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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Preview

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Its back, The legends, Square Enix, are giving it round two for the MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will have the player exploring the wonderful world which is Eorzea. The game will be set five years after the events of the original release which, I’m not going to lie was a flop. I personally have not played a Final Fantasy game before but have heard of the success that the franchise has. Though I do like a good MMO, at first I was like “would these two work together – a Final Fantasy and an MMO?”. I heard about how the original one was a disaster so went into this game with low expectations but my god did this blow me away.

The game allows the player to embark on their incredible adventure with the chance to play as one of the five races that are available, these races consist of:

The Hyur: over thousands of years this particular type of race has become the most popular of the civilized races in the whole of Eorzea. They have an average physique, both in build and height as well as their legacy and heritage. There are two types of Hyur, the Highlanders and the Midlanders. The Midlanders actually are half of Eorzea’s total Hyru population; they get their name from the clan’s long tradition of settling in the low-lying regions but the Midlanders lines hail from a wide variety of ancestral homelands. They can pretty much be found in any city throughout the realm. The Highlanders on the other hand get their name from living over the mountains of Gyr Abania. You will find that the Highlanders are substantially larger in build and have the abs of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  After the tragic fall of their ancestors the clan have sought refuge in the nation of Ul’dah

The Miqo’te: this particular race doesn’t have that big of a population in the land of Eorzea but are very easily noticeable because they are basically a human cat, like Tony The Tiger from the Frosties advert. The very first of the Miqo’te made its way to the realm during the Age of Endless Frost in the Fifth Umbral Era… gee that was a mouth full. The males of this race are known to shy from contact with others. Like the above race this race too has two clans, the Seekers of the Sun and The Keepers of the Night, damn these guys sound serious. The Seekers of the Sun are a self-proclaimed clan and preference for the warm light of day pervades all aspect of their culture. Though there aren’t many of them in Eorzea a small amount of them have been accepted into everyday life by the other races in ports and cities but others are known to make their homes in the Sagolii Desert. Personally I would go for the port cities get a nice view of the sea but moving on. The Keepers of the Moon are basically the nocturnal Miqo’te so they believe that they should have their own clan which ok is fair. They don’t really like the light of day but love the shroud of night; most of them offer piety to Menphina the lover, goddess of the moon.  Their tradition of hunting like tribal warriors in the thickness of the woodlands has bought conflict between them and the forest folk of Gridania, kind of like a Cowboy and Indians thing I guess. But not to worry some of them have found peace with the Gridanians and live happily ever after.

The Elezen: this race has a tendency to be a tall people and have long limbs, like Slender man, let’s say they are a friendly Slender man. They also have a longer lifespan compared to the Hyur which is kind of unfair toward the Hyru but oh well. There was a time when the Elezen owned Eorzea because their numbers greatly exceeded that of the other races. They are known for their sense of honour and pride but since the Hyur migration into their land it sparked a bit of conflict, however the two races have come to a mutual understanding and work towards mutual peace and prosperity. Like with the above two races these too have two clans, I can see a pattern developing here. The Wildwood and the Duskwight; Wildwood’s live in the forests in which Black Shroud is the tangled heart and have been the home to this clan for hundreds of years.  Some of them however have been drawn to the city-states which they helped found. Their interest for law and order has given them quite the reputation for being haughty and argumentative, quiet like me with the argumentative part there. The Duskwight Elezen have lived in the woodland caverns of Eorzea for the past several centuries. These particular Elezen are descendants of a branch that decided to part from their Wildwood clan and made their own, this was during the time of the founding of Gridania. They also hate the restriction of urban life style and pretty much avoid the cities altogether, go proper tribal, living like Bear Grills init.

The Roegadyn: This race is also distinguished for being beefy, man these races like being buff don’t they. They are descendants of a maritime people that used to roam the northern seas, but some of others turned south and decided to go on an epic adventure crossing into Eorzean waters. They are considered a barbaric race but I bet if you gave them a chance they would be a really nice people. The greatest warriors in history were born of Roegadyn stock.  Oh look another race with two clans. This time they are the Sea Wolves or the Hellsguard, to be honest quiet scary names, wouldn’t you agree? The Sea Wolves were once feared as pirates of the North Sea and with their captain Edward Kenway they… oh wait wrong franchise sorry. You will find the Sea Wolves often being employed as sailors or seamen but keep their names taken from the ancient Roegadyn language. The Hellsguard are a small clan of Roegadyn which live in the north of Abalathia’s Spine. They are part of the mercenary trade and can be commonly seen on the streets of Ul’dah, earning money and making a living as sellswords or bodyguards. Pretty sure I saw one of these in the film Bodyguard; you know the one with Whitney Huston…. Ok moving on then.

