Let me make an agreement with you, dear readers: this column about Final Fantasy XIV
will not talk about the housing situation in Shirogane at all. If you’re wondering “why wouldn’t you cover that,” the answer is that I already did and you can read the whole feature on that
. (You can also read the follow-up
.) So for the remainder of this column, we’re going to talk about all of the other features of this particular patch, which seems like a better use of our time anyway.
Heck, the whole stupid housing mess was only released with this patch, it’s not like the mechanics or anything are new.
And hey, there’s some good stuff going on with this patch, along with parts that are well worth discussing for where they don’t work as well. So let’s dive right in, starting with the obvious centerpiece of every patch, the continued expansion of the game’s storyline… as perfunctory as it may feel sometimes. Some mild spoilers are possible, so be fairly warned.
Another All Saints’ Wake is approaching once more in Final Fantasy XIV
, and that means players will need to deal with the usual antics of the Continental Circus
and its associated void-based schemes. Of course, this year also sees the addition of a woman from Othard with an… unusual
set of traits. Given the year’s rewards, one may be certain that the Lupin are going to be involved somewhere along the line.
Yes, the latest set of festivities will award you the chance to dress up like a werewolf to terrify onlookers and irritate the heck out of any Lupin who are now being mocked by your getup. There are also housing decorations for those who prefer to fill their houses with pumpkins rather than dressing up in a costume; the game allows for either. The event starts on October 19th and runs through November 1st, so you can be dressing up with a tail and humming “Werewolves of London” before the week is out.
Last week, MOP’s Justin (friend to man and beast alike) posted his list of MMOs he would recommend people play. It was a pretty good list! It wasn’t the list I would have written, but that’s why we’re separate people and not a single fused mass pulling ourselves along on withered, inhuman appendages. That would cause lots of problems in our respective marriages, for one thing. Also, it’d probably render us ineligible to collect multiple paychecks.
One thing I did not ask, however, was why he didn’t include World of Warcraft as a game he would recommend, even though some of our readers wondered it aloud. I would think that the reason for that would be pretty obvious, given that it was a list of Justin’s recommendations. But because I do love being contrary, there’s a good list of reasons why no one, ever, should recommend World of Warcraft as a game to be tried. Under any circumstances. Let’s even make it a nice round dozen reasons… but then subtract two, for no good reason.
If you missed this particular bit of drama, here’s the TL;DR recap. Final Fantasy XIV
releases patch 4.1, which includes the new housing wards. Those wards are gone before the first hour has passed, meaning that the vast majority of people who wanted something for housing didn’t get anything. A light is shined, yet again, on the fact that housing in the game has serious design issues
for availability. Clear on all that? Great, now you can appreciate the official response from director Naoki Yoshida
No, this is actually a good thing.
Yoshida’s response explains, in no uncertain terms, that the team vastly underestimated the number of people looking forward to housing in Shirogane and will be working to add additional housing plots for the game’s next major patch. There’s also the implication that sales and even structure for these plots may be notably different, as the team is reviewing a great deal of feedback to prevent the Shirogane issues from showing up again. To avoid speculation, nothing will be announced on this until it is ready. While it’s too early to say exactly what form this will take, it seems clear that the complaints about how badly housing has been handled will result in some changes.
Patch 4.1 arrived in Final Fantasy XIV
, and the Shirogane housing rush came and went exactly how everyone familiar with the game had been expecting for months on end. The plots available sold out in a matter of minutes, the people who were lucky enough to get in ahead of the queues were the ones who got new houses, and everyone else was left to rant and rave. Frankly, it all worked great, technically speaking; there were no sudden disconnections, no horrid lag spikes, no zone crashes, nothing. Everything worked exactly as it was supposed to and nothing broke, which means that by definition, nothing went wrong.
Well, unless you count shining a harsh light on the game’s horribly misguided housing design as “something going wrong.”
A lot of discussions about this seem to be missing the point. It’s not that what happened with Shirogane housing was a disaster; it was a model of efficiency and the game working as intended. Calling it a disaster is mischaracterizing the situation, making it seem like something didn’t work, when the real problem is an underlying issue of an open-world housing system that completely fails to adequately serve the needs of players.
Yes, Final Fantasy XIV
has dropped patch 4.1
; if you were trying to get a house, you both already knew that and are already out of luck. To the surprise of absolutely no one who has seen this happen before, housing sold out within moments of the servers coming up, something that has been joked about on the game’s subreddit for months now (there’s a reason they call it Shirogane Savage
). This is, of course, not a new problem
. Further analysis on that problem can wait until… oh, let’s say tomorrow; this system isn’t becoming less messy before that.
On the other hand, there’s still plenty of other content in the patch to enjoy, with an expanded main scenario, new Beast Tribe quests, the Royal City of Rabanastre, and so forth. You can check out the full patch notes on the official site (although some of the items are still not listed in the notes) and check out the trailer for the patch down below.
