12 Years of Remaining Fantasy XIV Half 3: Shadowbringers and Endwalker

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Welcome to Half 3 of our prolonged journey via the historical past of Remaining Fantasy XIV. Right this moment we’ll discuss how Shadowbringers was the most effective factor to ever occur. And the way Endwalker one way or the other managed to fulfill sky-high expectations.

**Warning This Contains Minor Spoilers For Remaining Fantasy XIV**

Shadowbringers

Shadowbringers will most likely go down in infamy to be the enlargement that made Remaining Fantasy XIV blow up. It turned a recreation with a substantial, devoted viewers right into a mainstream phenomenon, and at this level the biggest MMORPG on the market. Everybody was enthusiastic about it because it took one of many plot factors from Heavensward and based mostly a complete enlargement round it nevertheless it was additionally the primary enlargement after the appreciable transformation Remaining Fantasy XIV had undergone in Stormblood.

The fight system was as soon as once more overhauled as we removed the previous few kinks and tough spots from the early days and all the things simply began to play easily. Jobs have been now simple to select up and enjoyable to grasp with restoration choices. Stability-wise, particularly all of the tanks received evened out so all of them might fulfill the function effortlessly and there was much more give attention to occasion synergy now. This might after all include battle content material that assessments gamers’ means to the fullest, even regular ‘informal’ content material grew to become rather more concerned and all the things was only a step up from Stormblood.

Whereas I do not need to get into too many spoilers right here, Shadowbringers story, most of it least could be very tame in comparison with earlier expansions. It is simply very assured that you just touring in a wierd new world and assembly its folks can carry an enlargement. And it actually did, for those who replicate on it now you will most likely discover how type of elective a superb 80% of Shadowbringers base story feels, you simply received and cope with native hassle that will then result in a dungeon or a boss trial.

However within the thick of it, all the things is simply so disarmingly charming that you do not actually care. After the grim story of Stormblood, we get to go on an journey with characters which have been with us for the reason that begin. And it felt just like the writers actually had the arrogance to simply let the characters and the world that they had created carry a lot of the enlargement. The largest payoff might be the story of everybody’s favourite grumpy dad Thancred and the sheer charisma that Shakespeare-enthusiast Urianger brings to the story.

Nevertheless nobody most likely anticipated that Shadowbringers turned from a well-written, journey with a darstly villain in Vaultry and funky comrades to the masterpiece it’s when you attain the ultimate act. Now I do not need to spoil something, however Shadowbringers does such a well-telegraphed but utterly out of nowhere 360° double kickflip of feelings and one way or the other nonetheless manages to roll off easily. I am not even mad when folks say that is the most effective enlargement. If you realize, you realize and if you do not know what I am speaking about, go play Remaining Fantasy XIV. Belief me 250 hours price of questing make that second hit even more durable.

Vows of Advantage, Deeds of Cruelty

Now Shadowbringers base content material was simply the most effective Remaining Fantasy recreation of the previous 20 years. It was additionally most likely top-of-the-line issues I’ve ever performed or watched. And I can say confidently with no restraint that the post-patch content material manages to high it and even improve it. Some have referred to as it the victory lap however I feel it’s simply the second a part of what we began in the course of the remaining part of Shadowbringers.

Right here Remaining Fantasy XIV reaches a few of its highest highs but, regardless of the patch being launched amidst a pandemic and the lead composer combating a fierce battle with most cancers. I might exit on a limb right here and say that 5.3 might be the patch when it occurred. When Remaining Fantasy XIV turned from a preferred MMORPG that simply casually grew to become the very best scoring recreation on Metacritic in 2019 exterior of the PC launch of Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 to a recreation that will now not be denied its spot on high of the MMORPG world.

And whereas the pandemic pressured some delays, together with the delay of one of many Final encounters and a few hassle getting patches out of the way in which. It was additionally throughout that patch cycle after we noticed Remaining Fantasy XIV explode in recognition. In fact, a few of that needed to do with a few of the greatest content material the sport had delivered to the desk but. Bozja was one more open zone during which a whole lot of gamers would combat in a battle with small-scale skirmishes and big raids. And each the raid tiers and the brand new set of trials managed to persuade in each tales and the precise fights themselves.

By this level, you will discover that we have gone from an MMORPG that was doomed to fail, to a miraculous resurgence. A time frame when the builders honed their craft and outlined what sort of MMORPG they needed to make to the title that continued to develop, refine and exceed expectations with each single patch. And all of this led to the right storm we received to witness final 12 months.

In April 2021 the following enlargement was introduced, Endwalker was supposed to finish one of many main storylines of Remaining Fantasy XIV but in addition mark a brand new starting within the journey. And in the course of the prolonged content material drop of 2021 until the discharge of the enlargement, we immediately noticed unprecedented progress within the participant base. Years of excellent fame and the numbers to again it up made Remaining Fantasy XIV the quantity 2 MMORPG on the planet. And when each streamers and disgruntled MMO veterans lastly determined to present the sport a strive when there was nonetheless virtually half a 12 months until the following enlargement. It occurred.

Lastly, Remaining Fantasy XIV stood on the high of the MMORPG mountain and dominated the information cycle for nearly two months. The sport bought so quick that they ran out of digital copies to promote they usually even needed to put a cease to the favored free trial as a result of servers could not deal with the sudden improve in load. That top would final properly into the following enlargement and the hype for Endwalker was virtually insufferable. It was so dangerous actually that Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida needed to delay the launch for 2 weeks as a result of he needed to make additional certain that the sport would hit all of the marks. Spoiler alert, it did.

