Monthly Archives: August 2013

FFXIV ARR: Jack of all trades , master of all

By Final Fantasy 14 : Rebirth of the realm website first , people who browse game without having any prior knowledge of the importance of firearms system will not require long-term show.

Armory system is the cornerstone of the game , after all , will be among the top ” game features ” Someone should be required to recite the list of top five lists .

But armory convenient for you ? Well implemented ? Balance not enough for you ? Let’s find out.

Since all beta testers already know ( or even leisure travelers FFXIV: ARR website can easily find ) , armory system allows a single character to be a ” jack of all trades .” The difference is that the way it works , you can feel assured that ” jack of all trades , no master ” slogan does not apply.
Armory system to achieve it ?

Final Fantasy XI players will be familiar with a similar system , which allows players to “equipment” a primary a secondary classes , create several “hybrid” combination of characters . Although the system is different, one would say , more streamlined than eleven people find that it is definitely worth discussing availability, accessibility and intuitive.

First, it should be emphasized , as it is quite a positive development , slight disadvantage armory system seems constantly overcome with time . The introduction of the gear set and a few small , but significantly enhanced inventory system indicates that the system has been fine-tuned on the basis of continuous feedback .

In addition to the armory chest ( case, the term is not sounded the alarm , which is FFXIV: ARR gear -specific inventory and mercifully , there are – organization gears automatically each slot ) , has been on every project indicator shows whether the character can be equipped with the current class , which allows for faster overview of pieces of gear , but hover over each device project incantation to determine whether you can use it , or do not wear .

Changing a class seems to be a very simple experience , from the second time . Why the second time , you ask ? Ah , the first attempt ( and timely equipment, a new class of weapon you want to change it into a class ) , you will briefly naked , because your new class has no gear assigned to it. ( Sincerely ) As several people painfully discovered in Beta 3 phase, which is not a good idea , and immediately sell your level one time you replace the better , because you still need to wear a standard thing .

Of course, you can run around half-naked Eorzea , if you wish, but some crafted items ( Weaver, or leather armor , depending on the case at hand ) , and will provide you with bonuses , and wear in one version , so you should prepare accordingly for your life as a new class , make sure to change it , you can wear something .

Once this little trouble to take care of , the setting of any one class is straightforward enough . A couple of tips, if you miss those :

You can “share” the shortcut bar between classes ( locked ) . The option to do this can be found under the character configuration > Hotbar Hotbar will be set up to share .
In addition, you can specify the class change action ( equipment gear group ) , as well as your bar. This way, you can easily have an action bar , including only ” a kind of change,” icon , through which you can change whatever you want a class with a single click or press the button.

Overall, the armory system implementation seems to be quite good so far , a number of additional options on the items / inventory sorting and searching pushing it closer to a perfect realization . As an overview, especially considering the collection and production of class ( also known as the “disciples of the land ” and ” disciple hand” ) , can have their own special gear , with numerous collection / crafting bonus, the system fully refine a fast, trouble-free , such an exchange of experience , so … as long as you take care of your gear , of course !

FFXIV:A bucket list before 2.0

Doom approaches Eorzea. It’s nice to think that we as players won a temporary victory and a brief respite from that oncoming destruction, but let’s face it: We all know from trailers and outside sources that it’s just a momentary win. Cities will burn, lands will be razed, and the best we can hope for is that when we emerge once more, the world is a better place. Final Fantasy XIV is getting a lot of upgrades in version 2.0, but a whole lot of the game is going to be flushed away first.

