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Final Fantasy XIV Alpha vs Beta: “We Made It Faster!”

final-fantasy-xiv-miqote-by-rueken

In its transition from alpha to beta Square Enix are claiming some improvements to Final Fantasy XIV, the game derided as “pathetically boring,” saying they have sped things up, but some doubt remains as to whether they have gone far enough in what must be close to the retail version…

The comparison video they released:

Quoth Square Enix:

We are happy to call attention to some improvements made in transitioning from the alpha version to the new beta version of FINAL FANTASY XIV. Notice the difference in lighting, the new depth of field effect, and the faster battle system.

The beta seems to boast some moderate graphical improvements, though the combat seems as soporific as ever… with no further substantive improvements likely, hopefully this level of thrilling anti-rat combat will suffice.

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147 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    The best thing this game could hope to be is another bad WOW clone. Unless they take a new approach like Bioware’s doing with Star Wars then these guys are going to stay as dead as their hope with hope.

  • Looks alright to me. I agree the alpha version looked way too slow to be any fun, but it seems much better now. It’s still a slow paced system, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I can see myself enjoying it now as long as the strategy is strong enough.

    It doesn’t all have to be lightning fast action like FFXIII or real time stuff. I’m happy enough with what I see there.

  • Anonymous says:

    What a slow and boring game. The guy fights for over 30 seconds and some jellyfish trash mob is still around 40% hp. Step it up already. The character looks like some old man who needs to catch his breath for 5 seconds every time he swings his sword.

    Square-Enix is succeeding very well in attracting old people who need to look at the keyboard to find their hotkeys (“Now where is my 1 key? Oh, there it is” *slowly presses*) whenever it’s their turn to attack. Yeah, we wouldn’t want old folks to be stressed out while playing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love how easy it is to pick out the fanboys from these comments…

    But anyway, this will end up being a terrible mmo unless they redo the combat system at the very least. And tactics, in an mmo, ohh yeah~!

    Player A: I’ll execute skill A, after i’m done you should try to stun the rat with skill B, ok?
    Player B: Alright, will do.
    *Player A goes to bed*
    Player B: Ok, it’s 4am, and it’s my turn to attack (Uses skill B). Player C you handle the next attack.
    Player C: Alright.
    *Mob dies after 48 hours, they all had a good night’s sleep, watched some porn, few movies and rat finaly died*

    FF greatness.

  • Anonymous says:

    Not conceited but truth. Are you telling me you would rather click once and let the game do all the work, or do it hands on like most console games. E.g god of war, DMC, Ninja Gaiden, if i play a console i want that experience not a turn based system. I mean this is free flow as well, so it’s not a simple turn base like final fantasy and random battles, this is like having a game slower than World of warcraft, ON a console. Sorry but I can’t see how anyone can enjoy that, because this doesn’t even give you a decent JRPG story since it’s an mmo anyway, right now im seeing nothing going for this game.

  • Anonymous says:

    why don’t they just implement real time fighting/casting instead… that’d be much more interesting than waiting for your bar to heal up when you want to swing your sword. (Monster Hunter style :D)

  • The speed looks about fine now. Considering you have to wait your turn in every FF game, the time it takes between turns now is no different than most FF games. Anyone whining about the speed should play FFT and learn what slow means.

  • Neutral_Eyes says:

    Delicious Miqo’te…

    I do like the field depth improvements a lot, doesn’t let beautiful scenery go to waste, even on a single monitor. The lighting looks better, if a bit overdone for the demo video.

    Battle tempo appears to be much improved. However, it’s mentioned in a few interviews that this destroys your ability to chat while in battle (or make sandwiches if you’re a Monk). I like the idea of playing a more active role (compared to, say, an FFXI damage dealer) and this style of combat should cut out leechers quickly. Though, I think casual conversation is important and might be missed quite a bit.

    Did this video use the ambient occlusion feature they briefly discussed?

  • Anonymous says:

    This game seems to have improved a lot of gameplay systems over FFXI. The new battle system is so much faster than XI, it looks like a blast to play.

    Also, people are forgetting that this game is going to allow more than 6 members per party. If the battle was any faster, it’d be a hectic mess which would gimp the strategic element(which FFXI actually somewhat required). It’s great that they’re actually taking elements from the traditional FF job/battle systems, too.

    Also, did SanCon’s writers get raped by SE? Why are they so anti-Final Fantasy?

  • PrinceHeir says:

    hmm good to see this game is progressing well maybe square could u know? finished versus xiii and the 3rd birthday so that that we can get agito xiii and dragon quest X on the way. not to mention they also said the fabula nova crystallis isn’t exclusive to the ps3,psp, and 360 so there’s a chance for a wii game right?

