Previous Free Company Threads
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (4.0)
Stormblood will explore the continent of Othard with a particular narrative focus on liberating Ala Mihgo and Doma, along with their ongoing relationship and struggle with the Garlean Empire. The in-game map showed that players will be able to explore an entirely new continent this time. We've only been able to explore (or see) the Eorzean region Aldenard thus far.
- Port town, Kugane. Part of the Hingashi area, it is the only city open to trade. Violence in the city is strictly prohibited and is very isolationist (similar to Ishgard).
- The Ruby Sea, a very large sea area, "rife with pirate activity", connected to Kugane and one of the first areas that the player will visit in the expansion.
- Yanxia, the location of Doma and an area with a substantial Garlean presence.
- The Azim Steppe, the first expansive "plains" type area in FFXIV. This will be an important point of interaction with various tribes for the Warrior of Light.
- The main focus is to regain control of Ala Mihgo and Doma from the Garleans, while traveling the lands of Othard.
The Garleans were for the most part the primary antagonists of the base 2.0 game, but their prominence (while still significant) took backseat to some of the later 2.0 patches and Heavensward's more Wyrm-war focused narrative. It looks like this expansion will bring them back to the forefront. With the big reveal being that we're going to an entirely new continent, the full trailer (below) shows Ilsabard (home continent and capital of the Garlean empire between Aldenard and Othard) ominously lurking in the background.
- 20 years have passed since Garleans have established control in Gyr Abania (the small chunk on the left-hand continent above that's not inside the red or blue squares), with the exact history of Doma and Othard being a little less defined at the moment.
Throughout the entire 1.0/2.0 FFXIV campaign (and to a lesser extent, Heavensward), Ala Mihgo is constantly referenced as a catalyst and driver for some of the game's more isolated and secondary plot-movers. Given its current Garlean occupation, this was probably the most obvious step for FFXIV to make next. The Doman people and Yuguri show up in the post 2.0 patches between A Realm Reborn and Heavensward as refugees, but outside of their similar predicament with Garlemald, not much has been said on Othgard itself.
- The primary antagonist is Zenos Yae Galvus, XIIth Legion Legatus and de facto ruler of Ala Mihgo, as well as the biological son of emperor Varis zos Galvus.
A new Judge-esque Legatus/General in the Garlean army aside the ones we've dealt with: Nael van Darnus (1.0) Gaius van Baelsar (2.0), and Regula van Hydrus (3.0). An interesting thing to note here is that the prior three always take a sort of FFmotif in relation to the number of legion they're legatus of. This in turn dictates the motive and style in which they serve as an antagonist. Don't ask me why he's using an even more amped up version (if that's possible) of Samuel Rodrigues's Murasama blade, complete with the damn gun-sheathe.
Gaius van Baelsar was/is the legatus of the XIVth legion, meaning he simply represents Final Fantasy XIV in its original aspects.
Zenos is XIIth legion, which would imply some sort of FFXII tone (Dalmasca as an area and "Return to Ivalice" have already been shown or referenced).
- Woman depicted in trailer to potentially be revealed in future 3.X patch
Fans are calling this Yda with her mask off given the current similarities (blonde, blue-eyed Hyur with a penchant for punching shit). As the story is going now in the latest patch, I’m leaning more on this indeed being her.
- Warrior of Light's main job in 4.0 is Monk (akin to DRG being the mascot for 3.0/Heavensward)
This is definitely a big deal, as a lot of Heavensward's general tone and feel relied mostly around the image and iconography of dragoons. Stormblood is likely to have a more eastern flavor to it if it's based off the current Monk, which is currently one of the games more free-flowing and dependable DPS classes.
- Two new jobs for this expansion.
The new jobs have been revealed as Red Mage and Samurai. Both are DPS jobs. There will be no third job, as the developers realized after Heavensward that designing and balancing a new tank and healer along with new DPS would be too much for them to do. Red Mage is a "hybrid" casting/melee class, with Samurai as a straight up melee class. The starting level for these new jobs will be level 50. Samurai uses three sources of energy ("Setsu", "Getsu" and "Ka") to form attacks. It can store up energy and expend it in different attacks. Red Mage chains multiple spells while using positioning to effectively attack with both magic and melee.
