After a very long wait, Final Fantasy XIV launched (again!). I've been fortunate enough to be a part of the beta as well as early release and I even played 1.0 so now let's see what I can muster for this edition of "The First Fifteen." In all honesty, I spent the first fifteen minutes of my first moments of actual launch waiting in queue for a dungeon so it would definitely be rather difficult to write this and make it interesting... of course, unless you're into: [4:32 P. M.] Queued for dungeon......... [4:39P.M.] Queue pops!... Someone withdraws... /Cries.
So let's talk about what I notice. Well, the horrendous UI from 1.0 is gone... forever. Everything is so much cleaner! Even quests are easier to obtain and don't require you to be in the exact required spot to trigger vital story cutscenes. Speaking of story cutscenes, the story is great! It picks up around Lv35 but that's sort of expected as you have to slowly breathe in that new realm aroma before hitting the climax.
Next thing are the dungeons are fun and have that good mix of casual vs hardcore. Everything you NEED is fairly basic, mechanically speaking, and promotes team work to its fullest. Everything that's "optional" per se, is rather difficult and I guess you could call it "hardcore." Mind you, when I say that, I don't mean impossible, but extra-dungeons are definitely more punishing and if you know for a fact you're not the best player to walk the land, you need to try even harder to work with your fellow teammates so more teamwork points, yay!
One of the things I enjoy is there are multiple ways of leveling. Though, I sort of wish you could get to 50 simply off of story missions, but the game sort of forces you to do other things like FATEs and additional dungeons. Mind you, "forced" seems sort of harsh but it's all pretty fun and if you do the side quests and appropriate levequests, there honestly isn't a metric ton of grinding involved. Though, skip anything and prepare to shove your body against sandpaper because it's going to be a long grind.
I guess that wasn't really a first fifteen... Don't worry! I'll make up for it with a lot of good content, I guess you could say this was more of a general impression heh. You know what? I'll make up for it right now! Here's a bite-sized video for you to enjoy. Also, tell us what you think of GGX's snazzy new intro!