  • Anonymous says:

    So level 1-10 on any other MMO is more exciting than that? give me a break. of course it looks stupid and boring it’s the very basics of the combat system! besides, most of this game will be played in groups or at least pairs. chill out. and if you don’t like it, don’t play it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Looks like you can do more things in a shorter amount of time, yeah.

    Solo-play seems as slow as any other MMORPG, but I guess they have to do that to encourage group play–if you could do everything by yourself in a timely manner, you wouldn’t team up, right?

  • Anonymous says:

    The whole combat system just breaks any sense of immersion you might have developed by seeing the game world. Things would be better off if they made it like Phantasy Star Online’s combat system. Instead of trying to over complicate everything with some stupid futuristic HUD combat system where stabbing a rat takes as much effort as writing an essay on religion.

    But no.. it’s called Final Fantasy. Gotta have some sort of pseudo tactical combat system that makes you feel like a genius when you learn how to kill something.

    ~Ganthir (first post on Sankakucomplex ever. Not like anyone would care)

  • Anonymous says:

    well i hope this time SE desapear the HNMs, the reason it was very boring wait for hours for the claim, and the community is a shit, always guildmaster and officer win everything, the member was only tools
    ffxi sucks for community, hnm, racist with outher class (when people prefer invite ninja because they are lazy to heal), for hnmls you need fucking 5 class high lvl is ridiculous

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    Hmm…

    They did improve the lighting and texture effects. BUT- Note they started from inside a city, what looked like it might be an official building.

    Now, let’s say it’s the “Office” you work at daily, or the saloon, etc. Which lighting set would you use; a – the more realistic set or b – the “Kafka nightmare” set?

    The battles, though, just pure laugh city. FPS shooter should mean FPS freedom. I frankly don’t like that you go through a Final Fantasy map and then randomly the screen blurs and you fight monsters. If the computer allows a giant, many miles wide area to walk around in, then just have monsters roaming about normally.

    Likewise, ditch the “Turn” thing where you each stand their waiting to smack each other. There’s plenty of ways to chain attacks into a controller with all the button options now.

  • SpideyPHL says:

    It is considerably faster than before. Also note that, because you have to input individual attacks like a traditional FF (or a game like City of Heroes), it’s a lot different feel from ffxi and some other games with auto-attack. Really, if you input attacks any faster than that there’d be constant button mashing, and you would lack some ability to effectively choose your skills when playing on a controller. I think that’s a good reason MMOs should require keyboards, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I really don’t know what you’re complaining about though, as aside from the mob having too much hp, it looks comparable to most other MMOs as far as combat goes, especially over the last couple of years as many have moved away from auto-attack. But then, this site’s full of trolls looking for any excuse to bash ff after all, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’d feel less justified in that opinion if people gave a reason why they thought the combat was boring other than just “zzz”.

  • Dirty_Dingus008 says:

    Joy~ Shadows that Don’t shift in the BETA while do in the ALPHA! And the exciting combat? Still there… Bet if you drop a fucking mountain on that rat – it’ll still only twitch~~~~

  • Anonymous says:

    cant wait to make my kitty again.. i was a big fan of FF11 and played it for like 2 years but graphics didnt improve cuz of the ps2s limitations so i got into WoW and now im sick of it lol so im wanting to play this game badly!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love how they call it a ‘metamorphosis’ and the most interesting difference between the alpha and beta version is that the character grew a tail xD

    Also what they improved is that little bar. It constantly fills and an action consumes a portion of it. Possibly to choose faster cheaper attacks or slower more (costly) powerful attacks. Perhaps you can also queue the attacks and thus do ‘combos’

  • Anonymous says:

    The battle system looks pretty much the same as most MMO’s I have seen (especially at low levels), I don’t get what the huge fuss is about.

    Though before the speed improvement it was a tad too slow.

  • Well, it’s not a huge improvement. I’m not in alpha/beta, so all I have to judge by is what I see in the video.

    The video does illustrate a slight increase in running speed, although since the perspective/camera distance between the two versions is slightly different, it’s unclear exactly how much of an improvement it is.

    Having played FFXI, it looks like the enemy health still scales far too high with respect to player level, making combat still take an excessively long time. Also, time between attacks (I’m assuming the primary attack method is still auto-attack?) is quite high.

    In my opinion, if I’m going to pay for a game, I expect it to be a good, fun time-sink. That said, I don’t believe that fighting the same mob for 5+ minutes is what I consider fun (actually happened alot for me in FFXI). Unless the combat is sped up, I can’t see getting into this, even though I liked the FFXI environment.

