final fantasy

Disambiguation:

Final Fantasy XI, an MMORPG released in 2002
Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG released in 2010 and re-released in 2013
Final Fantasy series, a series of video games that began in 1987

Final Fantasy XIV announces an end to congested worlds and restricted housing sales

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s new housing plots came with an additional restriction: Players weren’t allowed to purchase these new plots as individuals, just for free companies. Similarly, the launch of Stormblood brought a similar restriction, as players on designated “congested” worlds could not make new characters on those worlds or transfer characters to those worlds. But on February 20th, both of these restrictions will be lifted. Players can once again transfer to congested worlds, buy individual houses, and dress up in moogle outfits as tanks.

Actually, players could do that last one before.

Players will still be restricted to only owning one house per server on a given account, so the opening of plots doesn’t change that; similarly, there will still be preferred worlds for character creation, and if population disparities rise again the same countermeasures will be put back into place once more. However, for the time being, players will be able to get together and play more easily. In the end, isn’t that all anyone really wants?

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Massively Overthinking: Could bots save dying MMORPGs?

Last week, a reader named Chris, who is writing a paper on the MMO industry and revivifying sunsetted games, dropped an intriguing question into my inbox. It’s about bots – but not the sort of bots EVE Online is constantly fighting. The good kind.

“Do you think people would be interested in coming back to ‘closed’ MMO games if they were populated with AI bots instead of real players (to make them feel alive/populated)?” he asked me.

Let’s ponder that for today’s Overthinking. Certainly we’ve seen bots put to work in games like Camelot Unchained, which uses them to test massive numbers of players on the battlefield. Would you want to see them in live play? Would they help the feel of the world in ways that default NPCs simply would not? Is the AI even doable? Could AI bots take our place to make MMORPGs even better – or even to keep them viable and save them from destruction?

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The Daily Grind: Which game is the best MMO ambassador?

The other day I was listening to a podcast in which the host was making a case that Final Fantasy XIV was one of the best MMO ambassadors out there right now. That is, it was a “gateway” title that served to lure in and introduce players to MMORPGs who might not otherwise ever try them.

I’ve heard this concept bandied about before, and honestly, I like it. I think it’s important to make converts of outside players to keep the MMO community from getting too stale and complacent. We need new lifeblood to keep these games from dying out, and even past that, if we love these games and see their virtue, we’ll want to introduce a friend or family member to what makes them special!

So which game do you think makes for the best MMO ambassador? If you were to try to woo a friend to MMOs, which title would you use to suck them into the genre?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 157: Lunar Valentines

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin overdose on candy hearts as they look at Valentine’s Day in MMOs — as well as the Lunar New Year. From expansion alpha testing to a new MMO launch to unifying a game globally, it’s a pretty upbeat and positive week of podcast chatter.

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Wisdom of Nym: What cosmetic features could other jobs get in Final Fantasy XIV?

About a month back, I got a comment in this column with an absolutely spectacular question. We’ve got two cosmetic systems that basically only concern two jobs in the game, Bards and Summoners. What could other jobs get for similar systems, stuff that’s going to be fun to play with but wouldn’t actually affect any sort of gameplay?

This question almost immediately struck me as marvelous, because one of the things I love about Final Fantasy XIV is its attention to detail with stuff like this. A music system can be added to the game that only works for Bards, because that’s a thing Bards do and you can just be a Bard if you want to. So why shouldn’t other jobs get similar toys?

It was also the first time that I’d really thought about egi glamours as being in the same category, and that category has somewhat suffered from a lack of updates lately. So let’s talk about these sorts of enhancements, more character options for out-of-combat customization.

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Final Fantasy XIV shows off the Forbidden Land of Eureka

Players of Final Fantasy XIV are still knee-deep in exploring the game’s most recent patch, but you won’t have to wait until the next major patch for some new content. The most recent live letter from producer Naoki Yoshida covered a large number of player questions, but it also showed off the upcoming exploration content of the Forbidden Land of Eureka. It’s a whole zone to explore, but it’s also a very different sort of zone compared to other regions of the game.

Players will be tasked with exploring the region and gathering powerful items to enhance gear and unlock new gear, including appearances based on familiar items from veterans of other titles. Doing so will also allow you to improve your elemental properties based on the new Magia Melder system, which lets players steadily improve elemental affinities whilst bringing different properties into battle. Check out the full letter translation for more details, or take a look at the archived video from the livestream just below.

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: Which MMORPGs should stay away from legacy servers?

Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.

That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?

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Square Enix reports a growing population in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s a mix of mild good and bad news for Square Enix’s financials this quarter. The studio reported that profits were up in the last nine months of 2017, although sales were fairly flat when compared to the year previous.

Square Enix said that its sales dropped 1% year-over-year to $1.72 billion while its profits increased by 30.9% to $204 million. The studio attributes a dearth of blockbuster titles released during this time frame as a cause for the flat sales.

At least Final Fantasy XIV was pulling its weight with an increase in the player population: “In the area of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, revenues from the latest expansions of Final Fantasy XIV and Dragon Quest X led to an increase in the number of paying subscribers and disk sales, which resulted in an increase of net sale and operating income, as compared to the same period of the prior fiscal year.”

Source: Square Enix via Gamasutra

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 156: Downfalls and uprisings

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over the fate of MOBAs, investigate Alganon’s nebulous state, talk about why subscribing to an alpha test might not be the smartest thing in the world, and more!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Wisdom of Nym: Looking at Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 4.2

A lot of times, I spread out my time with Final Fantasy XIV patches, unlocking and finishing up content at a reasonably sedate pace. For whatever reason, that wasn’t my approach this time around. I cleared through all of the day one content that I had any designs on doing right away, which means I’ve already gotten through the end of Sigmascape, the Jade Stoa, and both of the dungeons in short order. It went faster than I expected, truth be told.

There’s always a lot to talk about with these patches and a lot of opinions, which is always fun. But one of the interesting points that I found comes up when I consider how the game divided up its storylines for this patch. I had misunderstood what the patch notes noted about Hells’ Lid as a dungeon and where it fit into the MSQ, and the change in this case makes me very happy for both storytelling here and in the future.

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Final Fantasy XIV gets a dazzling centerpiece snow sculpture for the Sapporo Snow Festival

The storyline for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward was not just about dragoons fighting dragons in snow. But it was prominently about the great wyrm Nidhogg, the vengeance-driven Estinien, and the way that their conflict played out across snowy Coerthas. So it seems only appropriate that their rivalry has been given tribute in the form of an enormous snow sculpture as part of the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.

Yes, it’s an enormous wall-sized mural of Estinien and Nidhogg made out of snow, complete with projection lighting after dark to use the sculpture as part of a storytelling exercise. It’s a pretty cool and appropriate tribute to the previous expansion’s storyline, and you can get a taste of what it looks like from the photos below. (We are going to go ahead and assume that you cannot fly out to Japan just to see this. If you can, of course, let us know how it goes.)

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