Sunday, 15 April 2018

Ever danced with Diablos under the pale Moonlight?

Man. People are not happy. They already weren't happy with Eureka. I mean i get it. I outright hate Eureka and have not touched it since my post about it. Its an anti-fun void i want to avoid in favour of time spent in Monster Hunter World or Warframe instead. Heresy i know!
 Like most however i was eager for news in terms of the next update. More story, more raids, all that good stuff right?


Eeehh its been better lets put it that way. Or just say the reaction online is -shock of shocks- "Mixed". We have a name and a rough date. Under the Moonlight is the next major content update for FFXIV and its coming in the last week of May. Yes that means another month of nothing but Eureka. Yayyy... But theres a bunch of new things coming. Trouble is pretty much all but one or two come with a massive "buuuuut" followed by news that is leaving people disappointed, incredulous, apathetic or outright buttmad as the kids say.

So lets do the rundown:

-Patch 4.3 will be the end of the 'Doma story' but will continue afterwards in a rebuilding campaign. 
 Its odd that it feels like Stormblood has been around forever and yet still its story feels like things are wrapping up too quick. Most likely from splitting focus in two very different ways compared to the much more focussed -and in retrospect- superior experience of the Heavensward Main Story Quests. Thus far at least. As someone who used to main NIN i'll be a bit sad to see Doma wrap up but to be honest its also been quit a bland story so far and i would rather it ramp up and go out with a bang than just feel like overstaying its welcome just for busywork. The rebuilding is interesting as maybe this is where Rowena is going to set up her next shop to give the Relic quest? (please anywhere but Eureka!)

-MSQ with a trial that is being kept hidden and even being left out of the trailers.
 Lotta fan theories about this one. Is it Yotsuyus brother? is it fighting the newly crowned Doman King to protect her and stop him becoming a murderer? is it a certain someone shown at the end of the last MSQ's cutscenes? we just don't know and we have a wealth of choices this time. Of all the news in this somewhat sour liveletter this is easily the most exciting. Especially since the primals this time around have been considered a bit bland and this 'mystery' fight could be anything and with an extreme already confirmed folks are hoping for something special.

-The Four Lords story continues, but without a Primal fight.
So instead of the expected 'next on the checklist' animal spirit primal we have what looks like a single player trial against a familiar turtle in a half shell gone a bit gammy. Its been a while since 'The Wall of Rahbaun' so maybe it won't be a nightmare this time?

-More Hildebrand quests.
This is another high point. The last ones were an improvement and once again got a out loud chuckle or two from me. Can't wait for the detectives next chapter!

-Namazu Beast Tribe Dailies.
Honestly i don't know many players personally who kept up with the beast tribe dailies this time around. But people have levelled far fewer jobs so maybe the incentive isn't there anymore? personally i'm doing them now and then but the 'every mount must fly' ethos is getting a bit ridiculous when its stuff like a white elephant. Just my tastes but its a bit silly in a way that feels more 'videogame' than 'fantasy story' if that makes sense. Still there will be crafting and gathering this time around which -while i've capped all of mine- is a nice way to to have more stuff to do bar farm useless scrips.

-New instanced dungeon "The Swallows Compass".
Another dungeon set in the Doma region is a nice surprise but i guess if the story is wrapping up it makes sense. Being just the one i wonder how rewards will tier between current content and the new stuff that comes with it in the patch. Will it be a one and done for anyone not playing gear level catch up.

-Return to Ivalice part 2: The Ridorana Lighthouse.
More Ivalice story, this time more XII than Tactics but boy does the inside look better. The 'Lighthouse at the edge of the world' from FFXII looked great on the outside but inside was a lot of repeating tilesets of the same blue-grey stonework. All the clockwork and gears seems a lore more like Pharos Sirius on steriods and thats great. Buuuuuuuuut -and this is a big one- its coming with a new raid system. The 'only greed' system. Remember needing stuff for your job/role? yeah thats gone. Need is gone. Instead you can greed everything. Like everything everything. Dps that wants an easy queue? go Healer but roll on the Dps gear, to spite the Dps players competing more for their gear. Or go Dps for the larger number of spots to queue for and steal that tank gear the 3 tanks are now competing with everyone for.
Quite honestly i have no idea why they thought this was a good idea and we all know the incoming reaction will be "you rolled on my tank gear, fuck you i quit, find another tank to ninja" on repeat. This is maybe the worst idea the team has had since ARR and i can only imagine the inevitable shitstorms will hotfix this back to the current system fast.
But news of crafting and gathering tied into the raid is a neat new idea i will give them that.

-Deep Dungeon 2: Heaven on High.
Finally we get info on the new Deep Dungeon and surprising nobody its that giant tower of interlocking caskets in the Ruby Sea. What is a surprise is the apparent 31 floor main story levels and the following 69 are the intended for premades hard floors. Instead of the current 1-100 and 101-200 hard. Maybe its going to be super short, maybe the xp will be super great and finally an explosion of alt levelling will occur? Either way its something i loved in Heavensward returning far later than i hoped but better late than never.

-Eureka part 2: The Pagos Expedition.
Well i can't say i'm excited for this. More mobs to grind but in a snowy, coerthan looking map? great news for some but for me its just more content i will not be touching. I know im a grouch about it but in a game full of optional content its the only one i actively dislike after experiencing it.

-Ultimate Ballad Ultima Weapon.
Not quite the same mouthfull tier as "Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan" but we are getting there. Nice to see a beloved 2.0 fight return but apparently very different in ways not yet explained. Maybe Gaius plays a part? or the primals themselves?

-PVP updates.
Not groundbreaking but improving on it is no bad thing. A lot of games, even the giants like WoW, have a bad habit of shitting out pvp content and not working on improving it till the next paid expansion pack unless theres some truly game breaking or retention tanking content. Gotta admit they show pvp more love than most hotbar mmo devs do these days.

-The Final Fantasy XIV Companion App.
and heres the next shitstorm. Remember the app thats been in the works for over 2 years? well its finally showing up. With "funpay minibuys". Thats right once again Square Enix is taking a game you already buy the game, the expansions and pay a sub for and adding in more activities reliant on microtransactions.
 In this case an additional sub fee gets you 'kupo nuts' to use as premium currency to buy and sell on the market from your smart phone or tablet. In the grand scheme of things its lame and no big deal. As the latest in an increasing series of additional charges? players are starting to lose patience. Of course you can ignore it, it isn't game breaking and wont show up in game like cash shop gear and mounts. Still its getting close to that 'straw that broke the camels back' period for some people as they see another thing hyped up for ages be stained by the inclusion of real money transactions that not everyone can afford and definitely not everyone wants to support.
For some it is a none issue and there are cries of 'entitlement' and 'whining children' but personally i see it as gross. But i feel the same about a lot of systems like the retainers and character limits per server. Right now of course they aren't deal breakers and the core experience keeps us entertained. But this is a balancing act and every new micropayment makes us worry that one day that balance will shift and the love for the game isn't as great as the distain for greasy microtransactions. Its nothing right now to worry about really in my opinion. Still its a let down to see SE feel they need to resort to it at all.

so yeah. Mixed bag right? some neat stuff. Some disappointments and a couple of "what the hell are they thinking?!?" ideas that may bite them in the ass. Theres been a few comments of late about Yoshi having one expansion left in him and i think part of the freakout going on is the worry that maybe these strange choices are a sign of the 'saviour' of the game -and to many the entire brand- taking more of a backseat to new voices that don't have the same love for the product as anything but a money farm.
Could be worrying for nothing of course, but if people didn't worry they wouldn't care and thats one thing we all have in common when it comes to Eorzea, right?

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