I only played for about two hours fooling around with configurations, customizations, and what not. I decided to post my initial thoughts here.
For the beta application, the configuration for resolution, game controller and the like are in a separate application. This might be integrated into the game at some point (at least I hope so) because it took me at least 20 minutes to set up to the point where I was satisfied. This consisted of restarting the game over and over also. You’d think they figured out a way to do this without restarting the game by now.
The game certainly does well with customization. There aren’t a huge amount of options (like in Aion where you can have a ton) but they have enough to start out with. Hopefully this will change as time goes on. However, with the exception of hair and skin colors, you only get about 4 or 5 options for eye shapes, height, ear length, etc.
Gameplay so far…
Mind you, I haven’t spend a lot of time playing yet. So this is sort of a rough draft on my initial gameplay experience.
The character moves are amazing. I started a Lalafell female and she is just as cute as a button… TOO FREAKING CUTE if you asked me. Playing one of these characters is like watching a little girl play in a field of flowers. She dances, gestures, and runs like a little girl. As far as this experience goes, it is amazing to see how much “life” they put into this character. I also played the Miqo’te very briefly and felt somewhat as strongly.
Environment vs. Character Physics
I hate to say it but this is where WoW is probably going to outsell FFXIV, unless some update is developed in time for it, which I highly doubt because of their September release date. “Why the hell can’t I jump off a 2 foot cliff?” I said as soon as I ran out into the harsh. cold world. This is the one thing WoW and Aion does successfully that many games do not. If I was playing WoW/Aion, I could jump off the side of a building if I wanted to. Swimming? That wasn’t possible either. Jumping? No chance. Sitting? I haven’t tried it yet. Unless there is some sort of skill I require, I didn’t easily see if I could jump, sit, swim, or leap to my death. Do users really want this? HELL EFFIN YES! Geez. This is my only pet peeve, not with just this game but EVERY game that does this that thinks they will be the next “WoW-Killer”. And let me tell you, I’ve played a lot of mmorpgs (full list here: http://notmygamenews.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/mmos-ive-tried-out/) and I know that it’s probably a bitch to implement but do it anyway! You won’t regret it.
Of all the navigational menus I’ve seen, I think I like this one the best. It hides while you’re not using them, giving you more space on the screen to see the uber environment. I’m using an XBox wired controller and it takes some getting used to but it’s cool.
I can’t seem to see what the cooldown is. It seems that if I spam the attack spell button, I end up with a series of rejection beeps — meaning “This spell is not ready yet.”
Now, this one had me laughing to myself. So when your character dies in WoW/Aion, a pop-up menu appears that gives you options. FFXIV did not give me any sort of notice. So I laid there, waiting, for some sort of response. “Is it just me or does my character really look dead? Is this the end of the game?!”
But no, there is an option in the menu (it’s called “Return” — it should be renamed to “Resurrect” really but w/e) that you need to click on to get to the resurrection area. I haven’t found out what the rules are yet (save point, nearest graveyard, etc.) towards where you respawn.
P.S. It was a damn dodo bird that killed me too… ugh.
Last but not least, Translations!
Yes folks. As soon as I got into the “real world”, I went to talk to a bunch of NPCs in the starter castle. The translations are really good so far, even funny, however, I spotted two little things that might need to be fixed for the N.A. audience. First, a Miqo’te (I forgot her name already, sorry. If I find it again, I’ll edit) that I “spoke” to had said some dialog like “I’m just a man” or something like that. I looked at the character really hard after that but yeah, that was an error. There are no male Miqo’te. The second, which is the most obvious and will probably be fixed, is an in-game configuration menu option. There is a written character (I want to say its Korean but I don’t really know for sure) that is in there and I don’t want to click on the option only to mess something up.