With the release of its second expansion, Final Fantasy XIV
will no longer be supported on the PlayStation 3. There’s a free upgrade to the PlayStation 4 available through the end of the year, but there’s another bone being thrown to those still playing on the last console generation. The last free login campaign is going live on the console
from May 1st until June 15th, allowing those on the console to play for free on the console until support is shut down.
Of course, those of us on the PC won’t have that issue… so why not celebrate with a repeat of last year’s Amazon cross-promotion? Yes, it came back, and this time you can pick up an assortment of items themed after a journey to the East. Buying $20 worth of video games and/or game accessories (which you can do from this link to also help out the site, incidentally) will net you a promotional code for an outfit, weapon, mount, and 50 free Aetheryte tickets, so that should make the impending journeys a bit more pleasant.
At least we’re finally thought the story. While we walk through a review of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
in its totality, we’ve taken three weeks covering all of the various stories within the expansion, as well as touching upon a bit of the class design in the last part. Parts one
, and three
cover everything from the main scenario to some of the zone side stories. And now we can move on to the mechanical side of things enthusiastically.
Also, we’re reaching the point where I know I’m going to forget to mention at least one or two things that were really keen from the expansion, but that’s a different discussion.
In terms of sheer volume, of course, Heavensward nearly matched what we got from the base game in terms of patches, and arguably surpassed it in some categories; sure, we only got 10 dungeons from patches rather than 15, but if you didn’t have any interest in Coil in 2.x, you got the entirety of Alexander, which was new. But volume alone isn’t the determinant of how good that content was. So let’s start in on that, albeit not with the dungeons.
If you’re playing on the North American data centers for Final Fantasy XIV
, you’ve been given ample warning that the centers are moving. That’s not a surprise. Similarly, you probably knew that the move would impact your play time. The dates are in now
, and you can see exactly
when your play time will be impacted. The Aether data center (also known as “the one everyone is on because of Balmung and Gilgamesh”) and the Primal center will be moving from May 15th to May 17th, while Gaia, Chaos, Mana, and Elemental centers are moving from the 16th to the 17th.
Obviously, the game will be unavailable to play on those worlds during the maintenance, so all player subscriptions will be extended by one day due to the extended maintenance cycle. So you can’t play, but you won’t have to lose paid time. You will, of course, lose the time that otherwise would be spent earning whatever, but there aren’t exactly many weekly lockouts left at this point. And you’ll still have a month before the expansion launch.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from EVE Online, Wurm Online, Gloria Victis, Brawl of Ages, TERA, World of Warships, H1Z1, Champions Online, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Aion, Wakfu, and The Black Death, all waiting for you after the break!
I’ve mentioned many a time that I like Funcom quite a bit. I want to like Funcom quite a bit. Heck, I want to be excited about Secret World Legends, but every day or so I get reminded that such a course of action will be very difficult at the least. Because quite frankly, Secret World Legends seems to want me not to be excited about it, as evidenced by… oh, every single thing that Funcom is doing around it.
Which is odd, because Funcom literally has access to a playbook for a large-scale reboot.
Secret World Legends is coming off of The Secret World, which was a cult MMORPG classic with a mighty fan following. Final Fantasy XIV was coming off of… well, its initial version, which had a fan following full of people who admitted that it was halfway to Stockholm Syndrome. And yet that game managed to get people excited and earn fans, while Funcom seems dead-set on alienating people or making them just plain nervous.
Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?
Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.
Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.
The last patch for Final Fantasy XIV
before the expansion has been released. Does it contain unexpected in-depth content to delight and amaze players who had expected nothing of the sort? Of course not. Let’s not be silly. It does, however, give you a bit more reason to run the stuff that’s already in the game
. Weekly loot and token restrictions for Dun Scaith, for example? Those are gone. Micro tomestones? Easier to get, making 260 weapons easier to get by extension.
Speaking of those weapons, you can upgrade them now in Idyllshire more easily, now that Shire weapon upgrade items can be purchased along with the armor and accessory upgrade items. It’s also easier to move through the stages required for your Anima Weapon if you’d like a bit of catch-up there, as well. So while you’re flitting about for the last two months until the expansion, you can get more out of every run you take part in; that’s a good thing, all told.
Boy, I will be really miffed
if this winds up taking more time than I have until Final Fantasy XIV
‘s second expansion arrives. I will be put out
. But there was a lot of stuff here to review! So far we’ve covered a whole lot of story in the first two
parts of this series, but there’s… still
a bit more story to resolve here! Yeesh. This expansion had some stuff in it.
Of course, it also had other stuff in it, so this time around we can start going into other useful stuff like new jobs and class design. Which is a good thing, since, again, we’ve got a little while longer until Stormblood arrives, but not forever. So enough preamble; let’s finish up talking about the stories in Heavensward, especially as we’re moving into the parts that just unambiguously did not land well.
Final Fantasy XIV’s
award-winning soundtrack is growing bigger with every patch, and at times it seems as though Square Enix
can’t publish albums fast enough to keep up with all of the music. As the game prepares for another expansion’s worth of tunes, the studio is putting out its seventh soundtrack album this June
covering the remainder of Heavensward’s
Borrowing one of the game’s recent update titles, The Far Edge of Fate original soundtrack contains a whopping 50 tracks that span Patch 3.2 and 3.5 part two. The import album costs $50 and is recorded in 5.1 channel sound on a blu-ray with MP3 tracks included.
As a bonus to those who preorder the soundtrack, Square Enix is giving a spunky Nidhogg minion as an in-game pet.
The second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV
will be here in just about two months, and players are curious. Sure, we know a bit of the lore behind the new jobs, but what will their actual mechanics feel like? What’s happening to Blood of the Dragon? How often are we going to have to search for moogles? You can find out some of these answers (or perhaps none of them) by watching the next Letter from the Producer LIVE on April 28th
, with Naoki Yoshida
once again answering fan questions and discussing what’s on deck for the expansion.
Of course, if you’ve been away from the game for a bit you might be asking if you want to spend the next couple of months catching up. The good news is you don’t have to determine that just by speculation; another free login campaign has arrived, allowing former subscribers to log in for up to 96 hours until May 7th. So you can jump in, check out the changes, and then decide if you’d like to spend more time with the game as an informed player.
Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!
“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”
I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!
We’ve still got a couple of months to go before Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
is released, but at this point we all know what’s coming next. So why not read some lore about it beforehand? The official site for the expansion has been updated
with screenshots, lore, and details about the new beast tribes, new jobs, and new regions being added to the game in both Gyr Abania and Othard.
So, for example, do you want to know where Red Mages come from? It turns out that the job was developed from the survivors of the War of the Magi from Mhach and Amdapor, unifying their black and white magics into a new order with other refugees. Curious to learn more about the Lord of the Revel, Susano, primal to the aquatic Kojin? You can read all of that on the official site, or you can take a peek down below for all of the screenshots you could want.
After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.
Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:
Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!