Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Here it is. The day before servers go down for the 4.0 24 hour maintenance. Which means that this is the final 24 hours of life for the Playstation 3 client for Final Fantasy XIV. It feels like its come so fast, i played on pc but the PS3 beta was actually what sold me on the games rerelease after the initial reputation put me off like so many others.
Its a bit strange to look at my shelves of games and in the Final Fantasy section my FFXI discs are all fine and can be used for the same game i played almost 14 years ago yet these ARR discs i bought what feels like only recently but was already a good 2 or 3 years ago at this point are useless for any purpose beyond collecting's sake or should i desperately need a good drinks coaster. Yet its happening tomorrow. The PS3 players that lived through the calamity of Bahamut and the fall of Dalamund now have their very real final day ahead of them tomorrow. Thats such a rare thing for mainstream games but there are people that cannot afford a PS4 or a gaming PC so for them this is sadly the end of Final Fantasy XIV.
Its not as though it wasn't needed though, thats really the saddest part. The previous console generation lasted so long that the hardware is roughly 12 or more years out of date. The game chugged along at the best of times but in heavensward it was a nightmare i played through for the first few months before i got a PS4. Void Ark crashed the client, zone transitions loaded so long that you would get a DC for being inbetween areas too long and Alexander hard locked the whole console to name just a few issues. King Behemoth and Odin was an infuriating exercise in watching players models pop in attacking something you could not see or target and it was over a year between King Behemoth Spawns on a couple of servers. That was a horrible state of affairs.
But for all its problems i made it through it all. Beat Coil, got all my classes to 50 and so on. I platinum'ed the game essentially 'beating' ARR such as you can and i can't imagine how many hours i put in as this poorly running PS3 client replaced World of Warcraft as my MMORPG of choice. I had a good time and my memories of the experience overall remain fond ones.
But they are just memories as tomorrow this version of the game dies and of course 4.0 means so many other little things are changing with it. You can make a pun about a 'storm on the horizon' but i feel sorry for the people being left behind. Surely there are some casual players who have no idea about Stormblood, let alone that after tomorrow their discs simply will not work. They will just wake up to find the game they love is over. For them at least.
Its a reminder no game lasts forever and online games are all the more often a victim to sinking without a trace.
So enjoy it while you got it folks, and feel sorry for the Warriors of Light we leave behind who no longer can.
Sunday, 4 June 2017
Here we are with 12 days to go till Stormblood Early Access. Which means its house cleaning time! One of the best tips i learnt when i was getting into my first mmo expansions was the sage wisdom of "empty your questlog, clear out your bags, organise your banks and sell what crafters need now before demand drops" and in cases of class changes "sort your hotbars out now rather than waste time on launch doing it".
With the Job changes coming in 4.0 i feel that one in particular rings the most true and important after the media tour info has come out. So heres a very brief note of what skills you can delete from your hotbar/crossbar to set it back up for the new 3-5 skills coming between 62-70 in Stormblood.
Ninja: Kiss of the Viper, Kiss of the Wasp, Mutilate, Sneak Attack and Dancing Edge.
Dark Knight: Scourge.
Astrologian: Disable, Combust 2.
White Mage: Stoneskin, Aero 2.
Scholar: Sustain, Miasma 2.
Bard: Swiftsong, Wide Volley.
Summoner: Miasma 2, Spur and Sustain.
Warrior: Bloodbath, Fracture and Mercy's Stroke
Machinist: Lead Shot, Grenado Shot.
Monk: Featherfoot, Haymaker and Touch of Death.
Dragoon: Feint, Keen Flurry, Phlebotomize, Power Surge and Ring of Thorns.
These skills are all gone completely, so cut em loose and forget em! BUT its not all that clear cut. Some existing skills are going into the updated cross class system to pick and choose and some you may want back and others you may want to replace so when updating your hotbar for the removed skills bare in mind the following is now cross class:
Dark Knight: Dark Dance, Shadow Skin, Low Blow, Reprisal and Delirium.
Summoner: Eye for an Eye, Virus.
Warrior: Brutal Swing, Foresight.
