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: Final Fantasy XIV’s cross-class actions

This past week, I did what I needed to do before Final Fantasy XIV’s expansion Heavensward launches: I finished the main scenario questline on my second character. Considering that she needed to be Dark Knight more or less a month ago, I think this was very necessary and am glad to be done with it. For those of you wondering about the future, my Au Ra will be leveling and going through stuff after the expansion launch, in no small part to see how viable things are when trying to clear that big gap between level 50 and the first steps into Ishgard… but that’s another discussion altogether.

All of this talk and thought about new jobs naturally raises the question of what people should be leveling going into the new expansion, though, and that’s a tough question to ask. It’s almost impossible to know right now what the cross-class landscape is going to look like, if indeed it looks like anything. With three new jobs and enough levels for another cross-class action, it increasingly looks to me as if that cross-class landscape has eroded into nothing.

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One Shots: Bugs Bunny 2099

What would Bugs Bunny look like if he were a futuristic space mercenary who chomped on freeze-dried carrots and spat out, “What’s UP, doc?” right before he unloaded his plasma minigun on an enemy soldier? I imagine he’d look something like this.

Our headline picture is from reader Enikuo, who hails from the land of Warframe. “Warframe added bunny ears for Easter, so I took some screenshots,” he said. “Here, my Tenno is selecting a mission from the mission console. It’s not the most user-friendly menu ever, but what it lacks in usability it makes up with coolness.”

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The Daily Grind: Have you bought real-world memorabilia for an MMO?

I don’t think it’s going to surprise anyone that I’m a pretty big fan of Final Fantasy XIV. Despite that fact, it may surprise readers to know that my home is not only not covered in various FFXIV merchandise, but I don’t actually own much of what does exist in the first place. I just don’t feel the need to pay the money and buy more merch for the game.

Then again, maybe it wouldn’t surprise you. I know there are people out there who will happily have a logo from a favored game on every piece of clothing and/or furniture; I also know there are extremely dedicated fans out there who don’t own a single collector’s edition. So what about you? Have you bought real-world memorabilia for an MMO, either for associated in-game bonuses or just because you really like the game?

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Global Chat: What happens to original MMOs when they get sequels?

Telwyn at GamingSF asks a question that I’ve contemplated from time to time: When an MMO gets a sequel, what happens to the original game? After all, MMOs aren’t quite like the rest of the video game industry.

“It’s easier for gaming companies to control the playerbase,” he writes. “The bluntest instrument would be to shut down the old game forcing players to move to the new, although risking they’d abandon the franchise entirely.”

While you debate whether a quick death or a prolonged demise is preferrable, take a gander at some other notable articles from the gaming blogosphere. In this edition, writers question Guild Wars 2’s (second) trait revamp, celebrate internet dragons, and critique Neverwinter’s slot machine problem.

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Wisdom of Nym: Benchmarks and lore for Final Fantasy XIV

Maybe it’s just me, but with the steady drip of information that we’ve gotten about Final Fantasy XIV‘s first expansion, I find myself sometimes having trouble keeping track of what has and hasn’t been discussed to death. There’s a lot of stuff! And it’s almost universally interesting stuff, at that. At least, it is if you’re almost pathological in your fixation on this game’s lore and such, which I feel I can safely assume you are if you’re reading this column on a weekly basis.

I can also assume that you’ve probably grabbed the Heavensward benchmark by now and played with it, which I certainly have (Extremely High on Maximum, for the record). So let’s talk about that marvelous program with its character creation, and let’s also discuss a bit of that lore we got on the official site not too long ago. It’s all fascinating stuff.

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One Shots: Pics or the beta didn’t happen

Stargate Worlds was one of those rare MMOs that progressed into the beta stage and was played by many yet never launched. Even today we’re still getting stories and screenshots back from testing, such as this one from reader Hicks.

“I hear you’re looking for some wacky screenshots from betas and alphas, so feast your eyes on this!” he submitted. “I dropped a few in here from Stargate Worlds closed beta. My time in it was very short before they pulled the plug on the game completely.”

All I can say is that I would get eyestrain working on a computer with a monitor that big. That’s Justice League of America-big, really.

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Perfect Ten: How to find the right MMO for you

A common question that I see posited around forums and Reddit is, “What MMO should I play?” If there is a more loaded question than that in this community, I haven’t heard it. What is usually being asked, by both newcomers and long-time players, is, “What MMO is right for me that I haven’t played yet?”

While I hear you and have been there, the truth is that there is no one universal answer to that question. There are just hundreds if not thousands of MMOs, big and small, out on the market, each with its own personality, feature set, and setting. Those have to be compared and matched up with the millions of people who all have their own unique preferences. It’s what makes recommending an MMO a difficult proposition.

I’m game for difficult! Today’s list won’t be “10 MMOs that I think you should play” but a rundown of how to sort through the important categories that are out there in the hopes of finding the game that’s right for you.

