stormblood

Wisdom of Nym: Currencies in Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood

You know, I was going to talk about the end of the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood MSQ this week, but I decided against it. Not because I don’t have things to shout about when it comes to the expansion, nor because I’ve already done a lot of shouting to some pink-haired cat who helped me along through most of it (a creature of mystery, that one), but because I am probably in the minority in being through the whole thing. So let’s give it another week. It hasn’t even been a week since the actual launch at this point.

Instead, I want to talk about some pretty interesting changes that can easily slip under the radar in terms of currencies. I wouldn’t say this stuff is easy to miss, exactly, but it’s easy to not really think about it when you’re knee-deep in going through the game. So let’s talk about currencies, what you can buy, and what implications this has for the game moving forward.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is everything you expect (and that’s outstanding)

In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.

The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.

Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.

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Final Fantasy XIV is hit by a DDoS attack causing network difficulties

Is there any better time for DDoS attacks than right after the launch of a new expansion? Apparently not; Final Fantasy XIV reports today that it has been getting hit with attacks for several days now, causing network difficulties that the engineers are working as hard as possible to counteract. The official announcement is that the attacks have hit on June 16th, June 18th, and June 20th, with the attacks considered to still be ongoing.

This may account for some of the game’s server issues over the past few days; countermeasures are still being worked on. The game has also had a minor patch to address other technical issues and bugs, so players should have a better Stormblood experience waiting once they log on if the DDoS attacks don’t make it unplayable. (And if they get through the queues, but that’s just to be expected.)

Source: DDoS attacks, Hotfixes; thanks to David for the tip!

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has launched today

The time is finally here. While pre-ordered players were able to play from Friday onward, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood officially launches today. Players of all sorts can log in and start fighting for the liberation of Ala Mhigo and Doma beneath the heel of Imperial occupation; the developers have even officially confirmed that the instance issues hitting the game at the start of Early Access have been largely resolved. (Most players were able to solve those issues on Sunday, but the official statement is still nice.)

Not currently a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s Welcome Back campaign to take a trip in and see what all of the fuss over Red Mage and Samurai is about. Planning to remain a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s first subscription loyalty campaign to pick up a mount based off of the Falcon in Final Fantasy VI. Just want to catch a roundup and the launch trailer again? Jump on down below, friends.

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Wisdom of Nym: The Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood early access experience

There have basically been two attitudes throughout the past weekend with Final Fantasy XIV’s early access to Stormblood. Here, we’ll run it like a Tumblr meme; tag yourself appropriately in the comments:

  1. “Wow, all of this stuff is really cool!”
  2. “A system error occurred during event movement.”

I spent Friday and Saturday stuck in the latter, but Sunday I moved on the the former. But I can’t really talk about this early access period without talking about the server errors, what may have been causing them, and what should be considered when discussing them.

Because, make no mistake, this was not a fun weekend to be trying to play FFXIV much of the time. It was often dizzying in its frustration, and it was made all the worse because there’s always a communication gap with the game despite the best efforts of the staff. This in and of itself is something I really should write a column about, but that’s not today’s column.

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Final Fantasy XIV team updates players on congested worlds, instance issues

There is no question that the early access launch of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has been a rough and bumpy ride. At least the team is talking to players, even if it isn’t all good news.

Regarding the congested worlds and long queues, Square Enix explained that it has to function this way: “The following worlds have consistently had the number of players logging in reach maximum capacity, with queues of 1,000 to 5,000 players waiting to log in during peak hours. When the number of characters logged into a world has reached its limit, a player can only login when another player has logged out, in order to avoid worlds crashing.”

The team is working on ways to increase the population limit of worlds and urges players to consider transferring to lower-pop servers. In the meantime, the current crush of players is being blamed for the game’s congestion and server crashes in connection with instanced content and the duty finder (which has caused a severe bottleneck in one part of the main scenario questline that requires players to jump into an instance).

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood patch notes have been released

Tomorrow morning, Final Fantasy XIV players will be able to start moving through Stormblood, exploring new areas, leveling the new jobs, clearing new quests, and so forth. As a result, the enormous patch notes for the expansion are now here, and reading through all of them will take a while. Even when you include the fact that the simply massive number of new items added into the game means that you won’t be sitting through that list.

Both Red Mage and Samurai will have their initial job quests in Ul’dah, so if you logged out in that city, you get full marks for prediction. The next part of the Main Scenario will start in the Rising Stones, and players will want to stop by Revenant’s Toll anyhow to exchange all Heavensward tomestones for Allagan Tomestones of Poetics, which now serve as the all-purpose stones for prior expansions. This also means changes to the roulette structure, changes to the UI, and… well, the point is that there are a lot of changes. Luckily, you have all day to read through the notes before the game comes back online tomorrow.

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PSA: Final Fantasy XIV ends service on the PlayStation 3 on June 16

Friday is the start of early access for those who have pre-ordered Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, so it’s going to be a pretty happy day for a lot of players. It also marks the end of support for the game’s PlayStation 3 client, so you’ll need to be playing on either the PlayStation 4 or on PC in order to continue enjoying the game.

