This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this in FFXIV

Everyone understands the “wearing rose tinted glasses”. Everyone “should” understand that not every game is for everyone, and how much a game is for you can vary on several different levels. What am I getting at?

The fact that not once, not twice, but 3 times. I’ve been “shunned” by a LS and half of its active people for voicing my opinions about FFXIV. It’s at the level of religion, where if you don’t want to have a high risk of destroying your relationship regardless of how close you are to the person you simply don’t talk about it unless you say you agree with everything they say and leave it at that.

The first time I was talking about FFXI. A game in my opinion will never be beat back before Abysea. I understand and can respect it wasn’t for everyone. Some even down right hated it. I personally loved it for its challenge, and depth, and how leveling up, and doing quests, etc. required real teamwork between random peeps. It was awesome, and in my opinion even the basic quests felt like an adventure because you’d have to grab several high level friends and hoof it all over vana’diel.

It was these contrasting differences between FFXI and FFXIV that I voiced the first time. I even out right said I respect what other people feel and think, but I was attacked for a good hour then shunned from an LS I had been in for half a year.

The Second time was in another LS I had been in again for quite a long time. I voiced my opinion that I liked the direction FFXIV was going before ARR. Of course at release it had major problems. Tons and tons of optimization problems, etc. But I liked the general base mechanics, and how things were improving, I saw a very good future for it had they continued. I voiced my opinion I just didn’t like the way FFXIV was for varying reasons which to keep this post rather short I won’t get into.

I was again attacked, shunned, and asked by several people to leave the LS. Even though again I repeatedly said, even at the very start that I respect what other people feel or think about FFXIV.

The Third time, just last night, again same situation. I voiced my opinion that I think FFXIV is rather easy. There’s not much depth to any of the mechanics, or fights, and even coils and savage’s are very easy to me. The only thing that makes me fail them are lag spikes, or other people just not caring to learn the mechanics or hoping to get carried.

I even voiced the logic that many of the fails are just due to simple human error, being tired, etc. as well and even if you wipe repeatedly, its again not necessarily because its hard, but other small factors that played into it. Simple button miss clicks by 2 people can make a wipe. I personally don’t consider that “hard”.

But again I was attacked. “Why do you not have them all completed then? Why do you have only 1 lvl 60 then? yada yada yada” well because I don’t play often. It’s a pretty simple logical answer.

What’s with this mentality that god himself gifted us this game, and shame on anyone who doesn’t think its 100% godly perfection?

In my opinion there are many glaring problems with the game at its very core. The elevator progression on everything imo is just horrendous. That’s an Opinion btw. Please don’t bite my head off for it. The reason I feel this way is because it makes everything you did and work for obsolete, and useless a few months down the road. (Don’t mistake this of course for the same in other MMO’s where you get new stuff every few levels which makes past stuff useless).

What I’m talking about for instance is the zodiak weapons. Good job, you spent MONTHS of hard work, MONTHS of grinding, and time spent, and now we just released a new expansion where EVERYONE can get what you have in 1 day with no effort.. Kinda makes all that time spent acquiring it useless and a massive waste of time doesnt it? Especially when you consider that those weapon stats really didn’t do much in terms of helping you through dungeons easier in the long run. It’s not like in FFXI for example, that getting a weapon, or armor could be extremely beneficial for a very very long time with very obvious and large usefulness. Even if down the road new weapons or armors came out that or special NM drops came out that were better, many times the old piece of equipment would still be very useful on either another class, or a specific situation, and it never really lost its complete usefulness.

Same goes for the current ceiling cap of armors and upgrading them, you do realize in a few months time or shorter all that had work will be for naught as well right? It just diminishes the value in doing anything in my opinion.

Then of course the effect this has on crafting, making 95% of everything between levels 1-50 completely useless, and most things now between 50-60 also useless as new things are added and everyone is boosted to these max attributes. Makes crafting for new players a complete headache that’s hardly worth it.

