Game player analysis - Final Fantasy XIV

The game itself has a main story that can be conducted without the need of ever interacting with anyone other than in game designed characters. 

Author: Betty Bean

#Gamescon

PART 1 AND PART 2 – Game Journal and Accomplishments

Day 1:

The game starts off by telling me to pick the race of the character I would like to control. I chose Hyur midlander female, because that was the most human looking race as opposed to the other options as I am looking to create a mage character similar to Yuna in Final Fantasy X. After choosing the race, I had to customize the character’s appearance, which was not as important as the next part. In this part the player is supposed to choose a starting class. Depending on your choice, the player character is plunged into a story and city that caters to their class. I chose Arcanist, because Arcanists have the ability to summon “pets” to help with attacks andspell casting, once again, similar to Yuna. After naming the character “Iva Mahi”, I do not know why, it just occurred to me, the game’s storylineofficially began.

Upon starting the story of the game, I found myself on a ship headed to Limsa Lominsa, the starting town for Arcanists apparently. The ship was then attacked by pirates, but the player has no control over the actions of the character in this scenario. The ship arrives to the docks of Limsa Lominsa. We bid the captain of the ship farewell. Upon walking into the city we are questioned by Ryssfloh, the Yellowjacket, who is the guardian of the gate near the docks. He tells us to sign up as adventurer In Drowning Wench, otherwise an unknown adventurer could get lost and, in his word, “could be cut slit in an alley somewhere”. I head toward the Drowning Wench to speak to the owner called Baderon to register in the Adventurers’ Guild. Upong speaking to Baderon, I automatically got registered after a few dialogues about how dangerous it was to not be registered. Baderon tells me that in order to earn a reputation in Eorzea I will have to take on quests to earn experience.

The first quest opens up in the Drowning Wench, right beside the counter. I decide to take the quest as it offered 55 EXP points, which I need in order to level up. According to the character Niniya, a number of plants usually found only on the black market are scattered about the lower deck. In order to get to the lower deck, I take the elevator. Right outside the elevator are the herbs Niniya was talking about. I collect the herbs and take them to Ahldskyf at the Octant and he proceeds to examine them. The peculiar herbs have been revealed to be Althyk lavender, a plant well known by the inhabitants of Limsa Lominsa. So this quest was pointless, nevertheless, Ahldskyf rewards me the EXP points and the completion of the quest.

The second quest opens up soon by speaking to Captain Ahldskyf. He informs me of a suspicious figure he saw at the Octant. He sends me to tell Glazrael of this news. Upon informing Gazrael, he asks me to inform Frydwyb. Upon doing so the quest is completed and EXP is received.

The third quest ends up being a story quest. Baderon requests me to complete three tasks that would benefit me. He gives me three locations to visit, one of which is the Arcane Guild, which trains arcanists and hones their abilities. 

After doing a couple of quests, that involved delivering objects, slaying Wharf Rats and Little Lady Bugs, I finally leveled up to Level 2. Gaining EXP in this game is hard and very time consuming. EXP is not the only thing gained from completing quests. Once I had enough Gil (in game currency) I proceeded to the market to buy my character new armour, in order to increase defense and also change the default clothing. It turns out I did not have enough Gil to purchase everything for the time being. So I headed to the market board, where you get cheaper items, but used and sometimes in bad condition. I got a good bargain and changed the attire of my character to what looks like a green tunic and leather sandals for defense.

Continuing on quests, I came across a peculiar quest unlike any I had done before. O’kalkaya’s quest. She asks me to go to Captain Rhoswen and use emotes to communicate with him. He tells me to do the following: kneel, disappointed look and rally the spirits in order to get Captain Rhoswen out of a bad mood. 

The next quest introduced me to the hardest enemy I had encountered thus far. By reaching level 4, I had obtained my “pet” summon called Carbuncle, along with spells like Ruin, Bio and Physick. S’dhodjbi asks me to obtain 4 aurelia umbrellas by slaying 4 aurelia for Baderon. Heading out the Tempest Gate toward the Lower La Noscea, I encounter the Aurelia one by one; their stun techniques prove a challenge for me at this low level, with them being level 5 or 6. After getting 4 aurelia umbrellas, I present then to Baderon as he states he hates them. Nevertheless we are awarded for the effort. This severely increases my EXP bar leading to reaching level 5. At this point I quit the game in order to continue with my other studies clocking over 4 hours of play.

