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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and is the fourteenth numbered installment of the widely popular and critically acclaimed Final Fantasy series which has roots all the way back to the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) which was one of the first widely popular and recognized video game consoles. While others came before it, the NES and those that followed were considered the first financially successful endeavors that gained popularity and traction in a marketplace that would one day be worth billions of dollars.

Gameplay Elements

There are several different, unique and widely innovative gameplay elements in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that a player should be aware of. This section will highlight the basics and provide links to pages explaining the various aspects and sections of the game that a player should be made aware of. In an effort to maintain ease of navigation and clarity for the users who view this wiki I will not be explaining very much on this page aside from listing the elements that will be further expanded.

Getting Started

Below you will find the general portions of the game, the various sections and formulae that are used, as well as the introductions to various areas of the game. These articles serve as an introduction to the game world of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and are not intended to be all inclusive. Instead they are used as primers to help people come to grips with how the game works and get a handle for the general workings of the game before diving into the Advanced section which will include more in-depth analysis, math and theory crafting. It is advised to read these sections first before going into the Advanced section as the Advanced portion does not entail to introduce the reader to the mechanics in as smooth a fashion as the Getting Started articles are aimed towards.

Final Fantasy XIV - Stats - Explanation of all the stats in the game, what they mean and what they do.

Final Fantasy XIV - Item Level - Explanation of what Item Level is and how it affects stats and gameplay and where / how the highest Item Level sets are obtained.

Final Fantasy XIV - Terminology - An explanation to the myriad terms used not just in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn but MMORPGs as well.

Final Fantasy XIV - Races - Explanation of all races, their starting stats, general information and clans.

Final Fantasy XIV - Armoury System - A full explanation of the game's integral class/job system and how it works as well as all that entails.

Final Fantasy XIV - Damage Potential - A brief overview of the complexities to establishing a best stat to use.

Final Fantasy XIV - City-States

Final Fantasy XIV - Dungeons

Final Fantasy XIV - Raids

Final Fantasy XIV - FATEs

Final Fantasy XIV - Levequests

Final Fantasy XIV - Retainers and Market Boards

Final Fantasy XIV - Linkshells and Free Companies

Final Fantasy XIV - Materia

Advanced Tactics and Understanding

Below you'll find links to the Advanced Tactics used in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and various articles about how to get the most out of everything the game allows you to control. These sections are meant to be read after the Getting Started section, which introduces the reader(s) to the world of Eorzea and all the stats, attributes and functions of the world.

Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Enmity

Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Mitigation

Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Warrior Mechanics and Analysis for Advanced Players

Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Paladin Mechanics and Analysis for Advanced Players

Final Fantasy XIV - Tanking Tips and Tricks

Guides

Below will be various original guides for different aspects of the game. These will be updated as more features and a greater understanding of the game comes out.

Quests

Major Patches

This section will link and outline the major patches that have occurred after they have gone live and will list the user-related and relevant information as to how the patch has changed the game and what this means for the players that reside within Eorzea and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. As patches come out they will be linked to a page containing information on the patch and how it reflects the world, its story and how players can get the most out of the patch. There will be two portions to this section. One will be the “Upcoming Patch” which will list the name and title of the coming patch as it is made available. This will be in plain text and will only be made into a link upon moving to the “Live Patches” section. This will only be for major patches or smaller patches that add something significant to the game.

Upcoming Patch: 2.1: A Realm Awoken

Live Patches

Some Backstory

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn began life back in 2010 known simply as Final Fantasy XIV. It released to terrible reviews, countless bugs and feature oversights and various other failures by the development team and creators. It was so ill received in fact that Square Enix was forced to make the game free until they fixed the various issues that were plaguing it and made a product that was at least tolerable by the dwindling player base to warrant a monthly fee. The main development team stayed intact but the management positions were shuffled around, including the ousting of Tanaka who had been the Producer/Director of Final Fantasy XIV up until a couple months after release. A new face that hadn’t been known until then stepped in as Product and Director named Yoshida. He started by officially apologizing for Square Enix’s neglect and how they allowed such an inferior product to be released to the public, therein damaging Square Enix’s brand of Final Fantasy and losing the trust of the customer.