This is why I feel games like FFXI where everything was evenly distributed between levels, leveling was slower, and there was plenty to do between all levels and not just endless boring grinding of the same dungeon again and again and again and again for something that in a few months time is going to be useless anyway as everyone can by pass what you just did and get instantly boosted to that new level, was better. Made crafting useful at all levels, if I didn’t want to grind parties to level up I had a plethora of other things I could do that took alot of time to complete, but I could do with friends, and was engaging and exciting. (Hunting marks is really all there is in FFXIV, and that’s neither engaging or fun, it’s more of another chore).

I could go on, but this isn’t supposed to be a rant thread. You get the point. FFXIV just isn’t really for me, and even though I don’t always understand this extreme love for the game so many people have, I respect that that’s what it is. Maybe its the society of today where everyone wants everything without real effort, doesn’t matter how long it takes so long as no real effort is required except just spending time. Maybe its because people don’t know anymore what true challenges are, or having too remember combo’s, and learning hidden mechanics, and not having bosses tell you ahead of time with a charge up on every attack what its about to do, and having too use limited tools to keep the fight going and get past them. Who knows.

But now I come full circle.. Why can’t people respect how others feel about FFXIV? Of course not everyone does this or shuns me on my opinions, but.. an excessive amount do, and I just don’t get why.

Five years after the Calamity

Time in XIV is measured no less than three different ways, and not one is compatible with any other. Each time we try to explain it, it gets a little more precise, and though it’s confusing at first, the dev. decisions are pretty logical.

The In-Game Clock
One year in clock-time is 18 days and 16 hours earth time. Forget “What year is it?”, we should all be dead by now. Think of this as time relative to game mechanics. It keeps the world feeling alive, and semi-accurately reflects, say, how it takes “all day” to clear out a dungeon or “a hard day’s work” to gather up some timber or “hours” of travel time.

The Lore-Time Bubble (aka The Simpsons Bubble)
Lore time passes, but it does not move. Even if you can prove that 5,000 days passed, the year does not change. It is, and will always be, 5 Seventh Umbral Era [into/also known as] 1 Seventh Astral Era.

The lore-time bubble expands ever outward, infinitely approaching but never actually reaching a new year. It’s up to you how you wish to interpret that for your character. Perhaps, by the time the servers go dark, it’s been one hells of a year for you. Perhaps your character “actually” spent decades walking around. It just can’t be enforced upon anyone else. This is the canon time, and it keeps things working smoothly internally (less math, less mistakes, less time spent changing “It’s been X years.” every patch) and for players (who have a consistent understanding).

Real-World Time (aka Meta Time / aka Player Time)
Holidays take place within their own unique bubbles that are within but without Eorzean “hard-canon”. Everything that happened in Eorzea happened within the sub-bubble, but not everything that happens within the sub-bubble has to happen in Eorzea.

Think Hildiband (which I joke as having taken place in The Manderville Bubble); Eorzean history is still true within the bubble, but could Hildibrand survive point-blank explosions to the face and multistory falls with nothing but a silly change of expression in a world where people are regularly devoured by raptors while picking pumpkins? Probably not. (Not to mention the primal Enkidu, who is technically a primal but not at all how primals work.) But that’s an example of a sub-bubble being used for comedy, not for chronology.

Every year you step (back) into a holiday event’s bubble, where real-world time is referred to as if true for everyone in Eorzea. This is the dev. team communicating with you, the player, and celebrating a holiday in-character. And it’s especially true for The Rising, as the Wandering Minstrel is literally in-character Naoki Yoshida. Holiday events aren’t the only place you’ll find player time in motion; Gerolt frequently uses it to mock you for how much time you’ve put into your relic. In Kettle to the Mettle he even refers to the player time between the patch in which Jalzahn first appeared and the patch in which the quest takes place.

