FFXIV: catch all

I...Don't think I loved Endwalker? I'll mention briefly without spoilers then even briefer with spoilers.

It often tended to be overly verbose, and I found the pacing very strange. I enjoyed the slow buildup, and each zone was genuinely interesting. However, I was often reading for 70% of my gametime when I just wanted to play, so this led to me skimming over some things and caring a little less than I normally would have for the story. Going from interesting dungeons and action sequences to hours of dialogue really started to get to me at the mid-point.

Just as we hit the absolute climax, the game slows right down again. The 89-90 missions in the final zone left me feeling pretty sour. Imagine getting hyped up to tackle the final boss of a game you've been playing for 8 years, then realising you have to sit through 2 more hours of talking about things you don't really care about before you can enter that dungeon. Learning about this race, learning about that race...

Hard to say much more without spoilers so I'll finish by saying that I do think the game is at its mechanical peak. The jobs I've played feel incredible, and the crafting/gathering changes are excellent. I'm really happy with this and can't wait to get into raiding.

Anyway, I was expecting 20/10 and got 7/10. Yeah it was good enough I guess. But I can't help but wish it was more.

Spoilers below.

Spoiler:

Your party each sacrificing themselves was touching, but I should have known that nobody stays dead in FFXIV. For the big finale, I didn't feel like the stakes were very high. I knew we'd get them all back, it was fine. Things seemed a lot more dire back on Eorzea when the world was actually ending, this felt like smooth sailing

Then...Zenos. He kinda does nothing? He's a very boring villain that just wants to fight you. He keeps coming back and is painted as some great FF antagonist but has no interesting motives and yet he's the one that gets to save the day. His inclusion in this game felt like complete fan service and his large part in the finale did not feel earned. This alone soured me on the game more than it should have.

If everything falls in place, i think i'll move over from free account to paid account in early 2022. I feel like I need this game/community in my life. Currently awaiting a sale on the game + expansions for PS5. Then i'll move my PC account over

I had the thought that Endwalker felt like a Kojima game with the sheer number of cutscenes. I swear even the ones that give you a warning weren't as long as some of the other sequences where it's cutscene after cutscene. I personally didn't really mind, but.. it is noticeable. I think so far the most consistent criticism of Endwalker I've seen is the overall pacing. If you don't like it, it's a drag. If you do like it, it lets you live in this world and with these characters even more. Either way, it's indulgent.

And I think "indulgent" is a good way to describe this expansion. There are multiple scenes of all your allies past and current coming together heroically. More so than any previous expansion, they take time to just have conversations with your companions and really soak in the "this is the end" vibes. I've always thought that, while I was generally fond of the Scions, they felt like respected coworkers more than friends to me. Endwalker felt like a deliberate attempt to move them over to the friend category.

Spoilery stuff:

Spoiler:

Shadowbringers had a similar thing where it felt like you were off to the final battle, and then you had a whole other zone to poke around in and new people to meet. Then you get to Amaurot, and there's so much interesting lore and revelations that it didn't feel like such a drag. So I at least was ready for Ultima Thule to take a while to get through before the end.

The difference this time is so much of Ultima Thule's storytelling was really hammering home the theme of the expansion, which is finding the hope and strength to carry on in the face of the end. I had a theory that maybe the post-6.0 story arc would involve learning about who the dragons went to war with, so I was surprised that they were actually introduced and explained here instead (side note: all of my theories going into Endwalker turned out to be hilariously incorrect). Ultima Thule's aesthetic was so fantastic that I didn't mind the exploring and learning about these failed civilizations. That said, a persistent problem with the storytelling is that no matter what they have to structure it around 6 new zones, and that always leads to uneven pacing. For this expansion in particular, I felt like it would have been really appropriate to send us back to 2.0 zones and really see how the End of Days was impacting places we're potentially really attached to from the early days. Instead they decided to use the Role quests to do this to a degree, and while I get it, it seemed like a missed opportunity to do something a little different with the MSQ's structure.

Regarding the sacrifices, as soon as Meteion said that Thancred's soul was still lingering around the general vicinity, I suspected he'd be okay. After Estinien similarly sacrificed himself, I was pretty certain everyone would check out, and instead for me it became more about appreciating the characterization and growth that led each Scion to the point where they were willing to do what had to be done so that the Warrior of Light could make their final stand.

