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Is Final Fantasy 14 still popular in 2021?

Final Fantasy 14 is one of the most popular MMORPGs, there are over 20 million people playing it around the world. But you can often hear questions like: 'Is it too late to start playing Final Fantasy XIV in 2021?' or 'Is final fantasy XIV worth playing in 2021?' or 'Is Final Fantasy 14 still popular in 2021?'. Well, if you are trying to figure out those questions, then my answer is: now is the perfect time to start the game!

Final Fantasy 14 is the absolute best. The graphics, flow, storytelling, ease of play, music, mechanics, auctioning, and much more are focused around the player, not the game. That is very powerful and makes even grinding not so painful as you see immediate gratification as you progress. And if you need specific reasons, here are five reasons that FFXIV is still popular in 2021.


Fascinating Story

FFXIV has been known for giving us compelling and fascinating stories. It is completely standalone although there are references/inspiration/bosses from previous games. The story takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original 2010 release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event that destroys much of Eorzea.

This is a great story you want to take in. The base game, A Realm Reborn, is gripping from the start, but the following expansions are even better. Heavensward, the second expansion, is incredible and really develops the main characters a lot. Meanwhile, those who play up until Shadowbringers will experience what many call the best MMO expansion of all time. All of this and everything in between is sure to excite and keep even the more jaded RPG fans for countless hours.

I love world-building and lore and such, and so often in other games, I feel disappointed for paying attention to details. But in FFXIV I feel rewarded for it. Like damn thanks for validating my decision to unlock all the CT raids and pay attention to the story of them even before alliance roulette was a thing.


Original Fashion Design

Fashion is one of the selling points of Final Fantasy 14. Frankly speaking, players love its complex character design and popular fashion products. After reaching a certain level in FFXIV, players can cast an enchantment on their clothes, so that they can look fresh and retain the attributes needed to fight any monster. SQUARE ENIX releases new clothes once in a while, and players can use detailed camera modes to take beautiful photos for their characters and friends in the game.

Final fantasy 14 meets the design expectations of playing final fantasy. Players can choose between high fantasy artifact gear that looks like something from an older final fantasy game, or they can choose something more fashionable and modern from a newer game style. Why players choose the latter is reasonable.

Depending on your aesthetic and the amount of FFXIV Gil you're willing to spend, it's never too early for fasion. You can get glamour prisms free with GC seals, and there's a lot of level 1 gear just for fashion, though even some early actual gear items look nice too. For example, the level 50 Patrician's set (50 crafter gear) looks very nice on female characters.


Unique Class-system

Class-system is one of the best parts of FFXIV. It lets you pick from several classes while also giving you the agency to not feel compelled to stick to a single one. You can grind through hardcore content like raids and grind through dungeons like Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High to get all your classes to the level cap, or you can stick to one class and focus on the story that underlines your fantasy dress-up game. XIV even lets you make some dialogue choices to drive home that this is your story.

Unlike most MMOs, Final Fantasy XIV requires you to level these crafting professions up like you would the main class: It’s a slow, but very satisfying journey leveling your crafters. These consist of the Alchemist, Armorer, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Culinarian, Goldsmith, Leatherworker and Weaver.

Since you’re capable of changing your job at any time, this means there is absolutely no need for alt-characters. You can level everything on one single character – and can switch jobs on the fly. This makes it easy to adapt to the task you’re undertaking, and as an altaholic, prevents me from having 10 Human characters all identical in appearance but a different class like in WoW.


Slow-paced Combat:

Be prepared for very very slow-paced combat at first. FFXIV has slower combat than most MMORPGs out there, the default GCD (Global Cool Down) is 2.50 seconds. But things do improve as you get into higher levels. You will get many abilities that are OGCD (Off The Global Cool Down) So while you wait for your next GCD to refresh you can cast other spells and abilities in between and the combat eventually balances out, feels fast, and fun.

If you are still not enjoying it, It may also depend on the battle class you are playing. I recommend playing all the basic classes/jobs to 30 and get a feel for what you like. Overall the combat is much slower than your other MMOs and that can be annoying but at the same time, it makes it feel a little more strategic and lets you plan accordingly for your rotation than just face rolling your keyboard.

I will say that FFXIV’s combat design is really great, so even if it’s a little slower, you may find that it’s more enjoyable, once you’re at a higher level and have more of your abilities unlocked.


Best MMO Community

The community in general is definitely pretty chill. The game's rules and play are structured in ways that encourage people to consider other players their ally, rather than at best a rival and at worst an enemy. Most FFXIV players are polite, welcoming, and helpful.

If you are new to FFXIV, that's great. For the most part, newer players are treated well because 1: Square Enix comes down like a guillotine on players who are nasty to Sprouts. 2: The Sprout icon immediately identifies new players as new, and vets are able to recognize that and treat them with a bit more patience. 3: Add-ons are forbidden, especially DPS meters. Mentioning them can get your account banned, and using them to harass other players will definitely get you banned. 4: Systems exist that assist new players in learning the game and getting introduced to others.

Besides those, people in Final Fantasy 14 have a sense of community, it comes in different forms, but everyone has contributed to it. Roleplaying is an important part of FFXIV and it fostered by the developers. You may see groups of bards travel to different worlds and perform concerts in-game, or find a group performing at a city square incidentally.


High-quality expansions

Whether it's full-blown expansions like Shadowbringers or patches that bring huge updates like the NieR: Automata crossover event that has been so popular among players, FFXIV always adds high-quality expansions in-game.

Shadowbringer is known as the most successful expansion so far. It uses lots of references from preceding expansion, so understanding of previous stories are needed to get the best experience with Shadowbringer. The story is the strongest improvement SE ever made to final fantasy XIV and makes this game on par with other final fantasy major games. MMORPG gets a new standard of storytelling with Shadowbringer.

FFXIV's content additions have also begun pushing hard for accessibility, whether it be the ability for players to quickly level up a character to jump into fresh content or the removal of some of the grindier elements of the earlier expansions.

It’s hard to say how things will feel as the main story continues in smaller updates over the next few years, but what’s on offer right now suggests Shadowbringers is the finest storyline we’ve had yet. The only thing holding it back now is a truly seamless world – and that’s more a consequence of early design limitations that can’t be undone. If you haven’t played Final Fantasy XIV yet, you’re really missing out on something special.

Final Fantasy 14 has something for everyone, whether it's fascinating story, original fashion design, unique class-system, slow-paced Combat, best MMO Community or high-quality expansions.

In FFXIV I never find myself bored as there are a million side quests that seem to never end, MSQ, extras, mounts, minions, gear, housing, and relics to collect and complete :) I highly recommend this game but it will take some time to get caught up unless you buy an MSQ or Level Skip via the mogstation. If you’re looking for a very helpful and sweet community of players with active end game raiding, hunting, PvP, discords, and Free Companies (Groups for players with ranks, housing, etc.) then you’ve found the place! Anyway, if you haven't set foot in FFXIV, now is the time!