Welcome to my Final Fantasy XIV 1st Impressions.

I’ve recently been exploring a range of MMO games both new and old and the most recent game on my list has been Final Fantasy 14. Now this is a pretty old MMORPG at this point but it’s highly rated and one of the most popular played MMOs right. now. Some people in my community told me to try it out with one of the main points convincing me was that its the best and most fun MMORPGs to play as a Tank.

So these are my first impressions of Final Fantasy 14, coming especially from a Tank perspective after my first few hours of playing.

The Story

I am actually quite a fan of story content when it comes to MMO and RPG games even though I like to play as a Tank. The start of the game is a big impact story cutscene which is one of the things they do well in this game, the cutscenes are always really good. I especially enjoy going into a new dungeon or raid and the cutscenes you get really set the tone for what you are about to dive into.

When it comes to the actual story in this game however, it’s severely underwhelming. As a brand new player on the base game story which you are forced to play through, it honestly has to be one of the worst MMO experiences I have ever endured. There’s no action, no combat, no energy to the story it’s just endless hours of reading and running around while you’re sent on a wild goose chase around the map with no mount.

When I compare it with things like The Elder Scrolls Oblivion being one of my favourite games of all time, the MSQ threw me straight into the action and you couldn’t be any further away in FF14. The tone of the game doesn’t seem right, you go from doing a raid and killing a primal boss and saving the world on the MSQ to then doing quests where you are a bouncer at a tavern and afterwards you have a chain of about 10 quests when you have to travel miles around the map making wine, these should not be forced main story quests, it really becomes infuriating.

This is made worse by the fact that you don’t unlock a mount for a really long time so you rely on the shrines to teleport you around of which there are very few in good locations out in the wilderness where all the quests are located so you just have to run.

Another reason why the story is so bad is because there’s almost no voiceover whatsoever. This isn’t something I ever realised I was bothered about until playing this game. Voiceover just appears in random main story quests but it’s hard to enjoy a main quest when you have no voiceover, you don’t get to hear the tone, the accent, the emotion or build a bond with the various characters you meet along the way, the amount of text you need to read is excessive and not enjoyable at all.

People tell me that things improve with later expansions, so I’ll push through and look forward to that and I’m really looking forward to getting involved in the group content so it’s worth grinding out the quests. I really feel like a lot of people will just quit after a few hours of playing because of how bland the story is and just by how much of it you have to actually do.

The Levelling

Levelling is extremely fast in FF14, I’ve gone onto a new server and there are bonuses to help new players with huge xp boosts.

The Final Fantasy website claims “Experience a new generation of MMORPG where grinding is kept to a minimum so you can enjoy more immediate results!” This is great because it’s took very little time to reach level 50 I’ve barely even tried and it’s just happened by doing main story and job quests – the problem with all of this increase exp is the fact that I’m level 50 but I actually do have a huge grind ahead because I’m on main story quest level 20 and you actually have a 60+ hour main story quests grind and to do and you’re massively out levelling it so it’s really misleading.

On the plus side, the increase exp means I’ve been able to switch class once I figured out how to do that and level up additional classes during the main quest so that I don’t waste my xp gains.

The Pace

The pace of the game is good in terms of your character progression. I recently tried out World of Warcraft and that was an overwhelming experience where you gain new abilities so extremely quickly that it’s too much. With FF14 you slowly obtain more and more abilities some of which require you to complete job quests and this method seems to work really well to help you get used to the abilities, understand how they work and what they do and figure out how you want to layout your hotkeys.

I also really like the progressive dungeons and raids that you unlock, it gives you chance to jump into some of the content and begin learning how to perform your role, it’s not too difficult and your group members also get scaled down in level so you don’t breeze through it all too easily. I’m a big fan of even the base game and old original content still having some relevancy.

I like to work my way from the easiest content where I can build experience and understanding of combat and basic mechanics, then move onto progressively newer and more difficult content which I then don’t struggle with because the pace of the progressing built me up to the harder content. Going back again to WoW, this is something they don’t do in that game and you basically do the newest content or nothing and it’s really not that easy to jump in WoW dungeons with zero knowledge especially as a Tank.

Another nice touch is the Tank training. So there are a number of lessons where they tell you how to do some basic tank things, they send you into an instance to do them and once you complete you pass and move onto the next task. Really nice touch to actually give some real basic education and I’ve never actually seen other games do this but it’s something I would like to see in more MMO games to at least set Tanks up with the basic knowledge they need to perform the base duties of Tanking, and making them do this before they can select the Tank role for group content.

The Group Content, Combat and Tanking

So I’m a Tank main which means I thrive on doing group content. The only thing that causes me a problem is that my Tank stance turns off when I enter dungeons each time I get scaled down in level this is caused by the issues we mentioned already where I’m drastically out levelling the main quest, luckily my group members have kindly reminded me about this when I’ve forgot and it’s been good to see no one getting annoyed or kicking me from the group, just a little message in the chat to remind me to turn it on.

I love the intros to the dungeons and raids with the cutscenes as I mentioned before. The dungeon content is really fun, at this stage it’s not been overly complicated and I’ve quickly developed my understanding to the point where I run in to add pulls, aggro everything then run to the next adds, stack it all up, pop my mitigation and then hit my AoEs to maintain threat.

Keeping aggro of enemies is really easy and so long as you have that tank stance on it’s pretty hard to actually lose aggro of enemies. This threat system is much better than other MMO games I’ve played and it’s really beginner friendly but it also makes dungeons much more interesting as you can aggro and then run to pull more enemies and more often than not they remain aggroed to you, so it doesn’t require you to be dishing out an intense amount of damage output constantly to keep things on you.

Early game you have very few abilities and this is actually a good thing, I pull adds together and then just spin around doing my 1 AoE skill. On bosses I have a 2-3 button combo. In-between those I have 2 solid mitigation skills which I try to save for moments where I’m taking a lot of damage, the combat system is good and I enjoy the basic rotations at the start and they are getting progressivly more details but without being overwhelming.

Mechanics are all fairly clear for the most part. Turning enemies away from the group to prevent them being hit by the boss is essential. You have a large amount of AoEs and conal attacks which you need to pay attention to see whether you need to move or stay and then you have the pretty clear Tank-busters where you pop some mitigation and help out the healer so they can keep you alive.

Raids are really exciting as well. These so far have been basically 1 arena with 1 boss. They haven’t been too hard but once I level up further I’ll unlock the hardcore versions of the same raids which I am excited to do. I can see some of these being really challenging and fun later in the game, and the same with the dungeons, I found a quest that wasn’t attached to the main story which unlocked a level 50 dungeon. This was a great chance to experience some content for the first time that actually matched my level and you could see a step up in difficulty but I had developed enough experience from the previous encounters to enjoy this and clear successfully with very little trouble.


In conclusion – I can see this being a hard game for some people to get into. I’ve found it difficult to be engaged by the super long main story quest. The combat and group content easily makes up for it however and its really it worth powering through the quests to experience the rest of the games content.

Once I started skipping a lot of the pointless quests and levelling new jobs and focussing on unlocking new dungeons the amount I was enjoying playing increased a lot.

This is one of the most popular MMO games in the world and there has to be a reason for that, the community are very passionate about the game, and from the people I have bumped into both in the game and on my live streams, the community is one of the more welcoming and helpful communities I’ve seen in an MMO game so I’m going to keep playing and developing my Tanking in Final Fantasy and I’ll look forward to doing a full review of the game in the future once I have fully levelled my character and got a bit deeper into the expansions and mid to end game scene.