UFFXVGil Emerges As Preferred FFXV Gil Supplier

UFFXVGil.com, a renowned name when it comes to retailing game currencies, has emerged as the preferred provider of FFXV Gil. FFXV Gil is a particular type of currency used in the Final Fantasy XV game.

UFFXVGil.com has become the most sought after cheap FFXV Gil online provider worldwide. If experts in this field are to be believed,the main reasons for this are the low prices, fast delivery, quality service and round the clock supportoffered by UFFXVGil.com.

When contacted, a representative from the company stated, “We are pleased to see such a great response from customers across the globe. Online games are the most popular pasttime today for many internet users. We are making it easier for players to buy their required currency online to enable them to reach to new levels.” He further added, “We are known as the most popular online resource for providing game currencies in a fast and secure manner and we aim to continue this success in times to come as well.”

UFFXVGil Emerges As Preferred FFXV Gil Supplier

The Final Fantasy XV game is the fifteenth massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the sequence of Final Fantasy. The game was developed and published by Square Enix. At present, it is available in German, English, Japanese and French. Final Fantasy XV was released on Nov 30, 2016. Initially it received lots of bad reviews from players due to its quality until it was reshuffled and improved by the development team at Square Enix. To cross to a new level, players need to collect experience points or EXP by beating monsters, finishing quests and crafting items. The level a player is at affects certain aspects in the game such as MP (magic/mana points), HP (health/hit points) and the capabilities available to them.

In order to discover the amazing world of Final Fantasy XV and strengthen his, or her, character as desired, players must collect powerful weapons and equipment. These weapons help them to defeat monsters and get to the next level. And so UFFXVGil.com is helping players to buy FFXV Gil cheaply and safely.

About UFFXVGil.com:
UFFXVGil offers instant solution for Final Fantasy XV players to Buy the cheapest and fastest FFXV Gil for PS4, XBOX from the comfort of their home. Now players can easily to order the needed FFXV Gil online, do the purchase at UFFXVGil.com, and the code will be sent to the buyers’ emails in less than an hour.

Contact:
Company: UFFXVGil
Address: New York, NY, United States
Skype ID: gamehelp365
Email: gamehelper365@gmail.com
Website: http://www.uffxvgil.com/

Change needed to the expert coin flip

With a patch cycle spanning close to 4 months a mere 2 dungeons is making me more and more unwilling to cap, especially if I have other things to do RL I am now unlikely to take the time to get it done. But the fact that there is only 2 outcomes to the “roulette” is not the only problem here, it is that I end up with getting the same dungeons almost all the time.

But there are fixes that can be made.

1: Add more dungeons each patch or rename the “roulette” to “coin flip” since that is what it is at the moment.

2: Each time you get the same dungeon, reduce the likelihood that you will get it again ex: day1 50-50, day2 25-75, day3 0-100. And when you get the other dungeon it resets.

I know that they did, I just happen to think it was a poor decision. 3 dungeons was already a bit on the low end, but at least it took me to the last couple of weeks of said patch cycle before being tired of them, but 2 dungeons is just far of the too few cliff. And while I find PoTD fun, it is a fun that requires some hours from 3 ppl you know in order to be that fun, on the other hand diadem was well… err… well it is a good idea that was fumbled. Now I do not mind them trying new things, I just wish it was not done at the expense of a much needed variation in our weekly <insert newest tombs name> cap since the capping of these are something I think most players feel they have to do. Hopefully the SE tops get their heads out of whatever place they got them stuck in and give the FFXIV team enough resources to try new things without sacrificing something else.

Neverland is looking for a WAR/PLD/DRK – 3.4 Progression

Bonjour!

We are a group of friends, who have been playing the game for over 2 years already. As a group, we are dedicated and passionate about what we do.

Raid Information:

– Flexibility on raid times.
– Being able to raid as much as possible during the first week of progression; until the content is down. Expecting 12 hours+
– On the regular content farm; our raid time starts from 6 GMT to 9/10 GMT. (Sometimes an hour earlier or later, depending on everybody’s working schedule.)
– Being open to speedruns after clearing content.

