Review: Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (Patch 4.4)

Prelude in Violet

Final Fantasy XIV waxes and wanes like a patch in a wind. Translation: some eras are improved than others. While we generally go all-out on endgame-heavy even series rags with my Paladin, Bard, and Scholar: peculiar numbers (called “catch-up patches”) are mostly a source of respite.

Thus has been my tour by Final Fantasy XIV‘s Stormblood expansion so far. With 4.4 out and about I’m behind during it again, nonetheless we wish some vital course changes are in store for a subsequent epoch of a game.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (PC, PS4 [reviewed])
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
MSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month)
Released: Jun 20, 2017

When a new FFXIV patch hits it’s roughly like waking adult to a code new game. For those of we who don’t play, Square Enix does a illusory pursuit of make-up in tons of things in patches: a element that extends over calm into unconditional peculiarity of life changes. As for 4.4 a categorical events are a new debate questline, another hearing (boss fight), a full and final Omega raid tier, several side stories, and dual dungeons (The Burn and Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum Hard). There’s also a whole store of cosmetic and contention additions, new value sport zones, innumerable role-playing concessions, and some-more addictive rob like mounts and minions. In box you’re not assured they consider of all for numbered patch days: they finished Behemoths fly in 4.4 during a ask of a community. Okay a list is out of a way, let’s speak about it.

Final Fantasy XIV handles a story debate improved than many MMOs that have been expelled to date. It’s a full-on JRPG packaged with tons of nail-biting cutscenes, many of that need some form of romantic investment from a player. While a truncated 4.4 quests are like a preface for what’s to come (the arriving lead-in for a subsequent expansion) they never felt like a slog. The trend of permitting approach control of guest story characters is also welcome. It’s something that’s been finished before, though still fun in a context of a universe Final Fantasy XIV has created.

The best approach to report Hells’ Kier, a new trial? Stunning. we meant Square Enix unequivocally surpass themselves with many any non-dungeon trainer fight, though damn, a volume of work that goes into these things is insane. The whole hearing soundtrack could be worked into any Final Fantasy concert (and mostly is during Fan Fest events with a in-house band, The Primals) and a visuals are consistently prudent and beautiful. Light nonplus elements and even a hold of DDR somehow fit. And a voice acting! Square Enix has set a new bar.

4.4’s raid tier, Alphascape, is usually as awe-inspiring. When we start with a hitch with a final trainer of Final Fantasy 1 you know you’re in for a good time. It usually goes adult from there, and for once, a normal problem environment is semi-challenging (I wish we memorized your boat directions!). No partial of this tier feels squandered or like a throwaway fight, and unequivocally few games can lift off balmy piano song in an intense, perfectionist raid. we broken a final raid tier with my Paladin for weeks during a time, earning a full 370 raid set: and we think I’ll be doing a same thing here. If a raid group hasn’t gotten a lift nonetheless it deserves it.

But all of a above pieces of a nonplus have flattering many always been on point, so for active players nothing of this is a surprise. Conversely, several areas have been downhill given Heavensward — namely, dungeons. The Burn, a new locality for a patch, is flattering many a loyal line until a decent jaw-dropping boon during a end. Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum Hard is equally as considerable visually, though a “hard” moniker especially usually refers to “remixed.” We need additional problem levels to forestall cave calm from apropos stale: reduced to small spam to acquire rigging tokens. About that.

Unless you’re a hardcore ravisher we competence start to feel tired in 4.4, if we haven’t already: some of a paint is chipping in specific areas of this primitive manor. It’s during this point, over 5 years given Final Fantasy XIV relaunched as A Realm Reborn, that I’m starting to entirely rebel opposite a token/tomestone system. In short, endgame swell outside of hardcore raiding is mostly totalled in rigging warranted by tomestones, that are netted by harsh out calm like dungeons or other instanced activities.

Tokens are a attempted and loyal MMO judgment and are excellent in speculation (it’s good to eventually get an accurate square of rigging we wish if we destroy to greatfully a RNG Gods), though FFXIV leans too heavily on them to column adult prolonged tenure play. Although Square Enix is substantially finished with many of a subsequent enlargement (5.0) already, we unequivocally wish we get to see a large shakeup that involves creation some-more activities viable for earning peculiarity gear. Even a weekly rob lockouts are starting to abrade as a complement actively impedes a gearing of alts.

Final Fantasy XIV is still forward of a bend in many ways, with a intensely alt-friendly complement of swapping jobs (classes) on a whim: all while maintaining a repute grinds and query swell on a same impression (an emanate that becomes increasingly quarrelsome in a World of Warcraft community with any patch). But they could mount to unequivocally figure adult as a MMO landscape (subscription-based and free-to-play) evolves around them.

If we haven’t played Final Fantasy XIV nonetheless we wholeheartedly suggest it. Four years of calm drops have unequivocally combined up, and even if a approach some of that calm is presented is controversial it’s still entrance in usually adequate to aver a entrance fee. For all we over players, 4.4 continues a good will Square Enix has garnered given Heavensward. It’s still one of a many discriminating games on a marketplace right now by any metric, and even if we don’t hang around perpetually you’ll get something out of it.

[This examination is formed on a sell build of a diversion supposing by a publisher. It essentially covers a PVE elements of a game.]

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood: Prelude in Violet reviewed by Chris Carter

GOOD

Solid and really has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, though a knowledge is fun.
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