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Impressions of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s 2.2 Patch
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn‘s 2.2 patch, Through the Maelstrom, has finally arrived and seeks to breathe some new life into the popular MMORPG. All well and good, but does the new patch add anything especially revolutionary to bring back those people who have shelved the game in favor of something else? Not especially, but that is not to say that the patch is bad in any way. The patch does add some long awaited things as well. More storyline missions, more endgame content like more dungeons and primals, more crafting recipes, and some other cosmetic changes such as vanity options are just a few of the things the patch has introduced.
My favorite addition in this patch is Glamour. The much awaited vanity option allows players to change their gears appearance to look like other equipment such as a player making a chest piece look like another different one. This allows players who disliked the look of the their equipment and weapons to switch the appearance to something that is much more aesthetically pleasing to them. To use glamour on a piece of gear players just need to do a quick quest and after that they gain access to the glamour items. The player uses a glamour crystal that corresponds to the piece of equipment they want to copy, so a level 1-10 item uses a grade 1 crystal, 11-20 is grade 2, and so on. The crystals themselves are made by the different types of crafters and require mid level materials to make so this results in cheaper vanity items for everyone. The only restrictions on the items are the fact that players can only glamour gear to look like gear that they can equip, so a black mage will never walk around in paladin gear unfortunately.
Item level cap has been increased. Whereas before the highest level items in the game were the Allagan weapons which were level 95. Now the strongest weapons can be as high as level 115 and the highest armor is 110. This is going to take some time again as players have to trade in Allagan Tomes of Soldiery which they earn from high level content to get these new pieces of gear and are limited in how many they can earn a week. So for dedicated players it will take them roughly the same amount of time to earn their high end gear if they are just capping out tomes every week. More crafting recipes have been added as well. Once again crafted items will be slightly worse than the best in slot gear. Although crafted gear only goes up to level 90, the best redeemable gear is only level 100 and you must find a very rare item to upgrade the item even further so there is less of a gap between crafted items and looted items than there was before for the vast majority of folks. This is a good thing considering a lot of crafted gear felt like it was just a stepping stone outside of certain items which you would sometimes use to stack Vitality with and now this is slightly less so.
The storyline continues on, we aid some refugees who hail from the country of Doma (whose leader leaves us curious to her actual race) who have had their homeland destroyed courtesy of the bad guys and need a new home. There is a new primal fight in the form of Leviathan. New beastmen factions are also available to start raising reputation with as well so players looking to ally themselves with the Kobolds and Sahagin for faction specific rewards will now be pleased to hear that they can. Additionally, we also have more quests involving Hildibrand as well which is always refreshing as the missions involving the Inspector and his antics always offer a nice change of pace to the game and includes a news trial battle.
We receive several new dungeons again similar to patch 2.1. Halatali and Brayflox’s Longstop have received hard modes as well as the new Lost City of Amdapor dungeon being released. The dungeons are not hard per se being roughly the same level of difficulty as other hard mode dungeons, but the more dungeons you have as an option the more varied your high level duty finder won’t get boring so more is definitely better. Allagan Tomes of Philosophy, an item you earned by doing dungeons which you traded in for gear, have been removed from the game now. What this means is that dungeons now drop the next tier of redeemable tomes (Mythology) and offer the highest tier of tomes (Soldiery) as well in small amounts. So dungeon farming is better now since the previous cap on myth tomes has been removed and placed on Soldiery.
This is good. With no cap on myth tomes anymore that means people can at least farm gear at a reasonably fast pace now. This means people who may not have been able to reach the end of endgame content back in 2.1 will be able to in 2.2 and move on into the new content with little issue whatsoever since higher level gear is more readily available.
Several forms of harder content have been added as well in 2.2. This includes the two new extreme primal fights: Good King Moggle Mog XII and Leviathan, and The Second Binding Coil of Bahamut. As a means of entering these battles players must clear the old content in order to unlock the new stuff. So for Leviathan and Good King Moggle Mog XII, players must beat Garuda’s, Titan’s, and Ifrit’s extreme mode and to unlock the Second Binding Coil of Bahamut you must clear turn 5 of the first Binding Coil of Bahamut. This can still be annoying for Binding Coil of Bahamut since you are still not able to solo queue for it using the Duty Finder so you still need to find a group of eight players to participate which can be time consuming depending on your play schedule. They have said they mean to allow solo queuing for Coil at some point which seems like it will help to alleviate this issue. Additionally, players can now do the first turns of Binding Coil of Bahamut as much as they like now which is a nice addition.
Overall though a lot of patch 2.2 feels like it has come a little late. The people who got bored farming up tome gear and waiting for drops will find more of the same and will find that they need to start the old grind all over again and some certainly won’t be keen too. As stated above, the patch itself is not bad and adds some things people have wanted for a while, but it still feels like they added more of the same in certain areas. Players who have enjoyed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s gameplay and endgame up until this point though will very much enjoy the new content patch, but those who’ve fallen to the wayside because they disliked the weekly grind to cap out tomes may not find that enough has changed to come back.