Anticipating patch 1.18 & Future Updates

#1 Edited by Gunharp (337 posts) -

I've been logging into FFXIV every now and then since spring and have slowly made my way to a physical level of 16. Mainly I was just keeping the game up to date, because there has been many incremental patches. Recently I have been playing a lot more in anticipation of patch 1.18, which is coming out this month.

This game still does not require a subscription fee and I think after this patch hits, it will be the time for anyone who owns the game to take a look. Especially for everyone who tossed it into the rubbish bin shortly after launch (I know I didn't login for some months).

So why do I anticipate the patch? Well lets start with two official videos. First is the auto-attack, second is a preview of a raid.

I know auto-attack does not sound terribly exciting. But I look forward to no longer endlessly jamming on a hot key Age of Conan style. Next up is the change to monsters enmity. I have not had to deal with it yet but its good to know they are simplifying things so a party can better control aggro/hate. The other big change is for guildleves. Wait guildleves are in the giant bomb object database? Haha. I'm a bit unsure about this, but along with the changes to guildleves will be something called encampments. No idea what kind of quests there will be. But if I dont have to travel or teleport back to the city for guildleves anymore that would be nice.

Planned future updates are just as big too. Airships, Chocobo mounts, pets?, JUMPING! Whats coming in 1.19 is shaping up to be big as well. I am appreciative that the development team is constantly working hard to make this game better. While being very communicative with the player base. As an MMO veteran of sorts (that sounds stupid I know) I find it all pretty fascinating. I don't think such an overhaul has ever been accomplished.

Anyways I figured this might start up some conversation as this forum is pretty dead. Maybe inform somebody who bought a copy. The only news I've seen of all the updates is limited to MMO news sites like Massively or the lodestone itself. Also to be honest I'm actually unsure what big features were implemented in previous patches, outside of the ability to search for items now. I'm a casual player at best.

Lastly, here is a recent community interview with Naoki Yoshida. Damn does his team have guts. This mmo is far from dead.

UPDATE\EDIT:

So patch 1.18 just got bigger. Check it:

I think I am about ready to summon Bahamut and get the fuck down!

#2 Posted by NickPhosy (5 posts) -

The guildleve changes pertain to making them and future guildleve content more focused for solo gameplay instead of trying to balance it for the whole party range of solo to 8 player parties. One of the biggest changes is that guildleves will no longer give you more exp per monster kill and will now give you a lump sum of SP as reward for completion.  
 
But yes all this stuff sounds fantastic and i'm appreciative that i can find a place to talk about this game besides the official forums! 1.18 isn't going to be the miracle patch that we all wanted but its the first step. I would love to spread the hype train going on this game like i did before it was released, but its so hard to convince people that this game is interesting and promising. There is a strong Anti-final fantasy  sentiment going on these days, especially from the Giant bomb staff. And there's always been an anti online Final Fantasy sentiment. 

#3 Posted by Giantstalker (1634 posts) -

I played in the Beta tests for FFXIV and to be frank, I didn't come away very confident with what the game was like. I posted a fair bit on the forums running up to the launch, before I realized I probably wouldn't be getting the game and distanced myself from it thereafter.

The question for a real, live FFXIV player (a rarity I know) is this... Is the game worth your time? Are you having fun, finding things to do (that WORK, aren't busted), and have a reason to group up with people? I've been playing EVE for now but every once and a while I certainly think back to this game and kind of want to play it (or more accurately, play what it was supposed to be). I used to play FFXI, so that figures.

And for the record I agree, the anti-FF sentiment nowadays is pretty disheartening, largely because it's just a bandwagon thing (and partially because of 13 I suppose). GB however will always give the series a chance, or at least Vinny will.

#4 Posted by GideonAmos (195 posts) -

I really want to get back to FF14, but I'm afraid that i'd just get hurt again like the first time I played it. Anyways, this patch does look intriguing, so I'd probably take a look. That is if I can find my install cd, lost it and reformatted my PC recently so I can't get back. Is there any client DL for the game?

