A completely unrelated picture of Zeb and Tai sparring above… because I haven’t posted Zeb and Tai for quite a while here!
Earlier this week, FFXIV did two major things – it added the new NA Data Center, Crystal, and it introduced the World Visit feature all on the same day. Originally, they weren’t going to open the World Visit feature until the new expansion, but decided it was a wise idea to do it beforehand and test it. I think this was probably a good move.
Welcome to Crystal
My server, Mateus, was moved to the new DC, Crystal, along with Balmung and a number of lower-to-mid pop servers. I believe the idea here is that Balmung and Mateus are identified as the unofficial RP servers for NA, so they were grouped together. They’re also larger pop servers, and can help to balance out the rest of the servers across the DC as a whole.
This caused a bit of a panic among raiders who quickly pre-determined that since the unoffical raiding servers were staying on Aether and Primal, that the skill level of Crystal was about to tank. Because people who RP can’t raid, I guess.
So, a number of statics and raiders chose to jump ship from Crystal. Whether this is an accurate assessment or not, I can’t say. I’m not a savage raider, so this really doesn’t concern me one whit. I just want to log in and do my Alliance runs as painlessly as possible.
It’s only been a few days since the split, so we’ve not really had enough time to sample a large variety of content. We haven’t really seen terrible queue times – as some people predicted – on our runs. We also haven’t seen the massive wipes and rock-bottom skill level people proclaimed would happen by mixing up the servers.
Honestly, roulette was always a roll of the dice in quality, and that hasn’t changed. We’ve had super smooth runs. We’ve had challenging runs. If anything can be noted, it seems as if the overall attitudes of people on Crystal are a bit more pleasant and less go-go-go-go-go! oriented, which is fine with me.
Still giving this some time before I pin down an opinion. But so far, the sky isn’t falling.
The World Visit system is something I’ve been waiting for. Being an RPer and writer, I’ve met folks from many servers with whom I’d love to connect. Most of those people ended up on the Crystal DC, which means I can pop over to their server, friend them, run content, see their house, and generally just socialize when I want.
There were a few glitches in the release that caused emergency maintenance the first night, but overall, it’s been a lot smoother (for me) than I expected. The first night was pretty colorful as people explored across server lines – Ul’dah in Mateus is usually loud, but with additional personalities added to it… well.
Sadly, I have heard that people flooded Balmung, and not all for savory reasons. The server is known for… animated… Ul’dah chat, and apparently, not all visitors were there to be polite. Hopefully this kind of behavior will be put in its place as the newness of the system wears off.
Aside from that… World Visit is fantastic for shopping and getting a great deal!
Actually, that’s pretty much all I’ve used World Visit for (with the exception of meeting a few folks in my own world). Combined with the Mogboard website, I’ve been sniffing out deals across the DC. Much of this is glamour and housing items, which are always heavily inflated on Mateus.
In fact, I started decorating yet another themed personal room in our FC because I’m saving so much money picking up odds-n-ends right now. Sometimes, I’d just browse the boards on other servers and make a few impulse buys… which is not something I normally do.
How to World Visit?
World Visit is pretty easy. There’s an option to start a world visit at the main aetheryte in any of the three cities – Gridania, Ul’dah or Limsa. I confirmed this option isn’t available in Kugane, so I’m guessing it’s just the three starter cities.
Then you select the server you want to hop to. Most the time, you get the queue -DING!- right away. But every now and then, you have to wait your turn, especially for busy servers. This looks and sounds just like the duty finder UI when in progress.
Once you’ve arrived in the new world, you do have a few limitations on things you can do – the screen before that tells what those are. Your FC tag is also replaced by a new tag – Wanderer. Which is pretty neat. It tells you who is not native to your server, and gives you a visual to let you know when you’re away from home.
You can stay in that world and do most basic things you could in your own world. If you log off in the other world, you’ll log back on in it, too. So, aside from some stuff (retainers, linkshells, housing etc), it works pretty much the same as your home world.
So far, it’s been a good system. I see room for improvement, but knowing the FFXIV team, they will build on the foundation of this system as they tend to.