Top 20 Madden Players on Dallas Cowboys Detailed Guide | Madden 21

Although Madden 21 will be released Aug. 28. And the start of training camp occurring in mid-August and the season still scheduled to begin in early September. But Just recently, EA Sports and Madden 21 revealed their player ratings for several key players. In the Cowboy team, to no surprise, Zack Martin has the best overall rating with a 98. But what about the other players. So who are the best players?

Below are the top 10 players in Dallas Cowboys‘ roster, according to their ratings for Madden 21. The official Madden 21 video game won’t be released until Aug. 28, but the player ratings are out. Check out the Top 10 Cowboys, according to their Madden ratings. Let’s take a look.

TOP 1: Zack Martin
Zack Martin
Right Guard, 98 Overall Rating
Martin’s resume says everything you need to know. He’s been a Pro Bowler in all six years of his career, and the league named him to the 2010-2019 All-Decade team. He’s the best guard in the league and arguably the best player on the Cowboys’ roster.
Cowboys’ Zack Martin

TOP 2: Amari Cooper
Wide Receiver, 93 Overall Rating
A former number four overall pick in 2015, Cooper’s skill was apparent in his time in Oakland. Since arriving in Dallas in a midseason trade in 2018, he has made two Pro Bowls and piled up 132 catches for 1,914 and 14 touchdowns in 25 games.

Cowboys’ Amari Cooper

TOP 3: Ezekiel Elliott
Right Guard, 98 Overall Rating
Martin’s resume says everything you need to know. He’s been a Pro Bowler in all six years of his career, and the league named him to the 2010-2019 All-Decade team. He’s the best guard in the league and arguably the best player on the Cowboys’ roster.
Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott

TOP 4: Tyron Smith
Offensive Tackle, 91 Overall Rating
Smith’s track record speaks for itself. Even with injuries hampering him in recent years, he has reached seven straight Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s 2010-2019 All-Decade Team. He hasn’t even turned 30 yet and already has a case as one of the best offensive linemen in team history.
Cowboys’ Tyron Smith

TOP 5: DeMarcus Lawrence
Defensive End, 89 Overall Rating
Lawrence had a disappointing season last year with only five sacks, but no one doubts what he’s capable of as a nuisance to opposing quarterbacks as well as a premier run-stopper. In the two prior seasons, Lawrence combined for 24.5 sacks.
Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence

TOP 6: La’el Collins
Offensive Tackle, 87 Overall Rating
Very quietly, might have had the best 2019 season of anyone on the Cowboys’ offensive line. He didn’t earn any postseason honors, but he was always reliable and often dominant on the right side.
Cowboys’ La’el Collins

TOP 7: Gerald McCoy
Defensive Tackle, 85 Overall Rating
By far the most decorated addition to the Cowboys roster this offseason, McCoy has stacked up the trophy case with six Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro selections, and one second-team honor. In his time in Tampa Bay from 2010-2018, he made a compelling case as the league’s best defensive tackle of the last decade.
Cowboys’ Gerald McCoy

TOP 8: Dak Prescott
Quarterback, 84 Overall Rating
Prescott bucked his (incorrect) reputation as a check-down artist in 2019, bombing away for 4,902 yards — just one shy of the franchise record. He also threw for a career-best 30 touchdowns. His next step forward would be to put his name in the tier of the league’s most respected and feared quarterbacks.
Cowboys’ Dak Prescott

TOP 9: Leighton Vander Esch
Linebacker, 83 Overall Rating
In 2018 Vander Esch became the first Cowboys defensive rookie in 37 years to make a Pro Bowl. In 2019 he missed seven games with a neck injury that required surgery in January, though the Cowboys have said they expect him to make a full recovery.
Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch

TOP 10: Chidobe Awuzie
Cornerback, 82 Overall Rating
Awuzie has consistently shown the speed and skill to be an impressive starting cornerback, but last season he seemed to fluctuate between making plays and giving them up. He has three career interceptions in three seasons.
Cowboys’ Chidobe Awuzie

TOP 11: Michael Gallup
Wide Receiver, 81 Overall Rating
In just his second NFL season, Gallup became a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time in his career. And this despite missing two games in late September after arthroscopic knee surgery. In the season finale he became only the third player in team history to post three touchdown catches in the second half/overtime of a game.
Cowboys’ Michael Gallup

TOP 12: Chris Jones
Punter, 81 Overall Rating
One of the most productive punters in franchise history, Jones ranks first in all-time net average (40.1) and second in punting average (44.6). However, he’s battled injures the past two seasons that has slightly affected his recent performances.
Cowboys’ Chris Jones

TOP 13: Jaylon Smith
Linebacker, 81 Overall Rating
One of the NFL’s best comeback stories, Smith made his first Pro-Bowl in 2019, three years after suffering a career-threatening knee injury in his final game at Notre Dame. He led the Cowboys with 168 tackles and ranked first in the league in run-stopping percentage, according to Pro Football Focus.
Cowboys’ Jaylon Smith

TOP 14: Greg Zuerlein
Kicker, 80 Overall Rating
Zuerlein earned the nickname “Greg the Leg” for his ability to boom the ball through the net from great distances. He made me 33 field goals of at least 50 yards during the last decade, including five last year.
Cowboys’ Greg Zurelein

TOP 15: Dontari Poe
Defensive Tackle, 78 Overall Rating
A two-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro while with Kansas City, Poe spent the last two seasons with the Panthers. Last year he was back to his old form with four sacks and 22 total tackles in just 12 games before suffering a torn quad in Week 12.
Cowboys’ Dontari Poe

TOP 16: HaHa Clinton-Dix
Safety, 78 Overall Rating
In March, the Cowboys signed the six-year veteran who has started 96 NFL games, collecting 522 tackles and 16 interceptions. Clinton-Dix spent four of those seasons with the Green Bay Packers where he made one Pro Bowl.
Cowboys’ HaHa Clinton-Dix

TOP 17: Tyrone Crawford
Defensive End, 78 Overall Rating
One of the most respected veterans in the Cowboys locker room, Crawford aims to rebound after surgeries on both hips and missing all but four games in 2019. He has the versatility to play on the edge as well as the interior of the defensive line. He’s a pass-rushing threat from wherever he lines up.
Cowboys’ Tyrone Crawford

TOP 18: Jourdan Lewis
Cornerback, 77 Overall Rating
Lewis has developed into a fan favorite as a playmaker on a defense that has at times been starved for turnovers. His quickness and intuitive ability to be at the right place at the right time have provided the Cowboys with momentum in several games.
Cowboys’ Jourdan Lewis

TOP 19: Xavier Woods
Safety, 77 Overall Rating
Woods, a former sixth-round pick in 2017, took a big step forward in his third year. After an impressive training camp, he earned the starting safety spot opposite Jeff Heath and proved to be effective in pass coverage. He recorded two interceptions in 2019.
Cowboys’ Xavier Woods

TOP 20: Anthony Brown
Cornerback, 76 Overall Rating
Brown was a sixth-round draft pick in 2016 who competently started multiple games as a rookie due to injuries. Although his 2019 season was cut short due to a triceps injury, over his career in Dallas he has demonstrated an understanding of the defense, often covering some of the NFL’s top receivers.
Cowboys’ Anthony Brown

Ways to setup NBA 2K21 MT And also VC Filet Parameters and Paydays

NBA 2K21 MT may be the game currency of NBA 2K21 will be released in September of 2020. You can open astounding packs in NBA 2K21 with spending 2K MT Coins. Absolutely, NBA 2K21 MT Xbox One is preferred utilised to exchange NBA 2K Players cards in Auctions Our Site. And VC stands for Virtual Currency, which it is possible to earn all through the many game modes in NBA 2K21 to devote on a wide wide variety of content all through the game.

