Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward starts early access, welcomes back players

Just a heads-up: If you have friends who play Final Fantasy XIV, you may not be seeing them at all today. That’s because early access has begun for the Heavensward expansion, which will go on to officially launch June 23rd.

The patch notes for the expansion are up and cover the incredibly long list of additions, changes, and features. Heavensward adds several new zones to the game, increases the job cap to 60, introduces the Au Ra playable race, and throws in a trio of new classes. Oh, and there might be something about flying.

If the expansion isn’t exciting enough, Square-Enix is hoping to draw back former players with a new welcome back campaign. This will open up the game to play from next Tuesday to Thursday for those who subscribed prior to March 31st and haven’t been in FFXIV since.

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211 Comments on "Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward starts early access, welcomes back players"

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NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

Dope_Danny Wow! I was going to log in today too. So no free log in for previous subscribers?

Dope_Danny
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Dope_Danny

Well Square Enix removed the “return to eorzea” event as including free login time and now just list it as an event to get silver feathers to trade for lvl 120 gear to catchup instead. Just FYI.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

Bereman99 It’s been quite a journey. I’m at the Hard Mode King Moggle Mog trial now and am stressing over it a bit. Never done an HM trial before. I’m watching some videos to prep.

Bereman99
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Bereman99

JonBuck zyrusticae I assume by now you know there’s a not small amount of MSQ content that occurs post-50 but before you can go to Ishgard, including somewhere close to 10 required pieces of group content. I do hope someone warned you of that, that it hasn’t deterred you, that you were able to experience it quickly (and enjoyed the wild ride at the end of 2.5), and now have your very own machinist. I started one shortly after reaching Ishgard myself, and it’s definitely near the top of classes I want to level once my main is 60.

Halaegus
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Halaegus

Estranged Aww you’re so sweet. ♥

Halaegus
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Halaegus

Mmm machinist so sexy.

Dope_Danny
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Dope_Danny

mjfife85 daaaaaaang.

Undahill
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Undahill

Telos_ I’m right there with you. I actually got a refund on my purchase before the game came out. The insanely slow pacing, boring quests are all here as ARR. I thought that SE may make the game less boring since they made this expansion from scratch rather than the old team. So disappointed with it, back to WoW I go.

themindstream
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themindstream

AvatarOP Bannex19 Besides having mostly different animations, that picture is also an extremely conservative example of the customization options. Better examples:comment image (male)comment image (female, image on the left is a succubus monster from the game for comparison).

mjfife85
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mjfife85

Welcome back program is not Tuesday to Thursday, it’s a whole month

Wyattearp1989
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Wyattearp1989

rottenrotny ManastuUtakata breetoplay shaw sbst Lethality And yet they seem to be doing just fine getting new players. 
Oh and yes, there is a disclaimer about having to go through the main quests on Amazon, Square Enix’s store etc. Square has also been saying for months that you have to do the main story quests. Not the devs fault that people haven’t payed attention or didn’t read the on the websites before purchasing.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

ManastuUtakata breetoplay shaw sbst Lethality Oh look it’s that topic that I got berated for bringing up the other day.
I totally get having to get through the story to open up the new zones.
But new race? New job?
If you’re a fresh player, who’s casual, you won’t open up the new stuff for weeks and there’s at least a decent chance you’ll get bored and quit. 
The story quests are veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long winded and quite boring, with all the talk talk talk, imo. 
That coupled with 9999 fedex missions, forced ilvl, forced dungeons, forced primals, forced hm primals and forced raids. All this is daunting and will end up making people lose interest/boring people to tears.
Even with the extra XP and ilvl 110 gear from story quests, it’s likely to take you a week or more if you play a couple hours a day to progress through it and don’t do anything else in the game. Weeks if you don’t play every day. And god help you if you get distracted by any other content in the game, you won’t finish it in any reasonable amount of time.
Why would you buy an expansion you can’t play? 
Why would they sell an expansion with this requirement and not include a disclaimer:
BTW YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO TOUCH THIS CONTENT WITHOUT A WEEK(S) OF STORY QUEST DEDICATION. WANT NEW JOBS OR RACE? LOL TOO BAD NOOB /sarcasm

I said it once and I’ll say it again, Sqenix doesn’t seem to want new players.

Kheran
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Kheran

shaw sbst Hehe sorry, that comment was more toward the OP :) Hildy rules ! :p

Cindy_Adorkly
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Cindy_Adorkly

Hmmm what? If you have nothing of value to say why are you replying? No one is trying to convince you or others of liking anything. The problem is when ppl start criticizing things that are well enough designed as intented. You are free to play a story driven game even if you don’t care about it. But don’t then complain you are pushed to play the story…..
Do you not see the problem there? Going back to my pvp example. If I choose the play a pvp centric game and then complain its not fair I get killed a lot… What kind of response should I expect?

