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Heaven on High Preview

By Michael O’Connell-Davidson on July 02, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Heaven on High Preview

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.

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Thankfully, Heaven-on-High, the level 70 deep dungeon, is coming out Tomorrow (July 3rd) after what feels like an eternity. We’re finally going to get to see what lies within that massive tower in the Ruby Sea, and honestly? I can’t wait. Here’s everything we know.

If you’re not aware what a Deep Dungeon is, then it’s essentially a randomised dungeon with a set boss every ten stages. Mob spawns and the layouts of floor change from run to run. You need to clear a certain number of enemies in order to progress to the next stage.

This sounds simple, but it’s complicated by patrolling enemies, traps and potentially fatal floor effects. You might end up on a stage where everyone has enhanced regeneration — or on a stage where everyone is blinded. It’s tough, but it’s a lot of fun, and when PotD was introduced, it really broke the mould, offering difficult content that was an alternative to savage raiding for those that made the journey to floor 200.

If you want to challenge its successor then you have to be at least level 61 to enter, and you need to have cleared the first 50 floors of PotD as well as completed the level 63 Ruby Sea main scenario quests. Players can use the cross-world party finder to group up. As you don’t need to be at the level cap to enter, expect that you’ll be able to use the early floors to level up, as you were able to with PotD. You’ll be able to gain items including weapons from it, too, along with loot bags.

Players always start at floor 1, and cannot progress beyond floor 30 unless your party has no wipes. Individual deaths are fine, but if everybody is KOed on floor 25, you need to start again from the very bottom to be eligible to progress any further! There’s also no matchmaking for stages after 30, meaning you’ll need a premade if you want to see the very top.

Heaven-on-High will have its own storyline that will conclude in the first 30 floors. While it’s not obvious what this will involve, it will likely tie into the four lords quest series in some way, with some of the cute (at least until you talk to them) auspices showing up as allied NPCs.

The UI shows ‘special items’ that appear to be very similar to pomanders, as well as magicite. In the past, the devs hinted at something that roughly translated as a ‘grand summoning’ mechanic. Well, this magicite is for that, allowing players to call forth Garuda, Titan and Ifrit. No, not egis — the actual primals themselves.

One of the major criticisms of PotD was that getting to floor 100 was a chore, though the floors that followed were a lot of fun. Heaven-on-High is shorter, with just 100 floors overall, so you may be able to make a run at floor 100 in just one day if the pacing is similar to PotD (and there’s no guarantee it will be). This should narrow the range of high scores — PotD had a leaderboard, but those who went from scratch every time dominated, despite doing so being a massive chore — and also keep those early floors active.

Oh, and the most important thing. You’ll receive a special mount from loot bags this time, too:

That dodo is a surprisingly accurate reflection of how I feel in most raid content in this game. It’s not as cool as the Black Pegasus from PotD… But it is my spirit animal. I must have it.

All in all, Heaven-on-High looks really cool. My only problem is figuring out what to call it in casual conversation. HoH? HH? PotD2? Please leave your preference in the comments, because I’m still trying to figure it out.

Michael O’Connell-Davidson / Michael O'Connell-Davidson is MMORPG.com's FFXIV columnist. Follow him on twitter @mikeocd.
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