#5 Posted by RustySpoon (143 posts) -

Question for you guys that play the game (figured this would be a better place to ask than a new thread for a game probably not a lot of people check out), has the XI team made any significant improvements to the game yet? I was a long time XI player (6+ years, I think) and wanted to check out XIV when it hit the PS3. Well, we all know how that went, and seeing how poor the game was initially, I didn't want to build a new pc to play it.

I'm building a new PC tonight, so I thought I would take another look at XIV now that the XI team is in charge and see if it's worth checking out.

#6 Posted by NickPhosy (5 posts) -

So to answer your guyses question. I am a current live player of the game and i'm close to Rank 40 Lancer. Ask any question about the game and i will be able to answer.
  
 Rusty Spoon, The FFXI team and the FFXIV team are different although a lot of old FFXI vets are on the FFXIV team now. They probably share a lot of man power inbetween but the thing to remember is that the directors and heads of each team are different people. The Old FFXI Battle director joined the FFXIV team and we have a complete Unknown heading FFXIV but is making a name for himself in Naoki Yoshida.  FFXI is pretty much developed by totally different people nowadays. 
 

What the new team has done? 

  • Gave us a bunch of mid-high level NM's that drop gear for Rank 25 and 36. 
  • lowered the party size from 15 to 8. 
  •  gave use new targeting modes.
  •  They gave us sidequests. 
  • MP now refreshes itself outside of battle. 
  • There are lots of other small things that you guys would have to ask me about specifically. 
All these things are important and make the game more polished and enjoyable and they add up to make the game quite different from when it launched.  It is a much better game than it was before but i would argue the major changes came from the old regime. The new leads are just starting the tide of huge changes as described in the OP's post due this thursday the 21st.  

   

Is it worth looking back into or picking up?

@RustySpoon said: 

I was a long time XI player (6+ years, I think) and wanted to check out XIV when it hit the PS3. Well, we all know how that went, and seeing how poor the game was initially, I didn't want to build a new pc to play it. 


 
Yes. If you are picking the game up for the first time i would say wait until 1.18 or 1.19, unless you are open to playing a game that is currently in development. The game sitll costs a bit of money, too much if you want something thats polished. 
 
If you are like me and just personally can't get into other MMO's then FFXIV  is the only game on the market that can become the emotional successor to FFXI and the only new MMO that i find incredibly interesting. Is it incredibly fun? Not really, but it is a lot more fun than it was before. I love the game, but I am not afraid to admit to people who've already left because i know the reasons why you guys left. The base of the game is still pretty much the same as it was before, you grind for the sake of grinding. The game is a lot of fun when you find a good group of guys to hang around with. It is hard to find that these days because people are so introvert and quiet/shy with each other.   
 
@Giantstalker said: 

Are you having fun, finding things to do (that WORK, aren't busted), and have a reason to group up with people? I've been playing EVE for now but every once and a while I certainly think back to this game and kind of want to play it (or more accurately, play what it was supposed to be). 


Well guys I would have to ask what is it exactly you want from an MMO? I can tell you this now, Even though the game is pretty much adopting the FFXI battle system, this game will never turn into the XI that was 2002-2008. (FFXI is a much different game now folks). That is requirement of parties to level up. Super hardcore level grind. Camping for Hours for an NM. Will the game become harder? Yes, certain content will become more challenging, supposedly the new dungeons are incredibly challenging. The game is being balanced with the low man in mind so that you wont need to gather specific classes or team build.  There is no way to form an alliance yet, probably wont be for a long time. Is there reasons to party up? Yes, Leveling up in a group is much faster than leveling up alone. The NM's in the game require party members if you actually want to get the gear for that level range. Are there pick up groups like there are in FFXI? Not really, mostly partying with linkshell and friends, big flaw on the community's end.   The new dungeons will become major group oriented content for us to chew in it. They are not abandoning the solo aspect of the game and are actually buffing it up for people who don't get much time. 
 