Vagabond_Sam
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Vagabond_Sam

If you are level 50 the expansion throws ilevel115 gear at you. Vendors sell them for a few thousand gil.
The *mandatory* story quests reward xp so just replace the side quests you need to do to level in heavensward anyway.
So you’re not really excluded from anything. The expansion made it no more trivial then leveling content and it gives you a leg up on leveling.
Not to say there aren’t other reasons you aren’t playing. But the expansion does a better job getting newer/behind characters going then many would have others believe

JonBuck
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JonBuck

zyrusticae I’ve made it to Level 49.6. Starting in on the last MSQ group content. Can’t wait to get to Ishgard and my own Machinist. I saw a number of them in Northern Thanalan in play today (and managed to look an Aetherial gun during a Leve). Looked like a literal blast.

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape bakkahentai2600 Sythalin  I agree that the story still needs work – I mean outside of the voice acting, one of the worst things they did was not put much work in character development for the Scions during the Ifrit saga (for Thancred), deal with Sylphs saga (Yda and Palpaymo), and Titan saga (Y’shtola). That would have been the perfect time to do some actual character development and exploration but it was more along the lines of them just telling you where to go and what to do.

zyrusticae
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zyrusticae

I’ve been so busy playing the game I hadn’t even thought to check Massively for the comment thread. 
Game is intensely pretty. It was already good-looking in DX9, but now… yeah. Pretty. I’ll admit I’m kind of cheating with my absurdly overpowered hardware (playing at 3.3k resolution, which is exactly 3x the number of pixels as 2k resolution/1080p) and using Reshade for extra effects. 
Here’s a shot of my current Machinist glamour. I’m not sure what I’m going for right now but I’m pretty pleased with how she looks.

spellotape
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spellotape

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Sythalin For me don’t care=/=hate. The story is fine, but it’s not why I play and though I do sit through cutscenes at least once, the story itself and the characters haven’t really grabbed me – I think maybe part of that is because the English script and voice-acting (where applicable) seems kind of over-wrought or simply bad. Also not fond of the over-use of the word “mayhap”, but that’s nitpicking.
Coming from WoW the whole “dealing with harrassment” (however small/large the scope) seems inadequate by comparison – maybe as the game gets older and introduces new systems it will improve, as obviously WoW’s system didn’t start perfect and still isn’t. This also feels ironic to say since whether deserved or not, WoW has a terrible community reputation. Right now I can’t ignore people from other realms in FFXIV, which isn’t very convenient when you’re in a group with someone the other people won’t kick because they think completing the duty is more important than kicking the racist scumbag (for example). Maybe the game isn’t large enough yet to be able to afford tanks/healers ignoring people. Who knows?

JonBuck
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JonBuck

Well, the Au Ra males certainly are tall, compared to my little catgirl.

Bereman99
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Bereman99

AvatarOP Bannex19 Attack animations (mostly).

There’s like…30 some emotes, plus idle stances, that are different based on gender/race.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

wolfyseyes I played until I hit 49. but I had to take a break. I don’t know if I can get back in game. Last time it took four attempts and 2002 errors. Queue was very short, though.

delmontyb
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delmontyb

bauhau5 If you have a level 50 you’ll find that getting the expansion will still open up the level cap to 60 without any extra effort, so that as you work though the story to get to the new areas, etc. You’ll be leveling up the whole time. Just a thought, but hope you come back, I’m having a blast with the game. :)

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

Loyheta  All of the patch content battles is:
A guildhest
Qarn
Moogle Mog
Leviathan
Ramuh
Snowcloak
Shiva
Ifrit Hard (has to be done before 2.5)
Garuda Hard (has to be done before 2.5)
Titan Hard (has to be done before 2.5)
Keeper of the Lake
Chrysilis
Steps of Fate

Everything else is simple solo quests.

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape bakkahentai2600 Sythalin  I think it comes off as a dismissive attitude that sets someone off and a lot of people mistake bashing as citicism that really gets people going with the story. I’ve personally criticized the story at several points but rarely do I ever end up in a flame war because I’m not general about it. I don’t say something like “it’s generc” but rather “the part with Titan would not feel like filler if each of the Company of Heroes part of the story had you fight a singular boss battle with a mechanic from the Titan fight so anyone going into Titan would recognize it as well as have that part not just be a secret test of character but a way for them to train you.”

Proper tone is hard to come off in written words and I’ve found most people don’t care to try.

