#FF14 – Nearing the End

So Close I Can Taste It

Inching a bit closer!  The start of patch 2.55 is all cinematics and rinky dink walk over here, and talk to someone.  6 of them too!  And the subtlety is pretty much gone, time for the big moves.  I got far enough in (popcorn and all) to unlock the last MSQ raid, Steps of Faith.

This one sets you against a dragon, Vishap, who’s walking across a bridge to knock down a door – essentially a DPS race, with a few cannons to help out.  I don’t mind a DPS race but an entire raid focused on one makes you wonder why it exists?  I mean, it looks neat and it’s the first time you’re actively fighting something that much larger than you.  Cripes, we fit the entire raid under the dragon’s belly.

Compared to the previous raid and the dozen or so wipes, I think I cast Cure about 5 times, and just used regen here and there.  95% of the rest of the time, I was in Cleric stance and just DPS.  Clerics aren’t super DPS either, I think I do about 200ish.  I’d guess a pure class would be double?

Have I mentioned how healers have it awesome?  Instant queue for this one again.

Anyhoot, unless I’m mistaken I have 2-3 fetch quests left, then about 30 minutes of cutscenes before Heavensward.  The downside is that the intro cinematic of Heavensward spoils a fair chunk of what’s coming.  The upside is that the MSQ is filling in the blanks and it’s pretty well done.  At least by FF standards.

Final Fantasy Lore

Let’s face it, Final Fantasy is one of the largest IPs on the planet for gamers.  Aside from Warcraft and Star Wars, it’d be pretty hard to find the next in line.  And I don’t mean character, that’s clearly Mario.  I mean the entire world/lore/history.

The neat thing about the FF series is how all the games are set in their own world but share common elements.  There’s always some sort of crystal, summons are always going to be present, character classes are nearly always there, and you’re always going to find Cid, Biggs, and Wedge.  The art style is almost always buckles and zippers and layers, with a side of crazy hair.  Moogles and Chocobos.  It’s not really a FF game without those pieces, though some took a while to make it into the series.

Even the combat basics have been pretty common across.  Sure, the Active Time Battle (ATB) has come and gone but the concept of slow, methodical thinking before actions has been there since the beginning.  Even FF13’s “just press A” mechanics were stalled by a bar that needed to fill up to execute moves.

That’s certainly one of the draws with FF14, how the archetypes and tropes of the series are used throughout.  The story pacing, the maniacal/plot hole enemies, the constant exposition, the humour, the stupid fetch quests, and the cuteness.  At any time where it thought the content felt “off”, the next moment it was back on track.  It’s rare enough to find a game with this much content that’s able to maintain pace/cohesiveness for such a long period.  I’m certainly more and more impressed as I move along.

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