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Final Fantasy XI


Tonner Cyn
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Hi all.

 

Just wondering how many of you guys are going to be playing this one. I'm still pretty entrenched in SWG but there are some changes coming that I don't think are very fun. I tend to like the FF games and the genre in general, so I'm considering trading in a couple games to try this one. Anyone else?

 

One question - I saw on the official site the list of servers. Are those new ones for US players? Or are they the same servers the Japanese players have been on for a while? I'd much rather have everyone starting from the ground floor than to log in and see a bunch of maxed out characters.

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I bought it today and its sitting in front of me at work.

 

. Are those new ones for US players?

 

No new servers. They are the same as the Japanese servers which essentially means you'll be mingling with top level players from Japan.

 

Also be aware that you cannot choose what server you play on. You are automatically dumped into a game "world". The only way to go to a different server is to purchase a world pass which will let you access another server. These passes cost in game money and the cost is dependant on how popular the server is. (Great for server balancing but utterly stupid for the gamer).

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I thought I had read that if you get a code from a player on a different server you could enter that at time of creation to join that server.

 

Very disappointed that the servers are not dedicated US servers. I know there would be high level characters in a matter of days but at least there wouldn't be uber characters. Hmmmm, opens the door to massive twinking...

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Also be aware that you cannot choose what server you play on. You are automatically dumped into a game "world". The only way to go to a different server is to purchase a world pass which will let you access another server. These passes cost in game money and the cost is dependant on how popular the server is. (Great for server balancing but utterly stupid for the gamer).

 

Hmm.. this also has me worried. Especially after Tycho's fit over this in today's Penny Arcade:

 

"During the beta for Final Fantasy XI, we felt the exquisite new pleasures that had been designed by SquareSoft. Yes, it's pretty much an MMORPG, no, aside from fantastic art direction there isn't all that much to distinguish it, but as I said in a related post I play these games basically as a way to hang out. Once I learned that

 

-your starting server is completely random,

 

-that people must earn money in game to bring friends to their server by buying a World Pass,

 

-that the amount of money you need to earn depends on how populated your server is,

 

-that they aren't opening any new servers for the US launch which will inflate the price across the board,

 

-and that even once you do get a World Pass from a friend it doesn't let you bring an existing character, you have to create a new one who won't be of comparable level to the person that brought you over there in the first fucking place,

 

-the whole thing is stupid and I'm not their accountant, they can come up with some other way to load balance their servers if we're going to pay thirteen dollars a month for the privilege of frustration. The US release apparently allows you to bring five people over instead of the original one, which doesn't really fix the problem - it just downgrades it from "absolutely insane" to "pretty ridiculous." In our rage, we even produced a comic on the subject. If I wanted to play with myself, I have a game that doesn't cost anything."

 

I'm afraid this has me concerned as well, and I'm going to hold off on playing this until I hear more feedback. After all, there's an absolute glut of top freeking quality games coming out. There's a lot of other stuff to play. :)

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Well, I picked up the game today but I haven't completely decided to install it. I know Kong and Romier are playing. Should we try to get on the same server? Anyone want to volunteer to pony up for the World Pass?

 

Actually, I have a question about that. I know you only get one character (unless you decide to pay for another). What happens if you start a character, then get a WP to join another server? From what I understand, you start with a brand-new character on that server, so do you have to delete your first one?

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Well installed everything last night after I got home from work. Some thoughts.

 

-The installation had to be one of the longest Ive ever experienced for a PC game. Just to get the first disc (the Playonline service program) and get the Playonline registered took almost 45 minutes. Once that was done the installation for the FFXI and the expansion took another 20 some odd minutes.

 

Once you have the game installed you need to register for a content ID which will allow you to create on character. You then need to reigster the expansion under that content ID. Once thats finished you need to login and patch the game. The patching process took almost an hour and a half.(almost 200 meg patch on day one). Almost inexcuseable in my opinion. No new servers were opened for the Noth American launch and the japanese game has been live for over a year now. Not exactly seeing the need for that hefty of a patch on launch day.

 

At the end of the day you will have entered almost 5 keys to get online with FFXI and run through a myriad of setup procedures just to get Playonline working as intended. Horribly over complicated process that should have been made more streamlined.

