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Endless dungeons & Content Deprecation

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
Columns The Eorzea Prospect 0

Welcome back to another installment of Eorzea Reborn. This week, I’d like to follow up on my promise to discuss one of the things I, as a Final Fantasy XIV player, dislike about the game. I’d also like to start, however, by touching upon a newly revealed feature coming in a future patch.

At Pax East, the Final Fantasy XIV team announced what they’re calling The Deep Dungeon, which essentially made me remember Konami’s PS1 title Azure Dreams, though without the monster pets.

According to the information available, The Deep Dungeon – Palace of the Dead – is a type of solo-friendly and four-player friendly content where every floor of the dungeon is randomized. Palace of the Dead is slated to be integrated into the game at the arrival of patch 3.35.

It will reportedly have an independent progression system, as the lore behind it states that “powerful magicks which will sap their (adventurers’) very strength” will be in full force.

In other words, while you have your gear from your battles and will likely be a level 60 faceroller in the outside world, your level (which will again start at 1 in the dungeon) and progress is tied directly into how far you’ve progressed into the dungeon, where the game will save your progress on specific floors.

My imagination runs wild at the thought, because this feels pretty much like having a secondary game that plays like the main game within FFXIV. Will we be able to get glamour gear or rare items, or minions and mounts? Can we customize our character to use magic and melee/ranged attacks, as if we were playing a dungeon crawler separate from the Eorzean adventure-at-large?

I’m looking forward to it, even though I also worry about the future of sub-games within games like Final Fantasy XI and XIV.

Content deprecation in FFXIV

One of the biggest pet peeves for me in any game is a sense of diminishing returns. Whether its the diminishing returns of leveling an alt in a game, or something like the phasing out of content due to age, content deprecation is a big deal for me, because if something isn’t meant to be part of the bigger picture, it feels like resources wasted for a short-term benefit.

Now, I know Yoshi-P and company likely have long-term plans, so I’ll explain this idea a bit further.

Back in Final Fantasy XI, there was a somewhat similar idea to the deep dungeon, called Moblin Maze Mongers, from the Wings of the Goddess expansion. Basically, users could build their own dungeons using Moblin Maze Tabulas, then run them for experience, loot, and or synthesis stuff, or for fun.

One thing that scared me about content like this is that, as a game ages, something like Moblin Maze Mongers gets thrown by the wayside because the content is exhausted or some other way of getting stronger is introduced.

The Chocobo Races and Lord of Verminion minigames in the Gold Saucer and the Diadem (to some extent) feel kind of like this, as while it’s an alternate path of enjoyment, unless resources are plugged in to better content, it will essentially become stale.

For example, is anyone planning on running exploratory missions after the next expansion? Actually, are you planning on even running Diadem now?

Hopefully content deprecation won’t happen in FFXIV, as they could presumably unlock new floors in the dungeon with future patches, but it still sort of is a scary and annoying thought to consider.

In any event, this is all the time I have for today. Are you looking forward to The Deep Dungeon? What do you think we’ll see? Feel free to respond in the comments. I’ll be reading them as soon as I can!




Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.