Wisdom of Nym: What we know so far about Final Fantasy XIV’s next patch

    
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So we know what’s going on with the next patch for Final Fantasy XIV, or at least as much as could be released during a producer’s letter. The transcript of one, anyhow. I know there are people who totally sit through the whole thing as the transcript of the letter goes up on the forums, and I have to tell you, I am not one of those people.

Regardless, the important thing is that we have some information about the next patch. I feel… oddly ambivalent about it. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t sound bad, but I don’t feel as if it has a feature list that gets me intensely hyped up. But let’s just take this one as it comes and hit the highlights of the content we know about right now. I do think it’s going to be a good patch, mild ambivalence aside; I just don’t look at it and see much in terms of a shock factor.

The Feast

Take the fight to them, etc.I’m of two minds about this particular content because on the one hand, it’s a positive update. PvP players have been waiting for a long while to get some new PvP options, and I’m happy to see another addition to the game’s PvP rotation. For that matter, it looks as if it’s going to add some additional strategy to PvP play.

On the other hand, it seem that this is our new not-on-the-regular-schedule content, like Lords of Verminion was in 3.1. And while I liked that a fair bit for being a joke that the developers decided was popular enough to make into an actual thing, this feels more like an effort to get players to care about something that has been shown to be rather unpopular.

The system does sound neat, and I enjoy the fact that the setup gives another set of options for players who enjoy to fight one another. The role distribution is also interesting, preventing teams with too fixed a composition from storming the metaphorical battlements. What’s really going to wind up making the difference is whether or not enough people care about the ranking option to support it over the long run. At the moment, my suspicion is that it’s going to be touch-and-go in that regard, sort of drifting in and out of critical mass based on novelty.

That might also just be my complaining about things I’m not as interested in, though. Perhaps everyone will finally be gaga over PvP in Eorzea. Anything’s possible, really.

Stone, Sky, Sea

One thing this game was not missing was Proving Grounds-style content with no rewards and no ties to anything. I get the concept, and it surely can’t be as poorly mismanaged as the solo DPS check content has been in other games, but it’s still not tremendously compelling as much more than a mild diversion.

It’s also kind of silly insofar as it’s the game trying to have DPS meters without having DPS meters: You have a hard burn target and you need to get it down in a limited amount of time, and that’s fine, but this setup is just telling you if you can do that rather than actually giving you a target number and seeing if you meet it. Again, I see why the choice is being made, and Twelve know I wouldn’t be sad to not have DPS meters in a game… but people are already running them if they’re really interested. Denial, on the whole, does not seem to be working.

New dungeons and Alexander

Well, duh.

Sure, this is fine, but we all knew these were coming and it provokes no interest in me whatsoever. It’s just whatever. It’s expected stuff, it’s going to be fun, it’s more or less the foundation of every new patch in one form or another. It’s less a surprise and more proof that yes, this next patch is indeed a next patch.

Adjustments all around

Walking through the same door we're already behind.There’s a mild downside to the change in tank damage formulas insofar as it really puts the lie to how pointless the current bonus point system is, but it’s still welcome. For tanks who have been gearing and statting in the intended way all along, it’s going to have no impact, and the net result is fewer fragile tanks. These are positive shifts on a whole.

Astrologian and Machinist have been in need of adjustments for a while, so their updates are welcome. The biggest problem that Machinist has, as before, is that its damage is just too reliant upon randomness; once you’ve used up your ammunition, you’re left hoping until the next time comes around. It’s not a bad job, but that random-proc style of play is a bit much for reliable damage.

It’s a minor update, but I’m very happy to see that the criteria for trial queues allow groups to queue for leveling/trial roulettes now; those were always odd omissions, and it made things a bit more obnoxious for me when I couldn’t get those things done in a party but could do most everything else in a party. If we could just do something about being able to queue with our chocobos out, I’d be extraordinarily happy. (Not expecting that one any time soon, though.)

Mentor system

This seems as if it has the potential to be abused, but it also seems like a really good feature on a whole and a chance for new players to really benefit from more experienced players. One of the facts that myself and several other players have noticed over the years is that FFXIV, on the whole, really does tend to have a community with a welcoming attitude toward new players. The normal reaction to “I’ve never done this dungeon before” is less “Oh, gross” and more “Oh, here, let me go over the bosses for you.”

I know that I’ll probably be trying mentor status myself, at least. I think it’s a positive move that games can do well to embrace, and I’m going to embrace it. And I want to see how the Mentor Roulette winds up shaking out in the long run. Perhaps I’m a little more hyped about that than I originally thought.

The date

The next patch is dropping on February 23rd. That’s honestly a lot earlier than I had expected; my guess was early March, but this one seems to be on a tighter schedule. I am a bit sad that we are unlikely to get the weapon upgrade to 210 before then, which is likely to make it just a wee bit useless for everything other than skin purposes, but that’s a mild niggle and not worth screaming over.

Yes, I know, anima weapons; I think it’s important to have buying an upgrade, getting a drop, or doing the quest as options, that’s my point.

I do also think this is a smart move based on the fact that I’m not the first person who seems to be a little bit ho-hum after 3.1. While this particular feature list doesn’t get me dancing in the streets, that’s just from looking at a rundown rather than playing it; for all I know, the actual play experience will turn me around and get me excited once again. And even if not, it’s still going to be a solid patch; that’s something to be happy about regardless.

Feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com, as with every week. Next time around, I’d like to talk about the Warring Triad in history, what we know about it in the game so far, and why it deserves some focus that it’s really not getting.

