So after yesterday’s post about our terrible time trying to clear Castrum back in November, I saw a number of encouraging things about it – including a nice comment from Murph – thank you! I passed them along to Syn, and to my surprise, she came home from work ready to give Castrum a go on patch night.
This made sense. Folks were likely to be most enthusiastic about it on the first night.
So we headed out to Bozja and after hopping instances, thought our best chance to get in was in a fresh instance. We popped around doing some skirmishes while waiting – had to recoup the lost mettle from the previous Castrum fail.
The instance chat was on fire about Castrum, counting down to a possible pop time. When it came time for the run to go, we had more fear about not getting in than not having enough!
Syn and I kept telling each other: “If you get in and I don’t, you need to run it!”
Thankfully, we both got into the run, though we had to split up because we needed to join existing groups. I was a little nervous about this, and about the fact that my team chose to battle top boss, because I really have very little knowledge of mechanics of the place, even after running it once before. I mostly just followed along after everyone else and generally stayed alive.
When we got to the final boss, I was a tad worried. The boss fight within the boss fight was what wiped our previous attempt over and over before. However, before we even got there, one of the teams spoke up and claimed the Lyon team, and they sounded pretty confident about taking him.
When that part arrived, they absolutely melted Lyon with no trouble at all. I was beside myself at that point! Even though we had a few close calls with massive death on the final boss, the run went smooth. About 7-8 people (including us) were getting our clear for the first time based on the achievement earned.
Afterwards, Syn and I finally got to progress to see the rest of the story that we never had a chance to see last patch. Overall, I think the story is pretty good. I’m actually liking some of these side characters, including Lyon (despite him defeating my first attempt at Castrum).
What I find curious though is the placement of this story within the game overall. I get that FFXIV didn’t want to stick a war story in the middle of the MSQ (we’ve been there, done that) and wanted to give it a focus through a side-story like this.
However, considering how central the Empire’s threat has been to FFXIV from the very beginning, there’s some super important things going down in the Bozja storyline that you don’t see anywhere else. Even through character commentary in skirmishes, you get the idea that things are not going well for the Empire. That it’s actually on the brink of collapsing, in fact.
We know this to be true due to images we’ve seen of 6.0, but the story in Bozja hits it home in a much more interactive way. I’m glad that the fix to Castrum is doing what they intended and bringing folks back to play the content for those of us who hadn’t cleared it before. But it’s also a shame that such an important part of the story and history was locked behind this content.
Let’s be honest… eventually we all know that once this patch cycle is done and people have their relics, this story will be locked away again in the future unless something changes. This very much feels like timed content with an expiration date. I don’t know how many people still run Eureka, but that’s another example of content and story I’ve never done and will probably never do because I don’t think there’s enough folks out there to get things done.
Anytime a game gates story due to raids or instances, I’m not a big fan. FFXIV does this often, especially for someone like me who chooses not to do trials or raids in a timely way. It is what it is, I suppose. I just feel like the story in Bozja is pretty darn relevant to the overall struggle with the Empire and should be reflected elsewhere in the game. It might be later on, who knows.
Anyhow. We got our clear and we’re now working on the current patch story. I guess relic is the next step, though I’m not all that eager to farm raids to get what we need for upgrades. Especially since we’re behind the curve on getting there. I’ll see how it goes.