When patch 3.5 was released Square Enix promised that it would be followed up in short order with patch 3.55. The highlight of patch 3.55 is Palace of the Dead also known as Deep Dungeon. Square Enix made good on their word last week and I’m happy to report that Palace of the Dead is a welcome addition to Eorzea.
Deep Dungeon is a new take on instances in FFXIV. This is the first bit of content where the floors are randomly generated. The dungeon consists of 50 floors broken up into 10 floor increments. After every 10 floors you’ll be able to save your progress. You are limited to completing each 10 floors in an hour. If you manage to complete all 50 you’ll be rewarded with a special cosmetic set for your weapon (and shield if your class has one). You only have to be level 17 to access Palace of the Dead. Great news for people that may be new to the game and want to give this dungeon a go.
You can choose to take on Deep Dungeon as a group of up to 4 people or solo. You can use the duty finder to get placed in a random group if you can’t come up with a static group of 4 on your own. You have access to two save slots. I have one of my save slots dedicated to my solo progress and the other left open for random grouping.
The most intriguing part of Deep Dungeon is the fact that each time you go you’ll have a slightly different experience than before since everything is randomly generated. This includes the room placement, treasure coffers, traps, and enemies. The types of enemies present are consistent and the decor of the floors will stay the same however so it isn’t a completely new experience each time but enough that it should keep you on your toes.
You start off each run at level 1. You’ll need to kill enemies to gain levels and gain further access to the dungeon. After you kill enough monsters the Cairn of Passage will become active and you’ll be able to transport to the next floor. If you kill a few more enemies the Cairn of Return will become active as well. As you gain levels you’ll gain access back to your class skills and traits. Each time you level you’ll be made aware what has become available to you.
To aide you on your journey you’ll come across a lot of treasure coffers. Gold coffers will contain a type of pomander. There are at least 10 different types of pomander and each has their own unique ability. The Pomander of Sight shows those devilish hidden traps while the Pomander of Affluence increases the number of cairns on the next floor. The Pomander of Strength will reduce incoming damage and increase healing. This effect lasts for 7 minutes. Silver coffers will give you +1 to either your weapon or your armor. It’s random which one will be buffed. By the time I had reached the 10th floor for the first time I was level 15 and had +1 to my weapon and +7 to my armor. You’ll also pick up a lot of high quality potions while killing monsters.
I was not able to reach the 10th floor on my first try. On my first attempt I thought everything was going smooth until I hit a trap. Then I became a frog. Then I died. You’ll get 60 minutes to make it through each 10 floors. You won’t always need the full 60 minutes but a word of caution against going AFK. Monsters will respawn after your clear a level. I hard to learn that one the hard way. AFK deaths are no fun.
I did a few runs of Deep Dungeon with my eleven year old son by my side and he stated, “I think it’s really cool that you go into a dungeon and level as you play and don’t just start at max level and destroy everything.” I couldn’t agree more. Palace of the Dead is a refreshing change of pace compared to the rest of the content currently available in FFXIV. While this isn’t a once size fits all model of dungeoneering for the game it’s definitely a nice tool in the FFXIV toolbox.
One last note on the Deep Dungeon: As a tank I hate hornets and their final sting. Just saying.
Yo-Kai Watch Takes on Eorzea
Yo-Kai Watch is a force in the East even though it hasn’t caught on in the West the way Pokemon has. That’s why it may seem strange to those of us in North America and Europe see this crossover but it makes perfect sense in Japan. Regardless of how you feel about Yo-Kai Watch players will have the opportunity to collect up to 13 new minions based on popular Yo-Kai from the series and some of them are rather cool looking. You’ll also be able to collect 13 different weapons based on these Yo-Kai. If you manage to collect all 13 Yo-Kai minions you’ll also get the new Whisper-Go mount. This means you’ll get to ride around in style in your new ghost mount. This crossover will last from today (Tuesday July 26th) to October 3rd. You can find more info over at the Lodestone.
Welcome Back old Friends
This seems like great marketing synergy. Square Enix has announced a new welcome back campaign for lapsed players. With the inclusion of the Palace of the Dead and its ready made access at level 17 and the Yo-Kai watch crossover this welcome back campaign couldn’t have come at a better time. For anyone that has ever subscribed and has an account that has been lapsed for more than 30 days can login for free for a 5 day period between July 25th and August 30th. Keep in mind you can’t play that entire time. You get 120 consecutive hours starting from the first time you log in during that window.