How long do we have? The rest of the month, certainly. Most of September, probably. More than that? Dubious. So it’s time to start making a bucket list for Eorzea-that-is before it becomes Eorzea-that-was, since we all know that a lot of things are changing by then. I’m not talking about finishing out the storyline missions; if you haven’t already done that, then odds are you’re not too concerned about doing so. I’m talking about the things you need to do in order to prepare for the end, stuff that you should start knuckling down and doing. Maybe some of it won’t be necessary after all, but it’s better to assume that the clock is running for you to take a last look.

ffxiv moglog bucket 1 epl 809 FFXIV:A bucket list before 2.0

Explore Shposhae

More than likely, the current instanced regions in the game will still be there after the version change, but Shposhae is a little less certain. It’s not instanced like the others; it’s really more of an extension of La Noscea, and it’s easy to skip over as you rise in levels. So it’s very possible you’ve never been, and it’s also very possible that after the version update, it won’t be around to check out any longer.

This is a shame because while it’s not the most interesting dungeon, it’s still got some interesting scenery and neat little notorious fights. By your mid-30s, you can safely explore it without any issues, and if you’re at 50, you can definitely search through the whole area and kill anything you want while you’re there. So go ahead and prowl around, check out some of the coffers and notorious monsters, and take some pictures. It’s well worth the look.

Pick up some dated gear

Odds are good that “dated” gear will still be craftable until the changeover, but once 2.0 hits, it’s gone for good. This is especially worth noting for roleplayers because there are some things that you can do with several pieces of dated gear that you can’t do with other equipment. Only dated heavy armor can be slapped on Lancers, for instance. Most dated equipment just has optimal classes and levels rather than required ones. The list goes on, and it all boils down to the simple fact that there’s some neat stuff to be had if you get it before the cutoff.

Roleplayers should put forth the effort to find some of the unique gear that’s good for costuming and not so good for actual stats. Non-roleplayers have less to worry about, since you need to worry about stats more than looks, but there still might be a couple of neat pieces for ambling around town. Depending on the skill levels involved, some of the components needed for dated gear can be nabbed for a song right now, so it’s worth doing the research.

ffxiv moglog bucket 2 epl 809 FFXIV:A bucket list before 2.0

Raise one class of each Discipline to 50

Depending on where you are, this may be less desirable or even not doable. But it’s worth the effort because there are going to be a lot of new things worth exploring once the update hits… and nothing helps exploration like having a nice safe class for exploring. Raising one of each to the level cap gives you plenty of space to learn the new high-end of the game rather than re-learn the leveling march.

If you somehow have all of your classes to an equal point and need advice about which to raise, I’d aim for Conjurer, Botanist, and Culinarian. Food is bound to be useful after the patch, healing is always desirable, and trees seem to be slightly more plentiful than mining points. That having been said, if you’re a 39 Miner, you would be really dumb not to push along to the last few levels.

Pick some classes not to level

Look, there’s going to be a whole lot of new stuff to explore when the update hits. And while you could just go through from the top and blow through everything as a Level 50 Gladiator, that would also be really boring (and annoying to anyone competing with you for quest targets). No, you want to also experience the game from the bottom up, and that means picking out certain things you’re just not going to fool around with right now.

Sometimes, that’s not really possible. I don’t have a single class in War or Magic at less than 20, but I can avoid leveling anything that low. You might have a whole lot of classes at 50, but you can at least steer clear of the handful you don’t have maxed. And if you’ve gotten everything to the level cap already… well, odds are good you’re already in the Legacy program, so you’ll be able to make more characters to patch that hole.

Get your house in order

If you’ve got a lot of superfluous junk in your inventory, I recommend ditching it, crafting with it, or just selling it. We know that we’re losing some space with the update, so you’ll want to pare down to what’s actually important. Selling stuff also nets you some additional cash flow, and I can’t imagine that walking in with a full coin purse will be a bad idea.

Get your jobs unlocked if you’ve been waiting, grab some artifact armor if you can, and generally batten down the hatches. There’s a storm coming.

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New FFXIV 2.0 screenshots released

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Gamescom maketh the good things flow. Today saw Square-Enix releasing a double helping of new FFXIV screenshots and artwork as a preview of what awaits fans in the game’s 2.0 patch. The long-anticipated update, known as A Realm Reborn, is bringing some pretty significant changes to the game.

