I recently purchased Final Fantasy XIV and I have heard that previous players of Final Fantasy XI get extra in-game perks- so I decided to finally install Final Fantasy XI (that I have had in a binder for the past 2+ years).
As fate would have it, I have both the xBox 360 version and the PC version. I (ignorantly) decided to try the xBox 360 version as console installs are generally much less involved than PC installs…
The install for Final Fantasy XI on the xBox 360 is absolutely tem most horrible experience I have ever endured; that’s right, you have to install the game on an xBox 360 hard drive. Not only do you need to install Final Fantasy XI, you must also install an abomination of the program called ‘PlayOnline Loader’. I still have not determined the need for PlayOnline- save to annoy the living fuck out of me with some goddamn horrible music that makes me want to gouge my eardrums out with a straightened paperclip.
Let me digress from the install nightmare to explain the music: It sounds like someone is trying to play a speed piano whist accompanied by a drunk bass player. This lasts for a minute or so and then is overshadowed by a synthesizer and a drum line that sounds someone is having a bad acid trip. They bring this all to a zenith with some horrible horns -and then bring it back to the start in a loop…
This fiasco plays as long as the PlayOnline application is running- including during eternity it takes to download the update to PlayOnline- and there is no fucking ‘turn this crap music off’ button to be seen.
That said, the update for PlayOnline takes about an hour. After which, I am guided through 20+ different screens requesting name, address, email, dob, etc. If I did not have a chatpad for my xBox controller, I would have given up after the first 5 minutes and just thrown the game away. I also cannot choose a login ID- rather I am assigned a random 4 character + 4 number ID once the setup has completed.
After this, I am ready to play Final Fantasy XI! No, wait- I now must copy Final Fantasy XI to the xBox 360 hard drive. This takes another hour.
At this point, I have been installing Final Fantasy XI for 2 1/2 hours and I have yet to create a character (I am not exaggerating about this!).
After all is finally installed, I fire up PlayOnline, navigate through 3 levels of menus and hit ‘play’ for Final Fantasy XI- and I am told that I have ‘No Active Content IDs’. Apparently, the first serial number I entered was for PlayOnline- but I can find no place to enter the 4 additional keys I have.
At some point, it appears I must also make a Square Enix account (separate from the PlayOnline) to be able to access Final Fantasy content…
I went online at PlayOnline.com to see if there is a place to enter the keys and hit a solid brick wall; NONE of the data is editable online.
At this point I have up in disgust and decided to try the PC version.
Awesome- the same terrible fucking music and 1+ hour to download the update for PlayOnline (after I downloaded the updated PlayOnline setup as the version on the disc is ‘not compatible with this version of Windows’ 7- and after it allowed me to install all of the Final Fantasy XI content!)
I am now thinking that Square Enix has no fucking idea of how to design an online game; I have tried World of Warcraft, Star Trek Online, Lord of the Rings Online, D&D Online, Conan Online, Ultima Online and countless others that I have forgotten- and NONE of these were event remotely as annoying as this cluster-fuck known as Final Fantasy XI/PlayOnline!
I am seriously considering keeping the Final Fantasy XIV sealed and returning it to Gamestop; if the install is 1/2 as annoying as the prior online version I will likely go insane!