One fun in-game photography trick is to use reflections, mirrors, and glass to offer a different — and sometimes more artistic — vision of a scene. I have to applaud reader Jake’s use of the water’s reflection in this piece because it makes it beautiful times two!
“I’m leveling a Sylvari Ranger for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, and I found this beautiful little nook off the beaten path in Brisban Wildlands,” Jake wrote. “There is no vista or point of interest in this location; you just have to be nosing about to find it. That’s one of the things I like about this game: The map was designed with exploration in mind. And jumping (sigh).”
If you love Blitzball, you just might get the chance to play it in Final Fantasy XIV
someday. In an IGN interview, Game Director Naoki Yoshida
said that he’d spoken with Square Enix’s Yoshinori Kitase
, producer of Final Fantasy X and X-2
from whence the popular underwater sport originates, about it adding into A Realm Reborn
. While it is definitely not a done deal, Yoshida admitted it is a distinct possibility.
There might be other Final Fantasy franchise tie-ins coming to Eorzea in the future, including something to celebrate the launch of FFXV. “We’d love to explore opportunities within other Square Enix titles so we can explore their worlds, but it’s important not to deviate from what we’ve established as Eorzea,” Yoshida explained. “So we’ll always keep both titles involved intact, but it’d be cool to explore.”
Ready for Final Fantasy XIV
‘s first expansion? You’re going to have to wait just a little while longer, since early access starts on June 19th. But you can take a bit of the pressure off the wait by checking out the latest lore reveals on the official expansion site
, which dive into the stories behind several prominent figures, the new beast tribes, and the landscape.
Players will be encountering expected familiar faces such as Ysayle (Iceheart, if you will) and Aymeric alongside new figures such as Count Edmont de Fortemps. They’ll also be exploring Abalathia in more depth as airship technology comes to the forefront in Ishgard, along with the Sharlayan structures that been abandoned in Dravania. It’s plenty of lore for eager fans to peruse, even if it’s not quite as good as being able to start hacking along in the Highlands immediately.
There’s a phrase that gets passed around my house frequently these days, and the phrase is “expansion mode.” I have two characters locked into it in Final Fantasy XIV
. My wife has one. Our constant companion has one. I suspect many of my readers have at least one, possibly more. This is a bit upsetting because you get to that point only if you’re a pretty big fan of Final Fantasy XIV
, but it sort of shuts down your prospect of playing the game for a while.
Expansion mode is that state where your character is as ready for the expansion as you care to be. Sure, you could run more dungeons in theory, clear another piece of content or two… but what’s the point? You’re not trying to catch up. You can get into Ishgard. You are, for all intents and purposes, done with the majority of the game as it stands now. That means that by definition you are not the person that the last incremental patch is designed to address.
Did you catch that new Final Fantasy XIV
trailer that Square Enix
released today? It’s called Dragonsong and it’s the main theme song from the forthcoming Heavensward expansion. Dragonsong is the work of renowned Final Fantasy
composer Nobuo Uematsu
and it features vocals from Susan Calloway, who you might remember from the Answers theme to A Realm Reborn.
The trailer boasts a bit of footage from the expansion, which is scheduled to release on June 23rd. Click past the cut to have a look.
It’s crazy to realize that Final Fantasy XIV
has added more dungeons via patches in a year and a half than World of Warcraft
has added via patches in the game’s decade of existence. Sure, a lot of those are hard modes, but considering that every hard mode completely redoes enemies, maps, and such, I’d say they’re functionally new dungeons all around. But which one is the best and which one is the worst?
We’ve got less than a month now until Heavensward early access starts. So just as I talked about the game’s dungeons shortly after launch, today I want to talk about all of the options at level 50. These are rated purely based on the fun of the dungeon, not rewards, and in all cases I’m talking about the factory-fresh version rather than, say, the downtunings that Pharos Sirius and Amdapor Keep have seen. So let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.
Are you stuck on the last part of Final Fantasy XIV
‘s main scenario quest? The last trial introduced, Steps of Faith, is a pretty decisive coordination check
with very little margin for error. So a bit more margin is being introduced in the game’s most recent patch
, which also adds new music for the various Primal ponies and increases the Echo strength in the Final Coil of Bahamut.
