Wisdom of Nym: The last batch of revelations for Final Fantasy XIV 4.1
So let’s talk a little bit about what we’re getting with this patch, along with the things we’re not getting and the elements that raise an eyebrow slowly. We’ve already mostly heard about several parts coming with the patch, but let’s start with the updates coming to Adventurer Squadrons, a feature that was sadly kind of introduced without full expansion and is hopefully coming into its own with the next patch.
Aqua Unit Adventurer Squad One
First and foremost, the fact that we’re getting several new workout emotes is alone pretty great. It’s not the new smoking emote that I (along with several other people) dearly want, but it’s a step in the right direction. The one thing I hope is that there’s more rewards than just those emotes from running dungeons, as I’d like for hitting dungeons with my personal team of losers to be at least mildly evergreen.
What else could the dungeons give us? Well, glamours. All the glamours. Gosh, I love glamours so much.
I’m curious to see how glamouring said team will work out in the long run; there are lots of possibilities, but I can see it being a bit resented if it turns out to basically just be another form of storage or if it requires glamour prisms. Both are fraught with issues. Of course, requiring special items you receive from those dungeons would solve both, although I hope that’s not all we get from them.
Tomestones and seals are possible, of course, but I feel like the former would be a bit generic in particular. I look forward tot he challenge of bringing teams through dungeons, but tomes aren’t hard to get normally, and I think it’s going to make for an interesting challenge to peg the rewards to, well, the challenge involved.
Of course, there’s one obvious reward – more Allied Seal gear combined with Allied Seals being rewarded. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, as we will have to wait for the list of possible dungeons. Wanderer’s Palace seems to be on the list, and we’ll have to also see how long the dungeon runs are and how true they remain to their original format.
Regardless, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air for a system that has, by and large, become a little superfluous past the promotion missions. We’ll have to see how things work out in terms of challenge, but the promise is exciting.
Challenge, challenge, challenge
Speaking of challenge, there’s another EX primal (functionally) and a beyond-hard mode for the players who absolutely need to prove how great they are. That is… well, it’s there. I think it interfaces rather badly when you consider the fact that the patch explicitly removes one dungeon from the overall rotation, but I also like the idea of people trying and failing to clear out the Unending Coil, so I’ll reserve judgement. The rewards are only a marginal improvement anyhow.
As for Shinryu… well, Shinryu’s been overhyped as being “so hard” for a while now, so I look forward to seeing what the Extreme version looks like. My personal opinion has long been that he’s not so bad, just a bit tricky, and he gets harder just because you can’t really outgear him ahead of time. It’s still content that doesn’t really interest me, but I’m glad it exists.
Double MOBA time
My big question with Rival Wings is whether it’s going to bring along new PvP cosmetic gear. If not… well, it’s not going to matter much to me for a while, because most of the PvP gear that I wanted for cosmetics is already mine. Frontlines are crazy easy to run now, marks pile up quickly, and we had a long chunk of time to get most of the cosmetics we could want. So I’m also hopeful for new cosmetics simply because wow, this looks fun.
I’ve already remarked that the new PvP game mode feels like a bit of a MOBA-fied version of FFXIV, and Rival Wings seems to be explicitly reinforcing that, so I’m predisposed to like it. The fact that it includes lots of Goblin machinery is icing on the cake, and the overall gameplay feels like something that I could really enjoy. So I’m curious to see how it plays out in the long run.
Part of me also wonders if there will be more reward mounts akin to the GARO mounts, which themselves were pretty cool to pick up. I’d love for a Cruise Chaser mount to fly around on, possibly one that transforms when flying or on the ground; we have the Falcon doing the same thing, after all.
Here’s your custom delivery
Not going to lie, part of me feels weird about getting custom deliveries before we have Stormblood exploratory missions or deep dungeon versions. Then again, I like M’naago, so it’s still a good thing, and my hope is that she’s the first of many delivery clients in this particular expansion. The framework is all there for these to occur more often than once per expansion, after all.
I’m also excited for the Kojin quests, although once again we’re in the position of learning more about a beast tribe whom we interact with extensively during the main story. The Ananta may have made more sense for a first choice; then again, since you can start in on the Kojin at level 63, the point may be to make this accessible for leveling more quickly. Still, more turtles are welcome, and if we could have the beast tribe costume be dyeable, that’d be even better.
Other stuff to like
I’ve been on board for the idea of Return to Ivalice even if I’ve been curious about the functional side of things from the beginning, but hearing the trailer actually use some of the Final Fantasy Tactics battle music really made it even better. Plus, the presence of bangaa only reinforces the idea that Viera are not off the table just yet.
The odds of me getting the sort of Viera I’d really like may be slim, but I can still be excited about the chance.
Simplified job gauges feels like something with varied applications depending on the gauge in question. Some are already pretty simple (White Mage), some are straightforward enough without further simplification (Red Mage), some can definitely benefit from easier information (Black Mage). It’s nice that the option will exist, though.
A lot of the other changes feel like quality of life improvements or somewhat mixed options; balance changes, for example, will depend a lot on how the actual balance shifts play out. Making it a bit easier to reach Life of the Dragon makes sense, though; it requires some number shifting, but less buildup for the job is probably a good thing in the long run.
I’ve seen some people already opining that this patch feels a bit smaller than comparable patches, and while I don’t wholly agree with that, I do think there’s an argument to be made. We’re down one dungeon from what we got in, say, patch 4.1, and in exchange we don’t seem to have gotten much new; if you think of Unending Coil has requiring that extra development time, most players seem to have lost out on a whole. (I believe it’s been stated before that Unending Coil was not the culprit, so to speak, but I don’t have that reference on-hand right now.)
Of course, part of me thinks there’s more stuff we still don’t know about that makes up the difference; we haven’t heard about new Egi glamours, for example, and while there’s no certainty we’re getting new ones with this patch, it seems like something we very well might not hear about until the patch itself. That’s disregarding the fact that we don’t know how much work went into the new Perform system or the squadron updates.
And then there’s the stuff we’ve heard about but hasn’t been discussed, like an Alliance Raid roulette. Is that still in the mix? We can hope so, but we don’t know right now.
Ultimately, patch 4.1 does feel as if it’s a little bit thinner than previous patches, but I think some of that is fruit that we’re not going to just see this patch. If we get both the Deep Dungeon and Eureka in 4.2, that’ll put paid to all of that and give us space to get more new things through the rest of the expansion. While this patch doesn’t seem to have quite the same number of marquee new features we might expect from the first major patch, that might not be a bad thing at the end of the day.
Feedback, like always, is welcome in the comments below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, well, it’s the patch note analysis and survival guide, like always. Let’s get ready to race!