In an MMORPG, combat for a single player with their single character should never be as simple or as smooth as that in a game designed for single-player combat. That’s because, in an MMORPG, you play as a piece of a larger combat puzzle. It’s a small puzzle for the early dungeons (four-player groups in FFXIV), but it eventually leads to larger parties and raids composed of dozens of people with clearly defined roles: healing, dealing damage, or drawing and absorbing massive attacks (i.e. the “tank” role).
I’m playing as a tank class in FFXIV Gil almost by accident—I picked the Marauder with the big two-handed axe, but it turns out they’re slotted in to absorb damage more than to deal it out. But tanking is what I know best in these kinds of games—during my raiding period in World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade I played as a protection warrior, the purest of its three tanking classes.
Here’s the reason Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FFXIV) is good: it’s bad. That is, it’s bad at following the conventional wisdom that says MMORPGs are bad when they’re too much like work, when they’re harder to play alone, and most of all, when they’re not accessible enough. The creators of FFXIV know that these are actually the trends making the genre bad, and by ignoring them, the game manages to be good.