Stormblood is finally upon us and boy did the early access weekend have an extremely rough start. On Friday I woke up at butts-o’clock so I could log in and get a head start on things before I had to go to work. I did as much as I could of the main story quest until I ran into the roadblock of the first instanced solo duty. Being an optimistic sort, I ran to work and figured that I’d pick up where I left off when I got home. I spent all day at work worrying that my friends who had taken the day off were going to race past me and I’d be playing catch-up all weekend. By the end of the day I discovered that was not true. The instance servers were still overloaded and after a lengthy queue to get in my reward was being disconnected immediately when I tried to start my story quest.
All of Friday evening and Saturday I smashed my face against that quest, along with the thousands of other people milling around the questgiver and giving “insightful” commentary in the zone chat. In some other games this road block wouldn’t be quite so bad, but FFXIV gates their content heavily with their story. That means that all the new group content and zones were locked until we could get past this quest. On the plus side, I got some IRL crafting done, finished off my dad’s fathers’ day gift, and got to watch a movie. On the down side, I was so frustrated and angry I was about to just go play WoW and swear off FFXIV for a few weeks until I could calm down and they could fix the game.
Luckily, on Sunday morning when I got up the quest let me through on the first try. After that was a full day spent catching up on all the questing and dungeons and things I had wanted to do earlier in the weekend. I’ve seen the first dungeon and the first trial, and as much of the story as I can through level 64. The next step of the MSQ requires another level, and I’ve unlocked the second dungeon so I suspect I’ll be running that a few times until I can progress again. Some of my friends are doing all the side quests, but I prefer to level through group content if I can, so that those side quests are still around when my other classes need to be leveled. I greatly enjoyed the first dungeon, and ran it quite a few times as my friends got to that point in the story.
The story has been good so far. It is far too early to be posting spoilers, but I will say I am enjoying myself more than I thought. It is no secret that I didn’t care much about where the initial Stormblood story was taking us, but the MSQ is doing a good job of making me care. Also getting to travel around with Alisaie and Lyse has been one of the highlights of questing in any game I have ever played. The story leading up to the first trial was a joy, and if they swap out Alaisaie and make me go back to traveling with Alphanaud again I might never forgive them.