Shooting for Longevity
There’s much to be said for a game’s longevity. A long-lasting game means that a game can grow beyond its original scope to become something greater than it was in its infancy. It also means that there’s a possibility of burnout on the game itself if updates aren’t timely and meaningful to the gaming population.
Final Fantasy XI, for example, is 12 years old. It has a steady stream of players that enjoy it, and coexists relatively peacefully alongside Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn at present.
People are expecting Heavensward to be the expansion that sets the earnest tones for how the game’s longevity is meant to go, in much the same way Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia did for FFXI.
I think, however, that focusing on the expansion itself is a bit premature, as I feel shooting for longevity means giving people more things to try out for their enjoyment, even if they don’t completely become popular or well-adopted.
The basis for today’s column comes from Reseph of the FFXIV subreddit, who mused that if you like the game now, you’ll likely love the game even more later. For Reseph, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn is a solid foundation to build upon for the future.
A Realm Reborn was all about tying up the loose ends of FFXIV 1.0, so to speak – including the cataclysm of Bahamut and the machinations of the Garleans.
It was sufficiently self-contained, for the most part, and with these story additions done in a timely set of updates, that most people were pleased with its development. It also means that by completing FFXIV 1.0’s story in the 2.0 release, we could finally go about expanding the world beyond the original scope of the game.
While I don’t look upon the gear treadmill of raiding and weapon enhancements as my cup of tea, there’s certainly plenty of other things to be excited about with the game. With a good group of friends to move you along, however I can see why FFXIV is enjoyable in that regard.
For me, the diversions are really what keep me coming back to FFXIV. FFXIV’s quest text is some of the most enjoyable reading I’ve had in a game – not too verbose and not too short.
With quests like the Hildibrand Manderville series and the Moogle post-office series, I’m looking forward to seeing what other sorts of extended sidestories they can come up with for Heavensward.
At the same time, there’s the other activities. Aside from housing and gardening, there’s also the joy of knowing Triple Triad is coming to FFXIV with the inclusion of the Gold Saucer area. Gamer Escape noted that FFXIV’s Triple Triad will also have mobile connectivity, which is an excellent bit of news.
There are also going to be marriage ceremonies – Ceremonies of Eternal Bonding – come update 2.45 in the first half of December!
With new jobs incoming as well for the expansion, we should see some healthy releveling going on as well as people experiment and look for the best ways to maximize the output of those new battle-ready stalwarts.
I look forward to Square Enix trying more new things and hopefully, without as many constraints on technology (FFXI used to be hindered somewhat by console hardware limitations), we’ll be seeing more visual awesomeness as they years go on by for the game.
In any event, I just hope I’m not region locked from the Triple Triad app like I am with Libra Eorzea, but that simply means I’ll just never unsub from FFXIV ever again, I suppose.
To end today’s piece, let me leave you with the video retrospective of FFXIV, as we move forward towards A Realm Reborn and beyond. Happy Thanksgiving to those folks who celebrate it, and I hope all of you stay joyful as we gear up for the holidays.