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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Bereman99
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Bereman99

Raging Berserker Bereman99 scratches16 Despite getting the game during the early access period in 2013, I didn’t actually reach 50 from restarting characters and taking breaks for other games and didn’t get to the post 2.0 story stuff myself until it was nearly all in place either (Steps of Faith patch was added after I reached 50), so I definitely understand the difference in the experience.

For what it’s worth, 3.1 was the first patch to have new dungeons or trials added that didn’t connect to the MSQ at all. 2.1 had the Moogle trial added that was connected (I was actually mistaken on the dungeon, as it had you go into a dungeon that was there from 2.0 but wasn’t part of the original MSQ progression), 2.2 had Leviathan, 2.3 sent you against Ramuh, 2.4 was the first to require both a dungeon and a trial with Snowcloak and Shiva, and 2.5 (the story content for this was split into two sub patches as part of the 2.5 line) continued that trend with Keeper of the Lake as the dungeon and the Chrysalis and Steps of Faith as the trials.

3.2 is going back to having at least a dungeon or trial as part of the MSQ, with the Antitower, and hopefully that trend will continue through the rest of the expansion.

xania
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xania

Stone, Sky, Sea kinda bothers me. Dummy DPS tests are all well and good for testing how well you know your rotation, but unless the hardest dummy has AS4 level of not just AOEs but other mechanics it throws at you, it’s useless. Plenty of people can turret and do max DPS, but fall apart during a real battle, and that’s when you NEED to know who’s slacking if you’re failing DPS checks. 

It will do nothing that googling your job’s best rotations and wailing on a normal dummy won’t do. And since it doesn’t give exact numbers – just a, you did /at least/ this much damage – it’s useless for finding better rotations (or for seeing if you improved if you already do over the needed DPS). Basically, who the hell does this help?

Raging Berserker
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Raging Berserker

Drivendawn Raging Berserker thatchefdude Don’t get me wrong.  I was doing other things besides focusing on the MSQ, but I would prefer the dungeons/raids to tie into the MSQ and not be another means of loot/currency.  I loved the crafting system in FFXIV.  Something I haven’t enjoyed since Vanguards crafting system, but SE destroyed that sense of enjoyment/accomplishment of making a 3 or 4 * crafting set and tools by making me mass produce items like a Chinese factory for currency.

Raging Berserker
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Raging Berserker

Bereman99 Raging Berserker scratches16 Thanks for taking the time on a quick write up on the history on the MSQ updates.  I personally started playing FFXIV during the first month of 1.0 and I didn’t look back.  I decided to give it another shot a couple months before Heavensward.  So I missed 2.0 launch until I want to say 2.5? 

After getting max level, ilvl 180 gear, and maxing out all my crafting/gathering skills, the updates I did get to stick around for were mostly harder versions of what was available and Alexander. I guess my expectations were set high since I had consumed over a year’s worth of MSQ in a couple months up to the Heavensward launch and I was expecting a meaty MSQ update in 3.1.

I understand that they add in new dungeons and raids, which is great, but I would rather them add a dungeon or raid that actually ties into the MSQ instead of some side quest dungeon/raid that is just there for another means of currency or loot.  BTW I must have run The Aetherochemical Research Facility dungeon at least 20+ times and I never got tired of it.  Great dungeon(probably my favorite) and one that ties into the MSQ. (The Hildibrand arc gets a pass since it is so radically different).

Bereman99
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Bereman99

Raging Berserker scratches16 The MSQ updates have always been fairly light when looked at individually – a lot of go here, talk to this person quests. The big difference between 2.1 and 3.1 was that 2.1 required that you go into to the new dungeon and the new trial and baked those quests into the MSQ (3.2, incidentally, will include the new dungeon Antitower). 
Taking on Good King Moggle Mog was not directly connected to the bulk of the 2.1 story, which was finding Minfilia’s adoptive mother and preparing to move out of Vesper Bay, yet it makes up a full 1/4 of the MSQ from that patch.

By the end of 2.5, a lot of things had happened, and you could see the clear story progression from 2.1 onward as it led into 3.0.

By the time 3.X final patch of this expansion hits, you’ll have another complete story. That’s hardly ignoring regular MSQ updates.

As for “thinking harder versions of the same dungeon/raid will suffice” you do realize that Antitower is a completely new dungeon, the hard modes of old dungeons aren’t just harder versions of the same thing (they feature new areas and new bosses that basically tell the story of what happened after you went through the first time – think new wing of a similarly themed set of dungeons), and the raid is the new wing with new bosses in new areas of Alexander?

Rynn
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Rynn

Dope_Danny Seconded. Hildibrand’s return is more important to me than anything else listed in this patch.

Drivendawn
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Drivendawn

Raging Berserker thatchefdude Well with all do respect there are dungeons and a raid and many other things as well. Although if all you like is the story then Imo it’s not worth it for you period. Your better off just watching a good movie than playing this game.

Dope_Danny
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Dope_Danny

Most important news: Hildibrand confirmed returning. The Anti-Patches/tingle of videogames returns after what feels like a year!

Raging Berserker
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Raging Berserker

Krem Raging Berserker Well they should be.  It is one of their strongest selling points and one that I look forward to enjoying…once there is enough of it to consume in a month subscription.

Raging Berserker
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Raging Berserker

thatchefdude Raging Berserker You are correct in saying that they are releasing the MSQ on a regular cadence(3-4 months), but I just can’t fathom the $45-$60 dollar price tag versus what they are giving(1-3 hours of cut scenes).  That is expansion level pricing without the expansion level of content to match it.