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

Final Fantasy XIV simplifies job gauges and veteran rewards with patch 4.1

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.

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Perfect Ten: The 10 live MMORPGs everybody should try

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!

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Wisdom of Nym: The last batch of revelations for Final Fantasy XIV 4.1

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.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood launches 4.1 The Legend Returns in October

Did you think that the final boss of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood was difficult? You’ll probably be singing a different tune when you face off against the Minstrel’s Ballad version of the boss with patch 4.1, which is coming out October 10th. But perhaps you’ll never even go down that route, focusing instead on new custom deliveries for crafting starring M’naago of the Ala Mhigan Resistance. The latest update to the official patch site shows off these additions and more.

Players can also gawp at the new screenshots for the Rival Wings PvP battles, which looks to bring a slice of MOBA action into the game’s PvP scene. There’s also a preview of the continued Inspector Hildibrand story and the beast tribe quests focused around the Kojin, and there’s still more to come before the patch goes live in October. The latest producer’s letter also covered things like the coming adventurer squadron updates and miscellaneous changes, like the ability to remove materia from items. So isn’t that exciting? There’s even a trailer!

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Perfect Ten: How MMORPGs become so darn complicated

MMOs are complicated. This seems like a fairly non-controversial statement; there are more or less complicated games, but they all tend to be complex as heck. I frequently cite Star Trek Online as an example of complexity run amok, where the game is significantly more complicated than it even appears to the point where the game has reworked its skill system some three separate times and it’s still difficult to understand, but even World of Warcraft has plenty of bits of complexity that aren’t really explained to new players.

Of course, it’s also been significantly simplified from its early days; who remembers Crushing Blows and 102.4% defense? Most tanks, I’d imagine.

But even seemingly straightforward systems like dungeon rewards tend to increasing complexity over time. Heck, I’ve been dealing with Guild Wars 2’s boost system with Path of Fire and found that hosting some complexity and weird exceptions when it comes to hero points and unlocking Elite Specializations. So why do MMOs tend to be so complicated, even when dealing with simple stuff? I think that’s a fun topic that I can explain in, oh, let’s say ten bullet points.

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Wisdom of Nym: Deep-diving Final Fantasy XIV’s leveling structure

I do a lot of leveling in Final Fantasy XIV. This is, in part, because I am stupid; for several dumb reasons I have my main character and six alts, which is not seven only because Balmung is currently locked. (As soon as that changes? Seven.) I also have a spreadsheet tracking my progress across every character that currently has me finishing up – as in, bringing a single job for each alt and every class for my main – in early November. So I spend a lot of time thinking about leveling. And I think the game is better than it’s ever been in Stormblood, in leveling as well as other departments.

Of course, there are people who aren’t as happy about it, for understandable reasons. There are dead spaces for every job in the current leveling setup, levels where you get either nothing or no impactful additions. (A trait boosting your primary stat is definitely important, but it doesn’t really change what you’re doing.) It’s even prompted some people complaining about how late certain jobs get their core mechanics and how the level sync works.

So let’s talk about all of this. And more to the point, let’s start by explaining why a lot of the staggering of abilities amounts to, in fact, a good thing.

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Final Fantasy XIV plans UI improvements for patch 4.1

The next major patch for Final Fantasy XIV contains many pieces of content, but it also promises to improve the quality of life for players with a new set of UI improvements. For example, don’t you hate when you don’t know how much time your chocobo companion has remaining after summoning? Patch 4.1 will add a timer and will allow you to summon minions while your chocobo is out, allowing you to adventure with both cute critters and combat buddies at the same time.

The patch also simplifies party finder creation dialogues and lists required desynthesis skill right on the item in question. There’s also a new universal input for duty actions and a “duty action” button you can add to your hotbars, covering mechanics like the Vril used against Lakshmi. That probably means more duty actions are coming in the future, so go ahead and slot that in now as the game’s UI continues to improve.

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Final Fantasy XIV posts a teaser site for Patch 4.1: The Legend Returns

The next major patch for Final Fantasy XIV is on its way, and like every patch, it starts with a new portion of the main scenario quest. Sure, the end of the Stormblood story saw the liberation of subjugated provinces… but what does that mean for the many people who had long seen that end as an impossible dream? We don’t know yet, but we know that Raubahn and Lyse both will have some important questions to answer… and quickly.

Players will also be exploring the Drowned City of Skalla, ruins flooded beneath what is now Loch Seld in the wake of the Sixth Umbral Calamity, now filled with the remnants of a once-grand civilization. Over in Kugane, players will be meeting up with the Majestic Imperial Theater Company on the performance airship Prima Vista, learning more of the company’s legendary performance of the Zodiac Brave story and diving into the legend of Ivalice. And that’s only the stuff we already know about on the preview page; there’s still more to come.

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Final Fantasy XIV makes both Sleipnir and financial earnings fly

Players have long awaited the chance to make Sleipnir, the mount of the Dark Divinity Odin, soar through the skies in Final Fantasy XIV. Sure, the horse in question is just a regular horse, but he also happens to be a horse for a primal. So it’s good news for owners of the mount that he will take to the skies with the release of patch 4.1, while the Witch’s Broom will once again be able to cast spells on the ground as it could during its first holiday appearance. Who doesn’t like more ways to play with mounts?

But FFXIV isn’t just making horses fly; it’s also making numbers fly. The latest Square-Enix financial report notes that sales of Stormblood have massively increased income and profits, with the game reaching an all-time subscriber high following release (exact numbers are not disclosed). So everything gets to fly on upward, and you can rest assured that big expansion releases do, in fact, result in more sales.

Source: Official site, investor report; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 136: Westward ho!

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree saddle up for discussion on Wild West Online’s alpha, Star Citizen’s back-backlash on schedules, the miserable state of Phantasy Star Online 2, and more!

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:

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood dungeons in review

Have I really not talked about the dungeons of Stormblood yet? That’s unexpected. Usually I would have mentioned them by now, I talk about these things a lot. Yet here we are and I haven’t really given a deep look at any of the dungeons through the leveling experience up to the top. It is, frankly, a shocking realization, and it’s all the worse that I spent a lot of time thinking (and working on) columns on more esoteric elements of Final Fantasy XIV before remembering this obvious one.

So let’s correct this now and talk about these dungeons. The level range for things was adjusted after my initial preview, and we have a similar leveling arrangement to how things were in Heavensward, but I honestly like this batch more. Part of it is familiarity, sure, but I remember feeling like the first two dungeons in Heavensward were kind of clunkers even when they were new, compared to really enjoying the heck out of everything in Stormblood. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high points and low points, but… well, let’s just get to it, yes?

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Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.

But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?

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Final Fantasy XIV prepares for Shirogane housing while halting house demolitions

Looking forward to picking up a house in Final Fantasy XIV’s Shirogane housing district? The houses are planned to open up with the release of the upcoming patch 4.1, and the latest article on the official site details how players can move into a new plot from their old ones with a discount equal to 30% of the old plot’s price. All of your housing items will be deposited into the new Storehouse feature, allowing you to retain access to furnishings that otherwise cannot be removed from an estate.

Of course, if you’re a player in the regions affected by the recent hurricanes, your concerns are probably more focused on your real-world house than a house in FFXIV. The good news there is that the game is also temporarily halting house demolition timers, so you needn’t worry about anything happening to your house while dealing with the real-world crisis around you. It doesn’t help make the recovery easier, but it’s still a good thing.

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