Wisdom of Nym: Impressions of Final Fantasy XIV’s petite patch 6.55

Looks nice enough, I guess.

There’s an odd thing that keeps going back and forth in my head when I look at last week’s patch 6.55 for Final Fantasy XIV, and that’s a simple but also complicated question: Would things have been better if the patch had also contained Aloalo Island?

Certainly there’s no indication that there was ever really a debate or discussion regarding the last variant dungeon; in all likelihood it was always intended for release with patch 6.51, and that was it. On the other hand, part of me does wonder if I’d be happier if the patch had more content that people were actually going to be taking part in for a while. But there’s no reason to assume that this was somehow the plan and we lost out on something significant, and thus we go, back and forth in my head.

None of this is to say that the patch we actually got was somehow bad or even somehow lacking. I don’t think that’s the case. We got exactly what we were previewed with this patch, and it’s definitely about on par with what we have been led to expect from the last major pre-expansion patch. At the same time… the patch didn’t even take a particularly focused effort to fully explore in one day.

To a certain extent, I’m glad to see that my prediction held up and we did indeed get Asura as a trial to cap off the Hildibrand quests. There’s always a degree of satisfaction when you make a guess and it turns out to be correct. However, I’m also… not thrilled about it because it means that as of right now, there’s no reason to do Asura ever again. The fight is fun and has some neat mechanics and ideas, but outside of doing trial roulettes, why would you go back? It offers nothing and doesn’t even tie into the majority of the story.

Indeed, after a pretty strong majority of its runtime, the Hildibrand questline sort of sputtered out with this patch. The entirety of Lugae’s story was dealt with as a perfunctory issue, the jokes didn’t really land with full force, and it seemed as if the story was in a hurry to be over so you could get a trial fight that hadn’t tied into anything prior and then get your relic weapon quests, which themselves were mostly a sight gag.

That’s not to say that these quests were a disaster or anything; indeed, I still think they might be the second-best Hildibrand line, and the resolution of the Manderville bloodline subplot with what amounted to a “ha ha, nope” was more than chuckle-worthy. It just felt rushed compared to the rest of the story, which is a bizarre choice when the patch is already hard-pressed to fill itself up with stuff to do!

But where are the Transformers?

We also got a pretty clear picture of what the hints at the fan festival about the Scions being divided actually meant: It’s clear that Thancred and Urianger are not going to Tural with us, which means that it seems almost self-evident to me that we’re going to have a stretch of rivalry before everyone winds up working together at the end. That is perhaps a bit disappointing – I was hoping to see actual ideological rifts open up – but it’s definitely the outcome that avoids making fans of any particular Scions feel left out.

Unfortunately, as much as I like Wuk Lamat as a character, I have to note that this particular bit of MSQ didn’t strike me as entirely landing. Some of this is, without a doubt, because this was the first time the MSQ faced the particular issue of having to spend just half of one patch setting up the next expansion (because the first half needed to wrap up the prior storyline), but even as they try to sell it, you can feel the sort of “we have nothing better to do” energy of this particular arc. It doesn’t help that we also know G’raha is going to be involved in some capacity, presumably beyond just stopping in Tuliyollal to eat a taco.

This kind of extends to the larger problem with this patch. There’s basically nothing in the patch to really create new repeated content. Oh, sure, we can wrap up our relic weapons (and the weapons have a unique look to them, which I do appreciate), but we’re still going to be earning the tomestones the same way. There was always going to be an aspect of that, but the sheer lack of anything to do beyond what we’ve already experienced feels… noteworthy.

I also feel like Tataru’s wrap-up wound up feeling fairly perfunctory; it wasn’t terrible, but after we had stories that touched upon some outstanding groups and story arcs, having an ending that comes down to resolving the story of two NPCs who were really just a part of this story feels… not quite right. It doesn’t even feel like it fully wraps up Tataru’s story, and even she seems to be saying, “Nope, I’ll be back, don’t think otherwise!”

None of this is a fatal flaw or anything. All of these story beats do fundamentally work, which is more than I can say for, say, Pandæmonium. But it winds up just being a little too fast and breezy. You run through all of this content, and then you just find yourself left wondering, “Was that really all of it?”


Arguably, I’m complaining about something that was never promised. At no point were we told that this patch would contain a whole lot of new content for the next few months or anything like that. But it does mean that we’re left with a patch that sets up Dawntrail, wraps up the questlines that were outstanding quickly, and then just kind of asks you to politely wait for the next few months for something new to do.

Maybe some of it is that I’m a little salty at how quickly Asura was just written off and thrown out of the game. I’ll allow for the possibility.

And yes, I also think some of that same cynicism comes from the fact that the first bit of “additional content” we’re getting is another rerun of the Final Fantasy XI crossover, which is nice if you never got a shot at the armor before but otherwise has nothing new to offer. It’s just not going to move the needle. And thus do I find myself going back and forth on whether this patch would have been better if we had gotten our new variant dungeon here instead of earlier while also being fully aware that it was likely never considered.

Oh well. At least we’ve got some space for the new Xbox players to catch up once they jump into the game, right?

Feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, as we’ve got some time and no major announcements on the horizon, I want to start diving into something that’s long been sitting in the back of my mind but I haven’t really dove into before now: Tracing a bunch of the references that the game has to prior franchise installments. There are some obvious once like the Ivalice raid series, but some are less obvious, and I feel like highlighting them.

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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