Also, while I do get a few more bad eggs than I used to, I don’t really get problems with the community that often in game. It probably helps that SE is extremely strict on that – if you are seeing harassment or facing it, report them. SE actually DOES take care of it.

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape bakkahentai2600 Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno  The difference between you and others is simply put, you understand why they did it. You don’t agree with it, but you get that this is a story centric game. A lot of the “complainers” were and are people who are complaining – and in many cases, whining – that it is story based.

From players that were at least level 50, it’s more annoying because if they interacted with the community at all or read any forums or well, played the game, they should know it. The game didn’t hide it and it continued to gate instances behind story content.

It’s like buying a car, driving it home, and then being surprised you’re expected to drive it anywhere else.

And, SE, at least acknowledges the restraint by making it easier for players. They even flipped the table on Tome grinding by making High level and Low level roulette have the higher payout of tomes compared to expert (80 law for expert, 100 law and 100 poetics for high level, 100 law for low level) to further bring vets back along with having to relevel three new Jobs.

Now I personally wouldn’t mind something like changing dungeons and trials to an “easy solo mode” for ARR content that does a challenge of you playing your role properly through dungeons and trials, but not unlocking it in roulettes or rewarding any actual gear or coffers until you run it properly with a party. I wouldn’t mind something like that.

wolfyseyes
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wolfyseyes

As of this writing, the lobby server housing my RoeLady is being a little crankypantsed, but the time I’ve been able to experience in the game has me delighted. DRK feels like a mesh of WAR and PLD playstyles with a visceral visual edge.
My husband had picked up a Machinist and that too just….it looked GOOD. We both derped around a bit before heading to do the day’s errands.
Looking forward to the servers stabilizing so I can get my big bad cleaver on again. :3

Loyheta
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Loyheta

Still grinding away at that main story. I think I only have a primal and then another quest series and I should be able to open up Ishgard.

spellotape
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spellotape

Cindy_Adorkly spellotape JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno Well, why don’t you take that on board and accept some people can play a “story game” and not like/care about the story. You can insist all you like – I’m not going to automatically start caring, nor do I have to. I’m not obliged to do anything. I didn’t ask for change – I just want to have my opinion without people like you stomping in with your caps and telling me I’m wrong.

spellotape
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spellotape

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno It’s completely irrelevant, though, since they can’t skip the content – they have every right to want to. Like … who is to say they can’t want it? Ultimately the developers will decide what they think is best regardless of opinion. If they do eventually decide that it’s OK for people to skip certain content are you honestly going to do anything to get them to change their position? Sure, you can feel upset about it, but what will that change? In the end what actually happens is out of anyone’s control – how people feel about it is entirely up to them, though.

As someone who cares very little for the story and who did the content as it was coming out, it does just feel like a barrier to entry to me – not a meaningful occurrence (obviously this doesn’t mean it isn’t meanginful/relevant – it was just something I was forced to endure). Getting queued into Steps constantly was a pain, but whatever, I’d stay for as long as the group held. Meanwhile, in the groups which didn’t hold, the hostility and impatience and the fostering of bad feelings grew. They eventually nerfed it and most of that dissipated, but you can’t unwind how people acted in Steps (or any other “challenging” content) when it wasn’t nerfed.

So … I accept they’ve made their decision about this and feel like it’s necessary story-wise. I just don’t care for it.

Cindy_Adorkly
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Cindy_Adorkly

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno We are already forced to skip cutscenes in dungeons in party finder and duty finder. Enough is enough.

spellotape
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spellotape

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Sythalin I completely agree with your assessment. It sucks because I feel like this sort of “defensiveness” wasn’t really prevalent in the first year or so of the game? The older it gets the more people settle in and the less it’s-new-and-everyone-is-friendly-and-helpful-all-of-the-time! it is. I don’t know why anyone would be in denial of it – it doesn’t make the game any less personally enjoyable.
I do, however, think the extreme championing of the “story” is a bit on the obnoxious side. Yeah, I get you love the story, but is it OK if I don’t and play the game for some other reason? Thanks.

Cindy_Adorkly
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Cindy_Adorkly

spellotape Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno I’m not one to not think about my posts before I reply so, whatever. I say what I mean and mean what I say. Don’t agree? That’s okay. Nobody says you have to. 

That said, the game is story DEPENDENT. The allure of this game as an MMO OR as a stand alone series has always been about the STORY. So people come along and all of a sudden want that to change to accommodate their playstyle? I say screw that, find a game that suits your playstyle instead of stomping your feet around when a game dares to do what’s it’s designed to, by choice. 

