I've been getting some flak from readers about my one-sided and seemingly entirely negative view of Final Fantasy XIV. So I'm going to take a moment and flip to the other side of the coin, and talk about all the things I DO like in FFXIV. There's plenty of it, it just hasn't been getting all that much attention with all the negative press flying around; a trap into which I myself fell.
First up: graphics. The game is gorgeous. Way more than gorgeous. It's the most incredibly detailed and beautiful MMORPG in existence. It may not have some of the flash and dazzle, but it has a sensible simplicity to it that makes the world come alive and feel all that much more real. But the way the world looks isn't all that important, to be honest. You don't play an MMORPG to stare at the ground or a building or a tree. You play it to look at and interact with other players, and that's where FFXIV really stands out of the crowd.
I'm not talking about character creation. It's nice and all that but, lets be honest, with less than a dozen hair styles to chose from, every eighth
Mithra Miqo'te you come across will look just like you do. Well, not just like, there's plenty of difference thanks to the numerous hair colors available this time around. But it's not the way the characters look that has me so excited. It's how the behave.
This is one of the few MMORPGs I know of with fully articulated faces, mouths, and hands. And Fingers. What other MMORPG animates all five fingers independently? Emotes aren't just broad gestures with the arms: these are highly detailed animations that convey oodles of emotion. In a game that prides itself on crossing traditional language barriers with its integrated auto-translation system, the benefit of emotes filled with this much expression helps convey both feeling and meaning to other players where words fall short.
See? I found something good to say about the game. Now I just have to wait until release and hope that all my other issues are addressed so I can have more good things to say...