FFXIV: A Realm Reborn - PlayStation 4 Review

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launched on the PlayStation 4 last week. I’ve been a long-time Final Fantasy RPG fan, but when it comes to the Final Fantasy MMOs I have only had done beta testing for both XIV 1.0 and A Realm Reborn. It’s been a while since I've played in Eorzea and I’ve been looking forward to checking it out on the PS4. Square Enix was kind enough to send over a copy of the game to review; here are my impressions of how it plays out so far on the console!

WildStar: Beta Content and Beyond

As April nears its end and summer rapidly approaches, Carbine Studios, remains hard at work in preparation for the launch of its upcoming MMORPG, WildStar. This latest MMO, scheduled to hit the market in early June, takes place in an expansive universe that blends science fiction and fantasy elements into one action packed space. While this brand new IP has heads turning with interest, WildStar will still need to go blow for blow with some of the biggest names in the genre in order to come out successful. According to the President of Carbine Studios, Jeremy Gaffney, they’ll be battling with giants!

If you’ve been following my coverage of WildStar here on ZAM, then you probably know that one thing the game definitely has going for it: its ridiculous amount of in-game content. In truth, it will probably be the only MMORPG in history to launch jam-packed with this much stuff on day one. Coupled with the fact that, according to Jeremy, over 50% of beta weekend participants are giving WildStar a 5 out of 5 “fun factor” rating, it seems to be on the right path for launch. While long-time fans and beta testers may already be familiar with the game’s plethora of activities, new players just dipping their toes into beta may not know all of the options they have available as they make their journey across Planet Nexus. In order to shed some light for those players, I recently received the opportunity to sit down with Carbine’s Jeremy Gaffney himself to talk about a few different types of content that new players can expect, how beta has been faring in general, as well as the team’s plans for launch and beyond. So sit back and relax as we take a journey to Planet Nexus!

Your Next: Do It Like EverQuest

I know that I'm meant to be talking about EverQuest Next and Landmark, and we'll get to them shortly, but there are a couple more stops to go on the H1Z1 train before we get there. After an inaugural livestream plagued by tech issues, but showing potential, SOE President John Smedley headed once again to Reddit to float a new idea.

Many developers seem to enjoy the semi-structured feedback they can get from the Reddit boards, and Mr. Smedley seems to love it. He's a big ideas man, after all, and they don't come much bigger than this.

Since H1Z1 works with an MMO server architecture it will work a little differently to other games in the genre—with a huge persistent world holding thousands of players and no server resets, the game will operate more like an MMO and less like a large shooter map. This could end up being one of the major selling points for the game, but one drawback of the system is the lack of player run servers with their own rules and personalities.

This is where the big idea comes in. Mr. Smedley wants player communities to be able to define the theme and ruleset for their own server. With enough active support from the community we could see those PVE 'carebear' servers that are continually slammed on the DayZ subreddit, or stricter grouping and faction rules designed to let players know who is really friendly.

Now, I understand completely why players want these kinds of rulesets for the Apocalypse Survival genre, but I would bet my last tin of beans they would be a colossal failure.

Players want these kinds of servers because they're sick of KoS, they want to band together with other people to survive the harsh new world and community is what makes persistent online games great. Ultimately though, the fact is it is these hardships and obstacles that make the genre great. If you don't like it, maybe you just don't like the genre. If it wasn't for the intense paranoia and tales of what happens when two people met in the game, DayZ would never have got the recognition it has, and the genre may never have existed at all.

I could be totally wrong of course; as all gaming experiences are subjective I could be in the minority in thinking that DayZ on an empty server feels like eating dry toast when you aren't hungry, or that playing Minecraft on peaceful difficulty feels like spending a sunny afternoon making confetti with a hole punch.

Lord of the Rings Online: The Breaking of Isengard

On Monday, Lord of the Rings Online released Update 13: The Breaking of Isengard. Owners of the Helm's Deep expansion can embark on a quest to discover what has happened to Saruman after the sacking of Isengard. Additional features include a new mail system, UI customization and size upgrades for inventories, new items in Lalia's market and more!

The recent Producer's Letter also mentioned that the next class to be introduced in LotRO will be the Beorning! You can read the entire letter on the official forums.

EverQuest II Producer's Letter: Lots to Come!

This morning, Holly "Windstalker" Longdale released a Producer's Letter titled "Lots to Come!" It details the All Access transition occuring next week, what benefits are available to EverQuest II subscribers and what content we can expect in the near future.


