Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s big finale

    
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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.

I don't think there can be any proper question of whether or not she knew more than she admitted to; a better question is just how much she knew and why she kept it hidden.Let’s start with the most obvious plot point that has led to the most consternation: the death toll. By the end of this patch, we’ve lost six major players on the side of the angels, had one left bereft of an arm and his place in society, and seen only one of the people who richly deserve it get a sword through the midsection.

Incidentally, Teledji is apparently also upset about this change; he’s falling to pieces over it. Little gallows humor there.

Ironically, this addresses one of my biggest criticisms of the end of 1.0’s storyline. I was a huge fan of the fact that the ending was big, climactic, and savage: The moon came down, untold destruction was rained upon Eorzea, and we were cast forward in time with no idea about what would come next. Who would live to see the new dawn shine? And then it turned out that the answer to that question was literally everyone, since none of the major storyline NPCs or even the player characters gathered on that battlefield came back with more than a slight limp.

Grand Company leaders? Fine. Cid? Fine, with a slight bump on the head. Gaius? Oh, he showed up without a problem later. Even Louisoix wound up turning up again, which makes the buildup of his whole sacrifice at the end feel about a million times more perfunctory than it ought to be.

Not this time. We lost people. Nanamo is dead, and while I think there’s a very real possibility that some of the Scions made it out all right (my money is on it, even), at this point it seems that they’re dead and gone, and if they do turn up again, they won’t just pop up again as if nothing had happened.

More importantly, the finale had the effect of demolishing the support network that players spent a year and a half building up. We considered ourselves unassailable and in control, something that even I predicted; I expected players to be rolling into Ishgard as today’s conquering heroes, when really we’re heading there because of a dearth of other options. We, collectively, need Ishgard more than it needs us right now. I fully expected that to be reversed. I expect there are big new things around the bend, but we’re not marching in to save the city but to be saved by it.

It’s a lot of death, indisputably, and it means that we feel the loss. That’s important. It’s a sign that the writers knew what they were doing. And far from being an irrelevant increase to the body count, every single character who dies has meaning and impact, making an important and difficult decision. Suddenly, the future is in doubt.

I’ve also seen people upset that the story didn’t allow the player character to simply solve everything, which disregards the fact that pretty much no one – Scions included – actually wanted this conflict to come to blows. Yes, it’s a bit of a railroad, but that’s the nature of the story and has been since day one. We have the ability to see aspects of the story from the perspective of the audience that our characters may not.

Truth be told, I was far more bothered by the presence of Estinien in the story than anything else, since his relationship with Nidhogg and the end of the Dragoon storyline was more or less shuffled off to one side with no further explanation, a fact I found quite irritating. He’s being set up as a major player in the expansion, which seems entirely appropriate, and I totally understand why there wasn’t space for a lengthy scene for players who had cleared those quests compared to those who hadn’t, but… even so, it was a gloss where we really needed hard information that we never got.

I'm not your friend, buddy. I'm not your buddy, pal. I'm not your pal, guy.How was my aim? Bad, really. I made some guesses, and most of them wound up being off; the guesses that were right seemed to largely be in spite of myself more than anything.

I’m almost certain that there’s more going on behind the scenes than we’re aware of. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t buy into the idea that this plot was tied to Garlemald or even the Ascians; while Lolorito got what he wanted, he didn’t seem to happy about it, and the Crystal Braves are aiming higher than simply handing the nations over to Garlemald. They’re not even pushing to take power; they let the Syndicate have control without a fight, and Yuyuhase outright tells Alphinaud that their goal is the same as it’s ever been. I wonder whether perhaps this will tie into finding out more about Dravania, whether there are more sides to the conflict than we’re currently aware of.

The lore we’ve seen thus far on Dark Knight seems to torpedo the theory that Raubahn will be taking on the role of trainer for the job, but nothing is certain just yet; that said, I tend to doubt it. I think Raubahn has a different role to take, and we’ll see more of that in 3.0. I’m also looking forward to Alphinaud’s new role in the group, and I’m curious to see where Urianger is going – if there’s one thing the writers have shown repeatedly, it’s that nothing is as simple as someone being on one side or the other. There are always shades and nuances.

Personally, I think 3.0 is going to be a big change. I think that for the first time, by the end of an expansion storyline (if we’re calling 1.0 and 2.0 separate stories, which seems fair), when all the patches are done, we’ll be triumphant. Ishgard will be back in the Eorzean Alliance, we’ll understand the nature of the Dragonsong War, and the Ascians will have been pushed back further. For the first time that we’ve been in the game world, I think we’ll be approaching peace after two big pushes downward.

