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How Long Do You Give Yourself To Catch Up For A New MMO Expansion?

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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I am so woefully behind in Final Fantasy XIV that no amount of catchup will get me where I need to be for Dawntrail this summer. I'm still way back in my post-Shadowbringers era, taking care of the last things I need to in order to simply start Endwalker, let alone be ready to head to the new world with the Scions in July.

So, as a result, I'm pivoting, catching up on The Elder Scrolls Online ahead of its upcoming Gold Road expansion in June. Since I'm doing this review, it's a bit more important to be caught up here, and thankfully, the road isn't nearly as long post-Necrom.

It got me thinking, though. I've known about these expansions coming for months now - or in the case of Dawntrail, almost a year at this point. I could have put the irons to the fire and got myself into gear well before. Now, I'm faced with either crunching FFXIV's excellent, but long in the tooth, story or simply not being able to join my friends in Tural. 

I'm a traditionally poor planner of these things, though. A few years back when the Mordor expansion launched for The Lord of the Rings Online, I was nowhere near where the main story quest was at the start - I had to effectively start a new character and use the level boost just for the expansion review (which, thankfully there was the new High Elf race, so I had more of a reason to do so). Thankfully, knowing the Lord of the Rings story inside and out like I do helped me find my footing fast.

It's a bit easier for me with MMOs that don't have a traditionally linear story path. EVE Online's Havoc expansion last year required literally no real planning other than getting my ships to Zarzakh to begin working for the Angel Cartel when the switch flipped. 

So I guess I'm wondering if there are better planners out there than me in this regard. How long do you typically give yourself to prep for an upcoming expansion, especially if you need to catch up first? Let us know in the comments below. 


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Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore