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It seems everything we know has been making the jump to the world of MMOs lately. World of Warcraft used to be the undisputed king of MMOs, but that’s no longer the case. Another great Blizzard franchise, Diablo, was resurrected after a decade long slumber. The Elder Scrolls has joined the MMO game, too. And There are other franchises cashing in as well. Star Wars and Guild Wars comes to mind. And then there are those MMO’s that are not franchised, EVE Online, Neverwinter etc. And now Square Enix has joined the fray, bringing FF XIV to life. Final Fantasy is a franchise that has lasted decades, across many platforms. It seems only natural that it would eventually reach the MMO platform. But I can’t help but thinking that FF should have pioneered this space in gaming, and knowing that’s not the case has me doubting the next installation to the franchise a bit. So instead of waiting around until August 27th to see what the game’s about, I decided to snoop around and find myself a beta tester to give me a better look at the game.

But before I get into what beta testing was like, I do want to stop and just let you guys know what we’re looking at when I say FF Online. As of now the game is slated for both the PC and the Playstation 3. The game is 29.99 (reg) & 69.99 (Collectors) for the PC and $10 more if you want to play from the comfort of your PS3. It is also a subscription based game, so you’ll be paying 12.99 a month to continue your adventures. Said adventures will take place in Eorzea, a huge expanse full of different races and cities. Just reading about it all reminds me a lot of what any RPG brings to the table: a very thorough back-story and a world that thrives on drama and provides hours worth of quests and journeys. There are over twenty classes to choose from, grouped into four different disciples and 9 jobs to further specialize in.

Now for the actual interview, and what a beta tester had to say about the game thus far.

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Q: How is the game so far? Do you like it?

A: Well, that’s hard to answer. The game is far from finished, and we don’t have access to most of the features yet. It’s hard to say exactly how it will be at release because it’s still not yet finished, but from what I have seen it has potential.

Q: So which FF game do you think it most resembles at this point?

A: It’s an MMO, so none of them! I suppose if I had to say what it resembles aesthetically a lot of it reminds me of FFXII, but that’s more because that was the most westernized FF to date.

Q: Mhm… And for you personally, does this game feel more comfortable than the others, or do you think FF shines on a different platform?

A: It doesn’t feel like an FF game to me. It really just feels like an MMO with some FF flavor. I enjoy playing it regularly, and the quests keep my attention. which is something that I usually don’t say about MMOs.

Q: What about the payment model, do you think it’s reasonable based on what you’ve seen so far?

A: I want to emphasize that the version I have is very limited and I have no way of knowing what the full game will be like, there isn’t PvP for instance. I don’t know what they’re planning in terms of content, so to say I’ll buy it or not based on what I’ve seen wouldn’t be fair. I’m just making a ton of characters to make sure they work right, watching the cut scenes to make sure they work right etc.

Q: Fair enough. What about the classes? Are they final? What’s your favorite/least favorite class?

A: I think the classes are final. Right now my favorite when it comes to the quests associated is the lancer. It also has (in my opinion) the coolest looking armor. I’m kind of torn when it comes to the conjurer…either way it doesn’t really matter which class you pick because at level 15 you can add on as many other classes as you want, so you can be every class in the game, and just switch between them and level them all separately. I haven’t paid attention to the stats enough to see if you get a bonus with the starting class or anything like that.

That was all the info I was able to squeeze out…for now. In the meantime, here’s the link to the FFXIV website: http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/ On there you’ll find breakdowns on all the classes, towns, races, etc. There’s also a bestiary, and you can pre-order the game or sign up to be a Beta Tester yourself.

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