That, of course, will be when the Garlean Empire makes another big push from Ala Mhigo, leading us into the next expansion. That might be entirely spurious, but if that’s how things shake down, I want to state for the record that I called it here.

Feedback is welcome down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com, which is the case every week. Please be aware that more spoilers are possible in the comments, if you read this far and somehow… are still afraid of spoilers? I don’t know. Next week, let’s talk in depth about the new lore that we’ve received and any other news that we’ll get between now and then; it’s been on a pretty quick turnaround lately.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.

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JasonAnthony2
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JasonAnthony2

Apart of me feels like Raubahn is a Beserker and the cs with him was secret tease. I do not think Nanamo is dead, but made appeared to be dead. I also don’t think the Scions are dead either. My guess is that Yda and Pap escape and the others get captured. We go to rescue the others and Raubahn and find an alive and imprisoned Nanamo.

themindstream
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themindstream

bakkahentai2600 A Dad Supreme ManastuUtakata Yeah. First rule of character death in fiction is “unless you’ve seen the body, they’re potentially still in play.”. Died onscreen in full view is much harder to pull out of; not impossible but harder. The conspiracy theories (mostly around Nananomo) would set up interesting stories but I think a lot of them deep down come from her being popular and innocent.

…even if every healer I know who’s been through the cutscene was yelling “Esuna, damnit!” at the screen.

themindstream
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themindstream

omedon666 bakkahentai2600 Bast Tribe quests open up at lv 42 and having gotten to the respective point in the main story. Also, you’re limited to 6/day.
Fate
parties are still a thing but mostly only from 30+, with the occasional
group in Quarrymill and below that in zones that give Atma drops. They
are more common in Northern Thanalan since the Novus part of the relic
grind introduced a need for materia (so, spiritbinding) and the
Alexandrite drop chance from Fates. Levequests are technically faster
but any variety is a good thing, IMO.

deeggale
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deeggale

omedon666  You have a lot of options.  I still see plenty of folks running fates.  Levequests have always been decent for solo-leveling exp.  There is also the challenge log which features some challenges that reset weekly.

I actually feel leveling is more enjoyable simply because each option is almost equally viable whereas FATES were the thing to do at launch to level other jobs.  Dungeons do have the edge, but not by much imo.

omedon666
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omedon666

Bunzi omedon666 bakkahentai2600 I don’t have a “massive aversion” to them, I did after all complete the “Realm Reborn” storyline, but if I’m going to pay a sub, I need to know that there are options that don’t depend on other players, because I’m not paying other players, I’m potentially paying SE.

I can do the dungeon grind, but I’ve heard that the DD queues are typically abysmal, which means if I want to dungeon reasonably, I need to tank or heal.  That’s dumb.  Therefore I’d like to know that there are options, because the mood to play a “pressure role” isn’t something I can maintain for a month straight, ever.

scratches16
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scratches16

bakkahentai2600 Riseyra
Honestly, now that we have Midgardsormr as our personal shoulder angel / devil, who has almost-infinite wisdom and knowledge about Eorzea, there’s really no need for Minfilia or any of the other Scions. Granted, removing Minfilia removes a relatively-relatable character (read: human (hyuran?)) to explain “human” issues, but it no way severs the ability to continue that narrative.
When one window is closed / buried in rubble, another opens and a dragon flies through it… order notwithstanding…

Jarin
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Jarin

Periastron Swear to god, I’m going to create an army of Lalafel across servers, all named “Notta Taru” :P

Jarin
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Jarin

omedon666 bakkahentai2600 The thing is, this game is built from the ground up around dungeon content. You can avoid it (or avoid doing it more than the once each required for story), but only with great pain. Don’t write it off so quickly, though. The Duty Finder makes dungeon running relatively painless. You don’t have to exchange a word with anyone if you don’t care to. 

A close friend of mine is a career MMO-Antisocialist (not a word, don’t care). He played WoW without ever running a dungeon that we didn’t bodily drag him into. Never grouped once in GW2. This game? He’d managed three random-PuG dungeons before I even knew he’d joined the game. Shocked me to my core.

Just saying… give it a shot. You might be surprised.

Jarin
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Jarin

bakkahentai2600 exeeter Re: missing weapon… – to say nothing of the people there playing white mage, screaming “LET ME CAST ESUNA, GODDAMNIT!” :P

Bunzi
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Bunzi

omedon666 bakkahentai2600

No, it isn’t. You get your hunting log with each new class and it updates automatically as you level up. 
But even if it it didn’t, you’re not going to get anywhere in this game if you have such a massive aversion to dungeons, since close to a dozen need to be run at least once to complete the story.