What is expected from you:

– Raid experience overall. Since the raid tier is over we would like you to have A8 down (knowledge of the fight is a minimum requirement). It would be plus if you did stuff like SCoB Savage when it was relevant/not brutforceable.
– Know your job. Keyword careertank, understand your limits and synergy with other jobs etc.
– Have a decent amount of knowledge regarding your parsing tool and FFlogs.
– Be able to support your team with informative techniques and open communication.

What we also care about:

– We have a very good and chill atmosphere so we don’t appreciate toxic behavior or selfish attitude.
– We expect all of our members to constantly improve with each pull.
– Be open to criticism, if necessary, and don’t be shy to speak up if something is weighting you down. Communicate your thoughts maturely.
– Voice communication is very important to us. TS3 is a Must.

Feel free to leave a reply here or send a tell ingame!

Let’s talk about the free trial

I feel the free trial needs to be reworked in some areas, I don’t feel it gives people a good idea on how the game works, it’s more like, a very limited summary, almost like the cliff notes version. The main purpose of it is to grab players attention and obtain a sub within 90 days, now I been running around on a trial character on my new system for about 3 days, and I have the feeling of immense loneliness as this alt.

I can’t talk to really anyone, tells, yell and shouts are disabled because RMT. I can’t create FCs or join one, I can’t create a LS only join, parties can’t be started only invited, and I can’t use mog mail. So looking at this as a new trial player, my main way of talking with players is through say or a player sends me a LS or party invite. This seems more harmful to new players, you can’t really make friends, the subbed players really have to be the ones looking for new people and initiate all formalities. Which makes me wonder if people are developing bad habits and antisocial feelings early in the game because it almost takes away all form of community and conversation.

Another issue I’ve noticed and I’m pretty sure this is because of RMT, is I can’t even use the MB or a retainer. So as a potential player, not being able to see what the server looks like in terms of market prices and whether or not they’re stable, would leave a rather empty feeling in my experience.

So then we have the level cap at 35, well that’s a good place to cap, but remember a new player can’t talk really to anyone, so you as new player can’t really reach out and ask for any advice if you’re struggling. Given that 35 leaves you off at Brayflox, that can be a tough dungeon to run through if you are not at a decent understanding of your class. Now all this zero player interactions so far could be in part of the fact I’m on Jenova and I’m not even in the mentor channel, which is something I don’t even know a demo players can access.

Lastly is the size of the demo, it’s a 22 gig give or take download, I went through steam and it downloaded 8.5 gigs off steam and then the game launcher had to patch 15 gigs of content into it. Now I don’t know why 15 gigs of patches is need up to level 35, but it was downloading patches from late 2015 and early this year. That part just seemed a bit odd and bit obsessive given I think those were just QoL adjustments, but I’m not sure on that.

But if I had to say would I sub to this game based off my run in with the demo? I’d say no, maybe if I was put in a demo world with other players, then yes. But as it is now, it doesn’t even feel like the game I play, it almost feels like a game that has been abandoned. Which isn’t the idea behind a demo, it’s supposed to sink me into the games world and let me experience a little bit of everything, instead I’m wondering how new players can even deal with the barebones they get.

ffxivbook | How Final Fantasy XIV Stays Weird

ffxivbook | How Final Fantasy XIV Stays Weird

Somehow, Final Fantasy XIV has become one of the best Final Fantasy games in recent memory, thanks to a bunch of winning factors that elevate it from the ranks of MMO dreck to a game that’s worth playing even if you’re by yourself.

One of those factors: It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, there are crystals and heroes and all of the melancholy things you might expect from an FF game, but Final Fantasy XIV is often just as happy to get weird. Characters in the game will send you on tongue-in-cheek fetch quests, goof around with emotes, and subvert your expectations in some funny ways over the course of the game’s many, many quests and stories.