I'm still chewing on Zenos and his final role. There was a cool factor I appreciated in the final Trial, but I do lean towards agreeing that it felt unearned. The final duty against him was pretty cool though, and the cutscene where you both punch the sh*t out of each other was great. Neither he nor Fandaniel ended up resonating with me as much as I'd hoped. I saw a theory that maybe the raid series will give some backstory/lore about Zenos' original unsundered soul. I'd welcome that.

Ok, I really want to try this now with all the positives. I've never played this.

1. PS5 or PC. I have a very good gaming PC. Is this better on the couch or with a mouse and keyboard.

2. Do I try the trial or just buy something? From Steam?

Balthezor wrote:

Ok, I really want to try this now with all the positives. I've never played this.

1. PS5 or PC. I have a very good gaming PC. Is this better on the couch or with a mouse and keyboard.

2. Do I try the trial or just buy something? From Steam?

1. PC -- while the game is equal parts "lean forward" and "lean back" I'd still go with the PC experience to avoid the inconveniences of having only a controller available.

Several of us do play with a controller on PC, by the way, because the support is excellent, but ultimately you'll still want a mouse and keyboard for certain things (typing, etc). I suppose you could also use a bluetooth keyboard on your PS5 if you wanted? But yeah, PC is the way to go unless you REALLY want to spend your time on the couch.

2. Sadly, the game is currently not for sale (and the creation of new trial accounts is also disabled) due to high traffic and COVID supply chain issues preventing them from making more servers available. I'd recommend just buying directly from Square, though, unless you're very attached to having Steam be your payment processing service. Watch this page to see when they open up sales (and the free trial) again: https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/product/

Incidentally, it's a meme for a reason: the free trial (once it's reactivated) is a wild thing. You'll have the ability to play all the way through the first expansion (basically like playing two full length Final Fantasy games) without paying. You will have certain restrictions (mostly to do with social interaction to prevent the trial from being abused for gold farming and other scams), but generally speaking you'll have the whole game available to you.

+1 for not buying anything yet. No cost at all for the entire base game and first expansion - and that also means no monthly subscription fees either. Once you buy anything, even if you're still playing through the base game and expansion, you'll need to pay $13+ monthly.

Thanks all. I might have an account from several months ago for a trial. I hope it still works.

Is there an xp gain restrictions because of free trial, or not being a subscriber?

No restrictions on earning XP, at least until you hit 60. The trial restrictions mostly revolve around social and market features.

Free trial restrictions

No XP gain restrictions, other than being level-capped to 60 (the first expansion's cap).
Can't join a party other than through Duty Roulette (randomized parties for dungeons).
Can't join a Free Company (guild).
Can't hold more than 300k Gil.
Can't use the Market Board (auction house).
Can't yell/shout.

That sort of thing. It's an extremely generous free trial.

merphle wrote:

Free trial restrictions

No XP gain restrictions, other than being level-capped to 60 (the first expansion's cap).
Can't join a party other than through Duty Roulette (randomized parties for dungeons).
Can't join a Free Company (guild).
Can't hold more than 300k Gil.
Can't use the Market Board (auction house).
Can't yell/shout.

That sort of thing. It's an extremely generous free trial.

You will be put in the Novice Network, so you can ask questions. Also, you will not be able to trade with anyone, which I found out when someone in the Novice Network needed some ore.

Many of us are on Midgardsormr. If you make a character on the Aether data center, then you can hop to that server. Eventually you will be able to hop to other data centers.

I play on the PS5 with a controller, but it's also at my desk, so I have a keyboard and mouse hooked up. The load times and visuals on the PS5 are fantastic, at least compared to my Mac, and I like using the controller for most things (except typing).

If I buy the game on PC. Is the expansions on the PS5 as well? Is it cross play?

It's crossplay, but you need to buy the base game and Endwalker for each platform. PC and PS5, in your case (there's also a separate Mac license for some reason).

They won't let me create a character with the server/data center you guys are on. How much or is it even possible to transfer to different data centers?

Looks like character creation is allowed on Midgardsormr right now, tho this can change throughout the day as more folks log in. Keep an eye on this link to know for sure (the green icon indicates character creation is open): https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodes...

