FFXIV: ARR (Beta Phase 3) Impressions

I am impressed, Square Enix really did overhaul the shitbag that was Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. What can I say, it's actually decent; At least on par with any other run if the mill new MMO on the market if not better. I am pretty torn on this game though. I really do want to buy A Realm Reborn, but I am unsure if I have enough time or interest to regularly play an MMO nowadays, even casually. I was going to preorder ARR but after hearing pretty awful things about the launch servers and experiencing many many bad launches myself, I think I'll hold off then reassess how much I need ARR in a week or so.

  • Questing: The quests are a mixed bag at least early on (unsure if that remains true through high level zones). Plot line quests seem decent enough but everything else feels like leveling filler. It's your standard fare quest hub grinding x and gathering y. 
  • Character models: Probably the best character creation system that I've seen. It has a lot of options without overwhelming players with sliders. You can also save and import character blueprints which is a nice and seldom seen touch.
  • Performance: It looks great and runs smoothly on my machine. Leagues better than the FFXIV 1.0 beta. No comparison. Very few technical issues. I don't think I experienced any noticeable frame drops or lag even in busy cities or FATEs
  • Interface: ARR actually has a functional and clean mouse & keyboard optimized user interface. It is intuitive to use with Bo interface lag; You can even move and scale bars and other UI elements.

I can't say if the game will be handled any better or if they are going to stay true to the supposed 3 month content release cycle, but we will see.