There are beneficial rewards for attaining different milestones. You get this elite-level Unibrow in the event you gather 2900 total cards. It really is a extended and arduous journey, but as I stated, you'll get some good rewards along the way.


A Player will sell their finest card if they believe they could obtain 3 definitely fantastic cards together with the MT loot they receive from the auction. For the Player, it's all about putting out the top players on the court in MyTeam Limitless.

Playing this way sacrifices a number of the rewards for building significant lineups, but it all depends upon what you are hunting to obtain from MyTeam. Decide what variety of MyTeam journey you desire to go on, and let that shape your strategy.

Set VC Budget Parameters
VC isn't going to be a significant element of your program when you are not willing to devote actual money within the mode. Nonetheless, it is possible to nonetheless earn and devote VC in MyTeam that you just earn from playing other modes.
MyCareer, Play Now On line, MyGM, MyLeague, along with other modes all reward players with VC. Some players are against utilizing any of their VC in any mode apart from MyCareer. In earlier years that made slightly a lot more sense, but with NBA 2K20, it's not rather as sensible of an strategy.
As soon as you upgrade your MyPlayer to a 95, the ascension of his overall rating is mainly based on your top quality of play. Therefore the VC grind has been lessened, and that frees you as much as use it in MyTeam in the event you select.
If you're willing to utilize a number of your hard-earned VC in MyTeam, decide how much you are willing to utilize within the model, and how much you'll save for MyCareer. Probably you desire to complete a 50-50 split, and even 70-30?
For the reason that VC will not be the important currency utilised with this MyTeam program, I'd advise the 70-30 and even 75-25 split together with the lesser amount going to VC. I will explain the subsequent level shortly.

Set MT Budget Parameters
You only earn MT in MyTeam, and you will discover a number of strategies to obtain it this year. You get it by performing just about every thing within the mode. Do not devote it as soon as you get it, and just like the VC component, you may need to decide how you'll allocate your loot.
How much will go toward chasing fantastic cards on the auction block, and how much of it's going to you devote on opening packs?
Each pack openings plus the auction residence are fantastic strategies to add to your team. Regrettably, you can't buy the large box sets of packs with MT (that is why it's nonetheless good to utilize a number of your VC for MyTeam box purchases).
You can buy single packs, though you will not get as a great deal for the MT. Nevertheless, it offers you a likelihood to pull a number of the finest cards in every single set. I like to use a 50-50 split in between auction and packs. It enables me to structure the pursuit of fantastic cards.

Set an MT and VC Paydays
This is a extremely important element with the program. It really is not definitely sensible to devote MT and VC daily, or anytime you hit a specific amount. Most instances, this strategy never lets you get one of the most from your cards, or to accurately assess any time you must upgrade.

For those who play MyTeam daily (which you ought to if feasible, you will discover some cool daily log-in rewards in conjunction with the wheel spins), you'll accrue a fantastic amount of MT Learn More. The group that together with the VC you earn from other modes, and there is an unlimited provide of in-game sources. Discipline yourself to utilize these percentages we talked about ahead of, and to only devote on a single day per week.

If Friday is your MT and VC paydays, that's the day you ought to be going for the auction residence, and getting packs. For instance, in the event you have accumulated 80K MT for the week, and 45K VC, you realize you are going for the Auction Property with 40K MT and getting packs together with the other half.
For those who have 45K VC, you could possibly pour in a little more than 33K of it into your MyPlayer, however the other bit can go toward packs. In case you are questioning, spending with tokens on a daily is fine, specifically if you're a completionist. These cards only add to your collection. There's no actual advantage in saving up tokens unless you are not thinking about grabbing the subsequent obtainable reward.

The best way to create the most effective MyPlayer design in NBA 2K21

In NBA 2K21 MyCareer, you may generate your own NBA players. You played many college games before the NBA draft, which determines your position in the draft. Then, you'll be selected and come to be the team's substitute player, within this case, you have to steadily enhance your level. Within the newer NBA 2K games, some cutscenes can inform a story. The ultimate objective will be to meet the requirements in the Hall of Fame and retire.

You can also arrange gatherings with existing and former players, your basic manager, coach, and in some cases mates of higher school students, in addition to endorsement performances Read More. You will need to guarantee that your schedules don't overlap. Moreover, you have to also participate in team workout routines and select to participate in open gym workout routines. MyPlayer Creator is visually much easier to understand and versatile than ever before. How will you limit your completion, shooting, organizational skills, and defensive/rebounding attributes? How does your height, weight and wingspan influence the players? How will you assign attribute points and signs? That is the best way to make the most beneficial MyPlayer in NBA 2K21.

The first point you'll want to do will be to select a ground position: point guard, shooting guard, smaller forward, power forward or center. Typically speaking, point guards and shooting guards are perimeter threats, focusing on possession, play and shooting. The smaller forward is definitely an all-round threat, very good at attacking the basket. Power forwards and centers are each defenses and guards. Decide on the position that most appeals to you.
It is actually worth noting that this year NBA 2K20 weakened “cheese creating.” Should you are taking into consideration building an aggressive giant, the outcomes might be disappointing. Maintain it realistic. Gaining weight and height will have a major influence on other statistics this year.

The following point to do will be to select a skill breakdown. Once more, these ought to be roughly in line along with your appropriate to speak, otherwise you'll get players that are mediocre in all aspects. Should you are a point guard, you'll need much more greens, which corresponds to shooting. Should you are very big, you'll need much more red to crash the board. Should you appear at the graph on the left, you may see the prospective highest score for each and every category, in addition to the score at the beginning.

Subsequent, select your physical situation and figure out the ratio among agility, strength and verticality. Likewise, your selection really should reinforce your earlier options. Think about your preferences as players and adjust accordingly. Should you are usually not sure, you cannot go wrong with deciding upon a uniformly balanced physical configuration. It is possible to go back at any time and make adjustments later.

