Finally…. the meal that Zuri deserves!
There will be no written major plot spoilers, but there will be pictures from the 3.4 MSQ ahead. If you wish to remain completely unspoiled, stop reading here!
I know there’s been a bit of grouching from my side of things lately when I write about FFXIV. But that’s mostly because the game continues to push me out of my safe place (raids, dungeons, etc) in order for me to progress. So when I sat down to play through Patch 3.4 story, it was a much needed breath of fresh air for me.
Suddenly, I remembered why I’ve played this game for so long. I stayed up until after midnight finishing and discussing the newest MSQ with Syn. So here’s my thoughts on it.
My MQS Thoughts
The following are my thoughts on this story (as a writer). If you want to experience it without anything coloring your opinion, please don’t read.
My tl;dr unspoiled response: I enjoyed it! There were a few things I would have done differently, and some things that were obviously used as a way to quickly fix tension-points in the plot-line, but nothing that killed it for me.
It was a good chunk of story. Some of the past story offerings, while being exciting and moving the plot along, seemed a bit short. I feel this one was about the right length.
There was a lot of variety in modes of storytelling. They tried a few new things that I won’t spoil here, but I thought were very neat. Aside from just your standard (insert dungeon here) sort of thing, they used a lot of different tools to tell the story.
There was a lot going on. It had all the trappings of a Final Fantasy tale – adventure, heroism, emotion, dimensional theory weaving, moral questions, and high fantasy. Sometimes it jumped around locations a bit much, but the story did open up reasons for these transitions.
I liked the voice acting. Not sure if I’m just finally getting used to some of the new voice actors, but I liked a lot of the voice acting. Especially some of these side characters.
It was odd to see Aymeric so laid back and actually… happy. Don’t know why. But I did enjoy that scene with him.
Oh yeah. Ask whatever you want!
I like Alisaie a lot more than I did in the past. They’ve done a good job in helping me understand and respect her character. I’m glad that I did some of the Coils (cleared T10), so that I’d have a more open conversation with her. I heard that she “fawns” over you if you’ve completed T13… and honestly, I really don’t want or need that. I’m happy with the level of connection I had with her here.
Obvious character was obvious. But that’s okay. If you’ve played it, you know who I’m talking about. It was less about us knowing who a certain character was and more about that character revealing their motivations to other characters. Glad we finally got to see what that was all about.
It was very complex and heavy on the out-there theory. In fact, this is the one spot I have slight criticism. They threw huge chunks of “Surprise!” at you, one after another with little time to digest any of it. I almost think that they should have broken up the Warrior of Darkness plot a bit more, even if that meant dropping the first plot bomb on us in 3.4 and concluding it in 3.5.
Neat and tidy package ending. Not everything was a happy ending, but a lot of it was very neatly ended. Almost too neatly.
On one hand, I’m glad they made sure to clean up dangling plot bits. But on the other hand, it felt like things came together super neatly (not forced or contrived, but just really neatly). Everything got a nice clean and polish and then the plot was brought to an end with all the pieces in place. Again, I feel maybe this ended prematurely… the whole Warrior of Darkness thing could have gone for one more patch and I would have felt satisfied… maybe moreso because I’d have had more time to think about what we learned.
New plot questions. Of course, FFXIV has to open up many cans of worms close to the end, dropping a lot of questions for future plots. Especially dealing with tempering and Yda. But not tempered Yda! (Sorry, that was a wonky sentence!)
The Epilogue. It’s well-known that FFXIV likes to dump quick OMG! moments at the end of their patch storylines. Things that leave us uneasy and interested in the future. The first of these moments earned a groan and a “NOT AGAIN!” from me. Seriously. Not again. The second of these moments left me feeling deviously delighted that a certain character is finally going to show his face again.
The story dungeon this time around was Xelphatol. This is the first of the new Expert Roulette dungeons and located within the home of the Ixal tribe.
I really liked the atmosphere and design of the dungeon — the treetops and rustic nature led to a number of neat means of travel from one area to another. I felt the bosses were fairly easy to understand, even though we went in mostly blind with a line or two of text instruction from a FC member. I was quite proud of myself when I could eyeball the arena for the second boss and take an educated guess at what the main mechanics were going to be.
With the wind theme, I got a slight flashback to Neverreap, but that’s okay.
Dungeon Frustration Rating: Low (with a trustworthy healer)
Result: Would Run Again
Now, I’m just hoping that the Library (Hard) won’t be too annoying so that I can better deal with this patch’s Expert runs.
Though, I actually took some time to look at some of my gearing up options. If I really get burned out on Expert Roulettes, I realized I could run some Palace of the Dead instead. Even if that means just spamming floor 1-10 a few times, that along with Beast Tribes could earn me the same amount of Tomes as an Expert run. I like that.
I haven’t tried the new Alex yet, but I do want to. I’ve decided to try and use this to gear up, too, if I can… and as long as it’s not too painful. I’ve heard a variety of feedback from “A9 is annoying” to “A11 and A12 are amazing!” So, I’ll have to wait and see.
Oh, and my little Squad is coming along well, too. I didn’t think I’d enjoy working with them as much as I do. I’ll save that all for another post, though.
So far, this patch has pleased me more than I thought it would. Cheers!