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

November 2016
Last Active
April 2017
Final Fantasy XIV: The Alpha and the Omega

At long last, it’s time to take the fight to Omega in the Alphascape. The sentient super-weapon that dispatched Shinryu and chased Midgardsormr to Hydaelyn is ready to take on the Warrior of Light in the final tier of the eponymous raid series. It’s been a hell of a journey since we first scuffled with Exdeath in the summer of last year, but the end is within reach if you can handle the challenge. (Expect some mild spoilers.)

Final Fantasy XIV: Talking to Bethan Walker, the Voice Behind Alisaie

Few among Final Fantasy XIV’s cast are as beloved as Alisaie Leveilleur. Since her return to the Scions at the end of Heavensward, she’s won over the playerbase with her sharp wit and sharper tongue. With last week’s release of Patch 4.4, Prelude in Violet, Alisaie is facing one of her most difficult trials yet, as she searches for the truth behind her brother’s disappearance. We got the chance to speak to Bethan Walker, the voice behind the character, about how she brings life to the role.

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.4 Rundown

FFXIV Patch 4.4, Prelude in Violet, went live today! It brings two new dungeons, a new trial, four more raid encounters to end the Omega series — and, of course, a traditionally encyclopedic list of patch notes.

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.

The Hunt for Rathalos is On

I’m not much of a monster hunter. Believe me, I’ve tried. No matter how many times I’ve wandered out of camp ready to slay a lizard several times bigger than me with an egregiously large sword on my back, I always end up struggling with the most basic of foes before being sent home on a stretcher. There are people out there who’re made for this sort of thing, and I’m not one of them.

An Eventful Month Ahead

August is always a busy month for Final Fantasy XIV. True, I’m not sure there’s ever been a major content patch in the dog days of summer, but not only does it mark two seasonal events — the Moonfire Faire and the Rising — but also the anniversary of the game’s rebirth.

Stairway to Heaven

It was a struggle, but I did it: I’ve finally cleared every floor of Heaven-on-High, introduced earlier this month in FFXIV patch 4.35. Long-time readers of this column will know that I was excited for the latest Deep Dungeon for months, and, now I’ve finally managed to clear it, I have to say I’m really satisfied with what was released. Here are my thoughts following my first successful foray to HoH’s greatest heights.

Monster Hunter Crossover, More Eureka & Patch 4.4 News

Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida is back with another live letter. This month’s instalment offers a look about the upcoming Monster Hunter collaboration and the next Eureka expedition, as well as the first concrete details about Patch 4.4, Prelude in Violet.

Heaven on High Fixes One of the Deep Dungeon's Worst Flaws

It’s been a long time coming. Deep Dungeons have returned to FFXIV, with Heaven-on-High offering Stormblood’s take on Palace of the Dead. These randomly generated dungeons were a highlight of Heavensward,and showcased a completely new approach to the game. Now I’ve had some hands-on time with the sequel, something struck me about what PotD got wrong — and HoH gets right.

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.

Returning to Eureka

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.

The Weapon’s Refrain

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.

Greed Isn't Good

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.

Keeping Content Alive

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.

Do Damage Buffs Need a Rework?

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.