Market Wards and retainers are fixed. Item search makes everything breezy and fun.  I am having fun with the game trying to get to 50.  
 
This just in. Fatigue and surplus will be abolished next week.  
 
Any other questions or things that i missed? I can comment on the direction and upcoming changes to the game in more detail if you are interested.
#7 Posted by Gunharp (337 posts) -

@NickPhosy:

Killer post. I did not realize a lot of that NM re-jiggering had to do with drops. I just updated the op as well, the changes to the repair system they just announced are lovely.

#8 Posted by mattymillhouse (8 posts) -

@ NickPhosy:
 
Really good post.  I'm also playing FFXIV, got a few classes to 50, and would just add a few things. 
 
Most of the changes they've made so far are on the server/coding side.  Things like UI lag and latency, which have been vastly improved.  But they've also had to re-write the game code so that they can add in some basic functions that players have wanted.    
 
They've also made several minor changes.  Things like level indicators on mobs, aggro indicators, speeding up certain animations, and adding a recipe list for crafting.  Like Nick said, the Market Wards are now way easier to use, based on 4 things: 1) the search function; 2) server stability has been improved; 3) latency has been reduced; and 4) almost all players are now in one city -- Uldah -- which means you only have to search one Market Ward for your items.
 
Basically, they're rebuilding the game from the foundation up.  They started with coding/UI issues.  Next, they're going to change the fundamental battle system.  Then they're going to add battle content, refine the crafting/gathering systems, and add some other content (like player and linkshell housing, chocobo raising, etc.). 
 
The battle systems are going to be implemented and refined throughout the summer, with patches 1.18, 1.19, and 1.20 (they're supposed to come about once per month).  
 
1.18 is supposed to arrive on about the 21st.   1.18 is supposed to do a few other things, too.  The UI bar will look better (as you can see in the video).  The death penalty is increasing (they're adding damage to gear).  There will now be several different kinds of raise spells, which you can get as early as level 14.  Enmity generation is changing, and there will be a visual indicator of how much hate you're generating.  And yes, they're getting rid of fatigue/surplus, except on gathering classes (although they are increasing XP you get from gathering).

1.19 will include things like  chocobos, airships, more diverse weapon skill animations, refining crafting recipes (i.e., making them less complicated), adding a "materia" system (which allows you to imbue certain gear with additional attributes), and an Ifrit battle.  They're also getting rid of physical levels, and will completely change the effects of attributes; I suspect that will be coming in 1.19, but I'm not positive.   And I think 1.19 is supposed to include a "jobs" system, which will allow players to perform more specialized party roles (stuff like WHM, although the jobs system hasn't been completely revealed yet).
 
So I think the game is vastly improved from launch.  But it's still not done.  
 
Is it worth picking up now?  Well, I've been playing steadily since Collector's Edition launch, and I'm having fun.  And we'd love to see you all on sooner rather than later.  :)  But the game is still in the midst of huge changes. 
 
For example, Yoshi-P recently talked about the changes of the game's focus.  Previously, the game's focus was on leves (repeatable quests you can do every 36 hours, and which give an XP bonus over normal grinding).  Yoshi-P said they're changing the focus of the game from leves to quests/dungeons.  Leves are going to become solo-oriented content, so that if you can only log on for 30 minutes to an hour, you can do a few leves quickly and log off.  
 
Yoshi-P said he knows that by changing the nature of leves to solo-oriented content, there's going to be a lack of party-oriented content until they add more quests/dungeons.  He asked for patience while they develop and implement more quests/dungeons.  
 
What this shows is that the game -- while vastly improved -- is still in flux.  There are going to be growing pains while the developers work on adding content that they admit should have been there since launch.  So while I'm having fun and would love to have you enjoying the game with me, it probably wouldn't be a terrible idea to wait a few more months until things settle down a bit.  Let them implement the battle system changes, so that you can learn one system, and not have to re-learn it when it changes a few months later.  Let them keep fixing the stuff players are complaining about, so that the game is more refined when you start playing, and you'll be more likely to stick around for the long haul.  
 