The Lalafell: this race is kind of like the little Munchkins out of the Wizard of OZ. They used to live in the South Seas but found their way to Eorzea via the burgeoning trade routes. The Lalafell are a very welcoming race and get along with the other races very well. For the final time this race too have two clans the Plainfolk and the Dunesfolk. The Plainsfolk have settled in La Noscea and other regions where the land is flat and easy to live on. Most of them are farmers and are commonly found working positions such as navy workers or fisherman-women. They are also a calm people. The Dunesfolk however can be found on the boiling sands of Thanalan and other arid areas. As founders of the merchant city Ul’dah they are well known for their obsession with their product. These little fellas transform ideas into action and have done them well in their business dealings.

Like most MMO’s Final Fantasy has an array of different classes that the player will be able to choose from and use their specific power to help them along there mighty quest. FF allows the player to choose a class but then also choose a job; this to me is new in a MMO as I have not seen this before. The classes that can be chosen are Disciples of war, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of the hand and then Disciples of the land. I know what you thinking, what does each one have to offer you, well read on to find out more.

The Disciples of War will take the player down the route of mastery of weapons and the wars waged with them. This also gives the player the choice to play as a Gladiator, Pugilist, Marauder, Lancer and Archer. The Gladiator is used for using all manners of one-handed blades, from daggers to the long swords. A cool feature with the gladiator is that they can draw the attention of enemy attacks onto themselves, which as a result protects your fellow companions from harm. If the player chooses the Pugilist to play as, then their aim would be to master the techniques of hand-to-hand combat. They wear light armour so that they can get full mobility during battle and use hand daggers and various gloves with swords on them to help deal more damage when attacking. When playing as a Marauder on the other hand the player’s character will specialise in using the greataxe. This particular class relies on brute force and strength to get the jobs done. Most Marauders have been known to go into battle and turn the odds around or hunt down packs of monster and return with minor wounds, damn these guys sound freaking awesome wouldn’t you say? The Lancer will use an array of polearm weapons from the lancer to even a trident; yes your character could look like aqua man. A Lancer can be very deadly if used correctly and can deal a great amount of damage. Last but not least the Archer, this class uses bow and arrow for their arsenal.  Their use of ranged weapons allows them to deal damage to enemies from afar and if used correct could probably kill the enemy before it gets a chance to strike. If mastered correctly you character will be as bad-ass as Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.

When playing MMO’s I love playing as a mage, I think it is awesome the way you can harness magic to your advantage this is where The Disciples of magic comes into play. There are three roles of a Mage/Sorcerer; these are a Conjurer, Thaumaturge and finally an Arcanist. If the player chooses to play as a Conjurer then their character can harness the power of earth, wind and water. With a Conjurer you will mainly use a wand or a cane as your weapon; also they are regarded as accomplished healers. A Thaumaturge is capable of terrifying destruction; with a staff or a scepter as their weapon they can deal massive amounts of damage using a number of different spells and curses. Finally we come to the Arcanist; this particular mage uses the art of Arcanum. They use symbols to produce powerful spells, they can unlock power that lies within gemstones and can also summon forth the familiar know as Carbuncle to do their dirty work.

The Disciples of the hand are one of the other classes in game. The art of synthesis is their way of life; this particular class consists of Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Armorers, Goldsmiths, Leatherworkers, Weavers, Alchemist and finally Culinarian. There is a lot to this particular class wouldn’t you agree? So not to bore you to death I shall skim over each class briefly. The Carpenters are the workers of wood and possess expert knowledge of the hardness, pliability, weight and value of all types of timber. The Blacksmiths are pretty much like any blacksmith, craft weapons and tools made out of different metals. The Armorer basically works with malleable metals and crafts them into all forms of armours. The Goldsmiths pretty much use metals and stones to create accessories. The Leather Workers are the craftsmen that use the different type of fur, pelt and hide in the world to craft them in to garments.  The Weavers create fibre and fabric from normal materials and then sew and stitch them into all kinds of garments too.  An Alchemist is like every other one that you see in games, they are pretty much the masters of potions and medication. Last but not least we have the Culinarian, these are pretty much like the Gordon Ramsay’s of the game, master chief… I mean master chefs. They cook all type of food for players to consume.


