Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Final Fantasy XI: The world

I've always been curious as to how Final Fantasy would be as a MMO. I heard back in 1999 that they were going online but it would take a while. At the time I was figuring it would be like EQ and I was fairly new to MMO's so I was unsure. I was unaware until this week how that world I pondered turned out. All I can say it's beautifully fantastic, the rich grafix and the easy set up got me from the moment I logged into my first cut scene.

It was a hassle to get everything situated and signed up just about the same amount of effort it was for EQ, EQ2 and Wow. There were some aspects of it I enjoyed like the Playonline interface. You don't have to deal with the internet and 1 million links. So far so good, I had to learn a lot of new stuff from stem to stern but the overall experience wasn't to bad. The drawl back is you use the Playonline interface for logging in every time.

I did have some troubles on my second computer while I was loading it. I had a DVD read problem so I had to switch out DVD players to load up the second copy. After all was said and done it took about 45 min's of updating all the patches not to bad in comparison.

I logged up and into the world of Vana'diel I made various different characters just to play around at first; I also wanted to see which town I liked the most. I chose Winhurst because of it's green and tree's in a way a reminder of nature, I truly enjoy nature towns the most. It's close to but not reminiscent of the Night elves town in WOW, Kelethin of EQ1, and Eldar Grove of EQ2. I enjoy those places very much because of the nature of it. San d'Oria wasn't a bad town it was kinda Qeynos esk, very nice Christmas setup at this time of the year and medieval in some area's. Bastok was my least favorite, even though at the beginning it looked to be the best of the 3 I didn't like the bland mine's and the color of the city; it was set up like Kaladim in EQ1 only outdoors. Note: The biggest drawl back to making a character initially is you don't get a choice of server, you have to remake your character till your on the server you wish to be on. (there is a quest for a World Pass to make an Alt around 500 gil to do the quest) The second biggest drawl back is that it cost 49 cent extra a month.

I messed with a few races, although I really enjoyed the Hume race it is usually the last race type I will choose. I picked Elvaan and female because well, I want my wife to play and racially they seemed to be a sexy race, Hume's are much better in that department. The male Elvaan is cool, they have some neat armor looks on high levels. The female on the other hand looked very masculine and to top that off it scored the lowest on my wife's choice due to the funky looking run. I re-rolled a Mithra they are a female only race; I find them to be neat overall, Very flexible and stat's aren't to bad. I like them better then the Kerran that's for sure.

The one race that took me by surprise was the Tarutaru, I seen them around on the internet and thought that my wife and I both wouldn't like them much but as you can see above I choose to be one. I don't like small races much well I just don't like to play dwarfs or gnomes, I do enjoy my Froglok. I think these guys are cute and deceptive, in a PVP world I might look at them and laugh while I was then destroyed by their Firaga... They are a powerful magic people and have some really neat looking mage styles from Blackmage to Whitemage.

So I rolled a Tarutaru and moved into Windurst on Hades server what next? A lot but I'll give you the skinny because this is getting long. It takes a long time to run around town, there is no spirit of wolf or sprint which can be hard since I've been running at Mach1 in EQ2. You will get different travel mechanisms later in the game. The place isn't repetitive which is nice so you can land marker and remember places if not there is a /map in game that is helpful. There are a few auction houses in one city so your not forced into one (hamlet to the city). It also has a system much like EQ1's bind NPC there are crystals that bind you to the area of town you wish to be in. You do get an apartment a lot like EQ2 only it's automatic zone into it, no door to click on. The good is you don't have to be on a click fest, bad news is your the only one in your room ever as far as I know of. heh! not like I ever really had visitors that I know of. You can set furniture around, change your class to whatever is available to you and even grow plants for what looks to be good to Tradeskill culinary with and various other things.

The UI, the best part I love and hate about the game. It's very nice to not have a huge UI system while I play the game. I don't like when I have to look between the lines while I'm fighting. The menu system on FFO's UI is decent, I'm use to EQ2 having tons of options for every detail. However, this one does cover a lot and the one thing I wish they had more of is sticky buttons such as Shift-M for map or more mapable keys for the keyboard. There is a nice macro system much like other MMO's which I'm still growing accustom to but, decent to set up your main fighting/magic ability's. I have to play more to get a better idea of it, though I truly think once I learn the UI it should be easier. (Hell the game was designed with a PS2 controller in mind it can't be that hard)

Fighting was very awkward at first. I'm very use to click kill if we get an add change NPC's click kill. This is the thing I dislike about FFO the most at this point is that aspect, it's harder then it needs to be to change NPC's in battle, your locked onto the initial target and have to ESC out to start other actions...(I need to learn more I'm sure there is an easier way). EQ2 has a smoother concept here though. I really enjoy Mage melee much better in this game, he doesn't pick up a staff and swing it like a girl nor does he pick up a bow and use it like a monk. The spell effects are cool enough but not to over the top where your like WTF I can't see the mob. Thus far Final Fantasy is a very nice game and only time will tell how it pans out for me. (No I didn't quit EQ2 I just needed a break)


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