Back to the Grindstone: Combat & Character Progression
Combat in A Realm Reborn is much like it’s predecessor, which makes use of standard skill usage via a hotbar and a mix of real-time action. Each skill has its own parameters and cool-downs, and as a Lancer, gamers will use the TP resource pool to dish out damage.
EXP is gained via quest rewards and general enemy kills, along with additional bonus EXP from things like chaining kills (killing multiple enemies in a certain amount of time) as well as Hunting Log challenges. Every enemy–whether its a fearsome Ixal birdman or a bumbling treant–is categorized in your Hunting Log, and exterminating various increments of enemies can net you nice experience bonuses–as well as Gil and item drops here and there.
As you level a job up, certain abilities automatically unlock and are available to place on your hotbar. There are various abilities that include class-specific skills such as Cure for casters and attack-based abilities for melee characters.
The abilities themselves often have cool-downs, especially powerful ones, and they spend the various pools of TP (for melee characters) and MP (for casters) to cast. There are also passive-based abilities that add bonuses to players and their team-mates, complimenting the active-based skills quite nicely.
Combat in A Realm Reborn is a basic point-and-click structure wherein players highlight their target and cast the appropriate attacks. While using a gamepad, you can lock in on a selected enemy, which is extremely helpful as it can be easy to switch between baddies on the fly. Battle is in real-time within the environment, and other players can often jump and give you aid if you’re aggro’ed an enemy who’s much too powerful for you to tackle.
The progression system is based mainly on a linear set of quests and missions, all of which are progressive in nature in that they get harder and harder as players level up, but consequently offer more substantial EXP and item-based rewards.
When it comes to attributes and stats, the game offers a nice array of extensive parameters that calculate just about everything you’d ever want to know about your character. From major attributes like Strength and Vitality to in-depth resistances and various Properties, Square Enix puts your character under a microscope to allow you to look at every little detail and weigh them accordingly.
These values aren’t just for show, and they certainly aren’t just numbers: they have real in-game affects and can be the difference between life and death at some cases. Stats have always been a dynamic measure in any MMO, yet Square Enix pushes things a bit further with their offering by having an extensive array of quantifiable attributes that all affect your character in some way.
Additionally when players hit level 10 and beyond, they start receiving 3 stat points to use as they please, offering you the chance to fortify your stats as you see fit.
Items are a huge part of A Realm Reborn, like they are in any MMORPG. Equippable armors and items are available via the Armory tab, and it’s important to keep your gear upgraded to your level, as the stronger you get the better you’ll want your armor to be.
There are a number of equipment slots, and each piece of armor has different grades. There are regular items, magical items and even set items that give bonuses when you equip pieces of the same set. Items can be gained from quests or purchased from stores, and they must be maintained and repaired from time to time as they wear down with use.
Square Enix’s MMORPG offering is a distinctly rewarding experience that keeps all of the standard grind-and-click elements one would expect from the genre while also incorporating a plethora of unique and innovative features. The game itself has an incredibly helpful community of players and there’s always someone to play with and help you along your way–trust me, you’ll need it if you’re new to the game, as it’s quite massive.
The sheer amount of content that Square Enix includes within A Realm Reborn is staggering, and the level of detail permeates through everything from simple dialogue templates to the impressive graphical effects associated with the game’s combat.
A Realm Reborn offers players a near-endless experience that continually manifests itself into a wholly engaging and entertaining offering, bringing to life a sprawling fantasy world that’s replete with an incredible amount of playability. The beta was just a slice of what’s to come with the final release, and I am confident that the game will ignite splendor and jubilant smiles all across the world.
The game itself emboldens the franchise as a whole and breathes new life into the series, showcasing a variety of impressive elements while underlining the core MMO experience. Coupled with a fantastic community and dedicated servers, FFXIV: ARR may come to be one of the most popular MMO’s in recent years.
The game is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular experiences that I’ve had with a MMORPG in recent years, and will remain one of the most memorable titles that I’ve encountered this year.