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.
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.
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.)
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.
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:
- “Wow, all of this stuff is really cool!”
- “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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.