FFXIV: My MMO Subscription Reborn

So my second chance at life, granted to FFXIV after so many people testified that it is a game that sometimes takes a second chance to grow on you, has taken root.   I am currently an active subscriber to Final Fantasy.

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That’s the Official Brother of Harbinger Zero ™ standing in the background there.   We’ve been running through the main storyline quests together as a Lancer and Arcanist, although when we hit the patch of storyline dungeons thought I switched to conjurer to get us into a group faster.

I wasn’t too sure about that at first – forcing players to do instanced group sessions is a tricky sell I think – but I have to admit it worked out pretty well.   While we decided afterwards we would not have wanted to tank those dungeons (they seem a bit twisty and turny for breaking in new guys), it worked out well in giving you some mechanics and a few minor twists to work out.

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And I thoroughly enjoyed healing again.   Its been a long time since I’ve had to work at the heals, and I’m happy to say that no tanks were lost in the making of this screenshot.

I also discovered that FFXIV builds in some tools that normally required mods and add-ons.  You can see in the picture above that there are numbers/letters next to our group names.   A for whoever has the aggro, and 2/3/4 for the ranking the rest of us are holding.

I also am appreciative of the target of target window on the left hand side, which allowed me to move quickly back and forth between healing and dropping the occasional DoT.

I still haven’t figured out the Limit Break stuff though, I need to spend time time in the Wiki puzzling that one out.

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And of course, how can I not compliment the Job system?   It keeps the game fresh to know I can log in and with a button click change my playstyle while keeping my character and progress.  I enjoyed watching the Bard in the dungeon screenshot up there going to work, so when I get tired of casting spells, I port over to Gridania and work on my Archer skills.   In other MMO’s, that would feel like time lost down the black hold of Alts-ville, but here it seems added value.   It may not actually be any added value – after all, its not really any different than leveling an alt in another MMO, but for some reason, I don’t have any of the angst or hand wringing about whether or not I should be playing my main instead.   So whether psychological hand-waiving or genuine difference, I don’t know, but either way, it works for me.

In any case, its good to be back in a fantasy world, carving things up, enjoying quest text, and generally being a hero.   We’ll see how long it lasts, but so far, its looking very good.

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One thought on “FFXIV: My MMO Subscription Reborn

  1. Glad to see you’re giving it another try. i was one who had to try it twice before it “took” and then it was my only game for quite a while. I’m currently “on break” from it, but I’ve still got it installed and can re-sub when I get the bug again. I’m sure I will at some point.

    As far as the limit break goes — the gauge fills as your party gains XP throughout the dungeon. Typically it will fill for the 1st time shortly after (or sometimes even before, but it’s rare) the 1st boss in a dungeon. Once it’s full it can be used for a special attack that varies depending on the job that uses it. The final boss of the dungeon has a double-size gauge. in raids, the gauge is tripled. An “LB3” on a raid generally has a big bonus effect, so the use of the LB3 during raiding is often part of “how we beat the boss.” Some bosses even require that certain LB3’s be used, else there will be a wipe, but that’s pretty rare.

    The effects are:

    Tank — Defense up. LB3 also gives a damage shield, IIRC. So far as I know, the only time this is ever used is during the raid that requires it at a certain phase. It’s never used in group play. Ever.
    Healer — Large heal. LB3 will rez an entire 24-man raid with full health and energy and no rez sickness. This is generally used as an “oh snap” button if you’ve almost got a boss beat, but people are just going down left and right. LB1 and LB2 are never used. Ever.
    BRD/MCH — Line AE in front of them for decent damage, so long as it’s well aimed. Since it’s a line and thus a small area, and it’s an AE so damage is reduced, this is not often used.
    Melee DPS — Massive single-target damage. This is the most commonly used one. People tend to hold it until the final boss is at about 10% health, then use the LB2 as a finisher.
    Caster DPS — Circle AE. This is the 2nd most used one, typically as an LB1 against a giant trash pull between boss 1 and boss 2, or in a boss fight where a lot of adds get summoned.

    FWIW, for all that the dungeons look twisty and turny as you run through, all except the Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak as simply a long hallway that takes you from boss fight to boss fight. And even Thousand Maws is mostly a hall, it just has a couple of places where you can go left or right, but you’ll still end up in the same place.

    Once you’re past level 17, go to the airship terminal in New Gridania and unlock the Palace of the Dead. That’s a fun mini-dungeon of sorts that is procedurally generated, so it’s a bit more random. And you can test out various jobs there to your hearts content. Gear doesn’t actually matter — the dungeon has its own gear that levels up as you run through it (and repeat it). It can be quite engaging.

    At 15, don’t forget to look for “The Smith” in any city’s adventurer’s guild and do the “how to newbie” quests. You’ll get a full set of dungeon-level gear for your trouble that will last you until level 22-ish.

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