Alright. I made another character that’s a caster and have put in about about two hours. I wasn’t really interested in playing a caster, but I figure I may as well try it out since that’s what beta testers do. I’ve been playing her primarily, so here are some of my likes and dislikes so far while trying to keep an open mind. As we go along, click on any of the images to make them bigger.
- Mouse movement – It seems exceptionally slow, as in a 2 second delay and this makes it difficult to target ANYTHING quickly. At first I thought that it might be that I needed new batteries for my mouse, but once I clicked out of the game and moved the cursor around my desktop, it was fine.
- No tooltips – This is bloody annoying if you don’t know what all the symbols and icons on your HUD stand for. I mean, I’m pretty experienced when it comes to MMOs, so I can usually guess what something means, but I can only imagine what is going through the mind of someone less experienced. Anyone have any ideas about the stuff at the top in the image below (besides the obvious map, smart ass)?
- Movement keys – OK. I get that a lot of PC gamers prefer to and DO use the WASD keys, but I don’t because it’s easier/more comfortable for ME to use the arrow keys. Currently, there is no way to change this and believe me, I tried. The way it’s set up is that the arrow keys are specifically for cursor functionality. You can change any other key binding in the game except this one. I can’t state this enough: I hate being forced to play a certain way. I’m more OK with the movement now, but it still bothers me that I can’t do it MY way.
- Visual Cues – Most MMOs (hell, MOST games, MMOs or not) I’ve played have had some way of alerting you to quest givers, quest items and pretty much anything that you can interact with. Not so here. I wandered around for an hour clicking on people trying to find a quest. The most I got was city gossip or offers to join the Miller’s Guild or some such bollocks. When I came back to play the next day, it turns out I had a quest in my log that I had picked up from someone, somewhere in the city.
- EFFING CLICKING – Again, I understand that in the PC gaming world there’s a lot of mouse clicking to be done, but FF XIV takes this to the extreme. To interact with people, you have to click them not once but twice. To read through their dialogue, you must click them again, for as many times as it takes to get through it- no mouse scrolling or scroll bars in the chat window for you.
- The Main Menu – I just don’t like it, and so far I haven’t figured out how to key bind all of these options to pull them up quickly.
- The Map – Sometimes the map is illegible. If you haven’t discovered any areas, location names are “rune” like. I was able to guess at a few names, but if location names and POIs are going to be on the map, they should be legible. I suppose that one could argue that this makes it feel like you’re in a different world, but I just find it annoying and would rather have a blank map that I fill in with discovery with names using the Modern Latin Alphabet. I chose English as my setup language, and with all the reading that is required, I would actually like to be able to read things. Thanks.
- Cut Scenes – Dear god, there are a lot of these. The nice thing about them is that the graphics are awesome. However, you have to read all of the dialogue and I assume that hiring voice actors was too great an expense. Also, you can’t actually WATCH the cut scenes and read at the same time, unless you can focus on two different things with each eye. There are cut scenes for almost every long interaction with NPCs, and it gets a bit tiresome after awhile. What makes it worse is that after every cut scene, there is usually 10 – 30 seconds of black screen while loading commences.
- Graphics – So far, this is the only thing that I really like. The graphics are very well done and are consistent. The cut scenes have the potential to really shine, but having to read all of the text takes a lot away from them.
- Surnames – I’ve always liked this feature in games, so I was pleased to see it here and available to do from the start.
Granted I haven’t played too much, but so far I’m not really enjoying Final Fantasy XIV Online. There’s a lot of annoying little things that by themselves would be trivial and fairly easy to get used to, but I’m not going to hold my breath about any of them getting fixed- although, maybe if I complain enough…
If this game were to go live tomorrow, I wouldn’t spend the money on it.
‘Til then, we shall see what day 3 brings.