When Can We Play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn?

Illustration for article titled When Can We Play emFinal Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn/em?

We're just a few short weeks away from the grand re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV on August 27, but some folks are going to get to play even earlier than that. Break out your Lalafell swimsuit calendars as we mark down the final beta, early start, and welcome back campaigns for FFXIV.

First up, new players will be able to get a taste for game before they dive in via the final beta test, which runs August 17-19. Then the servers go down for five days, coming back up on the 24 for early start pre-order customers, giving them a three-day head start.

Players who registered for the original Final Fantasy XIV and then left because it was horrible will be able to play the game for free from launch until September 9, at which point they'll have figured out if they want to run screaming again or not.


Got that all written down? Oh, add this: there's a free companion app, Final Fantasy XIV: Libra Eorze, due out the week after the game officially launches. I'm guessing its bathroom reading.

Who's excited? I played in the beta, and the new game is solid, if a bit uninspired. I did hold back a bit though, wanting to save the core of the experience for launch — I hate spoilinng the game for myself in beta. So, we'll see!

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Dr. M to the J, PhD

Yeah. Yeah. The beta has been okay. Played quite a bit on PS3 and it looks okay. The gameplay is vastly improved and the help system is a major improvement as well, but at the end of the day it still seems quite slow and not an overly friendly experience to play (meaning the menu system is still pretty convoluted and unintuitive). The game looks gorgeous on my PC but I'm pretty far out of the PC MMO gamer mindset at this point—I just don't want to sit down at my PC grinding an MMO for four hours in a row like I used to.

Also, the game started out incredibly slowly. Maybe improved graphics and voices (are there going to be voices?) will help. I'm close to pre-ordering but the real barrier to me playing it is that there are so many good games coming out in the next few months that I can't justify a subscription to an MMO. If it were F2P with microtransactions ala GW2 I would have ordered already. Their mistake for sticking with the subscription model, IMO.