Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beta Phase 3 Test 2

Ok so I never wrote up anything further about phase 3 part one. It was awesome and everything but lets move on.
Yelta's Back! (you see what I did there?)
I got the original Yelta back! It was fun running through the storyline on a 50 who has lots of useful cross class skills but I think upon release a lot of us are going to level arcanist or other low level class so we don't waste that precious xp while we do the beginning questline. I played both whm and blm as well as their class versions and found all very fun to play. 



Over the course of the weekend I managed to complete the entire main scenario that was included in beta phase 3, run all the new dungeons and get my battle chocobo as well as do do some exploring of our lovely world.
Sic 'em Magnus!
The world is absolutely fantastic. Each zone is varied in appearance chock full of landmarks and populated by interesting inhabitants. The zones make sense too, the little outposts and camps with Aetherytes all look unique and make sense in the way the buildings are arranged and how some have defensive walls. Gone are the days of a crystal with a firepit and 2 npcs standing there.












The music was also incredibly good all the songs were high quality and fit each zone, battle or cutscene. Actually all the audio of every type was great. I was especially impressed by all of the ambient sound. It seems once you get a certain number of characters in the same place you get background noise of people talking. I noticed it first at the adventurers guild in Gridania but then again was surprised by it at the community event "The March of the Lalafell" started by Denmo Mcstronghuge


Lalafell POWER!
The difficulty level of the game started out very, very low. I was initially very disappointed at the major amount of handholding going on and the excessive UI clutter involved in questing. I do understand that the devs are trying to make this game accessible to people who are perhaps Final Fantasy fans but unfamiliar with MMOs in general. There are giant ! over quest givers heads, Q's over quest mobs both on the minimap and on the mob nameplate. There are giant red circles and arrows to point your way. All this is good for someone brand new but a bit much handholding for the experienced player.

That said, my worries about difficulty came to an end in phase 3 part 1 when I was just facerolling through a string of quests to find myself in a solo instance being slaughtered at level 15. Not once dear reader but two times in a row! However once I reviewed my gear, food and abilities I was able to complete the quest with little difficulty.

This is what I have been hoping for, a level a difficulty even at a fairly low level. Not hard enough to impede progress to someone who pays attention but a wake up call to anyone just pressing "12121212, move out of the red circle, 121212".

A quest or two after that one and the game makes you find 3 other people and complete 3 dungeons. The first two are pretty easy, the third took a little more group coordination. For beginner dungeons they were pretty fun. I know some people are worked up about "forced grouping" but I love it!

More storyline brings us to battle our first primal. Ifrit turned out to not be a total pushover with level sync. We had deaths but managed it on our first try.


Is it hot in here?

Oh yes! Level Sync!  I am loving this for dungeons. I now can feel like I am actually assisting my lower level friends in an Ifrit fight and not just 3 shotting him before they are even out of the cutscene.

Oh yes #2! They added a neat little magic circle that prevents the party from rushing off without you while you watch the cutscene upon entering the dungeon. Not that the timers make any difference now but I don't think the timer starts till the circle disappears either. Just hang in there for 2 seconds after it drops so I can cast Protect on the whole party OK?


I then went on and did both new dungeons Halatali and Brayflox's Longstop. Brayflox had a neat thing where the NPC goblin accompanies the party. Honestly I was pretty tired and don't remember the story behind either instance but they were interesting and fun. 

After accomplishing everything I wanted to this test period I teamed up with some LS buddies and just explored the world. We found lots of interesting locations and danced with the locals and murdered the nearby NMs. I of course loved the hot springs with the water bar ^^ 












Ok enough of filling this blog full of screenshots! 

There were some things people did find confusing like "where is my gear?" and some were irritated that they had to play through the storyline to unlock airships and abilities or upset they couldn't use their level 50 Grand Company gear until they joined the GC. None of these things bothered me, not even "OMG I can't dye my stuff without a quest!?!?!". I like playing through an interesting story and enjoy unlocking things. (and the storyline runs you past the guy with the dye quest like 10 times anyway..).

So did you play the beta? How did you find it?

My screenshots from Beta Phase 3 are available: 
https://plus.google.com/photos/113174197786021609454/albums/5892744403532048593