The new images show off everything from skill effects and mounts to architecture and NPC dialogue. They serve as a mightily shiny glimpse at what’s to come when the patch hits and brings a nearly universal graphical update with it. And chocobo-raising, because what good is a world without chocobo raising?

rea16 New FFXIV 2.0 screenshots released

rea08 New FFXIV 2.0 screenshots released

rea11 New FFXIV 2.0 screenshots released

FFXIV:It’s the countdown

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On November 1st, it’s the end of the world as we know it. I’ll let you know then how I’m feeling.

All right, the game will still be online for another week or so, but November 1st is the last day that any progress is getting saved. You can go ahead and ignore Final Fantasy XIV after that last server photograph, unless you had an urge to spend all of your gil on airship rides but couldn’t bear the thought of being broke. Not that you’ll even need to worry about that after September 29th if you’re not currently subscribed, as that’s the last chance for people to come back even if it’s just for a short period of time.

It’s hard to avoid looking forward to the end of the game as it stands, and the fact that we have a precise timeframe only exacerbates the problem. We’ve got 45 days until the ending hits, and while I’ve already talked about what to do with the time you have left, there are questions that need to be asked as we look at the numbers.

ffxiv moglog timelimit 1 epl 912 FFXIV:Its the countdownWhat are we going to do for the next month?

The story of the current version of the game has come to a conclusion. It’s concluded. All that’s left is to take part in more efforts to keep Eorzea safe and healthy, something we already know is going to fail. (Spoiler alert: Dalamud doesn’t just up and leave.) This is not bad storytelling, but it does raise the question of what in the world we’re supposed to spend the next month doing.

Seriously, odds are good that if you were going to cap out the story, you have done so by now. What’s left is hunting some achievements and apparently dealing with Atomos, who looks uncomfortably similar to his Final Fantasy XI incarnation. Every update along the way has built up to the single conclusion, but now that we’ve got a lull before the end, it’s hard to fill it with activity.

Hopefully, testing will start expanding to people outside of Japan fairly early just to keep player interest up, since otherwise we’re going to have a very long October. Even if we have some sort of Halloween event, it’s going to feel mostly perfunctory, as we’ll be crunched for time to play through it. Plus, once we start hearing more about 2.0 in practice rather than in theory — something that should start happening later this month — odds are good that it’ll either be great (in which case we’ll want to play that version) or be awful (in which case interest in the game will flatline).

So, yeah. Look for more testing and invitations in October. That’s my guess, anyway.

ffxiv moglog timelimit 2 epl 912 FFXIV:Its the countdownHow long will testing last?

I was only involved in the very last portion of Final Fantasy XIV’s testing, but from what I’ve heard, it was an intensely frustrating process. Testers offered feedback while being told explicitly that they weren’t testing the full game, that there was a ton of content just not being shown during the test period. (For those of you uninvolved in the testing altogether, this was a lie.) If Final Fantasy XIV wants to avoid making the same mistakes as the original version, this round of testing should really avoid that specific mistake first and foremost.

Assuming that Naoki Yoshida wants to do this round of testing right — and I’m willing to bet that he does — I think the game needs to have a longer testing period this time around. That means that even if the testing starts right now, it’s going to take longer than three months. It probably needs a minimum of six months in the cooker, pushing its release to be roughly concurrent with Seekers of Adoulin.

A lot of testing has been taking place already, but part of the problem the game had with the first round of testing was that it didn’t give any extra time for player feedback. The game was tested internally, and the beta turned into an extended stress test rather than a test of whether the game worked, had enough content, and was fun to play.

I’m a little worried about this simply because the game already has such a firm timeline for shutdown. That seems to imply that the testing is almost perfunctory, and that doesn’t inspire confidence. If testing already has an end date built-in, you can rest assured that it’s not going to be as rigorous as it ought to be.

Yoshida has gone on record saying that he’s going to be considering player feedback very carefully and using that as the basis for moving on from alpha testing to beta testing and so forth. It’s not that I doubt his intent; it’s that I’ve heard these lines before from the community management team. I’m not disbelieving, but I am taking this with a grain of salt.

