XIV is a wonderfully flawed game.
You can feel the potential coursing through it with each step through a grassland, forest or desert. With each action the player realizes that something wonderful could happen, but the game ultimately falls short. It feels like a skeleton. A frame with no picture. A horribly empty affair. Final Fantasy fourteen needs work, and when it gets that work, it will be a work of art.
First thing’s first Square needs to take advantage of the things that are already in the game. There are chocobos that can’t be ridden, ports with no ships, plains with no monsters, towns with no activity, people with nothing to offer, an arena that can’t be entered. It’s clear square enix had something in mind, but they never implemented it. It’s highly likely that it will all be added in the future, but leaving it hanging there is just plain cruel to the player. To see the arena, or the ale port, your mouth waters, you expect the epic flight or epic battle, but when you arrive; there is nothing.
Fixing this is simple. Square should make these things functional. Turn the Arena into a PVP set up, letting players form teams and queue up for matches, then fight in real time. Letting other players watch and place bets. Open the arena up every hour, during behest, and let anyone they want file in for massive battles awarding arena guild marks for kills. The ports are all close for an in game reason, either broke or under siege; they are unable to operate. This can be handled with the use of one of my favorite things in an MMO. An event. Only once in each server, at some point in time open up a series of quests for players to help get the ports operational, and give one-time rewards, that only players who participate can get. War and Magic classes can break sieges, kill monsters, clear the way. Land classes can gather materials for recreating ships and ports, while hand classes actually rebuild the ports.
The empty, or practically empty towns and camps are perfect for quests as well. Not simply leves, but story based quests, with rewards that make them worth doing. The same can be said for the useless NPCs that dot certain cities.
Now for fixes of things that are actually, currently in the game.
Leves need to be changed. They’re a beautiful concepts, and I do enjoy doing them, but I dislike their luck-of-the-draw nature, and the way the cool down and turn in concepts work. The easiest fix is to chain them together. The first three leves you get for a zone will be the three easiest, and once you complete them, you unlock the next tier. The more difficult, more rewarding leves will be unlocked as you complete the easy leves. While still being allowed to redo to certain older leves, which are randomly generated each time the leve clock rolls over, much like they are handled now. I would also suggest each individual leve have a twenty four hour cool down, at which point it can be replaced, on top of a natural 36 hour cool down at which point all of your leves can be replaced.
Fatigue also needs work.
I understand why fatigue is in the game, but for a dedicated player like myself, who has an end goal, and wants nothing to do with things other than that goal; it’s annoying.
I want to DPS. I don’t want to make hilts, cook pies, or pick flowers, I want to hurt things.
So yes, I could level Lancer, Marauder and Archer, alternating them as one is fatigued, but I want to be an archer, and the game is not supporting that goal. It’s lowing down the progression of end game characters in general. Fatigue set in should be slowed down, and its effect should be much less. It will still accomplish what it was meant for, while still allowing me to reach max level and rank with an unnatural hindrance.
And finally, things that should be added.
PVP! This is massively important for a good MMO, and can be handled easily with a system that already exists in the game. Firstly, the arena, that’s easily. Secondly, for big, actual battles, square enix should use guilds. Enemy guilds. Sort of like the Scryers and Aldor from World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, except with actual battles and violent combat. The player will join one of the guilds, and enter a guild either a real time guild battleground, with objectives, and players will battle to take the objectives. Every 36 hours, along with the leve rollover, the objectives will roll over, the guild with the most complete, successful objectives will offer discounts and special items the next 36 hours, until the results are announced for the current battle.
Tiered raiding is my personal favorite. Tier 1 bosses could be defeated by a skilled party of characters just below max level. Tier 2 bosses require max level characters and coordination. Tier 3 bosses would require max level characters, with gear from beating tier 1 and 2 bosses, and a large amount of coordination. Finally, tier 4 bosses are those that only the hardened, insanely geared, groups who act as a single unit.
One might wonder while I still play FFXIV even though I have all of these complaints. It’s simple, really. I have hope in the game, I trust that square will fix it, because they have slowly been fixing it. I trust that in less than a year Eorzea will be fleshed out, and wonderful.
And I also play fir the most lovely girl in the world, but that’s another story.