With the swelling of excitement over this week’s early access start to Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, the studio is taking all precautions to handle what it anticipates to be a crush of existing, new, and returning players.
For starters, Square Enix has opened up a brand-new world, Omega, on the Chaos data center. Players won’t be allowed to transfer off of this server for 90 days after creating their characters, although there are incentives (such as the waiving of the fee and a gift of chocobo feathers) for those who want to immigrate onto the world. Transferred characters will also receive reimbursement for their personal housing (if any is owned).
Additional incentives for creating characters on Omega will go into place until the population rises high enough. These include double XP until level 60, 10 silver chocobo feathers, a million gil, and 15 days of free play time. The last two rewards are given only to characters that reach level 30 in a class during this bonus period.
There are also lesser incentives being given to those who roll or transfer characters on a “designated” world with a reduced population.
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:
Friday is the start of early access for those who have pre-ordered Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
, so it’s going to be a pretty happy day for a lot of players. It also marks the end of support for the game’s PlayStation 3 client
, so you’ll need to be playing on either the PlayStation 4 or on PC in order to continue enjoying the game.
Fortunately for everyone who prefers having it on consoles, you get an automatic free upgrade to the PS4 version, so all you’ll need to do is actually have a PS4 if you want to keep going. Since this was announced months ago, odds are high that everyone making the switch has already done so, but consider this your last-chance reminder. And if you have a great deal of affection for the last-generation console version of the game, make sure to log in today, since tomorrow will have the servers down for maintenance all day.
We’ve had many chats here on Massively OP concerning the best and most flexible player housing systems in MMORPGs — and lamented games that lack such systems entirely. But today I would like us to discuss housing systems that ultimately let us down.
Last weekend I jumped through a ton of hoops to finally get a small apartment in Final Fantasy XIV, only to find myself let down by the end product. The prerequisites were annoying, the cost prohibitive, and the decoration tools basic and weirdly difficult to use. Although perhaps the biggest let down in this category came with Guild Wars 2’s home instances, which during the lead-up to launch I had envisioned as being a much larger housing system. Now I know the truth, that the only customization I can put into these areas is a big hunk of candy corn to mine.
Which MMO housing system disappointed you? For a bonus topic, would you rather a lackluster housing system over no housing at all?
What’s the most newbie-friendly MMO? According to Pete at Dragonchasers, it’s Final Fantasy XIV. He’s been pretty impressed by the support structure that the game has in place for new and returning players.
“I don’t usually interact with other players in MMOs (ironic, I know) but when I was randomly invited into the Novice Network I accepted,” he wrote. “It’s a pretty active channel and at least for the short time I’ve been in it, quite civil […] This experience drew me out of my shell a bit, and by Sunday afternoon I’d dug out a bluetooth keyboard so I could talk in the Novice Network more easily. Overall the way FFXIV welcomed me as a player kind of re-kindled my love of MMOs.”
In this week’s MMO blogger roundup, we have essays on LOTRO’s attention span, the thought behind soloing in online games, and first impressions of Black Desert. Read on!
Blood will be spilled in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
. That’s almost a given. But blood gets spilled on a regular basis in the real world, and so the team behind Final Fantasy XIV
has launched what will probably go down as the most unexpected cross-promotional deal in history. If you’re on the ground for E3 2017
, you can head over to take part in the Stormblood
blood drive in cooperation with the American Red Cross.
Those who take part will earn the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve helped make the world a better place as well as a t-shirt. The Stormblood-themed bloodmobile will be on-side at the show during all three days, with subsequent stops planned for southern California university campuses. No word on whether or not nurses are asked to refer to donors on the van as the Warrior of Light, but we’re going to go ahead and assume that they are.
The destruction wrought by Bahamut in Final Fantasy XIV
still has an effect on the game, even though years have passed since the Calamity. But perhaps you’d like a chance to face off against the dreaded primal in real life? The Trials of Bahamut live event
starts on June 16th in Los Angeles, with several subsequent stops in Houston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Phoenix, Orlando, and San Francisco.
Participants in the event are divided into teams of six and given an hour to solve puzzles, decipher riddles, and take part in a hosted experience to take on the elder primal himself. If it sounds like the sort of thing you’ll be interested in, check out the official site or the trailer below for more details. If you were mostly hoping for a live-action version of FFXIV in which you could be a Dragoon, stand in fire, and lie down to take a nap… well, it’s not that.
Friday, folks. Friday is when Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
enters early access, which means heading to Gyr Abania, heading to Othard, unlocking Red Mage and Samurai, and trying not to discuss spoilers. As always, I can promise this will remain a spoiler-safe space in the intro and the article itself, so you needn’t fear coming across something untoward here; in the comments I cannot make promises, although we do try to keep an eye on these things.
But all of that’s in the future. Right now we’ve got a couple of days left, and I’m here to tell you that it’s your last chance to get everything ready to go. If you’re pumped as heck about this expansion – and let me tell you, I certainly am – you’ll want to make sure your last few checklist items are taken care of. So let’s give a last-chance checklist for people to accomplish over the next four days, yes? Or, well, three and a half now. It’s the noon slot, you see.
Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.
“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”
Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”
And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.
A lot of new things are arriving in Final Fantasy XIV
early access kicks off next week on June 16th. New jobs, new levels, new areas, and all of that will be available. But the real question was always going to be about what spectacular new stuff you can buy at the Gold Saucer, and the answer to that question is a set of new weapons themed after the casino’s mascot, Senor Sabotender himself
These new weapons will be available to purchase and glamour after the 4.0 launch, which means after the end of the current Make it Rain promotional event. However, that also means you can use the event running now to earn up MGP for spending on these weapons in the future, so it’s safe to say they’re at least peripherally connected. Why not get in there and earn a little more money? You could use it to stab your enemies with a cactus, and isn’t that all anyone really wants?
PvP is changing even more than you might think in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
. It’s been discussed before now, but a new article from the community team
examines just how it’s changing in a bit more depth. You probably already know that each job will have a PvP-specific hotbar and a trimmed set of actions, for example, but the article examines how Protect itself is now a cooldown spell with an instant cast time and a short direction in PvP rather than a static buff everyone is expected to always maintain.
Players can also select two specific actions from a pool of shared actions, including the PvP equivalent of Sprint, and three specific PvP traits. Do you want increased health? Increased MP regeneration? Lower damage taken? Faster actions? It’s an interesting series of questions, and one that should make the PvP experience feel very different for players, especially since you’ll be able to earn experience in PvP maps with the expansion as well.
Meanwhile, the Stormblood launch trailer is out now. It’s just below, but be warned, it may well contain spoilers. Awesome spoilers.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree welcome summer by talking about SWTOR’s roadmap, Black Desert’s amazing Steam debut, and a troubling Shroud of the Avatar announcement, as well as a mailbag question about casual gaming.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
Remember back in April when a group of Redditors decided to put together an MMO Book Club — a community of MMO gamers who band together in a game for a few months before voting on a fresh game to move to? Lord of the Rings Online took the first popular vote at the beginning of May, and the group was intended to stay there for three full months, but now organizers say they’re adjusting that plan.
“When we selected LOTRO and voted to play 1 game for 3 months there were only about 300-400 people in the community. Today we near 2,000 members – and obviously the opinions of the group may have changed a bit,” mod Laezur writes. “A rather significant number of people have expressed interest in playing another game for various reasons (LOTRO didn’t work for them, they didn’t enjoy LOTRO, they feel like they missed the boat on LOTRO, etc), and it is important to me that everyone is able to enjoy being a part of The MMO Bookclub.”