Here we are with another Final Fantasy XIV Patch to experience, and as is tradition, we’re going to spend this week just talking about the content and giving people a little more time to engage with the story. In this case, it’s interesting because overall I feel like the story beats are a lot more interesting for one side of the content that we got, while the mechanics are more interesting for the other side. This is possible with previous knowledge probably Guess which is which.
Regardless, this week we’re exclusively talking about the actual mechanical experience of the patch. So even if you haven’t survived all of these battles yet, don’t worry. There will be no spoilers beyond the basic mechanical outline, so considering the new dungeon is roughly structured pretty much every other dungeon in the game Being a spoiler will be shocking. For normal people, that’s fine. Further!
As always Trials and Dungeons
I’ll be honest, I’m of the camp that definitely thought our trial last patch was that Away too simple. So I’m glad to see this will throws us around a bit. On the whole it’s not particularly difficult, but I’ve seen groups that weren’t paying attention and thought it was a hoax often fall victim to an elemental attack.
Just a melee life tip actually: if you see the boss unwinding Shadow Crescent, You can’t sneak in the last hit. You have to keep in mind that there is no time lag between the space split and the circle AoE. You will Get hit if you try, and you will too own this vulnerable stack. Just do not. Be smart.
Honestly, I thought, on the whole, this patch felt like heavier than previous patches. The dungeon isn’t overly difficult, but it certainly puts you far more likely to put you in situations where you’re either going to be tested or get hit and it hurts. Even the first boss, the dumbest guy we’ve fought in ages, is quite capable of shredding your party if you’re not careful. That’s partly because its key AoE stacking mechanic isn’t communicated as well as it could be, but even once you get the hang of it, the margin of error is strikingly low. These bosses will do it mess up.
As always, it’s a fine line to walk. If you make it a little too difficult, you’ll end up with basic content that not everyone can master. If you make it a little too easy, it all feels superficial. It’s a moving target. I feel like the last few dungeons and trials have been rather easy; It is welcome to see that things are moving towards a greater challenge again. That’s not to say they punish to the point of impossibility, just that they offer a more welcome compensation. You have to be careful and make an effort.
One of my friends also mentioned that some elements of the story look like they were the result of the “need” to move the trial to where it took place, but I don’t think that’s the case. While we’re not talking about story beats today, it’s worth noting that this is a result of where the developers wanted the story to go. And at least we had a pretty fun dungeon and trial with us.
eviction of the prison
This raid series had more or less problems from the start, but one problem it is not The downside is that all fights could be immediately unpredictable. There was no list of bosses that needed to be here, no obvious final boss to fight. No, it’s remained a novel at least until the end, including a fight of the same name that I didn’t really expect in a place where I didn’t expect to see it either.
Unlike the alliance raid structure, at this level it definitely felt like the stakes were increasing as the game progressed, and like the last fight was actually the toughest in that particular wing. It felt too suitable in a way that doesn’t always happen. Both Omega and Eden had weird little conclusions against bosses that didn’t make much sense whether you stuck with Normal or Savage. (Sure, the last Savage Eden fight made sense considering “who you weren’t fighting at full power,” but it was mostly a fight to have this fight.) Here the last boss worked for me mechanically and aesthetically.
Aside from that and the dungeon, I also appreciate these fights’ willingness to experiment with arena layouts. That’s been a bit of an issue in this expansion as a whole, and while circular or square arenas are still the most common locations for boss fights, it’s good to see that the developers are willing to experiment with other options.
Hell, that’s kind of a good way to sum up the whole stage of Pandæmonium: the developers were experimenting and trying new things. You may not think they all got it right, but experimentation is valuable in itself and I’m glad you tried. It gives me confidence in what abilities we will get in the next expansion and what battles will be built with these tools.
And of course the island
I’m glad that the developers not only found room for expansion, but did so without fundamentally changing the structure of the Sanctum. I have a feeling that this will also illustrate a bit better the expansions we’ll be getting with the next patch; It just looks like we’re going to naturally end up at rank 20 in our sanctuary.
That being said… yes, this patch is still not quite as satisfying as the initial release. And I think a big part of the reason is that it’s time to just accept that that’s going to be the case, since the first expansion progressed faster than any subsequent expansion.
It also doesn’t help that from a purely mechanical perspective, very few of the “issues” with Island Sanctuary have actually been fixed, but have instead become more apparent. We have no more room for crops; We just have more crops, and the mechanics of those crops haven’t changed to make them inherently interesting. We don’t have any easier tools to acquire permanent rare items, just more items. Maybe things will feel a little different when Patch 6.5 comes out, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.
I still really How The sanctuary. I think it’s a lot of fun, it’s great content and I’m glad it’s here instead of another round of Bozja or Eureka or whatever. But there are also some issues that are not really addressed.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week we’ll be talking about the actual story and there will be spoilers. Please be respectful and avoid spoilers in the comments this week; The time for that is next week.