Welcome to the FFXIV Survey Results series. In this series of articles, I will be looking through the results of the recent player survey advertised in game, through the community forums, Anook and Reddit. The purpose of this survey was to ascertain the experiences of a wide variety of players! This week we will be taking a look at the positive and negative player experience results.
Originally it had been intended that I would write this series of articles covering my opinions and experiences regarding certain aspects of the game from the introduction, user interface, and gameplay. Just shy of 700 players filled out the survey, thank you for such a wonderful response. I understand that this is not wholly representative of the extensive community that FFXIV holds, however, it seemed more constructive to present information from the community rather than just myself!
The information gathered in the survey is vast but gives a good insight into the range of opinions and feelings that various players have regarding Final Fantasy XIV. Please keep in mind that the survey was created in June 2017, just prior to the Stormblood release. The combat system has changed significantly since then but many other game elements remain the same. The changes will be noted alongside any information relating to alterations in the game to reflect how the game has developed in the meantime.
The quotes below reflect a myriad of answers to the “What were your positive experiences in the game?” question. The FFXIV community was highest on the list when it came to players’ favorite experiences within the game, followed by the raid content and Main Story Questline. There were many more scenarios listed so I’ve tried to include as many as possible below from the 600+ answers.
“I met my current partner in game We’ve been together for almost 2 years! I also cleared Thordan extreme when it first came out which is a huge deal because I’m awful at fights!”
“I love the community and receiving random acts of kindness makes me want to pass it on to new players!”
“The community is amazingly friendly, helpful, and welcoming. The freedom of the class and job system keeps the game fresh without having to create alt characters. The story is overall an enjoyable Final Fantasy experience.”
“Playing and laughing with people, completing some achievements, attaining cute gear and minions, doing my job/role well.”
“Random groups. Usually, I avoid them but the community has been really friendly and patient.”
“The day I got married in-game was a good one, such a lovely setup! But more recently, finding an FC that really fit me so that every time I do any kind of content it’s a blast.”
“Talking to some nice folks in a dungeon when I was a sprout and they told me about Ironworks armor & how to get it! Also when I cooking in Limsa Lominsa one time, someone gave me HQ gear for Culinarian. Very nice of them.”
“Socially this game has one of the most welcoming communities in an MMO I have ever experienced and from the get-go, I made a ton of friends.”
“Players are much more friendly and engaging compared to most other MMOs. Almost all of my interactions end on a high note and players appear much more willing to jump in and assist one another if needed.”
2. Raiding & PvE
“Raiding the final coil is with a casual static.”
“I guess if I had to pick one thing, it would be dungeons. They are, naturally, the place where you get to put your skills to work, but as someone who can’t quite grasp /totally optimal/ play, things like savage trials and raids tend to intimidate me — although I suppose that’s in part also because I’m a worrier! Thus, dungeons are my go-to for play (besides glamour, of course!).”
“Dungeons and Raids are quite innovative and very beautifully made. Trials are also very fun. In proper doses, all sorts of content are very much enjoyable to me, except the savage ones (hardcore content).”
“Anything with Trials! There are so many amazing and epic battles, it’s a lot of fun each time. I mean, that and anything Moogle related (crafting aside).”
3. Main Scenario Questline
“Definitely the story. While I love the gameplay, this manages to be the only MMO that holds my interest story-wise.”
“The story is the most important aspect of the game for me. It has great lore behind it, which the game relies heavily upon. It gives the game a great atmosphere while running any type of content.”
“The main story, it’s amazing. Seeing the PVE content, playing with others, enjoying the atmosphere.”
“All the different collectibles, such as the mounts, minions and pretty weapons.”
“Hoarding those commendations <3 also mounts.”
“Basically everything, I enjoyed it a lot. The story is awesome, the events, the details, the environment, the music… The community was surprisingly kind and patient. Coming from a toxic community of games such as Aion, League of Legends, etc, it was unbelievable for me to find all these kind people so often.”
“It has a wealth of story, lore, and innovative ideas, as well as a knack for scratching a nostalgia itch I on occasion, have pangs of. It has very good side-content such as the Gold Saucer mini-games, crafting, Deep Dungeons, and The Aquapolis.”
“Engaging storyline, friendly community, all classes get a real depth at higher level, crafting and gathering are real jobs and not “one-click” skills like in World of Warcraft”
“The fact I can do everything on a single character. Coming from WoW, that was one of the major things that drew me in to be willing to try an MMO again.”
“I love exploring new places or finding a little detail hidden in a corner of a map I never knew about. Don’t get to do it as much in DF, but I like going into dungeons unsynced or with friends to explore there too.”
“Group pose, screenshots, and the beautiful environments. Watching the sunset/rise over Limsa or sitting around a campfire chatting with friends. The detail and thought put into the small things, like armor textures, floor noises changing as you run or the wind blowing your hair and robes. Interactive emote system.”
