Final Fantasy XIV: Queerdom

Brief commentary from my 1st hour:

– The installer PRETENDS 20Gb free, but the client is barely 9Gb.

– No fucking way to scale the UI. This is utterly ridiculous that something like this wasn’t properly addressed. You can scale between 3 sizes on individual panels but THERE’S NO FUCKING WAY to do it on the chat window, which also CAN’T BE MOVED AT ALL. And also scaling the individual panels doesn’t let you scale pop-up windows and messages. So you end up with an half assed UI. It should have never come out of beta in this state.

– I actually like a lot the neon-style of this UI. But it is only used for some of the UI elements (health bars, pop-up numbers, onscreen names). Other panels like character info, inventory and journal are of a completely different style and very ugly.

– Character creation isn’t that good. Not many choices making real difference, and visual style overall is something you either like or not.

– Ooh, first and last name. I like that. You finally don’t have to try a million of names because they are all already taken. I picked K’rul Azathanai. Shortly after the game complimented me for how “it rolls off the tongue”. I laughed for the involuntary humor.

– The intro thing couldn’t be duller and slower. Even the camera panning around is so slow as if they’re trying to make you fall asleep before you can actually take control of your character (and it will take a while, a long while).

– Animations are really bad. They don’t have animations even for when you fall down from a jump and start moving (so no interpolation in general). Movement feels jerky, visually. Probably animations in general are the worse thing in the overall presentation of the game. It feels really “floaty” when moving around, as if the character is only gliding over things. GW2 wasn’t very good, but this is much worse.

– The engine really makes my GPU hot. This is usually a “good” thing since it means it depends more on GPU than CPU. It’s a good thing that the settings don’t have a big effect on the overall look. Graphic is pretty, drawing distance is quite wide. But the engine feels still somewhat rough. Still a decent enough performance with other players around. So I guess with decent and recent hardware it looks good and performs well even in bigger battles.

– I guess there was lag. The movement of other players around goes in short burst instead of being smooth.

I crashed.

– I was able to get stuck very soon. Completely stuck in geometry when I tried to look around some ruins.

So, in general this is a kind of quirky MMO that you either like for its queer style or not. It doesn’t seem to do anything relevant, so it’s just an old style kind of MMO that looks fresh and queer.

I’d give it a “6”. It’s “playable”. It’s queer. You are going to like and enjoy it mostly because its style. Otherwise it has nothing to offer that seems different. But at least it’s that style that gives it something different from another generic MMO without any personality or flavor. More flavor that GW2, for example. But GW2 is superior in its engine, mechanics and content. Only blander.

I use queer in its “strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular” meaning.

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