Then comes certainly one of one of the most crucial actions; you may set your own prospective for each and every category. It is possible to get about 450 attribute upgrade points, and you have to distribute them. The earlier skill breakdown is just a template. Here, you may do actual function to distinguish your player from other people.

How you allocate these points also determines how quite a few badges you get in each and every category. As a result, you might uncover yourself providing some points here and a few points here to optimize your badge.

You may soon uncover that it really is not possible to maximize all content material. You will need to make some sacrifices somewhere. One piece of suggestions: You don't have to have a level 95 free throw. Free of charge throws could be learned and timed. Provided that you happen to be 70 or 75 years old, with a little practice, you may have an elite level of FT.

Then, select your body shape, this can not influence the gameplay; that is just an aesthetic individual option, so please select any 1 you would like.

You will be practically accomplished. You will need to adjust your height, weight and arm span. Typically speaking, higher height, weight, and wingspan will outcome within a strong player and dominate the paint, however the worse offense and defense, the additional away from the basket.

NBA 2K21 MT For Sale

Once more, this year's trade-off of further height is very punishing. This might be a reaction to each of the over-performance Stretch 4 structures in NBA 2K20 final year.

Finally, select to take over. Once more, select the content material that sounds one of the most attractive; you may go back at any time and make adjustments later Find out more. I tend to select offensive advantage. Taking over for any restricted time, you'll have to handle the game in place of waiting for the opponent to create your own selection.
Then you are accomplished!

Don't begin MyCareer at this time. Rather, visit “Beta version” and attempt the player. It is possible to select to play the game with out any upgrades, or you may upgrade it to 99 and add each of the badges, so you know how quite a few weeks to play from now on and you Can Save your NBA 2K21 MT PS4, that is certainly crucial for Build MyPlayers.

Madden 21 essential points to know just before Buy For Newcomers – Prospective

Madden NFL 21 is definitely an approachable but deep football sim that also happens to be a ton of enjoyable to play. To assist you get started in your quest to develop into the top video game football player you are able to be, we've place with each other a Madden NFL 21 beginner's guide for PS4, Xbox One particular, and Computer customers. From deciding upon your game style to new in-game characteristics including Superstar X-Factor, here are some ideas and tricks to make use of on the gridiron.

Unveil your Rookies' possible
If you're playing Franchise as a coach, the draft is amongst the most important moments of every single season. If you would like to ideal build for the future, you'll want to track your draftees' progression possible in the roster menu. Clicking on any player reveals the price at which their skills will improve and there are actually 4 possibilities: normal, star, superstar, and X-Factor. Any incoming rookies ought to 1st play 500 snaps (roughly half the season to get a starter with six-minute quarters) ahead of their possible is revealed, but once it really is you've a clearer notion of which new players have breakout potential and which might have been draft busts.

Get trendy with the run-pass solution
For on the internet play, this can be essentially the most essential of our Madden 20 ideas. The run-pass solution has been the league's preferred toy ever considering the fact that the Eagles ran it all the way to a Super Bowl victory two seasons ago. RPO plays are in Madden for the initial time this year, and as tricky as they will be for defenses, you are able to be proper there with them with no adequate practice. Head to the Skills Trainer under the Exhibition menu and discover the Run Concepts playbook. Three new drills are accessible that familiarize you with the RPO and how you can use it proficiently with intelligent pre-snap reads and lightning-quick reaction occasions once the ball is snapped. In case you employed this process to master the QB solution from some years ago, you currently understand how practice seriously does make excellent.

Tap into Madden missions ASAP
As Ultimate Team grows far more with every single season, the quantity of menus, modes, and currencies is usually daunting for new players. If you have been avoiding MUT on account of its intimidating array of routes and choices, under no circumstances seriously certain if you are progressing correctly, there's no ought to worry anymore. Madden 20 adds Missions, a guided method to the quite a few challenge trees of Ultimate Team. It's the initial page you see when starting a new group, and must be thought of your HQ for something you're operating on while building your fantasy roster of previous legends and existing stars.

Skip to three-star challenges in MUT
One particular far more key MUT tip to finish. Now that you're no longer scared off by its various challenges, take it one particular step further and skip to the “hard” challenges early on. If you have played MUT ahead of, you realize the challenges start rather uncomplicated: “Run for 10 yards,” “Complete two passes,” “Throw a touchdown in the goalline.” Many challenges have 3 tiers broken up by difficulty, but for the reason that the objectives are so uncomplicated, you are able to save time and earn rewards much more quickly by cutting the line and deciding upon the three-star challenges quickly ¨C in lieu of playing the identical challenge on straightforward, then medium, then hard. At some point they get legitimately tougher, but you are able to play many hours of “hard” level content material ahead of most Madden 20 players would agree with the designation.

Check your telephone in franchise mode
Franchise mode doesn't get a lot of like this year – no surprises there – but one particular minor new function that's quite cool is its improved social aspect. Each and every week, your player or coach receives text messages from distinctive people today in the NFL universe. It might be a beat reporter for the nearby paper, or even a rival player, or even certainly one of your own teammates. They ask for favors, taunt you, offer you interviews, and how you reply determines exactly where XP bonuses go and what targets you've for the game ahead. Ensure that to interact with these, for the reason that to skip them frequently means losing free of charge XP boosts or other opportunities to far more promptly progress your players. In short, retain your ringer on.

Know and trigger your X-Factors
X-Factors are this year's most significant addition. 20 of these skills are given to the league's 50 most dominant players, and may be activated many occasions through any game in any mode. To acquire essentially the most out of these boons, feed your superstars opportunities early. For example, Odell Beckham demands 3 catches of 20+ yards to activate his RAC -Em Up potential (improved accomplishment price for RAC catches versus single coverage), so you ought to be script your drives early and frequently, enabling him to hit that milestone. As soon as Beckham hits it, he stays in the “zone” until a defender forces an incompletion. Just like in true life, these X-Factor players possess the opportunity to dominate all 4 quarters, so get them involved fast.

Face of the Franchise lets you restart
Devin Wade's Longshot story is gone, along with the far more freeform Face of the Franchise mode is in. In Madden 20 story mode, you build your own quarterback, play by way of the college playoff series, execute at the NFL combine, and are invited to draft day. How quickly you come off the board is partly in your hands. An early exit in the college playoffs hurts your draft stock, as does a sloppy overall performance in Indianapolis for the combine.
If getting selected early in the draft is significant to you ¨C specifically as it scores an achievement/trophy ¨C you are able to assure becoming the initial overall pick. To accomplish you, you need to win the National Championship and impress scouts with a flawless combine workout. The combine is 24 passing plays along with the game lets you know when you have messed any of these up, so if you are seriously pushing for that number one particular spot on draft day, do not hesitate to scrub your save and attempt once more.

