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

One Shots: Early morning ride

It’s been a long tradition (from before my tenure) to use a black-and-white version of the first picture of the week for the header here at One Shots. It’s interesting to me to see how much a screenshot changes when the color is stripped from it; sometimes it becomes more interesting and sometimes you lose the lustre that color imbues.

This is my roundabout way of saying that today’s EverQuest II picture goes from being so-so to vibrant when you transition into the colorized version. Reader The Lurker says that he took this on during a sunrise ride: “Here I am heading to Qeynos early in the morning and taking a shortcut over the fields. Hopefully no angry farmer will see it and give chase — it’s a gamble!”

So what does it look like when our Massively OP interns get finished coloring inside of the lines? Let’s find out!

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Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward’s spoiler-filled trailer

We’re going to tell you this right up front: if you haven’t yet done the patch 2.55 story quests and don’t want to be spoiled, do not watch the Heavensward trailer past the break. It’s very closely tied into the end of Final Fantasy XIV‘s most recent storyline and reveals more of what players can look forward to in the journey to Ishgard and beyond. Consider yourself fairly warned before you watch.

You can safely take a look at all of the information revealed during today’s live letter with producer and director Naoki Yoshida, though. There are no spoilers, just a general preview of what’s coming in Heavensward including the new scrip system for crafting and gathering, new Allagan tomestones, eight new dungeons, new looting systems for high-end content, and more. It should be more than enough to make Final Fantasy XIV players quite happy and excited, even if we have to wait until June to try all of it out for ourselves.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Steps of Faith

It happened, just as expected. A day after I posted a lengthy column discussing Final Fantasy XIV‘s last big pre-expansion patch, that patch dropped, and wouldn’t you know it, nearly every single thing that I predicted turned out to be largely wrong, mostly because of carefully constructed misdirection, which is a trick I respect immensely. It made for a more and less surprising finale, that’s for sure, even as someone who was doing the whole thing on the day that the content game out.

Yes, all of it, on the same day. I was just that tedious.

Obviously, there are several people here who have not gotten through the story just yet, due in no small part to the trial before the conclusion. Since it’s been less than a week, I want to minimize or wholly avoid spoilers in this piece, so I won’t be discussing the details of the story (I’ve got an entire spoiler-heavy podcast to do that), but I will be discussing the Steps of Faith. And even if you don’t like being told the mechanics of something beforehand… well, you should read it anyway.

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Massively Overthinking: Crowd control in MMORPGs

Today’s Kickstarter-begotten Massively Overthinking question arrives from donor Ravenwynd, who writes,

I love control type characters in mmos. City of Heroes’ Mind Controller could lock down entire groups; EverQuest Enchanters mezzed and controlled entire groups and trains. But as devs have added PvP and tried to balance classes in their games across the genre, it seems this playstyle has gone away. You can’t have long control powers as the PvP has to be quicker, so the control powers are super short. Given the hassles of trying to balance classes for both PvP and PvE (and the nerfs to one side when balancing the other), do you think more games/studios should strive for trying to do one or the other to their best ability versus engaging in that constant balance fight?

I polled the MOP staffers for their opinions on Ravenwynd’s topic.

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Massively OP’s MMO April Fools’ Day roundup

It’s April 1st, and in the MMO space that means that studios morph into merry tricksters and devious liars. But how will you keep track of all the goings-on today? With this article, of course!

We’ll be endeavoring to collect and link to all of the fun and wacky April Fools’ Day pranks that are going on in MMOs and on studios’ websites. If you know of one that’s not on the list, send us a tip or leave a comment below, as we’ll be updating this post all day.

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Final Fantasy XIV launches Before the Fall patch

After more than a year of continuations, Final Fantasy XIV is wrapping up all of its stories today. Patch 2.55 has just gone live, bringing with it the last portion of the main scenario quest, the conclusion to the ongoing postmoogle sidequests, and several changes to keep players happy and entertained until the expansion launch in June. It also brings with it a long-requested change to the music played while you’re riding the magitek armor mount, which most series fans will immediately recognize.

In more significant changes, the patch removes the weekly lockout on the final turns of the Binding Coil of Bahamut, adds Encrypted Tomestones to the potential weekly rewards from World of Darkness, and removes weekly loot caps on the World of Darkness as well. Players can log in and start experiencing all of the content now, although they might want to wait a little bit and not rush – after all, it’s going to have to hold you over for two and a half months.

The video and gallery are below.

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Wisdom of Nym: The fall in Final Fantasy XIV

There is a crack in the foundation of Eorzea’s defenders, and it’s been there for a while. For all of Final Fantasy XIV’s operation, we’ve been able to ignore that fact, to pretend that it isn’t there or that we’re not really facing something horrid just over the horizon. We’ve faced down one threat after another and convinced ourselves that the land is at least relatively safe. But we’ve never faced a threat like the one about to hit Ishgard.

We spent so much time defending against other threats that the Dravanian Horde never got its due.

The last part of the 2.5 cycle goes live tomorrow, and with it comes the conclusion to the entirety of the relaunch storyline. We’ve already made some pretty big strides, but it’s time to look at what we know will come next, what we believe will happen, and who will be left standing after everything goes cross-eyed. Fair warning: There may be spoilers ahead, so tread carefully if you’re afraid of those.

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One Shots: Wedded bliss

Have you ever gotten married? In game, I mean. Well, if you haven’t screenshotted it, it didn’t happen. Fortunately this Final Fantasy XIV couple saw fit to capture the moment of wedded bliss between a bear-man and a child-woman.

“With Final Fantasy XIV now offering weddings, here’s a shot of my wife and me celebrating our in-game nuptials,” reader Phubarrh said. “We particularly love the range of expressions and emotes offered by the game.”

From soaring heights to creepy revelations, we’ve got a great selection of MMO player screenshots for you in One Shots this week!

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Final Fantasy XIV previews ‘Before the Fall’ update

Things are not going well in Final Fantasy XIV. In the game world, that is, not the real world. The first part of the 2.5 patch saw the Scions of the Seventh Dawn suffer a noteworthy loss, and all appearances indicate that it’ll get worse before it gets better. The most recent preview of 2.55’s content seems to back up that idea, showing some previews of the content to be found in the game’s main scenario and the epic battle on the Steps of Faith outside of Ishgard.

Notable features include a sort of lockout barrier on the Steps of Faith that hasn’t been seen before and confirmation that players will be taking part in the fighting, complete with one of the great wyrms towering over the battlefield. (Not Nidhogg, though, as it doesn’t appear to be missing an eye.) What all of this will mean isn’t a question anyone will have to speculate on for long, fortunately, as the patch goes live on March 31st.

[Source: Before the Fall teaser site]

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Global Chat: Tripping over colors in MMO play

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to play an MMO while affected by colorblindness? A guest writer over at Epic Slant penned an interesting piece about what it’s like to attempt to play games that don’t make allowances for those who can’t discern between sometimes-crucial colors and shades.

Fortunately, he says that studios are making progress: “Another example of a similar solution on the PC can be found in both League of Legends and World of Warcraft. Both of these titles have had graphical filters for years and, in the latest update, even more progress has been made in WoW to really help out players who need it. In fact, WoW took the idea of graphical filters and added text to help players further.”

Continue on to see what MMO bloggers have to say about Skyforge, The Secret World, and more!

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Wisdom of Nym: Exit Final Fantasy XI

It’s all over for Final Fantasy XI. Or it will be, anyhow.

It was hard to imagine that the big Final Fantasy XI conference was going to end in a whole bunch of good news for the game. The game has been running for half of forever, and it’s not as if it coincided with a big event that would make an expansion or the like sound reasonable. So what we actually got was…

Well, all things considered, it was intensely positive.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m sure that pretty much everyone who still plays the game and several people watching from the sidelines would prefer that FFXI continued getting big updates and improving forever. But realistically, this is what’s best for the health of the game and the playerbase. Yet I’ve already seen more than a few people taking umbrage with it, complaining and raging that this is some betrayal or that it shows Square-Enix has no idea what it’s doing, accusations that are almost comically misplaced.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite game to decompress with?

Moving is absolutely awful, as we all know, and I would be very happy to never move ever again. Once my computer was all set up and I had confirmed that the internet worked, I was happy to take a spare moment to game a little. Based on my history and my state of mind, you might assume that I picked up Final Fantasy XIV for a little while… but you’d be wrong. I opted to play some low-level World of Warcraft. All I really wanted was to decompress.

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One Shots: Memories of those long lost

Sometimes we start silly, and sometimes we start weird, but today we’re going to start somber and reflective. Reader Becca made a discovery that touched upon the passing of real-life players, which I’ll let her explain.

“I recently joined a new guild in EverQuest II and was checking out its wonderfully decorated hall,” she sent in. “I came across a cemetery — which is fairly common in guild halls — except when I clicked on the player written book, I found it was actually an area dedicated to some of their members who had passed. It was incredibly touching as I also lost a gaming friend last year and a ‘feelsful’ reminder of the wonderful communities we have in MMOs.”

Enjoy your brief trip to a western MMO because from here on out it’s going to be all eastern titles, all the time. Well, at least for this week.

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