“When I was leveling my DRK up, I said to myself “I hate this class”…Until this grumpy Lalafell moved in front of the boss and died with the best sound ever. “OMG, I LOVE THIS CLASS! BEST SOUND OF MY LIFE!”. So yeah.. the painful cry of Lalafells makes me happy.”
“Pretty much everything.”
On the other side of the coin, here are some of the areas within the game that players found less tolerable. The highest topic of the bad experiences seemed to revolve around either drama or unpleasant players, followed by PvE and a mix of subjects. Please keep in mind that the answers published here are used to provide a wider view of the game and yet, around 80% of the ‘negative experiences’ answers were involving player grievances with unpleasant or elitist players. Many players answered that they didn’t have any complaints apart from the odd ‘bad apples’ in duty finder. Just to highlight this please see the image below!
“My negative experiences are usually connected to the community within the game. Like in any community, you are bound to meet people who are annoying or downright rude towards others. That’s something that’s not connected to a specific game, but the people playing it.”
“People who don’t understand that the game is cooperative, aren’t open to improvement, etc.”
“Running into impatient or rude players. I like to heal and to help my party. But sometimes Duty Finder makes me feel like their personal healbot whose entire job is to save people too lazy to try.”
“Too many to count. Between the must-watch videos/know new content and not screw up day of release jerks, to the people who are consistently rude to new players, to the new players who refuse to listen to any advice, to the people that jump from FC to FC after they implode your FC, the people that pretend to be “so-called” friends, to the people that only “play their way” because the game creates no community or rep system.”
“Harassment over leaving a Free Company.”
“People can really make or break your experience, and I’ve been up and down. Right now I hardly want to play or talk to anyone.”
2. PvE & Raiding
“When I first got into savage raiding. It really brings out the worst in people.”
“Early game content is rather underwhelming. I almost gave up on the game because of it.”
“I don’t know, it’s all pretty boring. Same old dungeons and raids over and over. Huge open world with no content. Everything is instanced. Nothing like FFXI’s amazing end game content pre-Abyssa.”
“Boring endgame content. Everything is instanced. No open world content like MMs etc like FFXI had. Same boring dungeons and raids over and over. No freedom when you’re in them. Just follow the pathway and stay in the arena. FFXI had more depth and freedom, things to do. Great endgame.”
“‘Gear treadmill’ tomestone farming gets boring after a while ( the main reason I left before HW).”
“Feeling overwhelmed with things to do.”
“I feel like certain steps of the relic/anima could be handled better. Not a fan of RNG that cannot be measured. Ask me to run 1000 fates? Let’s do it. Ask me to run an unknown number of fates that could range anywhere from 50 to 500, ugh.”
“Targeting is not comfortable or easy.”
“Lots of instance loading between zones (minor complaint).”
“I dislike how grindy and boring POTD is. I also ran into a stalky player once, and some rude raiders.”
“Any negative experiences I’ve had have really been things that revolve around other players, so they’re not exactly things that reflect poorly on the design of the game, save perhaps, the odd choice to have such long cutscenes in the final ARR dungeons (Castrum/Praetorium), leading to my being left behind even though I skipped them as fast as I could! That was a bummer. But otherwise, it’s basically just the normal MMO fare of interacting with other people sort of being a crapshoot, haha.”
“Extremely lengthy catching up process for a new player (admittedly I see value in it after getting there). The slow pace of combat system (it get significantly better at later levels but early on you just don’t ‘feel’ impact of your actions, at all). And main story dungeons at level 50 – they are very rushy places and you are bound to miss most of the action in cutscenes (admittedly developers have learned their lesson and avoided this issue going forward).”
“Beyond the sometimes vitriolic player base, I once fell off a wall and got stuck inside of a tree. Don’t have many negative experiences outside of the one-off bad player encounters, really. “
“Bad apples in Random Duty Finders or Drama starters in the Free Company.”
“PvP before 4.0.”
“Crafting and gathering are maybe too complicated and it makes annoying to play any crafting and gathering classes. I don’t like how some dungeons and trials are locked behind MSQ.”
“Slow start. Class mechanics and dungeons start out very very carefully, the first levels (and dungeons) consist mainly of spamming one or two abilities and waiting for bars to go down.”
“I can’t actually think from the top of my head any negative experiences in the game, I’ve only played the game properly for a short time and I’ve hardly come across ‘negative’ people in game so far.”
4. Main Scenario Questline
“It takes so long to level up that most people drop the game before reaching HW. leveling up alone gets tiring and boring at times. The fetch quests are annoying.”
“The MSQ between 2.0 and 3.0 was incredibly long and dull.”
“Dependence of duty finders for main story progression as wait times can be long.”
In the next article in this series, we’ll be taking a look at positive and technical experiences, along with some of the more functional aspects of the game such as character configuration and user interface.
I’ll be conducting another survey shortly on post-Stormblood attitudes so keep your eyes peeled for that – there’s also Mogstation goodies to give away!
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here or Twitter.