Ordinarily, they may be not worth the problems for motives which can be adequate in the long run. Though they may be useful for players who may well know nothing at all concerning the game. For essentially the most component, they may be mastering tools for novices to ease them in to the game. For far more Madden 21 Tips, you are able to stop by Just a reminder: you will get 5% coupon code free of charge in the reps should you Acquire Madden NFL 21 Coins from this article.

Madden 21

Final Fantasy XIV: Rebirth of the realm is a gorgeous convenient and flexible MMO

I told myself, I’ve had enough of massively multiplayer online role-playing game. No, because I have some kind of addiction, but that’s all, I’m just tired, shortcut bar filled with magic and attack missions, constantly nagging villagers, and woodland creatures mass murder. The world of things, such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 Lord of the Rings Online, play more after a few years, I think I had my fill.

But, you know what I did not play online games? 2010 Final Fantasy XIV. Like I love the Final Fantasy series (I hit every major number, single project), I’ve heard about FFXIV nothing but terrible things. Critics called it a boring, confusing mess.

Ah, someone in the company must agree to publisher Square Enix. Mistakes in trying to fix it, there are a few patches, but went ahead Square and restart the whole thing. The result is a Final Fantasy XIV: reborn, and now the PC and PlayStation 3 realm.

Despite my MMO fatigue, but I’m very curious to see what that looks like this scale restart. Shockingly, I found my new favorite in the genre.

Gorgeous World
Rebirth of the realm Eorzea, a beautiful continent, which is home to many races, like the tall wizard Elezen or tiny, cute Lalafell (like my character in a fantasy world, there were a lot of people, you will see in the this review screenshot). While most online games go exaggerated, cartoon style (such as the World of Warcraft, and even “Star Wars: The Old Republic), a realm of rebirth sticks Final Fantasy veterans, especially those who play Final Fantasy XII familiar with the artistic style of its results there is no experience of a handsome, cheap MMO feel.

The common task, usually involves killing monsters and collect items simple tasks, such as they are often surrounded by an interesting narrative framework. In addition to the main storyline, each class has its own task chain, providing a complete story

“FFXIV: ARR” Naoki Yoshida at PAX Prime 2013

Final Fantasy XIV: Rebirth of the realm, SQUARE-ENIX Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG second, completed its second week on-site play

Since the launch of the rock, we had with the original we did not expect a realm rebirth during launch surge of players. We believe that players will slowly, because what happened to 1.0. By β and players play completely exceeded our expectations, we did not expect a lot of users. Next Wednesday, we have a big server upgrade, you should be able to solve the problem.

It should be noted that as of September 4 日 (星期三), Yoshida and SQUARE-ENIX has largely made ​​good this commitment, most players can be easily connected.

We pay attention to the three pillars of the game and build on them. Great story, great graphics and a great gaming experience. We have a misconception about the user is allowed to use the in-game screen. Basically there is a misunderstanding, we encourage users to use video, footage, and screenshots.

As to the case of rock launch, players will receive a free server transfer, in order to play with friends or guild?

We will soon be ready to go with the server transfer. Whether we call it free or not is still something we are considering, because if we do it freely available to everyone, we can assume that the same type of problem, we have to launch. Therefore, we still decided how they will work, but they will happen soon.

You can climb. But there will always be a mountain to climb the top players.

Final Fantasy review

ffxiv moglog 1358381620 Final Fantasy nostalgia

There’s nothing quite like Final Fantasy XI. Nor is there anything quite like Final Fantasy XIV. The two are similar enough that you can use one as a substitute for the other in a pinch, but both possess a certain feel that just isn’t found in any other game. That’s neither good nor bad; it just is.

Watching the trailer for Seekers of Adoulin gave me a powerful blast of Final Fantasy XI nostalgia, and while I could wax poetic about how the game I remember isn’t the game that exists any longer, that’s not really the point. The point is that for all the frustrations of the games, there’s a lot of joy in both. So today I just plucked my top five memories from both FFXI and Final Fantasy XIV to share with you, since I bet that some of you have the same sort of glowing nostalgia. Even if you don’t want the good old days to come back (I sure don’t), you can still remember them with a smile.

ffxi moglog nostalgia 1 epl 116 Final Fantasy nostalgiaGetting a subjob (FFXI)

Subjobs are a core feature of FFXI, but you can’t pick them up until level 18, and even then it’s a pretty involved process to grab one, necessitating some difficult kills that you can’t solo at that level. It was even harder to take care of a subjob if you were trying to do the quest close to launch, with no one yet entirely clear on how the game’s many systems worked or exactly what was expected in parties. You know, like I was doing.

I can vividly remember the first time I made the trek to Selbina, dodging Goblins and wondering how in the world anyone knew where to run safely. I remember darting in and out of the gate to skirt the undead and beastmen, pulling crabs and flies in the hopes that they would drop those needed items, then hauling over to Gusgen for more reliable chances at a Magicked Skull. I can’t imagine sitting through that sort of irritation ever again, and by the time it was done, I was more than a little annoyed, but I had a sense of real power for the first time in the game.

Clearing Toto-Rak (FFXIV)

Part of my fond memories of clearing the Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak for the first time come from the roleplaying going on at the time, which wound up having a long-term impact on my character. But a lot of those memories just come from how neat the dungeon was, how it was the first thing in FFXIV that was very distinct from its predecessor while still being really neat.

Dying to insect swarms sucked, but when you understood how the counterattacks came from weapon skills, it became acceptable. Creeping through, carefully powering on gates, making our way to the central chamber… it was almost an afterthought that I didn’t get anything useful from the dungeon on that run, nor on several subsequent runs. I just loved the look and the flavor of the region, and I walked away always happy to take another trip.

Reaching Whitegate (FFXI)

There was an electricity in the air on the night that Treasures of Aht Urhgan launched, and I don’t think it’s any surprise that part of why it’s my favorite expansion is the sheer sense of community on that first evening. Actually arriving in the new city was almost dizzying; there was so much to see and do right from the start, so many places that struck me instantly as beautiful and mesmerizing. I was in love from the moment the ship docked after its 20-minute journey.

The funny thing is that I don’t remember actually doing much during my first trip. I bound there for transport purposes and checked out the area, but I didn’t actually do the various advanced job quests until the next night. (Corsair still stands out in my memory as having been pointlessly annoying to unlock.) I may not have even stepped out of the city limits! But I still remember the trip there and stepping onto the docks with astonishing clarity. Life is funny like that.

ffxiv moglog nostalgia 2 epl 116 Final Fantasy nostalgiaCrafting a harpoon (FFXIV)

For those of you who didn’t play the game or just don’t remember, I’ll point out that back in the day, the harpoon was a lower-tier spear that was not particularly impressive or desirable. It was the sort of weapon you use briefly and then discard. But for me, it was a weapon that took quite a bit of work to get because I had most of the necessary crafts and I was determined to make one for myself instead of asking for help. That meant a whole lot of other work just to get the ingredients and try — at first unsuccessfully — to make some of the ornate supporting parts like clips.

Was it needlessly complicated? Yes. There’s no good reason any crafting system should require so much rigamarole for a low-level item. But it also got me firmly invested in the game. When I finally grabbed that simple little poking stick, I couldn’t have been happier because it was all mine. I still have it tucked away in my inventory, just for nostalgia and long-standing affection. You might never be worth equipping again, but you’re still my first spear.

Unlocking Dragoon (FFXI)

I don’t know if I’d say that Dragoon is the most annoying advanced job to release; hunting weather for Summoner is pretty obnoxious. So was dealing with stupid leeches for Ninja. And let’s not forget what I just said about Corsair. But Dragoon was a rough one, and I remember unlocking it vividly because I was in a race against time. I was about to go on winter break from college, and at the time, I had people lined up to help me, but I didn’t have an internet connection at home.

Yes, this was 2003.

So I had to race to get everything ready, struggle to level up in time, and then get everything scheduled so that I could get my wyvern before I was out of time. I remember having been annoyed by the idea of having a wyvern before I saw him, but when I sat down and saw him curl up next to me, I fell for the little guy. It felt like a major accomplishment. In hindsight, it wasn’t. The fight is pretty easy when you pass a certain level, and it’s not like Dragoon is some godlike class… but I still look back on that and smile.

Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering second

With all of the systems getting rebuilt in A Realm Reborn, what do crafters and gatherers have to look forward to?

Craftsmanship, Control, and CP – Why Should Other Classes Get All the Stat Fun?

Before I get into what makes the current crafting system great, let’s take another look back at the dark days of v1.0. If you wanted to craft back then, you were in for a long, very unexplained process of trial and error. Once you opened up your crafting window, you’d be greeted with a box for materials; there were no saved recipes unless you’d successfully made something before.

Assuming you’re like most MMO players, you would take the easy route and pull up a list of recipes in a browser tab and get to work. Once you fought through the old interface to get all of your materials in the box and told it to craft, that’s when things got even more complicated. The game would present you with a rapidly depleting timer bar and a list of options with no explanations. Clicking one option would make your Progress and Quality bars move up and the Durability go down. Another would give more Quality, but less Progress. The third would be more Progress, but almost no Quality and a huge chunk out of Durability. The fourth would be a small amount of Progress and Quality, but with almost no Durability loss.

There were elements to a good crafting system here, but between the UI issues in v1.0 and the almost nonexistent explanations of why you wanted Quality or how you avoided losing Durability and running out of time, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily for me though, when they took everything back to the drawing board for v2.0, crafting got some major improvements.

238706 Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering second

The first major change with ARR’s crafting comes when you open the window; like combat classes with their Hunting Log and the Disciples of the Land’s Gathering Log, crafters have a Crafting Log to let them keep track of items they’ve made, recipes available to them, what materials each takes, how many you have, and even how many of those are high quality. While the other logs are primarily for reference (or a list of free XP in the case of the HL), the Crafting Log is how you’ll actually choose your recipes, assign your normal and high quality materials, etc. before you actually begin crafting.

Once you’ve selected your recipe, it’s time to start crafting. To begin with, the game actually tells you what those Durability/Progress/Quality bars are for, which was a marked improvement over v1.0. There’s no timer now, so you can take as much time as you want – the only thing between you and crafted glory is the Durability gauge. This gauge is a set value for each recipe, so no more using HQ materials to bump that up.

When you start out crafting, you’ll just have the one move that will give you some amount of Progress for ten Durability. If you manage to fill the Progress bar by the time the Durability hits zero, you get your item and some crafting XP. If not, you might lose a material or two and go back to the Crafting Log to try again.

Early on, the system’s fairly simple and even with the 80% or so success rate on your first Progress move, you should have plenty of Durability to make all of the low-level items you want. It’s once you start unlocking more abilities and recipes that things get more interesting.

238705 Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering second

The next move you unlock as a crafter is something that adds to your Quality meter for ten Durability. It doesn’t help your Progress, you still have to use that first move to fill the bar and complete the item, so you might wonder why you have this button.

You’ll notice an HQ percentage on the crafting window along with all of those other bars, similar to the HQ percentages you’d see on the gathering windows. The same principle applies here, but it’s even more important with crafted items. High quality items give bonus crafting XP and high quality crafted gear has better stats than normal pieces. Since we all love bonus experience and higher stats on our gear, the question is how do I get these high quality pieces? Sure there’s the base 1% chance, but the real trick is using your good materials and your crafter abilities. The higher you can get your Quality bar, the greater the chance of seeing an HQ result. Using HQ materials will boost your base Quality and give you a head start, but if you really want to boost your odds, you’ll need to boost Quality through your abilities. Of course you have only so much Durability to go around and you still need to fill that Progress bar to actually succeed, so that’s where things get more complicated.

Abilities you pick up later help you out somewhat, like a power that restores three hits worth of Durability, another that increases your base success rate with each Progress/Durability move for five moves, one that gives you a scaling success boost based on your Quality, etc. Of course to use any of these abilities requires Crafting Points, so that makes matters more difficult.

Every move besides your first Progress ability requires some amount of CP to use. Depending on the item you’re making, you might be able to splurge on Quality moves and try for an HQ result or you might need all of the Durability refills and success boosts you can get if you’re trying to get a higher level item. Eventually you will reach a point though where you just don’t have enough to make an item; there’re only so many CP to go around and your Progress move only does so much. That means it’s time for some new gear.

Just like gatherers get their own special gear to boost their gather and HQ rates, crafters have equipment with stats just for them. You’ve got Craftsmanship which boosts how much you get out of a successful Progress/Quality hit, Control which should increase your chance to actually hit with those moves, and +CP to give you more points to work with for your abilities. As a gatherer I don’t have much need for multiple gear sets: pretty much slap on the best stuff and get to work. For crafting though, I can definitely see reasons for having at least jewelry to swap between. Maybe have some Craftsmanship/Control pieces for when I’m trying to push for recipes that should be beyond my reach, with some CP pieces to swap in when I’m trying to crank out HQ items and need as many hits as I can get.

238702 Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering second


238699 Final Fantasy XIV: Crafting and Gathering second

I’ve seen some games attempt the more in-depth crafting system. Vanguard made crafting a mini-game with random events crafters have to react to. Firefall and Star Wars Galaxies let you pick different materials for recipes to change the stats of the finished product. In each of those cases, however, they really have only a piece of the puzzle for making crafters feel like they’re a full-fledged job and progression path. Gatherers had it even worse, since other than Firefall’s Thumper events or WildStar’s random events, gathering has been regulated to just right-clicking a vein/plant/etc. until depleted and moving on. From what I’ve played of FFXIV:ARR so far, it feels like they’ve actually made these two activities not only full-fledged paths of progression, but given them the ability and gear progression they’ve needed for players to be able to choose a crafting or a gathering class and not feel like they’re only playing half of a game.

