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.
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.
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.