Final Fantasy XIV struggled and we all know it. Whatever it was though, it is something else now. The entire narrative world has been redone, and the presentation suggests that there will be a much heavier focus on the story than there was before. With fighting chocobos to assist solo players, and more incentives to play with friends (with a level synch system identical to the one seen in Final Fantasy 11), the game experience SEEMS to possess more promise.
The thing that makes me feel the most confident in their reinvention is the improved fluidity of gameplay. The original release saw several problems with play mechanics, like UI lag, that seem to have been fixed. The actual demo we got to get our hands on was just a boss fight, but the group cohesion was pretty solid.
It wasn’t perfect though. Immediately I noticed that basic attack animations were pretty viscerally unsatisfying. At least for the Ranger class. The special abilities were all pretty solid, but the basic attacks were hardly noticeably. Audibly or visually. Not to mention that an MMO is a lot more than a boss fight and we got to see none of it. It’ll take a significant look at the game to see if they’ve fixed the largest problems FFXIV had, but given Square Enix’s dedication to this games success, I am confident that what we’ll get is a vast improvement over the original release. I would caution against be scared away folks, we’re not dealing with the same game anymore.