Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 5.1 is on its way after the first live letter

    
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It's a new thing.

We had a good string there of proper translations, didn’t we? It was really nice to be able to tune in and just get information, but not so this time. No, we’re right back to amateur translations for a Final Fantasy XIV and an official summary that will no doubt come out long after the information therein has been better communicated elsewhere by that point. It is… frustrating, let’s leave it at that.

Yes, I realize this may be superfluous complaining. But to be honest, this was not one of the game’s better live letters. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled over the past few batches of information, but there’s something upsetting when a lot of the announcements from a live letter come down to nothing more than “this is a thing that will exist,” often time giving us no additional information beyond that fact… and sometimes no additional information that we didn’t have going into the live letter. Case in point? The Restoration of Ishgard.

Going into this particular letter, we knew that the Restoration of Ishgard was going to involve rebuilding the Firmament, that it would be for crafters and gatherers, and that it would have shared progress. Coming out of the live letter, we know… exactly the same thing. What we got is a new piece of artwork for this content and a reiteration of things we were already told back when this content was first announced.

Is that a problem? Yes. It’s a significant problem, because this does not actually answer questions about what this content will involve. This didn’t include any talk about rewards, structure beyond “item turn-ins,” how difficult it will be to contribute, or any of that. It was a statement of a feature that will exist drawn out when we already knew this feature would exist. It was announced at a fan festival, we could feel reasonably confident this was still happening.

This kind of was shot through the entire live letter. We know that The Grand Cosmos is our new dungeon, but we know nothing about the dungeon beyond the name. There wasn’t any form of actual preview whatsoever. We know that we’re getting adjustments to Samurai, Ninja, and Summoner, but nothing beyond those facts. And yes, perhaps some of these things aren’t finalized or are being kept somewhat quiet intentionally, but a lot of time was spent talking about these things without much to actually say.

Long haul.

Again, some of this might be a result of me being spoiled from a few live letters replete with meaty information in the run-up to Shadowbringers, or the question-and-answer session post-launch. But it felt like a whole lot of time devoted to things that didn’t actually have a lot of information beyond the reminder of things we already knew existed still existing.

Some of this probably comes down to the fact that, well, I spend a lot of time marinating in whatever is announced for FFXIV and thus tend to have a rather narrow view of the difference between “new information that was previously unknown” and “familiar information that is being restated.” But it felt like this letter spent a lot of time spinning its wheels for no particular advantage.

That’s not to say we got nothing, of course. For one thing, it looks like one of my theories was right; the shots we got of the YoRHa raid seemed to decidedly feature a pair of dwarves running alongside 2P (until we get an actual name for her, yes, I’m going to assume she’s just 2P) that match the pair of NPCs in that sidequest I mentioned. Which means that we’re probably not getting the fun-sounding but always far-fretched trip to the Thirteenth with this sequence, but that was always a rather wild bit of speculation.

We also know that our first beast tribe quest of the expansion will be the Pixies, which reminds us all that we need a better thing to call these quests other than “beast tribe quests.” The Pixies are not a beast tribe, really; leaving aside the lack of an Empire to label anything a beast tribe, there’s the reality that they don’t fit the usual shape of beast tribes. Notably, the preview image we saw appears to be Lakeland rather than Il Mheg, which hints that perhaps there’s more going on than is immediately suggested by doing tribal quests for the Pixies.

Fellowships look interesting as a new way to integrate a form of social networking into the game itself; I’ve already seen people hoping that these networks will allow for forming the sort of mutual RP frameworks that players can use to coordinate across the server, rather than being reliant upon Discord channels. That just strikes me as worthy, along with the particulars of the interface clearly being oriented at sustained communication rather than just ersatz chat channels.

On the other hand, the whole New Game+ thing still isn’t doing it for me. I’m willing to accept that I may just not be the target audience, but I’m also just… not seeing the point to it. A technical delight? Yes. A complex proof-of-concept? Sure. As actual game content to be played through? Again, it’s possible that as someone who has done this several times I am not the target audience, but with the statement that these quests will not be offering rewards it just re-asserts the question of what this is for. Maybe that’s a mistranslation of lines from the letter and what it really meant was that these quests won’t offer the same rewards, but… well, now we’re back on the lack of translation.