It’s $18 to transfer to a new home world. (EDIT: it looks like the paid transfer service is temporarily suspended due to congestion) However you can visit another world on the same data center at no cost. There are plans to be able to visit other data centers but those are delayed with the extreme congestion going on right now.

Is there a guild/company/whatever on Midgardsormr? I started playing again after a couple year’s absence and finally made it past the 47-50 leveling hump.

ruhk wrote:

Is there a guild/company/whatever on Midgardsormr? I started playing again after a couple year’s absence and finally made it past the 47-50 leveling hump.

There is a Gamers with Jobs Free Company on Midgardsormr.

sometimesdee wrote:
ruhk wrote:

Is there a guild/company/whatever on Midgardsormr? I started playing again after a couple year’s absence and finally made it past the 47-50 leveling hump.

There is a Gamers with Jobs Free Company on Midgardsormr.

If you want to head over to the FC house, it's located at Plot 44, 1 Ward, The Goblet (Small) housing district. There's a placard out front and you can apply for membership there, and when one of us sees it we can allow you in. If you let us know when you'll be on, and your character name, one of us can also find you and invite you ourselves.

We also hang out in the GWJ Discord. There's an #MMO channel, and a thread under that called "Critically Acclaimed FF14" where we chat and try organizing group events.

Well, having finally wrapped up 5.x content last week, I’ve been slowing making my way through Endwalker and loving every moment so far.

Well, every moment but one.

SPOILER NOTE: The mildest of spoilers for early Endwalker follows. I will spoiler tag all post ARR images, but not text, which will be as vague as possible.

You see after significant buildup through out the level 83 quest line, I hit the moment of payoff and found myself having a mixed reaction — I mean, to some extent they provided me with what I was looking for, but there was one major disappointment that I’m struggling to get over.

And so, my friends, I ask you to hear my words as I talk about something very important: winter fashion winners and losers.

As we all know, Final Fantasy 14 has been the epic tale of a ragtag group of friends who overcome great struggles and adversity on their path from potato sack wearing hapless charity cases

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/0dzwiZz.jpg)

to world renowned scions of style and icons (eikons?) of high fashion.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/pIoC61C.jpg)

(That IS why we call ourselves scions, right?)

So, when I find myself working through a quest line with multiple instances of dialog discussing just how important it’s going to be that we are ready for inclement weather, including at least one character making pointed remarks that they would NOT be caught wearing whatever random items the Grand Companies had lying around, I became excited — surely I was about to be treated to a cavalcade of the most amazing winter weather looks possible, right?

And you know, the game did deliver to some degree. Tataru’s gift for me was basically a re-tailored hand me down (up?) from Alphinaud’s early forays to Ishgard, but it rides the line between frumpy and comfy in a way that my stylish ass can make work.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/dpTQ9xf.png)

And G’raha, man, he came to serve. Sure, it’s not a fully custom look, and the deep vee neck is probably not the most practical, but he’s newly revitalized and he knows what the people want to see. Also, Sicard looking sharp in the aforementioned Grand Company leftovers, but he’s got so much swagger that nothing can really cover that up.

Moving on, let’s see what else we’ve got:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/f1NQa8n.png)

Okay, so we have Pipin also making the GC gear look good, A Ruhn Senna ignoring the warnings and freezing his legs off (seems about right for his character), and Estinien also sticking with his normal gear, as promised. Urianger decided to pull his “oops I’m a double agent -- or am I?” robes out of the closet, which is cool — it was a solid look, and it feels like the appropriate cold weather version of his recent mystic bro glow up.

Moving along, we have the Leveilleur twins, who seem to have gone for chic and understated, which, while maybe not the most exciting, is fine. They’re probably a bit embarrassed about the glances they’ve been drawing with the clothes their mom gave them, so cooling things down a bit might be the right call. And Lyse went with the standard Ala Mighan resistance armor. Okay. I mean, it’s certainly a sensible choice compared to the robes of state she’s be wearing since the revolution

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/97T3v2G.jpg)

but I would have been a lot happier if someone had set her up with a winterized version of her post-identity reveal adventuring look

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/0xMuGm3.jpg)

So yeah, that could have been stronger, but hey, those resistance outfits are pretty sharp even with the drab but functional color scheme.

