Last time I provided an update on propelling myself through the Horrible Hundred, Rakuno suggested that I take a look at the Crystal Tower raid when I got the chance. As it turned out, I’d already completed most of the attunement quest so, ‘Why not?’ I thought and trotted my way out to Mor Dhona.

I only had to collect one more piece of aethersand — this one wind aspected — for Cid to refine into tools to smash down the ancient barriers protecting the tower. As a refreshing change of pace from the Horrible Hundred, the actual ‘work’ part of this quest all took place within a single area with no real backtracking to speak of. Please Square, more of this.

These sentinels have stood guard over this place for an age. We understand very little of what is going on here or the technology inside. …. Let’s smash ’em!

Seriously, the critical thinking skills forced upon us our MMORPG characters often makes me shake my head in wonder.

The barriers in place here are deadly, and it is openly acknowledged that the sort of technology in here is well beyond our understanding. There is a talk on how disastrous it would be to have it fall into the wrong hands. So of course what we need to do is:

  • Take down all the protections we can find.
  • Allow someone who until very recently was a sworn enemy, to come in and look around.
  • Have no-one watch this person while we’re otherwise engaged.
  • Trust another pair we’ve never seen before but we know lied to us to also come in and poke around the place.
I have Monster Hunter World to thank for making me not look like a complete scrub on this fight.

Final Fantasy XIV is far from the only MMO (or hell, RPG full stop) guilty of this, but come onnnn.

Rakuno advised me not to look into spoilers for this place ahead of time, which turned out to be good advice. For as much as I mock the story points above — it is otherwise quite awesome. And I haven’t even yet reached the later parts of the story that will tie back to this.

Following in that vein, I’ll not be spoiling anything significant to the story of this place either.

The queue times were surprisingly good, even coming at this from a purely DPS class. Six to eight minutes on average, which is better than queuing for a dungeon much of the time. I’m unsure whether there is a Roulette for this, or whether it is simply a strong enough source of Allagan Tomes that people of higher levels are keen to do it regardless.

Visually, each wing of the raid looked neat. And despite being a continuation of the same storyline managed to have quite a distinct aesthetic from the part before.

This one — the many, many heads not withstanding — looked kinda nice. Shame we had to fight. But… Since you are now defeated… Loots?

No single part overstayed their welcome and were quite brief to finish. The tuning was again similar in feel to a WoW LFR, although perhaps slightly less forgiving. There are a healthy helping of one-shot mechanics which to the untrained eye can be difficult to immediately spot.

Although I laughed in joy at the King Behemoth fight, when it became clear that the crossover event with Monster Hunter World had put a version of the same mechanics into play. So when I saw the comets strike the ground, I knew what was coming next — and sure enough, not too much later in Meteor was cast. Thanks to seeing all this in an entirely different game and playstyle I was able to avoid looking like a scrub.

Hehe. Puns.

Although on the very next boss (and the final for this wing) I did manage to get hit by an extremely large, extremely visible telegraphed AoE though. Noticed it just a liiiiittle bit too late and couldn’t get clear and into the shielded zone in time.

I wasn’t the only one though and as it turned out, this boss gave me my one and only wipe experience for the day.

All in all, I’m glad Rakuno made the suggestion of checking this place out. And even more glad that I actually did so. I had started the day on The Horrible Hundred and had made some OK progress there too.

Not quite to the end of the 2.3 patch content — but close. I’d been sent on my way to parley with Rahmuh for peace. This didn’t… exactly work. But I felt better about this one even so, as compared to the battle with Leviathan.

There was another wave of exposition after this, but it was actually intriguing this time. There was additional insight offered into the Ascians for one.

Hmmm…

I’d say that I’m perhaps halfway — or almost halfway overall. If the story can continue with the pace and interest of the latter parts of 2.3, it might yet turn into something other than a slog.

When I first started playing this morning I started to seriously consider putting FFXIV away in favour of ESO again until the streamlining patch.

Today managed to win me back again, but we’ll see how it goes from here.