Pixie your battles.

I am interested in the fact that the new level 60 Blue Mage will now have access to what appears to be its own BLU-specific Duty Finder, although exactly how this will work remains to be seen. Presumably this will mean some of the new level 60 abilities will include more healing and tanking abilities, which I’m on board for. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this includes some trimmed-down versions of fights with abilities that are otherwise difficult to get legitimately, like the various Primal spells.

Oh, and of course there’s all of the up-to-60 content that involves as well. I like that part, considering how much fun I had with BLU reaching the level cap in the first place. The real question is whether or not we’ll get another set of artifact armor to go with it…

Overall, there were definitely some nuggets of fun information in the live letter, and there’s stuff I’m looking forward to as was always going to be the case. But it still does feel like we kind of got… less of a teaser and more of a reminder that yes, this is something on deck for later in October. Which we kind of already knew. It’s nice to have a name for our new dungeon and all that, but I suppose I expected a little bit more than what was on display.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, let’s talk about Yoshida’s comments on the difficulty of Savage content, the progression meta, and breaking down boundaries.

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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Vincent Clark

I’m more put off that we have to wait until late October for the patch to drop. For me, based on prior experience with 2 part live letters, this did exactly what I expected it to do.

I also think this game tends to spoil us. The amount of information coming at us pre Shadowbringers was staggering and at a steady, frequent pace. Now, things are back to normal. So, y’know…adjust :)

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Sorenthaz

Eh, as someone trying to finish the GARO stuff last minute I’m okay with it being potentially October 22nd.

Bereman
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Bereman

It was really nice to be able to tune in and just get information, but not so this time.

You mean like the English on the slides? All the relevant announcements and information was there, like usual. Of course, it being the first of two before the next patch, it falls in the “broad strokes, lighter on info, have an interview” category of LL that they often have…with the next one, almost assuredly being 1-2 weeks before the release of the patch, having the meatier amount of info.

Also, it feels like expectations are out of whack when it comes to the XIV dev team lately. Consider how many other big name MMOs, or even big name games companies, do near monthly live updates. Now consider how many of that regularly also do live translations into at least one other language in an official capacity with every live presentation.

I can’t think of any. Most that do have translations in other languages that air at the same time as the presentation in the original language are pre-recorded, like Nintendo Direct.

I mean, it’s nice when we get full, official translations of any clarifying comments, or the chatter between the developers…but doing it live the way they do, sometimes at conventions, means that simply isn’t going to always be feasible, and it’s past time that the community as a whole learned to better manage their expectations on this. As I mentioned above, we get most of the information we need on the slides anyway.

re-asserts the question of what this is for

They’ve answered this already.

It’s so that players that want to experience their favorite moments in the story again, or look for dialog and/or watch cutscenes that are not in the Unending Journey, without having to level another character. Being able to relive favorite moments has been a request for a while now (since I think at least the tournament thing between the Eorzean Alliance members during Heavensward – that’s when I remember first seeing it, and it pops up again with each new solo-instance duty that is well received).

They’ve been describing it as such, including in translated live letters, pretty much since they announced it.

It’s the very definition of implementing a system based on player feedback – they said they wanted to relive their favorite moments without having to level a new character, SE said “Ok, how’s this?” and delivers their take on New Game+. It’s even broken down into arcs for easier consumption, and you have a “save state” so you can leave off of it and pick up with it later if you want.

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adarel

I appreciate an overview of the Live Letter, but this was incredibly negative. Not a good model to set for the community. Of course, maybe my expectations for this post were off, just as yours were for the letter. Hopefully we can both learn and adjust for the future.

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Tenthyr Adi

I’m not sure what you mean here? Do you mean you disagree with Eliott? Because that’s fine, opinions are valid!

But, Eliot’s opinion (that I share) is that the live letter didn’t add anything substantive and he didn’t say that in an over-inflated or belligerent way. Why does not liking something mean he’s not a good model for the community? I don’t know if you took issue with his tone or if you took issue with the negative reception inherently. The former you could argue but the latter is a little silly, a fan is allowed to expect better when they feel somethings not up to par.