So enough complaining about the Crystal Tower and FATEs. On to the good stuff. The Crystal Tower is fun. I was pleasantly surprised at how it worked. Unlike the Binding Coil there is only one “turn” so far in Crystal Tower, the Labyrinth of the Ancients. We should see more added in patch 2.3 so at this current pace in about 8 more months. This turn had a number of encounters, four of which were considered boss type encounters and provided players with loot. Once you are attuned to Crystal Tower you can run this raid as many times a week as you want. You will however only be allowed to get one piece of gear from a chest. The Crystal Tower does award tomes so players will still receive a reward for participating in the event they just cannot win a piece of gear.
These encounters tend to have one to two mechanics that if you do not get right will cause your raid to wipe. The encounters are not tuned so difficult that if one person dies the raid will wipe. I main tanked for our group and even died on the first boss, the Bone Dragon, and we were able to recover. This is a low pressure environment and as long as most of the players have an idea of what they are doing you should be able to complete it on your first run through. I do not want to tread into spoiler territory just yet but some concerns I had about the parties having to split up and take different paths through the instance early on were dispelled. While you may have to take divergent paths you will be able to see all the players in the instance and it isn’t like they are off fighting one boss on the other side of the tower while you are fighting a completely different one on a different side of the tower and one of the groups is missing out on something the other gets to take part in. Crystal tower will serve as a great entry point for more casual players to get a chance to do some end game PvE raiding with more seasoned players and not have to worry that gear, or lack thereof, will greatly hold them back as long as they have a decent understanding of how to play their class.
Even with its minor flaws Crystal Tower is a welcome addition to the growing stable of end game instances in FFXIV:ARR. While I was hoping it would last longer and maybe be a bit more difficult I have to agree with the design directions that Square Enix went with this part of the game. This is one of those times that I’m actually glad that they did not necessarily do what I hoped they would do. What about you? Do you think Crystal Tower was too easy? Do you think for having to wait 4 months this should have been more? Let us know in the comments below.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time in Eorzea pretending he is a Paladin in the Leviathan realm or you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen