Final Fantasy Month: Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn

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The Plot

A plot? To an MMO? Surely you jest!  No. Actually, FFXIV has a quite extensive plot tied to its ‘Main Scenario’ storyline that carries you from the first level all the way to the level cap and beyond.  It often sees new chapters added with content patches every few months and in my opinion is one of the best aspects of this game that no other MMO can come close to in quality.

You can find a complete breakdown of the 2.0 (A Realm Reborn) storyline here on this site.  There are spoilers.

The story continues in the first expansion: Heavensward.  Dealing with the tragic fallout of the events of the end of A Realm Reborn’s story, the Warrior of Light and his companions seek refuge in the northern lands of Ishgard.  There they find themselves embroiled in the political schemings of noble houses and Ishgard’s theocratic government as they deal with the renewed onslaught of the dravarian (dragon) horde.  The Warrior of Light takes it upon themselves to seek out the leaders of the dragons and see if a truce can be established as it was in years long past. Through the adventure, the Warrior of Light must face off with the Garlean Empire once more now bolstered by their new emperor and expose an ancient conspiracy that will shake the faith and people of Ishgard to its core.

My Opinions

I love Final Fantasy XIV.  Rarely have I ever found such a rich story experience in an MMO.  You grow to learn the NPCs and get to the point of caring about them and feel sad when tragic events happen to them.  I can’t say that I’ve had that experience in SWTOR, and only occasionally in WoW. The world of Eorzea draws you in and feels alive as you explore it and become familiar with its history and people.

It’s a shame that the actual gameplay can feel like such a slog at times.

Not to say that it’s outright bad or even lousy.  But it is slow, which is something that will come as a bit of a jarring change if you come from other MMOs.  The global cooldowns are longer, the auto attack is slower, and the overall leveling experience is reminiscent of vanilla WoW in its pace. None of these things are inherently bad – but they can be draining after a while or even shocking to new players.  On the other hand, these changes seem to produce a very different community than one would find in say WoW.  The mellow pace almost seems infectious.  I never see people screaming for faster and bigger pulls or growing impatient with newbie tanks or healers.  I mean, there will always be assholes, but overall it seems that FFXIV has a little bit more…  relaxed view on things.

The real thing that brought down the game for me was actually not any of those things, but doing them multiple times.  See, unlike other games, you aren’t locked into a single ‘class’ or even limited in your professions in XIV.  Instead, it uses a modified version of the Job System where each class and profession is a different Job that you can switch to and level independently.  Which is awesome. Until it occurs to you that if you were a completionist that means leveling 15 or so jobs, and only the first one gets the bonus of having the Main Scenario quests. This is made up for with various repeatable mini-quests called Levequests that you can grind on over and over.  But there’s usually only 3-4 per 5 levels and they can get repetitive easily.  The other drawback to the Job System is equipment.  Some jobs can only use certains weapons, or armor types and also prioritize different stats.  So you end up needing a lot of equipment and crafting materials should you choose to pursue everything – and you have very VERY limited space to store things.  It’s a constant juggling act of compromises to decide what to keep or drop if you want to keep stuff around for your other jobs.

Beyond that – at least to me – it’s a great MMO to play.  There’s a ton of stuff to do and more constantly coming down the pipeline.  If you ever need a break from your current MMO or want to try one out and really like story, I’d recommend this one.  And if you ever wanna say ‘Hi’ you can find me on Faerie in the US servers.  Just look up ‘Vrykerion’.

May the light of the Crystals guide your way!

Do you have any great memories from these classic Final Fantasy games? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Posted on November 23, 2016, in Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Month and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I dunno… I’m at 60 on all combat jobs, 3/3 gathering jobs, and 5/8 crafting jobs (with the last 3 coming up steadily) and I’m not having any inventory trouble. Plus you get a big xp bonus for later jobs coming up, dungeon xp was bumped way up so simply running 3-5 dungeons is enough to get you a level. It can go quickly. Heck, I’ve even done expert dungeon roulette at level 60 and had the healer still have the green leaf newbie symbol (which indicates less than 40 hours of /played time) next to his name, so…. leveling can be fast if you know how.

    That said… I’ve always enjoyed the leveling process in any mmo far more than hitting the level cap. that’s why I always have an army of alts, really. I hit cap on one, and reroll to the next. FFXIV lets me have all my alt-itis in a single character, at least….. That said, I also have a 2nd character that’s also 60 on 1 combat job so that my 6-yr old daughter can use it to fly around HW zones instead of mine……

    • A lot of my inventory woes come namely from the fact that I hold on to anything that might be useful in the future. Those 2 toadskins? In the bag. That level 50 tooth? In the bag. Doesn’t matter what my jobs levels are at. I keep everything that can be used and any piece of equipment that will be viable for any alt jobs I level. So I end up with like… 13 lances, 10 one handed swords, and a myriad of armor pieces ranging from level 10 to level 60. I only break them down into Materia once every class that can make use of them is leveled beyond them.

      As for leveling, I know how to level fast. I just… can’t bring myself to do it. The sheer amount of repetition kills it for me. Dungeon Roulette, same 5 leves over and over, and the same group of Fates. I can only do all that for so long before I get tired of it, and if I don’t want to burn out on the game I need to do other stuff, which slows things down. So yes, leveling is fast if you don’t mind the grind. Which plenty of folks don’t. But it gets me down.

      • FWIW, when I was leveling my daughter’s character up, I really just followed the MSQ since I was only worried about the single job on it. I hit 50 about the time that the initial MSQ would get you there, then was 53.99% when I finished up all the MSQ quests from 2.0-2.55. The 1st quest I did in Ishgard running around to “learn the city” dinged me to 54.

        I then only did the MSQ quests and the few side quests required to unlock flight in each zone and hit 60 well before I was done in Azys Lla, so should I ever decide to go back on that character to level up another job (not likely since my daughter likes her fairy and “squirrel” pets) I’d still have pretty much every side quest in the game to use for the 2nd run through. And then have to grind out all the other jobs 😉

        Yeah, not happening.

      • Yeah, I wish I had thought of that when I first played my character. I did EVERYTHING. Only then realizing when I started a second Job, that hey maybe I should have saved a bunch of those side quests. XD Hindsight and whatnot.

      • Well the reason I did it like that on my daughter’s character is that I was like you on my own — I did *everything* on my 1st job, so every other job was fate and dungeon grinding for the most part.

  2. Hm, the autor didnt really play the game or it is different on non EU servers.

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