The reasoning for the profuse apology and free monthly subscription to the current players was obvious. The game had tried to invent the wheel and failed terribly at it. Nothing that was learned from their previous Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, Final Fantasy XI was carried over. Most if not all of the iconic aspects of the Final Fantasy series were completely stripped away and in their place was left an open but ultimately homogenous system called the Armoury System. In its inception the Armoury System promised to radically change the way players thought about their experiences in an Online Role Playing Game. By equipping a weapon or tool the player changed classes, rather than being stuck as a single class like most titles, this provided flexibility and freedom. But they didn’t stop there, they also allowed any and all abilities that were learned from one class to the next (within their specific subsets) to be used on any other. For example, the game released with four subsets called Disciplines: Discipline of War, Discipline of Magic, Discipline of Hand, and finally Discipline of Land.

These were abbreviated to DOW, DOM, DOH and DOL and are still used in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Abilities gained from DOW could be used across all classes released under that specific category. These were Lancer, Marauder, Gladiator, Pugilist and Archer. Earning an ability on Lancer allowed that same ability to be used across any of the above without any restrictions save for the amount of slots available which were based upon level. Every ability had to be triggered by itself and in the beginning utilized a stat (now removed from the game) called Stamina as well as TP (Technique Points / Technical Points / Tactical Points). Most games at this point had Auto Attack, which is an automated normal attack commonly referred to as “White Damage” among MMORPG fans and players. Final Fantasy XIV did not have this and instead required constant button presses in order to fight even the weakest of monsters. Despite the Tactical Points cost once Stamina ran out the player was effectively useless and could do nothing until they had enough Stamina to use their next attack.

Additionally the ability to combine all classes and their abilities made for a very bland and cookie cutter approach to gearing and specializing. Certain spells – most of them really – could be brought over from the DOM branch which consisted of only two classes: Conjurer (CNJ) and Thaumaturge (THM). Making DOW and DOM combined into a singular battle oriented branch that had very little – if any – room for uniqueness. The classes melted together into a blur and the unique jobs of Final Fantasy were nowhere to be seen. Gladiators didn’t act like Paladins, Marauders acted nothing like Warriors and Pugilists didn’t act like Monks. The beautiful, unique aspects of the brand were completely missing, along with the clunky gameplay and various other riddled issues of the time.

Players couldn’t even have their own chocobo and for a while the iconic beast did not even exist in the world. There was a mysterious illness that prevented the player from renting them, they could be viewed at each major city but that was it and it took a long time for them to be accessible even to rent, let alone out rightly own and summon. The whole game was built upon the Crystal Tools Engine which resulted in a beautiful but graphically intensive and laggy game. Even the best systems had terrible lag on the highest settings and the servers that hosted the game were no better. Interacting with an NPC or doing much of anything was a test of true patience as selling a few items from a player’s inventory took well over five minutes.

The Turn Around

Slowly but surely the new Producer and Director Yoshida made sweeping changes to the game as he saw fit. He opened up a dialogue with the community – a huge first for the largely Japanese company that had made sure to keep their developers and staff far away from the community of the game they made. Little by little the new Producer and Director began to identify and accurately list the various, multi-faceted problems plaguing the game. He let the players know what the problems were and how he intended on fixing them. It was a few months into the life of the game before he let everybody know that the game itself was going to be remade up to the standards of the players. He told the players that the game they were playing would be updated and fixed as much as possible, but that the game was too poorly coded and the servers were ineffective. To be able to carry the true vision of Final Fantasy XIV and to repair the damage to the brand name and the company itself Square Enix was going to not only take the game offline and re-release it but they were going to complete the main story and scenario for the original game. As if that wasn’t enough, they came up with a way to explain the differences between Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, all within the canon of the story so that the world wasn’t magically changed and brought offline.

