One of the things that happened over the weekend that we did not talk about on the podcast, nor have I mentioned on the blog… was the reveal of the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion Shadowbringers at the Las Vegas Fan Fest. I mentioned Fan Fest when I was talking about BlizzCon and how they only hold one when they have a big announcement to give us information about. As such you go into the experiencing knowing you are going to see something really cool, and while the trailer for Shadowbringers is cool… it was not the big reveal of the weekend. That said I do find it interesting that we are not going where I thought we were going at various points in the Stormblood storyline. It seems like in order to restore balance… we are to become the Warrior of Darkness.
The more important reveal however was that of the Blue Mage… aka the MMO class that I questioned if was even possible to do in a multiplayer game. With it they are introducing this concept of “Limited Jobs” and by that they mean Jobs that you can do… but are purely solo/open world only. Blue Mage will launch with 4.5 and be locked to a maximum of level 50 in progression. Like a Blue Mage in any other Final Fantasy game, you will not learn new skills by leveling up and instead learn them by fighting the monsters that perform certain abilities. So to learn Bad Breath you will need to fight a Morbal and watch it do that move… or similarly you will need to watch a Sabotender do 1000 Needles to be able to pick it up and start doing it yourself. I really dig this concept because it allows them to do this class with all of its flavor and power… without having to worry about balancing it against any other class. Level 5 Death would have been super hard to balance around… and I am wondering if they will start bringing other challenging classes in to the game under this Limited Jobs banner.
All of this thought about Final Fantasy XIV lead me to patch it up, and attempt to figure out where the hell I left off in the Stormblood post expansion main story quest. I bounced very hard on Stormblood and I am still not entirely certain why, but after leveling the Warrior and then grinding up the Samurai… I just ran out of steam. I’ve made a few attempts to get engaged again and similarly bounced out. Hell recently there have been a few times I logged into the game and then right back out when I wasn’t exactly sure what I needed to do in order to gain traction. All of this time however Sol has kept Greysky Armada active and there is a group of folks that do a cycle of regular events. Last night was Eureka night and I decided to log in and join the shenanigans.
Ultimately it was myself, Mor, eventually Neph and a character that I have seen around but can’t really place a person to… being babysit by Pix who deserves a hero medal for easing us all into the concept of Eureka. I remember when this first opened I spent some time solo grinding and managed to make it to level 2 just by killing random stuff. It seemed insanely grindy and a love song to Final Fantasy XI which itself was effectively the Japanese version of Everquest. Soloing it was miserable but with a group of friends it felt an awful lot better. Even more so once we started gathering up the materia shards that effectively gave us a 60% damage boost. I entered the night at level 2 and managed to push through to level 8 before we finally called it because it was getting late.
Seriously Pix deserves massive thanks at herding us around Eureka and helping us get the objectives we needed to get knocked out. Effectively he was out of group and AOE taunting everything onto him… while we sat there killing it down as fast as possible. As a result I spent most of the night as Samurai and while it took me a bit to remember how to play the class it eventually came back. When Neph joined us I feel like she went through the same thing with Machinist… which I guess is to be expected for as long as we have been gone. I know they have other themed nights, like one in which they do crafting maps… so for the time being I am probably going to be logging in and doing those activities at least until I get my bearings. I had an awful lot of fun, and I most of it was due to the fact that I was getting to hang out with a bunch of friends that I had not hung out with in a really long time.