FFXIV: Combative

Ahh, freedom.

As soon as I left Ul’dah the game started to come alive. There were fantastic beasts, far horizons, and plenty to explore.

Unfortunately the weather went downhill rapidly, and my screenshots suffered accordingly – please excuse the dim light. As posited yesterday, I think it would be better design to start players in one of the small settlements outside the city (there’s even a cute one called Stonesthrow which is within…well, you get it) and work your way to the more established locales.

Naturally, we also get our first taste of combat: it seems pretty fun and looks nicer than your average MMO. There are great lighting animations to show sword sweeps and special moves, which I’m sure must be spectacular in mass group combat. The global cool down seems pretty mellow, so it’s a lazy style of attack. Having said that, I soon discovered that you can have weapon combos, which is a fun mechanic – time your second ability that has combo potential right and you deal more damage. I wonder how complex that gets, it could be quite a dance.

I’m not sure yet if there are telegraphs and dodging required from enemy attacks, so far it’s simple hotkey abilities and timing – my preferred style, I think, though I’ve not been exposed to much else. There also appears to be auto loot, I haven’t had to manually pick up anything from a defeated foe yet.

This was a mob, not a plant

The minimap and map are very informative, though I was led slightly astray by what looked like a path to another zone along a railroad. Turns out it was a no through tunnel – the real zone links come from the larger red arrows on the map. Again a little surprised at how small the zones are before you need to load the next set of assets.

I’m beginning to understand these glyphs

There are public quests or FATES in FFXIV terminology (the rather uncomfortable acronym Full Active Time Events), which appear as icons on the minimap. I was too low level to join any, but look forward to seeing how they work when compared to GW2. I was expecting to see people advertising for assistance in chat, but so far I haven’t seen a single chat message, whether in the city or the wilds of Thanalan where I’ve been exploring. I suspect that means I’m doing something wrong, though I haven’t changed any settings.

One final observation for the day is that the inventory system is very generous. I seem to have four storage bags with 140 slots total, plus a ‘Key Items’ bag for quest items, and an ‘Armoury Chest’ with 20ish spots for each gear slot. It even has a neat UI data visualisation of the spaces in your bags, and which slots are taken.

Quite a change from the normal MMO experience of eeking out precious space – it’s certainly a boost for the ‘one character’ philosophy!


6 thoughts on “FFXIV: Combative”

  1. Combos are not about timing, most of combo abilities are GCD locked. They are just a way of game showing your main rotation.

    Also inventory space might look generous at first, but there are no bags and game also uses forced autoloot with no way to turn it off. Also every monster drops some crafting reagent, which are divided into NQ (normal quality) and HQ (high quality) versions that don’t stack, so your inventory will be filled with garbage very quickly.

    1. Ah-ha, I did notice the second ability was on the GCD too. Quite a clever way then to show you the best rotation, or at least the default rotation. I did get a tutorial tip about the NQ/HQ difference, and it not stacking. It’s still more generous than most starting MMO inventories, but it does sound like it won’t last long – I look forward to bag juggling vendor trash soon!

  2. Ah, yes. There will be plenty of telegraphs and dodging in the future. They just start new players off nice and easy.

    Depending on what server you rolled on, starting areas can be pretty quiet now days. The RP servers are notorious for shout chat in certain cities, but even those tend to have quieter starting zones. I doubt you did anything wrong – in fact you usually have to figure out how to turn shout off rather than turn it on.

    The zone size for ARR maps are fairly small compared to the ones in future expansion areas. They got much larger once flying was introduced (still can’t fly in ARR areas).

    1. The chat silence is big change from the chat explosion in the Warcraft Classic starter areas, but I think you’re right that once a game matures most chat happens in end game and quest hubs. I still find it interesting there is general chat, though Novice chat was fairly lively – albeit about pretty much anything other than the game itself!

  3. There’s a whole “game” in screenshots in FFXIV. You can use the gpose menu to take more appealing screenshots, edit lighting, etc. There are even folks who spend lots of time using Reshade on top of gpose, as well. If it’s ever something you’re interested in diving into, check out Aeyvi’s guides to gpose/Reshade! (I don’t have her full list of tutorials in front of me, but here’s two links I was able to pull up quick. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6m-41s4yyQ https://twitter.com/aeyvi/status/1139530793867448320 )

    1. Oh wow. I was wondering how to get into first person mode for some screenshots, but it looks like you can do waaay more than that. Great idea to provide in game tools – no wonder there’s so many amazing screenshots of this game.

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