Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Round One, FIGHT!

Movement, meter management, positioning, and properly responding to changes in the battlefield are all things present in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

Early and Mid-Level CombatAfter the recent conclusion of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn stage 1 of closed beta phase 3, Square-Enix has seen a plethora of feedback from the community on various online boards.  Testers have been jumping to the conclusion that the style of combat seen in the early and mid-levels of the game properly reflects the nature of combat the game will serve at its endgame. This is an obvious misconception that alpha and beta testers typically tend to arrive at.  However, some players have concluded that behind all of its typical modern MMORPG game mechanics, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may have just what it needs to take gamers by surprise. var adunit_index = 4000; if ((adunit_index != 1000 & adunit_index != 1001) || (adunit_index == 1000 && device_category != 'MOBILE') || (adunit_index == 1001 && device_category == 'MOBILE')) { if (active_ad_units_pw[adunit_index] != undefined) { console.log('Dyn Unit Legacy PW', active_ad_units_pw[adunit_index], adunit_index); googletag.cmd.push(function(){ var adunit_index = 4000; if (typeof(pubwise) != 'undefined' & pubwise.enabled === true) { console.log('Dyn PW'); pubwise.que.push(function(){ pubwise.renderAd('div-sjr-4000'); }); } else { console.log('Dyn Direct'); googletag.display('div-sjr-4000'); googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots['div-sjr-4000']]); } //googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots['div-sjr-4000']]); }); } } The Actual Combat SystemThe complaints regarding repetition remains the same among beta testers - that the combat is repetitive and uninteresting.  Yes, you will certainly find yourself using the same abilities over and over - sometimes back to back, but what MMO doesn't have its share of repetitive combat?During Beta 3, myself and a couple of other players were lucky enough to try the first actual fight that required more than just the ability to press buttons, the Ifrit battle. This was by no means a ball-busting ordeal, however there were elements in this battle that first defined Final Fantasy XIV 1.0's combat system and set it apart from its predecessor Final Fantasy XI. The low-level Ifrit Battle contains mechanics that seek to challenge the player’s ability to respond to changes in the battle environment and demands constant positional awareness and proper communication between the party of four.TP (Tactical Points)This in turn will demand players to maintain a level of knowledge and experience when aiming to excel at their chosen Class/Job.  For example, at many points during the Ifrit battle I found my TP on the brink of exhaustion. There were several occasions where I ran out of TP and had to stop myself from using abilities that consumed it for a period of time.  This alone warrants that good decision-making is required to maintaining a proper level of what is called “meter management”, and despite the illusion that combat involves excessive amounts of button-mashing and “face-roll” there will be a major emphasis on players having to use the right skills at the right time to ensure that they get the most bang for their buck.Previous GamesThe same can also be said about various other games in the genre. One for example, is the popular “true-action combat” game TERA Online. Despite its various in-game problems, it provides players with an interesting and engaging battle system. Movement, meter management, positioning, and properly responding to changes in the battlefield are all things present in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Veteran Final Fantasy XI players tend to often make comparisons between the combat of Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, often describing the ARR combat system as spammy and unimaginative.  Most importantly, the global cooldown of Weapon Skills has been a major topic of discussion among the players.  It’s important to note that this new combat system takes a fresh and modern approach compared to that of Final Fantasy XI.  Ability rotations, properly responding to enemies’ abilities, mix-and-matching buffs with your own skills, and properly positioning yourself are all aspects that need to be taken into consideration in this new Online Final Fantasy title. Yoshida and his team have definitely taken a more modern approach in the design of this fresh and innovative combat system.Looks like someone didn't incorporate movement in their strategy during 1.0's Ifrit Extreme, and now they pray to the twelve for a raise... This also remains a factor in 2.0.Classes and JobsSince the conclusion of phase 3, the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Beta testers have made their opinions and observations heard. The general consensus regarding skill sets of the Classes and Jobs have been a mix of negative and positive. Players criticize that Archer/Bard have been given an underwhelming skill set and deem that Pugilist/Monk combat is mindless and involves much button-mashing, providing an otherwise spammy experience. It is indeed easy to agree with such negative conclusions, but I must urge players to stop and note the intricacies of every skill and how various aspects of the combat can be manipulated to turn an apparently negative situation into a heavily favorable one.Now for Bard, take into consideration that both poison abilities stack and that Bloodletter's cooldown RESETS when EITHER of these two STACKABLE abilities crit on any given tick of damage... Oh yeah, and they can also play a support role. Good thing they can't kite you when Square Enix introduces PvP. Oh wait..Pugilist/Monk are on the same boat. Yoshida and team are making it so that abilities are recycled throughout the entirety of the game, a no-man-left behind ideology. There will be times where you find yourself spamming three abilities in a rotation, but this can be said about any other MMO. Players will also have to incorporate multiple abilities in any given instance as battles progress.  During the early levels, you won't find yourself doing much beyond accumulating experience points, and grinding the various low-level FATEs and quests the game has to offer in an effort to gain the levels required to participate in more difficult content such as boss battles and dungeons. The team at Square Enix has developed a game that smoothly transitions players from each stage to the next, allowing them to not only experience Eorzea through the early game content, but also reaching climax points for eager end game players that look forward to a challenging experience. Behind all of its “typical” modern MMO combat mechanics, Final Fantasy XIV: ARR conceals a combat engine that shows much promise, and it comes wrapped in beautiful visuals and breathtaking sounds.  Yoshida and his team aim to make an enjoyable game for the casual and hardcore gamer alike.