I'm very glad that they decided not to opt for continuing to focus on fine-tuning the existing healers and tanks (mostly because I only play healers and tanks) rather than throwing a new one into the mix and fucking the existing balance up (which is still very much jacked up for the two non-warrior tanks). It could always be better and the tank design has arguably been their weakest effort in terms of how they've designed FFXIV's current trinity system. As it stands now, Dark Knight has found a very narrow place to fit in, and Paladin isn't in demand as it was before DRK came on the scene, though that has more to do with how the fights themselves are designed. Paladin's biggest strength (they're the sturdiest tank) hasn't really had a place to shine in a very long time. Warrior is overall in the best place as the tanks go and it's the only tank job that shows how they properly handled the process from 2.0 to 3.0 (i.e. almost everything Warrior does and has access to has relevance in their play). An incredibly lean ability design and moveset paired with extending its natural strengths made it the best effort they've put forward as a tank so far. I'm hoping they can extend that to the other two tanks as well (without losing uniqueness of course).
- New Level Cap: 70 (for all classes/jobs)
- More actions for each job to go with new cap. Revamped battle system to go with new actions. Additional Skill System to be overhauled, with skills shared by roles instead of jobs, and can choose from shared role ability options.
The skill system changes are what personally interest me the most design-wise as it could potentially change the entire game. Currently FFXIV doesn't do a terrible amount to differentiate itself from other theme-park MMOs in terms of its vertical progression and being slavish to the trinity (i.e. always having to desperately outrun the power creep). While this isn't the departure from that progression that I'd like, it does make me optimistic on how they're approaching their classes now. We'll see what happens here. They said they'd have more to reveal on this in May. Job-specific UIs sound nice as well.
- Reassessment of unused/ineffective actions
Not all but most jobs have at least one or two abilities that make no sense and are rarely used by people who main those said jobs, outside of very specific circumstances.
- An example used is Dragoon's Blood of the Dragon buff, where in 4.0 an icon/gauge showing how much time is left will be better visible on screen so players aren't just staring at the current icon. There are considerations (though the Japanese article said "close inspection", meaning they are looking through it in detail) on whether each jobs will get their specific UI or not. DRK will have a specific DRK gauge bar, and from there DRK players will have to manage that bar. The UI will be different depending on what job you use, as well. For Monk's Greased Lightning will have 3 orbs like Mantra located somewhere on the screen, first orb will lit when the greased lightning stack is 1, and then if 3, if shines brightly, something like gauge getting filled up in fighting games.
- Currently the problem where they noticed a huge gap in dps occurred in situations between scenarios such as "being able to maintain Enochian" and "not being able to maintain Enochian". So they're approaching it more on the mindset of Enochian not "wearing off" and on top of that, giving bonus to players who have done well to maintain Enochian, which should help close the gap. They're aiming to streamline the current UI and combat ability usage, and not just dumb it down.
Even when you fight alone, there are almost no occasions where featherfoot changes your fate of living or dying. Of course there will be people who say "But i use it when i solo! Don't take away a characteristic from our job", but if we add more actions/abilities, these kinds of actions will get removed from players' hotbars anyway. So we will delete and add new actions instead or leave the name of the action and change what it does to give it more meaning. Another example is the warrior's wrath and abandon stacks where they will both be united to one gauge called "Origin（原初)" (Note: the name of this new stack will be totally different in the En version because most of the names of the warrior moves in the japanese client share the word "origin". For example, inner beast is Soul of the origin(原初の魂）, Raw intuiition is Instinct of the origin (原初の直感) and the LB3 for warrior is Land of the origin (原初の大地) and that's why Yoshida called the new stack for both stances "origin (原初) stacks " ). Warriors will manage this new gauge for both stances and decide what to use each of them on.
- The overall new skills for Stormblood is aimed towards making it much better than the roles they are confined to, like making DRG more fun, or making PLD defend better, and sturdier. However, how to obtain those new skills might be different from the usual, like there will be changes in the usual "level up to a certain level, receive job quest and gain new skills". They'll be blurring new ability acquisition between main scenario quests and job quests.
- New Areas to be introduced, comparable in size to Heavensward areas
- Stormblood will be a full standalone game's worth of content
Heavensward was easily a 30-50 hour run for the main story quests. The REAL question is how content will be gated behind it this time, as they promised not to do it in the same manner that they did with 3.0 (a LOT of people complained about this).
- New Primals to be introduced, including known names and all-new original-to-FF14 ones.
- So far they’ve revealed Lakshmi, Susano, and Omega, with the latter being the primal which the high-end raid tier will revolve around (similar to Bahamut and Alexander in the previous two tiers of the game). Susano joins Ravana as an all-new original primal for the game.
- There will be two new Beast Tribes, the Ananta and Kojin.
- The current endgame of FFXIV is composed of highly-regimented dances amidst 9-15 minute boss encounters, and these feature a myriad of mechanics against single high priority targets or just general gauntlets. They're on a much smaller scale compared to something like WoW, but some prefer the more intimate setup FFXIV currently features. Heavensward's endgame Alexander was seen as an execution that was overall enjoyable with some really low lows (the first tier featured a fight so difficult it damn near killed the raiding community for a while). This is in contrast 2.0's original Binding Coil raid, which is looked at more fondly in terms its difficulty, consistency, and narrative and how well they all meshed and escalated.
- New Alliance Raids to be added will be, "very, very Final Fantasy".
- Joining "Answers" and "Dragonsong", the primary theme for Stormblood is "Revolutions"
This has since been revealed as “Return to Ivalice” a storyline based off/in/around (???) the Tactics/FFXII/Vagrant Story world Ivalice. It is being guest-designed/written by Yasumi Matsuno ("The father of Ivalice") and Keita Amemiya (Garo Creator, which FFXIV is already currently doing a crossover PVP event with).
- Expanded form of Exploration to be introduced: The Forbidden Land of Eureka (as much love and fanservice as they've shown the entire series with this game, they really do have a real penchant for FF3), something different from Diadem and the development will expand its entire area, which is unique to Stormblood. There might even be Notorious Monsters that only appear once every 72 hours.
- Forbidden Land of Eureka may be the place that is created as a "theme park" where one can do their next relic weapon through here. Yoshida on that issue, mentions that, up till now, weapons are all upgraded through using existing content but players may be sick of this by now, and since they are also at its limit of tying new content using existing content to clear, hence the devs have agreed on "creating a specific attraction park (area)" for the next relic weapon content. And since Zodiac Weapon and Anima Weapon is a "Time To Win" based content, they found the name Forbidden Land quite appropriate for it. The concept behind it came from Final Fantasy III, which Eureka is a land sealed by strong weapons and magic, hence they thought of using it as a content in 4.0 that aims to have players invest their time without getting burned out. The content is also aimed to be challenging, which he cited the 72-hour notorious monsters as one of the key features. Yoshida doesn't think that it's a place everyone would like to visit, equating to a ghost house where "why would I want to purposely visit a scary place like that". However, even if players were not to go because "it's a scary place why would I want to", it's a place that is to create curiosity because "even if it's scary, there is still something to look forward to". Yoshida answers the question using the couple dating logic for this.
Curious to see what happens here, as Diadem is currently one of FFXIV more unique large-scale features that sounded better on paper than it actually turned out for most. They’ve also revealed that swimming will be added with this expansion, adding a bit more to the already-existing areas in addition to the new ones.
- Eureka may also be used for next set of high-end weapons, akin to Relic/Anima, rather than upgrades in "normal areas."
- New Gear and Recipes, including winners of Fan's Gear Design Contest
- Item Inventory Expansion (this got the biggest cheers at each fanfest), looking to increase "as much as humanly possible." There is uncertainty in how this will be implemented due to the server needs, and it will be addressed in a future Live Letter.
I think the fanbase would have revolted if the inventory expansion wasn't announced, hence that response. Even the most conservative of us are hurting for space these days. The Armory Chest is currently just not enough for those who like to hang on to things (unless you want to buy more retainers to hold stuff), and the Armoire is a cruel joke.
- A 4th Residential Area to be added, Shirogane an Eastern housing district.
- Doubled capacity for housing estates.
- Changes have been made to the minimum requirements for the PC version of the game, now recommending updating to a 64-bit OS if players haven't yet. This allows more server and graphics upgrades.
Wait for it...
- End of PS3 support, with a free upgrade campaign to the PS4 version.
...and there it is. Yoshi-P promised to support the PS3 up to and through the current game's expansion when it first relaunched as A Realm Reborn. He kept his promise there. It looks like the time is finally here to drop the PS3, but the upgrade to current owners for PS4 (assuming you have or plan to purchase one) looks to be free, so that's good at least.
- Financial reports indicate Stormblood will have over double the budget of Heavensward
Heavensward was easily a successful first expansion so this is no real surprise. Currently waiting to see how ballsy some of these changes turn out. On paper they look like they could restructure how the entire game is currently played, but time will tell. They're adding an entirely new continent, which is a new thing for this seven year old game that's finally doing quite well for itself. Even Heavensward's base content ran deep, so if they can outpace that by any margin, *phew*. They seem determined to keep their reputation as the premiere MMO in just the amount of shit they keep adding.
"When’s this coming out?"
June 20, 2017. They’re already taking preorders and they’re telling me early access codes are already being sent out (keep in mind “early access” likely just means the weekend before official release the following week).
"What job should I play? What’s good?"
They’ve done a pretty good job of keeping balance and parity between all jobs in this game (though some have expressed worry that the developers have been too concerned with balance, stripping individuality between each job along the way, which is a valid concern). The only semi-exception I’d personally argue right now is that the new jobs take time to settle in and this will likely be true for Red Mage and Samurai as well, so I wouldn't go balls-to-the-wall with the new jobs unless you're willing accept that from the jump. It took them a good while to fit Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist in for Heavensward (and they probably over-extended themselves with that), so I expect the same here. I do suggest sampling all jobs to about the 15-20 range and seeing which one grabs you. First, see what side of the trinity you have a preference for, and then branch off from there.
"Do I have to play the entire story to access the expansion like Heavensward? [*will update as more is revealed*]"
Heavensward was intentionally designed so all players had to progress through the main story scenario to access all new content in the expansion. This was done with the mindset that it's a story-driven MMO, which should take precedence over everything else. Although I agree with that, I'll only back that in terms of the first expansion. We're now at the point where a solution will have to be reached with how they allow players access to Stormblood and the way they handled Heavensward really won't work here, not without turning a large amount of new players away. The developers have already said it won't be the same process but haven't specified beyond that. They have stated they may use jump potions seen in other MMOs this time (and those potions are already in the game for Chinese players), but it hasn't been set in stone yet for the rest of us.
"What's a 'Free Company'?"
Where is the Giant Bomb guild?"
We are located on the Ultros server within the Primal Data Center. The directions to our house once you're on Ultros are here.
"Can I start now? Is it a good time to jump in? You guys still active?"
Yup. This game is more casual-focused than hardcore (not many MMOs can survive these days that aren't), though there is a sizable chunk of content for the more dedicated players to mess with. In the free company we generally have one of three kinds of people playing at any given time (out of a 400+ community):
Ranks are doled out by helpfulness, regular play/seniority, and general activity/participation with the free company. There are no hard-line rules for joining. Hell, you don't even have to know what Giant Bomb is (and a lot of our players don't, they just value a decent community to play with). We have people that don't know what this site is but are Final Fantasy fans and vice versa.
1. Regulars (rank names: Bomb Master, Bomb Leaders, Bomb Officers): These people have been playing the game on a near-daily basis for the better part of four years now.
2. Semi-dedicated players (rank name: Duders): This is the largest group of active players. There are always new players cycling in and out of this category. They typically stack content patches and come back a couple of times a year to catch up on story and features. Otherwise they mainly keep up interactions on social media and Discord while taking regular extended breaks from the game and coming back in aggressive bursts throughout the year.
3. L.I.O. : They logged in once or twice and we never saw them again. Some try to barrel through the in order to bypass the subscription fee, but that's getting harder to do (Both Heavensward and A Realm Reborn have gotten rather long in the tooth with post-vanilla padding/fetch quests).
It's always a good time to start playing, but there are better times than others. For example, after the next big patch (i.e. 3.5a/b: The Far Edge of Fate Part II), there will be a downtime as the development begins gear up for the expansion. This means at least three months for everyone to catch up and comfortably cruise through the story mode with time left to dabble in other things (assuming you're starting fresh).
"Can I take this item from the Free Company Chest?"
Please take it. General rule of thumb is if you can see and have access to it, you're free to make use of it (just don't clean out the entire chest). We try to keep it stocked with things people regularly use and need so feel free to take what you need.
"Starting out, advice?"
Patience. Do not rush it, especially if you're actually enjoying the game. We've seen way too many people fall into the trap of trying to access that new hot content ASAP when they just started the game, whether they're new or MMO-veterans. This is especially relevant for for people coming from other MMOs (especially you WoW-heads), as things like the longer GCD and very forced focus on story before anything else tends to brush people the wrong way early on. For MMO-newcomers, winding up having your attention pulled in a dozen different directions when you'd be better served focusing on one task (i.e. doing the main scenario quests and the leveling to support it) frequently ruins people on the game, especially when the story slows down with its fetch quests and the like. They wind up burning out or frustrating themselves on the game and dropping it. There's a lot of enjoyment to be had (even in that fetch quest stuff) if you're not constantly trying barrel through to endgame (unless that's all you're there for, in which case you're on your own). This guild's primarily function is to help players enjoyably cruise through all that stuff, so don't be afraid to ask for bodies in low level stuff (usually there's a reward in it in some form or another for a Veteran player).
