It seems someone beat me to the punch this week with the reveal of that Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward PlayStation Access interview with Naoki Yoshida. Grats to Eldryth for the good eye!
Following the write-up last week about barriers to entry into Heavensward, it seems Yoshida addressed some of those concerns just in time for the impending release of the expansion. As the gates open towards Ishgard, it seems the barriers to accessing the 50-60 content of the Heavensward expansion will also be lowered somewhat.
Some of this will be excellent news for people looking to simply access the latest content so they can do other things.
This is also bound to be some mild comfort for Foomerang from last week’s column, as the updates will lessen the dependence on running combat content just to get through the story and continue his personal calling of being the best botanist he can be. That said, I wish Foomerang the best as he strives towards his chosen profession!
Leveling up for Heavensward
The first important bit I should note is about a revamp to the leveling, according to the PlayStation Access interview.
According to the voiceover translation, Yoshida remarked that it would be easier to gain access to Heavensward due to adjustments to pre-expansion storyline content once Heavensward comes out. He remarked,
Just by playing through the main scenarios, the main story quests, you should be able to obtain more than double the XP than you would have originally so that you can transition smoothly and progress at a pretty rapid pace. You'll also be able to obtain powerful items by playing the main story quests, without having to do too many sidequests.
He likened it to having “a box set of a TV series and you're binge watching the episodes all in one go,“ which I think is a nice way of looking at it.
If A Realm Reborn is Season 1, then the assumption should be that you’ll have access to Season 2 at the onset once you pay for the expansion and your subscription.
By doubling the XP gain and providing rewards that make it easier to access and get through the A Realm Reborn story, players who want to access the expansion content to catch up can do so.
At the same time, new players can choose the pace at which they go through the story, if they feel like dabbling in the myriad other activities FFXIV now has in store for players, because the content has fewer barriers that make it hard to get through.
Tweaking Party Content
The other thing that’s pretty interesting is the inclusion of tweaks to party content for ARR instances, according to a post from Reddit
There are two parts to this. The first is that parties can now enter a dungeon with fewer than the needed number of players, just by selecting an a new Duty Finder option. This option will not replenish party members and will also disable item level syncing, allowing people to potentially steamroll through content with higher leveled friends.
The other part, which was mentioned in a comment by community team member Grekumah on the forums, said,
Just for clarification, using this system will not remove the item drops, therefore you can use this feature to obtain minions, equipment for glamour, and the items needed to upgrade Zodiac weapons.
Additionally, there is no item level sync, so you'll be able to enter content at the highest level and item level.
On the other hand, if you are looking for more of a challenge, then you can use another feature which will sync to the lowest level set for that duty.
The development team is looking forward to seeing how everyone will use these new feature to create your own unique challenges and group events. They plan on using what they see as reference for future development.
I can see some potentially cool scenarios where free companies can have story-Coil runs for new members, or even accelerated “paid carry” runs for those looking to profit as mercenary-adventurers. At the same time, this also opens the possibility of running new roulettes, I would assume, for earning loot and possibly better gear for the new job classes.
In any event, we’re two weeks away from early access, and I’m excited as heck. I just wish I had a Heavensward PS4 unit to go with my excitement. Till next time, folks! Cheers!