Here we are, folks, staring down the barrel of the latest major patch. If you’re feeling a minor set of trepidation simply because that means it’s time to contend with Final Fantasy XIV
housing and all the racing that implies… well, I’m right there with you. But hey, however that turns out tomorrow morning, there’s new stuff to do in the actual patch, and I always do like to pick apart the patch notes when the time rolls around.
The notes are as extensive as ever, of course, so I’m going to be hitting the highlights rather than going line-by-line. The patch as a whole does feel a little bit thinner, but there are some pretty notable changes tucked in there that you either didn’t notice or did notice and might not have internalized. So let’s take a trip down patch note lane.
I might not pick one of Final Fantasy XIV’s Lalafell as an ideal combat companion, but when it comes to staging adorable photogenic moments? I would say that they are ideal.
Reader Vexia nodded off to a bunch of fluffy sheep in today’s headlining pic: “It’s totally worth it ’cause then you can count them all to fall asleep. I guess this qualifies as being ‘in my element’ too: surrounded by fluffy cuteness.”
Ack. We need a palette cleanser! Truck in some gratuitous gore and oversized spiders!
The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
is almost here, but just because the patch isn’t coming out until October 10th doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the patch notes right now. Yes, as usually happens, the preliminary patch notes are here
, and while they don’t include new items to avoid stockpiling, you can still peruse the extensive list of changes while gearing up for the rush to pick up a house in Shirogane following the update.
Along with the major features already announced, the patch includes the new Alliance Raid Roulette, a restructuring of Labyrinth of the Ancients to match party groupings from other 24-person runs (i.e. three tanks instead of six), new housing decorations to let you place wallpapers on partitions, new currency storage for ventures and beast tribe tokens, and so on. Check out the full patch notes for all of the changes; as always, they are extensive.
Ever played Epic Tavern? Massively OP reader Uli though it would make an interesting point of comparison for MMO content. “Epic Tavern is a single player game where you run a fantasy tavern frequented by heroes for a drink, food, bed for the night, and you can try to persuade those NPC heroes to go on a quest for you, sharing the spoils,” he explains.
“A comment I read suggested that would be great for MMO taverns: player running a tavern being able to give quests in the game to players frequenting the tavern. I know there are options for player run quests, but this would be different: pre-existing or otherwise player-made and engine-supported quests that are bestowed on player to match their group or skill level. And of course it would mean that visiting a tavern and meeting other players would finally have a point beyond mere chatting/RP. Ensuring people spent time in taverns to interact with would really help the socializing/third-space-in-virtual-rooms issue. But could it work in a MMO? Would that be abused for loot/rewards, biased quest assignment/withholding based on favors? Or what other problems could that cause?”
A lot of our writers and readers have experience with player-generated content, so I thought it would be fun to build on the ideas of Epic Tavern for Uli in this week’s Overthinking. Which MMOs have (or desperately need) great PGC, and when have you seen it go wrong? Could a formal, mechanical system for quest-giving like Epic Tavern’s work in an MMO, or is it something best left to the roleplayers?
How long have you been playing Final Fantasy XIV
? If the answer is “years,” you probably already have most of the game’s veteran rewards, but considering that the top-tier veteran reward requires 1440 subscribed days (for reference, that’s nearly four years
) you can all but give up on seeing those rewards if you’re new. Which is probably why the system is changing with patch 4.1
; players will now get the top-tier reward of the much-compressed system within 330 days, and eligible players will get all retroactive rewards. Players can acquire removed rewards via achievement certificates if they didn’t already have them before the change.
The patch is also simplifying the job gauges for those who prefer a more straightforward display; simplified gauges offer the same information, but much more compact formats, and can be customized per gauge and per job where applicable. Check out the full post on all of the trimmed-down forms, which should make it a little easier to make a clean layout unfettered by too much visual noise. You can also check out a pile of screenshots for hairstyles, emotes, and other content just below.
If you have ever visited the MMORPG subreddit, you probably know that one of the most frequent posts that pop up are ones asking the community for recommendations. These are players who have left a full-time game and are now fishing around for a substitute, or those who have “played them all” and are hoping that some undiscovered gem exists, or are having a difficult time finding a good game match for their preferred playstyle.
I am often leery about tossing out blanket recommendations because it’s far better to get to know a player, his or her game history, and the type of game sought before giving my opinion. But if you were to put a fish cannon to my head and threatened me with rapid-codding, I think I would be generally OK promoting the following 10 MMORPGs to most players, sight unseen.
These are MMOs that have earned my personal recommendation and are the titles that I tend to promote the most. Here we go!
Well, time to get my running shoes on, Final Fantasy XIV’s
next patch is coming out on October 10th and I’m aiming for a Large house. After I’m done with that, I can think about everything else in the patch. We already heard about some of it during the previous reveals, of course, but now we’ve got a bit more context for the additional… er, additions. And that’s not counting the stuff we still don’t know about, elements which I’m willing to be we’ll hear about when the patch actually goes live and for interval patches after 4.1 launches.
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.