None of the changes made to Steps of Faith has any bearing on the trial’s mechanics; however, Vishap and his attendant dragons all have less health, damage dealt by Underfoot and exploding cannon is reduced, and some enemies will deal less damage altogether. It won’t make the trial a simple matter to clear, but it will make clearing it far less demanding than before.
Final Fantasy XIV
has been pleasing MMO audiences around the globe for nearly two years now. Except for those unfortunate South Korean franchise fans who have thus far been left out in the cold. Square’s
title is finally coming to the region courtesy of publisher Actoz Soft, though, with the initial closed beta phase scheduled for June 11th through June 14th.
Square is sticking to its monthly subscription guns despite the overwhelming presence of the free-to-play model in South Korea.
This past week, I did what I needed to do before Final Fantasy XIV’s
launches: I finished the main scenario questline on my second character. Considering that she needed to be Dark Knight more or less a month ago, I think this was very necessary and am glad to be done with it. For those of you wondering about the future, my Au Ra will be leveling and going through stuff after
the expansion launch, in no small part to see how viable things are when trying to clear that big gap between level 50 and the first steps into Ishgard… but that’s another discussion altogether.
All of this talk and thought about new jobs naturally raises the question of what people should be leveling going into the new expansion, though, and that’s a tough question to ask. It’s almost impossible to know right now what the cross-class landscape is going to look like, if indeed it looks like anything. With three new jobs and enough levels for another cross-class action, it increasingly looks to me as if that cross-class landscape has eroded into nothing.
What would Bugs Bunny look like if he were a futuristic space mercenary who chomped on freeze-dried carrots and spat out, “What’s UP, doc?” right before he unloaded his plasma minigun on an enemy soldier? I imagine he’d look something like this.
Our headline picture is from reader Enikuo, who hails from the land of Warframe. “Warframe added bunny ears for Easter, so I took some screenshots,” he said. “Here, my Tenno is selecting a mission from the mission console. It’s not the most user-friendly menu ever, but what it lacks in usability it makes up with coolness.”
I don’t think it’s going to surprise anyone that I’m a pretty big fan of Final Fantasy XIV. Despite that fact, it may surprise readers to know that my home is not only not covered in various FFXIV merchandise, but I don’t actually own much of what does exist in the first place. I just don’t feel the need to pay the money and buy more merch for the game.
Then again, maybe it wouldn’t surprise you. I know there are people out there who will happily have a logo from a favored game on every piece of clothing and/or furniture; I also know there are extremely dedicated fans out there who don’t own a single collector’s edition. So what about you? Have you bought real-world memorabilia for an MMO, either for associated in-game bonuses or just because you really like the game?
Telwyn at GamingSF asks a question that I’ve contemplated from time to time: When an MMO gets a sequel, what happens to the original game? After all, MMOs aren’t quite like the rest of the video game industry.
“It’s easier for gaming companies to control the playerbase,” he writes. “The bluntest instrument would be to shut down the old game forcing players to move to the new, although risking they’d abandon the franchise entirely.”
While you debate whether a quick death or a prolonged demise is preferrable, take a gander at some other notable articles from the gaming blogosphere. In this edition, writers question Guild Wars 2’s (second) trait revamp, celebrate internet dragons, and critique Neverwinter’s slot machine problem.
Maybe it’s just me, but with the steady drip of information that we’ve gotten about Final Fantasy XIV
‘s first expansion, I find myself sometimes having trouble keeping track of what has and hasn’t been discussed to death. There’s a lot of stuff! And it’s almost universally interesting stuff, at that. At least, it is if you’re almost pathological in your fixation on this game’s lore and such, which I feel I can safely assume you are
if you’re reading this column on a weekly basis.
I can also assume that you’ve probably grabbed the Heavensward benchmark by now and played with it, which I certainly have (Extremely High on Maximum, for the record). So let’s talk about that marvelous program with its character creation, and let’s also discuss a bit of that lore we got on the official site not too long ago. It’s all fascinating stuff.