How much of now is going to matter?

The other two questions here have answers. This one honestly doesn’t.

Let’s say you have 10 million gil right now. You feel pretty confident that going into version 2.0, you’ll be set. But we don’t actually know that just yet. It could be that everything is balanced around veteran players and your gil is only a pittance. Or it could be that you can basically buy anything in sight from vendors and break markets on a whim. We don’t know how much gil players will be earning regularly, what vendor prices will look like, or what vendors will even sell.

Are all of those crafting items you’ve got on retainer going to be worth anything after the version change? Will they even still be there?

This is an area that I’m hoping to get more communication on in the coming months. If I know full well that there’s no reason to save certain items, I won’t cry over it; I’ll just get rid of them. There are so many things set to change in the new version that we need more information than just a closing date. We need hard data on what won’t matter because in a little over a month, it’ll be too late to act on that information.

New trailer released for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

ffxiv arrtrailer epl 920 New trailer released for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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If you’re looking forward to the release of Final Fantasy XIV’s large-scale revamp, you’re probably devouring every piece of information you can find about the game. So you’ll be happy to know that just beyond the cut down yonder lies the latest trailer for the impending relaunch, featuring some recycled footage from previous trailers and some new shots of the game as a whole. Also no voiceovers, if you prefer your information in text form.

What we have seen are elements from the first trailers and some of the bigger group battles, including the Meteor spell. What we haven’t seen is some of the in-game footage, including more group battles showing off combat and some of the new landscapes featured in the relaunch. There’s also a good look at some of the new starter outfits in the game rather than in concept art. If that sounds like enough reason for you, go ahead and check out the full trailer just past the break.

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 New trailer released for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornDerrickSturgill

The more I see of 2.0 the more I’m starting to wish we could just improve on the XIV we have now.

They’re removing arrows, making questing like WoW – going from quest hub to quest hub, adding tons of different mount types in instead of relying on chocobos and different breeds like FFXI, tuning down the nice animations we’ve gotten used to.

I’m not saying all of 2.0 is for the worst (the actual crafting mechanics and level sync is a huge plus IMO), but I can’t help but feel XIV will lose that feeling only FF MMO’s have.

 New trailer released for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborngfunkera1212
I’m interested to hear about their pricing for the PS3 version. I already have purchased the PC version, however I feel like I’d prefer to play it on the PS3. I have a feeling that they’re going to price gouge me and then charge a monthly fee.

For a change, it’d be nice if they just say : If you own either version, the other version is free. It IS the exact same game after all.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Blockbuster hit

It is no secret that Square-Enix have had more than a few miss-steps in recent years. Between unrealistic targets and more than a few changes in the upper personnel, it’s clear that all is not as well as it could be in the Enix camp. But Square is a proven survivor and over the last few months has begun to identify why it isn’t quite the company it used to be.

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Few examples illustrate this better than the turbulent tale of Square’s latest online-only entry in to its long running Final Fantasy series. Initially launched in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV was met with a disappointing response from both fans and critics alike, forcing Square-Enix to even apologise to customers for the game’s lack of quality on several occasions. However, despite the damage to the brand, Square are determined to rectify past mistakes and have been hard at work on FFXIV’s re-launch, aptly titled Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. So the question is, will the damage that was done by its predecessor be forgotten or is FFXIV doomed in any form? By the looks of things it seems Square may back on the right track, but with the wrong business model.

Back in 2002, Square-Enix made a bold move in the release of the online-only Final Fantasy XI. Up until its launch, Square’s online gaming presence was at a minimum and Final Fantasy was a strictly offline experience, leading many to wonder if this was really a smart move for the Japanese gaming goliath. However, between an emerging MMO market and an incredibly unique experience, FFXI made a name for itself as one of the more hardcore MMORPG’s on the market. This allowed it to appeal on a much less beginner friendly level than the likes of World of Warcraft and actually made it stand apart from the competition, for both positive and negative reasons.