All Access Transition: SOE will be consolidating all games into a singular subscription model around April 23, 2014 (UPDATE: Delayed to April 29th). Current subscriptions will be converted automatically. Those with special pricing should have their rates grandfathered, but please contact SOE Customer Support if you want to look more into the conversion. The entire FAQ for this transition is available here.

EQ2 Membership Benefits: Subscribers to EverQuest II receive the following benefits...

  • Base amount of 7 character slots
  • Permanent 15% coin loot and 10% mount speed
  • Permanent double alternate currencies
  • Member-only Loyalty Tokens
  • Unrestricted access to broker, chat channels, ability tiers and in-game mail
  • Early access to content and promotions: Receive access to new content, such as next week's Contested High Keep, before non-subscribers

Upcoming Content: Several things are lined up "for the weeks following April 23, 2014", including: a Prestige Guild Hall (seen here), new loyalty merchant items, the release of the Darklight Palace prestige home, a new Temple of Veeshan raid zone, the Tunaria Battleground and the conversion of old currencies, such as Obol and Void Shards, into Tinkering and Transmuting components. On deck next week is the release of Contested High Keep and the Bloody Shank HQ.


The entire Producer's Letter is available after the jump.

Eorzea Examiner #12: Jobs

Hello and welcome to the twelfth edition of the Eorzea Examiner, ZAMs column on Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. For this weeks column, rather than looking into one of FFXIV’s gameplay systems or their design philosophy, were delving back into one of the aspects of FFXIV I like the most, the Armoury System. In particular, well be talking about Jobs for existing Classes. With the exception of the Arcanist, the rest of the Disciples of Magic and all of the Disciples of War have but a single Job available to them. While these new Jobs do give new abilities to their base Classes and they change the gameplay to an extent, you cant really claim that they provide the player with options to make their character unique when theres one path available and you cut down the cross-class skill options for all Jobs. This is a modern MMO, after all – were used to the idea of multiple specializations for our classes and being able to fill multiple roles with most base classes. Lets see if we can come up with some potential choices for our favorite classes, shall we?

FFXIV Launches on the PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has now launched on the PlayStation 4! Both digital and retail copies are available for either the standard or collector's editions. Those who purchase the CE can also enjoy these additional features:

  • Exclusive Box
  • Art Book – The Art of Eorzea: A Realm Reimagined
  • Special Soundtrack – The Sounds of Eorzea
  • Art Card Set
  • Themed Security Token
  • Seventh Umbral Era Special Movie Content Disc – The Waning of the Sixth Sun
  • In-Game Items – Fat Chocobo Mount, Coeurl Mount, Behemoth Barding, Wind-up Moogle, Baby Behemoth, Helm of Light

Continue after the jump for more details!

FFXIV to Launch on PlayStation 4 on April 14th

On Monday, April 14th, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will officially launch on the PlayStation 4. We have some information for those looking to dive into the console version of the game!

FFXIV PC Collector's Edition Giveaway Contest!

The contest has ended, the winner has been chosen!
Congrats to Shadowduet!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is still going strong on the PC and we're here to celebrate that! Enter for a chance to win a NA region copy of the PC Collector's Edition, signed by Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida! Here's how!

Eligibility

  • No purchase necessary, but you need to register for a free account with ZAM if you haven't yet
  • Most US or Canadian residents qualify; some restrictions apply
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for all eligibility requirements

The contest begins at 12:01am (midnight) ET on Monday, April 7, 2014 and will end at 11:59pm EDT on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Winner must be able to provide valid shipping information to receive their prize.

How to Enter

  • Log in to your ZAM account (registering is free!)
  • Post a comment to this article stating what you love about FFXIV!
  • Deadline for entries is 11:59pm EDT on Friday, April 11, 2014
  • Only one entry per person, please!
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for all entry details

How We Judge

  • All entries that meet the above guidelines will be entered into a random blind drawing
  • The random drawing will take place on or about April 12, 2014
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for the full description of How to Win

That's everything... good luck!

SOE Live 2014 Registration Opens

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that early registration for SOE Live 2014 is now open! This year’s event will be at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, A‌ugust 1‌4-1‌7.

There are three pricing levels available: the Day Pass, Evening Pass, and the all-encompassing Premium Pass. The Premium Pass has Early Bird pricing of $129 if you buy one before the May 12, 2014 cutoff. Kids 12 and under are free this year, but they need a badge so be sure to include them in your registration.

There are also two optional upgrades: Priority Grand Banquet and Welcome Seating, where you can buy a 12-seat table for $60 at the big events (each reservation requires a separate purchase), and the Sunday Dev Brunch, which costs $59 and requires a Premium Pass.

Check out the in-game items after the jump.