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

Wisdom of Nym: The next stop on Final Fantasy XIV’s magical expansion tour

The next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV will be announced this year. We all know it. I suppose there’s a chance it won’t happen, that the fan festival isn’t going to contain any announcements of the sort, but only in the super-technical sense that it could happen rather than any realistic outcome. So another expansion is being revealed in nine-ish months, and that prompts the obvious question: Where are we going now?

This isn’t an idle question, either. The fact that the first expansion brought us to Ishgard meant that the entire story of the game went in a different direction than if we had gone elsewhere, focusing upon the known but somewhat intentionally vague Dragonsong War and making it the central point of the story. As we prepare for the next expansion, I can see three obvious areas that may lead us onward into the world, and each one brings with it certain assumptions and stories that we have yet to hear.

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FFXIV’s Yoshida remarks on the death of voice actress Sian Blake

Final Fantasy XIV Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida officially commented on the murder of actress Sian Blake, who voiced Yugiri Mistwalker in the game.

“Yesterday, I received unfortunate news from the agency of British voice talent Sian Blake confirming the passing of Sian and her two children,” Yoshida said. “Sian was a gifted actress, her masterful portrayal of Yugiri leaving a lasting impression amongst our fans. I had hoped she would be with us for many more performances to come. I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and offer to Sian and her children my sincerest prayers.”

The English localization team extended its condolences as well. Players have held vigils for Blake in the game over the past week, while the murder suspect, her boyfriend, awaits extradition from Ghana back to England.

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The Realm’s creator wants to remake this 20-year-old MMO

MMO veterans might be familiar with The Realm (also known as The Realm Online), which was one of the first class of graphical online RPGs. While it’s been trucking along since 1996, creator Stephen Nichols accused the current owners of letting The Realm lapse into “deep neglect” and wants to remake the game for modern sensibilities.

“2016 marks the 20-year anniversary of The Realm Online,” Nichols posted. “If you’re like me, you miss seeing the game thrive and grow as you know it can. I think it’s time for a remake of this internet classic with a fresh coat of paint and updated technology. Perhaps you agree. Yes, it’s time for a Realm remake, and I’m gonna make it happen.”

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Global Chat: Making gaming resolutions

Do you make New Year’s resolutions for gaming? I do and I’ve seen more than a few bloggers come out in early January to announce what they want to do with the year. Take for instance Telwyn, who has quite the laundry list of to-dos for 2016.

“Thinking back on my first impressions of Trove and also the time I’ve spent in EverQuest II recently, I really should give housing some attention this year,” Telwyn writes. “Rather than just plonking items down in my shadowknight’s house where there happens to be space, I want to take a play-session or two to actually decorate the Kromzek Keep I bought using the daily quest tokens. That place is enormous and could accommodate a more logical and artistic arrangement of all the various zone rewards I’ve accumulated.”

What are your resolutions? Hopefully one of them is to check out some of these great blog posts, which include a couple of first impressions piece, a look at a popular emulator, 2015 game awards, and more!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 46: The high price of VR

Would Bree or Justin spend $600 on an Oculus Rift? Probably not in this universe, but it certainly won’t stop them from talking about this new VR platform and its implications for MMOs. Is virtual reality the future of the online RPG genre or merely a fad?

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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Final Fantasy XIV releases full Heavensward soundtrack next month

Final Fantasy XIV’s soundtrack has been often cited as a favorite element of the MMO and has grown significantly since its initial 1.0 release. With the addition of last year’s Heavensward expansion, the score welcomed a host of new tracks into its library, and soon fans will be able to purchase and listen to it outside of the game.

On February 24th Square Enix will begin selling the Heavensward OST through its FFXIV soundtrack portal. The album will be sold on a blu-ray disc and contain over 60 tracks from the game’s 3.0 and 3.1 patches. If FFXIV’s other soundtrack blu-ray releases are any indication, owners will be able to easily extract MP3s from the disc for use.

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Wisdom of Nym: A musing on malaise in Final Fantasy XIV

There’s no question in my mind that Final Fantasy XIV is still one of my favorite games of all time. It certainly doesn’t lack for things to do, even now. Between the setting, the aesthetic, and the mechanics of the game, I’ve vastly enjoyed it through launch until now. And yet lately there seems to be something in the air, some distant sense telling me – and several other veteran players, by my own unscientific examination – that maybe right now it should just be allowed to lie fallow for a while.

You can, of course, read that as a natural consequence of any game you play for an extended period of time. But I think there are reasons that this is hitting now, when I know full well that if I wanted to there are definitely things I can do in the game. I do not want for content by any stretch of the imagination. So why, then, do I not want to play that content? Why now? What’s different about this situation?

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Final Fantasy XIV devotes a full trailer to Lord of Verminion’s strategic pet battles

If you’ve never played Final Fantasy XIV or stopped playing some time ago, you might not be aware of the fact that there’s a new way to fight for glory these days. A chance to not simply march into battle, but to take command of an entire army… of cute fluffy animals and some dolls. It’s Lord of Verminion, and yes, it’s all about battling with your pets.

The flip side, of course, is that Lord of Verminion also serves as a fully featured RTS game in the middle of the existing MMORPG, so there’s some meat on those bones. If you haven’t looked into it at all, or just like to watch battle footage of fat cats rolling about on the battlefield, check out the trailer just below.

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Jukebox Heroes: Six MMO soundtracks that need to be in your collection

Lately, a friend was asking me where he should start with collecting MMO soundtracks. “Pretty much anywhere and everywhere” was my initial reaction, although that was not quite as helpful as he needed. So we started talking about grabbing all of the free soundtracks out there as well as snapping up particular albums as a backbone of a good collection.

Frankly, if it’s an online game and it’s released a soundtrack, I will buy it. I don’t care what kind of MMO it was or how popular it might have been; often the quality of the music is divorced from whether or not I would play that particular game. So while my collection is pretty expansive, I understand that a beginner collector can’t just buy all the things right away.

So that created an interesting thought exercise for me. If I was starting out and had the funds and desire to purchase, say, six albums off the bat, which ones would I pick? It was tough, but I came up with the following list to recommend to any MMO OST fan as “must haves” for a good collection.

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Final Fantasy XIV voice actress goes missing, possibly murdered

Tragic news for Final Fantasy XIV fans this afternoon: The BBC is reporting that actress Sian Blake and her two children are believed to be missing and that police have discovered a trio of bodies in the family home’s garden, prompting a murder investigation. Blake’s partner is posted as “missing” and has been the subject of a “high-risk missing persons” investigation since he informed police of his family’s disappearance in December.

Blake plays a major character in the Final Fantasy XIV universe, Yugiri Mistwalker, the unofficial head of the Doman refugees and the first ninja introduced to the game. She’s best known to mainstream audiences for her role in British drama EastEnders. The actress’ disappearance and possible death are devastating FFXIV fans, some of whom are already requesting in-game memorials.

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Jumping onto a Final Fantasy XIV Japanese server can be a culture shock

Have you ever been curious about how different the Final Fantasy XIV experience is on its native Japanese servers? One English-speaking player decided to roll a character on a Japanese world to learn the language and see how the community acted over there.

So what was most notable difference that the player encountered in his or her adventures on a Japanese shard? “There are no gold sellers spamming/whispering on Japanese servers,” the author said. “Yes, you heard that correctly. It’s apparently a [North American] ‘thing.'”

The author also notes that the Japanese server seems to include more fashion-conscious characters, an abundance of Lalafell toons, more party chat, different approaches to tackling dungeons, and the perception that English-speaking players aren’t that good at the game. It’s an interesting piece that helps to give a wider perspective on how MMO gaming adapts to native cultures.

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Wisdom of Nym: Elitism and playing properly in Final Fantasy XIV

There was a thread on the official Final Fantasy XIV forums back about… I want to say a million years ago? Maybe two million? The point is that it was back closer to launch, which is far enough to functionally be ancient. It was a thread all about how the original poster didn’t like to DPS during instances and thus did not do so, because at the end of the day that wasn’t the job of the healer. That playstyle was not fun for the poster. They were not obligated to do DPS.

Forums being what they are, this resulted in what I’m going to call “lively debate” because it implies less name-calling. But the fact of the matter is that the poster in question was right, as I said when asked at the time. The player was correct that the healer’s only actual role was keeping the party alive. Swapping into Cleric Stance on the regular to add in DPS is not part of the healer’s job, it’s an option, and saying “I do not enjoy this option and will not play this way” is entirely valid.

But it’s also wrong, after a fashion. Which is why I’ve been turning it over in my head for a while.

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