One of the big problems with last week is that quite literally I had too many things I wanted to play. Not only did Fallout 4 release… and give me a franchise of shanty towns to look after…. we also had the launch of Final Fantasy XIV 3.1 patch. Now I have complained a bit that the lag between 3.0 and 3.1 was entirely too long. Basically from 2.1 onwards they kept a schedule along the lines of a major patch every 3 months and a minor patch every month. Instead this patch took about five months to release… and it was a long enough lag to get me completely out of the habit of logging in on a regular basis. That said I knew whenever 3.1 landed I would be back, albeit a bit rusty from lack of playing. Fallout however took precedence and over the last two nights I have finally consumed I believe all of the new quest content. Now we get to the mixed emotions part… because in one way the content was really damned good. It managed to hit us in the feels a few times and introduce a new to this game character… that we are VERY familiar with from Final Fantasy V thanks to Ashgar and his constant cheerleading for the Four Job Fiesta. The problem I am having is it did nothing really to re-ignite my desire to log in on a nightly basis.
The other big take away I had from the story content is it felt like a trickle compared to what we have seen in the past. I know at the very least the quest to unlock Void Ark was significantly shorter and less involved than the quest to unlock Crystal Tower. Similarly the main story line, lacked a big boss fight like they have in the past… because there was no introduction of a new primal. Also part of what I think is the feeling of it being small… is the fact that we did not get a Hildebrand story to go with it. So while I enjoyed the experience of the new quest content… I felt like it was over far too quickly, and took part of an evening to complete in total. That is including unlocking the new Vanu Vanu beast tribe quests and done two rounds of those. I don’t want to have this “let down” feeling but I can’t help it I guess. Maybe it is just that I had built up 3.1 as being this point of my grand return to this game… and like Tam has said in the past we simply lack the huge backlog of content to slowly work our way through that we had during 2.0. Maybe there has always been a very limited amount of content… and I just never actually caught up completely until this expansion.
All of this said… I have yet to do the two new dungeons, and have yet to run Void Ark, so maybe my feelings will be different after seeing those. Dungeons have always been the lifeblood of the game for me, but I have simply not been sleeping well the last few nights, so I felt more than a little out of it. Also Tam spent time playing Lords of Verminion last night, and I am hoping he writes up a quick guide because what I saw of it… looked like madness, but a fun sort. Mostly I just need to get back into the habit of logging in on a regular basis. I was in last night at least long enough to run my Vanu Vanu dailies before disappearing back into the Commonwealth, and at a minimum I plan to be doing that each night. I want my flying snake and I want my sundrop dance. I spent some of my stockpiled MGP one one of the new dances there as well… the “Gold” dance, which looks hilarious when my Lalafell does it. I also need to get back in the swing of tanking, because I was a complete slacker when it came to esoterics gear, and I need an awful lot of it. I also need to start running Void Ark to get items to upgrade with.
Is it wrong that I feel a little disappointed though? Maybe it just feels like a let down after the amazing ride that Heavensward was, and maybe the patch content is on par with what they have done in the past. Final Fantasy XIV has always been this happy place, and logging into the free company brings that point home. It is amazing that the guild has managed to keep trucking on and being active in spite of a large chunk of us taking an extended break from the game. I was just so ready to hop back in the saddle and be wowed by the experience… and instead I feel a bit melancholy about it. It just feels like the team might be resting on their laurels a bit, and maybe spent too much time working on Verminion that would have been better suited putting in more content for the patch. It really bothers me that there is only two dungeons in this patch cycle, because the whole Fractal/Neverreap thing got super old… super fast. Having only two dungeons means there is the one you enjoy… and the one you don’t… and it always feels like the only thing you get is the one you don’t enjoy. For us it was non-stop back to back Neverreap, and my fear is that once we start the dungeon cycle one of them is absolutely going to be “That” dungeon for us again. It is funny how much of a difference that extra dungeon seems to make… but man it does. Maybe they will add another dungeon in with 3.15 which is supposedly right around the corner. My hope is that they will also be adding more Hildebrand content… with another boss fight, and potentially a new primal. Mostly I guess it just feels like we got half of a patch, which makes me a little sad after the length five month wait.