| Tags: FFXIV
| Author Timo Reinecke
Final Fantasy XIV Frequently Asked Questions Answered
FF 14 has become one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world. Here are some Final Fantasy XIV Frequently Asked Questions, answered.
Getting into a new MMORPG is always a big step to make. And Final Fantasy XIV currently stands tall as one of the biggest if not the biggest title in the Genre today. In this little piece, we'll answer some of you Final Fantasy XIV Frequently Asked Questions.
Final Fantasy XIV Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG developed and published by Japanese gaming giant Square Enix. It is mainly developed by Square Enix's in-house team Creative Business Unit III who's enlarge responsible for their online titles. The game is spearheaded by director and producer Naoki Yoshida, who also happens to be the head of Creative Business Unit III. And the team behind Final Fantasy XIV is composed of many Square Enix veterans who have worked on titles like Final Fantasy IX, the Tactics series and its predecessor MMORPG Final Fantasy XI which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
It is currently in its fourth expansion Endwalker after it made a miraculous return in 2013 after the failed launch of its original outing. Since then Final Fantasy XIV has been growing steadily and currently sits at over 35 million registered players.
Do I need to have played other Final Fantasy games?
The short answer is no, Final Fantasy tends to be the kind of series in which every title is a standalone game with its own story and characters with a few exceptions. Final Fantasy XIV while being the fourteenth mainline title stands on its own. But similarly to other games in the franchise, it likes to do callbacks to some of the other games. Maybe even more than that. XIV is more like a love letter to its series reusing some of the iconic story beats, locations and music to either pay respect or to intergrade them into their narrative.
So it's probably one of the titles that'll get you into the rest of the series if you never had any exposure to them. But the only thing you're missing out on is smaller references that play with the expectations of long-time fans. So don't worry.
What Platforms is Final Fantasy XIV available on?
Currently, Final Fantasy XIV is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The PC and Mac versions are also available on Steam but do keep in mind that this will also lock your Final Fantasy XIV account to your Steam account and might exclude you from certain sales on the games item shop. It is generally recommended to buy and activate the game over Square Enix's website.
Is Final Fantasy XIV Free to Play?
No, Final Fantasy XIV is a subscription MMORPG. After buying the game, you'll still have to pay a monthly fee in order to access the game. Currently the entry fee clocks in at 12.99$ USD a month. Which allows you to have up to 8 characters per data center. For a raised fee or $14.99, you can have up to 8 characters per server and a maximum of 40 characters per data center. After buying a full-price title a monthly subscription fee seems a little steep. But for that, Final Fantasy XIV offers a very regular update schedule. With a major patch coming every 4 months. But…
Does Final Fantasy XIV have a free trial?
Yes, we're glad you asked. The critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial up to level 60 with no restrictions on game time, including the award-winning Heavensward expansion. That makes around 40% of the entire game and is easily around a 100 – 150 hours of playtime if you do all the optional content included in that free trial. And you even get to keep your character and move on into the rest of the game. And if you don't want to pay just yet, you can even level optional jobs and classes because..
Final Fantasy XIV Lets You Do Everything On One Character
Unlike its contemporaries, Final Fantasy XIV lets you do all its content on one character. Instead of having to make a new one for each job/class you want to play, you can just unlock them on just one character as long as you meet the level requirements. Because in Final Fantasy XIV, your stats are tied to your gear and your abilities are tied to your current level on that job/class. Because even though you can play everything on the same character, you'll have to level them all up separately. But luckily not all jobs/classes start at level 1.
I heard Final Fantasy XIV has a Lengthy Main Quest
That's true, if you don't pay for the level/main scenario skip you'll end up having to play catch up. Here lies Final Fantasy XIV's biggest weakness but also its greatest strength. Progressing through the main scenario is mostly a pretty lonesome affair. You do quest after quest, which often involves you having to talk to NPC's and do minor tasks to progress the story. Because Final Fantasy XIV is a Final Fantasy first and a MMORPG second, you'll have to complete the entire main story quest in order to unlock all the content.
