FFXIV: A Client Reborn

After the debacle of the original FFXIV Mac client that caused SquareEnix to pull it, I bought a MacBook Pro to replace my previous machine, and that left me unable to continue playing. I could have used BootCamp to dual-boot into Windows, I suppose, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do.

But this week, Square Enix relaunched the Mac client in a bundle with Heavensward and 30 days of subscription time. An opening sale made it 50% off, so it was a bit of a bargain compared to the wallet-gouging I was expecting. As my account didn’t already have Heavensward, it made it very convenient for me to pick it up and register a new platform at a discount.

And… it works! I can have my green-haired Lalafell back! We immediately went fishing to celebrate, on the sunny shores of the Costa Del Sol.

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Caught one!

Getting the client up and running was an all day job, sad to say, but I had a couple of days off work at the beginning of the week. It’s a 14GB download, which took about four hours on my connection. Then I discovered to my dismay that it wouldn’t launch. I hadn’t read the small print — there’s a known bug with OSX 10.10.5 that prevents it from launching. Luckily, I was entitled to a free upgrade to 10.11 (“El Capitan”, possibly the dumbest codename for an operating system ever). That was another 6GB download, followed by a very smooth upgrade experience.

With El Cap installed, finally the launcher launched… and proceeded to download another 10GB of patch data. I was kind of losing the will to live at this point, truth be told. But it works.

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Still pretty gorgeous, even with things dialled back a little for laptop play

I’m playing it on a 2015 Macbook Pro, despite the warning of “extraordinary heat generated during gameplay“. There isn’t. It gets a bit warm, like it does when playing any game. Anecdotally, I think the way I play Diablo III with all the settings cranked up and at quite a high resolution produces more heat. I’m playing fullscreen at 1440×900, with the graphics set on the “Medium” default as a baseline, but with anti-aliasing turned on. I’m seeing an average of about 40fps, with no stuttering or tearing, so I’m happy with that. I’d much rather have things turned down a little so they’re consistently smooth than crank the pretty up but be hurky-jerky as I’m adventuring.

Since installing, I’ve done dungeons, levequests, a couple of pretty busy FATEs, and it all seems to be working great — my only complaint is that screenshots seem to come out a bit darker than they appear in-game. But that’s such a minor gripe. I was concerned that we were going to end up with another badly written second-citizen client for the Mac, but they seem to have done the work this time.

  1 comment for “FFXIV: A Client Reborn

  1. March 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Glad the mac client is working for you, and they didn’t half-ass it this time! I’m hoping to jump back in-game some tonight myself. It’s such a pretty game, and I miss it so much! Your green-haired Lala is adorable, too. 😀

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