0000002411 L 6719a67 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Blockbuster hit

Unfortunately for Square one of these negatives is somewhat detrimental to the MMO business model. Namely a non-beginner friendly system can mean your userbase will struggle to grow and although FFXI was (and still is) an incredibly rewarding experience at later points, many were put off by the time and effort required to reach the more interesting end game content.

Despite many of these elements being dummied down with patches, FFXI suffered because of its nature of design.  It is clear however that Enix has taken heed of this when approaching FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, offering instead a much more friendly first 10-20 hours.

After choosing a race, job type and designing your character, FFXIV drops you into whichever major city pertains to the aforementioned character, much like every MMO of its type. As you may expect you are then introduced to many of the game’s elements slowly over the first 10-20 hours, as well as learning more about your job role. It’s all standard MMO fair, giving experience for almost every action and the opportunity for an incredibly large amount of side quests from the word go. Most side and story quests (at least early on) require killing a certain amount of a particular creature or finding so many of a certain item for an NPC giving the whole thing a formulaic, fetch quest feel. It’s safe to say that any MMO veteran will not be surprised by the content on show here, however it is delivered well, simultaneously leaving little to complain or write home about.

This mix of high and mediocre quality is also present when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s story. Although presenting an interesting tale right from the opening, it is quickly lost amongst the vast amounts of unnecessary dialogue and focus on questing rather than narrative.

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Strangely Final Fantasy XIV on the whole gives the feel of a much older MMO in its structure. Littered with fetch quests and dialogue boxes, it feels more like a throwback to the earlier days of the genre than an attempt to push it into new, exciting territories.

However this is not necessarily a bad thing. The tried and tested MMO structure has proved successful for many years now and FFXIV goes out of its way to present it in the most user friendly and aesthetically pleasing way possible. The game looks great and the menus and interfaces work well, even on a DualShock 3, allowing for a smooth experience regardless of the format.

Where FFXIV: A Realm Reborn really shines and breaks new ground is with its combat and job system. Players are now able to change jobs at any time simply by equipping new gear. More jobs are also unlocked at later points as you progress giving a feeling of freedom to the combat that is rarely seen in an MMO. The combat also controls well across all formats, making it one of the most satisfying elements of the game, keeping you hooked, even if the quest is a little dull.

However, despite all of this there is one fundamental potential flaw in Square-Enix’s new flagship MMO and it comes in the form of their choice of business model. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is set to be a subscription-based MMO costing roughly £10 a month, a system that has not brought success for many in recent times. With MMO’s like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Trek Online being forced to change their strategy post release, it will be interesting to see if FFXIV doesn’t end up in the realms of Free-to-Play within a year or so of it launching.

0000002411 L 9ba79b0 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Blockbuster hit

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is in no way a bad game. It is a massive improvement on the games original form and brings a more than competent MMO experience to the gamer. Despite this however, Square has clearly gone for a more traditional structure and business model that could hurt it. With games like Guild Wars 2 not only changing what to expect from the genre, but also doing it with no monthly subscription, Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn may just be approaching the market with a little too much confidence.

Final Fantasy XIV’S 1.0 characters into beta

530x302xsayhi.jpg.pagespeed.ic.lAArEgXDTa Final Fantasy XIVS 1.0 characters into beta

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Returning players who log into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn beta phase four will be given the option to import their version 1.0 characters for the first time since the game went offline in November 2012. The Lodestone reports that players will not only see their old characters once more, but also any items that they had on them at the time of the apocalypse. Players will have a one-time opportunity to alter that character’s look, gender, race, and name, and these changes will carry over to live.

Square-Enix is also handing out the legacy chocobo whistles with phase 4 for those that earned them through the legacy campaign. This will add a special mount to your character’s stable.

And if you’ve never played an MMO before and need a beginner’s guide to partying up for dungeon runs, check out the following video (protip: Tell everyone you’re a noob!).

