final fantasy xiv

Play Final Fantasy XIV
Official Site: Final Fantasy XIV
Studio: Square Enix
Launch Date: September 30, 2010; relaunched August 27, 2013
Genre: Fantasy Hybrid Themepark
Business Model: Subscription (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4

Global Chat: Elder Scrolls Online renaissance

As I peruse a hundred or so community blog posts every day, it's fascinating to me to see what games the MMO blogosphere as a whole is playing and discussing. We sometimes end up flocking to certain titles based on recent announcements or because others are talking them up pretty heavily.

One game that's been getting a lot of mentions on blogs lately is Elder Scrolls Online, with players generally enthusiastic about how it's shaped up into a pretty decent MMO. "It's a really solid game that’s much better than the game that launched," writes Occasional Hero. "Visually, I would probably rank it second behind Black Desert Online for the best-looking MMORPG out there," touts Endgame Variable.

Elder Scrolls Online not your thing? No worries; we have articles covering The Secret World, LOTRO, RIFT, and more in today's community blog roundup!

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Final Fantasy XIV patch 3.5 launches today

First and foremost, a public service announcement: If you want to avoid any potential spoilers for today's Final Fantasy XIV patch, you may want to turn off character titles (it's under character configuration; navigate to Display Name, then look under Other). There's apparently a spoiler in there! It's just best to be proactive. But that probably doesn't matter too much, since that'll likely be the first set of quests you tackle when you log in to Final Fantasy XIV for today's patch.

This patch brings the first steps of the path toward Stormblood, along with two new dungeons, the new alliance raid Dun Scaith, new beast tribe quests, more side story quests, new hairstyles, and so on. It's a lengthy list, in other words. Jump down below to check out our roundup of the patch coverage up to this point before you can log in and start seeing what's going down at Baelsar's Wall.

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Wisdom of Nym: Getting ready for Final Fantasy XIV patch 3.5

Welcome to the next six months of Final Fantasy XIV, folks. Yes, there are going to be more changes over time, adjustments and upgrades to be made, but by and large the state of the game after tomorrow's patch is what you're going to be dealing with for quite some time. It's time to buckle in, wrap things up, take care of sidequests, and otherwise get ready for the long wait until Stormblood releases.

Fortunately, we're getting a meaty patch first, as you do. So while you might get a little bored with what's on display by the time June rolls around, at least you'll have something to do with reasonable consistency.

As is the tradition before each major patch, I'm taking a look at the patch notes and evaluating what we see therein before the actual patch goes live. It's possible that we might wind up with some other particularly cool additions or some neat stuff might be different when we're playing it, but... at this point, we'll just have to wait for Tuesday.

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Final Fantasy XIV details its GARO crossover event

It should be evident by now that Final Fantasy XIV is more than willing to have crossovers that not everyone will love. If the Yo-kai Watch crossover wasn't to your taste, that's fine; perhaps you'll prefer the new crossover with the Japanese show GARO. Or perhaps you won't care much for the crossover, but you will care for picking up some pretty new dyeable armor in exchange for PvP. Whichever one works, ultimately.

The GARO-inspired armor is available in two separate forms; you can purchase undyeable versions for MGP, or you can pick up dyeable versions as PvP rewards. This coincides with improvements to PvP which will allow players to queue up for Frontline independent of FC affiliation, so it'll be even easier to get into the matches you need whether you want GARO gear or other rewards. There are also equine mounts available for those who rack up impressive kill streaks, so you may want to take part in PvP either way. Check out a trailer for the crossover event just below; it starts when patch 3.5 goes live on January 17th.

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Final Fantasy XIV releases the preliminary notes for patch 3.5

Players will have to wait until Tuesday to actually experience everything in Final Fantasy XIV's Patch 3.5, but that doesn't mean you can't still get a visceral feel out of the patch notes. The preliminary version (i.e. the version without the materials for new crafted items) is out now, giving players a look at all of the content meant to hold players over until the release of Stormblood in June. And to the surprise of no one... well, there's a lot in there.

The patch brings two new dungeons, a new alliance raid, a new trial, new quests for the main scenario, new beast tribe quests, new side story quests... lots of content, in other words. It also brings along plenty of system changes with cross-server parties, egi glamours, more structural improvements to Idyllshire, and so forth. And there's even more to the patch once part two releases in March, but the large amount of content in this patch alone should keep players occupied for quite some time.

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Massively Overthinking: Tab-target vs. action combat in MMORPGs

Massively OP patron Duane is kicking the new year off right: with a brawl over combat types in MMOs.