Now who is left… who is that hiding sheepishly behind Alphinaud, as if she knows she’s been dramatically underserved. Oh, my dear Y’shtola, what did they do? Let’s take a closer look, maybe?

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/9woJqZC.jpg)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/MSlb5LY.jpg)

I mean, it’s practical. It’s functional. It looks comfortable as f*ck. But Y’shtola, you of all people deserve more than just that. You, who have come the farthest from your potato sack origins, from this depressing C tier NPC reject outfit:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/wxYQ3W4.jpg)
to this jaw dropping masterpiece:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/JL38Gfl.jpg)

to being the undisputed queen of devastating fashion in the First:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/VKHO0KK.png)

It’s just unacceptable. I mean, Thancred’s original look may have been strong competition for worst original look, and that upgraded thief look was maybe the strongest of all the Heavensward updates, but why does he get this absolute stunner of an update to his uninspired “oops, I just stole the gunbreaker NPC’s armor and died it white” look for playing Metal Gear Scion

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zC5MtHW.jpg)

while Y’shola is left to wallow in a return to boring obscurity? Hell, just give her Thancred’s new coat and it would be a million times better! Or if Tataru only had time to make one set of that majestic garb, even one of the GC coats would have at least been visible.

This insult cannot be allowed to stand! The people demand a badass winter Y'shtola, and we won't be silenced until we get it.


Oh, and while we’re talking about Endwalker fashion falling a bit flat, one other thing: let’s talk a bit more about the Leveilleur twins new clothes before the winter expedition.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/4SGdJzB.jpg)

Cool design work, but am I the only one who feels like maybe their mom thought Alphinaud would have grown a bit more and Alisaie a bit less? That said, ill fitted as they may be, it’s still obviously a good sight better than where they started.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/262zPhd.jpg)

But they also got very strong upgrades in Heavensward.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Yppc9a7.jpg)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/AvE9VdE.jpg)

And their looks in the First were also quite good, particularly for Alisaie:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/QB6POeJ.jpg)

And you know, I just feel like they deserve to have their new clothes fit as well as they look, right? Particularly since

Spoiler:

the game is telegraphing so hard that they are going to go all Palom and Porom on me. I mean, I hope I’m wrong, but if they’re going to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the world I prefer they do it in clothes that have been appropriately tailored.

Okay, now that I'm out of the cutscenes and can get a closer look, it's actually not that bad:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/l0GGjJu.jpg)

The belt, boots, and gloves all add some very nice flair that the cutscenes weren't really highlighting. And while I still thing she could have been well served by a bit more over the top ornamentation in the robe, I clearly was wrong to be so critical of Tataru's work without closer examination. She truly is a master craftsperson. Now, if she'd only wear her own custom work more often, right?

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/lTk35Fh.jpg)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Wcudmv8.png)

The GWJ FC is having our first 2022 group event this Saturday, January 8, at 2pm PST. The rough plan/hope is to run the Normal version of the Pandaemonium raids, both for those who haven't done them yet, and anyone who needs/want their weekly gear tokens! Everyone is welcome, whether you've done raids before or not. The only requirement is to have finished the Endwalker MSQ and have an item level of at least 565.

Depending on time, desire, etc., we'll also try running the new level 90 treasure maps and hopefully get lucky with the new Excitaron 6000 dungeons!

If you'd like to join, make sure you're in the GWJ Discord server, #MMO channel, Critically Acclaimed FF14 thread. We'll create a voice channel when the time comes.

Ysh's winter ensemble is the Crystarium healing coat, and I think it's wonderful, I'm getting one to glam on SGE when it's 80.

Back in 2019, GOTY time, I was learning some basic photoshop, so I made banners for my votes, #1 of which was XIV:
IMAGE(https://i.ibb.co/sHxL00M/1-FFXIV.jpg)

I was in the mood to make them this year as well, and while I didn't use this one, I did think it was fun to make a new version reflecting more current glams, and, well, I had to put this somewhere (note: 4 of these are already out of date):
IMAGE(https://i.ibb.co/1QVSj0H/Tribute.png)

Those are fantastic

beanman101283 wrote:

Those are fantastic

Thanks! Basic, but I like the concept.

Always look to Ysh (SGE 80 beeteedubs):
IMAGE(https://i.ibb.co/TYQd10N/Vaylen-Troubador-01-08-2022-03-10-11.jpg)