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50 Final Fantasy XIVS 1.0 characters into betaOwenAllen

Almost every mmo launches with no more social tools than an ignore list and a invite only chat room, also known as a guild. That’s it. Why can’t I rate other players? Why can’t I see meaningful metrics on those players? Gaming communities are far past the size where can manage them with small town rules (everyone knows everyone). Don’t tell me the system would just be abused, there are many ways to create reasonable rating systems which are difficult to abuse.

People become civil when there are meaningful repercussions to be being uncivil. If I can see the number of times a player leaves before a dungeon is over, then that might impact my decision to invite them to my party. In addition, it might impact that players decision to leave early knowing that future group leaders will judge him on that behavior.

Managing communities and creating civil environments is so much more than crossing your fingers and telling players to “play nice”, it means creating systems which provide benefit to players who do treat others with respect and punish those who do not.

50 Final Fantasy XIVS 1.0 characters into betaomedon666

To repeat what I said in response to Final Fantasy. net’s follow-up to this movie that followed much the same positive vibe:

Honestly, all of this is well and good to suggest, when it comes to the social common sense of party play in any MMORPG, but SE will still need to be on top of developing their game to protect players from our own worst sides and baddest apples, because it’s 2013, it’s the internet, and the duty finder means that blacklists and reputation are pretty much impotent and moot.

For example: giving tanks the tools to hold agro even with uncommunicative and uncooperative DPS in the party is crucial.

At the end of the day, you can lead players to content, but you can’t make them talk to each other. SE can lay out all the friendly pie-in-the-sky reminders of etiquette they like, but what will make or break the duty finder experience is protective development designed to automatically cut down on the damage done by the most brutal, un-nerfable monster in any MMORPG: The jaded internet gaming community of 2013.

World of Warcraft’s 5.4 trailer features Orc on Panda violence, boats

Siege of Orgimmar

It’s been a long road for the Alliance and Horde, the perennially at-war factions that fuel much of World of Warcraft’s lore (and PvP). Over the last few years, players waved the Alliance or Horde banner as they conquered old gods, dispatched massive dragons, toppled titans, and even crushed a walking constellation. But perhaps none of those battles will compare to the final showdown with the power-thirsty madmanorc Garrosh Hellscream, who seems to have angered pretty much everyone on both sides of the fence with his latest plans for world domination.

Mists of Pandaria’s patch 5.4, titled Siege of Ogrimmar, is almost here. With it comes new content, flexible raiding, a solo pet battle scenario, proving grounds, and one more raid to clear featuring the final showdown between Hellscream and those who would challenge him.

Blizzard marked the approaching cataclysm (get it!?) with an all-new trailer, which you can watch after the break.
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Here are Some Pics from China’s Unlicensed ‘World of Warcraft’ Theme Park

Here are Some Pics from China's Unlicensed 'World of Warcraft' Theme Park

We’ve posted about the World of Warcraft and Starcraft themed amusement park in China before, but there are some new pictures from “Joyland” to share today. Redditor FrancescaO_O posted about her experience there, saying “It’s pretty huge. We didn’t have time to see everything but the rides we did go on were great.”

There’s also an article about it on this Shanghai website with a lot more images, including several showing just how blatant a rip-off the theme park is (Thanks JaviG). It’s amazing that stuff like this can go on in China, but we expect nothing less at this point—the park reportedly cost $48 million to build, and you don’t spend that kind of scratch unless you’re positive there aren’t going to be any legal consequences.

Click through to the source for more images. What games do you think would make great theme parks (officially licensed or not)?

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Final Fantasy XIV of sexism

Passive sexism is a big deal to me. If it isn’t a big one for you, it should be, because at some point high heels and metal bikinis became something passively accepted in games as a whole and that’s not all right. MMORPGs on a whole do better than single-player titles, but you still have games like TERA that stick every female character into gravity-defying heels and the legal minimum required for clothing, or Scarlet Blade and its outfits made entirely out of electrical tape and fishnet.