Correspondent

Artist, Gamer, New Yorker.

Published Jun. 20th 2013
  • Pathog3n
    These fan boy reviews are getting old. No real constructive talk about the game. Why didn't you bring up the abnormally long GCD in this game compared to all other mainstream mmos? It's so slow paced I can play with my mouse alone.
  • Ashin
    My impression of your article is that you're describing what you think the combat could or might be, as opposed to what it is. For instance, on the topic of TP management. I, too, can see how this system could work and could be very fun. Perhaps certain combo's or situational abilities are needed to manage your meter. But the problem is that people are saying they don't see any indication of this.

    For example, you mentioned that you found yourself TP starved during the Ifrit battle. Could you explain how you could have played differently in a manner that would have increased your DPS and maintained your TP? If the only solution to TP starvation is to stop pressing buttons and auto-attack, that doesn't actually provide any gameplay value.

    Just to be clear - you've experienced more of the game than I have and know more about its combat system than I do. I'd just like you to substantiate your article a bit more. If for no other reason than to encourage me to stick with the game. Because my initial impression was the combat was a non-modern rotation system (fixed sequence of abilities is always right), as opposed to a modern priority system (optimal ability varies depending on situation).

    Cheers.
  • John Babilonia
    Correspondent
    There are many things you can do once you reach endgame in terms of TP usage. Seeing as Invigorate (increases TP) is yet to be a factor because you can't use it at the current beta level cap, the one ability alone will change the situation in a favorable manner. I don't go into extreme detail for each topic for the essence of time and length, but if I were to try and encourage players like yourself who have a vast understanding on game mechanics I'd have to rely on what I know about the game.

    At this point I know as much as any other beta tester. From my understanding of 1.0's system and the remnants there of, I concluded that the system rewards players for taking down the monster in a short span of time, like ifrit for instance. The fast one tries to beat the fight the faster the TP consumption. There is no way to change that process from what I've gathered at the current level cap, but if your party members are also playing at par with the DPS output then the TP situation would've been entirely different.

    During the fights I ran out of TP several players were dead. When one or more players are inactive during a fight it becomes a lot harder to manage TP for example. The fights are prolonged therefore resulting in an above average use of your initially calculated resources.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    I'm ready to start up! I got my new character on Midgardsormr, and my legacy character on Aegis, a Japanese server.
  • John Babilonia
    Correspondent
    yea dude, im totally pumped to try some of the higher level content on my own legacy character.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    did you see my fishing Meme? I figured it was appropriate based on the fact that so many people were crying about fishing getting changed. What I don't understand is why with all the bellyaching about fishing did no one say anything about logging being changed lol.
  • John Babilonia
    Correspondent
    lol, idk either, and nah i dont see it. can u link me?
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    https://www.gameskinny.com/mryy5/final-fantasy-xiv-the-great-fishing-debate it's at the bottom of the article
  • Agrina
    People jumping to stupid conclusions depending on limited information is a sad reality. Most people who look at the system could tell the system partially mimicks the original FF ATB system (hence why abilities have no cooldowns), which is a neat approach to combat design. It's depressing to see so many people are so hung up on FFXI or FFXIV 1.23 that they refuse to even look at something that is neither of those systems. Even worse are the people who decree that anything that seems like "spam" is a bad thing.

    As long as these misinformed individuals don't influence the flow of the game's development, I think we'll be fine. If they're really that worried about being "different" from WoW and the other modern MMOs, they should probably just stick to older MMOs and let XIV play to its potential (which it has a lot of).
  • John Babilonia
    Correspondent
    I wrote the article to not only address the large amount of feedback, but also to address the potential of the long term accessibility of the game. I tried to be as factual as I could possibly be while explaining the article and hope that people would adhere to the content in it.
  • Agrina
    My comment was made in general based on some of the reactions I've seen since beta 2. Trust me, I greatly appreciate your article and take on things, and wish people would take the time to look at the system itself to notice the potential for growth it has.
  • John Babilonia
    Correspondent
    I feel like the populist will take to the game and the majority of players will truly enjoy the game.

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