With the beta for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn completed and the game’s impending launch, we thought it would be pertinent to share our experiences with the game’s esteemed beta test.
Below I’ve chronicled my personal adventures throughout Eorzea as a Miq’ote Lancer, battling the wilds and slowly climbing levels while cutting a slow–yet deliberate–swath through evil and freeing Gridania in the process.
My time with the beta was limited to Phase 3 and 4 and consisted of four weeks of playtime, which is condensed into basically four sets of weekends, as Square Enix only launches the beta on weekends. During that time I experimented with various tools and resources, including solo/party play, the Duty Finder (when it was implemented), juggling various classes and jobs, and other miscellaneous factors.
In terms of scope, Square Enix has outdone themselves with the sheer expansiveness of Eorzea; it’s a sprawling fantasy world that is incredibly massive, featuring a wide array of civilizations, cities, villages, NPC’s and characters–and of course a plethora of quests to take part in.
At this year’s E3 expo I was treated with the chance to go hands-on with the game via an arena-style combat scenario where a team of adventurers fought Ifrit, one of the game’s bosses. During that playthrough we were given a pre-made character with pre-assigned abilities and item sets–and my experiences with the beta allowed me to start from scratch, which in itself is joyous.
At launch, A Realm Reborn will no-doubt be one of the most well-defined and amazing MMO experiences on the market today, providing hours upon hours of unrivaled magic that will enrapture gamers across the world.
A Brave New World
With A Realm Reborn, Square Enix has breathed life into a vibrant, vast new world that’s rife with adventure, fantasy and magic that keeps players coming back time and time again. With near-endless gameplay and a multitude of quests, side-missions and miscellaneous objectives, gamers can come back to Eorzea time and time again and never have the same experience twice.
Final Fantasy XIV: ARR reflects that distinct mystical fantasy associated with the franchise as a whole, and adequately portrays the series’ recurring characters and themes quite well. Although the beta itself only offers a taste of what’s to come with the final release in August, Phases 3 and 4 provided gamers like myself with an incredibly memorable experience that tapped into the magic of MMORPG’s.
Welcome to Eorzea: Character Creation & Story Introduction
FFXIV: ARR starts off just like any MMORPG, with an extensive character creation screen wherein gamers can select and customize their adventurer.
The game has five races–Hyur, a human-like race who are well-known for their heart constitution; Elezen, the regal, tall elf-like race that originally inhabited Eorzea; Lalafells, the gnomish humanoids who’s fierce willpower isn’t reflected by their diminutive size; the Roegadyn, who are massive and physically power, making for intimidating fighters on the battlefield; and finally the Miq’ote, a feline race who are adept at hunting and lead singular lives away from basic Eorzean society.
Players then select their starting job which consists of classes from two different main castes: Disciples of War (melee characters) and Disciples of Magic (casters, healers, etc). Each main caste has a variety of different classes to choose from, including range-based Archers, Pugilists who get up close and personal with their fists, Lancers who mete out swift justice and damage with their spears and lances, and of course Thaumaturgists and Conjurers who cast a flurry of powerful spells to vaporize foes or heal allies.