Posted by Xenor Vernix on Aug 27, 2010 - 21:14.
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We recently got our hands on a beta key for the closed beta, so I was finally able to play it! I have taken some beautiful screenshots from the La Noscea region, some of which are from parts you may not have seen much of. Some are from the guildleve system and there's even a map thrown in. Unfortunately I did not get to spend much time on the beta due to hardware issues, which remain unsolved. This has limited what I could tell you.
I started the beta by creating a Hyur called Xenor Vernico on the Jecht server, you can see him in the screenshot of the left. I was disappointed that there was not many hairstyles to choose from but I was still able to create a character I was happy with. After going through the opening cutscene I was thrown into Limsa Lominsa for the first time. After finding my way out of the starting location I decided to explore the town and try get used to the controls.
The controls were a bit difficult to get the hang of because I am used to using the arrow keys for camera movement in FFXI and had to get used to using the IJKL keys instead in FFXIV. The camera also seemed to move the opposite way to what I expected, but that was easily sorted in the configuration settings. Camera movement keys can be set to arrows in the retail version so this will be good news if you don ot like change.
I decided to head over to the market wards and see what they are like because it seemed to be a topic debated often on fan sites. After hiring my Retainer I was able to enter the market ward areas. The system looks like it has potential, after all being able to sell items in a bazaar while you are not logged in can only be good. But I could see why some people do not like the system. It can be difficult to find specific items. A search feature would be a great addition and I can see Square Enix improving the system.
I then thought I would check out the guildleve system. The leves available to me at my level were quite basic, in the form of go out and kill X amount of monsters, but early quests in any game are never complex or difficult. They are designed to help the player ease into the game and get the hang of things. I found the guildleve system fun, and I can only imagine how much fun the more complex leves will be at higher levels.
I made it to level 4 Conjurer by completing guildleves and killing a few random monsters along the way. I noticed there are a lot more spells available at early levels than in FFXI, for example I had all of the first tier of elemental magic right from the start. I also had a non-elemental magic ability called Spirit Dart which does not use MP. This is very useful because at this level I did not have an ability to regain MP so I had to make it last for the duration of the guildleve. The ability is very good and I did not see it miss.
I spent the rest of my time in the beta exploring La Noscea because I knew the closed beta was due to end within days. It did not seem worth levelling my character any more. I thought the Bloodshore area would be an interesting place to visit after looking at the map and it was. This was possibly the best scenery I had seen in the game so far. A beach! I went down to it and explored before staying in a safe spot to see how it would look at night.
I then headed over to an area called Cassiopeia Hollow. This is a dungeon area that you can access from near the Bloodshore Aetheryte crystal and it is full of paths, water and new creatures. There is a lot of detail in the random plants that are scattered around the area, which adds to the depth of the world. Unfortunately I ran into something nasty and ended up dead in one hit. I should not have been there at my level but it is fun to explore.
You can see all of the screenshots I took below. Click them for a larger version.
We also have six screenshots provided to us by our member MetroPeanut
who played as a Pugilist. There's a screenshot of the loot window and an airship, among others.
If you would like your screenshots featured on our home page please post them in the forums and we will post the best ones. In the open beta we will only be looking for screenshots from the Gridania and Ul'dah regions because we feel we have tonnes from the Limsa Lominsa and La Noscea regions already.
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