One year later, Final Fantasy XIV still has me in its clutches

Tales of loss, and fireplace, and religion

The critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. Maybe you’ve got heard of it? It’s an enormous enterprise, stretching throughout years and expansions, containing big comeback tales and legions of followers.

It was round this time final year that I first wrote about Final Fantasy XIV. Friends had tried to place me on it for ages, and I even made a personality as soon as earlier than promptly quitting after seeing all of the muddle on the display. But listening to in regards to the sheer fervor, as servers buckled below the burden of latest and previous customers striving to play Endwalkerlastly acquired me to present it an sincere strive.

I performed some Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. And then I journeyed to Ishgard, and Heavensward. Then onto the deep-seated conflicts of Stormbloodthe sorrow of Shadowbringersand at last, the sting of all issues in Endwalker. I performed some XIVafter which performed quite a bit, lot extra of Final Fantasy XIV.

Screenshot by way of Destructoid

So, slightly than what it is wish to play Final Fantasy XIV on the peak of its recognition, I’m again with a year later. Here’s what it is wish to be totally in the Final Fantasy XIV frenzy, and why I feel it is best to give it a shot too.

Two-toned echoes tumbling by means of time

Starting out in A Realm Reborn, I wasn’t positive what to anticipate, as I’m not an MMO individual. I’ve given a number of probabilities right here and there, however they weren’t my factor; one thing about standing round, hitting singular talents from an enormous lexicon of expertise laid out earlier than me, as shuffled to-and-fro did not actually do it for me.

The humorous half is that Final Fantasy XIV would not actually skew removed from that. Most of my fights are hitting my expertise in rotation, stacking on harm and dodging the puddles of doom as they pop up. What impressed me over my year of XIV was the way it felt like I acquired to the good things so quick.

Screenshot by Destructoid

It wasn’t lengthy till my Lancer was providing me cool alternatives to do extra harm, by sustaining a set combo and positioning nicely. Soon I used to be swapping between combos, using one for its harm enhance and results whereas one other output extra harm. Once I hit Dragoon, I used to be given a bunch of Jumps to work into my rotation, discovering little cracks in the rotation the place I might add extra harm.

Everything felt prefer it was taught to me, over time. Rarely did I really feel the necessity to seek for what a mechanic did, or really feel misplaced when working content material.

Storm of blood

It helps that Final Fantasy XIV‘s neighborhood is, for probably the most half, one of the crucial optimistic communities I’ve seen in a sport, ever. That’s to not say I have not seen some grief or trolling. But it has been an absolute outlier to in any other case overwhelming positivity; most gamers are inclined to forgive errors, train newcomers, wait patiently for cutscene-watchers, and share in a communal pleasure slightly than drag one another down in frustration. It’s genuinely energizing to wipe in an encounter and see everybody snort and joke about what occurred, slightly than leap for one another’s throats.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The neighborhood and sport is not simply fight and quest content material, both. While there’s a bevvy of high-end battling available, in case you actually wish to attempt for glory, there’s additionally a ton of Final Fantasy XIV to be seen that encompasses different abilities. The Island Sanctuary, added final year, is a totally combat-free zone the place gamers can farm, craft, and create their very own island, with some Animal Crossing vibes.

Disciples of the Land and Hand can get deep into mining and crafting, getting each tailor-made story content material and revenue from it. Fishing is a newer enterprise for me, and I’ve adored it. Finding new fishing holes lets me retread previous locales for brand spanking new spots, and the ocean fishing adventures (nautical raids, I wish to name them) are actually enjoyable to do. And when all that work will get tedious, the Golden Saucer awaits.

That’s not even counting all of the player-created ventures, both. I’ve attended in-game conventions and meet-ups. I’ve waited in line for a nightclub’s grand opening, the place a DJ streamed their set over Twitch and gamers danced in-game. Somehow, inexplicably, I discovered a battle membership. It dominated.

Heart of ember, autumn tide

That’s to not say the primary story is not good, both. In reality, put all collectively, Final Fantasy XIV as a complete is perhaps one in all my favourite tales in video games. A Realm Reborn begins gradual, however lays out all the inspiration and world-building wanted, and has some actually good tales hidden away in sidequests and actions.

Then, after all, Heavensward arrives and blows the doorways down. Stormblood looks like a Tactics-era story, largely foregoing the standard evildoers in favor of a grounded and transferring story about generations of conflict and battle. Then Shadowbringers arrives, turning the wheel the wrong way and crafting a fully unimaginable marketing campaign, simply my favourite of all of them, earlier than Endwalker ties all the things collectively.

Screenshot by Destructoid

I performed by means of all of them over the course of 2022, in a marathon dash that I hope would make Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi proud. Amid all of that, I ran raids and tackled additional story content material, bouncing between high-end content material and neat facet adventures that expanded the world. I Fantasia’d my Warrior of Light into a brand new character, making them really feel like my very own JRPG protagonist that I’ve led by means of every enlargement. (Don’t fear, my unique hastily-made Geralt knock-off is still round as my trusty retainer.) Triple Triad has dominated my time, and I’m simply now beginning to get into among the Extreme content material.

Forge forward

Every day, it is felt like I’ve uncovered some new piece of content material. I’m unsure simply how massive Final Fantasy XIV is, however I do know I’ve but to even glimpse the boundaries. It’s made Square Enix’s strategy to sustaining previous content material a pleasure; whereas some ongoing video games may vault or silo away sure content material, the XIV group has been actively updating previous work and making the on-ramp easy, even in the latest patch.

I am unable to make any assure that one other year from now, I’ll still be taking part in Final Fantasy XIV. Fits and spurts come and go, and I’ve performed and ultimately dropped sufficient unending perpetually video games to know that the honeymoon part will fade. Final Fantasy XIV does really feel constructed to accommodate dipping in and out, although. Updates are pretty common however the common story content material is straightforward sufficient to play by means of, whereas more durable content material drips in for the extra hardcore base.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO that lastly gained me over on the idea, mixing in a incredible RPG story in the method stuffed with unimaginable story beats and characters. But what’s stored me connected to Final Fantasy XIV is not simply the glut of content material or a keenness for the collection, however the way it’s fostered a world that does not really feel fairly so hostile. Sure, I might ram my head towards the wall on some tough fights. But if the day’s been lengthy and I simply wish to go ocean raiding or vibe on the Golden Saucer with some associates, these actions are actively rewarding.

So, one year later, I’ve performed completely an excessive amount of Final Fantasy XIV. I’ll in all probability preserve doing so, too. I’ve walked to the tip Final Fantasy XIV, and I still really feel like I’ve solely scratched the floor. But now I can at the very least confidently say: it is a journey price taking.

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Eric Van Allen

Senior News Reporter

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