And like Nick said, when you do start, be sure to join a linkshell as soon as possible.  The FFXI and FFXIV communities are the best that I've experienced in any MMO.  They're the biggest reason that players keep coming back.

#9 Posted by Gunharp (337 posts) -

@mattymillhouse:

Nice post as well. Though by the end your explanation of the game being in flux. All I could think about was how that could totally work for a subtitle; Final Fantasy XIV: In Flux. Haha. I agree about the Linkshell as well, though it is more important than ever given the population of servers. I've yet to have a pick up group ever in Limsa Lomensa (only rank 24), where as in Uldah its happened twice.

So why is Uldah the favorite city now? Is it because its the least annoyingly laid out city? It kind of reminds me of Bastok a bit.

Also seriously 1.18 can not come soon enough.

#10 Posted by NickPhosy (5 posts) -

In Ul'dah, the main points, the guildleve counter, the market wards and the exit are in the same general area.  That's one reason i could think of. Its geographical location between Limsa Lominsa and Gridania is another plus. I also think it has the best guildleve design in thanalan that involves less running and more chopping.
  
It is funny because I always assumed that people just go where the the trend is, but the fact of the matter is across all servers Ul'dah is the main hub of the World. So its much bigger than just a 'trend'. The fact of the matter is the player base in any MMO always picks one City and sticks to it and that city usually is the same city across all servers. I do not think that the reasons i listed above are good enough for Ul'dah to be THE city, but there's some tangible thing about it that clearly makes it better than the other two. It seems like people just hate the shit out of Gridania and the Black Shroud (for no real reason yall) and Beta players are tired of Limsa Lominsa from launch. 

#11 Posted by mattymillhouse (8 posts) -
@Gunharp said:

Nice post as well. Though by the end your explanation of the game being in flux. All I could think about was how that could totally work for a subtitle; Final Fantasy XIV: In Flux. Haha. I agree about the Linkshell as well, though it is more important than ever given the population of servers. I've yet to have a pick up group ever in Limsa Lomensa (only rank 24), where as in Uldah its happened twice.

So why is Uldah the favorite city now? Is it because its the least annoyingly laid out city? It kind of reminds me of Bastok a bit.

Also seriously 1.18 can not come soon enough.

Final Fantasy XIV: In Flux.  Genius.  Love it.
 
As far as why players have ended up in Uldah, I think Nick is right.  From my discussions with players, there are a number of reasons: 
 
1) Uldah is in the center between Limsa Lominsa and Gridania.  So it's a shorter trip to the other two cities, and it's just kind of a natural meeting point.
 
2) The r40 leves offered in Uldah tend to be the best in terms of the amount of SP you get ( Dunesfolk for Dinner, Ranine Reveries, and All Cracked Up).  You start doing r40 leves at about rank 33.  And because of the SP bonuses you get at lower levels, the way the XP spread works (it takes about 500,000 SP to get to level 30, and about 1.5 million SP to get from level 30 to 50), and the fact that r40 leve camps are the highest in the game right now, you end up spending more than half of your time leveling at r40 camps.  So it's the most convenient city to hang out in between leve resets.  (Beginning in patch 1.18, they're apparently going to try to "balance" leve rewards.  So this might change.)

3) The city's layout is the best.  The Market Wards, repair NPC, and leve counter are all relatively close to the aetheryte crystal (the place that you teleport into).  And there are lots of Guild headquarters there.  For example, Limsa Lominsa has only one battle class guild headquarters -- Marauder, while Uldah has 3 -- Pugilist, Gladiator, and Thaumaturge.  Gridania has only two crafting guild headquarters -- Leatherworker and Carpenter; while Uldah has 3 -- Goldsmith, Alchemist, and Weaver.

4) The main storyline quests from all three starter cities eventually converge in Uldah.  The higher level main storyline quests converge from all 3 cities into one storyline, and those missions start in Uldah.  