I don’t go to PVP centric games and demand PVE only zones. If they have them good, if they don’t, then I don’t play. The end. I could care less about your reasons to play, I only care about how the game is designed and if it suits MY playstyle or not. It’s your decision to like things or don’t.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

I think you’re comparing this game too much to ESO, there’s no lizard race, there’s the Au’Ra but they’re not lizards

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

Valkyriez  It was actually more because Yoshi-P likes PvP from what I understand, and quite a few people like the PvP for frontlines (the main complaints are queue times and GC restrictions but there are complaints about the game’s play style being too strict and the 3 second latency or whatever).

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape bakkahentai2600 Sythalin  To be honest, I think a lot of FFXIV players are also really defensive. I think a lot of that comes down to the game being Asian (thus called “anime” and “a grind” in a negative sense rather than possible), and that it’s the game’s second chance and 1.0’s rep still has players saying the game is bad.

People are passionate for anything they put time into, it’s just the way the mind works. It’s the same reason WoW fans will passionately state that no flying was a good thing or that anyone who isn’t enjoying it anymore are just “burnt out” on MMOs rather than mention the quality.

It’s just the way people are.

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape bakkahentai2600 Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno  I recognize that and I don’t think someone is necessarily wrong for not caring. What I DO care about it when players want to break lore or skip content just because they don’t care. Even if they don’t care, the game is centralized on it and it would be unfair for players to want to skip the content just because they don’t want to do older content and most importantly, it would be crippling to the story for players who care.

Dungeons, trials, progression – the story moves this forward, it gives you a push in the direction to go. If the story was made optional, most of this wouldn’t be possible. The dungeons and trials and tribulations your player goes through wouldn’t have any effect or they would have to cut a lot of it out so players who don’t want to do the story won’t be missing so much content.

The way 2.55 ends would be impossible because each expansion would have to be insular – the world would not be able to truly move forward. It would be like reading a book and the sequel acts as if the development, costs, and lessons did not happen, or that the character was not actually there. As if you are viewing it from someone else’s eyes rather than your own.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

Ex’s are optional but fun if you want to do it

MetaDune
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MetaDune

There’s always the towers and coil. The times are for people who just want a casual way of getting good gear

spellotape
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spellotape

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Sythalin I play both games and see the good/bad in both (in terms of the games themselves and the playerbase). Neither needs to put down the other to enjoy their own game and I feel like the bitterness is either ex-players or pointless jockeying for “best game”. Who cares, to be honest?

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape Sythalin  Agreed, I never talk about WoW’s community when I mention the good things about this one.

spellotape
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spellotape

bakkahentai2600 spellotape Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno
 It isn’t being denied or not recognised. What *isn’t* being recognised is that not everyone cares about the story.

bakkahentai2600
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bakkahentai2600

spellotape Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno  Whether you are or are not interested in the story, it should be recognized that SE takes it seriously and is the box of this vertable elevator we are on.

spellotape
Guest
spellotape

Cindy_Adorkly JonathanLeack Dope_Danny chosenxeno I’ve been playing since ARR launched and I’m not really interested in the story, either. Is it OK for people to play games for reasons different from yours? Please think about your answer before responding and don’t try to argue with me about *my* reasons for playing a game – clearly people do things for different reasons.

spellotape
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spellotape

Sythalin You know, people always say FFXIV has the greatest community, but they can’t seem to say a thing without putting down WoW or its community. They’re not all trolls and you’re not all paragons of sunshine and generosity. You can say positive things about FFXIV without being harsh to other games/people.

yolosw3g
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yolosw3g

Bannex19 i’ve found games that do bits and pieces better, but nothing that does everything in the same place as well as this game

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Valkyriez I like the combat. The missions are no worse that any othher mmo including FFXIV. With the exception of the main story and class stuff, of course. I got into the 20’s when it came out originally. I was distracted by another game and I was too cheap to keep playing. I had a lot of fun moments. Getting mugged on a trip accroess the ocean wil always be a cool memory for me.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

PvP is definitely not its strong point. It was tacked on to appeal to those 1% clamouring on the forums for it. I don’t play FFXIV anymore due to other reasons but the best thing about PvP in FFXIV is it can be completely ignored as it has zero impact or integration into the PvE side of the game.
I love me some PvP in my MMOs, but this definitely wasn’t the MMO for it.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

Oooh, lucky you. Archeage or FFXIV……..
I would rather be mauled by a tiger then play Archeage or any other shit made by Trion.

Rohirrim
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Rohirrim

MetaDune chosenxeno except if you want to bypass the weekly lockouts…having 5 jobs on one characters does not help a lot if the tomes cap on character and not on class.

wpDiscuz