Wisdom of Nym: What we learned in Final Fantasy XIV’s anniversary letter

    
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I am not throwing away my shot.
I appreciate the fact that we did not get a comprehensive picture of the next patch’s story with this particular live letter. Yes, the next patch for Final Fantasy XIV will give us a clearer picture of where we’re headed and what the future of the story will be, but I appreciate that we’re still playing the same game where we all pretend not to know the name of the next expansion and will be very surprised when it gets revealed in November. (Currently practicing my “oh my” face for that.)

In fact, a lot of this stream was just… showing off things we already know about, even if much of it still managed to be revelatory. And, of course, filled with people complaining about everything shown. But let’s run down the stuff that we know so far and place some of that in context, yes? We’ll also divorce some of the non-context from surrounding summaries.

Sigmascape and rumors

Whispering about how speculation isn't canon.We know about exactly one Sigmascape boss right now: Chaos. This is contrary to a lot of fan speculation pointing to an alleged leak, which predicted all four of the final fights, and one of them was, gasp, Chaos! Which has resulted in a lot of fan speculation claiming that the leak was accurate and true and we’re going to be fighting three other bosses.

Here’s the thing: It may be accurate. But we don’t yet know that, and we in fact know less than that because Chaos as a boss is not exactly a stretch. There’s not a lot to draw upon from Final Fantasy I, and unless you want to bring out all four Fiends, that’s the obvious connection.

One of the elements of the lore behind the Omega sequence is that Omega is running a test to see who emerges successful in what amount to multiple arena matches. It is entirely plausible that Sigmascape will “sum up” those other tests by pitting you against the victors along the way. It’s entirely plausible that we could face off against Chaos, the Emperor, and Zeromus – the three pre-PlayStation final bosses not already in the game – followed by a fight against Omega himself. It’s also totally plausible that we could have a much weirder fight sequence, as alluded to in the rumor about the next few bosses.

Which one is it? Right now, we do not know. Right now, it’s all speculation. But that’s part of the fun here. And that’s why speculation and rumors can be dangerous. To put it another way, while I’d happily put money down that our next expansion will be titled Shadowbringers, there’s no assurance that it is beyond plausible rumors. I’m not putting a hundred bucks on that one.

Also, it’s worth noting that Chaos, the Emperor, and Zeromus could each be singular people fighting their way through Omega’s simulations. So chew on that one for a bit.

Hot birb

Just make this dude fight the bird, it's appropriate.We’re finally getting back to the storyline of the Four Lords! It’s easy to forget about it because the pacing has been… not great here. I appreciate that the story is being better-handled than, say, the Fiends were, but having a trial against Suzaku while our last patch sent us off in a completely different direction makes me wonder how we can wrap this story up in a satisfying fashion. Nothing else for it, I suppose.

What little we saw of the trial looks like, well, a primal trial. There’s not much more to say about it; much as with Chaos, we know more or less nothing about the actual fight right now. I like the design, though, so that’s something.

On a similar note, there’s not much to be said about the new addition to the Canals; it’s more randomized random chance, which is cool and all if you’re having fun and kind of whatever otherwise. It does what it’s supposed to do but does not exactly amaze and delight otherwise, and it feels like another effort to extend the life of this content. It certainly makes treasure maps a wild ride, but since you can’t really affect any of it beyond hoping… yeah.

There’s also the allusion that we’ll have a special fight against Yojimbo at the fan festival, which indicates to me that we’re more-than-likely going to be getting that same battle ourselves at some point. This has been the case for the fights in the past, and I don’t think Yojimbo will be different; a proper trial against the mercenary will make for a fun ride. Continually scoop up gil to avoid him killing everyone!

House touches

If you can't understand why this matters to me when I have a Large, I can't explain this to you.The addition of the mannequin feature makes me happy. The addition of a mannequin feature that also allows you to sell the gear on the mannequin from your retainers is even better, as it allows you to create what amount to fashion galleries and I love it. It’s one of many features I love immediately even as I recognize that I have no idea what I’m even going to use it for just yet; the fact that there are possibilities fills me with joy alone.

House tags are also a good thing because that means that we’ll be able to further make use of our houses and give others an idea about what houses do. While I am part of the large group of people not particularly fond of the game’s shared open-world districts, I do think tools like this definitely contribute something extra to the game as a whole; they give us all better reasons to use our houses and the districts, and they make strolls through the districts more useful.

Some other fun stuff cropped up in various player questions, like the possibility of adding loft construction options and the like. Again, most of the problems with housing in the game have less to do with the actual mechanics and more to do with availability; it’s a good housing system, but we need changes where more people can actually access it reliably. But adding new construction options instead of asking us to glitch through things is still very welcome.

There’s also a peek in there at some new glamour styles, which is very nice; while I can fault some decisions like gender-locking outfits, I can’t fault the team for giving us constant new glamours to try out and enjoy. If anything, what I’d prefer is more options to see what cash shop styles look like before you buy… but perhaps some kind soul can dedicate a few mannequins to that purpose.

It seems appropriate.

As always, feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, as we’ve got a brief span before the next patch actually comes out, I want to discuss why adding the subjob system wouldn’t fix FFXIV’s job customization woes and also wouldn’t work with the game to begin with.

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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Sariel

Nitpick I’ve had for a long time, but could we get some shake-ups in the screenshots? Most of them seem to just be close-ups of player characters in Massively FF14 articles, especially since we’ve seen pictures of Chaos, the new Canals, and Suzaku that could have been good for one like this.

On-topic, I still don’t put trust in leaks and it’s troubling to me to see people already hyping up it as release gospel and are clearly setting themselves up for disappointment if it doesn’t come true.

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Mr Poolaty

Dude no fucking way is it going to be shadowbringers no way will there be back to back SBs

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JBNL

Nitpick/correction: the upcoming raid tier is called Alphascape — the current (running) tier is Sigmascape.

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Sorenthaz

I’d be disappointed if we go from FF5 to FF6 and not to FF7 bosses.

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cursedseishi

Doubly so for me. Ever since Sigmascape became an excuse to kick me in the nostaljewels, I’ve been wanting to see some more proper FF7 bosses this expansion. Heck! They had the bloody Guard Scorpion in the game! Guard Scorpion!

If we don’t get a proper Jenovah/Sephiroth brawl and the accompanying music to add alongside Brute Justice? I’ll… I swear I’ll… I… I’ll pout and grumble, since I still enjoy the game enough to play.

I’m personally waiting on the server-side character saving though. I play on both PC and PS4, and the biggest thing stopping me from playing on PC is… I like to play all of the jobs, and then I have a few extra sets saved for junk and stuff, and having to redo each and every single one would drive me nuts.