It’s been awhile since I’ve played Final Fantasy XIV. 10 months to be exact. So if you are here for hints, tips, or tricks on how to make the slog for your anima weapons any easier, I can’t help you just yet. I was bitten by the bug to play again when I watched the 3.3 trailer so here I am. Reinstalling XIV on my desktop and laptop. For the record I ran a poll on Twitter to decide if I should start playing WoW or XIV again and XIV won by one vote. Since Twitter polls are the definitive example of a scientific answer to perplexing question XIV is my new jam.
I always find it amusing to log into a MMO for the first time in months to find out a) what has changed, and b) where you left your corpse. I apparently was in the midst of completing my level 30 quest to receive my Astrologian shard. Apparently I was having a hard time completing this one. I decided to focus playing through this missions as a healer and was able to beat it on my second attempt. Note to self: healers heal. Also I noted one new addition. When you login you are prompted to open a website that acts as a quick start guide for new or returning players. Nice touch SE.
So what’s new, because that’s the real reason I’m back. Unlike some companies; cough, cough, Blizzard, Square Enix can release updates for Final Fantasy on dependable basis. Since I’ve been gone there has been 3 major ones:
As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness (3.1): This patch fleshed out the Sky Pirates and the Sea of Clouds. It also introduced a new 24 player raid, the Void Ark. The team also went back and touched up old areas. This can be found in the new Gold Saucer event Lords of Verminion. This is a minigame where players take on opponents in a battle of minions. You can fight NPCs or other players. They also tossed in a new beast tribe, the Vanu Vanu. They also added in the Diadem. This area focuses on exploratory missions. I’ve seen feedback from the community that this wasn’t well received. I’ll reserve judgement until I get a chance to play it firsthand. I do appreciate Square Enix’s willingness to try new things with FFXIV. Sometimes when you swing for the fences you strikeout. Just look at the exponentially increasing strikeout rate in baseball.
The Gears of Change (3.2): This patch introduced a new PvP mode, the Feast. The goal is to steal medals from your opponent. Whoever has the most at the end wins. Sounds easy enough. This is a ranked form of PvP. One interesting twist is Adrenaline Rush. This replaces the limit break. You can find kits during combat to fill this gauge. Once full anyone can use it. Much like a normal limit break it will have different effects based on what class triggers it. On the PvE front more was added to the Alexander raid including a savage mode. They also added a hard mode to the Lost City of Ampador and a new instance, Stone, Sky, Sea. Finally they added in a new trail, Sephirot. I know the name has meaning outside of Final Fantasy but good lord that sounds a lot like Sephiroth doesn’t it? Seriously? Maybe they should spend an extra day and work on getting better names.
Revenge of the Horde (3.3): This patch just released last week and with it the Dragonsong war comes to an end. Our Heroes of Light are finally able to kill Nidhogg. This seems to me like the expansion is winding down and we should hear something about 4.0 soon. Hopefully. I know it’s only been a year since Heavensward expansion was released but I don’t see Square Enix leaving XIV to languish for another year without something happening narratively. Maybe the war isn’t done? I thought E3 might have been a good place for rumors of an expansion but so far nothing. In the meantime this patch did give us the Weeping City of Mhach, the next chapter of the Void Ark 24 man raid. This patch also introduces the Aquapolis. Honestly I thought that had to be a typo when I first saw it. The Aquapolis is a dungeon that has a random chance of spawning when you complete a treasure map. While this seems cool at first I’m sure the randomness of it will enrage certain members of the community. Someone always loses when things are random and that’s never fun.
So what I’m looking forward to next? I’m excited for patch 3.35 and Deep Dungeon aka the Palace of the dead. This one sounds amazing. It is a randomly generated dungeon that has over 50 floors (eventually it will go up to 200). Upon entering you revert back to level 1. It’s great for people getting back into the game because it really levels the field when it comes to gear and you don’t have to worry as much about being completely out matched. We even found out last night in the live letter at E3 that you only have to be level 17 to access the dungeon located in Quarry Hills. As you descend through the dungeon you will level back up and regain access to your abilities. You will also gain items that are only usable in the dungeon and usable by any member of the party. Eventually this dungeon will have a ranking system and even has the capability to be done solo. Every 10 floors there is a boss. If you defeat the boss you get a save point. If you die you’ll be transported back to the last save. Consider my interest piqued.
So what should you expect here? Victor was handling the FFXIV column for a long time and did a great job of it. Victor is a full time reporter and works for a few other websites, beyond games, and that has pulled him away from this column for the time being. Until his return you’ll have my musings every other week. I plan on covering the upcoming changes announced by Square Enix, major uproars of the community, and my anecdotal discoveries of hidden gems along the way. I look forward to reading your stories about the world of Eorzea as well in the comments below.
P.S. Announcements at the end of the live letter:
New Merchandise. Cait Siths plushies. Come with digital in game ears.
Fan Festival 2016-17 : Las Vegas Nevada in October, Tokyo Japan in December, Frankfurt Germany in February. If you attend the events live or streamed you’ll get the Rikku (NA), Lulu(J), Yuna(EU), minions. You’ll also get a top secret glamour outfit which they did not reveal. Tickets for NA go on sale June 21st.
Mid July for 3.35