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Massively Opinionated: FFXIV vs. FFXIV vs. CoH

Welcome to the second episode of Massively Opinionated! We were blown away by some of the comments you left here on the site and on YouTube. So we decided that we should keep the show around for a little bit longer. And it looks like you want to keep the show around, too. Edany (AmberACurtis) found the show a perfect fit: “This is fantastic! Great idea for fun new content. Right up my alley.” PJ Northbay on YouTube can now be at peace: “Yay! I’ve been wanting something like this from Massively for a long time.” And Age Nightroad got a laugh and had a good time watching the show: “This show is amazing! Had some great laughs and good debates, can’t wait for more!”

We love you guys too! The rules of the Massively Opinionated debate are simple: Our arbitrator, Larry Everett, invites three internet personalities to the show, asking them four questions that they can research ahead of time. The most persuasive panelist with be awarded a point after each argument, and at the end of the show, only one will reign supreme.

Our guests this week come from a wide variety of gaming niches. First, there’s writer at Massively OP and BlizzardWatch Eliot Lefebvre, cosplayer and raider Laura Williams, and writer and roleplayer Matt Daniel. And appropriately, this week we are talking about immersion. Let’s begin.

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Wisdom of Nym: How to catch up in Final Fantasy XIV (before Heavensward arrives)

Let’s assume you’ve just recently gotten to the level cap in Final Fantasy XIV and you’re ready to start in on catching up to the main scenario before Heavensward drops. Where do you start?

I don’t really agree with the official decision to gate people out of Ishgard if they haven’t cleared the story up through the 2.55 patch, but it was made and I didn’t get a vote there, so it’s kind of academic. The point is that if you’re hitting that level for the first time, you have five major patches of stuff between you and getting to Ishgard in June. So how do you make sure that your fresh character can get all the way up there? Is it even possible?

The answer is most definitely yes, but you’re going to have to put some time in. Most of the gating you’ll have to deal with, though, is a matter of getting the gear you need to take on the later challenges that the story throws at you.

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The latest Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward trailer

Sometimes when you’re staring down a long wait until a much-anticipated expansion, the only thing that will help you keep your sanity is to indulge in as many videos as possible. Drink up, friends, for Square-Enix has released an eight-minute benchmark trailer for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward that’s all about the expansion’s lucious visuals, intense combat, and exhilerating flight.

For fun, we’ve also tacked on a cheeky “ultimate fight” video that the studio put together to tweak the competition’s nose. It answers that age-old question: What would Final Fantasy XIV look like as a fighter game? Turns out, it’d be pretty rad.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best hybrid classes?

I didn’t know hybrid classes were a thing, really, until I picked up classic EverQuest way back in 1999. Most of the roleplaying games I’d played until that point, including pioneering sandbox MMO Ultima Online, were skill-based, and so I more or less picked skills that I liked without worrying about hybrid penalties. (In classic UO, pretty much everyone was a mage, after all!) EQ introduced me to those stock Dungeons and Dragons concepts, however, and the majority of subsequent MMORPGs have clung to classes to make life easy on the designers tasked with balancing player power.

Hybrid penalties or no, a lot of people really still love the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades, of having a variety of skills and playstyles all on one character, and penalizing players for picking non-pure roles has long fallen out of fashion. Skill-based sandboxes, of course, still allow players to pick up swords alongside their shovels, but themeparks like RIFT and Skyforge and Final Fantasy XIV also let you swap around your subclasses so much that pretty much everyone in the game is a hybrid.

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Perfect Ten: The 10 things every MMO’s official site should have

Are you ready to have you mind absolutely blown open? Because I have an astonishing truth to lay at your feet: While doing this job, I visit a lot of official game sites. A lot of them. Pretty much constantly.

Here’s an equally astonishing truth: Most of them are terrible. And I’m sure basically every person out there who has been forced to navigate through official MMO sites would probably agree with me. Like designers of many other websites, the designers seem to be absolutely certain that I want one thing when I go to the site when what I really want is something entirely different.

Let’s codify this, then. There are a lot of features that every game’s official site should have that very few of them actually do; today, let’s talk ten features that pretty much every official MMO site ought to have… which a depressing number of them lack, sometimes for really incomprehensible reasons.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s big finale

Let me warn you upfront: If you have not yet finished the last major story patch of Final Fantasy XIV and you want to make sure not to see or read any spoilers, please, do not read this article yet. There will be spoilers. Spoilers will flow fast and furious. Your desire to not be spoiled is both entirely understandable and one that I wish to honor as much as possible, so please, turn back now. I won’t be offended.

That having been said, it’s past time to talk about what happened during the last patch. I made some predictions, and several of them were wrong, but what we were left with is downright fascinating. It gives us a framework for what comes next in the story while also dramatically changing the landscape of the game, and while there are some people with a great deal of irritation at the story’s twists and turns, I don’t share that dissension. I am psyched.

Again, spoilers past here. You have been warned.

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