While you do most of the questions alone, you'll occasionally have to do dungeons with other players or AI-controlled NPC's if you prefer and fight bosses in the form of trials. The bulk of the actual MMORPG content often comes in the endgame of every expansion. You could say that the main story scenario exists to just get you to the endgame by visiting all the new zones, but that would be a huge discredit to what it actually is.
Because not only is Final Fantasy XIV's story good for an MMORPG, it is probably one of the most well-told stories in gaming. Since an MMORPG is built to go on for a long while, Final Fantasy XIV and takes its time to build a unique narrative in a complex world with many moving parts. Some older MMORPG players might not enjoy the ‘chosen one' trope at first, but rest assured that XIV is doing an amazing job to build the character and your character to make it believable.
Of course, you could skip all of this, but that would be like only going for dessert in a full course meal. But throughout the main story scenario, you'll also slowly unlock all the content available since much of the game's content is also tied to it. You'll notice that XIV instead of being a chose your own adventure book, will instead try to contextualize everything within its story. Even something as obscure as the housing districts are grounded in the game's narrative.
What Job and or Race is the best in Final Fantasy XIV?
While there is a meta in Final Fantasy XIV, all the Jobs tend to be very well balanced. Usually, within their groupings damage output is often fairly close and once you consider the difficulty of some of those jobs the numbers will make a little more sense. Often you can choose between a job that'll offer more support to your party at a cost of damage or a job that does more damage but lacks the utility to make up for mistakes. Keep in mind that in Final Fantasy XIV everything tends to be more of an effort as a group, instead of the achievements of an individual.
The same goes for the Races, maybe even more so. None of them have any special abilities and their differences in stats are so minimal that by the time you hit the level cap, they'll be meaningless. Instead, just play that appeals to you.
What is Endgame in Final Fantasy XIV like?
If we go by the regular definition, Final Fantasy XIV's endgame largely consists of raiding, leveling up alternative classes and obtaining better gear. That's probably what most of the more hardcore crowd will tell you. This is true, but Final Fantasy XIV offers you many paths in that regard. Getting the best gear does not require you to do the hardest content but they're certainly a faster way to get there.
You can either do the Savage Raids, which offer the current best gear as a reward for completion. But they have a weekly lockout upon said completion. Alternatively, you can earn currencies to buy better gear. These currencies can be obtained by just doing all kinds of regular content at the level cap. But there are also special quests that can be rather grindy but easier that'll also reward better weapons and gear. While many players will focus on just one of those aspects at a time, a majority will probably do a mix of all of them. Especially if you factor in gearing up alternative jobs.
I Heard Final Fantasy XIV is not a real MMORPG
People's definition of MMORPG is always painted by whatever title got them into the genre in the first place. And while it is true that Final Fantasy XIV is compared to its western contemporaries like World of WarCraft and The Elder Scrolls Online a bit more focused on the individual player's experience. Because it's made by the team that more or less invented the Japanese MMORPG. The focus tends to be more on spectacle and a smooth gameplay experience than sandbox elements and emergent gameplay.
That being said, Final Fantasy XIV is not an MORPG, it is indeed an MMORPG with a living, breathing world. Thousands of players per server and a player-controlled economy. And while you won't see epic PvP battles in the open between factions. Hundreds of players team up daily for a hunt train to feel some of the world bosses or participate in events. The major difference here is that Final Fantasy XIV tends to be a game about cooperation and helping out others. So the epic gamer moments of one faction pulling a fast one on another are non-existent. Instead, you'll probably see impromptu concerts instead.
Is it too late to get into Final Fantasy XIV?
