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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. Next week, let’s talk about Yoshida’s comments on the difficulty of Savage content, the progression meta, and breaking down boundaries.