Final Fantasy XIV

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Final Fantasy XIV is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) produced by Square Enix and released in September 2010[1]. The original release stayed live until November 2012. Three expansions were produced after the disastrous launch titled A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, and Stormblood respectively. The original Final Fantasy XIV released to mostly negative reviews[2]. This lead to director Naoki Yoshida to scrap the whole project which then was released later as A Realm Reborn also known as Final Fantasy XIV V2.0. Currently, the game is stated to have over 10 million users closing in on the number of 12M that World of Warcraft had in its most popular years.[3]

A Realm Reborn

A Realm Reborn Cover Art

The first expansion following the ill-fated release in 2010. This game is a result of a complete overhaul of the original Final Fantasy XIV which while praised for its graphics and music, was criticized for its design. Unlike the previous iteration this game was applauded and mostly received positive reviews for the complete change in gameplay.[4] This game follows you as the player character in an epic tale of kingdoms fighting against each other in a land called Eorzea. To do this you pick between 6 different races. The races are known as Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Roegadyn, Miqo'te.[5] When you pick your race you are thrown into the world to explore. The class system is set up to where you can switch between four disciplines in four categories of Disciple of War, Magic, Hand, and Land.[6] These can range from things such as gladiator to something like a fisherman. When you switch between different skill sets you gain experience and eventually can upgrade these jobs. This allows a variety of leveling, exploring and replay-ability for the game.


Released on June 23rd, 2015 this is the next expansion in the FFXIV universe. Heavensward continued the trend that A Realm Reborn started in that it received mostly positive reviews.[7] This expansion focuses on the millennium-long conflict called the Dragonsong War between Ishgard and Dravania. This lead to an expanded storyline for one of the original classes called Dragoon. The back stories were more fleshed out for this class as a result of this expansion. This included an entire side quest to learn more techniques from Dragoon NPCS, or non-player-characters. Numerous gameplay changes including the level cap raising to 60, adding all sorts of new abilities to all the classes in the game.[8] The expansion also released three new classes Dark Knight, Machinist, and Astrologian. In addition to the three new classes added there was also a new raced called an Au Ra which came into two subcategories titled Raen and Xaela.


The most recent expansion in the FFXIV universe and also the one with the highest review scores.[9]In this expansion the level cap increased to 70. Two more jobs were added titled Samurai, and Red Mage. [10] Playstation 3 support for this game ended when Stormblood released. The plot shifts to helping the city-states of Ala Mhigo and Doma, which are the home for the two new job classes. Doma is a reference to a town in another Final Fantasy 6. Also, the game added a swimming mechanic, adding further areas to explore beyond what the other two allowed.

Ethical Issues

Online Theft

Ethical issues in large online communities can be numerous. The anonymity can provide a feeling of indestructibility for many people. According to the Asymmetry Thesis, it is stated that actions online are never wrong because it “isn't real”[11] However, in most large online communities there are numerous actions of theft. In FFXIV in particular, this can be a large issue as there is an entire virtual economy setup, including houses, and people who spend real money to acquire said property. However, this is something that is highly debatable for many people as something that is morally wrong or can be punished by the law. But, as pointed out by Jeff Dunn is it not truly your property? He brings up the point by stating that you can get in trouble for stealing music, which usually is in digital form, so why not virtual MMO property? [12] What makes this such a hard ethical issue is there are numerous examples of this happening to people, and in the United States it is not something that is really punishable. However, in other countries, such as Korea, there are laws set in place to punish people for virtual theft in MMO's if it is against the rules of the game. [13]

Role Playing

Role-playing or acting out the part of a particular person or character [14] is something highly prevalent in MMOs. In the past, this could be seen in activities such as people playing D&D. In large MMOs this can be a problem in that there are numerous people who talk to each other on a daily basis. However, it is a fair question to ask if this person in the form of an avatar playing a character? This could be an obstacle according to an article by Cocking and Matthews stating that people can control how they appear to others[15] In role-playing areas of MMOs this is turned up to a much higher level. This can cause many people to act incredibly differently, potentially not being truthful to the people they interact with. However, this could be beneficial in that it can lead to groups gathering together that have similar interests.


  1. Final Fantasy XIV website
  2. Review website used by Gaming Industry
  3. Article referencing number of subscribers
  4. Review for a Realm Reborn
  5. Final Fantasy XIV references race!/races
  6. Final Fantasy classes page on the website!/classes
  7. Review for Heavensward on Metacritic
  8. Final Fantasy XIV for Heavensward
  9. Review page for Stormblood
  10. Final Fantasy XIV system page for stormblood
  11. Dunn, Jeff (2012). Virtual worlds and moral evaluation. Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.
  12. Dunn, Jeff (2012). Virtual worlds and moral evaluation. Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.
  13. Dunn, Jeff (2012). Virtual worlds and moral evaluation. Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.
  14. Merriam webster definition of Role-play
  15. Cocking, Dean. “Plural selves and relational identity: Intimacy and privacy online.” Information technology and moral philosophy (2008): 123-141.