Fortunately for everyone who prefers having it on consoles, you get an automatic free upgrade to the PS4 version, so all you’ll need to do is actually have a PS4 if you want to keep going. Since this was announced months ago, odds are high that everyone making the switch has already done so, but consider this your last-chance reminder. And if you have a great deal of affection for the last-generation console version of the game, make sure to log in today, since tomorrow will have the servers down for maintenance all day.

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Wisdom of Nym: Your last-chance checklist for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Friday, folks. Friday is when Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood enters early access, which means heading to Gyr Abania, heading to Othard, unlocking Red Mage and Samurai, and trying not to discuss spoilers. As always, I can promise this will remain a spoiler-safe space in the intro and the article itself, so you needn’t fear coming across something untoward here; in the comments I cannot make promises, although we do try to keep an eye on these things.

But all of that’s in the future. Right now we’ve got a couple of days left, and I’m here to tell you that it’s your last chance to get everything ready to go. If you’re pumped as heck about this expansion – and let me tell you, I certainly am – you’ll want to make sure your last few checklist items are taken care of. So let’s give a last-chance checklist for people to accomplish over the next four days, yes? Or, well, three and a half now. It’s the noon slot, you see.

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Final Fantasy XIV reveals its upcoming set of Sabotender-themed weaponry

A lot of new things are arriving in Final Fantasy XIV when Stormblood early access kicks off next week on June 16th. New jobs, new levels, new areas, and all of that will be available. But the real question was always going to be about what spectacular new stuff you can buy at the Gold Saucer, and the answer to that question is a set of new weapons themed after the casino’s mascot, Senor Sabotender himself!

These new weapons will be available to purchase and glamour after the 4.0 launch, which means after the end of the current Make it Rain promotional event. However, that also means you can use the event running now to earn up MGP for spending on these weapons in the future, so it’s safe to say they’re at least peripherally connected. Why not get in there and earn a little more money? You could use it to stab your enemies with a cactus, and isn’t that all anyone really wants?

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Check out Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood launch trailer, PvP changes

PvP is changing even more than you might think in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. It’s been discussed before now, but a new article from the community team examines just how it’s changing in a bit more depth. You probably already know that each job will have a PvP-specific hotbar and a trimmed set of actions, for example, but the article examines how Protect itself is now a cooldown spell with an instant cast time and a short direction in PvP rather than a static buff everyone is expected to always maintain.

Players can also select two specific actions from a pool of shared actions, including the PvP equivalent of Sprint, and three specific PvP traits. Do you want increased health? Increased MP regeneration? Lower damage taken? Faster actions? It’s an interesting series of questions, and one that should make the PvP experience feel very different for players, especially since you’ll be able to earn experience in PvP maps with the expansion as well.

Meanwhile, the Stormblood launch trailer is out now. It’s just below, but be warned, it may well contain spoilers. Awesome spoilers.

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Wisdom of Nym: Words of caution about speculating on Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s balance

Whew. All right. Last week had a big old release of news about Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, and now I’m far more relaxed because I can actually talk about all of the things I saw. This has been gnawing at me since I got back from San Francisco, and while there’s a certain amount of fun in knowing things other people don’t, it’s much more fun to talk about how utterly cool pretty much everything looks. Even the jobs which I’m not specifically more excited about look like they’re getting lots of cool toys along the way.

Unfortunately, we’ve already started seeing people crying that the sky is falling and that Stormblood will be the worst thing ever, because now we know about the abilities. And… yeah, that’s downright bad.

Look, you all know how much I love speculating about things. I speculated about which abilities various jobs were losing or getting compressed (and wound up at about 65% accuracy, which I think is pretty good), I’ve speculated about what we’d hear at the various fanfests, I’ve speculated about jobs we’re likely never to get. But there’s good speculation and bad speculation, and your speculation about what the jobs will look like in terms of performance at 70 right now? It’s bad. Let’s talk about why.

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Final Fantasy XIV posts the full instructions for Stormblood early access

Whatever you want to accomplish in Final Fantasy XIV, you had best do so before the servers go down for maintenance for 24 hours on June 15th. That’s a fair bit before Stormblood releases, but it’s also timed to coincide with early access for Stormblood pre-orders starting on June 16th. So what takes place during early access? Why, the first wave of players getting into the expansion, naturally. So you’d better be prepared, which means that it’s a good thing a full breakdown is available on the official site.

Players will be able to access all of the expansion starting on June 16th with no restrictions on content or discussing content, although it’s considered polite to refrain from spoilers. You will need to finish the MSQ through Heavensward to take part in most of the Stormblood content, although any character at level 50 or above will be able to access Red Mage and Samurai. Your early access code will also enable play of the game through June 23rd, at which point you’ll need to register the full expansion code to continue playing. So start counting down; you’ve got about two weeks left to get ready.

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