Final Fantasy XIV Articles
Long-time readers of this column will know that if there’s one piece of content I’m keen to talk about, it’s FFXIV’s Deep Dungeon. Palace of the Dead was the subject of my first post, nearly two years ago, and it’s something that’s remained really close to my heart. I maintain that hitting Floor 200 is one of the most satisfying activities you can do in XIV, and my willingness to do so again now is only dulled by the fact it caps out at level 60.
A few months ago, I wrote about The Forbidden Land of Eureka, a new endgame area in Final Fantasy XIV. The colourfully named zone hosts an untamed wilderness, full of enemies far stronger than anything you might find on mainland Eorzea that’s modelled after an older generation of MMORPGS — there’s ridiculously strong mobs, rare spawns, and even EXP loss on death, and high-level gear for those who’re able to overcome its challenges.
While the world has been watching and waiting for the news that’s coming out of E3, there’s been another event that’s been grabbing attention. FFXIV’s newest Ultimate-series raid, The Weapon’s Refrain, is here, and the game’s top raid groups have been vying to be the first to clear. It’s been an absolutely crazy week on XIV Twitch watching this unfold, with people discovering what worked — and, indeed, what didn’t work — with each passing hour.
New in FFXIV patch 4.3 is The Ridorana Lighthouse, the latest 24-man raid in the Return to Ivalice series. It picks up from where the Rabanastre story left off, and is one of the most artistically impressive dungeons released to date. The instance is also chock-full of old FF throwbacks, with XII music thrown in to boot.
Final Fantasy XIV is a big game. Maps are separated by loading zones, so Eorzea doesn’t feel quite as open as, say, Azeroth, but there’s a lot to do. There are 60 dungeons and nearly 50 trials, and, thanks to the roulette system, these all get run almost every day.
Stormblood, FFXIV’s latest expansion, built upon much of the game’s core systems — in particular, many jobs and their roles were significantly changed. This feels particularly impactful in terms of utility buffs; Bard now applies passive crit damage, while Dragoon is even more essential than ever thanks to Dragon Sight. Even Monk gained something, with Brotherhood, a physical buff that feeds power back to the caster based on their critical hits.
In February 2016, the developers of FFXIV implemented something that’s a very good idea on paper: a mentorship system. XIV’s always been great at accommodating newer players, such as by offering a bonus when taking someone through content for the first time, and allowing players to mark themselves as mentors seems like a natural extension of that.
This month’s Letter from the Producer was broadcast this weekend, and it’s a biggie. Producer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) sat down and delivered the biggest infodump yet on FFXIV’s next chapter.
A couple of weeks ago, I vowed to return to Eureka after I’d spent more time with it (You can read my initial impressions here). I’ve been back in a few of times since then, and, unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of trouble getting much further. The content isn’t for me, but I still love what it represents, and I’m happy it’s scratched an itch for a bygone era of MMOs that a lot of people miss.
Yesterday was the first of April, so you know what that means: Hoaxes abound, with Google pitching a run of fake products and Burger King touting a chocolate Whopper. Sadly, this column was due out the day after April Fool’s Day, so I wasn’t able to join in.
Well, this is unexpected. Just a couple of weeks after making a start, my static has cleared God Kefka, bringing the curtain down on the most difficult content in FFXIV’s latest patch. I recently wrote about the raids leading up to the final encounter and said I’d revisit the topic when we cleared the fight, but I didn’t anticipate it’d happen quite so soon. Still, it did — and I couldn’t be happier.
At long last, it’s finally here. Eureka — easily one of the most eagerly anticipated features of Stormblood — launched last Tuesday, and it’s fair to say it’s unlike anything else in FFXIV. In many ways, that’s arguably its greatest strength — as well as its greatest weakness. Eureka is many things depending on who you ask, but I think one thing everyone can agree on is that it’s divisive.
When patch 4.2 was released, one of the first things I did was review the new PvE content. However, I’m not a part of a particularly hardcore group, so I wasn’t able to see much of Savage beyond the first couple of fights. A month later, we’ve cleared Kefka — and started working on taking down his bigger, badder final form. Now I’ve fought through the majority of the encounters, it’s the perfect time to put down my thoughts about the FFXIV’s current round of hardcore content.
We recently looked at the PVE content in FFXIV patch 4.2 — in particular, the raid, and Byakko, the new trial. But what about everything else that was added? The Stormblood story rages on, new housing wards have been opened up, and the Glamour overhaul that was long promised is finally here — so let’s take a closer look now we’ve had some time to play around with everything. (Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.)
This month’s FFXIV live letter was broadcast on Saturday, with producer Naoki Yoshida hosting a Q&A elaborating on — among other things — what life will be like in Eureka, a new zone and activity coming in patch 4.25.