Still, another one did happen, and as we’re in the between-patch lull it’s high time to start speculating and picking through the details we know about. Ironically, what we know about also handily overlaps with two features that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago with regards to features we hadn’t heard about, because the world is funny like that. So let’s start there, because I enjoy irony as much as the next person.
The rise of companies in 3.3
We don’t know the details about what’s coming in 3.3, but we do know a few things about it. It involves the whole “having a platoon of your own NPCs” feature that was discussed back before the launch of Heavensward, new items are going on sale for the Grand Companies, and – perhaps most importantly – we’re finally going to be able to hit the next rank in company organization. This is a big deal, as we’ve been waiting for that promotion since… oh, the first implementation of Grand Companies back during 1.0. It’s been a while.
In other words, it seems as if 3.3 is already setting itself up nicely as the patch of the Grand Companies. And why would the companies be mobilizing? Because it’s almost stunning that they haven’t already done so.
While the player characters and the Scions have been faffing about for two patches with Ishgard’s political turmoil, the fact of the matter is that Garlemald is sitting in Azys Lla more or less unopposed. We’ve denied the Legatus a couple of prizes, but the Garleans still have run of an entire quadrant, and there seems to be little to no indication that they’re not doing quite well for themselves there.
It helps that the Legatus in question is Regula van Hydrus, whom I’ve quite liked so far. He has a very different attitude compared to Nael van Darnus or Gaius van Baelsar, and unlike far too many simple antagonists he’s more than willing to cut his losses and admit when a particular effort will not work out. The result is that his forces are in control of a large portion of Azys Lla, and he’s smart enough to recognize that as a major win rather than banking everything on desperate maneuvers.Click to reveal text; mild 3.1/3.2 spoilers within!
This all ties in nicely to all of the strains that Ishgard is already dealing with and may well serve as a main component of 3.3’s storyline. Ishgard already has been dealing with massive changes; now it’s going to have to deal with the Grand Companies actually making requests and formally deploying people, the first time the alliance hasn’t been either neutral or in Ishgard’s favor thus far. I’m not saying it’s confirmed, but boy, all the piece sure do fit.
More Void Ark incoming
The revelation that we’re getting the next part of Void Ark in 3.3 is a revelation in the same way that the sun rising in the morning is a revelation. Sure, it’d be really bad if it didn’t happen, but it doesn’t surprise you when it does. What is a little bit surprising is that we’re still staying in something that does appear to be heavily Mhachi-inspired.
The War of the Magi is something that did definitely happen in FFXIV, but knowledge and records from that time are intensely murky, with only the vaguest understanding of Amdapor, Mhach, and Nym. The Void Ark itself is a fascinating glimpse into Mhachi culture by itself, a nation of mages with such command over the Void that they saw voidsent as little more than power batteries. Logically, with three civilizations involved in the war, it would have been an ideal chance to explore more about Nym and Amdapor as well, beyond the barest peeks that we’ve gotten into the other two civilizations based upon a handful of dungeons and one job quest line each.
Obviously, the plot of Void Ark involves a particular Voidsent, and thus there’s plenty of reason why Diabolos would be seeking out other Mhachi ruins. I will admit, though, that the very light-themed fight through Lost City of Amdapor made me hope for more in that vein. It still might happen, but the odds are decreased.
Summoner glamour and Feast delays
I was kind of happy that the summoner egi glamour system was mentioned again so soon after I flagged that as a feature we had basically stopped hearing about altogether. Sure, on the one hand that meant a whole column had been sort of cut off midstream, but it also meant that a really interesting customization system wasn’t forgotten. We should see that starting in 3.4, which is just in time for the last of the Warring Triad fights to be rolling around if we get one each in 3.3 and 3.4. I’m not saying anything, but…
The Feast delay rationale that we got in the half-finished quick translation is also rather interesting, mostly insofar as it indicates how much the game has suffered from not having any sort of external test server. A lot of the issues that have hit the live game are issues that come from having a specific internal testing pool that all knows how content is supposed to work rather than how it does work; The Feast in particular seems like content that could have used more examination with actual players.
I’m not sure whether having a larger testing group is something that’s still in discussion, but a public test server would do wonders for issues like this. The team is very good about responding quickly to issues and patching things that don’t work, but some of those patches wouldn’t be necessary with a little bit of extra examination before the launch.
As always, feedback is welcome down below or via mail to email@example.com, same as it ever was. Next time around, I want to poke at something that’s been on my mind quite a bit but hasn’t really coalesced until recently: There’s a character missing from all of the post-3.0 MSQ developments who really, really ought to be there, and that character’s absence might shed some interesting light upon lore.