Final Fantasy XIV: My New Favourite Fantasy

Final Fantasy. Damn. Where the hell to start with this one. Truth be told, even if I tried to begin from the very first 1980s game, there would just be no point. I would be here all night, yammering to myself as each of you fall fast asleep. Rather than issue myself out to the masses as a new form of Nyquil I will instead say that it a huge and complex videogame franchise. Pushing aside the various spin-offs and sequels, the main iterations are fantasy role-playing games. Each bring an individual story and world, and may either be traditional high fantasy or futuristic sci-fi, or a little of both. There are recurring aspects such as flightless feathered steeds known as Choccobos, godlike summons, and an engineer named Cid. But all in all each title offers something fresh and unique, and as such every fan has its favourites. Personally I shall forever love FFIV, FFIX, and, in a recent addition, FFXIV.

Final Fantasys XI and XIV are the only online MMO titles of the series and thus could be seen by traditionalists as the black sheep of the family. Reportedly XI had a lot of problems with it. As it was a PC only release I was unable to try it. On a worse note, XIV quite literally died upon release. Fucked up to all hell by bugs, glitches, network errors, unfinished gameplay, balancing issues, and the like, developers Square Enix refused to let their second attempt die. And so we got a full makeover in the form of A Realn Reborn, which was subsequently ported to home consoles.

I tried it back on PS3 and enjoyed it for a time. However it was when I got a PS4 that I finally sank some time into it. It was shortly after that I took the plunge and subscribed. Though I had dabbled in a few MMOs over the years such as Wakfu, Shin Megami Online, and World Of Warcraft, none of them truly caught me the way FFXIV has. I may give up on it for a few months, yet I always seem to come back. Is it because it’s the only MMO that doesn’t seem to suffer in any way for being on consoles? Or that it already has a long-established lore that I’m familiar with? Most likely it is both of these partnered with a fantastically well-designed combat system, cleverly scripted characters and story, and huge intriguing environments all realised with beautiful HD graphics. Either way I love it.

Final Fantasy XIV the nonsense of such disappointments as FFXIII and instead goes back to the series’ traditional roots. The world is largely high fantasy with some sci-fi aspects, and the combat feels akin to XII. A game that already felt like an offline MMO. As well as reminding me of everything I love about Final Fantasy, this game has encouraged me to learn much about MMOs and led me to adapt. As well as purchasing an external keyboard I’ve asked and thus learnt much about terms, practices and general ettiquette. The roles of DPS, Tank, Healer each have their part to play. Best to join an FC (Free Company, aka a guild). Tanks pull, DPS spanks the boss and deals with adds, healers heal and support. Minions and mounts are cool, as is glamour. Raids seemed terrifying but now I’m psyched for such huge ventures. FATE (pop-up event) grinds are good for levelling. Role Players are amusing to watch though I respect their dedication also. Waiting for Duty Finder for dungeons, trials, and raids, especially for DPS, takes way longer than the stated ‘average’ time. A little help and hospitality goes a long way. Though some parties can be nightmares, especially if the tank is a dick. And that’s just a few quick things that come to mind.

Well, today I finally reached level 50 with my Dragoon and beat the first story arc. I’ve bought the new expansion Heavensward in advance which will offer new locales and quests, a raised level cap of 60, flying mounts, a new race, and 3 new classes. I stiill have a long ways to go but I’m excited. Now I just have to look into Item Levels as they seem to be more important than actual level at this point. If any of you play and fancy adding me the feel free! My PSN is TitanX-88 and my character is Arcus Blu’Vael. Good hunting everyone!

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