It’s so relaxing to finally be able to talk about the media tour. I’ve talked before about how Final Fantasy XIV lacks much in the way of public testing and how that’s kind of a good thing, and I stand by that, but it also means that the rare instances when I actually do have information that not everyone has access to is a bit of an odd experience. You want to just shout about it all from the rooftops, but you have to wait.re-read through all of that content, I wanted to use this week’s Wisdom of Nym column to address some bits and pieces that came up in the wake of that coverage, ranging from things that I missed to some questions and theories that have gotten passed around as well. So let’s recount that mass of amorphous stuff, why not? We’ve got just over a month until the expansion comes out; it seems like the right time for this kind of content.
“Why did you miss this?”
This question got brought up a few times in regards to various things. There were some job abilities I didn’t mention, either changes or specific abilities that weren’t included in my write-ups about the various jobs. And it’s a fair question in each case; these were genuinely things that I did not mention that other sites did mention, and I’m not going to claim that these elements were not on display. Things like “what exact levels were monsters in these zones” or “why didn’t you mention the change to X ability” are fair questions because I did have access to that information.
The answer to the question is ambiguous, though, because there are actually two possible answers, and they both have different implications and rationales, and the answer varies depending on what specific thing I’m being asked about.
First possible answer? I just missed it. FFXIV has 19 different jobs as of Endwalker, and each of those jobs has a different rotation, different sets of abilities, different traits, and so forth. There’s a lot to keep track of. Heck, in my experience almost everyone I know plays one or two jobs and maybe dabbles in a couple others. That doesn’t mean no one levels all of the jobs, but amaro mounts are not exactly raining from the heavens right now.
My job for the media tour was to be familiar enough with 17 jobs to understand how and why all of them were changing, and to become familiar enough with two totally new jobs to explain them, and to do a dungeon, and to do all of this within the span of around eight hours. That’s a lot.
I don’t mean to imply that I’m some kind of unique polymath because I play and understand the majority of the jobs in the game, mind you; I’m not, I am sure there are people out there who are even more multi-talented than I am at playing every job. Rather, my point here is that a certain amount of time limitation is natural, and there’s only so much that I am capable of doing. There is only one of me, and I was trying to hit everything rather than just the highlights.
The second possibility is a bit different, though. It’s possible that I didn’t miss anything, but specifically decided that it wasn’t worth going into too much detail about something. Why would I notice something and not mention it? Because it didn’t ultimately matter.
For example, did you know that Ninja weapon combos will raise the Ninki gauge by a larger amount now in Endwalker? I definitely noticed it. But it wasn’t in my writeup at all. Why was that? Why didn’t I mention this change that does actually have a definite impact on how quickly Ninja unleashes abilities?
Because it matters, but it also doesn’t matter. Earning more Ninki is important, it will affect your rotation and damage, it will have an impact. But it isn’t going to actually alter what you do. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be choosing to use your weaponskills in situations where you otherwise would not be using them; if anything, it balances out your overall gains against the fact that Ninja has more things to do that will not earn you Ninki. It’s a change, and it matters, but it’s going to wind up being invisible a lot of the time in actual play.
So which reason motivated me not mentioning a specific detail? Hey, that’s part of the mystery.
“So what else do you know?”
Nothing. At this point, you fans know about as much as those of us who have played this expansion, allowing for some slight difference between reading about jobs and actually playing them. If you’ve read all of the coverage that’s out there for the media tour, then short of the muscle memory of actually playing these jobs, you know as much as I do right now.
I think this question is coming from two understandable but slightly incorrect places. The first is assuming that if we knew all of this and kept it secret, Square-Enix might have given us even more information to look forward to. But no, this was in fact all of it. If you’re curious about the orders of zones or something, trust me, we are still unclear on that as well and our speculation is no more valid than yours, barring our individual track records.
The second is wondering if people datamined out some other things from the game’s files, since we were all playing at home. This is a logical assumption, but it’s also slightly wrong. While we were playing on our home PCs, we were using a remote desktop setup, and that was being pretty closely monitored. If someone managed to datamine anything out of this particular build, I am simultaneously impressed and not here for that. Be dubious of anyone claiming to know more than has already been revealed thus far.
“Was leaking those tooltips really so bad?”
Yes, yes it was. It was bad enough that I feel like there’s a whole column to do about it eventually, but it’s compounded by the fact that as I mentioned last week, even getting access to the tooltips was an unusual situation and this casts a pallor over an effort by Square’s team to help us get more accomplished within a limited span of time.
Let me know if you want to see that whole column, for the record. It would be angrier than usual.
“Are you excited for the expansion now?”
Oh, so very much yes. The media tour served as a delightful tease of what’s on display, and I can’t wait to play with the full expansion. As much fun as it was to try out Reaper, there’s a lot that’s missing in this particular build by design. You could see NPCs that were clearly having conversations, places where quests will go in the future, areas to explore on foot, and so forth. I never really indulge too much in the FATEs in these zones just because I would rather play the actual game, but gosh, it was tempting to reap my way along in here.
If you were worried that this expansion would be lower-quality based on the events that are happening in the world, I’m happy to report that there’s nothing to indicate that will be the case. There’s just over a month until it goes live at the time I write this, and I, for one, cannot wait to play it for real.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, I think I’m going to keep being a bit meta by talking about how I usually do a whole series of “expansion in review” columns and why I didn’t do one for Shadowbringers.