After a weekend jumping between Miner, Goldsmith and some dabbling in Alchemist, I’m looking forward to seeing what else FFXIV:ARR has to offer me as a crafter and gatherer. Now they just need to let me back in so I can see what recipes are on that next page.

“Final Fantasy is Dead”: That’s Quite an Ignorant Statement to Make

“Final Fantasy is Dead”: That’s Quite an Ignorant Statement to Make

On July 27th I reported, not without a fair bit of levity (not everyone in video game journalism feels the need to take himself ultra-seriously all the time), on a Q&A session held in Tokyo where Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Director Motomu Toriyama and Character Modeling Designer Nobuhiro Goto shared some details about the fact that Lightning had her breasts slightly padded and topped with breast jiggle physics.

The day after, Wired’s Chris Kohler tweeted my article on a trip of holy rage about the alleged defiling of Final Fantasy. As soon as it happened I knew I could expect some kind of hyperbolic headline some time soon. The only point in doubt was just how hyperbolic and out of touch with reality it was going to be.

Unfortunately, the result managed to overtake even my most pessimistic prediction and we were all treated with the following gem: “Final Fantasy Isn’t Dying. It’s Already Dead”

That’s quite the interesting statement, and also a dreadfully ignorant one to make. Let’s go ahead and dismantle the whole thing.

Things start badly already with the featured picture, showing off Lightning’s Final Fantasy XIV crossover costume in a typical Miqo’te /pose emote from the upcoming MMORPG, but of course someone that didn’t do his homework wouldn’t know that there’s a very precise reason behind that pose. And yeah, Mr Kohler didn’t bother to do his homework.

FinalFantasyXIVLightningCrossover (2)

Homework aside, the caption is the real problem: “The new face of Final Fantasy. Uh, you are looking at her face, right?”

And there’s where you notice from the very outset of the article that the writer has every intention to be disingenuous. Now one crossover costume, from one game of fourteen numbered titles (almost fifteen), plus I lost count how many sequels and spin-offs has become “The new face of Final Fantasy?”

It’s pretty much like saying that a a single hostess working in an obscure hostess club in Kabukicho is “The new face of Tokyo.” I guess someone that has only experienced Tokyo via the Yakuza games could get near to think something like that, so maybe our valiant writer experienced Final Fantasy only through pin-up pictures?

Yakuza5The new face of Tokyo. Uh, you are looking at her face, right?

From there on, things went downhill, no doubt about that. Kohler proceeds to argue that it’s fine for Leisure Suit Larry to be “95 percent jokes about and/or pictures of breasts” (and it isn’t even near to 95%, but he seems to be very fond of using hyperbole to bolster his points), but  ”if in 2013 this is what a Q&A session about Final Fantasy has become, then any claim that the series once had something approaching mainstream respectability done gone and caught the train out of town.”

Putting the horrifying and out of place comparison aside (and I love Leisure Suit Larry as well, but the comparison simply doesn’t fit), that’s not what the Q&A session has become, as the Q&A session was a very extensive romp through a large amount of topics, of which the part about breasts was just a small excerpt. Maybe our resident pundit only bothered to read my light-hearted report about boobs — I guess that’s all he’s interested in — and didn’t check out the rest, which is telling, considering that I went as far as linking it for his convenience.

He also seems not to have a very clear idea on how a Q&A session works: someone asks the questions, and a developer responds, meaning that yeah, someone might easily ask a question about the character’s chest, and there’s nothing strange for a developer to answer said question, even more so considering that it was a very informal Q&A question with fans, and not a formal sit down with the Wall Street Journal.

Ultimately, though, whatever you may think of Toriyama-san and Goto-san otaku-ish outing, they’re just two developers between several tens (or more) on one game that is part of a massive franchise. Saying that the franchise is “dead” (or even dying) because of the words of two people responding to a direct question in a gathering full of other otakus and because of a small change in the chest of one character is as ridiculous, hyperbolic and ignorant as it could be, and it can only be identified as a cheap attention grab.

lightningreturnsoptionsLookie there…options! The series must be dead. Options are obviously bad…

Defining “dead” a franchise that easily sells multiple millions with every main chapter and that has an enormous number of fans around the world is silly at best, disingenuous at worst. Let’s not even mention the fact that basing the judgement of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on a marginal element like breast jiggle (like it was the first game to introduce it) and a slightly larger chest is unworthy of the position of a game journalist.

Almost every preview of the game is positive, including the recent slew that came from Japan out of the event where the whole hoopla happened. Chances are that the game is actually going to be good, but Kohler prefers to call it “dead”, because of Lightning’s breasts. Of course the actual gameplay, the story, the writing and everything else don’t matter, right? All that matters to our angry pundit are Lightning’s mammaries.

It reminds me of a few misguided reviews of Dragon’s Crown I’ve seen around the web a few days ago, where the writers knocked multiple points off the score because they didn’t agree with the showcase of breasts that was incidentally part of the art style, basically translating as “The game plays great. It’s a lot of fun, but I’m gonna tell you that it’s bad, because boobs.” That’s honestly pathetic.

Kohler goes on to complain that once upon a time Final Fantasy was all serious business (with some “moments of levity”) with epic stories and “strong, relatable characters”  and could “attempt to tackle subtle, complex themes on platforms that were largely dominated by paper-thin plots and cartoon characters.”

LightningStrongShe seems pretty strong to me…

Maybe he should realize that the story and dialogue of the game aren’t written by Toriyama-san or Goto-san. There’s absolutely no reason to believe (and no hint of it in the demos that have been shown so far) that Lightning has somehow become some kind of lascivious sex doll, and from the dialogue we’ve seen she’s as badass as ever and even more mature than before. Let’s not even mention the fact that the Lightning Saga has tackled plenty “subtle, complex themes”, but most possibly Kohler isn’t in the position to know.

It seems that he believes that having average-sized breasts (a Japanese D cup is not in any way a pair of giant, dangling globes, as it pretty much translates to a North American C) that actually aren’t made of hardwood somehow conflicts with being a “strong, relatable character”. Of course that’s not the case. Being strong or relatable is not in any way proportional (or inversely so) to the size of a woman’s boobies.

The misguided article continues by mentioning that once upon a time “the ideas of orchestras playing the games’ amazing musical scores or of art galleries displaying the design work of Yoshitaka Amano were not out of the question.” Either Kohler’s idea of the past tense is as elastic as time in Final Fantasy XIII-2, or maybe he just didn’t do his homework (yes, it seems to be a recurring theme in his article). I can only advise for him to go check the very much present schedule of the Distant Worlds concerts and educate himself.

