Thursday, August 20, 2009

Final Fantasy XIV Videos

We're seeing a lot more information about Final Fantasy XIV. These are a few of the videos available now.

The game looks absolutely stunning.

This second video shows some combat.

Some people seem to be disappointed with the slow paced combat, but I have to respectfully disagree. Combat was pretty slow paced with really long timers in Final Fantasy XI, and it was a blast. It still kept you on your toes, even if I only had to push a button once every 15 seconds. Many of the standard trash mobs required you to react (crabs putting up stoneshell, goblins preparing a bomb toss) in ways that are absent from anything less than a boss encounter in many modern MMOs.

Also, the frenetic pace of most MMO's combat systems (WAR, AOC, EQ2, WOW) is almost bordering on video game-y. There is little time or need for strategy when you have 18 hotbars filled with abilities. Unless organizing your hotbar counts as a strategy.

In FFXI you had few abilities, with long timers. My paladin could heal himself once per thirty seconds, and taunt once per thirty seconds. Every fifteen seconds, I'd either cure myself or taunt (that's how you held hate). The rest of the time I WATCHED the mob, to see if I needed to stun him (for example, a properly timed stun could deflect a thrown bomb attack back on a goblin), or use Cover to protect someone else, or move because of a repop to avoid adds. Most abilities were on long (several-minute) timers or more so you had to make sure you used them at the right time.

By contrast, in EQ2, my tank has to taunt every five seconds, and on top of that, taunt alone won't let you hold aggro; you also have to constantly pound out combat arts to do high enough DPS to hold aggro. The only thing that keeps it from becoming a constant button mash is the fact you must also time the use of your combat arts between your auto attacks to maximize DPS. I spend most of my time watching my hotbars and not much watching the actual screen. I felt the same way about other games, like AOC and WOW.

So I am excited at the prospect of playing a game that gives me more time to think and less carpal tunnel.