      • Actually I solo all the time in FFXI and I kill mobs and Get Chain #4+ solo. I kill VT and IT mobs for those that know..the game is pretty easy. and IMO more fun than WoW. but that’s my Opinion. but again the game shines when in a group and you work like a well oiled machine in dispatching the mobs. I really hope they don’t take that away from this game.

      • I agree to an extent. However, if you’re high enough level that the mob won’t even aggro you anymore, you should also be able to kill it with little trouble. Think of WHM. I remember getting killed by things much, much lower level than me, simply because they weren’t weak to magic like elementals are. Otherwise, what is it supposed to be afraid of? The damage done to a mob should scale with the level of the mob enough to allow that.

        I can’t tell the level of the character or the mob in this video, so I can’t say if it should be a ‘fair’ fight or an ‘easy’ fight. However, if they haven’t changed that mechanic, the game will be a painful grind session for some jobs, same as FFXI was. In the video the attacks don’t appear to be very strong, and it takes a while to do a significant amount of damage. That’s the point I was making.

  • Anonymous says:

    The new battle system is faster, that’s for sure.

    Although it won’t please everybody. Either it’s too fast or it’s too slow or it’s not engaging enough or..it just goes on and on.

    You know what happens when devs listen to their fanbase too much? You get world of warcraft (free epic armor for everyone!).

    • And that’s bad why? When everyone competes with the same gear it’s easy to see who’s better or not, or do you think you’re special because your armor is rarer? It’s a game, being mad because other people’s armor is as purple as yours is simply idiotic.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just saying here, people like you don’t understand why most of the “raiders” enjoyed raiding to begin with. Showing off your loot was nice and all, but the fact is we all know that no one on the server gives a fuck.

        It’s about the accomplishment, practicing, refining your strategy, and then finally defeating the boss in a perfect symphony of interaction amongst guildmates. The gear wasn’t about pwning teh noobz. It was something you earned.

        Blizzard took that away, which is why I quit in the end. You have no idea how utterly insulting it was to have TotC released before even 1% of the playerbase had beaten the hard modes in Ulduar, oh, and guess what? All those hard mode drops are inferior to badge loot from vendors or drops from normal mode TotC.

        In the old days, you had attunements and gear checks on boss fights, meaning every piece of loot in every raid instance was moving you and your guild further ahead. Now what’s the point? There is no such thing as progression for you and your guild. Every time a new instance releases your gear gets boosted near instantly to the level needed for that instance, effectively making all that effort you put forth worthless.

        All this because people who didn’t like raiding felt it wasn’t fair that guilds that did had better gear. The irony is that the guilds aren’t elitist, the playerbase just hated that those who put in more effort had better gear.

        Well, you got your wish. Gear means nothing, guild and players progression means nothing, so there’s no reason to play the game anymore.

        • Hm, that’s a good one, but still an excuse, did you kill 0 light Yogg? Did you kill Arthas hard mode? Etc.

          It might be easier to get good gear, but that is really good for most hardcore guilds, it makes it easier for them to recruit people since they won’t have to waste their own gear on applicants that might as well leave after they got their items.

          WoW is not easy, WoW is different, I PvP’d to gladiator several seasons, regardless of how dumbed down PvP is you can’t say it’s easy, that’s like comparing football to basketball and saying basketball is easier because you score more times.

  • Anonymous says:

    They think THAT is fast? This stuff is pathetically slow, sad to say Square got no idea what excites people, and if they believe that is anywhere close the game’s prospects dont really look good

    • Anonymous says:

      You idiot, they ain’t saying this is fast fast, this is faster for an final fantasy game u big freaking idiot, this excite many hardcore final fantasy fans, unlike your sucky free mmorpg spoiled generation that complains about every game and talk crap before u play a game, just GtFo

    • They have a HUGE starting fanbase for this game: FFXI’s players, and for those this is actually very good. Just because YOU think you know best, doesn’t know that is the case.

        • Anonymous says:

          They also said it wasn’t meant to last this long, cant be bad if they still add more to it over the initial plan.

          They also wouldn’t make another mmo so fast if the last one wasn’t a success in financial terms.

      • Anonymous says:

        Their goal is not to just keep the players they already had. I just don’t see any new players buying this game for the “faster” battle system. I’ve played FFXI back around it’s first release.
        I later picked up WoW. I opted out of FFXI however just because it did feel like everything was very slow moving compared to WoW. And the buffs in WoW lasted a lot longer.

        I’m truly hoping they make more changes to the battle system. If not, their never going to be able to compete with WoW. And you can’t say FFXI and WoW are two very different games, because their not. Releasing an MMO of this caliber, while not trying to compete with the most successful MMO, WoW, would just be bad business. I’ll take FF lore over WoW lore any day though.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually trying to compete with wow is the most stupid thing to do, loads have copied it and not done nearly as well. You might not get as many people on it but targeting the other smaller audience that likes ff11 but not wow will ensure you get a steady stream of players.

          Just so you know ff11 was successful and made money just how smaller games can be successful even if they don’t see as much sales as red dead redemption.

          being wow but better is an impossibility but being the next ff11 is doable. I know where id put my money

  • Anonymous says:

    Speed improvement is pretty nice. Alot of people that where whining about it being slow probably never played ff11 though. The slower 2handed weapons like scythe and GA took 7-8 seconds between swings un-hasted. But faster gameplay is much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wouldn’t take too much from this though as every game’s lowbie level grinding looks pretty boring. What matters the most is how endgame raiding turns out and pvp.

    • Anonymous says:

      Although the combat is slower than most mmorpgs, it’s also different, more ff-like, and that is IMO a good thing, the last thing we need is another WoW-clone, with just actors/graphics changed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Something I always criticized about FFXI was that it tossed out the timebars I was used to from most prior FF games I played.

        Now they actually sort of put them back in. I suppose that’s a good thing.

        But, er, the implementation looks fail atm.

    • actually the combat wasnt that slow to begin with. when you went to attack there were 3 bars and you could CHOOSE to attack off the first to do normal damage or let all 3 fill up for much more damage. going off just the first bar battle wasnt average paced.using all three took about 2-3 seconds more which of course could make combat seem slow.

      dont listen to what everyone says as chances are they havent played it.more often than not on the internet people will use someone else’s opinion and pass it off as their on to seem credible.

      anyway the new battle system is faster than the old one but the old one wasnt terrible.

      • Pyrolight says:

        That is not really an issue depending on how you look at it. FFXIV will never be like WoW in terms of quick killing.

        That being said, killing can take too long too. Really I got back into FFXI (assuming FFXIV will be similar) and I find it’s not too bad killing time wise honestly. Could be faster but it’s not unbearable.

        • Actually FFXI, still has the best “Team Dynamic” for any rpg that i’ve seen, Two melee set up a “Skill Chain” mages time their magic to land for a “Magic burst” fights end fast, you kill a mob that rates as “Even Match” or higher within a given time you get xp Chains, after Xp chain #5 you have to kill a mob within 1 minute to get higher xp chains, i’ve hit xp chain #200+ and that was like an hour and a half of grinding, this used to be the fastest way to xp which netted u about 40k xp an hour. now there’s ways to get about 100k xp an hour. FFIV hopfully will implement similar fighting styles, cuz WoW is boring.

      • Anonymous says:

        Japanese devs ALWAYS do this crap. They will change what needs to be changed but then change something else which in returns makes gameplay tedious.

        Japs need to focus only on what needs changing damnit.

        • Anonymous says:

          “That was one of the greatest assets of FFXI: PvP wasn’t even in the game to begin with, it was retrofitted into it years later, and even then the PvP was basically instanced and limited to certain times of day.”

          How is that an asset? You can’t shoehorn in PVP and hope to have it with any semblance of balance. Limiting when you can PVP is similarly a terrible unworkable idea for obvious reasons. Even if you loved FFXI PVP, you couldn’t do it when you wanted.

          I’m definitely not a fan of 100% open PVP between all players, however, even as a formerly 100% PVE player I recognize the extra layers that PVP adds, especially when one is bored.

          In FFXI you can’t really spontaneously do anything to get away from the tedium of grinding due to lockout timers on events and spawn timers on world NMs. PVP provides such an option. An arena or similar construct that allowed opt-in 24/7 PVP wouldn’t detract from the game in any way yet could satisfy people who have different tastes than you do. Please try to think outside the box a little.

        • Pyrolight says:

          What PvP are you looking for? WoW style? Guild Wars style?

          WoW PvP is utterly terrible and a massive headache balance wise. The only real PvP left in WoW were BG (instanced) and Arena (instanced). While BGs were fun the arena was a failure even in the eyes of the Devs.

          Anyway MMORPGs are not about twitch, they are more tactical. That is one of the biggest problems with some game PvP.

          The rich (in game) and lowest latency have far to much of an advantage.

