At the time I am writing this sentence, there are 151 days until Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker kicks off early access. That’s not all that many! That’s also a very, very long time. Especially considering that up until this year, we’d currently be staring down the expansion coming out in just a couple weeks at most. We all knew it would be delayed, but we also found out that it was going to be more of a delay than most of us thought when the release date was revealed. Certainly later than I expected it to happen, that’s for sure.
First and foremost, I’m going to say what I imagine would be the obvious line from producer and director Naoki Yoshida: It’s not a bad thing to spend at least some of this gap time not playing FFXIV. Like, seriously. The healthiest thing you can probably do is set your goals, work on them in a reasonable fashion, and let yourself not go mad with trying to do everything or make this your sole port of call for the next several months. It’s fine. Endwalker will still be arriving at the same time if you lighten your play schedule, really.
We know that there’s one last point release happening in late July to early August, 5.58. Odds are that’s when DC travel is going to open up, but that might be a later patch instead. (That just seems more likely.) There are also a few events taking place; the usual Moonfire Faire, the Make it Rain campaign, a revival of the Final Fantasy XV event for anyone who hasn’t gotten it, and so forth. Plus, there’s probably at least one or two more little reveal events, although I share a certain degree of skepticism regarding the usual press tours that we’ve gone on for prior expansions.
Then again, I seem to recall something like that being obliquely mentioned during the fan festival, so who knows any more? Not me.
However, the most important point is that none of this is substantial new content. We’re not getting that until Endwalker, and we all know that. What’s here is what you get. So now’s the time to start figuring out what your goals actually are going to be until the expansion arrives because there is actually a pretty flat upper limit for what you can be doing in the game over the next several months.
First and foremost, I think that it’s advisable for players to set your power goals now and set them relatively low. I think it’s easy to think that with the amount of time left you’ll get everything into 530 and all upgraded, but the reality is that doing so would involve running an insane amount of content for something that’s not only going to be obsolete pretty early in the leveling curve but isn’t even necessary. Getting a fully upgraded set of gear on your main job? Good goal. On a couple of secondary jobs? Fine. On every role? Probably overkill in the extreme.
Rather than chasing power, the best things to chase right now are things that are going to be harder to achieve after this expansion is no longer the current thing. For example, if there’s stuff you want to accomplish in the Save the Queen areas? Now’s a good time to do it. Yes, it’ll probably be made easier once Endwalker is out, just like Eureka was toned down. It’s still easiest right now with a critical mass of people, more people likely to be hunting field notes, and so forth.
This is also the best time to farm things for more esoteric goals. Still hunting for items from the NieR raids? Now’s a good time for those. Do not, however, forget that you’ll be bringing Reaper and Sage through these same areas in a few months, so you can perhaps not worry as much about getting anything you need with sacks of nuts. (Heck, you might even be able to get by with leveling in Bozja, so that might help Bozja/Zadnor stay more populated.)
So that’s all fairly obvious. What’s less obvious, though, is that this is a prime time to start doing any farming of old content you want because it might all be getting a little harder to do once Endwalker arrives.
I don’t want to state this as an absolute fact because as of right now we don’t know how much the stat adjustment is going to affect doing old content solo or in small parties. But we do know that the stat adjustment is going to be there, and some stuff that is currently a cakewalk might be getting a fair bit harder. You can’t know. What you can know right now is that you’ve got quite some time to get this stuff out of the way, and it’s entirely reasonable to set some time aside to farm some old raids or EX trials for stuff.
Now’s also a fine time for you to spend some time on stuff you’ve neglected but want to learn about. I know that one of my goals over this period of time will be getting comfortable with Expert recipes. I don’t really like that side of crafting, and I honestly hope they don’t come back for the next expansion; certainly we haven’t heard anything about upcoming restoration projects like the one we had in Ishgard. But I’d still like to get a fair bit more comfortable with them just the same, just in case. They’ve got their own character to them.
Maybe you’ve neglected Blue Mage and want to give that a shot. (There’s more fun than you might have realized in playing the job at this point, especially once you start developing an arsenal and can play with some more concentrated challenges.) Maybe you kind of want to try getting decent at PvP as long as the game is in something of a lull. Heck, maybe now’s the perfect time to start cleaning out your retainers of all the reagents you are, let’s face it, absolutely never going to use.
That mole meat is never getting cooked. Accept it.
The point here, ultimately, is that while the expansion is a ways away, there’s still stuff to do. It’s not new content, and that is a bit slower and less important, but you can still find stuff to enjoy in the game despite that fact while you’re waiting. If you don’t want to just play other things for a bit.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, let’s talk about patch 5.57! Hey, I don’t have many more of these to talk about, I’ll take the opportunity whatever happens to be in it.