The Disciples of The Hand are the last of the classes that I will be talking about, I know what your think, about time, but you weren’t the one typing this out… back to the review. These harvest nature’s bounty and utilize an array of tools to help them with their work. We have the Miner, The Botanist and the Fisher. The Miner basically mines all the resources that are available in game. The Botanist profession is to get all the types of resources from plant life and basically the same with the Fishers but instead of them getting their resources from plants they get it from marine and freshwater life instead.

Now that the classes are out the way and talked about, it’s now time to move onto the types of jobs that a player can use on their adventure. You pick a class then you choose its job. The jobs are as follows; you have the Paladin which uses swordplay with sheildwork to create a style of combat that is unique. A Monk, which by mastering the seats of power within their own bodies can perform deadly physical feats. A Warrior, which use brute strength to annihilate anything that comes within it path. A Dragoon, which are lance-wielding knight who like the Paladin have their own unique style of combat. A Bard, which uses music to boast ones morality in battle that gives them the upper hand in combat…. I’m running out of energy typing let alone for the people reading it but only a few more now I promise. A White Mage, whose path is to use the arcane art of succor to heal comrades without any hesitation, basically a healer.  A Black Mage; adventurers that choose this particular path will become agents of devastation and are capable of devastating things with nothing more than their own will. A Summoner, whose magic allows them to summon beings known as primals that assist the master in their attacks and last but not least we have the Scholar. A Scholar defends freedom but commanding spell-weaving faeries, yep that’s right I said faeries. Using these creatures’ awesome powers to, A, heal the wounded and B, bolster the strength of their allies.

I think that pretty much covers all of the possible roles the player can choose from. Getting around the world of Eorzea is really easy too! Not only does the player get a mount but there are boats and hot air balloons that help get to the faraway places that this game has to offer. The one navigation method that I loved the most were these little teleporting crystals. In main outposts and location their stands a main crystal that the player can syncs to. This allows the player to teleport to and from this crystal from other around the zone… pretty neat wouldn’t you say? Along your journey you will come across other smaller ones that you can also sync to and not only will you be able to travel to main locations, you will be able to travel to places that you might want to go back to in the world at a later date. It saves a huge amount of time because the players don’t have to constantly run around everywhere, which becomes a pain if you’re asked to go to lots of places around the map.

The combat in Final Fantasy as well is very easy to use and player friendly, you simply just have to right click on a target and use the 1-0 keys across the top to deal damage and use your various skills. You can also use Ctrl and 1-0 if you have equipped potions or items in you inventory so that you don’t have to keep going into you bag to use them you can just simple use the hotkey. The movement in combat as well is fluid and attacks can be performed one after another without fail, unless stated otherwise… say if a monster has a skill that doesn’t let you attack because that monster is like the Chuck Norris of monsters.

Customisation is a really big part of the game. At the beginning of the game, like most MMO’s, the player is asked to make a character to their liking and with FF… well let’s say there is too much to choose from. You can pretty much make any character you like, note I said pretty much, key part there. There are ten voices to choose from which also include other emotional noises, such as laughing, heckling, shouting and much more. You also have a few hair styles and facial hair to gander at, scars to make your character look lethal and simply bad-ass. There is war paint, height of character etc. the list can go on. One other main thing is that if you really wanted to spend time on your character you can go into real depth with the way you want them to look with; Eye size, mouth size, so pretty much you could probably make Lional Messi show up in the Final Fantasy universe alongside Arnold and maybe if you’re good enough, Link from the Legend of Zelda.

This game really blows my mind and has to be one of the best MMO’s I have ever played. I’m sure I will be paying the small membership fee because, to be truly honest, it will be well worth every penny. So Sqaure Enix, hurry up and take my money!

Some information taken from http://eu.finalfantasyxiv.com/?lang=uk to give a more in-depth look at the game

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My name's Craig, I'm very passionate about video games and hope to one day work within the industry. I really enjoy attending events and getting to know people. Looking to improve my writing skills through Invision Community and becoming a well know reviewer.

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