Beta FFXIV: A Small Example of What is Wrong

September 7, 2010

It would seem that I am being fairly negative about this game as of late.  I am trying extremely hard to give it a fair shake.  I have played since Alpha so I do have a bit of a wider view on the state of the game than some and friends have been telling me I need to take a step back and look a the current game for what it is.  Well, as I make an attempt to do just that, I will give you my first observation of what it is I see.

The video above is a short little 4 minute jaunt around the northern portion of Thanalan.  It is a scenic little trip along a cliffside path that leads to the higher level region to the north.  Most roads in Eorzea are safe pathways to travel.  There are a very limited amount of monsters above ground in the available regions we have to explore.  Combine that with there being only a handful of these monsters that actually prove to be aggressive, we should have a fairly easy time traversing the land.

That is until you suddenly are aggroed by a crow.  Now to my memory there is not a single crow or bird in Final Fantasy XI that is aggressive outside of Maze Mongers.  So this was an extreme surprise.  Combine that with the two major issue the game has when it comes to aggressive monsters in the field and you have an unhappy player.

1) The server/zone architecture causes monsters to suddenly appear.

This is not World of Warcraft.  The term “seamless” means something entirely different in XIV than it does in Blizzard’s game.  We only have the illusion of a seamless world.  Each subzone is its own zone.  Monsters can NOT attack you or follow you as you cross the boundary between zones.  Nor can you see monsters on the other side of a boundary.  This presents major issues when monster’s have a path that leads them to the edge of a zone.

You may have noticed that sometimes people have grey names.  This is because of the zoning issues.  If you ever try to follow a friend between zones you will notice them blink out of existence and back in, and often times they will have a grey name when they return.  Telling you that they are either in another zone or that they are still loading.

What does this mean in terms of gameplay?  That zonelines are not gone, we just can’t see them.  That when approaching zonelines we need to be ready for anything.  There are several zones in particular that monsters will appear suddenly and unexpectedly and instantly kill you.  The video shows one such zone.

2) The lack of any audio cue when a monster becomes engaged with you.

This is a huge issue for me.  You will see in that video that there is no cue what so ever that I am about to be engaged.  If I had the battle log open it would have said something.  Yet, this does not help considering its just not productive to have this portion of the log open at all times.  (This could be solved by allowing the splitting of the log like many other games.)  Combine that with the fact that MANY different non-aggressive monsters in the game currently have “follow” aspects to their AI.  Aldgoats and Coblyn both are among these types of creatures.  It is difficult to tell at first glance if a new monster you are coming up on is merely following you or about to 1 shot you from a long distance with some ranged attack (and everything in XIV has a ranged attack.)

Coming soon, a more complete list of the current issues with the game.  Not to be unfair, a list of well done aspects of the game is in the works as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: