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

World of Tanks, SWTOR rocketed up the Raptr chart in May

Raptr’s most-played games list is out for this past May, and it looks that both World of Tanks and Star Wars: The Old Republic did quite well for themselves during the month, at least among those who used this service.

In the realm of MMOs, SWTOR jumped up four spots from the month previous to land at #14. Final Fantasy XIV remained steady at #13, although World of Warcraft slipped three spots (#5) and Guild Wars 2 is down four (#19). ArcheAge dropped off the top 20 as well.

For MOBAs and lobby titles, League of Legends is still #1, followed by DOTA 2 (#3), SMITE (#8), Diablo III (#9), Hearthstone (#10), Heroes of the Storm (#12), Warframe (#15), and War Thunder (#16). World of Tanks made significant progress in May, shooting up five slots to #6.

Source: Raptr blog

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Wisdom of Nym: The 60 climb in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

As of this writing, I’m not quite 60 yet in Final Fantasy XIV. Thanks to real life, I’m a bit behind the curve, to the extent that you can be behind the curve when “the curve” has not actually been in release for a full week. All the same, there’s an interesting pair of phenomena at play within Heavensward. On the one hand, even more so than in the core game, the game encourages you to revisit areas and providing you with new quests to do as you return to the Sea of Clouds, the Western Highlands, and the Dravanian Forelands multiple times. (And never actually leave the Churning Mists.) On the other hand, there’s definitely a sense that these quests aren’t just optional sidequests but are in fact necessary if you don’t want to be forced into a huge grind as you approach the level cap.

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Final Fantasy XIV puts on a mind-blowing symphony with 143 laptops

What would you do if someone gave you 143 laptops, an MMO, and an automatic piano? How much trouble could you get into?

Square-Enix provided the answer to a question we never thought to ask by creating an “Eorzea Symphony” with said laptops, piano, and Final Fantasy XIV. In the following short video, the team links all of them together to show clips from the game while using the piano and in-game sound effects to play the game’s theme music.

Check it out after the break. We think you’ll agree that it ends up being two minutes well-spent.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is (almost) a perfect expansion

There are certain phrases you really want to be able to use but don’t expect to in a first impressions piece. That headline is one of them.

I will freely admit that I have not seen every scrap of content in Heavensward yet. I will also freely admit that I’m predisposed to like the game and the expansion; this has been one of my biggest games over the past year, it’s a game that’s brought a lot of good stuff into my life, and I have a lot invested in it.

And for all those caveats, this is still one of the best expansions that I’ve ever seen. It manages to expand an existing game beyond its previous limits without making the past entirely irrelevant. It isn’t perfect, and there are certainly weaknesses and oversights, but as an addition designed to expand the game as a whole rather than just a tacked-on new dimension, it may as well be.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward formally launches today

After months of anticipation for the community, Final Fantasy XIV‘s first expansion launches today. Heavensward is available now for players who didn’t preorder or jump in on early access, offering a raised level cap, new areas, new instances, three new jobs, more story… in short, more of Final Fantasy XIV. As an expansion does.

Producer and director Naoki Yoshida took the opportunity to address a new letter to the community, celebrating how far the game has come and the player community that’s kept it strong and lively. He also promises that there are more patches to plan and a next expansion to start developing. You can watch the launch trailer again just below, and stay tuned for our own first impressions of the game later in the day.

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The Game Archaeologist: Seven MMOs operating on borrowed time

Most everyone who knows me well will acknowledge that I’m not generally a cynical, dark person. I’m not rooting for games to fail, for the industry to crash, for developers to be banished to the wastelands for their sins, or for the cultural return to Parcheesi. So while you might read the title of today’s piece as rather grim, understand that this is more a public service announcement than a cantankerous gamer dancing on the yet-to-be-dug graves of online RPGs.

Every MMO will die, and some of those much sooner than others. Right now there are seven games that are probably not long for this world, although in this industry you never quite know, do you? But if you have any interest in the following titles, I would recommend getting in to play them now — before it’s too late and you end up posting tear-laden nostalgia pieces on Reddit, wishing for one more day in that world. OK, that might be too grim. I’m not saying that all of these are on the verge of being shut down but that they’re operating on borrowed time and have a very uncertain future.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward starts early access, welcomes back players

Just a heads-up: If you have friends who play Final Fantasy XIV, you may not be seeing them at all today. That’s because early access has begun for the Heavensward expansion, which will go on to officially launch June 23rd.

The patch notes for the expansion are up and cover the incredibly long list of additions, changes, and features. Heavensward adds several new zones to the game, increases the job cap to 60, introduces the Au Ra playable race, and throws in a trio of new classes. Oh, and there might be something about flying.

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The Daily Grind: What was the MMO highlight of E3?

The last few years around convention time, I took a moment in The Daily Grind to ponder whether E3 had become irrelevant for MMO gamers in particular. This year, I can’t even ask that question with a straight face. While the con wasn’t swarming with true MMOs, the MMO announcements circling the expo were huge. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing what to its storyline and factions? Guild Wars 2’s expansion is prepurchasable at what price? EVE: Valkyrie hasn’t been abandoned yet? (I kid, I kid.) Never mind that there’s an expansion on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, a patch for World of Warcraft next week, Blade & Soul en route and a F2P relaunch for WildStar, and oh yeah, Elder Scrolls Online console launch anyone? Almost every major MMO player showed up with something big this week.

But what was the biggest? What was the MMO highlight of E3? Bonus question: What was the highlight of E3 overall?

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Why Guild Wars 2’s prepurchase deal has the internet raging

On the surface, ArenaNet killed it at E3, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!

But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.

Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.

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Perfect Ten: MMO terms that have overstayed their welcome

My original plan for this week – during the few moments that I was capable of coherent speech rather than just babbling about the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion – was to give you lovely folks a drinking game. Each time you see certain things come up in indie MMO Kickstarters, take a shot. And I might still do that one day, but I decided against it for two reasons. One is that it feels a bit like punching down, which I don’t like to do.

But the second reason, and the more important one, is that not all of the fault can be laid at the feet of indie Kickstarters. The part where you expect to build a functional MMO on a budget that won’t pay for a single programmer, yes. Pretty much everything related to Greed Monger, that’s on you. But some of these terms come up over and over because they’ve been bludgeoned into formless masses now, and so it’s not really the fault of the indie folks that you can throw these terms in front of more or less everything.

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