Earlier this year I found myself wondering back into Eorzea, the world of Final Fantasy XIV, after having been away from the game for over a year. Of course, a multitude of fixes and extra content have been added since I left, and as a result the game had seemed unfamiliar and fresh. And for a while, I found myself lost in the honeymoon bliss that one usually experience with a new MMO.
However, as beautiful as the game was, and as much as I love its world, with the small number of both players and NPCs around, it all felt pretty barren. Plus, the game’s socialization options were still horrendous. There was still next to no interaction between players outside of their linkshells (ie. FFXIV’s version of clans), and with the clunky chat UI and a lack of regional and zone chats, finding new people to chat and socialize with was pretty much impossible. It might have been down to being on the wrong server at the wrong time, or just plain bad luck, but I was disappointed to find that even after weeks of yelling in the cities, I was still unable to find people to party with for group contents.
There were numerous other little issues as well, both from a gameplay and technical perspective – some of which, I might add, were the very same issues that had caused me to quit the game in the first place. And that was why I had stopped logging on a few weeks ago, and why a couple of weeks ago I had actually cancelled my subscription.
However, having said all that, I must also say that somehow, this week Square-Enix has suckered me once again into re-subscribing with the announcement of their Legacy Campaign.
The Legacy Campaign introduces several benefits for those who have subscribed for at least 90 cumulative days since January 6th, 2012.
1. Legacy members will be able to play at a specially discounted subscription price post-launch of version 2.0.
2. Legacy members will receive an exclusive in-game Chocobo mount at the launch of version 2.0.
3. Legacy members can request that their name be displayed in the credits for version 2.0. One name per service account can be listed in the credits.
Version 2.0, by the way is stated to be due sometime between October and December of 2012 to early 2013.
For former players of Final Fantasy XIV I would also like to point out that there is an upcoming Welcome Back Campaign happening from May 9th to May 20th, where former players with inactive service accounts will be able to play for free during this ten-day period.
I must admit I have been rather down on MMOs lately, and I have become a rather jaded skeptical bastard in the past couple of years. However, Final Fantasy is a strong brand with a large dedicated fanbase, and judging from Final Fantasy XI I would say Square-Enix have the expertise and the stamina to create a decent MMO with a strong stable playerbase and communities, so I do have rather high hopes for this franchise, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 will bring to the genre.