Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn: A day in the life of an Eorzean
I've managed to log in quite a ludicrous amount of hours into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, despite the servers being extremely overpopulated, thus making it difficult for players to log in. Persistence is key! I managed to almost hit level 30 with my main class, the Arcanist, while dipping a bit into some of the other classes, just to see how they play. So what exactly did my journey consist of thus far?
I've spend a good chunk of my time focusing on completing Story quests, which helped me expand my knowledge of Eorzea, not only through learning about the lore, but mostly because I'm constantly urged to go visit new areas that I haven't yet seen before. I won't go into much detail about the story, but for the most part, it's entertaining, at least as far as MMOs go. Don't get me wrong, you'll have to read a ton, since voice acting is pretty much reserved strictly for key cutscenes, but if you're into Final Fantasy lore, you'll most likely appreciate all the various nods to previous FF games.
Out of the three starting cities, my class started in the port city of Limsa Lominsa. Considering you get a gorgeous view at the ocean almost any which way you look, it certainly makes you feel like you're in paradise. After getting a bit acquainted with the city's fast travel system, the Aethernet, picking up a few quests and introducing myself to the Arcanist guild, it was time to put my combat skills to the test.
Venturing out into the fields of La Noscea, armed with nothing but a Grimoire, I set off to make a name for myself, get some sweet loot, and, of course, earn some XP in hopes of one day becoming a Summoner.
See, Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn's answer to specialized, not to mention iconic, Final Fantasy classes comes in the form of Jobs. However, instead of allowing each class to simply ascend to a specialized Job at level 30, each player is also required to level up a secondary class to level 15.
It's not all about the kill count and completing story quests; sometimes you'll want to tone it down a bit and perhaps take up a vocation. In my case, my starting zone was home to the Culinary and Fishing guild, so naturally, I had to join both. Thanks to A Realm Reborn's complete freedom, there was no need to do prior research on what crafting or gathering professions to choose based on your class; you can do them all!
The fast-paced nature of the game takes a backseat when you decide to spend some time crafting. Immediately I set off to the nearest pier, chose my bait and cast my line to see what was biting. The game keeps you engaged in crafting, meaning you won't be able to just queue up a bunch of materials, and watch as your character completes them all on their own. It requires constant input. In terms of fishing, it doesn't really get much more complicated than watching your fishing rod bend and then reeling your prize in, but your Culinary skill does need some more input. Since there if a fail factor when it comes to crafting, I eventually attained a few skills to use during crafting to ensure success, or to raise the quality of the item.
Around level 20, my Story quest brought me to the Airship, which finally allowed me to set foot into the other starting zones, and more importantly, to pick up the rest of the classes and professions. This also allowed me to partake in each zone's first dungeon -- Sastasha, Tam-Tara Deepcroft and the Copperbell Mines. This was also my first foray into group quests, since for the most part, I did everything solo. The instances definitely get you accustomed to party battles, opting for a four-person setup of two DPS, one tank and one healer, which is fairly standard for MMO dungeons. Being in a full party also meant that Limit Breaks were unlocked, which any Final Fantasy VII veteran recognizes as sweet devastating finisher moves.
After completing the dungeons, it was time to choose one of the starting cities as my Grand Companies, or rather, a city I would choose to represent and complete quests for. I decided to shake things up a bit, and didn't choose Limsa Lominsa, but rather chose the foresty haven of Gridania. Being part of a Grand Company comes with a few perks. For one, I was finally able to get my very own Chocobo Mount, meaning no more using those Chocobo Porters. Secondly, I was able to partake in Company-specific quests, which, aside from some sweet XP and Gil, also earned me a new type of currency called Seals.
Being part of a Grand Company is like working toward the bigger picture. Attaining Seals allowed me to purchase some awesome gear for my Arcanist, and still has a ton more to buy assuming I can climb the Company Ranks.
Now, as I stand at the brink of level 30, I'll be so close to finally attaining the Summoner class.
If you're still on the fence about A Realm Reborn, I'd say wait until the issues with the servers get resolved. Trust me, you don't want the headaches of trying to log in, sometimes for hours at a time. However, once that's resolved, I think I can safely say that this new reborn version of Final Fantasy XIV is well worth the price of admission as well as the subscription fee.