During an interview at E3 earlier this month, I asked director Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida how he draws the line for this stuff. Have they ever come up with ideas or quests that are just too weird? Where do they find a balance?

Advertisement

“When I instruct my team members to come up with content ideas, I instruct them: Go too far, first, and then we’ll dial it down to make it fit in Final Fantasy,” Yoshida said, speaking through a translator. “You may be familiar with the Hildibrand quest – that’s actually already dialed down.”

The Hildibrand quest, of course, is a chain of preposterous sidequests centering around the comic relief character Hildibrand Manderville. They’ve become fan favorites over the past two years, thanks to dapper zombies and Hildibrand’s penchant for getting himself into the most ridiculous situations possible.

Sponsored

Too ridiculous, sometimes.

“Somebody brought up the idea of having Hildibrand fight Bahamut one on one,” said Yoshida, laughing. “I remember not approving that concept. It was just way too much.”

I also asked Yoshida about future content. Final Fantasy XIV has long seen a steady flow of content updates—and in just a couple of weeks we’ll see the crazy-looking Deep Dungeon—but what about the next big expansion pack?

“We actually are making plans for our next expansion,” he said. “The progress is moving along fairly smoothly. With Heavensward, because that was our first-ever expansion, we didn’t quite have a grasp on how the process should be, how scheduling should be, and we wanted to add in as much content as we possibly could, so it did turn out to be a rather aggressive schedule. With this next expansion, we’re trying to make it so our workflow is more organized and streamlined and that we try to make it so we’re planning ahead and making sure we have our ducks in a row.”

That next expansion will be announced at the Fan Festival in October, Yoshida has said. He wouldn’t say what the theme will be, but he did note that they’ve got a “rough ballpark estimate of the flow” of new content updates—4.x, they’ll be called—that we’ll see over the next couple of years.

I also asked Yoshida if he has a master plan in mind for the game—if he already knows how Final Fantasy XIV’s overall story will end.

“It’s an interesting question you ask, because this is an online game that we would love to continue for as long as we can, so in other words, it’s supposed to be perpetual,” he said.

“But that being said, yeah, there are different milestones that we would hit, and so there’s an arc, or like a chapter that we do have in mind. If there’s so much demand and love and desire for the fans and the company to continue Final Fantasy XIV beyond that milestone that we’re currently thinking about, then maybe we can start considering, ‘OK, so where do we want to travel next? Do we go to the world of Ivalice, or do we go to Final Fantasy III or do we go to Final Fantasy IV’s world?’ Things like that.”

“Would you ever consider adding those worlds to the current game?” I asked. “Like a continent of Ivalice or an area from another Final Fantasy game? You guys have already added bosses and characters from other Final Fantasy games—would you ever want to do an entire expansion pack on Final Fantasy IV or something like that?”

“If we were to start thinking about that I think it literally has to be if we were able to depict all of what we can for Final Fantasy XIV first, like all of the narratives, whatever it is that we can think about,” Yoshida said. “And then once we’ve gone past that point, then maybe it’s something that we might think about. If we were to do content like that, I think it would be something large-scale like an expansion, not something like a patch update.”

Podcast: Final Fantasy XIV Is The Best Final Fantasy In Years on ffxivbook

Podcast: Final Fantasy XIV Is The Best Final Fantasy In Years on ffxivbook

Kirk’s off this week, so today on Kotaku Splitscreen I’m joined by Mike Fahey to talk Final Fantasy XIV, 7th Dragon III Code VFD, and fanservice games. Also: the story of why he wasn’t allowed to go to the Tokyo Game Show.

Originally posted on 7/14/2016.

Seriously, guys, if you’re into JRPGs and have the time/money, Final Fantasy XIV is well worth it. Earlier this week I finished up the last of the post-main story stuff and it gets really, really good. From what I hear, Heavensward’s story is even better, so I’m pretty stoked for that too.

