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FFXIV in 2024 – Still Worth Playing?

Greetings and welcome to another discussion in which I want to talk about the question if Final Fantasy 14 is still worth playing in 2024.

Introduction to Final Fantasy 14 in 2024

First and foremost, Dawn of the Game’s new expansion is just on the horizon, and new and old players can expect at least the amount of content and new features that Endwalker brought. This expansion will feature two new jobs, the Viper and Pikto Man, and many new places to visit, dungeons to complete, or raids to conquer.

Importance of Catching Up in Final Fantasy 14

Before everything else, you need to know that all of the game’s endgame content is locked behind the main scenario quest, which leads the player through all the story events and plot the game has to offer. Even when I’m sounding like a broken record, the story alone is reason enough to play it.

If you like single-player Final Fantasies, you will love this one as well, as the plot is meticulously crafted to reach its climax in Shadowbringers and conclusion in Endwalker. Just check out all the reactions of streamers and other players tearing up when going through very emotional moments of the storyline.

Why Start Final Fantasy 14 Now?

As Dawn Tree is just around the corner, as a newcomer, you should definitely give it a try now as there’s so much content to be enjoyed and unlocked before the big hype takes flight with the upcoming expansion.

To be honest, most of the criticism about the game or people feeling bored with it mainly stems from players having cleared every little piece of substance, which then might lead to a feeling of emptiness, which you will definitely not experience when you have just started the game. On the other hand, if you’re absolutely here for gameplay and endgame alone, it might be a tough start for you.

Understanding the Journey Through Final Fantasy 14

You might find yourself considering the purchase of MSQ (Main Scenario Quest) Skips from the Square Enix store. If you choose not to buy a Skip, and even when skipping all those cutscenes manually, you still have to progress through each and every dungeon trial. This involves lots of running from NPC to NPC, area to area, and world to world.

In my honest opinion, if you cannot find a single glimpse of joy in playing through a beautiful tale of light and dark, this game might not click well with your playstyle. Square Enix does not seem to plan on changing this formula in the near future.

However, I have heard from many hardcore raiders or endgame enjoyers that they have played the game for the past six years without watching a single cutscene or engaging in story dialogue. So, if you enjoy very well-designed raid fights and a great MMO battle system, Final Fantasy 14 might be worth spending some time on.

Gameplay and Mechanics in Final Fantasy 14

The gameplay in Final Fantasy 14 is heavily inspired by World of Warcraft, which even the producer, Naoki Yoshida, admitted multiple times. Hence, it goes into a clearly different direction and works its class and job system into combat with a very strategical and linear rotation system. This offers much cool visual spell effects and still more complexity than most other MMORPGs on the market.

There are literal 20-page long spreadsheets of rotations for certain raid encounters, and their ultimate raiding difficulty demands players to participate in fights that easily take 10 minutes of perfect concentration and focus, where a single mistake can cost the fight for your group. This level of detail and complexity may appeal to some players, especially those seeking a challenge.

Comparative Complexity in MMORPGs

Considering the complexity of endgame content in MMORPGs, Final Fantasy 14 stands out for its depth and strategic requirements. The preparation for raids involves not just understanding your character’s rotations but also coordinating with your team to execute intricate strategies.

For example, starting your pre-fight preparations 9 seconds before the poll allows you to stack Sion storm at around 3 seconds, casting a Rune of Power into an Arcane Blast pre-cast, followed by an Arcane Orb. This level of detailed planning is indicative of the game’s approach to combat and encounter design, offering a rewarding experience for those who invest the time to master it.

Challenges and Rewards in Final Fantasy 14

The top-end difficulty and raiding content of this game is the most challenging and rewarding raiding experience one can find in an MMORPG right now, especially as the Endwalker ultimate raids are considered to be the hardest fights ever created. So, if you’re interested in world-first or hardcore raiding, this game might be the pinnacle of the MMORPG landscape.

But, let us talk a bit about the community. While I’m always a bit hesitant to fully embrace the “this is the best community” term, I would like to take a more rational approach to this aspect. The game is wonderfully created with multiple underlying features and aspects that make grouping up and enjoying time with others much more easy and pleasant.

The massive housing features, being able to get connected with an Eternal Bond of marriage, or just having a crafting system that provides lively ingredients, armor, and housing items for the world we live in are notable aspects.

The Final Fantasy 14 Community

But beyond all that, with your self-created character being able to take up each and every battle, crafting, or gathering job without ever demanding you to change that character to another one, you connect much more to the world. Instead of creating multiple alts just for playing different classes, I always felt that this is the right game to make content for. Even though my total playtime of WoW might be two or three times as high, it’s just much more immersive, and establishing connections to other players is way easier. Everyone being able to represent themselves with their character quite easily is a significant factor.

Developer and Community Relationship

One aspect, however, that is much different from any game I have played is how relatable the developer team is. So much so, that the community even goes too far sometimes to defend their design decisions. But even here, when looking at the core of it, I’ve never seen a closer connection of community and developers than in this game. I still feel super thankful to be part of it, and that Square Enix gifted the player base with the 2021 FanFest. This was truly one of the best events, showing the strong bonds between developers and the community.

The Evolution of PVP in Final Fantasy 14

The player versus player department might be something they need to refine a bit more in the future, but they started a great overhaul in Endwalker that has lots of potential, and the community agreed this is the best PvP this game has offered yet. If they improve the rewarding structure and matchmaking, as well as introducing some pre-made brackets, this might actually be awesome. It’s not as responsive or direct as WoW PvP, but it’s not bad either.

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