Usually I try not to look into another MMO unless I am I am no longer interested in my last one. I ended up playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for the exact same reason I began playing Guild Wars 2: There was a free trial available!
Part of me was getting ready to have to choose one as THE MMO to play while the other faded into obscurity, but I was pleasantly surprised to find them both equally likable for different reasons. This post is not about which one’s better, it’s just a post made by a fan, wanting to point out the things that he liked about each of them.
So let’s get Started!
Both games feature 5 playable races, and there’s no class restriction based on race or gender. In fact, you can almost relate one race from a game to the others
Elvish looking people? I will count syvary as such and say Check.
Extremely short race? Check
Extremely big race? Check.
But you know… these are MMOs and you could probably do this with almost all of them. Maybe?
You can probably make more unique looking characters in GW2 since it provides more body builds and sliders for different features of your characters face. However, if you have more than 2 male humans (I have 6!) They will ALL sound the same, unlike in ARR
Something I like about Guild Wars 2 is that the battle system is quite simplified. Each class has a set of weapon they can choose from, and each weapon provides between 2-5 skills. One handed main wepon provide the first 3, off hand weapons provide the last 2, and two handed weapons provide all 5. In addition to this, each class can choose a healing skill, 3 utilities skills and an elite skills. Then you have your profession skill(s) which are the same per class no matter what.
In the end, you have 10-14 skills to use. Unless you are an elementalist or an engineer that is. Elementalists can attune to 1 of 4 elements, and each element change all 5 of their weapon skills, giving them 20 skills to choose from. Egineers can equip different kits (grenade kits, flamethrower, elixir guns) that will also switch all 5 weapon skills to show the kit’s skills.
As you level up, you can choose traits that alter the way a class is played. It’s up to you if you want your ranger to have arrows that pierce opponents and have longer range or make him power up his pet through traits.
Another peculiarity in Guild Wars 2 is that there’s no way to heal with potions or anything of the like. In fact, there’s not a definite healer archetype, and reviving is only a matter of pressing the interact button near a fallen ally.
Every skill depends solely on cooldown times, so players don’t need to worry about running out of MP either
Final Fantasy XIV feels like a more classic MMO (from my limited experience with them, at least.) Each class use a specific weapon and you learn new skills as you level up. There are no traits or trees to worry about, but you can learn cross class skills from other classes and mix and match a bit. Hotbars are customizable, so you can key bind as many attacks, potions, buffs and actions as you want
Unlike in Guild Wars 2, each class is defined by a role: DPS, Tank and Healer. While FF XIV classes lack the versatility of GW2, players can switch to another class (classes don’t share levels) instead of switching characters if they want to fit another role.
Character Bound vs Account Bound
Something that I must say I REALLY like about GW2 is that almost everything you do in game is reflected in your whole account. Your bank is account bound, and so is currency. I understand that it wasn’t always like this and little by little, they have made more account bound features. Even guilds are account bound. You can be part of several guilds and choose who to represent and when to represent them. Friend lists are also account bound so you don’t need to be sending new friend requests whenever you make a new character.
ARR doesn’t seem to have any of this, but the fact that you can switch classes at any time means that, in my case, I won’t be switching characters that often anyways.
During the course of the Main Story, characters will interect one a member of Destiny’s edge (the one of your same race). But once past certain point, you’ll need to do the optional dungeons to know what happens with them. Because of this, I didn’t grew too fond of any. The group that really stood out for me is the one that eventually gets together during post main story arcs. Again, this is probably because you do get to interact with them a lot more than Destiny’s Edge, so it gave me more room to see their personalities.
Maybe it’s because of the cut scenes, but I found the ARR characters to have more personality. The scions of the seventh dawn arent just doing their own thing while you quest; they’re helping you one way or another. Also, a lot of them have such great accents! I want Minfilia to ALWAYS have voice acting, and Merlwyb too. Then there’re several side quests that introduces more memorable characters, so no not only the story characters have time to shine. I for one, can’t wait for the next episode Hildebrand’s zany adventures!
GW2’s maps are pretty much separated by levels. Starting maps are from levels 1-15, then you have some 15-25 maps and so on. Characters level will always sync if they are way above the recommended level in a zone. A well geared level 80 character synched to level 16 will still do more damage than an actual level 16 character, so it doesn’t feel like going to lower level maps is pointless. Traveling around is as easy as picking one of several waypoints to teleport there for a small fee. There are currently 34 maps available for exploration, including cities.
ARR’s maps have a bigger range of levels, so you’ll still be exploring a map 25+ levels later. Teleporting devices are fewer and farther apart, and they are more expensive too. But overall, the world of Eorzea is smaller than Tyria. You can also choose a Home Aetheryte Crystal and 2 or three preferred ones. Porting Home is free and porting to a preferred crystal has a reduced fee.
Dungeons in GW2 are a good way to get gold and levels, but they are all pretty much optional. They do contain a story path that follows Destiny’s Edge’s attempt to get back together, but the only one you need to do to complete the Main Story is the last dungeon Completing a story path unlocks a a higher leveled explorable mode, than include three new paths to tackle. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried them all, and the bosses seem somewhat forgettable at least. Certain classes make dungeon runs easier, but there is not a specific combination of classes needed to survive due to their versatility.
Dungeons in ARR are also a good way to get levels. However, they are REQUIRED at some point of the Story, so you must go through most of them at least once. I feel the bosses are more memorable too, but that might be due to my familiarity with Final Fantasy. 2 DPS, 1 healer and 1 tank are required for random pick up groups (or pugs) so if you are a DPS, prepare for a long wait.
Glamours and Transmutation
A big seller for me is the ability to mix and match gear, and luckily both games provide with just that. GW2’s method was recently made simpler: The look of each armor and weapon you get will be added to your wardrobe. Once you buy or earn some transmutation charges, you just choose a new look from the wardrobe and choose it. ARR requires you to be level 50 first. While you need to have the desired gear in your inventory, you don’t lose it like you did in GW2 (This has been changed in a recent patch tho)
In the end, as I mentioned earlier, I appreciate each for what they offer, instead of putting one down because the other one “is better”. I probably rambled a bit too much here or didn’t explained enough there, so I apologize for that. What I know for sure is that I don’t plan to try a new MMO free trial. I’m afraid I’ll end up liking a third one.