FF14 fails for MMORPG.
It’s not about how good the graphic looks, how detail the environment looks, BUT the game play, socializing, character progression, involvement and development.
Players would like to feel they are involved in game world, they want to feel being important and part of the story.
It’s sad that to begin with, FF14 failed at the story head on. I didn’t get the story nor have I the time to read all the text displayed at start. The main story line if there is one stopped at very beginning stage. There is no indication of events of what should happen next, neither a guide for players to the next point through quests, to me the story somehow ended before I set out for the world.
Then comes combat, it is more linear and boring combat system I have seen in all MMORPG. I don’t have to mention graphical effects; just targeting system itself can prove much of a drag. And I can't seen my action bar, I cant track down what skills I have readied.
FF14 is not an UI friendly game just like FF11. So many hot keys and graphical icons needed for this game. FF14 purely is just text.
Interact with environment (PvE) is time consuming and seems take days to do almost everything in this game. For example, you chop a tree to get logs. You will find out it’s a mini game before you get some decent grinds. SE puts a challenge where it should be simplified. This is the reason why craftings are so time consuming but not fun.
Class such as carpenter, alchemist, and weaver…etc should be a crafting skills rather than a class. And too many craft skills can be learned and explore, that FF14 does not have a focus on class orientation. It seems flexible to have many choices, but you will lose your way.
There is a limit needs to be set for players’ choice of class and progression, so a character can have “path” to be this or that with enhancement from crafting skills. With FF14, there is no such boundary; you can be anyone any class, without a focus. Sometimes too many choices result you don’t know what to choose.
Where things should be simple, like main cities, (they are too big and too complicated) there is none. Cities are lacking directory like NPCs for players to find places. (If I want to find a blacksmith, NPC will mark it on my map) Exploring FF14 takes hours of running on foot and map compass is too small to reveal the path ahead. I have to open map frequently to see the road ahead. Travel between major cities also not indicated. A simple quest ask player to take a letter to a city on chocobo ride will demonstrate that.
The only good thing about FF14 is character models, graphic details of environment.
Sums up: FF14 failed at major concerns in MMORPG: battle system, questing/story/lore, less grind more action, levelling and socialising. FF 14 prevailed at environment details and graphics which is secondary concern. If game play sucks who cares about cool looking environment?
Below are detailed points of what I found out in this game:
Combat system in FF14
1. Combat is very linear, static not much of challenge or interest. (Basically just kill mob or grind) Targeting system is a disappointment. (You have to click a spell or skill then CLICK back on the mob, not to mention you miss clicked)
Action bar is too small, won't reveal itself unless you double click a target. Spell or skill graphic icon is too small as well.
Description of spell or skill is lacking proper definition of numbers. (eg. Fire spell, it should have a number tells how much damage it does and increase by how much depends on magic potency.)
2. There is no intencity during the fight, mobs look scary but doesn't do much "scary" things.
3. Spell/skill effect is lack of imagination. They are too complicated when all appear on screen at once.
1. There's no quest relate to explore the game content and leads player in progress of story. And worst of all, there is a cool down, 48 hours before you can do more quests. This will limit enjoyable time if there is any.
2. Quest lack of proper set out, a journal screen displays quest information, but "too many words" and you have to ready them all before you get to the objectives.
3. The introduction quest happens at beginning stage of play some how "stopped'. There is no lead afterwards. It doesn't take you elsewhere to dig deeper into the story/lore.
It seems more like an event rather than story. Does any one read that story word by word to get what it is all about? (Too much texts on screen, lacking voice over)
4. No group quest I have seen so far, everyone just mind their own businesses.
5. If you d/c or logged out during activation of Guildleves, you failed the quest. And this setting sucks.
1. There is not much interactivity between environment and players. It’s a beautiful looking world, but does not offer any attraction or point of interest you can interact with. (eg. Mining, logging points are too less, lack of easy tracking system)
2. Mining, logging, harvesting…etc are like a mini game themselves. In world of warcraft style: a lumberjack profession simply equips an axe and chops a tree, after a cast bar depletes, you get the loot. Simple and easy, not time consuming. This puts less stress on grind.
3. Profession has limited utility in this game. Not to mention the impact a profession relate to a certain class. (For example: A robe for Conjurer with Lv5 Weaving is helpful to players and makes them want to get ingredients to craft.) The end product must have certain utility to prove worthwhile. A bad example from FF14 is, Carpentry: you get a maple log, cut it into planks, then what do you do with it? Gils you made from selling planks hardly cover the log it self. (Flour is expensive than bread) And there is no available recipe for planks to be craft into attainable items. If there is, I can’t see them available by trainer. This makes crafting harder and boring.
4. Switching between professions needs a related tool to be equipped. This is time consuming and repeated work.
1. Lack of hot keys for Character screen, quest/Guildleves, Attributes/status…etc.
2. Lack of chat channels in general where I cannot see verbal communication in FF14 world. A linkshell maybe their new idea, but I don’t know how to make it work, at least it should be simple form like a chart channel. I haven’t talked to any one or heard anyone typing a lot in FF14.
3. FF14 needs more graphic display icons rather than texts.
4. Camera movement is not flexible; you can’t run forward while looking at back. No free look around while a character is walking/running. If this function is available, please make it obvious without toggle on. (eg. hold mouse right click and turn camera around as default setting)
Reward and Loot, Inventory management
1. Drops from mob is messy, it does not have classification of trash items or ingredients for crafting. I run out of space in inventory so fast because I don’t know which one I should sell.
2. Quest/Guildleves offers rewards lacks gear that can improve a character attributes and looking.(that’s most players would want, a cool looking weapon does nasty damage or an armor piece enhance your looking)
3. Inventory item looked too small in graphic icons, and again too many texts.
1. No chart activities seen in chart box. The world literally is in silence.
2. Haven’t found any indication about guild/company, how to form up or how to join.
3. There is no group quest or dungeon that will force people to come together to explore.