Final Fantasy 14: Back to the game after five months. Worth it?

I started playing FF14 when it first launched, but quit in November because of all the problems with the game. Now, five months later and with a bit of time to spare, I thought I’d check the game out and see where the updates have brought the game up to.

My first thought was how much smoother everything was running, until I realised that there was virtually no one playing. Five months ago, Gridania was full of people running around and now it’s a virtual wasteland.

That’s not really a problem as solo playing is fine for the most part, and actually I enjoyed it… for about three minutes. I’ve been playing for forty five minutes and the game’s crashed eight times, three of those were in the middle of levequests, which means that I can’t restart those quests until tomorrow. The final attempt at a quest was good enough to kill me even though I had full health when the game crashed.

As for all the menu reorganisations and sorting functions that were planned, they’ve achieved virtually nothing; there’s no indiciation of how to turn the inventory system on or off in game, so what’s the point in having it there?

The starter enemies are still (in Gridania) mostly squirrels and whilst I appreciate that I might have to level up and travel further afield to get to anything harder (come on, I’m a squirrel killer? Great design choice there), it was still mostly squirrels and a few Funguars. How about a bit of variety in there?

On the plus side, it takes only a couple of seconds to open my inventory up when I visit a shop, as opposed to the eight seconds or so that it took five months ago, but is this just a symptom of there being fewer players online?

It’s great, though, that SE are still offering this as free to play (once you’ve bought the game), but I had to reactivate my account and that took nearly half an hour of navigating through a frustrating billing system – not including the ten minutes it took me to sort of my new credit card details because SE don’t link to the payment site through their own site.

I’m not full of hate about this game, not at all. I was looking forward to some great improvements, especially since I heard that there was a new set of people in charge of the game and bringing out the updates. But, after reading several statements from SE about how they’ve been listening to their players, it seems that five months haven’t done anything for the game that’s a really “Wow!” change.

I’ll not uninstall the game this time, since half an hour to download updates is a bit too much to ask. I’ll try back again in a couple of months, but I’ll cancel all the character options on the SE site just in case they decide to start charging again in the meantime.

I was broke five months ago, and I still am now. For a game that cost me £45 at release, this really sucks SE. I don’t know whether any of the staff read the forums or not, but this is a really big disappointment for me. I want to love this game, but all I get from it and SE is pain and frustration.

Great company. Great product. Thanks for letting me give you £45 to help stuff your shareholders’ pockets when you can’t even be bothered to sort the basics out for release, let alone after six months.

Edit:

After some wonderful comments on the Lodestone forums to encourage me to persist, I found a thread here that answered my game crash problems. If you’re having problems with the “DirectX crash” then try the settings suggested in the thread.

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