        • Anonymous says:

          You say it doesn’t look like an mmorpg, and you say it has no PvP so it’s “meh”. I’m glad this game is not to your likings, because PvPing has always been a bonus, not a focal point in mmorpgs, it should not replace endgame which is the endall for all mmorpgs, which my guess is FF14 will have a clear focus on. And while you might like playing alone, soloing and what not, mmorpgs are meant to be played in groups and parties.. like 21:07 said, go back to FPS, because a real mmorpg doesn’t sound like a game you want to play, but it is what we want.

        • PvP is only to the richest players when the game is balanced like that, you could easily set-up a grindy but easy to achieve PvP gear that is competitive. Hate amongst players? In my opinion if you’re going to play to “compete” being known as a good PvP’er gets more respect than hate.

          Of course you’re right though, none of it matters and what’s really fun is having fun with your friends, and I’ll totally agree with that argument, I like being independent of them too though, maybe I shouldn’t rely in a single game and that’s where I fault :/

        • if there will be PvP it will be managed PvP like in FFXI, not open PvP.

          That was one of the greatest assets of FFXI: PvP wasn’t even in the game to begin with, it was retrofitted into it years later, and even then the PvP was basically instanced and limited to certain times of day.

        • Anonymous says:

          to me, MMORPG is about grouping up with friends or other players with similar goals to fight and overcome the game world’s environment. i’ve played both FFXI and WoW, but FFXI is the only one where i still remember the excitements and other memorable memories i’ve been through with my linkshell mates, while WoW is basically done-and-forget.

          anyway, PVP in a MMORPG is all about being the richest and having the best gear to pwn everyone, grieving and ganking and basically just promoting hate among players.

          if you want pvp, go play some FPS

        • Anonymous says:

          You mean the Field of View is changed (in some cases), the Depth of field doesn’t really matter.

          Its plain to see from the section where they cross that the move speed is almost identical, the difference is that the view is positioned differently. Closer to the ground = ground appears to move faster under you = you appear to be moving faster.

          There is also a bit of an optical illusion where increasing the detail in a scene makes the player appear to move faster, as you spend more time to look at the scenery and less time waiting for your character to move.

    • basically they sort of implemented FFXIII’s style of command input. As in: you have an action bar filling up constantly and each action you take takes a portion of this bar to execute.

      This allows you to string combos of multiple attacks together by letting the bar fill up quite a bit and then draining it quickly, or you can just have a steady stream of attacks by using the bar right as it fills up enough.

      This is in contrast to the old system where you had to wait for the bar to fill up completely before you could execute any action, which made the whole combat very slow.

      • Anonymous says:

        If im even going to think about buying this they need to completely change the style, theres a bunch of mega things wrong about keeping to the classic hit, wait, hit combo with a console. A pc is fine, but you buy a console for a hands on as it is, so to me this looks like a flop. If they want this to work they need to do something more like what Aion does if they want to stay turn based. But what i suggest is doing something more like Divine Souls, now that would be something i would play on a console.

        • bloodlust5 says:

          The difference is all the moves use the same cooldown.
          were as in other games(i.e. WOW) each skill has its own cooldown.

          So using a weak attack doesn’t stop me from using a strong one as long as i have mana?

        • Sandalphon says:

          “why not just get rid of the whole bar system? it limits the game’s combat and dexterity…”

          There has to be a cap on how many number of actions you can do per a given unit of time to work around the problem of latency, otherwise the dude spamming attacks with 40ms latency will always win over the guy trying to do same with a 300ms latency regardless of skill.

          It also makes the server-client communication smoother as there is more time to work out “disagreements” between the server and client. Most MMOs have adopted this or a similar system.

          On the gameplay change note. It does look faster paced than the one we saw previously, but the abilities look terribly lame: light slash, light stab, provoke… lol they best be joking.

          Oh look!, a mean giant wasp is coming at me, I gotta kill it before it kills me so I’m going to gently stab it to death.

          /NotTidus’ light slash hits Mean Fucking Wasp for 20 damage
          /Mean Fucking Wasp starts casting Black Sting of Raging Death
          /NotTidus’ gentle stab hits Mean Fucking Wasp for 15 damage (critical)
          /NotTidus says: OH SHI-!
          /Mean Fucking Wasp’s Black Sting of Raging Death hits NotTidus for 4950 damage (5 blocked)(4501 Overkill)
          /Wall of Text hits You for 99999 damage (critical)(99998 Overkill)

        • Anonymous says:

          All games have a “bar” really, its just that they don’t let you see it.

          In any other game there are delays between when you swing your weapon, with XIV they’re just giving you an exact visual representation of when those swings can happen.