"I'm here for endgame? Can you guys coordinate a static for progression?"
Copying-pasting from the questions thread:
This turned into a weird one from some of the more hardcore people that stumble into the Company and I've had to go out of my way to plaster it on every outlet we have that we're not that kind of guild. That being said we do have a handful of groups that tackle the high endgame stuff but they're only together due to naturally forged friendships over the past few years, so it's simply not realistic for someone to just jump in expecting to immediately play with them (honestly, you'd be surprised how many people who just invite themselves along or at least feel entitled to it). The leaders and officers are here to moderate assholes and help people with as much stuff as they reasonably can while enjoying the game for themselves, not babysit your egos.
"I heard there are new PC Requirements?"
"Should I play for PS4 or PC?"
Either one is fine. It mostly depends on comfort your level and preference, as this game has been designed from the ground up to work on console (much to the chagrin of those weird PC people). For the PC crowd though, I should emphasize that if you buy the game on Steam you will be locked to the platform when buying other expansions for the game (e.g. you can't buy a the regular PC version of the game and have it work with Steam's copy of Heavensward and vice versa). You essentially have to consider the Steam version of the game as its own separate platform with this game.
Free Company Updates
- We still have a Guildwork page, but it’s essentially dead at this point. We moved most of our chatter and business over to Discord pretty early on and haven’t looked back.
- We're still on the Ultros server but as of the latest patch, cross-server play was added, so as long as you're on the Primal data center cluster, you can play with us via the party finder (though you can't actually join the guild unless you're on Ultros).
- Ultros, while not the most popular server, is still on the more popular end of servers, which means it can take a little bit of patience to get in if you're making a new character. During the following times is typically when character creation restrictions are eased and it's best to make a character on Ultros: 3:00 a.m./ 7:00 a.m./ 12:00 p.m./ 5:00 p.m./ 10:00 p.m. (PST)
Links/News and other Media
- Reddit Translation of Famitsu Interview with Yoshida: https://www.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/comments/5cucly/8page_famitsu_interview_with_yoshida_after_nas/
- Official Site: http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/stormblood/
- FFXIV Subreddit (generally the melting pot for this game's community in terms of news and such): https://www.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/
- Yoshida still interested in getting the game on X-Box One (and now Switch), but refuses to comprimise on a split player-base: http://nintendoeverything.com/square-enix-considering-final-fantasy-xiv-for-switch/
- They are also looking into adding a unique form of Blitzball to the game: https://twitter.com/RPGSite/status/833048350966611969
- Letter from the Producer (EU Fanfest): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X6G46QON0-SjjeLFe8BVwfqxyV_E5OGxTMVMsXVQoo8/
- A Realm Reborn (2.0) - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XIV:_A_Realm_Reborn
- Heavensward (3.0) - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XIV:_Heavensward
- Twitch - Final Fantasy XIV: https://www.twitch.tv/finalfantasyxiv
- Final Fantasy XIV - Free Trial: http://freetrial.finalfantasyxiv.com/na/
- Final Fantasy XIV - Lonestone: Database, Guide, News, Maintenance, etc: http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/
- FFXIV Server Status (Official): http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/worldstatus/
- FFXIV Server Status (Fan, Prettier, Better): http://arrstatus.com/
- Garland Tools- Great database site, more robust than the lodestone: http://www.garlandtools.org/
- FF Logs - Combat Analysis for Final Fantasy XIV, great for looking at, analyzing, and comparing numbers: https://www.fflogs.com/guilds/characters/37/
- Ariyala's Toolkit - Good supplement to the above two, tracking best-in-slot gear and stuff: http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/
- Gamer Escape - Final Fantasy XIV Wiki: http://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/
- FFXIV Wiki: https://ffxiv.consolegameswiki.com/wiki/FF14_Wiki
- Twitch Community for us: https://www.twitch.tv/communities/vincoffxiv
- We also have a PS4 community that people can join if they want, though you'll have to search it on your Playstation: http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps4/friends/about_communities.html
- Twitter list for members of the Free Company: https://twitter.com/SnakeLinkSonic/lists/vinnco-free-company