Welcome to Half 3 of our prolonged journey by means of the historical past of Closing Fantasy XIV. Right now we’ll discuss how Shadowbringers was the perfect factor to ever occur. And the way Endwalker someway managed to fulfill sky-high expectations.
**Warning This Consists of Minor Spoilers For Closing Fantasy XIV**
Shadowbringers will most likely go down in infamy to be the growth that made Closing Fantasy XIV blow up. It turned a recreation with a substantial, devoted viewers right into a mainstream phenomenon, and at this level the biggest MMORPG on the market. Everybody was enthusiastic about it because it took one of many plot factors from Heavensward and based mostly a whole growth round it nevertheless it was additionally the primary growth after the appreciable transformation Closing Fantasy XIV had undergone in Stormblood.
The fight system was as soon as once more overhauled as we removed the previous few kinks and tough spots from the early days and every thing simply began to play easily. Jobs had been now simple to select up and enjoyable to grasp with restoration choices. Steadiness-wise, particularly all of the tanks bought evened out so all of them may fulfill the function effortlessly and there was much more deal with get together synergy now. This could in fact include battle content material that assessments gamers’ skill to the fullest, even regular ‘informal’ content material grew to become far more concerned and every thing was only a step up from Stormblood.
Whereas I do not wish to get into too many spoilers right here, Shadowbringers story, most of it least could be very tame in comparison with earlier expansions. It is simply very assured that you simply touring in an odd new world and assembly its folks can carry an growth. And it actually did, should you replicate on it now you will most likely discover how type of non-compulsory a very good 80% of Shadowbringers base story feels, you simply bought and take care of native hassle that might then result in a dungeon or a boss trial.
However within the thick of it, every thing is simply so disarmingly charming that you do not actually care. After the grim story of Stormblood, we get to go on an journey with characters which were with us for the reason that begin. And it felt just like the writers actually had the arrogance to only let the characters and the world they’d created carry a lot of the growth. The largest payoff might be the story of everybody’s favourite grumpy dad Thancred and the sheer charisma that Shakespeare-enthusiast Urianger brings to the story.
Nevertheless nobody most likely anticipated that Shadowbringers turned from a well-written, journey with a darstly villain in Vaultry and funky comrades to the masterpiece it’s when you attain the ultimate act. Now I do not wish to spoil something, however Shadowbringers does such a well-telegraphed but fully out of nowhere 360° double kickflip of feelings and someway nonetheless manages to roll off easily. I am not even mad when folks say that is the perfect growth. If you understand, you understand and if you do not know what I am speaking about, go play Closing Fantasy XIV. Belief me 250 hours price of questing make that second hit even tougher.
Vows of Advantage, Deeds of Cruelty
Now Shadowbringers base content material was simply the perfect Closing Fantasy recreation of the previous 20 years. It was additionally most likely probably the greatest issues I’ve ever performed or watched. And I can say confidently with no restraint that the post-patch content material manages to high it and even improve it. Some have known as it the victory lap however I believe it’s simply the second a part of what we began through the closing part of Shadowbringers.
Right here Closing Fantasy XIV reaches a few of its highest highs but, regardless of the patch being launched amidst a pandemic and the lead composer preventing a fierce battle with most cancers. I might exit on a limb right here and say that 5.3 might be the patch when it occurred. When Closing Fantasy XIV turned from a well-liked MMORPG that simply casually grew to become the best scoring recreation on Metacritic in 2019 exterior of the PC launch of Pink Useless Redemption 2 to a recreation that might now not be denied its spot on high of the MMORPG world.
And whereas the pandemic pressured some delays, together with the delay of one of many Final encounters and a few hassle getting patches out of the best way. It was additionally throughout that patch cycle after we noticed Closing Fantasy XIV explode in recognition. In fact, a few of that needed to do with a few of the finest content material the sport had delivered to the desk but. Bozja was one more open zone during which tons of of gamers would struggle in a battle with small-scale skirmishes and large raids. And each the raid tiers and the brand new set of trials managed to persuade in each tales and the precise fights themselves.
By this level, you will discover that we have gone from an MMORPG that was doomed to fail, to a miraculous resurgence. A time period when the builders honed their craft and outlined what sort of MMORPG they needed to make to the title that continued to develop, refine and exceed expectations with each single patch. And all of this led to the right storm we bought to witness final yr.
In April 2021 the subsequent growth was introduced, Endwalker was supposed to finish one of many main storylines of Closing Fantasy XIV but additionally mark a brand new starting within the journey. And through the prolonged content material drop of 2021 until the discharge of the growth, we out of the blue noticed unprecedented progress within the participant base. Years of excellent status and the numbers to again it up made Closing Fantasy XIV the quantity 2 MMORPG on the earth. And when each streamers and disgruntled MMO veterans lastly determined to offer the sport a attempt when there was nonetheless nearly half a yr until the subsequent growth. It occurred.
Lastly, Closing Fantasy XIV stood on the high of the MMORPG mountain and dominated the information cycle for nearly two months. The sport bought so quick that they ran out of digital copies to promote they usually even needed to put a cease to the favored free trial as a result of servers could not deal with the sudden improve in load. That prime would final nicely into the subsequent growth and the hype for Endwalker was nearly insufferable. It was so dangerous in reality that Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida needed to delay the launch for 2 weeks as a result of he needed to make further positive that the sport would hit all of the marks. Spoiler alert, it did.
