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Final Fantasy XIV: 2.5 Patch Rundown
Time goes on and we get another content patch for Square Enix’s MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which drops today. This patch (called Before the Fall) gives us a couple of new dungeons, a new primal, new storyline, new raid, and THE GOLD SAUCER.
Before anything else, I would like to point out that PvP now will have its own daily duty finder bonus starting in this patch. For those who are unaware, the current state of Final Fantasy XIV‘s PvP situation is not the best. There is one current issue with PvP in the game right now. The amount of time you have to wait to get into the PvP is normally longer than the time you’re in said PvP. This is a problem because the PvP is usually 24v24v24, so the vast majority of queues for a data center at any given time are usually only going towards one to two matches, and after a certain period of time if not enough people show up in queue it searches for 16v16v16 and then 8v8v8 if that fails. So the people who miss that one queue end up waiting 30 minutes for a 15-20 minute match. 2.5 fixes this by making PvP have a daily bonus. Before it was only the PvP enthusiasts who played and they suffered from lack of numbers, but now there is incentive for the rest to play. So both sides win with this revision.
New dungeons and a new primal are being added as per the norm. This time we are getting hard modes for Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep (complete with a double demon wall boss) and a new dungeon, Keeper of the Lake, where the last boss is the giant dragon from the original 1.0 trailer cinematic for FFXIV (before it was remade) and its corpse has been sitting in Mor Dhona still attached to the giant airship it downed and was dragged down alongside. We may just be fighting his head, but it looks like it’ll be different, so that’s definitely good considering some of A Realm Reborn‘s content feels a bit samey at points. Odin is the new primal players can fight so long as their gear is at least level 95 on average. This time eight players can go up against the elder primal and the fight hopefully will offer more than just an accessory and weapon options that has become the norm for primal loot.
The new raid, World of Darkness, is the next stage for the Crystal Tower raid. This time the players will travel into the Realm of Darkness, which players became acquainted with in Final Fantasy III, complete with Cloud of Darkness serving as the last boss. The dungeon itself is reminiscent of the last section of the Lost City of Amdapor, where players fight Diabolos and sections of floor spawn under the players as they move to it and look something akin to a combination of stained glass and whatever Rainbow Road is made of. If nothing else, at least Square Enix is good at making dungeons with themes from their other games. The gear itself is reminiscent of the Warriors of Darkness gear that you see in Final Fantasy III. An added bonus of this new raid, though, is although players will still be subject to the weekly lockout on loot, the materials and loot drops will no longer share a lockout and players can receive one of each week.
The last thing that being introduced in 2.5 is the Manderville Gold Saucer. For anyone familiar with Final Fantasy VII, they will immediately know what this means. For those who don’t, the Manderville Gold Saucer, like its predecessor, is a giant emporium of minigames. This includes things like strength contests, a basketball shooting game, and chocobo racing. Players are especially excited about the chocobo racing, as it appears to be something like Mario Kart where players are actively gunning for turbo boosts, although it looks like players are able to make their chocobos sprint like they did in Final Fantasy VII. Personally, I am all for the chocobo racing, although I hope that we’ll be able to bet on other players and races to earn some gil. It’d be fun in its own right for players to spread on servers and chocobo jockeys to spring up from the big enthusiasts who dump a lot of time into it.
The last thing to come out in this patch is probably the most intriguing: Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII. Obviously we won’t be searching for Squall cards or dueling certain NPCs for their best friend’s card right away, but we can duel NPCs as well as other players, and at the end of the day that is all anyone can ask for considering they are already resurrecting this fan-favorite game. I hope the cards themselves can be earned from killing enemies similar to VIII where you converted enemies. It’d also breathe some new life into the game for certain fights like primals if players now have to farm primals if they really want that Garuda card instead of paying exorbitant fees on the market (although it will entirely be a deal breaker if they don’t include the original theme or some sort of remix of it).
The patch itself is going to try and breathe some freshness into the MMORPG. I am not expecting perfection per se, but cautious optimism seems about right considering all the minigames and raid.