Endwalker

Ending issues is difficult, particularly these days if looks like no story ever manages to finish in a means that satisfies longtime gamers or viewers. So when Remaining Fantasy XIV introduced that Endwalker could be the top to the Hydaelyn and Zodiark Saga a few of us felt like this was pulling the set off somewhat early. However after Shadowbringers there’s solely a lot greater you’ll be able to go till you will finally hit the roof.

New jobs and extra fight enhancements received introduced and once more identical to Heavensward felt to ARR, Endwalker felt just like the logical step ahead after Shadowbringers combat-wise. Social gathering synergy was extra inspired greater than ever, most jobs now clicked very properly with each other naturally with the small sacrifice that each one of them wouldn’t run on a two-minute buff timer. For some gamers felt like they took away the enjoyable of choosing the right job mixtures and modifying your play to compensate to be able to make the sport extra accessible.

This had, after all, its drawbacks by making high-end content material somewhat staler, however in flip, encounters in Endwalker, particularly the more durable ones are usually much more concerned now. Basically most of Remaining Fantasy XIVs Endwalker content material feels quicker and calls for heaps extra consideration from the participant than ever earlier than. And the presentation of fights additionally kicked up a notch, levels remodeling mid-fight grew to become extra widespread and even dungeon bosses now include the extent of element you’d count on from a trial.

Endwalkers 6.0 content material feels undoubtedly like a recreation that’s in dire have to over-deliver on all the things it guarantees. By the point you end the third zone and attain the primary trial, it already feels such as you’ve lived via a complete enlargement price of drama and story. There are undoubtedly some gamers who complain concerning the pacing, however Endwalker actually takes its time to discover the type of story it desires to inform. A narrative concerning the many endings a narrative can inform. It even begins to frame on being somewhat too meta at instances however after 11 years price of MMORPG, Remaining Fantasy XIV is allowed to be self-indulgent.

And you realize you are in for a deal with when one of many first lower scenes recreates one of many three intros from the now defunct 1.0 model. In case you have performed Remaining Fantasy XIV up to now, you will get the complete package deal of fan service and self-referential storytelling. One thing as minor as an offhand joke about grapes from one of many facet tales Sq. Enix publishes on their web site now and again even sneaks its means into this story.

By the point issues truly come to a detailed, I do not suppose anybody was left unhappy. Endwalker felt in some ways like a remaining hurrah once more. Identical to the ultimate days of 1.0, it was an overdramatic celebration of all the things the sport had achieved. I might go on and analyze the story additional however the recreation put it greatest. It has been a gripping story. Unbreakable bonds, and noble sacrifice, sprinkled with moments of levity to counterbalance the pathos. It is received all of it. And if this might’ve been the top of Remaining Fantasy XIV, this was most likely probably the most satisfying method to do it. Nevertheless…

The Journey Will By no means Finish

We’re not residing within the post-Endwalker world of Remaining Fantasy XIV content material and to date each patch simply appeared grander than the final. It feels greater than ever like now that they received Endwalker out of the way in which Naoki Yoshida and his crew have dropped a horrible weight from their shoulders. Moreover creating one other AAA online game on the facet. The wealth of content material to date has been insane and the brand new raid content material counts amongst a few of the greatest the sport has ever seen.

The brand new dungeons really feel recent and exhilarating and the brand-new Final combat might be a few of the best-designed content material I’ve ever seen in a online game. And that isn’t to say the wealth of elective content material we have gotten as properly. The newest patch noticed the mixing of the Island Sanctuary, a neat piece of facet content material that has gamers maintain a small island and handle it right into a money-making empire. The elective Sidequests which are alleged to substitute Endwalker’s finality, are a few of the best-written quests within the recreation but.

And the brand new story content material picks up stray threads of lore and weaves them right into a gripping story with new and previous characters. For the primary time, in a very long time, it looks like we’re on an journey once more and are not struggling in opposition to destiny itself with the load of the world on our shoulders.

As a result of Remaining Fantasy XIV appears to grasp that after you saved the lands, the world, and its folks. Possibly it is best to take a break and attempt to escalate issues additional, simply discover the world you’ve got constructed and have enjoyable with it. Remaining Fantasy XIVs lore nonetheless provides so many locations we have but to go to and so many tales left untold. And Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida has vowed that they will hold Remaining Fantasy XIV going for a minimum of one other 10 years.

To maintain that promise, large efforts have been made to future-proof Remaining Fantasy XIVs promise. Whereas there’s at the moment no plan to permit gamers to simply begin the place Endwalker left us off, older components of the story are being overhauled utterly. Dungeons are being remade to convey them as much as the present customary each mechanically and visually. You may also enterprise via them with AI companions if you would like to take it gradual or cannot discover a group.

And with 7.0 there appears to be one other massive change on the horizon. Remaining Fantasy XIV goes to obtain a whole visible overhaul to improve its graphics and clean out efficiency whereas additionally staying true to what the title has finished to date. In fact, it is left to be seen how grand these modifications will find yourself being trying again on the previous 12 years, I would prefer to suppose the critically acclaimed MMORPG is in superb fingers.

Now thanks very a lot for indulging on this prolonged enterprise via Remaining Fantasy XIVs historical past from a participant’s perspective. If you happen to nonetheless have not tried the sport but, please my buddy it’s free to play up until the top of the award-winning Heavensward enlargement. It’s most likely one of many best items of media and undoubtedly one of many best video games ever made. Even for those who aren’t a fan of MMORPGs or Japanese video video games, you are lacking out.

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Author: Joshua Evans