Final Fantasy XIV is the latest entry in the Final Fantasy series of Role Playing Games from Square-Enix and is also the second Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Game entry for the franchise. Final Fantasy XIV 2.0: A Realm Reborn is the second version of the Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG, with the first version closing down due to the gameplay being stale and uninspiring. It’s no surprise that Square-Enix has made an attempt at correcting that mistake, and has since come out with the second official version of Final Fantasy XIV.
When starting Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as a returning player, you will notice that in the character selection screen there will be a server selection box in the bottom right hand corner. If you’re eligible for a legacy character, that is, a duplicate of your character from the first version of Final Fantasy XIV, then you’ll see a legacy marking on servers where your Legacy characters reside. What’s cool about this is that even if you already have a Legacy character on one server, at least in the build we played, you could still make a new character on another server.
Speaking personally, I had two characters from the original XIV game available to me. A Miqo’te and an Elezen. After comparing the characters through screenshots, I determined that nothing had really changed about them, physically speaking. Even better, is that they had retained their levels and equipment. However, when you start a Legacy character, you’re still able to modify some values, such as starting class and other minor details.
Once you start the game, things get a little bit stale in regards to Legacy characters. You see, at least in the beta build that we played, you’re treated to this cool cutscene where your character is fighting a dark figure in what seems to be a hallucination. However, from what I’ve played of the game, this is the same cutscene that regular characters are treated to as well.
After this flashy cutscene of zero relevance this early in the game, you’re taken to a scene of you on a carriage ride with the character Bremondt. On this carriage ride, you meet some Moogles that only apparently special characters can see, as make some arbitrary decisions that seem to have no bearing on gameplay, or at least no evident bearing on gameplay. Also of note is that this carriage ride is exactly the same for Legacy characters and regular characters.
Once this cutscene finishes, you’ll find yourself in Gridania (at least in the build we played). Gridania is one of the few main cities in the game and is the one located in the forest. But before you can initiate any commands, or move, you’re greeted with a popup box asking you to do some stuff. This is the same whether this is your first character or your 20th character.
The best part about being a Legacy character is that you can equip most of your (was it 5 year old, or 200 year old?) older equipment from back in version 1.x. What was kind of disappointing was that most of your jewelry no longer carries any statistical bonuses, although your armour is about right. Now with the armour, one thing I noticed was that Legacy characters can no longer wear armour higher than their previous level. This means that for those of us wearing gear one or two levels higher in order to grow into them, you’re basically starting with a bag full of unusable items. But hey, at least you’ll be able to wear something cool it 50,000+ experiences time. While we’re on this subject, it should be noted that whatever amount of Gil you had when you left 1.x is what you start with in 2.0.
Final Fantasy XIV is a pretty scripted RPG experience from my experience with both versions of the game. The storyline is linear and non-inclusive of other players, as well as having almost no way to move but forward in its progression. What irked me quite a bit was that everyone in Gridania kept referring to my obviously high level character as a newbie. Listen, Adventurers Guild person, I was here back when those things were crashing into Eorzea and I fought in that epic final battle. Do you really think that *I’m* the newbie. Compared to me, you’re the new one.
One thing that I enjoyed about being a Legacy character was that it was easy to steamroll through all of the lower level storyline quests with incredible ease. This is even after the game adjusts your level down to the storyline level so that it doesn’t seem trivial. Although, it should be noted that when this does occur, you also lose access to all of the skills higher than the level you’ve been gimped down to. I expect this to annoy anyone that has their hotbar filled with only high level skills.
Considering that you now have all of this free time from basically easy-modeing the game, you can spend it sight-seeing. What’s great about Eorzea is that a lot of the landscaping has changed. It’s actually one of the first things that players of the original version will notice. Back in 1.0, running through gridania was like running through a maze, or a Phantasy Star Online game. However, now, it is a much more open area. Although, oddly, it feels like the distance between Gridania and Uldah has been shortened. There’re more sights to see, but there are definitely either shorter, or less, areas between the two.
During my time questing through Eorzea as both a Legacy character and a non-legacy character, I can say with certainty that the game isn’t different at all in comparison to being a regular character or a Legacy one. However, it has to be noted that this was written during a Beta-test phase where most of the content was active, but still not all of it. So this may change based on, not only player feedback, but because it just wasn’t implemented yet. However, I’m not Square-Enix, I do not represent Square-Enix and I am only stating my own experiences with this build of the game.
Overall I’d have to say that so far into development, the Legacy character implementation is seeming like nothing more than a headstart for the players that have sunk in a lot of time on the previous version. While I understand that there is that level of attachment that players will feel towards their characters, based on what I have played so far, there is really no significant story benefit to running a Legacy character. There is only the character likeness, strengths and equipment to ride on. Start with your Legacy, but don’t expect too different of an experience to the rest.