"Tab-target, action, or hybrid combat, for many MMO gamers the combat system, regardless of whether it is a well-made, is a deal maker or breaker," he writes -- I like to imagine he wrote it with a mischievous glint in his eye. "What is the superior combat system, and why is it superior (please give examples)? Let the battle-lines be drawn!"

I posed his question to the MOP writers for this week's Overthinking. Here we go!

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Final Fantasy XIV shows off new camera features coming with patch 3.5

You can do a lot with Final Fantasy XIV's /gpose feature. You have access to all sorts of camera options that you can use to create the ideal screenshot, something that really shows off your artistic side. And that's just with the feature as it stands now; when patch 3.5 releases next week, the feature is getting even more robust, allowing you to take even more elaborate shots and apply all sorts of filters.

Players will be able to position three separate light sources using the /gpose camera features, with each light source having variable position and hue. You can also loop certain emotes, use status expressions, add filters, adjust the roll angle of the camera... in short, you can do lots of things before you pick out just the right frame and take the screenshot. Just remember to at least complete some of the storyline quests before you spend an entire day getting ready for your close-up.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 99: Landmark goes into the dark

We're not yet a full week into the new year and we've already been delivered news of a major shutdown. In today's episode, Bree and Justin talk about the fallout of the Landmark announcement, the Hi-Rez Expo, and several major patches.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Wisdom of Nym: Preparing for Final Fantasy XIV's patch 3.5

It occurred to me as I penned last week's column that I hadn't actually been talking about Final Fantasy XIV's next patch very much at all. I discussed our first preview of the patch back in November, and then... nothing. Not a word. Pretty much all of my attention has been mirroring that of the larger community, which has a whole lot of thoughts and theories about Stormblood but has largely left the speculation train at the station for the next big patch that's going to lead into the expansion.

So perhaps you can look at the timing of this patch intentionally. It can be a weaker patch and no one is paying attention. If "weaker patch" meant much for FFXIV, anyhow.

At this point we don't have the patch notes, but we do have the trailer, and that means we have some idea of what we're going to be dealing with once the patch goes live. So let's talk a bit about that before we're analyzing raw gameplay, because I feel like it deserves more space in the sun than it has had.

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The Daily Grind: What's the most intellectual MMORPG?

We got a wonderful "deep thoughts" email from reader James earlier this week that serves as the backdrop for this morning's Daily Grind.

"It could be the whiskey talking, or the newness of coming back to a game after a year, but I am finding Final Fantasy XIV much more intellectual and meditative than World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic, etc. What MMO makes you think the hardest while playing?"

I'm going to resist the urge and say EVE aka Spreadsheets Online and instead give my nod to Lord of the Rings Online, which always makes me feel like I'm plodding through an intentionally archaic historical novel -- and I mean that in the nicest possible way. How about you folks? What do you think is the most intellectual MMORPG, the kind you can't just faceroll your way through because it really makes you think?

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Final Fantasy XIV posts its trailer for patch 3.5

The last patch of this expansion cycle for Final Fantasy XIV goes live on January 17th, and as usually happens, we've got a brand-new trailer to go along with it. As usual, it's also nice and lengthy, covering pretty much all of the content that you can expect to see in the patch, including things that will be added in slightly after the main patch date. The game has had major patches before now, so the patterns are well-worn.

Patch 3.5 will help guide the story transition into Stormblood as well as concluding the 24-person raid that's run through this expansion, and it contains the usual assortment of main story quests, new dungeons, new hairstyles, and new emotes. Players will also have access to new Beast Tribe quests, and the trailer shows off the revised Diadem exploratory area which is planned for launch in March. Check out the trailer just below.

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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Final Fantasy XIV previews Dun Scaith and side stories

The end of the Heavensward patch cycle for Final Fantasy XIV is just around the corner, and it's bringing along plenty of stuff for players to do. Sure, there's the main scenario to clear, but what about the end of the Mhach storyline? What about Hildibrand? The answers to these questions and more can be found in the new official previews.

Dun Scaith was originally meant to serve as a refuge for the Mhach peoples, but the disaster that befell the Void Ark meant that its residents never arrived; instead, it now serves as a nest for the voidsent rallying around Diabolos. Meanwhile, Hildibrand is hot on the trail of his adopted son Gigi (who is not anyone's child, and is in fact a mammet), and the Scholisticate's students are dealing with the political upheaval in Ishgard as well as they ever have been. (Badly, in other words.)

You can also check out several screenshots below previewing gear, the battles involved in the side story, and some of the new crossover event gear coming in the not-too-distant future.

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