Final Fantasy XIV is one of the biggest MMOs on the planet in 2022, with millions of players daily, and it recently released its latest expansion, Endwalker. The MMO is so popular that sales of the game had to be briefly stopped, and so did the Free Trial.
There were simply too many players trying to play at once, and the developers could not address the server overcrowding yet. But when it comes to the question if someone should play Final Fantasy XIV in 2022, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
The power of positivity in Final Fantasy XIV in 2022
One of the best things about Final Fantasy XIV is the community itself. There are some vocal, obnoxious players, but the overwhelming majority of players are welcoming and helpful. Players who are new to the game don’t have to worry about asking questions when trying something new, or running through an Instance (dungeon) for the first time.
Groups are more open to running through something blind and learning together. Despite the hours-long queues at the beginning of Endwalker, instead of lashing out at the developers who constantly apologized, it was turned into meme after meme. That’s one of the best things about Final Fantasy XIV.
Not having to worry about being shouted at for being new is such a blessing. There are also players who serve as Mentors, whose sole job is to help new players (Sprouts). Final Fantasy XIV is in a very good place at the moment, fresh off of the launch of Endwalker. Just because Endwalker was the end of the current storyline, that doesn’t mean the game is done. There’s so much yet to see and do.
What does the future hold for Final Fantasy XIV?
Across A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and Endwalker, a singular story-arc was told. That’s not the end of FFXIV by a long shot. The main story of Endwalker is done, but there’s a great deal of content coming over the course of the year.
The company, as always, remains tight-lipped on what that story will entail, but there’s a great deal to do now that the present threat has been dealt with. More raid content will come as players delve deeper into Pandaemonium, and other trials (single-boss encounters) are lurking.
It’s not all just combat in Final Fantasy XIV, either. It’s a very story-driven game, but there is some fun solo content coming for players, like Island Sanctuaries. One of the major concerns in the game is the housing issue, and this could solve it for players going forward.
Island Sanctuaries will basically be a farm and home for the players where they can raise animals, grow crops, and customize their little home to their content. Instead of simply purchasing an apartment, trying to find a house, or having a custom room in a Free Company, players will have a little plot of land that will be their own.
It will be like a slice of Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley within the game, where players can relax and unwind, and do some farm chores. The MMO has regular updates with more Main Story Quests, sidequests, and other fun encounters to do.
There is so much fun content in store for Final Fantasy XIV and also mechanics that will bring players closer together. One of the big changes is that cross-Data Center gameplay is coming. Normally, players can only do content with people in their Data Center (collection of servers). When this update rolls out, players will be able to play with their friends anywhere in the world.
What makes FFXIV stand out from its competition?
For new players, there are also holiday events that regularly show up, with fun cosmetics and occasionally adorable mounts. The best part about this, unlike in other MMOs, is that holiday events seldom require lengthy grinds. At worst, it may take an hour or so to do everything. It’s one of the failings of World of Warcraft, which requires weeks of grinding for nearly every holiday event.
Players have to deal with significantly less stress when it comes to “what” they play, on top of that. In most MMOs, players can only play as one class per character. If they want to do something else, that player has to roll an alt and go through the story all over again.
The ability to play every class on the same character cannot possibly be understated. It’s a powerful part of the game, even down to the crafting classes. These are their own classes, and players are not restricted there either. It doesn’t take long for players to be able to pick alternate classes either.
FFXIV’s side content isn’t required
Perhaps the biggest weakness of MMOs like World of Warcraft right now is that they gate progress behind side content like Daily Quests. If players aren’t logging in to grind reputation and do Daily Quests every day, they’re put significantly behind the rest of their guild. It’s how you get gear, money, reputation, things like that.
The game's Daily Quests are built around a variety of monster factions, and they are 100% optional. No gear or important features are locked behind any of them. The rewards are cosmetics, mounts, and crafting materials that can be gained elsewhere.
Players don’t ever have to do any of the Beast Tribe Dailies if they don’t want to, but some of them do provide exceptional EXP gains (the Fairy tribe in particular, for the 70-80 grind). The quests are always simple and do not take up much time. Not being guilted into content or being forced to log in to do stuff daily is so important.
The game's developers understand that people also want to play other games - because they do too. This method of designing Daily Quests was a complete game-changer.
The best Free Trial of any MMO, period
The MMO’s free trial has become a meme at this point, and despite that, it’s incredible. The Free Trial for new Final Fantasy XIV players gives the player access to the entire original release (A Realm Reborn), and the entire first expansion, Heavensward. Any of the classes and advanced jobs in these expansions are available to play.
There is no time limit on the free trial, so players can play up to level 70 for free. That is groundbreaking stuff. Admittedly, there are some restrictions on the trial - no joining a Free Company, using tells, things of that nature. This is to help restrict gil sellers and their likes.
The free trial is the best in gaming and allows players to really take their time, and make their own mind up on the game. All of these things combined make Final Fantasy XIV the best bargain in the MMO franchise, with thousands of hours of content, and an absolute wealth of things to do.