Some games are better or worse about this than others. The Secret World allows you to dress up either gender to be as sexy or as casual as you like, and Guild Wars made a point of keeping skimpy armor as skimpy armor for both genders in most cases. (Although not hardly all.) But the question that’s actually relevant to this column is how Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV stack up, and the answer is that they acquit themselves remarkably well. So much so that they’re among the most even-handed games I’ve seen, if not at the top of the list.

ffxiv moglog sexism 1 epl 129 Final Fantasy XIV and sexismJudging sexism in MMOs is a tricky thing, partly because pretty much every MMO ever allows you to play as either gender without any penalties. (Disregarding momentary weirdness or accidents). So it comes down heavily on the side of incidentals and clothing. What are outfits like on both genders? What do the female models look like compared to the male models? What sort of role do female NPCs take, and how are they treated in dialogue?

Let’s start with the first point — clothing. Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV both have some armor that’s clearly sexualized, with Harnesses in particular leaving little to the imagination. But that works both ways, looking equally skimpy on male or female characters. Heavy metal armor is pretty much equivalent for both genders, avoiding the tendency to hug a woman’s chest despite being made of metal. Far from TERA’s high-heeled plate, the armor that you wear is practical and functional.

The one weakness that FFXI had in this department was giving women trousers instead of varying degrees of hot pants. It’s nice that I don’t have a low-cut metal corset instead of heavy plate, but the effect is somewhat undercut when my plate armor has a gap to show some thigh. FFXIV does not share this problem.

FFXIV also features a few more options for sexualized armor, but it’s also even-handed in its approach there. The summer swimsuits were skimpy on women, but they were just as skimpy on men, and you could earn the same cheesecake character portraits by unlocking them. About the only thing that shows more skin when worn by women are the various coatees, and considering that they turn into form-fitting dapper tuxedos on the men, I think it’s more a matter of different kinds of eye candy.

This wouldn’t mean a lot if the games featured proportions that would make Barbie dolls look realistic, but the female models in the game are among the best I’ve seen. Having some motion-capture work here no doubt helps, but even beyond that characters of both genders are proportioned nicely and posed naturally. The posing in particular is nice, with none of the extended sway-backed look-at-how-sexy-I-am animations you find in all too many games.

More points are due to FFXIV for the upcoming Highlander and Roedagyn women, both of whom look excellent as well as being very representative of the other half of the gender. Highlanders and Roedgayn men are clearly large and muscular, and I was worried that the women would be much leaner and closer to an arbitrary ideal. Instead, both look to be just as muscular as their distaff counterparts, which marks one of the rare occasions that players really have an option of playing a large and muscular woman.

ffxi moglog sexism 2 epl 129 Final Fantasy XIV and sexism

So that just leaves us with the stories and NPCs of the game, which really serve to reinforce the obvious theme I’m getting at here. Major NPCs can easily be found of both genders across a wide range of personalities, and about the only role that seems to favor men is that of the villain. (Which, considering my opinion of the online villains, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) Only Curilla seems to have her gender merit a special mention, and none of that takes away from her position.

The games don’t even fall into the all-too-common trap of having supposedly competent women constantly unable to achieve their goals; Merlwyb in particular comes across as frighteningly capable, and the only reason she isn’t taking over the entirety of Eorzea is because the continent is facing bigger problems.

In truth, the most arbitrarily sexist thing I can find in either game is the fact that female summons always appear in a vaguely humanoid shape, while male summons can look like more or less anything. And considering Phoenix’s gender in FFXI, even that’s not entirely true. (Although you only deal with Phoenix in a roundabout fashion, but now I’m splitting hairs.) Even that is almost more a matter of tradition than actual bias, since Shiva and Garuda both have an established look from previous games.

You can argue that the game isn’t perfect, and I’d agree with that. There are ladies plying the oldest profession in Ul’dah who will proposition either gender, but there are no men doing the same. But out of all the MMOs I’ve played, FFXI and FFXIV frequently do some of the best jobs of being fair to both genders from creation to level cap. So points to both games for that.

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