Monk: Second Wind.
Paladin: Provoke, Rampart and Convalescence.
Dragoon: Leg Sweep, Invigorate.
Lastly here is whats known right now about the new 60-70 abilties going on your hotbars instead and with a few 30-50 for a few select classes getting a minor rebalance like PLD.
Ninja: Hellfrog Medium, Bhavacakra and Ten-Chi-Jin.
Dark Knight: Delirium, Quietus, Bloodspiller and The Blackest Night
Astrologian: Earthly Star, Malefic III, Minor Arcana, Sleeve Draw, Lord of Crowns, Lady of Crowns and Undraw.
White Mage: Thin Air, Stone IV, Divine Beacon, Plenary Indulgence.
Scholar: Excogitation, Broil 2, Chain Stratagem, Aetherpact and Fey Union.
Bard: Perfect Pitch, Troubador, Caustic Bite, Stormbite, Natures Minne and Refulgent Arrow.
Black Mage: Between the Lines, Thunder IV, Triplecast and Foul.
Summoner: Ruin IV, Aetherpact, Bio III, Miasma III, Summon Bahamut, Enkindle Bahamut and Devotion.
Warrior: Onslaught, Upheaveal, Shake it Off and Inner Release.
Machinist: Cooldown, Barrel Stabilizer, Rook Overdrive, Flamethrower, Heated Spirit Shot, Heated Slug Shot, Heated Clean Shot, Rook Overload, Bishop Overload.
Monk: Riddle of Earth, Riddle of Fire, Brotherhood, Earth Tackle and Wind Tackle.
Paladin: Total Eclipse, Intervention, Holy Spirit, Requiescat and Passage of Arms.
Dragoon: Doom Spike, Sonic Thrust, Dragoon Sight, Mirage Dive and Nastrond.
So yeah quite a few new skills to take up those lost ones based on class huh? Folks are still trying to break down the rotations based on the not quite 1005 finalised tooltips but for now at least you can start getting all those hotbars ready for the new rotations and just fill in the blanks as you level. Get it done now and thats one less boring chore when the expansion drops week after next!
Thursday, 1 June 2017
So starting with my favourites:
Ninja - is my main job and thankfully its seeing no big shakeups. As i predicted they are streamlining some of the armour crush style abilities but other than that sneak attack and poisons are the only notable loss in the NIN skillset. These spaces on the crossbar are being taken up by new skills that focus more on the 'ninjutsu=ninja magic' idea like the new ten-jin-chi ability that makes Jutsu more than just a rotational filler/upkeep buff so overall it looks like i'm not going to be relearning the job and i don't particularly have any complaints.
Dark Knight - Unsurprisingly they are trying to nerf the button bloat, theres been some slight nerfs and the changes to Darkside are interesting but again beyond that i dont feel like one of my main jobs is getting some massive overhaul and dont think i'll struggle to adapt.
Astrologian - Can easily be summed up as "the same, but cooler" with abilities like drawing 4 cards, cleric stance becoming a cooldown, way higher regen/potency, sleeve draw and the lord/lady adds more tarot deck flavour i already love to the job. Honestly it just looks like more fun from the same job and i really have no worries or complaints about this one at all
Red Mage - The standout for the two new jobs i am actually interested in playing. So far it looks neat. Building white and black meters to dash in and fence then dash out with a holy or flare finisher. My only worry is this will turn out to just be another umbral/astral ice/fire balancing of BLM in another skin and personally -and BLM was my main job for ARR- i got tier of that real quick.
Favourites aside the rest i need playtime with. PLD finally seems to be getting some love and BRD might be really fun in 4.0 But then there are things like WHM that look, for lack of a better term redundant and a lot of SMN players are unhappy with the nerfs even if the Bahamut summon looks rad.
Naturally i'll expand on them with hands on experience in a few weeks but for the jobs i play and the new one i have interest in i can't say i have complaints overall. The big question is will i finally be interested in jobs like MNK or DRG that i got to 60 but never really had interest in playing in the longrun.
Times gonna tell i guess.