Day 2:

I switch on the game and continue my adventure as “Iva Mahi the Arcanist”

A story quest opened up as soon as I reached level 5 – The story quest is outside the city. By leaving the city through the Zephyr Gate I go and pay a visit to Staelwyrn, a farmer in Summerford Farms. Staelwyrn explains that many of his workers were once the crew of his pirate ship, “A vessel lost in the destruction of the Calamity”. The Calamity is the attack by Bahamut on Eorzea before my character was part of this world. Staelwyrn asks me to lend a helping hand to the ex-pirates. Completing this quest gives me a lot of EXP points and a lot of Gil. With the extra Gil in hand, I buy level 5 armour for my character which improves her defense. I also buy a new arcane book with better magical abilities.

Upon leaving Staelwyrn’s farm I chose to do another quest. The wool from Moegramm’s sheep lacks its former luster, so he asks me to use lice combs to make the wool shiny again. By informing Moegramm that his shaggy sheep are now clean, he rewards you with the option of picking an item you want out of the ones he’s rewarding. Some of these items are useless to an arcanist because I am a disciple of magic, not a disciple of war.

By going further into the farm land, new quests have opened up and new areas are accessible. The area Red Rooster Stead has a lot of consecutive quests, one after the other with a lot of EXP to offer. All of these quests have to do with either getting rid pests in the farms or having to do with catching animals like Wild Dodos for products. One particular one of interest was getting rid of the hedgemoles that were terrorizing the pumpkin patch. It is taking a lot of time to level up now with 6000 EXP as the goal.

 

Continuing with the quests, I had a problem with a particular one as I was under leveled and had not updated my character’s gear in a while. A stagecoach has been waylaid en route to the Red Rooster Stead. Wahoy Mahoy asks me to salvage the cargo in the Blind Iron Mines in hopes that it will be an easy task. However, the Kobolds that ransacked Wahoy’s Coach are hiding out in the mines. Upon inspecting the cargo, the Kobolds appear all three at once. Being underleveled and not well prepared my character got pummeled and this marked the first time my character ran out of HP or “fainted”. Physick is a spell I could have used to recharge my HP but, it took a while to cast as well as the fact that after a few casts, it stops working for some reason. I still have to figure out why. Upon returning the cargo to Wahoy Mahoy, he is overjoyed and offers you a reward.

It was at this point that I interacted with my first online friend. His in game name was Daniel Rome, and he chose to help me with a Fate battle ultimately asking me to join his party. He was from the same race, Hyur but I believe his character was a disciple of war, not of magic like me. After taking part in a few Fates, ranging from Wild Lambs to Puk Hatchlings, Daniel Rome disconnected I suppose, and I never saw him again. This led to him not being part of my party either. At this point I decided to quit the game.

 

Day 3:

Continuing the story, I take on a guild quest. This quest required me to go out into the field in Middle La Noscea to investigate a couple of crates and return them to the guild. Upon inspection, a few enemies spawned leading to a battle that was pretty easy. By finishing the battle we are greeted by K’lyhia, the apprentice of the guild master who has asked her to look after my character. She gives me advice about how to use arcane arts and if I am in need of any practice do not hesitate to practice at the guild. Returning the crates to the guild finally earns me enough EXP points to level up to level 6.

By spending a lot of time in the field, roughly around 2 hours just hacking away at all the enemies nearby, I manage to get my character up to level 7. This opens up a quest in Middle La Noscea. Puk Hatchlings are attacking the orange trees because they prey on the insects that pollinate the La Noscean oranges. Bhirdraeg asks us to kill 5 Puk Hatchlings in order to get rid of the menace. Upon completing the quest, Bhirdraeg rewards me generously with 1650 EXP points. 