 

-The games interface is completely unintuitive. Its apparent right off the bat that everything here was created for use with a gamepad and not a keyboard and mouse. If you do a little reading on some forums you'll likely see many players using a PC gamepad instead of the default M+K. The most useful windows and items are hidden under a convoluted mess of menu's. I've played almost every MMO out there and I felt like a complete moron when I first entered the game. It took me a good hour just to get myself acclimated with the controls and how to access the various menus and sub menus.

 

After that initial hour though I found the compact keyboard option which allows the staple WSAD movement and access to the various menus via CNTRL-"Key" quick commands. Once I got ahold of that I tackled the macro menu which is essential to playing and is pretty easy to use. You'll be using macros quite a bit as well as shortcut commands. If you dont you'll be lost in menu limbo as you play.

 

-Character creation is a smooth and easy affair. Your not given a ton of options to really craft a personalized avatar but the character definitely have that Final Fantasy feel. You can crank a decent character out in less than 5 minutes which is a plus.

 

-First thing that will hit you when you enter the game is that Final Fantasy XI follows some of the same edicts that the previous games in the series have set. The opening intro is all done in CG and is beautiful to behold. The games graphics are all very well modeled and at the end of the day this is a very pretty game. One gripe is the graphics in general have a very grainy look to them which detracts from the experience a bit for me. Also the game in no way supports anti-aliasing and anistropic filtering which is a real shame since FFXI can have an overly jaggy appearance. Both of these options may have improved the grainier look I mentioned earlier. Anyone that usually doesn't use the options however wont give this a second thought.

 

-The music in the game is really a high point. Some great remixes of old Final Fantasy themes and the opening movie has a fantastic cue that really sets the stage for the main conflict in the game.

 

-So far Ive done several quests given by the various NPC's in the game world. Most of these have amounted to little more than fetch quests of delivery quests. thankfully they are all pretty quick and do not drag on. One thing thats interesting is the game takes a very story heavy approach to the MMO genre. There are various scripted scenes that happen as you explore your starting city that makes you feel as though your playing a single player Final Fantasy.

 

-The combat system is par course for the genre. You click on a creature, you attack and you wait to see who wins. There is a "check" command which is the MMO equivalant to "conning" a monster to see if you are capable of killing it. You are able to access various Job skills (the game works on the old Job system from previous FF's). You can attain several jobs as you play and can even multi-job a character. This allows you to increase levels in different professions and gives the game some good longevity.

 

-Game runs very smooth on my rig. Good framerate with everything cranked (what works that is) and lag is completely invisible. Haven't seen a bit of it as of yet.

 

Thus far Ive barely scratched the surface of what FFXI has to offer but so far I'm left a tad ambivalant towards my experience thus far. The game itself looks to ahve potential and is pretty interesting to play. However the problems with the interface and the overly complicated installtion left me very cold before I even logged in.

 

By the way I bought a second Content ID so I have two characters right now. My first character is on the Caitsith server and the second character is on Fenrir. If you want to join me on Fenrir I found these on another forum:

 

Server Name :Fenrir

 

1942280424

4879135408

4663340421

8427812782

4838568958

3182704886

2919248867

 

When you create character it says world selection. By default it says "Not selected". Type in the server name (Fenrir) and it will ask for a password. Put in one of the ones above. Hope one of those lets you guys on.

 

Characters name is Vrale.

 

Also on the subject of grainy textures. It seems the PC port in general has alot of non-working options for owners of both Nvidia and ATI hardware:

 

Display problems

 

Its being reported at several sites at the moment.

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Hmmmm....this is exactly what I wanted to read (thanks Romier) but at the same time very disappointing. I'm not a huge MMORPG player (SWG was really my first) so a lot of what you describe worries me. Also, the installation mess is another disppointment - I wanted to boot up, get it started, and walk away while it does all the stuff it does, but it sounds like I have to put some time in in front of the computer during installation.

 

...steps back on to the fence....

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...steps back on to the fence....

 

Its got a big learning curve and you do need to put in some time in front of the comp. However once the patch starts downloading the last hour and half you can walk away from. Just the first hour you need to be there to input everything.

 

If you alreeady bought it, Id give it a whirl Tonner. You can use one of the world passes above to jump on the same server as me so that wont be a problem and Ill help you as much as I can (Im still learning myself). Worst case you get a free month to dick around and you cancel if you dont like it. You'll have swallowed the 40 bucks of buying it but thats always a risk with these games...

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