Advertisement

You can listen to today’s episode on iTunes or Google Play, or get it directly on Simplecast right here. (MP3 download here.) As always, you can reach us at splitscreen@kotaku.com with all questions, comments, and wonderful anime fan-art.

Watch Us Play Final Fantasy XIV's New Dungeon on ffxivbook

Watch Us Play Final Fantasy XIV's New Dungeon on ffxivbook

Today’s Final Fantasy XIV patch opens up the Palace of the Dead, a fascinating new dungeon that has randomized floors and self-contained equipment and leveling systems. Let’s check it out.

Watch Fahey, Cecilia and I take a trip through this new dungeon, seeing how far we can get before Fahey gets stuck in a trap and causes us all to wipe.

Advertisement

You can access the Palace of the Dead after hitting level 17 and getting a quick quest in New Gridania (full patch notes here).

Final Fantasy XIV's Exciting New Dungeon Is Not Very Exciting Yet [UPDATE] on ffxivbook

Final Fantasy XIV's Exciting New Dungeon Is Not Very Exciting Yet [UPDATE] on ffxivbook
Final Fantasy XIV

When Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida revealed the MMORPG’s upcoming Palace of the Dead dungeon last April, I had what I now realize was an embarrassingly romantic notion of what it would be: dungeon-crawling with friendly strangers, sneaking by traps and strategically navigating its roguelike-inspired, randomized maps to best an onslaught of challenging monsters.

Perhaps I was disappointed by my own expectations, something I’ve struggled with since FFXIV’s release in 2010, and even after its exhaustive redesign two years later. Everything about the Palace of the Dead seemed, at face, jagged and engaging and fun and troublesome. Unfortunately, up to its 40th floor, when I stopped, it felt very, very safe. Even grindy.

In FFXIV, I’ve been hunting the rushes I received from Final Fantasy XI, a frustratingly idiosyncratic MMORPG that, at times, felt like a punishing inside joke. Some monsters attack by sight, others by sound, and if players don’t consult their mental Excel spreadsheet of imminent death every few steps, imminent death will soon become inevitable. Often, in FFXI, players are forced to cross huge swaths of a zone saturated with belligerent mobs. Before hitting an outpost, they might die a half dozen times. And this all happens before level 20.

Advertisement

FFXIV patch 3.35’s highly-anticipated new dungeon, 40 unpredictable floors (50 if you have the Heavensward expansion) stuffed with various undead monsters, sounded at first like a nod to FFXI’s more severe features. Players can access the dungeon through a short quest once they hit level 17. Upon entering, their levels are reset to 1. In the isolated Palace of the Dead world, they can level up to 60, reaping experience points for their extra-dungeon character as well. They’re warned that its pathways will be changing constantly, reflecting the dungeon’s unique roguelike-inspired component, and that traps like exploring coffers will dot the maps. A checkpoint every 10 floors, after a boss, acts as a save point and rest stop.

You can solo it. Also, you can enter with up to three other players, friends or strangers. Players who solo report a more challenging and strategically complex experience—I opted to play with a matched party after my colleagues, Jason Schreier and Mike Fahey, and I tested it out live earlier this week. In June, Shreier spoke with FFXIV’s game director Yoshida about the dungeon:

Sponsored

The goal, Yoshida says, is to create something totally new. It’s meant to feel more accessible than high-level raids or other chunks of endgame content that require people to play through hundreds of hours worth of story.

“There are actually two large concepts behind the Deep Dungeon,” Yoshida said. “The first is to have veteran and new players come together and play this content.”

The second, he added, is to switch up the rhythm of typical dungeons and boss fights and create something that’s easier for casual players to jump into. The dungeon will have its own story, but it’ll feel very different, which should be welcome to lapsed or new Final Fantasy XIV players.