Once again quests of delivery and attack open up that allow me to increase my character’s level drastically. Now level 9, a very interesting quest opens up. The Kobolds and Lominsans have long shared the world of Eorzea, however, with recent Kobold activity, Anaoc is convinced that Kobolds are preparing to strike Lominsans any minute. He asks me to talk to Arenlona to start preparations. Arelona tells me that since prolonged famine has driven the Kobolds to steal from the Red Rooster Stead, the way to bring them out of hiding is through bait. Anaoc then tells me to go to Skarnmhar who specializes in dodo meat. After obtaining the meat, I head toward the Blind Iron Mines to place the meat in a position where the Kobolds are in abundance. I then proceed to hide, while the Kobolds fall for the bait. When the Kobolds fall for the bait, I slay them all and thus allowing the mines to be clear. Upon reporting to Anaoc of the success, he asks me to report to Baderon at the Drowning Wench to see what can be done to fortify the Red Rooster Stead for the trials ahead. Baderon tells us that he believes that the Kobolds intend on summoning Titan by amassing crystals through increasingly violent means. This will probably open up a quest in the future, hopefully, because I have always wanted to fight Titan, being a huge Final Fantasy fan. 

Upon reaching level 10, which was the cap level for being allowed to ride a chocobo and opening up a quest in the guild, I head to the guild. In order to once again increase my growth as an arcanist, Thubyrgeim, the acting guild master, tells me to travel to Western La Noscea, a land I have not been to before, to engage in battle with very difficult enemies; asking me to slay three wild jackals and three roselings. Upon reaching the Western La Noscea area, the wild jackals are the first enemy I encounter; however, they are too strong for me in a group because they apparently attack together for some reason as opposed to other foes. So I pick them off one by one, not engaging the other if avoidable. The roselings are much easier in comparison to the wild jackals. Satisfied with my result of the training, Thubyrgeim asks me to accompany K’lyhia on an official inspection. By meeting up with K’lyhia, she explains that a goblin family of peddlers, known as the Boilstox are suspected of dealing in black market goods. Prediciting a violent response to her inspection, K’lyhia orders us to be ready to execute a tactic suitable for the situation. By travelling to the Middle La Noscea, a cutscene takes place that shows that K’lyhia was right about the goblins and that they would resist inspection. K’lyhia assists me in taking out the Goblins and commends me for my ability of control of the arcane arts.

Reaching level 10 took quite some time, with an overall gameplay time of 21 hours divided over 3 days. This is when I stopped playing as it was taking forever to reach level 11, being still stuck on 7278 EXP out of 11800 needed because all the quests as of now are locked.

PART 3 – INTERVIEWS

While in game, as stated before I joined the party of Daniel Rome, however, he disconnected before I had the opportunity to ask him the questions required for the interview. Therefore, I decided to ask the gaming community on GameFAQs.com in order to conduct the interview. The Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn has its own board and while I am not a regular at that particular board I do visit the boards of other games and so I am a regular member of the community.

That was my post on the forum. Within a few hours I had three, albeit brief replies.

ANALYSIS OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLAYER AND GAME

As I have played World of Warcraft before, I noticed that the people in Final Fantasy were not as friendly toward each other as opposed to other MMORPGs. This might be because the game itself has a main story that can be conducted without the need of ever interacting with anyonevother than in game designed characters. The main quest itself can keep the player occupied for a while before the player decides to get involved in the social aspects of the game. While in the city of Limsa Lominsa, I noticed that certain players were near the crystal a lot. This could possibly be because when your in-game character dies, you automatically respawn at the crystal. The game has proven to be very addicting to a lot of people because of the endless quests and possibilities when it comes to melding items and creating new items. Unlike normal games, this game provides players to make their own character, literally, ranging from physical appearance to the idea of morality. While within the city, players are not as friendly towards each other, upon taking part in a Fate together, most players respect each other’s capabilities. One player actually decided to use a kneel emote to my character after I helped him/her defeat a couple of Puk Hatchlings. Since the game has been out for a while, I did not meet too many beginners like myself on the server. Most players were above a decent level of 25, with above decent items. The game overall provides a lot of opportunities for a social life outside of the real world.