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The Return of the Moonfire Faire

By Michael O’Connell-Davidson on August 21, 2018 | Columns | Comments

The Return of the Moonfire Faire

The Moonfire Faire, FFXIV’s summer celebration, is back for 2018. Head on down to Costa Del Sol for fireworks and festivities as Eorzea’s most-eccentric gillionaire splashes out on an excuse to hand out swimsuits.

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Instead of chasing away bombs, brigands, or beastmen who just want to dance, this year adventurers are tasked with completing a series of jumping puzzles. Three scaffolds have been erected off the coast, and it’s your job to climb across them without falling into the sea or otherwise maiming yourself along the way. The first is pretty easy, but the second and third are quite challenging, and if you’re not comfortable hopping around with some precision, you’re going to fail a few times.

I like jumping puzzles — even though I was terrible at them, they were one of my favourite parts of Guild Wars 2 — and while the ones here aren’t particularly complicated, it’s completely different to what we’ve seen in previous years. This event leaves me with some hope that the environment design in the next expansion will include more features like this so we can get more out of the landscape.

Sharp-eyed players will also notice that there’s an advanced, extra leg of the jumping puzzle once you’ve completed the first three. There’s a wooden strut sticking out of the side of the goal platform on the third tower that’ll lead you on a (pretty fraught) path all the way to the very top. It’s not quite as high or complicated as the jumping puzzle in central Kugane, but climbing the top is no simple task; I breezed through the main set of jumping puzzles, but barely made it halfway up this one before giving up.

In fact, the majority of the people I saw repeatedly climbing up the third tower were people who had tried to make it to the top of the hidden challenge and fell off along the way. It’s tough, but the challenge won’t be around forever, so don’t leave it to the last minute if you want the bragging rights for conquering it, because the event ends on the 26th.

If you complete the three jumping puzzles and the accompanying sidequest, about a would-be adventurer and his little sister, you’ll get a coffer with a set of beachwear, an emote, and an exclusive title. There’s also a repeatable quest to complete it again that’ll net you some fireworks, if need an excuse to do it over.

Pagos problems

The expedition to the Forbidden Land of Eureka has expanded to the Pagos region. For those who haven’t been to Eureka before, it’s an untamed wilderness with a different set of rules: monsters pack a punch far beyond anything you’d run into on the outside world, but it also offers relic weapons and armor to those who persevere.

Eureka was fairly divisive when it launched, as its gameplay harked back to an older era of MMOs where killing mobs was the name of the game; it was an old school grind, and while there are plenty who’re nostalgic for that, there’s a reason most MMOs left that behind a long time ago. With all that in mind, you’ll forgive me for not being very surprised that Pagos turned out to be just as divisive… and yet I’m still taken aback by just how riled up people are over it.

Pagos is the same grind as Eureka was criticised for being, but more so. The community’s approach to the first region, Anemos, quickly became ‘spawn and kill notorious monsters’ — basically, triggering boss FATEs for EXP and loot — which led to the content being criticised for being a mindless FATE train. It seems the developers have responded to that feedback by making events harder to trigger, which has led to people complaining that it’s not less of a FATE grind and more of a monster grind.

But wasn’t Eureka always some sort of grind? To be clear, I don’t think reducing NM spawns is a good idea because players will always begrudge decisions to make a grind more difficult, and I don’t want to make it sound like I think people are just playing the content wrong, because that’s not it at all. Rather, it seems the real issue is that a lot of people are playing something they don’t really like and expecting it to change. I can’t foresee that happening for as long as it attracts droves who just want to get their relic weapon done.

If you enjoy Eureka, and clearly many do because people always come out to defend it, then power to you — keep at it. But if you don’t, and Pagos has left a particularly bad taste in your mouth, my suggestion would be to take a step away from it and see how things evolve. Catching up is always easier than being on the forefront of the grind, and it’s the clearest message you can send to say that you’re not happy with the direction Eureka’s heading.

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