Ending issues is tough, particularly these days if looks like no story ever manages to finish in a manner that satisfies longtime gamers or viewers. So when Closing Fantasy XIV introduced that Endwalker could be the top to the Hydaelyn and Zodiark Saga a few of us felt like this was pulling the set off slightly early. However after Shadowbringers there’s solely a lot larger you possibly can go till you will finally hit the roof.
New jobs and extra fight enhancements bought introduced and once more identical to Heavensward felt to ARR, Endwalker felt just like the logical step ahead after Shadowbringers combat-wise. Celebration synergy was extra inspired greater than ever, most jobs now clicked very nicely with each other naturally with the small sacrifice that each one of them wouldn’t run on a two-minute buff timer. For some gamers felt like they took away the enjoyable of selecting the correct job combos and modifying your play to compensate so as to make the sport extra accessible.
This had, in fact, its drawbacks by making high-end content material slightly staler, however in flip, encounters in Endwalker, particularly the tougher ones are usually much more concerned now. Basically most of Closing Fantasy XIVs Endwalker content material feels quicker and calls for heaps extra consideration from the participant than ever earlier than. And the presentation of fights additionally kicked up a notch, levels reworking mid-fight grew to become extra widespread and even dungeon bosses now include the extent of element you’d anticipate from a trial.
Endwalkers 6.0 content material feels positively like a recreation that’s in dire have to over-deliver on every thing it guarantees. By the point you end the third zone and attain the primary trial, it already feels such as you’ve lived by means of a whole growth price of drama and story. There are positively some gamers who complain in regards to the pacing, however Endwalker actually takes its time to discover the type of story it needs to inform. A narrative in regards to the many endings a narrative can inform. It even begins to frame on being slightly too meta at instances however after 11 years price of MMORPG, Closing Fantasy XIV is allowed to be self-indulgent.
And you understand you are in for a deal with when one of many first minimize scenes recreates one of many three intros from the now defunct 1.0 model. If in case you have performed Closing Fantasy XIV so far, you will get the total bundle of fan service and self-referential storytelling. One thing as minor as an offhand joke about grapes from one of many aspect tales Sq. Enix publishes on their web site every so often even sneaks its manner into this story.
By the point issues really come to an in depth, I do not assume anybody was left unhappy. Endwalker felt in some ways like a closing hurrah once more. Similar to the ultimate days of 1.0, it was an overdramatic celebration of every thing the sport had achieved. I may go on and analyze the story additional however the recreation put it finest. It has been a gripping story. Unbreakable bonds, and noble sacrifice, sprinkled with moments of levity to counterbalance the pathos. It is bought all of it. And if this might’ve been the top of Closing Fantasy XIV, this was most likely essentially the most satisfying strategy to do it. Nevertheless…
The Journey Will By no means Finish
We’re not dwelling within the post-Endwalker world of Closing Fantasy XIV content material and thus far each patch simply appeared grander than the final. It feels greater than ever like now that they bought Endwalker out of the best way Naoki Yoshida and his staff have dropped a horrible weight from their shoulders. Apart from growing one other AAA online game on the aspect. The wealth of content material thus far has been insane and the brand new raid content material counts amongst a few of the finest the sport has ever seen.
The brand new dungeons really feel contemporary and exhilarating and the brand-new Final struggle might be a few of the best-designed content material I’ve ever seen in a online game. And that isn’t to say the wealth of non-compulsory content material we have gotten as nicely. The newest patch noticed the combination of the Island Sanctuary, a neat piece of aspect content material that has gamers handle a small island and handle it right into a money-making empire. The non-compulsory Sidequests which might be purported to substitute Endwalker’s finality, are a few of the best-written quests within the recreation but.
And the brand new story content material picks up stray threads of lore and weaves them right into a gripping story with new and outdated characters. For the primary time, in a very long time, it looks like we’re on an journey once more and are not struggling towards destiny itself with the load of the world on our shoulders.
As a result of Closing Fantasy XIV appears to know that after you saved the lands, the world, and its folks. Perhaps you need to take a break and attempt to escalate issues additional, simply discover the world you have constructed and have enjoyable with it. Closing Fantasy XIVs lore nonetheless provides so many locations we have but to go to and so many tales left untold. And Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida has vowed that they will maintain Closing Fantasy XIV going for no less than one other 10 years.
To maintain that promise, large efforts have been made to future-proof Closing Fantasy XIVs promise. Whereas there’s at the moment no plan to permit gamers to only begin the place Endwalker left us off, older elements of the story are being overhauled fully. Dungeons are being remade to deliver them as much as the present commonplace each mechanically and visually. You may as well enterprise by means of them with AI companions if you would like to take it gradual or cannot discover a group.
And with 7.0 there appears to be one other huge change on the horizon. Closing Fantasy XIV goes to obtain a whole visible overhaul to improve its graphics and easy out efficiency whereas additionally staying true to what the title has executed thus far. In fact, it is left to be seen how grand these modifications will find yourself being trying again on the previous 12 years, I would wish to assume the critically acclaimed MMORPG is in superb palms.
Now thanks very a lot for indulging on this prolonged enterprise by means of Closing Fantasy XIVs historical past from a participant’s perspective. In case you nonetheless have not tried the sport but, please my good friend it’s free to play up until the top of the award-winning Heavensward growth. It’s most likely one of many best items of media and positively one of many best video games ever made. Even should you aren’t a fan of MMORPGs or Japanese video video games, you are lacking out.
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