Accessibility was achieved, but, in my opinion, at the expense of charm. The Palace’s first few floors are your typical brownish, stone dungeon. Not just with regard to its look, which is torch-lit insipidness, but its play. As a black mage, I barely had time to cast “Fire” before our fighter two-shotted enemies. After he killed one mob, we achieved level two. 8 minutes in, we were already on the 4th floor. I felt like I was being rewarded simply for playing.

Then, there was the foot cutscene. It was, as I said, a cutscene of a foot. Yes, I thought, a vertical pan of this woman’s body totally constitutes a developing plotline. The next cutscene was a vertical pan of her dress.

Throughout the dungeon, my armor and weapon, which remained aesthetically but not functionally the same as my outside-world gear, leveled up when we found silver chests. This turned out to be an issue for me. After the first ten, effortless floors, we entered a purgatory room, where other players waited around. Then, my party left. I tried to follow them, but apparently my Palace of the Dead gear was not leveled enough for me to continue.

“Hey,” I asked a nearby elf in fancy gear. “Why does it say my armor isn’t strong enough? I just went through the dungeon like everyone else.”

“I think you still have to gain item ups from the first 10 levels,” he explained, “to access more levels.”

“So I have to run through again?” I clarified.

“Yes.”

All right, I said, to nobody in particular, at 1:30 in the morning. Okay. Dungeon homework.

What made the second go-through worthwhile was trying out the various new “pomander” items. One transformed me into a succubus. Another metamorphosed enemies into cute little creatures, which was particularly fulfilling around floor 30, when we were aggroed by a half dozen “Nightmare Gourmands.”

As we leveled, the floors steadily added more frequent and difficult monsters. Area-of-effect attacks and enfeebling spells become more common among mobs, although the bosses remained relatively easy. Higher floors were decorated with shining crystals or fiery igneous rock, but none paralleled even the first FFXIV dungeon, Sastasha, in intrigue or beauty (to be fair, Sastasha’s neon, glowing plants are just amazing).

The whole Palace felt very classic in its approach to dungeon-crawling, a trait that some players have been praising as they level up new classes. I see its merits there: The Palace of the Dead is the ideal scenario for figuring out the ins and outs of a skillset. And, for more experienced players, I’m sure the Palace of the Dead is background to a lively chat conversation between friends. But truly, it is grinding:

The mobs’ battle mechanics aren’t particularly interesting for the dungeon’s first 20 levels. The randomized maps don’t affect strategy much, and actually made me wonder whether the “roguelike” draw was simply an excuse to skimp on level design costs. I advanced with unprecedented felicity, despite the fact that the dungeon didn’t require my full attention until the 30th floor (in no time, though, my level 42 black mage gained two levels). As someone who has seen what the game (and its predecessor) has to offer in terms of epic boss fights, beautiful zones and curious monsters, I was not impressed. Unlike FFXIV’s other dungeons, The Palace of the Dead felt unengaging.

Soon, new floors will be added. The experience, in all likelihood will be improved upon. Final Fantasy XIV is, we have seen, fantastic at improving itself (The game’s initial release was a complete flop. Subsequently, it was redesigned into one of the best MMORPGs of all time).

In my mind, FFXIV’s new dungeon could have been the solution to a certain flattening and streamlining of the Final Fantasy MMORPG franchise. FFXIV has, to me, at points felt like a railroad on which I am seamlessly ushered to experience points and benchmarks and quests. To many players, it feels like a better-designed game than FFXI. I wouldn’t disagree. It’s an amazing MMORPG. Perhaps my issue is that I like feeling frustrated—but only for the right reasons.

Update 7/26/2016: The FFXIV team announced today that they have made adjustments to the Palace of the Dead. Aetherpool Gear buffs will be more common upon opening silver coffers, decreasing the likelihood that players will have to re-run sections of the dungeon. Additionally, players will gain +1 enhancements on Aetherpool Gear after defeating the 50th floor boss.