5) It's a self-perpetuating cycle.   If Uldah has slightly more people, then there will be more sellers in the Market Wards, so more buyers will want to shop there because there will be a better variety of goods to buy.  If there are more buyers, more sellers will want to go where the buyers are.  If you're looking for parties, and Uldah is slightly more people, you'll want to go there.  If you're looking for a linkshell, you'll want to go where the people are, and if you're going to do linkshell events, they'll usually start wherever the most people are.  So as more people go to Uldah, there are more reasons for everyone else to go there.

6) It doesn't have the Black Shroud.  While I think that area is the prettiest and most diverse of all the starter areas, it's also a maze.  Which makes it kind of a pain to run through.  You've got to constantly open and check your map to get around.  (They're talking about re-designing that area entirely, and they're currently taking suggestions in the forums on how to do it.  But I don't think they're going to do that for a long while yet.)
 
Apparently, one of the goals of patch 1.18 is to spread the population out among the 3 starter cities a bit more.  So each city's leves will start offering "area appropriate" rewards.  For example, leves in LL will offer rewards made of iron.  And more importantly, the only way to get guild points will be to do leves in the city that has the Guild headquarters.  So the only way to get Marauder guild points will be to do leves in LL; the only way to get Goldsmithing guild points will be to do Goldsmithing leves in Uldah; etc.  You can use the guild points to buy special abilities for that class.  The devs are apparently hoping that will help spread people out.
 
So people may start spreading out after 1.18.  But to be honest, I suspect it's going to be tough to get people to move out of Uldah.  It's just so dang convenient to have everyone in one city.
 
As for 1.18, I'm trying to keep my expectations low.  I keep trying to tell myself it's just one step in a long road of completely changing in the game.  And there are certainly going to be some inconveniences.  But dangit, the dungeons and quest hubs just sound so cool that I can't help but be kind of excited.  
 
Congrats on getting to 24!  One more level and you'll be eligible for one of the dungeons!  Go go go!
#12 Posted by newhaap (421 posts) -

@NickPhosy: @Gunharp: @mattymillhouse:

This is great! I'm so glad there are actually people on Giant Bomb who are still giving FFXIV a chance. What servers are you guys playing on? Besaid by any chance? It would be great if I could join your Linkshell, the game is really really quiet otherwise since it seems like people only talk in their Linkshells. I used to be in one, but they disbanded and regrouped so many times because of power struggles that I found it really silly and just decided to go on my own.

#13 Posted by Von (328 posts) -

This piqued my interest. I was wondering though, how soloable is this game in its current state? I don't mind grinding etc, but are there any artificial barriers such as "group only" quests etc, or they finally learned from the last MMO not to do that? 

#14 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4710 posts) -

Anyone still playing this? Decided to give it a go, have a copy on the way, need people to play with.

#15 Posted by Devil240Z (3324 posts) -

Wait? is FF14 even a thing right now? Like you can't buy it anymore.

#16 Posted by mattymillhouse (8 posts) -
@newhaap said:

This is great! I'm so glad there are actually people on Giant Bomb who are still giving FFXIV a chance. What servers are you guys playing on? Besaid by any chance? It would be great if I could join your Linkshell, the game is really really quiet otherwise since it seems like people only talk in their Linkshells. I used to be in one, but they disbanded and regrouped so many times because of power struggles that I found it really silly and just decided to go on my own.

Yeah, the LS thing can be pretty frustrating.  Good for you for going it on your own.  I've been lucky enough to get into some really good, mature linkshells, but we're just people, so there's going to be some drama no matter what. :)   Even though you could never tell it from the Lodestone forums, I still think that the FFXIV community is the best thing going for it.  The other players are what will keep you coming back.
 