Amano_codI find quite funny that Kohler and others notice the existence of a degree of titillation in Final Fantasy titles just now. Maybe they didn’t get the memo about Tifa’s very sizable chest, and her breast-pushing victory pose from Final Fantasy VII, enhanced as recent as 2011 with plenty jiggle physics in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy​. Shall we talk about Final Fantasy III‘s Cloud of Darkness that prances around almost completely naked in Yoshitaka Amano’s own artwork (and Kohler seems to think very highly and with a degree of nostalgia of Amano-sensei’s artwork)

KainRosaCecil_AmanoMaybe some forget that the strong and lovely Celes from Final Fantasy VI worn just a form fitting leotard, while Final Fantasy IV‘s Rosa sported a very similar outfit in the game and skimped down to a bikini in Amano’s character artwork.

So when Amano-sensei drew his heroines and villains in alluring and sexy attire, not to mention quite sensual poses, it was perfectly OK, but now that the designers of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII do the same (giving the player plenty options to cover Lightning up to their leisure, mind you) it’s not OK anymore. That sounds like a double standard, or maybe simply ignorant, due to memories clouded by nostalgia and lack of attention to detail.

Of course, those are just a few examples of blatant showcases of sensuality on Final Fantasy games of old, and there are plenty more, all it takes to remember them is clearing one’s mind from nostalgia and bias, but that seems an ability that many of today’s video game journalists have to leave out of their resumes.

Of course, the Final Fantasy franchise isn’t the only one that pushes the sexy button here and there. I wonder where Kohler and his fellow pundits were, for instance, when CD Projekt turned seducing women into a nude collectible card game with The Witcher. I’m quite glad that most of the pundits ignored it, as The Witcher is one of the best RPG series out there, and I wouldn’t wish for any developer to have to face this kind of harassment.

Mind you, The Witcher’s Geralt has been redesigned twice in the series. His whole facial structure has been completely reworked between the first two games, but that kind of radical change seems to be perfectly OK, while a slight change to Lightning’s breast size and a few completely optional costumes seem to trigger journalists into irrational rage fits.

GeraltDon’t worry Geralt, you’re clear. They din’t notice you…

But let’s cut down the chase and get right down to business, shall we? The Final Fantasy series is far from dead. As a matter of fact you could say that it has never been more alive, with three mainline titles currently in development (Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Final Fantasy XV).

Kohler clumsily tries to minimize the importance of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn by comparing it to the flop of its predecessor, and by writing “and once the new version comes out, even if it’s good, it’s still going to be an MMO with a monthly fee in an era dominated by the free-to-play model”.

So now doing something differently from the masses has become automatically bad? Kohler forgets that there are a lot of dedicated MMORPG players that actually enjoy just being able to insert their credit cart number into their account and then just play their favorite game without worrying about being nickel and dimed at every corner, or having to buy boosters and similar stuff from the local e-supermarket all the time in order to stay competitive and have fun.

FFXIV_ARR_Intro_LimsaLominsa (99)FFXIV has some rather skimpy outfits, and a breast slider; and they jiggle. Is it “dead” too? 

Exactly because there aren’t many pay to play MMORPGs around, Square Enix is offering a quite rare commodity, and if anything that increases its chances of success. That’s especially true considering the fact that the franchise has a very dedicated fanbase since…you know…the series is far from dead.

Again, doing one’s homework more diligently before writing would help a lot here: Final Fantasy XI is pay to play, still has a large playerbase after eleven years and is the most profitable title of the franchise. Quite obviously many Final Fantasy fans don’t mind paying a monthly fee to play a quality MMORPG.

Speaking about quality, the game has been showing quality in spades during the beta (voiding the misguided comparison with the original Final Fantasy XIV, that was a completely different game). Most previews are enthusiastic (including mine, and even MMORPG newbies like Allisa had a lot of fun) and even just following the game’s hashtags on twitter shows how fans are on hot coals to get to play the game. Not too bad for a MMORPG belonging to a dead franchise, isn’t it? Of course, I don’t expect Kohler to know anything about it.

What about Final Fantasy XV? We didn’t see much yet about the game, but what we saw was downright spectacular. It also dropped many jaws at E3, proving one of the high points of the Sony conference.

That seems quite enthusiastic for a franchise that’s allegedly “dead”, isn’t it? Of course that’s because it’s not dead at all. Not even close.

Of course, there’s also the remake of Final Fantasy X and X-2 incoming, and I’m quite sure that many are eager to replay those classics with updated graphics, but I think we have plenty evidence of the series’ vitality just by considering the new games and without having to resort to remakes.

Final Fantasy has millions of fans all over the world. Denying it is completely disingenuous and blind to reality. Dead series aren’t nearly as popular and don’t have three different new games in development, two of which near to their release.

FFXV_StellaYou better make sure you’re dressed properly missy. Or else…

Going as far as telling that a whole franchise is dead because of a slight increase of a character’s bra size and the fact that her breasts won’t be made of solid steel anymore, not to mention a few completely optional costumes is utterly ridiculous, but of course making completely ludicrous statements is a pretty effective way to get people to click on that headline. Some don’t seem to care if those statements are also dreadfully ignorant and fly straight in the face of any idea of journalistic integrity.

I remember reading “Final Fantasy is Dead!” tens of times through my “career” as a gamer and then as a writer. The first time was with V, I believe, and then with every single chapter of the series, including the widely adored VII, that managed to offend quite a few because of the radical departure from the fantasy themes. Guess what? Final Fantasy is still there despite its haters.

People are free to judge the attitude of two developers the way they want, but it’s doubtless that Final Fantasy‘s “vitality” doesn’t even get near to be compromised by something as small. The series is alive and well, in spite of those that would wish it dead or that believe it dead simply because it doesn’t pander to their very personal taste or agenda.

Final Fantasy is far from dead. What actually died is the ability of some to look at it objectively.

Final Fantasy impressions the closed beta left on me

Final Fantasy XIV was a disaster. I never played the original version, but from what I hear it was pretty bland and uninspired in all areas. It takes some serious gall, as well as business sense, to straight up cancel an MMO and rework it from the ground up. Square Enix has done just that with the second Final Fantasy MMO, now adding the title A Realm Reborn.

An apt name, it seems, as playing through the various closed beta sessions over the past months has been quite a delight. Playing MMOs can be quite exciting when they’re executed well. That being said, I definitely have some reservations about FFXIV: ARR; not everything was peaches and rainbows.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release: August 27, 2013 (PC, PlayStation 3) / 2014 (PlayStation 4)

The Good 🙂

The FATE system

FATEs aren’t a new concept when it comes to MMORPGs, but they are a great way to spice up an otherwise straightforward experience. FATEs are giant event quests that anyone nearby can partake in. They pop up randomly around the map and it is up to the individual player as to whether they’d like to participate.

FATEs fall into three categories as far as I can tell: giant monster, town defense, and kill a bunch of stuff. The giant monsters are the most enjoyable, since seeing dozens of other players wail on some huge plant monster will never fail to bring a big smile to my face.

