Beta FFXIV: A Ferry Trip

September 8, 2010

A major part of the world of Vana’diel was its relatively archaic methods of travel.  Unlike other games where you could simply click on a flightmaster and be teleported or whisked off on wings of a beast (or in some cases your own), FFXI gave you a system of either Chocobo mounts, Airships and the more traditional Ships.  Eorzea is a new land, but it retains Vana’diel’s basic modes of travel.  Currently in the Beta, Airships and Chocobo’s are unavailable.  So that leaves the one and only Ship.

Taking into account this is still Beta and things are bound to change, but the experience is a bit lacking compared to its predecessor.  It’s not any one big thing that makes me say it’s lacking.  The little touches that were there in Final Fantasy XI that are missing that make it so.  The simple fact that you can not get on the ship when it arrives is a huge deal to me.  Waiting on the dock staring at a door that opens for you but you can not enter is extremely frustrating.

In Vana’diel these ferry trips were used for travel but they were also a major source of fishing skill ups.  Some of the most rare fish (and monsters) could only be fished up while taking a boat ride.  This seems to continue on in the seas of Eorzea.  While we do not know if fishing has the capability of fishing up monsters, fishing is still the most important part of a ferry-boat ride.  Unfortunately, unlike the ships of Vana’diel, this ferry does not hold a shop that sells fishing bait and poles.  This would not be such a huge deal if the only shop that does sell bait on either side of the trip is at the Fishing Guild in Limsa Lominsa itself.

The boat itself is a new and interesting model.  It is pretty much the same model as the boat from the Limsa Lominsa tutorial sequence.  Yet you get to explore it a tad bit more.  There is very little to the boat.  It some how feels a good deal smaller than that of the ferry boats of Vana’diel.  Not having an enclosed cabin with the captain is only one of many differences.  The benches in the hold are quite an interesting addition.  However, the fact that you can’t see out of the many windows is quite annoying for a game of this level of graphical detail.  What the boat lacks is something that the entire world lacks, life.  With only a single NPC and no monsters it just does not feel nearly the same as a trip on the Mhuara-Selbina ferry did 8 years ago.

I have a feeling that the lack of monsters on the boat trip is just a matter of this being a beta.  At least it is my most fervent hope.  I would also hope that they do eventually add the “anti-RMT” device that is catching monsters.  This was a mechanic that was used more and more as a farming tool by numerous players in FFXI and does have a place in Eorzea as well.

I did edit a decent chunk of the video out.  but left in quite a bit at the end just to let you see the attention to detail that remains in the boat ride.  Like its predecessor, XIV shows you the surrounding land masses as you sail to your destination.  In this case there is only one, that of Limsa Lominsa and its volcanic center.  Notice how it does get closer and with it, raises the level of detail.

One comment

  1. i do always go out fishing, it is a great past time. ‘

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