While it is true that getting into a game that has been going on for the better part of 10 years can be a little daunting. But besides having to catch up on the expansions and all the main scenario content. Nothing stops you from dropping right into the current endgame content as soon as you get there. But telling someone to just casually go through 200ish hours worth of quests is a bit of a tall order. But I believe that Final Fantasy XIV does all of it somewhat gracefully. Not only do you get to experience a great story, you'll also learn how to play the game and deal with all sorts of situations.
And yes, if XIV would reset the story with every expansion in order to be more attractive to new players would probably more beginner friendly. But it also limits the team in what they can do. If you want an example, the 4th expansion Endwalker wrapped up the game's first major saga. A story that was carefully told over several expansions and it would not have been such a success, had it the chance to tie up themes, characters and stories the game has told up to then and still continues to indulge in. The current 24-man raids are built on lore introduced all the way back in 1.0.
What kind of Content does Final Fantasy XIV have?
Final Fantasy XIV is probably best described as a theme park MMORPG. There is a little bit of everything underneath the mantle of an MMO. And you will find that a big number of Final Fantasy XIV doesn't even engage with the high-end content. The goal was always to create a game people can come together and have whatever adventure they wanted to have. There is no pressure in gearing up, because by the time the next big new content looms there should be numerous ways to get to best in slot equipment within a few weeks. The pace tends to be rather relaxed.
If you're looking for a challenge and the prospect of weekly raiding for equipment is not enough for you, Final Fantasy XIV offers hardcore content that's even going to be elaborated on soon. First, it comes in the shape of the Ultimates, Final Fantasy XIV's hardest content that takes even well-tuned groups at least 60 to 80 hours to clear. They are around 20-minute-long gauntlets and throw an entire raid tier at you. The fights are fast, the mechanics are complex and they require a group to be on top of their game. And the reward? A fancy new weapon, a title and bragging rights.
But if you don't want to raid what else can you do? You can level new jobs, participate in treasure or monster hunts or play the market board. You can also dip your toes in various side content like the randomly generated deep dungeons or the Gold Saucer's minigames. And usually, there is always something you can work towards. So it's not like there is nothing to do outside of raiding either.
Thanks to its outstanding social systems and a comparatively friendly community, Final Fantasy XIV has turned into a game people log into just to hang out. You only have to look at the number of social clubs in the housing districts or server events for that. But it's all up to you really. Are you goal orientated? Or do you want to make friends? Do you want to test your skill or just relax on a fishing trip? Final Fantasy XIV lets you do all of that.
But is Final Fantasy XIV worth it?
I'm sure that most people who come from other MMOs always have a hard time getting adjusted to a new one. It's like leaving your parent's house to strike out on your own from time to time. The same goes for players who never touched an MMORPG in the first place. And yes, the monthly fee and the commitment of playing through hundreds of hours of quests is very daunting.
In the now 11 years I've been playing Final Fantasy XIV, I have yet to grow bored of it. Yes, there are times when I don't really do content for a month or so but there are always little things that keep me subscribed. It's either explaining things to new players, tending to my garden, doing some crafting to make money on the side or just simply talking pretty pictures of the places within.
But if you're blessed to never have played this game and probably don't have any expectations for it, I'm very jealous of you. Through its story and content, Final Fantasy XIV delivers some of the greatest moments this medium has to offer, I'm not kidding you. This game has done things to my emotional state that I can not put into words. And something as simple as “A Smile Better Suits a Hero” is like a shotgun shell directly to my heart. It's been 7 years and it still hurts.
Yes, the gameplay can look a little dull at times, most of the questing does boil down to just talking to a few NPCs with the occasionally voiced cutscene in there. But come now, it's a gripping tale. Unbreakable bonds and noble sacrifice, sprinkled with moments of levity to counterbalance the pathos. It's got it all! Trust me. It's worth it. And if you're still on the fence, go try the free trial. A Realm Reborn is a little slow, everyone will agree with that, but it's, by all means, a decent tale with some stellar world-building. Think of it as a foundation of what's to come.
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