If I sound annoyed, that’s because I am.
Regardless of the inefficiency of the presentation, we did find out a fair bit about the next patch and associated features for patch 4.3, so we can start discussing some of the things we need to know about the update. Of course, no small amount of what we know is coming is stuff that we could also have expected to see just because of the game’s fundamental structure, but there’s also a lot of genuinely surprising bits. So let’s start in with the stuff that isn’t a new dungeon, a new Alliance Raid, or points related, yes?
It’s really more like the high dungeon
Heaven-on-High has been towering above the Ruby Sea as the obvious objective of the next Deep Dungeon segment for ages now, but I’m happy to hear that it’s not just going to be the same as before but with new floors. The nice part about FFXIV in general has always been the way that existing content gets built off of prior content, refined and expanded in ways that offer new adventures; it’s not like the initial Deep Dungeon is now irrelevant, just no longer max-level content.
We’ve also been told that the first 30 floors are the “entry,” with the later portions more devoted to offering a challenge. This in and of itself is interesting, as the game has generally explored new ways to challenge groups and it implies that we won’t have the same leveling system that we did in the Palace of the Dead. I’m curious to see what we have instead as well as what the ultimate rewards will be; the weapons of the initial outing were a useful alternative for gearing and for cosmetics, so I imagine it’ll be something similar.
We know next to nothing about what’s actually here yet, of course. So we’ve got lots of space to speculate about how this will be different, but not nearly as much information about how those differences will manifest. I’m curious, but then, I was a big fan of the original Deep Dungeon, so the revival can’t help but intrigue me.
Craft until you can’t craft no more
The Namazu seemed like an obvious crafting tribe, although part of me wondered if we would get something with the Lupines. Not that such an eventuality is precluded at this point, of course; it would just be a little surprising after we’ve already had a pattern established for how many tribe quests we’ll get in an expansion. But the Namazu already have a base of operations and a love of shiny things, so the two tend to go together nicely.
I was going to be a little annoyed at another patch story and beast tribe sending us back into Othard, but the last patch’s tribe brought us to Gyr Abania, so perhaps there’s only so much that can be done in swapping locales. We’re still spending a lot of time in Othard, of course; one might even assume that the new dungeon and the new Alliance Raid will kick off there, based on previous information. One hopes Lyse is managing all right.
The inclusion of a new Custom Delivery target also means that you’ll have plenty of delivery options that are higher-level than our good friend Zhloe; one can only hope that Khloe will migrate soon to give us less reason to run back and forth to Idyllshire. (That system is due for a bit of an upgrade anyway.) Considering the build-up of the Doman Enclave, it’s not difficult to speculate about where we’ll be focusing our attentions.
Glimglam all the livelong day
Being able to reclaim items from the glamour dresser is a nice change, but not a massively needed one for my money; then again, the inclusion of mannequins might make this feature more necessary than you could think. Or perhaps less necessary, depending upon what is done to set up those mannequins.
The idea of linking a given plate to a given set implies that some larger-scale changes and more slots may be coming soon, both of which are good things. My feeling had always been that the glamour chest, like many things, was meant more as an initial run than a here-then-done feature; it’s the start of a new and more comprehensive system across the board, such as one allowing you to just have specific glamours for specific jobs.
Of course, as it stands that would be precluded if you switch jobs in the wider world, but glamouring a slot itself rather than applying a permanent glamour could have advantages. It could also be unnecessary for certain glamours that are meant to be applied broadly in the first place; further information, as always, will be required for a final determination.
Companion apps and something for nothing
Yes, the tempest in a teacup has been the revelation that the mobile app will have some sort of “premium” version that requires some additional amount of money (we don’t know how much) to access a few additional features. It’s the big point of contention for a certain component of the fanbase.
It’s also something that I find it impossible to care about. Like, at all. This not only doesn’t bother me, it anti-bothers me.
None of the functions discussed are any different than the ones you can also access by just sitting at home all day and playing the game. If you have a situation where you want to do these things but cannot be home, right now, you can’t do it at all. With the premium service, you can. If this stuff doesn’t sound worth extra money to you, then don’t pay it.
I recognize the impulse to feel as if these are somehow necessary features, just like I understand being annoyed at the thought of getting a bigger bag only if you subscribe to a feature. But that ship has sailed a long time ago; you get a bonus already if you buy an authenticator or use the mobile authenticator, Final Fantasy XI gives you more bag space for that, and so on. I can see living without it, I can also see it being an add-on that makes more sense than just paying for an additional retainer.
My advice is to wait until you actually have pricing information and an overview of what these things will do before you get up in arms over it. Being able to manage your inventory during your lunch break certainly won’t hurt, but if it’s two bucks a month, that’s not worth getting upset about either way.
Or you could keep pitching a fit about something that got an offhand reference and hasn’t been detailed yet, you do you.
Feedback, as always, is welcome down in the comments or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, as we’re unlikely to have much additional information about the next patch, let’s talk a little bit about how we’ll be at a major story junction and where we might be going next.