FATEs are always a nice change of pace when going from one quest to another. Seeing a giant monster out in the open and joining the fracas in order to take it down nails the feeling of an MMO for me. Plus, as long as you contribute enough damage, there’s some quest-level experience to be gained from them!

It truly feels like a Final Fantasy game

Perhaps the biggest thing separating FFXIV: A Realm Reborn from other MMOs (except FFXI) is that Final Fantasy “feel.” The sounds, the look, and even the story all just feel right for another Final Fantasy installment. Leveling up becomes desirable not just because it shows tangible progress through the game, but because you get to hear the fanfare. Oh my, do I love that fanfare! It always just makes me grin.

It’s hard to nail down why it feels so right, exactly. It’s probably the giant crystal shards, flashy particle effects, summons, familiar character classes, and beautiful music. Hm, so maybe it’s not so hard to nail down. FFXIV: ARR hits all the right notes that Final Fantasy fans will want to see in a numbered title, even if it’s all wrapped in an MMO context.


Holy crap does this game look good. I can say without hesitation that this is the best looking MMO I’ve ever played, and one of the best looking games I’ve ever played. It not only has the technical prowess to stand out, but the new-age Final Fantasy aesthetic looks as great as ever. I would seriously just stop sometimes and watch day turn into night, hoping no monster tried to attack me so I could take a cool screenshot.

The town of Limsa Lominsa deserves a special shoutout, not just because its name is so great to say (“It’s not Limsa LominSAA”), but because it looks absolutely stunning. All of the architecture is very white and most of the town is outdoors, allowing the brilliant sun to light the surfaces during the day, while the stars illuminate them at night. It is truly a beautiful sight to behold, and it really makes me want to choose a class that begins their adventure in that town just to be in it from the start.

The story is actually interesting and grabs your attention

I didn’t think I’d be mentioning this in an MMO article, but the cutscenes and general plot of FFXIV: ARR are quite engaging. The cutscenes are, naturally, very well-done, considering it’s the work of Square Enix. As a direct benefit, these well-done cutscenes actually got me to pay attention to the big plot points in the game’s story, something that most MMOs don’t even try to do.

Sure, the plot doesn’t seem like it will blow anyone away, but it’s an easy-to-follow and genuinely interesting story that most players will actually pay attention to thanks to the engaging cutscenes. Best of all, it stars your character! I always love seeing the dude I created inside of the game’s cutscenes; it helps them to be more personal.

The community

The playerbase in FFXI was pretty great, and it seems as if many of those types of players have made the transition to FFXIV: ARR as well. People are just…nice. I’ve received many Cures when it looked like I wasn’t going to make it, even when flying solo.

This is epitomized quite well in the FATEs scattered around the map, as no level-appropriate FATE can be taken on solo. Many times I’ve started fighting a big monster by my lonesome with the hope that other players will join in, and I have never been disappointed. People seem to actually enjoy helping others in any way possible. Plus, there isn’t millions of item-trading spam in the town chats, which is a huge relief after coming from Neverwinter.

I don’t want to say the community is as strong and loving as City of Heroes, but it’s pretty darn close!

The Bad 🙁

The early game isn’t exactly riveting

Like many MMOs, the early game can drag on a bit. It’s not until around level 15, when Dungeons open up, that the game starts to hit its stride.  Playing as an Archer, almost every encounter went the same. Use the arrow that raises my chance to score a critical strike, and then use my basic powerful attack to bring it down. Newer skills like Bind and Poison arrows were nice, but were rarely needed during low-level combat.

Positioning starts to matter for some of the advanced classes, but being an Archer just meant a lot of kiting for bigger enemies and back-pedaling for the smaller ones. If it weren’t for the pretty visuals and sounds, I’m not sure I’d enjoy the combat even a little bit early on. (Then again, I may have just chosen an incompatible class for my preferences, but my hands were a bit tied; see below.)

Advanced classes seem oh so far away

If you told me that in order to be a Black Mage, one of the most iconic classes of Final Fantasy, I would have to get one class to level 30 and another to 15, and then complete a quest on top of that, I’d say you were a goofy goober. Yet, here we are. It’s a strange decision, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad one.

Anyway, these advanced classes take quite a while to get to. They all require one specific class to be level 30, and another specific class to be 15. So, in order to be a Bard, one of my favorite classes ever, I need to have my character be a level 30 Archer and a level 15 Conjurer. The problem is, I don’t want to be an Archer, ever. I just really want to be a Bard.

As a bit of a tangent, I really don’t like that the Bard is just an Archer that sings, but whatever. I’ve chosen not to pursue the Bard class in open beta/release.

This, combined with the fact that the early game is a bit slow, might turn some people away. If they just want to be a Black Mage, for example, it will take some time, not all of which is super great. There is a Thaumaturge class that is pretty much the Black Mage of the early game, but hey, people are stubborn and will stick to what they know and love.

The FATE system

I know I previously said that FATEs were amazing and I loved them, and I still do! But as previously mentioned, one of the types of FATEs you’ll encounter just isn’t at all entertaining. Killing a lot of a specific type of enemy that you see spawn in front of you is pretty dull. On top of that, you will start to see the same FATEs appear in the same locations over and over again. It got to the point where I would see a FATE on the map and know what monster would be there because that monster was always there.

“Levequests” are the absolute worst

As you level up, eventually you’ll get the oh so lucky privilege of taking on what the game calls “Levequests” and what I like to call “oh please god no more quests.” It’s basically a system that allows players to take on a whole lot of uninspired and boring quests whenever they want. The majority of these Levequests are the classic “kill X of Y” quests that MMOs love so very, very much.

The game itself has enough of these quests to border on annoying, so why would I want to talk to a separate person in order to take on more of them? Maybe they get better as the game progresses, but 90% of the Levequests I saw made me cringe just thinking about them. Occasionally there is one quest that’s not half bad, but it’s a diamond in the rough at that point.

The map could be more precise

The map in FFXIV: ARR could use some serious work. It functions well enough as an actual map, but it is absolutely terrible at directing the player where to go for quests. If the quest objective is in the area you are currently in, then it’s wonderful. Otherwise, it’s a bit obtuse when trying to figure out where to go.

When an objective is in another area of the world, clicking on the Map button is supposed to show you where to go in which section of the world. Instead, it shows an overworld map and just kind of plunks down the objective marker somewhere in the general area of where you should be. It’s unclear as to which section the objective is actually in.


I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this “Reborn” version of FFXIV. I can’t really believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to paying for an MMO again. We’re in the midst of a free-to-play revolution, and it’s almost refreshing to know I won’t be treated as a second-class citizen because I’m not shelling out the big bucks.

If I wasn’t such a big Final Fantasy fan in general, I’m not sure that the game would do it for me, but all of the bells and whistles that come with the territory have almost made it feel like home.