I'm on Istory, but I've heard really good things about Besaid.  And keep in mind that you can hold up to 8 linkshells.  I've got 8 right now.  It's definitely easier to find people to party with, and people to talk to, when you've got several linkshells to choose from.  And it's also an easy way to avoid the drama.  If one linkshell is getting too serious, I can just pay attention to what's going on in the other 7. :)
 
@Von said:
This piqued my interest. I was wondering though, how soloable is this game in its current state? I don't mind grinding etc, but are there any artificial barriers such as "group only" quests etc, or they finally learned from the last MMO not to do that? 
This seems like it's an endless struggle on the Lodestone forums.  The developers definitely made an effort to make it possible to solo.  But there are some FFXI diehards that absolutely hate that.  And it creates balancing isssues.  How do you balance a fight so that it's challenging for a party of 8, and also possible for a party of 1?   If it's possible for a solo player, party players complain because the game is too easy.  If you make it challenging for parties, it's impossible for solo players.

Right now, you can definitely play solo.  There are people who do it.  And they changed leves -- which were basically the focus of the game at launch -- so that they're solo-oriented content now. 
 
There are a couple of problems with solo play, though.  First, the new dungeons that were added in patch 1.18 require a party of 4 for the level 25 dungeons, and the end-game dungeon for ranks 45+ require a party of 8.  So you won't be able to participate in those unless you pick up some other players.   But you can do the entire storyline solo.  In fact, the game has a main storyline, and several other minor storylines, too.  And you can do them all solo.  And it's possible they're going to change the party-size requirements on the dungeons when their popularity dies down a little.
 
Second, you can absolutely level up all the way to 50 by soloing.  But it's a huge grind from about 30 to 50.  It's going to take a long while.  If you're going to try it, the most practical way is to level several classes on the same character.  FFXIV lets you play all classes on one character.   And you can equip almost all abilities from any job while playing any other job.  So you can be a Gladiator who can cast Cure spells on yourself, and you can be a mage with tanking skills.  If you're going to solo, you're probably going to need to level a variety of jobs to get the best abilities from those jobs.  Because every job has one or two abilities that are really helpful for every other job.  (SE calls it "horizontal" leveling; leveling several jobs at once, rather than taking one job straight to 50, and then leveling another job straight to 50.)  So I wouldn't go in with the idea that you're just going to play Archer, and nothing else, if you're going to solo.   
 
One caveat -- The fact that every class could equip every piece of armor and every ability available to every other class got a lot of complaints because there was very little class identity.  Very little separated a tank from a melee DPS from a healer, and many of them would have the exact same abilities on their action bars.  The devs have said they're trying to move away from that, and toward giving the classes more uniqueness.  Patch 1.18 limited AoE cures to the Conjurer class (which has sort of become the de facto healer).  And they've restricted a few more class-defining abilities to one class.  It's possible that more will be coming in the future.  But for the time being, I'd plan on doing some horizontal leveling.  At the very least, you'll be able to try out a bunch of different classes to see which you enjoy the most.
 
Third, the game is soooo much easier in a party.  Just a party of 2 makes it possible to do things that you can't do alone.  They're trying to add some challenge to combat, and that makes people more reliant on other players to help out.  So it's going to be challenging at times.
 
Fourth, like I said before, I think the community might be the best thing about this game.  Go in with an open mind, and at least be willing to try out a linkshell.  There's not much communication in the game outside of linkshell chat.  So if you want to interact with people -- and I'd strongly suggest it -- join a linkshell, even if you don't do a ton of events with them.  At least you'll be able to do stuff with them when you want.
#17 Posted by Von (328 posts) -

That sounds great. Seems like the perfect MMO for me since I like to play both solo and group depending on how much time I got, and what people I can find to group with.  The "you can play several classes with the same character" was just icing on the cake. I hope they don't change that but even so, it seems like they know what they're doing to make people like the system so any new changes might be for the better anyway.
 
Also, this guy over at YouTube explained the game in a very fun and interesting way, and although the 1.18 patch may have changed things, I'd recommend anyone else interested in the game to watch a few of his episodes. It got me to order the game after 4-6 episodes anyway. :)

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