Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV Heavensward: More Dragon Delimmas

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I’ve been a bit lazy about blogging over the holiday weekend, but between Heavensward and the new Alpha 12 of 7 Days 2 Die, I’ve been playing more than writing. Considering Tai is going to (hopefully) be moving into the homestretch of Heavensward story pretty soon, I wanted to do a catch-up post. Probably won’t be too much in the way of spoilers here as I just want to brush over story briefly.

Heavensward Progression

What I’ve experienced of the actual story in Heavensward continues to be top-notch. Some important things happen in Ul’dah to clean up the mess left by the end of the 2.0 patch. Good things happened, and not-good things happened. We’re in a better spot than we were before we fled to Ishgard, but I wonder by how much. Things also happened with the remnants of the Crystal Braves to bring a little closure to that as well. Alphinaud continues to develop into a character that I’m growing to like.

He even sheds a few tears in this scene.
He even sheds a few tears in this scene.

Back in the land of the dragons, we engage inevitable battle with Nidhogg and unlock the cool little manacutter airships here in a neat cut scene.

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In confronting Nidhogg, we begin to learn quite a bit about the true nature of the Dragonsong War and about the dragons themselves.

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The aspect that I enjoy most about the story (especially being a dragon lover) is that dragons are like people in complexity and emotions. They do things for their own motives, and nothing is black and white. There’s no “good dragon/evil dragon” dichotomy, and the Ishgardians are no better than the dragons in their moral choices and actions.

Strangely enough, the more I learn, the more I can see both sides of the conflict. FFXIV puts the player in the shoes of our hero, who is an outsider to this war. We unravel the story and often sympathize the same way as our character does. The writers knew what they were doing in choosing this point of view, and I feel it worked extremely well.

After completing this scenario, we unlocked flying (thankfully) in the Churning Mists and came out of it dressed much better than we were before (also thankfully).

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Dat Leveling Curve

It’s this point in the story where I ran across my first level-gated piece of story. I hadn’t quite reached the level required to continue on, and until I did, the story was locked to me. I remember seeing this happen once during ARR main scenario, probably about level 37-ish. I also remember running a ton of quests around Dragonhead to overcome that, then never seeing it happen again.

If only Heavensward was so kind. As much as I absolutely love the story and could play it for hours, that really isn’t an option. Once you reach your mid-50s, the amount of story provided per level becomes paltry, and certainly nowhere near enough experience to push you to the next level. Even though I’d run a few extra dungeons to help FC folks through, and I did most Fates I stumbled upon, I still had to run quests to hit level 56 and continue.

Once I got to 56, I was able to enjoy about half an hour of story (maybe 1/4th of a level) before I was gated yet again.

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I’m not too keen on running lots of dungeons and roulettes like Zeb does… so Zeb had no problem with gated levels while I struggled to catch up from behind. It took me about two solid days of questing (we had skipped a lot of old quests in other areas) to get about halfway through level 57. I did try some leves, but they really didn’t make much of a dent in my XP bar.

Some of the quests are mostly fluff and standard MMO fare, which is somewhat disappointing. If you hear folks complaining about Moogle Quests, that’s probably what they’re talking about. Coming from questlines, such as the previous area, where we unlocked lore for the dragons of the Trine, earned their trust, and discovered the strange world of the Vath… Moogle quests are amusing at first, but then degrade into a lot of fetch stuff, find lost moogles and kill five rats dragons.

I have also consistently done the hunts that are available for my level (Tier 1 and Tier 2). At first, it didn’t seem like a whole lotta experience. But considering the most you’re doing is killing between 1-4 normal creatures on the map, and the time spent is generally travel time (which is sped up by flying), I started to recognize the worth in them. Plus, we’ll need the Centurio Seals for armor upgrades in the future.

Eventually, I did break level 58 thanks to a combination of hunts, helping FC members with random dungeons, and then Fate running in Blue Fog (of all places). The Fates in the Heavesward area just don’t give enough experience for the difficulty, so you often don’t see folks doing them… despite the fact there are some really cool dragon-related Fates that actually dropped relevant gear!

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The Churning Mist’s Version of Svara

Now that I’ve finally caught up, I’m looking forward to tackling the story again this week! I’m also looking at our options for gearing up at end game and it seems pretty positive overall.

Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

9 thoughts on “FFXIV Heavensward: More Dragon Delimmas

  1. Congrats on the progress~ Haven’t been able to progress much due to being tired, most I did was fish to calm my nerves XD

    In all seriousness though, I get what you mean about the moogle quests. At first I did not know why I saw some friends being mad at them… yet after getting to that part I can fully understand as I want to stran…. I mean pet… yes pet… the white pompom critters -_-;

    Still the level gates do really require you to do every sidequest… I hit one of them when just following the story at lvl 53, needed to get half a level so going back to the previous zones I went.

    I have one gripe with the sidequests though… The chocobo quests… Sorry I love those big yellow fluffballs too much. Some of the quests made me and Aria just speechless. That will be all I will say as to not spoil anymore to those who have not played.

    Good luck on your future endeavours. =)

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    1. Questing and the quality of quests don’t really bother me – they bothered Syn a whole LOT, though. I think it’s because prior to Churning Mists, the quest quality was good with fairly in-depth stories that taught you about the area (despite the chocobo quests).

      On the flip side, I’d rather have the option of doing fluff quests than have dungeons shoved down my throat to level, so I appreciate that they are there. Just wish there was more story per level as we advance, but I’d also rather have strong quality story than see them try to stretch it out and dilute it just for leveling.

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      1. That is understandable. To be honest I only did the dungeons I was required to. I found so many other things to do instead XD

        As far as story goes I also agree that it’s better to have quality not quantity so can’t complain there. Though maybe if there was a bit more sidequests. It’s a good thing more unlock as you go through the story.

        If I can be honest, then if I have to run a random dungeon group (which I have to for the roulettes) then I prefer to grind fates or mobs instead. I burned myself a lot in those dungeons and even my patience ran out after some people. =/

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  2. Congrats on 58. For myself I didn’t leave any quests on the table, so when I finally ran out and got gated I only needed to do 3 leve quests from Foundation to pop me over to 58 and move along again. Next time I was gated was just before 60 and that only took 2 leve quests (and the challenege log xp bonus for doing 5 different leves) to get me over the top then. But now all future jobs will be doing the daily hunts and FATE grinding sync’d down in the old areas, probably. You’re right that the new FATEs don’t award nearly enough xp for how long they take.

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    1. That’s good to know. Considering I’m 58 heading into the 57 storyline instance, I hope there’s more than enough quests to keep me ahead of the curve now. When I go to level Zuri, you better believe I’m not skipping any quests.

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      1. There are some quests in prior zones now also that you can find — a short chain of level 54 quests in Mor Dhona is easily missed, for example, so if you go looking around you might find more to work on as well.

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