The story would go on to be an epic telling of how the world met with the great Calamity and narrowly survived, but the damage and devastation changed the face of the world permanently. This explained why the dreaded “copy and paste” geometry and textures were gone, replaced with new, exciting and interesting locales to explore and play in. Though the servers would eventually go offline after the final story and stay off until Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn re-opened the following year Square Enix managed to keep many players playing and even paying after several large patches that fixed many common complaints.

Classes were re-adjusted so that stats came naturally from the class and did not need to be spent every level. Instead an allotment of points was given to help provide a bit of uniqueness (which did not work, as most people just put full points into the best stat). Auto Attack was added and the Stamina system was abolished leaving only Tactical Points for Weapon Skills and Magical Points for Spells. Weapons and armor which had suggested or optimal levels were given hard levels at which a person could wear them rather than a low level character being able to wear a high level’s armor but at diminished stats. The Materia system was added and the most radical and appreciated change was the addition of the Job System. Players from other titles may think of them as Advanced Classes, but they were not precisely so.

Jobs finally gave players the access to the iconic classes and jobs of Final Fantasy that they had yearned for. Paladin, Dragoon, Warrior, Monk, Bard, White Mage, and Black Mage were all added to the game and quested to unlock after hitting a required level in two classes. They had more limits on what abilities could be cross-classed but were ultimately stronger, allowing for new stronger spells, weapon skills and abilities to be used. Along with this patch, known as 1.23 (Square Enix went away with calling every patch Version Update) the game entered shortly into a period by which they charged players for the game.

However to justify this they soon came up with a Legacy Campaign that stated if any person subscribed for a total of three months, they would attain Legacy Status. Legacy Status allowed for a reduced rate on the subscription of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for the life of the game, provided the players with a unique Legacy marked Chocobo with black feathers, unique black armor and black tipped wings, as well as automatic entry and allowance into all betas (but not alphas). It was an incredible deal, the game essentially cost fifteen dollars per month and to attain Legacy status cost an average of forty five dollars. But if a player were to look at the grand scheme of things, they would get to play the game sooner (which mattered for many but that information was not released until later) and the monthly cost for Subscription would be a third less. A full subscription for one account with maximum character slots would be only ten dollars a month instead of fifteen. Over the course of a year a player who had paid to get into the Legacy Status would have saved a total of fifteen dollars and would continue to save more after the fact.

The savings became more amplified after Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn opened up and allowed people to pay for larger periods of time for a reduced monthly rate. Legacy Status subscribers received the same price cut as any other category, which eventually allowed for a six month subscription to cost the incredibly low rate of eight dollars a month. For the initial investment of forty five dollars for three months, a Legacy Status subscriber would be able to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for six months for a measly three dollars more. That is double the time they originally paid for for slightly more than they originally paid. It was an overall incredible savings.

With all of these changes, the game went from a commercial and critical failure that was covered by just about every gaming news outlet and followed by a drop in Square Enix stock prices to a commercial success with over one and a half million subscribers. There has never been a resurrection of any Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game that equaled the magnitude and incredible turn around that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn did. Many games went Free To Play with micro transactions that soured the game and made most players feel dissatisfied and ultimately the game dwindled into non-existence. Many such games that started out as subscription based models did this due to investor worry and demand to recoup their money. Square Enix, due to their own money being invested could stand to wait and go with the standard subscription model once released. This has allowed them to produce steady content and updates to the game in a much more efficient and timely manner.

Many of these changes and adjustments were thanks to the Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida whom the community has taken to affectionately calling him “Yoshi-P” or “YP” for short. A doomed game that had plenty of potential but failed on almost all fronts was thankfully revitalized and brought back to market as a new, well-polished and very enjoyable game played by nearly two million players and growing every month. It may never reach the capacity and following World of Warcraft once had (but is quickly losing grip of, with most players only logging in on “Patch Days”) but it definitely appears to be commercially successful and that in itself is a first without trying to go Free To Play or folding to investor demands. The game has a wealth of things to do for the veteran and new player, and is surprisingly friendly and easy for the first time Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Gamer.


Article By: Penguin Writer


Games | Role Playing Game


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