn’t pick up on.
I haven’t read any guides, walk throughs, or anything else about this game. I’ve read a few blog posts from friends but aside from that my knowledge of the game is incredibly limited – and I like it that way. It feels like a real adventure.
I still haven’t decided if I’m going to purchase the game when it goes live, but so far my experiences have been mostly positive (as soon as I got into the game, at least).
My one “issue” stems from the fact that selecting a face type dictates the size of a woman’s chest. Er, since when are the two related?