Final Fantasy XIV

The latest expansion for the MMO version of Final Fantasy released on the second of July, and brought with it two new races; a lion-like race called the Hrothgar, and a rabbit-like race called the Viera.

I've always been something of a fan of the Viera design; elegant Amazonian warrior rabbits with Icelandic accents!

Now, Final Fantasy and I have a bit of a love / hate relationship. While I really, really like the storytelling and imaginative setting, I have a difficult time slogging through the leveling treadmill to see it… I just don't have the time to 'unlock' a couple of paragraphs in a 300 page novel every other evening.

It's the same reason I don't do TV shows 'live', but instead wait until I can binge-watch the whole season.

Anyway, with the Viera coming into the picture and Square Enix offering a for-pay instant level 70, I decided to try it again. Meaning that for a mere $25 I could instantly reach within ten levels of the level cap and then casually stroll through the first couple of expansion story-lines for the entertainment.

Well, okay — it's not quite that easy; the dungeon and trial content reduces you to the upper-end of its level range… So even though I'm level 60, in a level 40 dungeon my character is reduced to the equivalent power and ability of a well-geared level 40 character.

So there's still some challenge there in that you need to beat up bosses and handle their mechanics with 3-7 strangers, and you're at the boss's power-level while you're doing it… But dungeons are kind of fun for this old, experienced MMO player and tend to be 30-ish minute events that I can work into an evening easy enough.

All of this leads to this evening, where I finished the first story arc; the one the game re-released with called “A Realm Reborn” — and it was really good.

The reason it's called “A Realm Reborn” is that when FF14 “1.0” released back in 2010 it was a train wreck and Square Enix eventually shut it down. — is the 'end of the world' cinematic from “1.0”.

Not accepting the failure, Square Enix set about re-making the game; taking the cataclysmic ending story they created to shut down the world and based a second era on it. And in 2013 Square Enix re-released the game… Which resulted in a new video that adds a bit from the fade-to-white of the first one:

Since the re-release there have been several huge story arcs; Heavensward, Stormblood, and the one that just came out — Shadowbringers… So I have quite a bit more adventuring to do!

FF14 “2.0” is actually really well done, and I recommend it for anyone looking for a nice MMO full of nice people.

And hey — if you happen to decide to play, let me know and I'll be happy to help out!